Friday, 23 March 2012

10 + GNOME Shell extensions that I found useful

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According to GNOME site GNOME Shell extensions are small pieces of code written by third party developers that modify the way GNOME works. If you are familiar with Chrome Extensions or Firefox Addons,GNOME Shell extensions are similar to them.
 The below  GNOME Shell extensions are some of the must  haves on any GNOME 3.X desktop. If found that the below extensions are novel and at the same thime extremely useful . All the extensions mentioned are tested on GNOME 3.2.1 / openSUSE 12.1 / SeaMonkey .The extensions site has been a huge hit with the GNOME users.
Pre-Requisites
==>Ensure that Community repositories are installed and also the following packages are installed
        ==>gnome-shell-browser-plugin - The GNOME Shell Browser Plugin
                provides integration with gnome-shell and the corresponding
                extensions repository
        ==>gnome-shell-extensions - GNOME Shell Extensions is a collection
                 of extensions providing additional and optional functionality to
                GNOME Shell.
       ==>gnome-shell-extensions-common - This package provides files
               common to several GNOME Shell Extensions
       ==>gnome-tweak-tool - GNOME Tweak Tool is an application for
               changing the advanced settings of GNOME 3.
 ==>One needs a gecko compatible browser like (SeaMonkey or Firefox) to install the extensions from the GNOME Shell extensions.
Manage Extensions
When one installs the extensions from gnome site they get installed in "~.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions" directory path  by default.
  The source code installed here can be in fact customised  which is pretty awesome. I did try and customise one of the extensions,the process which I have described below.
You can manage(Delete / Turn On(Activate)/TurnOff (Deactivate)) the Shell extension using Installed Extensions page.
 Alternatively ,You can manage the installed extension using Advanced Settings tool (or) gnome-tweak-tool
10 + / Ten plus Extensions that rock
==>Alternative Status Menu
This cool extension brings the Power Off menu to the User Menu .This eliminates the nee to keep pressing Alt button to access the power off button when one wants to shutdown their machine.Before activation of this extension you cannot see shutdown or power off menu.
 After activation of the extension you can see the shutdown menu
==>Remove Accessibility
Helps to remove the generally unused accessibility menu from the top bar or panel in Shell desktop unless otherwise you need to access the onscreen keyboard regularly.Before installing this extension you can see the accessibility tool.
You don't see it after activation of this extension
==>Media Player Indicator
This extension allows one control ( playback ,volume ) the multimedia players like banshee.You can navigate your playlist without switching to the player
==>NetSpeed
Shows the speed at with internet is working when you are browsing the net.
==>Coverflow Alt Tab
Move over Alt Tab switcher Coverflow Alt Tab is here.Brings back memories of gnome 2 desktop effects.Move-over Alt Tab,Coverflow is here.Coverflow unlike Alt Tab based switcher shows multiple windows of same application without collapsing them.When using Alt Tab based switcher you nee to use Alt+` along with Alt+Tab to switch between two windows of the same application
Alt+Tab Switcher
Coverflow Switcher
==>ToDo List
You can maintain a simple to do list.You can jot down things you need to do without any hassle.
==>Shutdown Timer
This extension is an ideal tool if you want to schedule your Power Offs on you machine.If you have a download running and you want to lave your system unattended and you want the machine to shutdown after download then this is the ideal tool for you
==>Recent Items
This extension can display the latest accessed files on your desktop.You can clear the recent list of documents and files too.
==>NothingToDo
If you don't use the calendar tool on evolution to keep the appoints then the calendar in the top bar doesn't require such a large window to show all the appointments.This extension would help in making the calendar cuter.
Calendar Before installation
Calendar After installation
==>Search Firefox Bookmarks
This is an extension which helps one search for the bookmarks through the GNOME Shell Activities window.This extension was originally meant to e used for Firefox.But  don't use Firefox and hence wanted to tweak it to work with SeaMonkey.You can install SeaMonkey for openSUSE 12.1 using this link
I got the Firefox bookmark search extension to work with SeaMonkey by editing the "extension.js" file present inside folder path "~.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/searchfirefoxbookmarks@ciancio.net/". I replaced all occurrences of the string firefox with SeaMonkey in that file using gedit an viola,it became SeaMonkey search extension.
==>Inhibit Applet
This can prevent you monitor from switching off / prevents monitor from going into power saving mode when you are watching movies on your favourite video player.
==>Overlay Icons
It is an ultra cool extension that shows the application icons over the windows in the Activities window switcher(After installation press Windows key).

