Monday, December 27, 2010

Fix Thumbnails in Nautilus with Ffmpegthumbnailer

I had an issue with video thumbnails not created with ffmpegthumbnailer.
Luckily there is a fix :
Create following script :

VIDEO_EXTENSIONS="video@flv video@webm video@mkv video@mp4 video@mpeg \
video@avi video@ogg video@quicktime video@x-avi video@x-flv video@x-mp4 \
video@x-mpeg video@x-webm video@x-mkv application@x-extension-webm \
video@x-matroska video@x-ms-wmv video@x-msvideo video@x-msvideo@avi \
video@x-theora@ogg video@x-theora@ogv video@x-ms-asf video@x-m4v"

THUMBNAIL_COMMAND="/usr/bin/ffmpegthumbnailer -s %s -i %i -o %o -c png -f -t 10"

for i in $VIDEO_EXTENSIONS; do
gconftool-2 -s "/desktop/gnome/thumbnailers/$i/command" -t string "$THUMBNAIL_COMMAND"
gconftool-2 -s "/desktop/gnome/thumbnailers/$i/enable" -t boolean 'true'

Delete the failed thumbnail images with:
rm -rf ~/.thumnails/fail/
Open up gconf-editor and take a look at the setting under /desktop/gnome/thumbnailers
After that as root :
killall nautilus

See :

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

VMware Player and 2.6.36 Liquorix Kernel

VMwareplayer is a freeware virtualization software package from VMware.
I downloaded their VMware-Player-3.1.3-324285.x86_64.bundle and installed it :
chmod +x VMware-Player-3.1.3-324285.x86_64.bundle
./ VMware-Player-3.1.3-324285.x86_64.bundle ( as root ). No problems, but when starting for the first time I got this error :

After some Googling failed to compile module vmmon patch vmware player I found the solution at this page : : For 2.6.36 kernel and VMware 7.x.x, there's a script to patch the vmmon .
To be sure I first uninstalled VMware Player :
vmware-installer --uninstall-product vmware-player ( as root ) and installed again.
Then before running for the first time I followed the instructions at  :
chmod +x
./ ( as root )

After this VMware Player will run without showing any error ....

To check your version : vmware-installer -l

Product Name              Product Version
================= ====================

Sunday, December 19, 2010

What’s Next for Delicious?

Yahoo’s popular social bookmarking service Delicious was believed earlier this week to have its days numbered after the Delicious logo appeared under the mysterious “Sunset” portion of a leaked Yahoo internal presentation slide.
The Delicious blog post was a response to the leaked news and goes on to say that Yahoo is now discussing options for Delicious with a number of different companies.

A list of alternatives is available, which misses one still young project.

Body Browser: Google Maps of the Human Anatomy

Google’s new beta program called Body Browser,  allows users to navigate different parts of the body, both internal and external including the veins, cartilage and muscles.
Body Browser uses WebGL , which is currently under development, and is supported in the latest builds of several browsers. WebGL is supported in Firefox/4.0b1 ( enable WebGL: type about:config into the address bar, search for webgl, and double-click webgl.enabled_for_all_sites to set it to true. ) and Chromium ( Chromium must be launched from the command line in order to enable WebGL  /usr/bin/chromium-browser --enable-webgl ).

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Shutter on Debian Squeeze

Shutter is a feature-rich screenshot program. You can take a screenshot of a specific area, window, your whole screen, or even of a website – apply different effects to it, draw on it to highlight points, and then upload to an image hosting site, all within one window.It's in the Debian repositories , but it is buggy !
The one from their site/PPA works fine. You first need to install xulrunner from experimental and gnome-web-photo from Lucid ( you will get a warning about node gettext domain not understood below schema , but that won't spoil the fun ). Now you can download shutter_0.86.4~ppa4_all.deb from this page .

