Computer

Elementary OS: Things to do after installing Elementary OS 0.4 (Loki)

Elementary OS: Things to do after installing Elementary OS 0.4 (Loki)

When you start out with elementary OS there are a couple of useful things that you should do to have  a better experience working with your system.

General

“Software & Updates” for Additional Drivers

The easiest way to install the proprietary NVidia Drivers (in Ubuntu) is to go to System Settings > Additional Drivers and then simply select the driver.

This option is not available in Elementary. However by installing the package software-properties-gtk you can get the program.

sudo apt install -y software-properties-gtk

Now by clicking on Applications on the top right, and then type
“Software & Updates” you can access the Settings.

Easy way to add PPA

With the command line tool add-apt-repository you have a quick way to add additional PPA’s. To get this tool you need to install the package

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common

Add a Minimize Button to Windows

Some of the Elementary Windows do not have an easy way to minimize the window.  With Elementary Tweaks you can add a button to the windows.

Officially the elementary team does not encourage users to use the tweaking tool, since it also exposes switches to functionality that could mess up your system, so use the tool with caution.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:philip.scott/elementary-tweaks
sudo apt install elementary-tweaks

Microsoft Font Compatability

sudo apt-get install ttf-mscorefonts-installer

Replace Screenshot tool

sudo apt remove screenshot-tool
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:shutter/ppa
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install -y shutter

Chrome

wget -q -O - https://dl-ssl.google.com/linux/linux_signing_key.pub | sudo apt-key add -
sudo sh -c 'echo "deb [arch=amd64] http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/ stable main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google-chrome.list'
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install google-chrome-stable

Skype

wget https://go.skype.com/skypeforlinux-64-alpha.deb
sudo dpkg -i skypeforlinux-64-alpha.deb

Office

sudo apt install libreoffice

Graphic Editors

sudo apt install gimp inkscape shutter

Video

Video Lan

sudo apt install -y vlc

Codecs

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras ffmpeg

Other

Redshift

A simple program to prevent Eye Strain

sudo apt install redshift gtk-redshift

Laptop Battery Saver

sudo apt install tlp tlp-rdw

Last Steps

Remove Programs

sudo apt remove pantheon-mail -y
sudo apt remove maya-calendar -y
sudo apt remove epiphany-browser -y
sudo apt remove audience -y

Update your system

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Posted by happyneal in Blog, Linux, 1 comment
Fix Incorrect Clock Settings in Windows When Dual-Booting With Elementary OS

Fix Incorrect Clock Settings in Windows When Dual-Booting With Elementary OS

Switching between Elementary OS and Windows, I noticed that the Time was not set correctly.  This is mostly caused by Windows and Linux using two different ways of setting time. Linux sets the computers time to the RealTimeClock and then applies the timezone. While Windows simply sets the computers clock to the TimeZone you are currently in.

The classic way of fixing this issue is, changing some value in the Registry. However I use a different – more native to Windows method by using the already existing “Synchronize Time” Task and adding a trigger to ensure that it runs at logon.

Step 1:  Open Task Scheduler

Open the “Task Scheduler” (Press the Windows Key and Type Task Scheduler)

Navigate to the Folder Task Scheduler Library/Microsoft/Windows/Time Synchronisation

Step 2: Set up Trigger

Rightclick on the task “Synchronize Time” > Preferences2016-12-01-00_33_40-nvidia-geforce-overlay

Step 3: Set up a new Trigger

Navigate to the Tab “Triggers” and click on “New”

In the Dialog Box Select Begin the task: “At Log on”

2016-12-01-00_35_47-task-scheduler

 

Now the clock should always be set to the correct time whenever you log on.

 

Posted by happyneal in Linux, Windows, 0 comments
Elementary OS: Windows Apps with Play on Linux

Elementary OS: Windows Apps with Play on Linux

One of the major issues when using Linux is that you would like to use Software that was written for Windows. Thankfully more and more new Software is cross-platform compatible. However especially older Software and most newer Games will not support Linux.

If you are dependent on using Windows Software then you have several options available. Dual-Boot Windows and Linux, use a Virtual Machine (like VirtualBox or try  WineHQ

Wine essentially translates the Windows Commands to Linux Commands at run-time. Eliminating the penalty of using a virtual machine. The downside of Wine is, that not all new programs run properly. However it seems games that were written for Windows XP work better with Wine than with Windows 10.

The last time I was playing with Linux I found it very difficult to configure and find packages. You need wine, wine-tricks, then install some other windows package into wine etc.  This time I found another project Play on Linux that provides an easy to use GUI with quick Installers for many different programs.

The other thing which makes “Play on Linux” great, is that it can create multiple virtual drives, for your various programs. So you can use different versions of Wine, or configure the different drives to emulate a different version of Windows, use different components etc.

