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Get ubuntu-restricted-extras and a lot more.  Check out the Ubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10 Post Installation Guide.

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Check out this post on the Linux Mint Blog about a Mint user who bought a new PC from Dell, rejected the EULA, and… get this… got a refund!

He donated his refund to Linux Mint. Way to not only beat the Microsoft tax, but to negate it by giving the money to the Open Source world.

Using the <Super> key for keyboard shortcuts

This howto describes features in Linux Mint 7 (Gloria) and Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope)

Having come to Linux from Windows, and having to still use and support Windows from time to time at work, I have become very familiar with some of the default shorcuts Windows uses that involve the Windows key (that little key between the <Ctrl> and <Alt> that has the Windows flag on it) such as:

  • <Win>+D to toggle the desktop
  • <Win>+E to launch Windows Explorer
  • <Win>+L to lock the screen

I currently use Mint 7 and found that it provides these same shortcuts (and so many more) by default, but that it maps the shortcuts to different key combos.  I learned the combos (like <Ctrl>+<Alt>+L to lock the screen.  But switching back and forth between Windows and Mint made it difficult when I hit <Win>+E in Mint, and it launches the Expo wall.

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Since I’ve had so much bad luck with wireless cards and laptops lately (my last attempt endedup in kernel panic,) I decided to figure out how to back up and restore my hard drive image.  This way I won’t have to keep popping the install CD in and putting my installation back to square 0, thereby losing all my configurations.

Apparently, in Linux, it’s really easy to capture a tar ball of your entire partition and then just unpack the tar ball onto the partition if you break something and need to restore.

Check out this guide on the Ubuntu forums: Howto: Backup and restore your system!

Since the wicd update that borked my wireless management yesterday, I have successfully restored the program to an earlier version (link). However, the update notifier keeps nagging me about the fact that wicd has a new release. Not one for nagging, I poked around until I figured out how to make it stop.

If you find the package in Synaptic Package Manager, select it and the open up the Package menu (in the top menu bar) you will see an option to “lock” the package. Selecting this box will tell Synaptic/Apt that you don’t want to update the package. The icon next to the package name in the main window of Synaptic will change from one with a star (indicating an out-of-date package) to one with a lock (indicating — obviously — a locked package).

Just for good measure, I closed Synaptic and opened the Update Manager and did a check for updates in order to refresh the list (and get the wicd update out of the list). And now my update notifier no longer nags me from the panel.

XFCE boots by default with the number lock off. For people who are used to other operating systems remembering their number lock settings from a previous session. this can be annoying. If you want your number lock to always default to “on” when you star a session, then follow these directions (taken from this source.)

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My Firefox keeps crashing for some reason. I’m running version 2 on my Xubuntu Gutsy machine at work, and it will hang for a long time. So I tried using the xkill command to get rid of it. You can run xkill by typing it in a terminal or in the “run program” dialog (hit Alt-F2 to get the “run program” dialog box.) Xkill will turn your mouse cursor into a skull and crossbones. Then you just click on the window that you want to kill. Just make sure the window you want to kill is on top, as you won’t be able to Alt+Tab once xkill is running.

Anyway, the last time it happened, Firefox was so hung up that the entire window disappeared all except for the title bar. When I ran xkill, I wasn’t sure what I should click on, so I tried clicking on the Firefox button that shows up in my task list applet in the panel. Well, that killed the panel.

I wasn’t sure what to do from there. I couldn’t remember how to reboot using the terminal (which I already had open). But I did remember that I could open Firefox again just by running the firefox command in the terminal (you can also run it using Alt+F2). Once I got Firefox back up, I ran a Google search to try to find the command to restart the panel. So here it is, in case you too make the fatal mistake of killing your panel. Hit Alt+F2 to get the run dialog and then the command xfce4-panel. Your panel should pop right back up.

Next time, I’ll be sure to click on the little strip of title bar on my hung Firefox window when I want to xkill it.