How to Edit Movie Subtitles on the Linux Desktop

Here’s is a quick guide on how to load and edit subtitles on GNOME Subtitles and Subtitle Editor. The movie that I will be using for this tutorial is a documentary called “The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard” released in 2013 under a Creative Commons (CC) license.

Here’s is a quick guide on how to load and edit subtitles on GNOME Subtitles and Subtitle Editor. The movie that I will be using for this tutorial is a documentary called “The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard” released in 2013 under a Creative Commons (CC) license.

Read more at HowtoForge

Source: LinuxLearn

7 Elementary OS Freya Tweaks to Make the Platform Even Better

If you want to skip the exploration phase and get right to the tweaking of Elementary OS Freya, I have a short list of things you should immediately do, upon finalizing your installation. 

Freya-libre-office

So you’ve installed Elementary OS Freya and found it pretty rock solid. The more you use it, the more you like it. There’s a reason for that…Elementary OS Freya is one of the hottest Linux distributions available at the moment. It’s rock solid, elegant, and easy enough for anyone to use. But as you dig a bit deeper, you find there are certain aspects that require a bit of tweaking or additional software.

If you want to skip the exploration phase and get right to the tweaking of Elementary OS Freya, I have a short list of things you should immediately do, upon finalizing your installation. These tweaks and installations will cover a lot of ground and help your installation go from great to incredible in just a few short steps.

Let’s get to the tweaking.

Enable Canonical Partners repository

There’s plenty of great software available… but from a repository not enabled by default. Enabling this particular repository will add a number of important software titles to your Software Center, such as Skype, adobe-flashplugin, and even media codecs.

In order to enable this particular repository, do the following:

  1. Click on Slingshot (the Applications menu in the upper left corner)

  2. Type Software

  3. Click on Software & Updates when it appears

  4. Click on Other Software

  5. Click to enable Canonical Partners (Figure 1)

  6. When prompted, enter your sudo password and click Authenticate

  7. Click Close.

Figure 1: Adding the Canonical Partners repository.

When you click Close, apt will update so the new repository (and its software) is available.

Install additional drivers

Should your machine make use of graphics (such as NVidia) or networking (such as BCM) hardware that doesn’t work well with open source drivers, you may need to install additional (proprietary) drivers to get the most out of your system. If you’re not even sure what hardware your system has (and if it needs special software to improve performance), you can find out in the same tool used to add the above repository.

In the Software & Updates tool, you’ll find a tab for Additional Drivers. Click on that tab. If the system has determined there is software available for your particular hardware, it will be listed here and ready to be enabled (Figure 2). Select the option you want to use and then click Apply Changes.

Figure 2: Installing additional drivers for graphics, sound, or wireless.

Do note, that installing proprietary drivers isn’t always the best option. You might want to do a bit of research to see how your particular hardware will respond with the combination of Elementary OS Freya and a proprietary driver.

Enable restricted codecs

Out of the box, most things work. Due to regional restrictions, however, some multimedia files may not play. To get around that, you must install extra codecs. Once you’ve installed the Canonical Partners repository, this is actually a single command away. Open up a terminal window (Click on Slingshot, type terminal, and click to open the terminal) and enter the following command:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

Type your sudo password, hit the Enter key, and allow the software to install. Once the installation is complete, you should be able to enjoy those multimedia files.

Install LibreOffice

The one major piece of software you’ll find missing from Elementary OS Freya is an office suite. That’s not a problem as LibreOffice is free, open source, and ready to serve. Instead of installing LibreOffice from the Software Center (which will most likely be an out-of-date release), let’s install the latest version. Here’s how:

  1. Download the necessary .deb main installer package that matches your architecture (either 32 or 64 bit) from this page

  2. Save the file to your Downloads directory

  3. Open up a terminal window

  4. Change into the downloads directory with the command cd ~/Downloads

  5. Extract the downloaded file with the command tar xvzf LibreOffice_XXX_Linux_YYY_deb.tar.gz (Where XXX is the release number and YYY is the architecture)

  6. Change into the newly created directory with the command cd LibreOffice_XXX (Where XXX is the release number)

  7. Change into the DEBS subdirectory with the command cd DEBS

  8. Issue the command sudo dpkg -i *deb

  9. Enter your sudo password and hit the Enter key

  10. Allow the installation to finish.

If you open up the Slingshot and type libre you should now see entries for all the pieces that comprise the LibreOffice office suite.