Install Play on Linux

wget -q "http://deb.playonlinux.com/public.gpg" -O- | sudo apt-key add -
sudo wget http://deb.playonlinux.com/playonlinux_trusty.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/playonlinux.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install playonlinux

Battle.net games

Play on Linux shines the most when it already provides an installer that automatically configures Wine correctly to install all components that the program simply runs without any additional work.

You just locate Hearthstone, Diablo or Starcraft from the list and press install and the program will work without any issues.

Windows Steam Games

Step 1

Install Windows Steam. Play on Linux provides easy installers for Steam, simply search for steam in the installer menu and press install.

selection_001

Installer for Steam

 

Step 2

You will have to look up in the Wine AppDB if your game is supported by Wine.

If it is supported you then can log into steam and install games from your library just like in windows.

Step 3

Usually you will need to install some sort of additional windows package to get the program running.

In my case I wanted to install Tron 2.0, in the documentation for the program. Something like needs “winetricks directmusic” was mentioned.

To install “directmusic” you need to select Steam and click on Configure. Then switch to the Install components Tab and then select the component from the list and press install.

selection_003

Install a missing component

 

In some cases, like with my Tron 2.0 example, this is not enough and you have to google some more to find some helpful [article] (http://www.gamersonlinux.com/forum/threads/tron-2-0-guide.628/) that then tells you to install additional components  and not to use the Windows XP emulation but the Windows 7 emulation.

Custom Installers

Of course you may have your own Programs, you can simply click on “Install non-listed program” navigate to the installation files and install your program.

Access to Files

Play on Linux installs a handy shortcut into your home directory, so that you can easily access the various virtual hardrives of the Play on Linux instances, if you have the need to copy&modify files.

 

Conclusion

While Wine is not perfect and not everything runs smoothly and out of the box like when using Windows directy. It is worth fiddling around with Wine/Play on Linux to not have to dual boot or get a VM running.

 

 

 

Posted by happyneal in Blog, Linux, 0 comments
Elementary OS: Loki

Elementary OS: Loki

Elementary OS is a new Operating System that wants to be an alternative to Window or OSX. The team behind the project puts an high emphasis on Usability and Design.

Over the next couple of days I will try to actually switch to the system. Elementary is based on Ubuntu, which in turn is based on Debian, so all *.deb packages and programs can be installed without any problems. As with all Linux Distributions Elementary is free. However the developers require you to think about it if you would like to support their efforts or not. If not you enter a 0 into the download field.

For my initial setup I will essentially install all the common programs I use on a day to day basis. .

How To install Elementary.io

Step 1 Download the ISO

Go to www.elementary.io and download the current Version. If you have some money to spare you can donate to the project. If not enter a 0 and you can download the iso for free.

Step 2: Prepare a USB Stick

Go to https://rufus.akeo.ie/ and download the Rufus tool, this allows you to easily create a bootable USB stick.

Step 3: Install

Well for the last step you really just have to boot from the stick and follow the instructions.

First Steps

Remove Default Programs

The team focuses a lot on providing a suite of programs that also follow it’s design principles.

I would prefer to use Chrome as my Browser, and VideoLan for videos and I do not need an email client, or a dedicated calendar.  I removed them with these commands:

sudo apt remove pantheon-mail -y
sudo apt remove maya-calendar -y
sudo apt remove epiphany-browser -y
sudo apt remove audience -y

(The program “audience” is the default VideoPlayer)

Install General Programs

Chrome

Since Chrome has some Google stuff in it you first have to add it to apt with this command:

wget -q -O - https://dl-ssl.google.com/linux/linux_signing_key.pub | sudo apt-key add -
sudo sh -c 'echo "deb [arch=amd64] http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/ stable main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google-chrome.list'
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install google-chrome-stable

VideoLan

To install VideoLan simply enter following command:

sudo apt-get install vlc -y

Skype

Microsoft has just recently announced that they will create a Skype Client for Linux. For now there is only the official “Skype for Linux Alpha”. Essentially the program is still barebones and is in very early stages of development. – If you install  it do not expect that everything will be working.


wget https://go.skype.com/skypeforlinux-64-alpha.deb
sudo dpkg -i skypeforlinux-64-alpha.deb

Shortcuts

⌘+Space App Launcher
Alt+Tab Window Switcher
⇧+Alt+Tab Switch Windows Backwards
⌘+Left/Right Switch Workspace
⌘+S Workspace Overview
Ctrl+⌘+Left/Right Snap Window to Half of Workspace
Ctrl+⌘+Up/Down Maximize/Unmaximize Window
⌘+T Terminal

Conclusion

The OS looks awesome, it feels like a system you actually could work with for a longer period of time. In the past I have always tried Linux for a couple of days and then said, well interesting, but a lot of my programs simply do not work and I would like to go back to Windows.