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Torrent clients on GNOME 3.2.1 / openSUSE 12.1

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What is Torrent?
   Torrent clients are software that can be said to work based on BitTorrent protocol which was invented by Bram Cohen.Torrents files are those files which can be used to store vital meta data information of the file a user is trying to download. It also contains URLs called trackers which is used to tracker the downloaders "leechers" and uploaders of the files "seeders". Simply said torrent framework allows decentralised method of downloading huge files without corrupting the file contents.Torrents work by dividing the target file into small information chunks, found on an unlimited number of different hosts. Here a host refers to all the computer terminals currently uploading or downloading the file. Since the torrent client automatically hash check the downloaded chunks of the files against the hash code inside the torrent file the files are often intact in contrast with conventional downloads where there is good chance of corruption of downloaded data.
Advantages of Torrents:-
==>There is no load on a single server unlike conventional downloads .There is  no chocking of servers due to heavy load
==>Since each it of data is hash checked there is less chance of the downloaded file getting corrupted.
==>Since immediately after a downloader has even one chunk of the whole file , the torrent client will start uploading that chunk.Hence each downloader automatically becomes an uploading. Hence unlike conventional downloads, the more downloaders of a file,the faster is the download.This is similar to mirrored downloads.
==>Even if the original file uploader is not offering the file for download, the file download stays alive because someone else can take over the role of a seeder.
==>Downloads are resumable  after any length of time which is a big one up over conventional downloads.
==>I always download Linux ISOs (openSUSE)through torrents as conventional downloads are very slow when a OS / distribution release occurs due to the mad rush to get the latest piece of software. Also the ISOs downloaded using this method are always intact.
Get Torrent Client:-

==>Follow the instructions in this post to install community repositories for openSUSE 12.1 and also configure "Enzokiel" repository (Repo Link)
==>After  configuring the repositories you can open YaST installer and type in the search string torrent against the Package Listing,then you can see torrent clients listed in YaST interface.From there you can check the required packages and hit "Apply" at the bottom of the window.This will install the torrent clients.For convenience sake I have sorted and shown installed packages,by default they will appear in alphabetical order in YaST.

