November 30, 2013

White Sands Wallpaper Pack

Images taken in southern New Mexico in a national park called White Sands.

Wallpaper pack can be downloaded from this site.

PLEASE mind the terms of use and do not re-host these images anywhere else on the web......
the images are for your own personal use only as desktop wallpaper imagery and other uses of these images without written permission is not tolerated.

November 29, 2013

Customize Firefox Scrolling

You can use extensions like Yet Another Smooth Scrolling or Smoothwheel, but there is another way without installing any add on.

Just go to the about:config page in Firefox : type about:config in the Location Bar (address bar) and press Enter to display the list of preferences.

Uncheck Show this warning next time

You can search in the Search bar at the top of the page to filter the preferences that you want to inspect. The search bar is case-insensitive, unlike the actual configuration variables.
Examples to filter results : mousewheel and smoothscroll .

If you want to try out the settings I use, do the following :
Quit Firefox, navigate to ~/.mozilla/firefox/xxxxxxxx.default and create a file user.js with the following content :

// === Mouse Wheel Scrolling ===================================================
user_pref("general.smoothScroll", true);                            // boolean    enable/disable smooth scrolling
user_pref("general.smoothScroll.mouseWheel", true);                 // boolean    enable/disable smooth scrolling with mouse wheel
user_pref("general.smoothScroll.mouseWheel.durationMaxMS", 600);    // integer    smooth out the start/end of scrolling operations in ms
user_pref("general.smoothScroll.mouseWheel.durationMinMS", 400);    // integer    smooth out the start/end of scrolling operations in ms
user_pref("mousewheel.acceleration.factor", 10);                    // integer    sets acceleration factor if mousewheel.acceleration.start > -1
user_pref("mousewheel.acceleration.start", 0);                      // integer    when to apply mousewheel.acceleration.factor (after how many scroll clicks of mouse wheel)
user_pref("mousewheel.default.delta_multiplier_y", 85);             // integer    vertical step size

Update : there is another setting in about:config you can play with :
mousewheel.min_line_scroll_amount  default setting = 5

November 24, 2013

Password Strength


Commandlinefu is a simple repository for storing and sharing great shell commands.


MPlayer is a free and open source media player, available for all major operating systems. It will play all types of free media formats as well as most non-free media formats.

MPlayer2 is a fork of the original MPlayer project, it contains few enhancements.

A GUI is available. To install :

sudo apt-get install mplayer2 mplayer-gui mplayer-skins

Package mplayer-skins contains three different skins, more skins can be downloaded from here.
I downloaded a skin from Deviantart, called simpliX.

Extract the downloaded file ( 7z format ) with Archive Manager. Move the folder simpliX to /usr/share/mplayer/skins :

sudo mv simpliX /usr/share/mplayer/skins

You can also create folder skins in ~/.mplayer and move the folder simpliX over there. ( link ).

Start MPlayer-gui and select your skin and set preferences ( right-click player or screen ) :

MPlayer2 is played from the commandline : .

Example ( playing music from, Smoothjazz ) :

User settings are in ~/.mplayer/config which from the first start contains only one line :

# Write your default config options here!

For settings and options look here :


Having a Nvidia GT 330 card my config looks like the one from here.

Cool things you can do with mplayer :

Movie :

November 17, 2013

Make Firefox Look Like Chrome

Install firefox :
sudo apt-get install firefox

Start firefox and install the Movable Firefox Button.
You have to restart firefox to make the Addon active.

Right click between the address bar and search bar and uncheck Menu Bar.

Repeat the same but then choose Customize... Grab the Firefox Menu button and move it to the far right side.

Grab the ( with Customize... ) Home, Reload and Stop buttons and move them to the left right next to the address bar. Remove the search bar...( drop it in the Customize Toolbar window ).

Install Fxchrome theme and you're done....

Pinboard An Online Bookmarking Tool

As said on it's website :

Pinboard is a bookmarking website for introverted people in a hurry.
The focus of the site is less on socializing, and more on speed and utility. Pinboard tries to offer useful features without getting in your way.
My highest priority is keeping your data safe over the long term.

Unlike some social bookmarking sites, Pinboard will cost you a one-time fee of around ten dollars.
The site follows a rather unconventional pricing strategy -- as more people sign up, the price increases.
The signup fee helps keep the site from growing too fast, and keeps Pinboard spam-free.

Thanks to the site’s clean design and focus on speed, saving bookmarks and browsing them is always super-fast.

There’s also an optional archiving service that, for $25/year, guarantees that articles you bookmark will still work even if the original link changes or gets deleted

Read the Getting Started page if you get interested.

Pinboard extensions for your browser :

Alternative online bookmarking :

November 15, 2013

Blocking Unwanted Ads In Youtube

This can be done without installing any software and will work with any browser.
We just need to edit the file /etc/hosts and add a few lines :

sudo nano /etc/hosts

The hosts file is just a text file, used to map hostnames to IP adresses.

Anytime an entry listed in your hosts file is requested on the page you are viewing, your computer thinks is the location of the file....( your computer will automatically check the hosts file first before DNS for entries to the web page you just requested ). is the standard IP  address used for a loopback network connection. This means that if you try to connect to, you are immediately looped back to your own machine. is also referred to as localhost.