Update Apr 17 2011 : xulrunner-1.9.2 no longer available from Debian, use this package instead :

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Backup and Synchronize your Bookmarks with Dropbox

Dropbox is a great application for keeping your bookmarks of iceweasel ( or firefox ) at a safe spot.
Type in your URL bar about:config and search for browser.bookmarks.autoExportHTML . Doubleclick it so that the Value will become true. Now close iceweasel ( firefox ) and go to your profile folder ( check ~/.mozilla/firefox ). The profile folder xxxxxxxx.default  is the profile folder name for the default profile, where xxxxxxxx represents a random string of characters. There you will find a file bookmarks.html. Move this file to your Dropbox folder and create a softlink back to your profile folder. Everytime iceweasel ( firefox ) is closed the most recent bookmarks.html will be written to your Dropbox folder...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Fractal Backgrounds

Blatte's Backgrounds, a collection of original fractal images free for use as computer backgrounds.

Error: --enable-application=APP was not Specified and is Required

I tried to compile firefox 3.6.13 ( download source from ) according to a former post . I got this error  --enable-application=APP was not specified and is required. After some Googling and looking at this page I added these two lines to my  .mozconfig :
ac_add_options --enable-application=browser
mk_add_options MOZ_CO_PROJECT=browser

It will look like this :
mk_add_options MOZ_OBJDIR=@TOPSRCDIR@/ff-release
ac_add_options --disable-debug
ac_add_options --disable-tests
ac_add_options --enable-optimize
ac_add_options --enable-official-branding
ac_add_options --enable-system-cairo

ac_add_options --enable-application=browser
mk_add_options MOZ_CO_PROJECT=browser

After that firefox built fine...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Install Google Earth 6 (beta)

Download from .
chmod +x GoogleEarthLinux.bin
Verifying archive integrity... All good.
Uncompressing Google Earth for GNU/Linux parser error : Document is empty
^ parser error : Start tag expected, '<' not found
Couldn't load ''

./GoogleEarthLinux.bin --target /tmp/ge  (extract to /tmp/ge )
You will see same error as above ! Just do :
cd /tmp/ge/  ( both 32 and 64 bit )
mv setup.gtk setup.gtk2
cd /tmp/ge
Now installation will start....
If you get exec: 50: ./googleearth-bin: not found when trying to start Google Earth 6 you need to :
#apt-get install lsb-core

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

SMPlayer and Vdpau

SMPlayer is a Qt Mplayer front-end for MPlayer , a free and open source media player.
I always got this error when trying to play a videofile with vdpau  as output driver :
This post suggest to to get rid of the screenshot option in Options>Preferences>General>General Tab. That works for me, but another way I found is to Disable video filters when using vdpau in Options>Preferences>General>Video Tab.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Graphical Key Manager for APT

Package: gui-apt-key provides an easy to use interface to maintain digital keys for APT. They are required to authenticate Debian archives and prevent malicious packages to creep in. .

Failed to Open VDPAU Backend

Vdpau ( Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix ) allows video programs to offload portions of the video decoding process and video post-processing to the GPU video-hardware. It was originally designed by NVIDIA for its GeForce-8-series and laterGPU hardware.
Whenever I tried to play videos with gnome mplayer using vdpau as the video output, I get this error :
“Failed to open VDPAU backend cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory."
I was sure of its presence, because a locate gave :


A solution I found after Googling :
#ln -s /usr/lib/vdpau/ /usr/lib/

Links :

Note-Taking with Memonic

Memonic is a free, web based note-taking software. It keeps more than just links. You can save web content and use it on any computer or mobile device. At any time you can edit your items by adding or removing content.

Their Web Clipper is the most efficient way to capture content of webpages. After you install their Add-on or Bookmarklet for your browser, go to any web page. To start capturing content just click on the Memonic link or icon at the top of your browser. This will activate the Web Clipper.