Note:-
In additional to the above clients there is on more download manager called FatRat which supports torrent based downloads.
Comparison of Clients:-
BitTorrent-gtk
Interface is pretty basic,bland,minimalistic
Cannot selectively download files in the torrent and prioritise files
Random port switching on each start is not present
No encryption of connections
DHT options / peer exchange/discovery (Pex) features not are supported
No IP blocklist present
Download queuing pretty basic
Cannot control individual torrent upload and download rate in case of multiple downloads
Cannot control download rates ,only overall upload rate can be controlled
No one click /alternative speed  reduction facility to enable faster browsing
Search torrent option doesn't work
Tracker list cannot for a torrent be edited / modified
Force recheck option not available
No tray icon support
No Web interface is supported
Seeding ratio can be set.
Rating 2 out of 5
Deluge
Interface is pretty good and has lot of features and preferences that can be set
Download queuing supported
Encryption of connections supported
Supports IP blocklist and Web interface are available in the form of plugins
DHT options / peer exchange/discovery (Pex) features are supported
One can selectively download files in the torrent and prioritise files
Can control upload/download rates
No one click /alternative speed  reduction facility to enable faster browsing
Tracker list for a torrent can be edited /modified
Force recheck option available
Tray icon is supported
The software is highly extendable through default as well as additional plugins.
For example Stats plugin shows a pictorial/graphical display of upload and download speed
Seeding ratio can be set.
Rating 4 out of 5
qBittorrent
Interface is pretty good and has lot of features and preferences that can be set
Download queuing supported
Encryption of connections supported
Supports IP blocklist and Web interface
DHT options / peer exchange/discovery (Pex) features are supported
One can selectively download files in the torrent and prioritise files
Can control upload/download rates
one click /alternative speed  reduction facility available to enable faster browsing
Tracker list for a torrent can be edited /modified
Force recheck option  available
Tray icon is supported.The icon has three themes:-normal,Monochrome(light theme),Monochrome(Dark theme)
Seeding ratio can be set
Setting to check new versions of software available
Rating 4 out of 5
Vuze
Was formerly known as Azures
Interface is mind blowing ,awesome
Download queuing supported
Automatic speed optimisation test for network is awesome.It can also be run manually from Help menu.
vuze HD network offering TV show downloads is cool
Lot of plugins are available to extend its features
RSS subscription facility to indicate availability of new downloads is pretty good
Encryption of connections supported
Supports IP blocklist.
DHT options / peer exchange/discovery (Pex) features are supported
One can selectively download files in the torrent and prioritise files
Can control upload/download rates
one click /alternative speed  reduction facility not available
Tracker list for a torrent can be edited /modified
Force recheck option  available
Tray icon is supported
Seeding ratio can be set
Setting to check new versions of software available
Rating 4.5 out of 5
Transmission-gtk
The default client that is installed in openSUSE
Web interface is supported
Interface is pretty good and has lot of features and preferences that can be set
Download queuing supported
Encryption of connections supported
Supports IP blocklist.
DHT options / peer exchange/discovery (Pex) features are supported
One can selectively download files in the torrent and prioritise files
Can control upload/download rates
one click /alternative speed  reduction facility is supported
Tracker list for a torrent can be edited /modified
Force recheck option  available
Tray icon is supported
Seeding ratio can be set
Random port switching on each start is supported.
Rating 4 out of 5
If you liked this post,also take a look at
Easy Way To Step Up Your Torrent Download Speed

Saturday, 10 March 2012

FatRat on GNOME 3.2.1 / openSUSE 12.1

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 FatRat is a ultra cool download manager for GNOME 3.2.1 / openSUSE 12.1.
It is a Feature-rich download manager written in C++ and built on top of the Qt4 library.
==>Very stable bit of software.
==>Support FTP download and uploads as well as regular downloads.
==>Has RSS feed support + special functions for TV shows and podcasts.
==>Has drop box facility where you can drag and drop download links
==>Has downland queuing facility.You even have multiple queues,each queue pointing to a different download directory.
==>FatRat supports peer to peer (P2P) downloads through torrent and magnet  links i.e. supports bittorrent protocol.It also supports DHT and supports encryption of connections.
==>Implements a clipboard monitor which can automatically add download links to the download queue when they are copied.You can add regular expression definitions to add more types of file extensions that you need to download
==>Also has a nice web/remote interface and supports Remote control via a web interface
==>Supports  Hash Computation using MD4 , MD5 , SHA1 algorithms.
Getting FatRat installer:-
Assumptions:-
==>You are on GNOME 3.2.1
==>You are using openSUSE 12.1
First you need to determine the OS architecture(32 or 64 bit).
==>To do this you can open terminal(press Alt+F2 and type in "gnome-terminal" and hit return or enter key)
==>In terminal execute the command "arch". It should give you output like "i386" or "i586" or "i686" [32 bit] (Or) "x86_64" [64 bit]
Based on the architecture the relevant package must be downloaded.
My Output:-Indicates that I have a 32 bit OS installed.
Optional(Will Make Things Easier):-Next we add Enzokiel repository and install Oracle / Sun Jre from that repo. Look under "Configure repository using URLs" subheading under this post will help you do that.This is needed to check the dependencies for FatRat and download them too.
The following steps explain as to how to get the required packages to install FatRat:-
==>Navigate To  rpm.pbone.net
==>Search for fatrat package or software
==>Locate the appropriate version depending on your OS type as explained above.
==>Since I use a 32 bit OS I have downloaded fatrat-1.1.3-4.fc15.i686.rpm

==>If you have installed Sun Jre as described some lines above you can click on check requires link and get the other required libraries that  need to be installed.
 Accept and Run,this step will work only if you have installed Sun/Oracle JRE,as described in the "optional" subheading described above.