Let’s see how long this time the experiment is going to last and if Linux has become more user friendly over time.

Posted by happyneal in Blog, Linux, 0 comments
How to install Windows 10

How to install Windows 10

Preparation

You will need a USB-Drive with a minimum of 3GB free space.

Installation Files

Unlike previous versions of Windows, Microsoft has released a download tool.

  1. Download the tool from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
  2. Attach the USB-Stick to your computer
  3. Start the tool and select your USB-Drive
  4. The tool will download the installation files and make the USB-Stick bootable.

Install Windows 10

Start your computer and boot from the USB-Drive

During Installation you should not use “Express Settings” but instead use “customize settings” and take a close look at the different options.

If you are upgrading a Windows 7 installation or Windows 10 has been previously installed on the computer Windows will not ask you for a Product-Key and does not need to be activated again.

Quick Program Setup

By using chocolatey you can quickly install most of the programs you need.

Install Chocolatey

  1. Open a cmd with Administrator Privilages (Windows Key > type “cmd” > Shift + Ctrl + Enter)
  2. Copy and Paste following script:
@powershell -NoProfile -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Command "iex ((new-object net.webclient).DownloadString('https://chocolatey.org/install.ps1'))" && SET PATH=%PATH%;%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\chocolatey\bin

Install your programs

  1. Visit the chocolatey site to find packages (http://www.chocolatey.org)
  2. Open a cmd with Administrator Privilages
  3. Create your own script that looks something like this:
  4. choco install -y googlechrome vlc skype 7zip
    

 

Optimizations

Remove Preinstalled Apps

If you are running Windows on a Desktop without any touch capabilities, you will probably have no use for certain features, like Cortana or those Apps in the Start menu. Some of these Apps you can remove using the control panel, however Microsoft apps like “Mail” cannot be removed using the control panel.

To remove them you need to using an evevated Powershell (Windows Key > “Powershell” > Ctrl – Shift -Enter)

To remove a package

Step 1

First List all available Packages


Get-AppxPackage

Step 2

Use the name of the package, only one package should be selected


Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.Windows.Photos

Step 3


Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.Windows.Photos| Remove-AppxPackage

Note: It is not recommended to remove the Windows Store. It is rumored that you then cannot install anymore Windows updates after that.

 

Remove all Packages

As alternative run following command to remove all Apps (excluding the Windows Store).

 

Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers | where-object {$_.name –notlike “*store*”} | Remove-AppxPackage

Note: This command may also remove components you actually would like to keep It is better to create a controlled powershell script to remove only the apps you do not want.

Disable UAC (User Account Control)

Assuming you are a power user and you know what you are doing with Windows. You can disable the User Account Control using the elevated Powershell console.

With this oneliner you can disable UAC on your computer.


Set-ItemProperty -Path HKLM:\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\system -Name EnableLUA -Value 0

(Restart required)

Posted by happyneal in Windows, 0 comments
Maximum Memory by Windows Services Configuration (BlackViper Settings)

Maximum Memory by Windows Services Configuration (BlackViper Settings)

There are a lot of tips and tricks on how to optimize your system memory. One of the main ways to get the most out of your system is to configure the “Windows Services”, essentially tasks and programs that windows starts and stops in the background. These services are needed by other programs, changing this configuration can result in that some programs cannot start or behave in a strange manner. If you mess around with the services, you could disable your access to the internet and its a pain to figure out which service you accidentally stopped that should have been running.

There are only two situations in which you should configure the services

  1. You are desperate and want to optimize a very old pc without having to buy new ram
  2. You are a gamer and want the speediest most lightweight computer

Service Configurations

Fortunately smart people have already played around with various configurations. BlackViper provides on his website a list of “tweaked”, “safe” and “default” settings. However the table on his website is interesting, but not very useful. If you would want to apply these settings you would have to open up “services.msc” and apply each setting manually.

Thankfully I found a way to convert the table into a powershell script.

  1. Head over to his site  http://www.blackviper.com/service-configurations/
  2. Go to your Version of Windows
  3. Use the websites Copy function and save the tap separated table into a textfile
  4. Execute following python code in the same folder

Alternatively you can download the resulting Powershell Scripts for Windows7SP1:  Win7SP1 – BlackViperPowerShell

Note: During the execution of the script errors appear for services that are not installed on your system – just ignore them.

Results

To consistently measure the memory usage I did a clean install of Win 7SP1 on a VirtualBox.

  • Default  39 Processes using  600MB Ram
  • “Safe Configuration”:  29 Processes using 500MB.

While the safe configuration ‘saves’ you 100MB of Memory. The amount of effort of testing if all your programs are still running correctly etc. Does not make a lot of sense – especially when typically you are anyway have 8GB+ RAM in Computers these days.

Image:

Posted by happyneal in Hardware, Python, Windows, 0 comments