Some features :
  • Post to Twitter and Facebook
  • One click Word & Open Office integration
  • Embed your notes in your blog
  • Share your sets with a tiny URL
Noscript users : How to configure NoScript Firefox Plugin for Memonic

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Clear Address Line in Firefox with Xclear

This add-on places an X-icon at the end of the url. There are several other add-ons that do this, but this one is really lightweight and doesn't need any toolbar buttons. The functionality is more similar like the ones found in Konqueror.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Get a List of Installed Software in Chronological Order

There is a single log file that records all the apt activities, such as installs or upgrades, for the various package managers (dpkg, apt-get, synaptic, aptitude). It can be found here : /var/log/dpkg.log.
If you want to have a more comprehensive history of the installed packages, you can use:
cat /var/log/dpkg.log* | grep "\ install\ " | sort
The result is a chronological list of package installation events. (Note that if a package was installed and subsequently removed, it will still be on the list.)

It turns out that there used to be an apt-history package, but the creator gave it up -due to the fact that dpkg now does logging- in favor of a small script solution: .
Below is the bash function from that web site.

function apt-history(){
case "$1" in
cat /var/log/dpkg.log | grep 'install '
cat /var/log/dpkg.log | grep $1
cat /var/log/dpkg.log | grep upgrade | \
grep "$2" -A10000000 | \
grep "$3" -B10000000 | \
awk '{print $4"="$5}'
cat /var/log/dpkg.log

The code should be added to /root/.bashrc.
To run apt-history, you need to become root. Entering apt-history with no parameter will simply dump the change log file. To select what activities you want to see, you can enter one of install, upgrade, remove, rollback as a single parameter to apt-history.

Another way to quickly extract informations from apt logs (term.log) is apt-log .
Some examples that would help understanding the common usage of apt-log :

Edit : another way to list your installed packages is

Recreate Debian Packages with dpkg-repack

Dpkg-repack creates a .deb file out of a Debian package that has already been installed on your system. If any changes have been made to the package while it was unpacked (ie, files in /etc modified), the new package will inherit the changes.
This utility can make it easy to copy packages from one computer to another, or to recreate packages that are installed on your system, but are no longer available elsewhere.
Dpkg-repack should be run as root.
If you don't wish to run the rebuild as root, and you have the fakeroot package installed you can do so as follows: $ fakeroot -u dpkg-repack packagename.
Dpkg-repack will place the created package in the current directory.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Foobnix Player

Foobnix is a new linux music player for both local and online music. With the online music search feature you can download and save music from Vkontakte . WARNING! You can download the audio file at your own risk and only in accordance with the rules of the site and legislation in your country.
Besides this online music search feature, Foobnix also comes with a lot of radio stations integrated by default (around 3500), support, lyrics, tree-like music list, album cover fetching ....
Sometimes the web search for music stops working, you can reset Foobnix by removing ~/.config/foobnix   : rm -r ~/.config/foobnix

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


AudioBox features a full featured desktop-like HTML 5 application right into your browser, the Cloud Web Player.  Accessing, streaming, organizing and storing your media files is easier than ever. Features : 1 GB of storage space for the free plan with unlimited streaming, integrated bridges towards third party services (, Twitter, YouTube and Dropbox). There is no need to install extra software to enjoy your media library in the cloud, just a normal web browser will work.

Run Spotify with Wine

Spotify is a digital music service that gives you access to millions of songs. They achieve this by licensing the tracks from record companies in a similar way to radio stations, and they pay for it with advertising. You hear the occasional advert between tracks, and there are also options to pay a monthly subscription for a premium account. They do have a preview version client for Linux which I installed, but everytime I try to log in I get the message Use of this device is not enabled for your account. From their site : As a preview release this version is still unsupported, but we’re running it ourselves and will try to make sure it keeps pace with its Mac and Windows siblings. As we haven’t found a reliable way to display ads yet, this version is only available to Spotify Premium subscribers.
Luckily it runs well under wine . With the open version you will get 20 hours per month of streaming ( free ).
There is a problem playing local files with wine though. A solution is not far away, what I used was :
wget -O ~/.wine/drive_c/windows/system32/winemp3.acm
After that run winecfg and under the Libraries tab enter winemp3.acm under New override for library and click Add. Have fun with Spotify !