==>FatRat 1.1.3 requires three more libraries:- boost-date-time,boost-filesystem,boost-system . The downloaded libraries/packages/rpms would be
boost-date-time-1.46.0-3.fc15.i686.rpm ,  boost-filesystem-1.46.0-3.fc15.i686.rpm , boost-system-1.46.0-3.fc15.i686.rpm
Installation Using YaST (GUI):-
==>Create "Create a repository out of your  Local Directory" using this post
==>Then check the check boxes of the required software in YaST as shown below and hit "Apply"
Installation using zypper (CLI):-
==>Open the terminal (type in "gnome-terminal" and hit return or enter after pressing Alt+F2 key combination)
==>Navigate to the directory of the where your package or rpm is present using cd <space><dirname>
==> Execute the command :-
"sudo zypper in boost-date-time-1.46.0-3.fc15.i686.rpm boost-filesystem-1.46.0-3.fc15.i686.rpm boost-system-1.46.0-3.fc15.i686.rpm fatrat-1.1.3-4.fc15.i686.rpm"
Note:- You may need to enter admin passcode when prompted and press y when it asks you whether it can install so and so software.
Sample output for zypper installation:-
anonymous@linux-9p85:~> pwd
/home/anonymous
anonymous@linux-9p85:~> cd /home/anonymous/Software
anonymous@linux-9p85:~/Software> sudo zypper in boost-date-time-1.46.0-3.fc15.i686.rpm boost-filesystem-1.46.0-3.fc15.i686.rpm boost-system-1.46.0-3.fc15.i686.rpm fatrat-1.1.3-4.fc15.i686.rpm
Retrieving repository 'rpms' metadata [done]
Loading repository data...
Reading installed packages...
Resolving package dependencies...
The following NEW packages are going to be installed:
  boost-date-time boost-filesystem boost-system fatrat libgloox8
5 new packages to install.
Overall download size: 1.9 MiB. After the operation, additional 4.7 MiB will be used.
Continue? [y/n/?] (y): y
Retrieving package boost-date-time-1.46.0-3.fc15.i686 (1/5), 39.0 KiB (114.0 KiB unpacked)
Retrieving package boost-system-1.46.0-3.fc15.i686 (2/5), 27.0 KiB (22.0 KiB unpacked)
Retrieving package boost-filesystem-1.46.0-3.fc15.i686 (3/5), 66.0 KiB (227.0 KiB unpacked)
Retrieving package libgloox8-1.0-1.4.i586 (4/5), 367.0 KiB (1.2 MiB unpacked)
Retrieving: libgloox8-1.0-1.4.i586.rpm [done (54.3 KiB/s)]
Retrieving package fatrat-1.1.3-4.fc15.i686 (5/5), 1.4 MiB (3.2 MiB unpacked)
Retrieving package boost-date-time-1.46.0-3.fc15.i686 (1/5), 39.0 KiB (114.0 KiB unpacked)
Installing: boost-date-time-1.46.0-3.fc15 [done]
Additional rpm output:
warning: /var/cache/zypp/packages/_tmpRPMcache_/boost-date-time-1.46.0-3.fc15.i686.rpm: Header V3 RSA/SHA256 Signature, key ID 069c8460: NOKEY
Retrieving package boost-system-1.46.0-3.fc15.i686 (2/5), 27.0 KiB (22.0 KiB unpacked)
Installing: boost-system-1.46.0-3.fc15 [done]
Additional rpm output:
warning: /var/cache/zypp/packages/_tmpRPMcache_/boost-system-1.46.0-3.fc15.i686.rpm: Header V3 RSA/SHA256 Signature, key ID 069c8460: NOKEY
Retrieving package boost-filesystem-1.46.0-3.fc15.i686 (3/5), 66.0 KiB (227.0 KiB unpacked)
Installing: boost-filesystem-1.46.0-3.fc15 [done]
Additional rpm output:
warning: /var/cache/zypp/packages/_tmpRPMcache_/boost-filesystem-1.46.0-3.fc15.i686.rpm: Header V3 RSA/SHA256 Signature, key ID 069c8460: NOKEY
Installing: libgloox8-1.0-1.4 [done]
Retrieving package fatrat-1.1.3-4.fc15.i686 (4/5), 1.4 MiB (3.2 MiB unpacked)
Installing: fatrat-1.1.3-4.fc15 [done]
Additional rpm output:
warning: /var/cache/zypp/packages/_tmpRPMcache_/fatrat-1.1.3-4.fc15.i686.rpm: Header V3 RSA/SHA256 Signature, key ID 069c8460: NOKEY