Install Nemo

The default file manager, GNOME Files, is sufficient for some…but others may find it sorely lacking in features. Instead of giving GNOME Files a chance, why not just install a far more powerful and tweak-able file manager. For this, you’ll want to install Nemo. Here’s how:

  1. Open up a terminal window

  2. Add the requisite repository with the command sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/nemo

  3. Update apt with the command sudo apt-get update

  4. Install Nemo and the file-roller plugin with the command sudo apt-get install nemo nemo-fileroller

Now, there’s a slight problem with using Nemo as it stands. When you issue the command nemo to start the file manager, it will attempt to manage your desktop (which you do not want, considering the Elementary OS Freya desktop cannot work with a third-party manager). To avoid that, issue the command nemo –no-desktop.

But what if you don’t want to start the new file manager from command line? The best way around that is to create a keyboard shortcut. Here’s how:

  1. Open up Settings

  2. Click on Keyboard

  3. Click on Custom

  4. Click the + button

  5. Type the command nemo –no-desktop when prompted to enter the command

  6. Hit the Enter key

  7. Click where it says “Disabled” (Figure 3)

  8. Click the keyboard shortcut you want to use (I prefer Super+F) to assign the key combination

  9. Log out of Elementary OS and log back in for the changes to take effect

elementary keyboard shortcuts

Install Tweaks

Similar to the Ubuntu Tweak Tool, Elementary has a Settings plugin that adds a number of new options. This tool is called Elementary Tweaks. This will give more appearance settings, font settings, Plank settings, and much more.

To install Tweaks, follow these steps:

  1. Open up a terminal window

  2. Add the necessary repository with the command sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mpstark/elementary-tweaks-daily

  3. Update apt with the command sudo apt-get update

  4. Install Tweaks with the command sudo apt-get install elementary-tweaks

Once installed, you will find Elementary Tweaks in the Settings tool. Open Elementary Tweaks to find a number of added options (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Elementary Tweaks brings more options to the desktop.

Add minimize button to windows

One tiny issue you’ll notice is the lack of a minimize button on windows. If you’re like me, you depend upon that button quite a lot. Now that you have Elementary Tweaks installed, getting that button back is as simple as:

  1. Opening Tweaks

  2. Click on Appearance

  3. Click the Window Controls drop-down

  4. Select the option that best suits your needs (I opt for Minimize Left to mimic the Ubuntu Unity window control—Figure 5).

Figure 5: Adding a minimize button to windows.

At this point, Elementary OS Freya should be tweaked to perfectly meet your needs. If not, there are still plenty of customizations you can manage from within the standard Settings tool and a vast amount of software to install to help you get the job done.

Source: LinuxLearn

How to Change the Swappiness of Your Linux System

Swappiness is the kernel parameter that defines how much (and how often) your Linux kernel will copy RAM contents to swap. This parameter’s default value is “60” and it can take anything from “0” to “100”. The higher the value of the swappiness parameter, the more aggressively your kernel will…

Swappiness is the kernel parameter that defines how much (and how often) your Linux kernel will copy RAM contents to swap. This parameter’s default value is “60” and it can take anything from “0” to “100”. The higher the value of the swappiness parameter, the more aggressively your kernel will swap.

Read more at HowtoForge

Source: LinuxLearn

Linux Foundation Beefs Up Scholarship Program

The Linux Foundation Training Scholarship Program provides funds to applicants who otherwise would not have the ability to attend Linux Foundation training courses. It attempts to help developers, IT professionals, and promising students to build Linux careers and contribute to shaping the future of the operating system and the enterprise.