There's even Despotify , an open source client and library for Spotify’s streamed music platform. Spotify decided to block access for non-premium subscribers. !

 If you want to disable the spotify tray icon you should start reading here .

Monday, November 8, 2010

How to Style GTK Applications When Running KDE

You will need two packages : gtk-qt-engine and system-config-gtk-kde
The GTK-Qt Theme Engine (also known as gtk-qt-engine) is a GTK+ 2 theme engine that calls Qt 4 to do the actual drawing. This makes your GTK+ 2 applications look almost like real Qt 4 applications and gives you a more unified desktop experience.

This style can be configured within KDE4's systemsettings using package
system-config-gtk-kde .

Wbar Couldn't Load Icon Image

Installed wbar and after starting it in the terminal I got the following :
Using /usr/share/wbar/dot.wbar config file.
Using a Super Bar.
/usr/share/pixmaps/other/Webbrowser.png -> Couldn't load icon image.

And nothing happened ..
Solution : apt-get install gnome-extra-icons

Some utilities  to configure wbar :
wbar util 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Check Your Local Time
The exact time of the world. A full featured Multimedia-Site created with Flash by Martin Zwernemann. Have fun! is synchronized with an atomic clock - the most accurate time source in the world. The displayed time will normally have a precision of 0.02-0.10 seconds. The precision depends on your internet connection and how busy your computer is.

Using a Hosts File To Make The Internet Not Suck (as much)

The hosts file is a computer file used in an operating system to map hostnames to IP addresses. The hosts file is a plain-text file and is traditionally named hosts. It's like an address book. When you type an address like into your browser, the hosts file is consulted to see if you have the IP address, or "telephone number," for that site. If you do, then your computer will "call it" and the site will open. If not, your computer will ask your ISP's (internet service provider) computer for the phone number before it can "call" that site. Most of the time, you do not have addresses in your "address book," because you have not put any there. Therefore, most of the time your computer asks for the IP address from your ISP to find sites.  If you put ad server names into your hosts file with your own computer's IP address, your computer will never be able to contact the ad server. It will try to, but it will be simply calling itself and get a "busy signal" of sorts. Your computer will then give up calling the ad server and no ads will be loaded, nor will any tracking take place. Your choices for blocking sites are not just limited to blocking ad servers. In many cases using a well designed hosts file can speed the loading of web pages by not having to wait for these ads, annoying banners, hit counters, etc. to load.
Computers have a host address of their own - it is known as the "localhost" address, with an IP address of which it uses to refer to itself. If you associate another computer's host name with your localhost IP address, you have effectively blocked that host since all attempts to access it will lead back to you.

Severals sites provide hosts files

The hosts file is located  in the /etc directory as /etc/hosts.
If there are currently entries in your existing hosts file, then open the ad-blocking hosts file. Copy the text from it to add to the bottom of any existing text in your current hosts file.

Additional links :

DocsPal a Free Online File Converter

Docspal is a free online file converter that supports all kind of documents, video, audio, images, e-books and archives. Moreover, it offers an online viewer that allows you to view documents and images online directly in your browser, without having to install anything else. A download link will be displayed at the end of conversion. All uploaded files are stored on their servers until their conversions are completed. The converted files will be kept on their servers for up to 5 days, after which they will be deleted.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Debget to Download a Deb

Debget will download a .deb file for one or more packages from a Debian mirror.
It uses apt-get to find out the URL so it will download the same version from the same server as apt-get would do.The .deb will be downloaded with curl and stored in your working directory. Debget belongs to the package debian-goodies. Not to be confused with getdeb !

Debian Snapshot Archive

The snapshot archive is a wayback machine that allows access to old packages based on dates and version numbers. It consists of all past and current packages the Debian archive provides. 

Manpages Online

From this page : So I thought, why isn't there a page with all manpages? So I just built one.