Locating / Launching FatRat:-
Upon successful installation FatRat can be located under Activities(accessed using windows key on keyboard) ==> Applications ==> Internet
It can also be launched through quick launch window / application launcher (Alt+F2) using the command "fatrat". To add and remove FatRat application to GNOME 3.X dock / dasher or add it to favourites refer to this post
FatRat Features:-
Drop box in FatRat can be activated by right clicking on the FatRat icon in the notification area.Once drop box is visible one can drag and drop the download links onto the drop box to start the downloads
FatRat can compute hash codes of files on you hardisk system using MD4, MD5 and SHA1 algorithms.You can access this function through clicking on the small button which is to the left of Transfers tab with a plus sign on it
The download manager also supports torrent p2p or torrent downloads.
The tool can identify itself to the torrent tracker as either FatRat , Vuze / Azures or utorrent / ĀµTorrent
On can add custom regular expressions for clipboard monitoring of download media.When the relevant extensions are added the download manager automatically adds it to download list.
The number of simultaneous downloads can be manipulated using a advanced download queuing system . Multiple queues can be easily maintained and each download queue can be made to point at different download location.
The download manager has a good web interface which can be activated through Settings==>Web Interface==> Checking "Enable remote web control" . Do remember to set a password as when you open the web interface you will be prompted for a password
 The below screenshot shows the web interface
Enabling Integration of FatRat with FlashGot and tighter integration with gecko based browser:-
FlashGot is the free add-on for Firefox, Seamonkey ,Thunderbird and other gecko based browsers and  meant to handle single and massive ("all" and "selection") downloads with several external Download Managers.You can get  FlashGot installed from this page
 After clicking the download link it will download the add on prompt the user to accept the installation of the add-on.
Then one has to set up FatRat as the default download manager in FlashGot. To do this one has right click on the browser window and then click FlashGot ==> FlashGot Options ==> FatRat.
Then one has to click on More options and in the "FlashGot Media" tab ensure that FatRat is the download manager in the drop down

After configuring FatRat as default download manager in FlashGot one can right click on any download link and click on FlashGot ==>FlashGot Link menu to add the download to FatRat queue

FlashGot shows a floppy like icon on the right hand side of the status bar in video sharing sites like youtube and dailymotion. If you click on the icon then you will get a menu which on clicking will add the video to  download queue in FaRat

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Meet The Sloths

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After winning celebrity fans and a worldwide audience online, video Meet the Sloths is being aired as a full-length documentary.The sloths in the video Are too cute

