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Archive for April 2011

11.04 Natty – Replacing system monitor

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Indicator Syspeek
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:vicox/syspeek
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install syspeek

Panel Indicators
Start via Alt + F2 “AppName” and enter.


Written by SilverWav

April 30, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Posted in Notes

Tagged with , , , , ,

Ubuntu Natty Narwhal 11.04: Stunning and Beautiful.

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Elegant, Clever and Functional… Canonical Have A Winner.


OK this article is a work-in-progress and will be updated and edited as I learn more.


  • Reading the Release Notes would probably be a good idea… but I never do until something bugs me and I have to go looking for the cause.
  • If you are setting mount points in the installer, be aware that you may need to use “Paste” as there is a bug stopping text entry.
    That is, all you can choose are the items in the drop down list.
    I used gedit to copy my mount points text e.g. “/backup”.
    There is a screen-shot of what I am referring to later on in the post.
  • Use the recommenced Nvidia driver, or you will be sorry ;-)
    As an example I tried “173” but it didn’t cut it on my system.
    Current is working very well even with dual monitors :-D
  • Unity is only designed to work on the left, that is you need to have the launcher on the far left most side of your left most monitor.
    Don’t use it in the centre of two screens as this will cause issues.
  • Dual monitor system Launcher displays on start-up at the left of the right monitor?
    [Fix] Swap the dvi cables connecting the graphics card over :-D
    Now the left most monitor is the default monitor and you can enable the right most monitor via TwinView.
  • Unity Mouse & Keyboard Tips Here.
  • Show the Month, Date & Locations in the Indicator Here.
  • Panel Indicators (See Below). Pastie, syspeek, Weather Indicator, Indicator Multiload and Indicator Workspaces.
  • Remove the “Me Menu”. sudo apt-get remove indicator-me


First Thoughts

The Launcher is very slick and well thought out particularly for something this immature.

To add items, open the app, right click and choose “Keep in Launcher “.

You can pick an item and then move it up or down the stack, the mechanics of this are handled in a very cool way :-)

A search for “CCSM” brings up the CompizConfig Settings Manager. This allows you to tweak the  “Ubuntu Unity Plugin”. Search is already set for the Super Key. I set F1 for the Launcher and F2 for Run.

There are a lot of different ways to access your applications but if you get lost you can always use “Applications” from the bottom of the Launcher.

As you fill the Launcher with apps you will notice that they start getting stacked at the bottom :-D


I am playing about with various ways of using the Workplace Switcher…

The one I am having fun with ATM is to have Firefox in one space and Chromium in another. Just clicking on the app in the Launcher and BANG! I am straight into another Workplace… Nice.


Installing Natty

I publish to the web as a kind of script that I can follow when installing. You can do this as well, just choose to “Try Ubuntu” not “Install Ubuntu” at the CD prompt. You then get booted into a fully working OS off the CD. You have an install shortcut on the desktop and you can use Firefox to look up this post to help you with the install.

Note that I am performing a Clean Install not an Upgrade. My /home is on its own partition. This enables me to keep 99% of my configuration information, (Application Settings, Desktop, Panels, etc.) and is a huge time saver.

To make life interesting I am swapping the system HD with another and I am also reformatting my /home to ext4 from ext3.
This means I will need to copy all of my data back to /home after the format. I mention this in passing as I may add some extra information in regards to this so I don’t have to look it up the next time :-) .



Note your Partition details and send to the Web or Gmail, (I use GParted or Systems Monitor).
This will allow you to refer to these screen-shots from Firefox while you are installing.


Download an image: 11.04-desktop-amd64.iso or 11.04-desktop-i386.iso

  • It is advisable to use VirtualBox to do a dry run of the following in a VM prior to the real thing.
  • Backup your system.
  • Burn a CD with K3b at 4 speed and check integrity.
  • K3b will display a MD5 of the ISO, this should be “7de611b50c283c1755b4007a4feb0379” for ubuntu-11.04-desktop-amd64.iso.
  • Boot the CD and hold down shift key.
    Choose language. Choose test integrity.
  • Reboot, Choose “Try Ubuntu”.



  • Wait for the CD files to be uncompressed and loaded.
    This will take a while if you don’t have a Linux swap.
  • On the desktop click the short-cut “Install”.
  • I start the Installer and open Firefox on this post so I can check on details e.g. partitions.
  • I chose the 3rd option on how to “Allocate drive space”.
    • I went through each of the partitions in turn, hitting “change” and setting Type and Mount Point.
    • I didn’t have to create or size any partitions as I had used GParted prior to this.

  • Double checking is a good idea at this point.
    Have you set the correct file system for each partition?
    That tick box marked “format”, are you sure?
  • Reboot when the installer is finished.


Post Install Set-up

If needed, install the NVIDIA, or other restricted driver, then reboot.

Add Codecs and Packages

1. Add the Medibuntu Repository.

sudo wget  --output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install medibuntu-keyring && sudo apt-get update

2. Automatically Install Favourite Packages.
You will need the following two files:
Download the file

Create the file packages.list and add the code below (click “show source” then hover your mouse over the code and choose “view source” from the toolbar).
Copy and paste into the file you have just created.