The Linux Foundation on Wednesday announced that it was more than doubling the number of scholarships to be awarded this year for Linux training.

The Linux Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux and collaborative development. Its announcement opened the door for the submission of applications for the 2015 Linux Training Scholarship Program.

Read more at Linux Insider.

Source: LinuxLearn

Sound Recording and Editing with Audacity on Ubuntu

In all the years I have been dealing with both Linux and sound recordings, I have never found a simplest and more powerful tool than Audacity to get the job done. This open source sound recorder, editor, analyzer, generator and effect applicator is surely one of the most useful and…

In all the years I have been dealing with both Linux and sound recordings, I have never found a simplest and more powerful tool than Audacity to get the job done. This open source sound recorder, editor, analyzer, generator and effect applicator is surely one of the most useful and important tools ever to be produced by the free software community.

Read more at HowtoForge

Source: LinuxLearn

Linux Mint 17.1: Simplicity at Its Best

If you’re looking for a new operating system, one that you can depend on and get up to speed with quickly, you’d be remiss not to give Linux Mint 17.1 “Rebecca” a glance before any other distribution.

mint rebecca

Linux Mint is a special kind of Linux distribution—one that has gone a very long way to hold true to the form, function, and spirit that has guided Linux for a very long time. While other distributions march into the shiny, touch-friendly world that is the future, Mint remains grounded in what has worked for decades. With just the slightest of tweaks, Mint has gone boldly into that good night while keeping a foot deeply planted in the familiar.

With it’s latest release, 17.1 “Rebecca”, Linux Mint retains all of that which is familiar and beloved by its long time followers and adds enough polish to help attract new users.

It is those new users I would like to address. Why would you want to choose Linux Mint out of the hundreds of Linux distributions? When other distributions (such as Ubuntu, Elementary OS Freya, and Fedora) have adopted more modern takes on the user interface, why would you want to opt for a desktop operating system firmly entrenched in the past?

To answer that question, let us consider a path taken by the very proprietary solution, Windows. For decades, Windows functioned with an ideology of simplicity. That simplicity was so powerful, nearly every user interface adopted it…even if only in part.

  • Panels

  • Icons

  • Start menu

  • System tray

  • Toolbars

You get the idea. But then something unique happened. Hardware innovation surpassed software design and development and the touchscreen became commonplace. All of a sudden, software developers found themselves in need of modernizing their designs. And so, Windows 8 was born.

And the world responded. Negatively.

Of course, over time, those that responded with outrage, grew accustomed to the new take on the UI and moved on.

Now we return to the world of Linux and can see the very same pattern. For the longest time, Ubuntu was a distribution entrenched in GNOME and GNOME was at version 2.x. The old dual panel interface was what every user liked and wanted. But then, Ubuntu 11.04 was released with the drastically and wholly unique Ubuntu Unity as the default interface.

And the world responded. Negatively.

Of course, over time…you get the picture.

All the while, Linux Mint continued on…as is…mostly unchanged. And now, with the Long Term Support (LTS) release of 17.1, Linux Mint is at its polished, old-school best. So for those looking to find a new, stable, reliable alternative to Windows…one that won’t require you to learn a new way to get your work done…let me introduce you to Linux Mint “Rebecca.”

The pieces and parts

You may be hesitant to give a completely brand new platform a try—that is certainly understandable. With but a single glance towards Linux Mint, all that trepidation should ease away. Why? Familiarity.

Let’s take a close look at the default Mint desktop (Figure 1). It’s called Cinnamon and it will be instantly familiar.

