Monday, December 23, 2013

Skype doesn't work on Linux Mint 16 x86_64

Alright, it's time for Linux Mint to become less polished.

UPDATE: The solution applies for Ubuntu 14.10, too (respectively, the problem arises in Ubuntu 14.10 as well).

If you install Skype on Linux Mint 16 x86_64 (KDE) you, you may find out the app won't start. And if you run Skype from the terminal to see what the error is and what the matter is, you may see the following:

skype: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

If you this error, here's how to fix it:

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/mesa/ /usr/lib/

This creates a link to the not found file / library.

Then on running Skype from the terminal, you may see another error: 
skype: error while loading shared libraries: wrong ELF class: ELFCLASS64

Go on:

sudo nano /etc/

and add the following line in it


save & exit
and lastly run

sudo ldconfig -v

Now Skype should start up and run normally.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Best distro for Gnome Shell - Sabayon

I decided to switch from KDE to Gnome Shell for a change and started considering the options I had.

The conclusion that was made was a bit of surprise for me - the best Gnome Shell distro is currently Sabayon.

I wanted a recent Gnome Shell release (not 2 versions behind the latest release), an easy to use distro and preferably polished enough. So I opened distrowatch, took a look at the top distros listed and here is how my logic worked as I went through most popular options:

- openSuSe 13.1 - latest Gnome Shell (3.10), reputable and robust distro; great, that must do. So I installed it... and was bitterly disappointed: no nVidia proprietary graphics drivers in the repos for the latest release!! Unbelievable! 32 bit KDE apps (well, at least skype) would use a different cursor theme (and too much to bother to find out a solution; libcursor 32 was installed); the login screen uses it's own cursor theme while the Shell when in session uses another theme set from Gnome settings; gnome terminal loses it's window borders and shows white text on white background from time to time. Damn, too bad for a distro which is considered polished. Won't do. (But still, the distro feels quick, really quick, I like it).

- Ubuntu Gnome - Gnome Shell 3.8, nah. Don't want to bother with PPAs and not sure what's with Nemo under Ubuntu.

- Debian - too old.

- Mageia - constantly delayed betas, not sure whether it has large repos and I don't feel excited about using repos like rpmbone and such. Last time I tried it, it also used different cursor themes for the login screen and in session, which is a minor thing but reflects the attitude and makes the distro fall into my eyes (well, this is very subjective, but it does determine my decision to ditch such a distro).

- Fedora - hmm, still in beta. I might have tried it if Fedora 20 stable was out. I remember it's as quick as Suse, but somehow gives a feeling of being buggy (I also remember some issues with gif images which wouldn't display animated, and somewhat too frequent alerts to file a bug report, but that was a couple of years ago, so things might have changed by now). Alas, no stable version, yet, and I never installed betas.

- PCLOS - they're periodically late to update stuff in the repos, even Chromium gets obsolete in their repos; but generally PCLOS is easy and pleasant to use. But they stick to Mate and there's no Gnome Shell version. Sad. I'd give PCLOS a go, nice distro overall as I remember from my previous experience.

- Arch - oh no, too much hassle to install. I just want the system to work and that's it.

- Mint - no Gnome Shell version + Ubuntu repos with Gnome Shell 3.8 probably.

So what's left? Basically, noting else. Except Sabayon.

- Sabayon - with Sabayon you get: latest Gnome; multimedia and proprietary drivers out of the box; relative stability; really easy installation. What's better than it for Gnome Shell right now? Well, in my opinion, nothing.

Friday, September 27, 2013

How to disable skype group chat notifications linux client

If you're part of a Skype group chat you're often annoyed by too many messages that are exchanged in the chat. Every message triggers a notification which may be really annoying. There are 2 ways of getting rid of them - to hide behind a "Do not disturb" status which will suppress the notifications (along with preventing some other people from whom you'd rather want to receive a message from writing to you) or to simply disable the group chat notifications for a particular chat. In the Windows and Mac Skype clients there is an option in GUI to disable chat notifications, and there is none for the Linux client.

However, the good news is that there is another way to disable chat notifications for any particular chat in Skype (it will actually work for any client regardless of the system):

in any chat window, be it a group chat or a personal chat, issue the following command: 


That's it =) (Resembles IRC commands, doesn't it?)
Actually there are more commands - you can find them all in this article, for instance. The most useful one for me, though, is above =)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Screensaver rotates slowly after graphic drivers update, Sabayon KDE

After a new version of the graphics driver is installed in Sabayon (in my case, nVidia proprietory drivers), it may happen that openGL screensavers will start rotating more slowly.