# by silverwav - OpenPGP key:03187548 15 Apr 2009
# Any line starting with a # is ignored as are Blank lines.
# Any other lines, the first word is taken as the package name.

# Add Repositories before you start
# Add repo 1st!
# sudo wget --output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list
# sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install medibuntu-keyring && sudo apt-get update

#*** Extras
ubuntu-restricted-extras - Commonly used restricted packages
timer-applet - a countdown timer applet for the GNOME panel

#linux-headers-$(uname -r)

compizconfig-settings-manager - Compiz configuration settings manager
#simple-ccsm - Simple Compizconfig settings manager
hardinfo - UNIX/Linux hardware information

gparted - GNOME partition editor
firestarter - gtk program for managing and observing your firewall
bum - graphical runlevel editor
nvidia-settings - Tool of configuring the NVIDIA graphics driver

revelation - GNOME2 Password manager
#parcellite - A lightweight GTK+ clipboard manager
glipper - Clipboard manager for the GNOME panel

pcmanfm - an extremely fast and lightweight file manager for X
gmountiso - a PyGTK GUI to mount your cd images
#xfe - lightweight file manager for X11
#gnome-commander - nice and fast file manager for the GNOME desktop

#***Accessories - Search
catfish - file search tool that support several different engines
recoll - Personal full text search package with a QT GUI

#***Accessories - Text
notecase - hierarchical note manager (aka outliner)
emacs - GNU Emacs is the extensible self-documenting text editor.
vim-gnome - Vi IMproved - enhanced vi editor - with GNOME2 GUI

#doom-wad-shareware - Shareware game files for the 3D game DOOM
#prboom - clone of the legendary first person shooter Doom

gimp - The GNU Image Manipulation Program
gthumb - an image viewer and browser
mtpaint - painting program to create pixel art and manipulate digital photos
gwenview – image viewer for KDE 4
kolourpaint4 - simple image editor for KDE 4
kiconedit - icon editor for KDE 4
shotwell - digital photo organizer
xpdf - Portable Document Format (PDF) suite

pidgin - graphical multi-protocol instant messaging client for X
epiphany-browser - Intuitive web browser
ushare – lightweight UPnP A/V Media Server (x-box)


geany - A fast and lightweight IDE
meld - graphical tool to diff and merge files
regexxer - A visual search and replace tool

#***Sound & Video
#Add repo 1st!

#***Sound & Video - Codecs
libdvdcss2 - Simple foundation for reading DVDs - runtime libraries
lame - LAME Ain't an MP3 Encoder

#***Sound & Video - Player
mplayer - The Ultimate Movie Player For Linux - Medibuntu package
mplayer-fonts - Fonts for mplayer
mplayer-skin-blue - blue skin for mplayer
mplayer-skins - Skins for the Ubuntu mplayer Package
mplayer-gui – movie player for Unix-like systems
#mozilla-mplayer - MPlayer-Plugin for Mozilla
vlc - multimedia player and streamer
xine-ui - the xine video player, user interface

#***Sound & Video - DVD
acidrip - ripping and encoding DVD tool using mplayer and mencoder
audacity - A fast, cross-platform audio editor
avidemux - a free video editor - gtk version
devede - program to create video DVDs
dvd95 - DVD9 to DVD5 converter
dvdrip - perl front end for transcode
k3b - A sophisticated KDE CD burning application
k9copy - DVD backup tool for KDE
mkvtoolnix-gui - mmg a set of tools to work with Matroska files - GUI frontend
arista - multimedia transcoder for the GNOME Desktop
pitivi - non-linear audio/video editor using GStreamer

#***Sound & Video - Sound Tools
padevchooser - PulseAudio Device Chooser
pavumeter - PulseAudio Volume Meter
soundkonverter - audio converter frontend for KDE
bbe – sed-like editor for binary files
normalize-audio – adjusts the volume of files to a standard volume level
mpeg4ip-server – end-to-end system to explore streaming multimedia
espeak - A multi-lingual software speech synthesizer

#***System Tools
samba - a LanManager-like file and printer server for Unix
nautilus-gksu - privilege granting extension for nautilus using gksu - Open as Administrator
nautilus-open-terminal - nautilus plugin for opening terminals in arbitrary local paths
nautilus-actions - nautilus extension to configure programs to launch
gconf-editor - An editor for the GConf configuration system
sysinfo - UNIX/Linux system information (MONO)
bleachbit - delete unnecessary files from the system
ttf-liberation - Free fonts with the same metrics as Times, Arial and Courier
testdrive - run the daily Ubuntu ISO in a virtual machine

This is a list of the packages that I use, you may have to adjust the list for your system.

For example note that I own a 64bit system which uses Nvidia graphics.

3. Make the script executable.

cd /home/sil/Downloads
chmod +x ./

4. Run the script and install the packages.

sudo ./

Note: Change …/sil/… to your user name.

If a licence pop-up appears, you may need to “page down” to the end and use space/tab, to get to the OK so that you can press enter.