The Cinnamon desktop depends on three very familiar pieces:

  • Panel

  • Menu

  • System Tray

  • Launchers 

With these pieces firmly in place, what we have is simplicity at its best—a desktop that anyone could use with zero introduction. Some of the “under the hood” updates bring about functionalities that new-to-Linux users have grown to expect in the “competition”. Take, for example, the much improved single button trackpad support, brought about by the latest Linux kernel. That’s right, all of those touchpads and trackpads will now work exactly as expected. No more will new users fire up their laptops or attach their Logitech trackpads to find they barely function. If you’re planning on loading Linux Mint on a Macbook, 17.1 is a must have. To help this much-needed improvement along, the developers of Linux Mint have included a retooled Mouse and Touchpad section in the Settings app (Figure 2).

Figure 2: The new Touchpad settings tab.

If you open up the Settings tool, you’ll find the tool offers a bit more options than might be considered for a new user. What this does, however, is makes it far easier for those new users to find what they’re looking for. Want to change the default applications for your desktop? Open up Settings, click on Preferred Applications, and set accordingly. Want to add workspaces, edit your account details, configure Hot Corners…it’s all there. Linux Mint doesn’t tuck away features and settings.

Of course, this is Linux, so limiting the user interface to only the standard elements would be out of character. Back in the Settings window, you’ll find a few unfamiliar elements that can be added and configured:

  • Extensions (also called “Spices”) add small features to the Cinnamon desktop (such as a Coverflow window switcher, desktop cube effect, and much more). Check out all the Extensions on the official Spices page.

  • Applets: Add small applications to the panel. Many of these are simply quick access to features such as Bluetooth, Recent documents, Removable drives, etc.

  • Desklets: Add small applications to the desktop (such as Weather, Sticky Notes, Network Usage Monitor, etc).

If you’re wondering how to get to your applications, documents, and settings, the Cinnamon Menu is something special. When you click on the Menu button a sizable popup will appear with two panels (Figure 3).

mint cinnamon menu

The left panel categorizes entries into Favorites (top half of the panel) and power options. You can easily add an application to the Favorites by doing the following:

  1. Locate the application within the menu hierarchy

  2. Right click the application entry

  3. Select Add to favorites (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Adding an app to the Favorites section of the Cinnamon menu.

To remove an application from the Favorites, locate the application in the menu hierarchy, right click the menu, and select Remove from favorites.

Outside of the stability and ease of use, one of the best things new users will will find with Linux Mint is the discovery of useful improvements over the standard desktop metaphor. Take, for instance, the ease at which you can locate items in the menu (applications, recently used files, etc). If you don’t want to dig through the menu structure, simply type what you’re looking for and related entries will appear. For instance, open the menu, type “Libre” (no quotes) in the search bar, and all LibreOffice components will appear, ready to launch (Figure 5).

Figure 5: Finding menu entries is simple with the search tool.

Another welcome improvement is found within the Software Manager. Linux Mint now categorizes software so that new users can more easily find what they are looking for (Figure 6).

mint software manager

Instead of having to dig through random software (or depend upon filters for “highest rated”, “recently added”, etc), you can simply click on a category and locate the software you want to install.

The best thing about Linux Mint 17.1 is that it is an ideal platform for any user, from the new-to-Linux to those who’ve been around the block a few times. The developers of Mint have done an outstanding job of making Linux incredibly easy to use. If you’re looking for a new operating system, one that you can depend on and get up to speed with quickly, you’d be remiss not to give Linux Mint 17.1 “Rebecca” a glance before any other distribution.

Source: LinuxLearn

Build Your Own Linux-Powered TV Dongle for $40

There are a ton of ways to get a Linux onto your TV, but over on Node, they show off how to build your own little dongle that you can take with you anywhere.

 There are a ton of ways to get a Linux onto your TV, but over on Node, they show off how to build your own little dongle that you can take with you anywhere.

Read more at Lifehacker or see the original tutorial on Node.

Source: LinuxLearn

How to Install Scilab 5.5.1 on Ubuntu 15.04

Scilab is a free and Open Source software for numerical computation providing a powerful computing environment for engineering and scientific applications.

Scilab is a free and Open Source software for numerical computation providing a powerful computing environment for engineering and scientific applications.

Read more at HowtoForge

Source: LinuxLearn