Saturday, 3 March 2012

YaST Software Installer / Software Manager Usage in GNOME 3.2.1 / openSUSE 12.1

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 YaST (Yet another Setup Tool) is an setup and configuration tool that can be found on various versions of openSUSE distribution.YaST can be used to configure your entire system . It can be used to
==>Setup hardware,
==>configure the network ,
==>Manage software,
==>Setup system related settings (date , language ,partitioner,backup system)
==>Setup Security(configure Firewall,User management)etc:
How To Launch YaST ?
YaST can be launched in gnome from  quick launch (Alt+F2) window using command "gnomesu /sbin/yast2" or "xdg-su -c /sbin/yast2" without quotes and then typing in admin password / passcode.
YaST can also be located in GNOME 3 desktop through "Activities" ==> "Applications" ==> "System Tools" ==> "YaST"
Launch YaST Software Manager
YaST Software Manager can be launched in gnome from  quick launch (Alt+F2) window using command "gnomesu /sbin/yast2 sw_single" or xdg-su -c "/sbin/yast2 sw_single" without quotes and then typing in admin password / passcode when prompted
YaST Software manager can also be located in GNOME 3 desktop through "Activities"(use windows key on keyboard) ==> "Applications" ==> "System Tools" ==>"Install/Remove Software". Alternatively after clicking windows key one can type "install" without quotes on the keyboard and GNOME 3 interface will instinctively bring up YaST Software Manager
Add Community Repositories using YaST
Community repositories or additional repositories are software repositories through which one can receive software updates in openSUSE system . They can easily be added to YaST  Software manager. After opening YaST Software manager  click on "Configuration" menu ==> Repositories
In the next window click "Add" button at the bottom of the window
In the next window select "Community Repositories" option and then click "Next" button on the bottom of the screen
Then the required repositories can be chosen according to ones needs.
Must Have repositories:-
==>Main Repository (OSS) or openSUSE-12.1-Oss
This serves as main repository from openSUSE for open source software
URL: http://download.opensuse.org/distribution/12.1/repo/oss
==>Main Repository (NON-OSS) or openSUSE-12.1-Non-Oss
The main, official openSUSE 12.1 repository for all the Non Open Source Software maintained by the openSUSE team. In here you can find Real Player, Opera, Java, Flash, and much more.
URL: http://download.opensuse.org/distribution/12.1/repo/non-oss
==>Main Update Repository
In this repository you find security and maintenance updates to openSUSE 12.1.
URL: http://download.opensuse.org/update/12.1/
Recommended repositories:-
==>Packman Repository
Provides 3rd party audio and video codecs . It essentially includes software that is not shipped as part of distributions
URL: http://packman.inode.at/suse/12.1/
==>libdvdcss Repository
Provides Encrypted DVD support
URL: http://opensuse-guide.org/repo/12.1/
==>openSUSE BuildService - Mozilla
Containing the latest releases of all Mozilla software, such as the popular Thunderbird (mail client), Firefox and Seamonkey (web browsers).
URL: http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/mozilla/openSUSE_12.1/
==>openSUSE BuildService - Games
A collection of cool games covering genres like shoot 'em ups, flight simulators etc
URL: http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/games/openSUSE_12.1/
==>openSUSE BuildService - GNOME:Apps
Updates to the GNOME software that is shipped with the distribution (backports).
URL: http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/GNOME:/Apps/openSUSE_12.1/
You may need to accept a host of disclaimers and accept / trust repository keys
Finally you can find the selected repositories in the configured repositories list
You can view as to what software or packages that are present in each of the repositories by switching to Repositories view in YaST as shown below
Configure repository using URLs
If you need additional repositories configured in your system that are maintained by members of the community then you do so very easily
After clicking on Add button as described above in the "Configured repositories" page / window one needs to select the "Specify URL" option in the Media Type dialogue window and click on the "Next"  button
Then you need to plug in the relevant URL that points to a valid repository in the dialogue window or wizard .You can optionally specify a name for the repository to serve as a reference for you needs. For example I have added the URL:http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/enzokiel/openSUSE_12.1_Update/ and gave the repository an alias as "Enzokiel".
This repository gives me packages for Sun/Oracle Jre and JDK,VUZE packages and other software.
Create a repository out of your  Local Directory
 If you have downloaded some rpms and want to install them ,then you may optionally put all the rpms / packages in single directory and make it a software repository using YaST.
You can do this by clicking on Add button as described above in the "Configured Repositories" page / window and then select the "Local Directory" option in the Media Type dialogue window and click on the "Next"  button
In the next step of the wizard you can use the browse button and locate the directory where you have saved or stored all your rpms. This directory path will then get added in the wizard.You can check the check box "Plain RPM directory" and provide an alias like "RPMS" for your reference.Thus you have created your very own software repository
You can find that all your custom repositories you have created will appear in the Repositories view in the YaST Software Manager tool.

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