Panel Indicators

Start via Alt + F2 “AppName” and enter.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:hel-sheep/pastie
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install pastie

Indicator Workspaces
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:geod/ppa-geod
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install indicator-workspaces

Indicator Syspeek
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:vicox/syspeek
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install syspeek


Add PPA Repositories.

Only add these if you want the very latest features.

Low safety, daily packages have not undergone any quality assurance.
Sometimes very safe but sometimes may not work at all.


sudo add-apt-repository ppa:silverwave/one-daily-a-month-3
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install firefox-trunk

And possibly one of these

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:chromium-daily/beta
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:chromium-daily/dev
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:chromium-daily/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install chromium-browser



Manual install is needed for (Details here).

Copy /home to the New Partition
Copy all files, directories and sub-directories from your current /home folder into the new partition:

sudo rsync -axS --exclude='/*/.gvfs' /home/. /media/home/.

Check Copying Worked (from here).

sudo diff -r /home /media/home

Add VirtualBox 4.0 Oracle Repository Here.

Fix Virtualbox Error “Failed to access the USB subsystem” Here.

Stylish-Custom and Friends: Cleaning-up The Web One Site at a time

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In the the previous article on using Stylish I kept it simple by limiting the tools to just Stylish and DOMi.

But if you are using Stylish a lot, then you may find the following advanced tools of use.


1. Stylish-Custom

This is a great add-on… once you have set it up, but be warned that it is initially confusing, as it has far too many options!

So to save you some pain I recommend that you set it up as per the screen shots “Normal” and “Toggled” below.

So lets jump right in and have a look at Stylish-Custom…

Stylish-Custom Setup

Install the add-on as normal, reboot then:

A Left Click on the Stylish Icon brings up Stylish-Custom.

Or instead, Right Click on an existing Style.

Configure the various toolbars and buttons for Stylish-Custom as detailed in the screen-shots. Its similar to Firefox – i.e. Choose “Customise”.

Normal (Toolbars Insert, Page and Text are off).

Note: if Scratch-pad is missing you need to click the little grippy just under “Url”. It should change to a little hand with a finger (like a web link).

Toggled (All Toolbars on except Scratch pad).

Useful items are the “Site Rules” and the “Insert Text”, as well as the “Page” Options.


Although configuration is a pain and unnecessarily complicated, once up and running, Stylish-Custom is very useful indeed :-)


2. Web Developer

A much simpler set-up than Stylish-Custom! Just install the add-on and put its Toolbar button somewhere handy.

The button acts as a toggle for the new Web Developer toolbar, so just hide it until its needed.

Now there are loads of useful tools on the bar so knock yourself out, but for our purposes… here are some of the most useful features.

Information > Display Element Information (Ctrl + Shift + F).
Click on an element in a web page and a note displays all of the elements details (A red box highlights the element selected).

Display Ruler.

View Colour Information.

View CSS.

View Style Information.


Hopefully these tools will be useful to you, they certainly have been to me :-)

Written by SilverWav

April 25, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Posted in Feature

Tagged with , , ,

A Stylish How To – Alter The BBC News Site To Drop The Sidebar (5mins).

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Dropping Greasemonkey for a more “Stylish” Add-on.

Stylish is better in the following areas:

  1. Speed, Stylish appears to be instantaneous, whereas Greasemonkey slowed page loads appreciably.
  2. CSS not JS so no security issues.
  3. A huge number of great ready made styles at presented in a nice clean manor.
  4. Fantastic extra tools to help you such as the DOM Inspector and the Stylish-Custom add-ons.
  5. Great developer support for both the main add-on and the extra tools.


TBH now that I look at it I cant see how it took me so long to move :-)

That said the main issue with Stylish was a lack of an easy “How To” so …

Here you go ;-)


A Stylish How To – Alter The BBC News Site To Drop The Sidebar (5mins).


No Sidebar

The basics:

Install Stylish.
Install the DOM Inspector.
Put the DOMi button on a Toolbar for easy access.

From the stylish statusbar icon:

Left Click > Write new style > For…

Add the code below:

@namespace url(;

@-moz-document domain("") {

.layout-block-b { display: none !important; }
.layout-block-a { width: 100% !important; }
.story-body { width: 816px !important; }
.story-header{ width: 120% !important; }


Save, close & you are done!


The Stylish Trick (Use the DOM Inspector)

To find which elements to use e.g. “.layout-block-b” I did the following:

Clicked the DOMi button on the Toolbar. (Firefox > Web Developer > DOM inspector).

Clicked on the Top Left Icon. (Magnifying glass with white mouse cursor) “Find a node to inspect by clicking on it”.

On the BBC web page I clicked on the sidebar that I wanted to remove… (A red box surrounded it).

The DOM inspector now displayed a tree view of the web page and the item “hyperpuff”.

I moved up the tree a little and saw that “.layout-block-b” is the element that I wanted to hide and “.layout-block-a” the one I wanted to maximise (A red box surrounded it).

How cool is that!

Once you have this trick down, you have the keys to the city!

No ugly website is safe :-)


Note: The element selector “name” can be a LOT more involved, especially if its in a table, but the solution is the same.

Right click the element and choose “Copy Selector”.


More examples of my newbie fumblings here:


Written by SilverWav

April 24, 2011 at 1:27 pm