Link :

November 7, 2013

Add My Weather Indicator To Wingpanel

My-Weather-Indicator is a ( Wing )panel-based weather applet that can show weather conditions, a forecast, a forecast map and check sunrise and sunset information, moon phase and more in the latest release. You can set two locations.

To install :
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:atareao/atareao
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install my-weather-indicator

After installation it will appear in the Slingshot-launcher.
To have it started after login :
My-weather-indicator > Preferences > General options > check Autostart

Troubleshoot :

November 4, 2013


Bootinfoscript is a bash script which searches all hard drives attached to the computer for information related to booting and displays it in a convenient format. Its primary use is for troubleshooting booting problems.

Go to and download bootinfoscript-061.tar.gz.

Extract and run :

tar xf bootinfoscript-061.tar.gz
sudo ./bootinfoscript

Boot Info Script 0.61      [1 April 2012]

"gawk" could not be found, using "busybox awk" instead.
This may lead to unreliable results.

Identifying MBRs...
Computing Partition Table of /dev/sda...
Searching sda1 for information...
Searching sda2 for information...
Searching sda3 for information...
Searching sda4 for information...

Finished. The results are in the file "RESULTS.txt"
located in "/home/eric/Downloads/bootinfo/".

A Elementary Branded Wallpaper

Link :

Download :

Adding A Swapfile

During installation I did not create a swap partition.As an alternative to creating an entire partition, a swap file offers the ability to vary its size on-the-fly, and is more easily removed altogether.

To create a swap file two different commands can be used : dd or fallocate.

With dd ( swap file 2 GB in /media/Data, you can choose another location. I choose /media/Data, because my root file system is small and /media/Data is mounted at boottime ) :
sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/media/Data/swap bs=1M count=2048

With fallocate :
sudo fallocate -l 2048M /media/Data/swap
fallocate: /media/Data/swap: fallocate failed: Text file busy........
Another try :
cd /media/Data
sudo fallocate -l 2048M swap
Done !

ls -l swap
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 536870912 Nov  4 12:07 swap
Set the right permissions (a world-readable swap file is a huge local vulnerability)
sudo chmod 600 swap
ls -l swap
-rw------- 1 root root 536870912 Nov  4 12:07 swap
Better !

After creating the correctly-sized file, format it to swap:
sudo mkswap swap

Activate the swapfile:
sudo swapon swap 

You can verify this yourself with the swapon command :
swapon -s 
Filename                                 Type        Size             Used    Priority
/media/Data/swap                 file           2097148    0            -1

Edit /etc/fstab and add an entry for the swap file:
sudo nano /etc/fstab  
/media/Data/swap   none   swap   sw   0   0
Your location would be different....After the next reboot the swap will be used automatically.

To remove a swap file, the current swap file must be turned off.
sudo swapoff -a
sudo rm -f swap 

The Linux kernel assigns priorities to all swap containers. The system will use swap areas of higher priority before using swap areas of lower priority. Priorities can be assigned in fstab via the pri parameter or with sudo swapon -p <value>.
I'm using just one swap area, so priority is of no concern...

The swappiness parameter controls the tendency of the kernel to move processes out of physical memory and onto the swap area.
cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness will show a number between 0 and 100. Default is 60.
Setting this parameter to a low value will reduce swapping from RAM, and is known to improve responsiveness on many systems.
To  change the system swappiness value, open /etc/sysctl.conf as root :
sudo nano /etc/syscl.conf
and add these lines :

Reboot for the change to take effect. You can also clear your swap by running swapoff -a and then swapon -a as root instead of rebooting to achieve the same effect.

vm.vfs_cache_pressure controls inode/dentry (i.e. filesystem) cache vs. other caches, i.e. we want to keep filesystem meta-data in RAM if possible ( link ).

Links : 

There is also a package dphys-swapfile that will autogenerate a swap file. After the package has been installed whenever you boot you'll have /var/swap created.

Using a memory stick/memory card as swap memory on Linux

November 3, 2013

System Restore With Timeshift

TimeShift for Linux is a application that provides functionality similar to the System Restore feature in Windows and the Time Machine tool in Mac OS. TimeShift protects your system by taking incremental snapshots of the file system at regular intervals. These snapshots can be restored later to bring your system to the exact state it was in at the time when the snapshot was taken.

TimeShift is designed to protect only system files and user settings ( hidden files in your Home directory ). User files such as documents, pictures and music are excluded.  Read more in the Timeshift FAQ...

Snapshots can be restored either from the running system or from a live CD. Restoring backups from the running system requires a reboot to complete the restore process.

I have used it a few times and it worked really well ( only taking snapshots ondemand ).

Installation :

sudo apt-add-repository -y ppa:teejee2008/ppa 
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install timeshift

Links :

Howto Enable Login Sound

You will need a sound file in the .ogg or .wav format. Rename the file into desktop-login.ogg( wav ) and place it in the
/usr/share/sounds folder. Rightclick and choose New Window As Administrator in order to be able to place the file there :

In System Settings ( Applications > System Settings ) go to Startup Applications > Add.

Name : Login sound
Command : /usr/bin/canberra-gtk-play --id="desktop-login"

Then Add....

Download sounds from here.

More sounds :  ( download with Save Link As... ).

Knoppix sounds.

Free online audio convertor :