Run the following command to fix it:

eselect opengl set nvidia 

(or ati or x11 instead of nvidia - depending on your card and choice)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Smooth Tasks - Icons too small

Smooth Tasks is a totally great alternative to the default Task Manager widget.

No, not because it copies the way open windows are organized on the taskbar on Windows 7, but because:

a) on notebooks with relatively small screens when too many windows are opened (and when one works hard quite often many windows are opened at the same time), it's impossible to see the titles of every opened window (this is what the XFCE panel suffers from and one of the reasons why I never install XFCE);

b) when the desktop theme is badly designed (e.g. on a dark theme after turning off all the effects on KDE, the font color of window titles on the taskbar are often dark which makes reading the titles almost impossible - try turning off the effects on the default theme on Sabayon, OpenSuse, Kubuntu) and you don't know how to modify the theme to change the font color, it's just easier to install the Smooth Tasks plasma widget.

So, if your distro doesn't come with Smooth Tasks by default (and most don't, except for PCLOS) you may see that the icons of the launched apps are unpleasantly small.

Here is how to make window icons on the Smooth Tasks widget larger:

Right click on the widget -> Smooth Tasks Settings -> Appearance -> Task Items -> Icon Scale -> set it to your liking

For me at 150% the icons look big enough on the panel.

Firefox freezes badly on Kubuntu 13.04

After installing a fresh copy of Kubuntu 13.04, I've noticed my favorite browser Firefox freezes after about 2 minutes of not being used. I had to terminate the process and to re-launch the app every time, than it'd freeze again after I switched to another application.

The issue was caused by the following add-ons that came installed and enabled by default:

Global menu bar integration
Ubuntu Firefox Modifications.

After disabling the add-ons Firefox started behaving as expected.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

How to remove Linux Mint modified Google search from Chromium

As we know all browsers installed on Linux Mint come patched to use Linux Mint modified Google search if you search directly from the address bar. I prefer the original Google search interface to the Mint's customization of the page (Mint's variant won't show the current time, short info from Wikipedia on the right side, etc; after all I just dislike how the customized search results page looks).

If you use Chromium's / Chrome's synchronization option, then you have the Linux Mint Google search page across your machines on which you used Chromium / Chrome and signed in to the synchronization service. This is quite annoying (you would actually see the Linux Mint search on a Windows machine as well) if you don't like how the search results are presented on the customized page or if you don't use / like Mint.

So here is how to make Chromium use the default Google search for searches from the address bar:

Sign in to your Google account (if not already signed in) - open Chromium / Chrome settings - go to the Settings tab - section Search - Manage search engines (or just type chrome://settings/searchEngines in the Chromium's address bar to go directly to the step we need) - locate the string**** - remove it. Linux Mint's search results page is now gone.

Set the search engine you want.

This is the default Google search for me - {google:baseURL}search?q=%s&{google:RLZ}{google:acceptedSuggestion}{google:originalQueryForSuggestion}{google:assistedQueryStats}{google:searchFieldtrialParameter}{google:searchClient}{google:sourceId}{google:instantExtendedEnabledParameter}ie={inputEncoding}

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Show desktop shortcut in XFCE

The default shortcut in XFCF to minimize all open windows and show the desktop is (at least this worked for Xubuntu / Mint):

ctrl + alt + d

There must be ways to change it, but the default combination is fine for so I won't dig beyond this limit.

Monday, February 4, 2013

How to view which network interface is connected to the network / Linux

If you have several network cards on your Linux-powered computer / server and need to determine which one is connected to the network, i.e. into which one the cable is plugged, command line, here is a simple command to find it out (this is something you might need when setting up your remote server):

$ ip link show

If it says NO-CARRIER, that means the cable is not connected to this network interface. In my case,  it's eth1:


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

How to connect to remote server via SSH using Dolphin

I hate viewing logs in terminal with nano - it's just extremely inconvenient. There is an easy way to browse through a remote server's files if you have SSH access to the server in a GUI way using KDE's file manager Dolphin:

ctrl + L - to type the location manually, then:


fish - istead of ssh to connect to the server;
user_name - the user on the server, e.g. root; - the server's IP address;
/directory - the directory you want to connect to; if you don't specify the directory, you'll just connect to the user's folder (root - if you connect as root) after which you'll be able to navigate further.