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.


“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


wget -q -O - | sudo apt-key add -
sudo sh -c 'echo "deb [arch=amd64] stable main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google-chrome.list'
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install google-chrome-stable


sudo dpkg -i skypeforlinux-64-alpha.deb


sudo apt install libreoffice

Graphic Editors

sudo apt install gimp inkscape shutter


Video Lan

sudo apt install -y vlc


sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras ffmpeg



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, 0 comments
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”



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 "" -O- | sudo apt-key add -
sudo wget -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/playonlinux.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install playonlinux 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.


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.


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] ( 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.



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

Step 1 Download the ISO

Go to 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 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


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

wget -q -O - | sudo apt-key add -
sudo sh -c 'echo "deb [arch=amd64] stable main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google-chrome.list'
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install google-chrome-stable


To install VideoLan simply enter following command:

sudo apt-get install vlc -y


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.

sudo dpkg -i skypeforlinux-64-alpha.deb


⌘+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


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
SteamOS: Beta

SteamOS: Beta

Valve has released a beta version of their OS. Hyped as the “killer app” for Linux and many hoped it will be the replacement for Windows.

In reality SteamOS is not going to be the Windows Desktop replacement OS. It is going to be a OS to be used with your TV and game-pad. Exactly like Valve has originally advertised the system, an OS for a “steam machine”; a computer controlled primarily by an game controller. The system is designed to compete with other consoles like the XBox or Playstation. The system is now in its beta state. Mostly Linux enthusiasts and hardware distributors are probably interested in the system.

The OS will be delivered to the majority of users on a pre-installed “steam machine”. Most Users will never have to interact with the underlying Linux environment and the computer will only be used for gaming purposes.

However time will tell how this development will effect the overall perception and acceptance of the Linux platform. Hardware developers like Nvidia and AMD have already announced a better driver support for the Linux platform. Hopefully major software developers will follow suit.

System Requirements

From the official site the hardware requirements are as follows:

  • Intel or AMD 64-bit capable processor
  • 4GB or more memory
  • 500GB or larger disk
  • NVIDIA graphics card (AMD and Intel graphics support coming soon)
  • UEFI boot support
  • USB port for installation

Oddly the requirements stated is the need for a 500GB disk. However after installation the OS requires only around 2.7GB, making the installation on a smaller disk is technically possible. Valve has not yet said anything more specific why 500GB are needed. It looks like the requirements are more of a guideline for a suitable gaming system.


There are two ways of installing the OS either restoring an existing image or doing a clean install.  Many users were reporting issues with the restore method as well as  the requirement of a 1TB disk to restore the image. Thus it is easier to do a clean install.

Clean Install

  1. Prepare a disk, the installation will automatically partition your drive, no matter what previous system is installed. (= everything is going to be deleted)
  2. Download the installation files from
  3. Extract the zip file to an USB-disk (formatted as FAT32)
  4. Boot the system from the USB-disk and follow the automatic installation setup

First Start

  1. Select the Gnome Desktop
  2. Log on as user “steam”, password: “steam”
  3. Log on as user “desktop”, password: “desktop”

Initial Impression

Sadly the Steam Interface never loaded on my system. I did not spend a lot of time on tinkering around with it, as it is currently in the state of preview/beta software. I hope Valve gets a lot of feedback and can fix these issues.

However most of the experience is positive, the install procedure was smooth and automated and you did not have to know anything about computers to get it running except how to “boot from usb-stick”. Mostly user-friendly, however they currently have not put a lot of work into their installer and a couple of more options would be nice.


Sadly I can’t say a lot about the new OS – it is beta software and I could not get it to work with my PC – However it is going to be an interesting development to watch in the next couple of years.

Official Links


Posted by happyneal in Linux, 1 comment
Ubuntu 13.04: Post Install Setup

Ubuntu 13.04: Post Install Setup

After the installation of Ubuntu you want to start being productive as fast as possible. There are three things you need to do:
1. Install the Programs you need
2. Remove the unwanted pre-installed Programs (for example Amazon Integration, Rhythm box)
3. Install all System Updates

While you could use the Ubuntu Store to install all programs by clicking through various screens. You will have a great performance gain by using the console and the “apt-get” package manager.

In the spirit of never having to repeat myself, I simply collected all the console commands I needed to complete the three steps.

Your personal setup will be slightly different to my setup, feel free to modify and adjust the script to suit your needs.

Posted by happyneal in Linux, 0 comments