Enable Restart X Server (Ctrl-Alt-BackSpace)

Gnomepanel : System > Preferences >  Keyboard. Select Layouts tab and click on Options... Select Key sequence to kill the X server and enable Control + Alt + Backspace.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

More Plugins Control in Firefox

If you go to the about:config page in Firefox and change the value to "false" for, then you’ll be able to control many more media types when you go to Edit >Preferences >Applications.

Emerald on Squeeze

Using compiz and you cannot find emerald ? Just follow the discussion here :

More Recent Version of Wine on Squeeze

Go here : . See discussion at : .

Missing Globe on Googleearth 64 bit

Nvidia-users : you might be missing package nvidia-glx-ia32.

Link :

Googleearth with Nice Fonts

Have a look at a neighbour : . (googleearth_5.1.3533.1731-0medibuntu1_amd64.deb ).

Working Webcam

I recently bought a Logitech Webcam C500, after consulting this list : Price 39.99 euros here in The Netherlands. It works !! ( with latest skype ).

Faenza Icon Theme

Gnome users go to
Download  To have it extracted in one place : mkdir Faenza-icons. Put the zip file in it and unzip. Extract Faenza.tar.gz and Faenza-Dark.tar.gz. Put directory Faenza and/or Faenza-Dark in ~/.icons or /usr/share/icons.

Autogenerate and Use a Swap File

Package: dphys-swapfile from . This init.d script exists so one does not need to have a fixed size swap partition. Instead install without swap partition and then run this, with file size (re-)computed automatically to fit the current RAM size. 
After the package has been installed whenever you boot you'll have /var/swap created. You can verify this yourself with the swapon command :
 /sbin/swapon  -s
Filename                Type        Size          Used    Priority
/var/swap                  file        2097144    0           -1
See :

Compile Latest Firefox

Go to and download firefox-3.6.12.source.tar.bz2. Get all the tools and things you need to build Firefox. In a terminal as root :

apt-get build-dep iceweasel
apt-get install libasound2-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev libnotify-dev libxt-dev libiw-dev mesa-common-dev autoconf2.13 yasm libidl-dev

Extract  firefox-3.6.12.source.tar.bz2 : tar xf firefox-3.6.12.source.tar.bz2. Put a ./mozconfig file in the directory mozilla-1.9.2. Open .mozconfig inside a text editor and paste in the following text:

mk_add_options MOZ_OBJDIR=@TOPSRCDIR@/ff-release
#mk_add_options MOZ_MAKE_FLAGS="-j4"
ac_add_options --disable-debug
ac_add_options --disable-tests
ac_add_options --enable-optimize
ac_add_options --enable-official-branding
ac_add_options --enable-system-cairo

In mozilla-1.9.2 open a terminal and enter make -f Once the compile is done, the binaries will be in ../mozilla-1.9.2/ff-release/dist/bin/. After that cd mozilla-1.9.2/ff-release && make package. Package will be  in : mozilla-1.9.2/ff-release/dist/ (tar.bz2).
See my former post
Many thanks to :

Iceweasel From Experimental

You can a run the latest version of iceweasel from Debian experimental on Debian squeeze if you like. Just go to this page : and search for these packages : xulrunner, libmozjs3d and iceweasel. Install them with dpkg -i packagename .

Skype on Squeeze 64 bit

Download Dynamic Static package from : Extract in your home directory : tar xf skype- .
In the README file it says : If you are using the dynamic and statically linked generic versions, you will need to choose a path for Skype to exist in. We recommend copying the skype binary to /usr/bin and installing sounds/, lang/ and avatars/ into the /usr/share/skype directory.
That's all. Alternative :

Problem While Loading "OAFIID : Glipper"

Add as setting to have glipper load a number of seconds later. Edit as root /usr/lib/glipper/glipper and add these lines right after the commented part with the license :

import time # <-- This line is new
time.sleep(8) # <-- This line is new. Change the 8 to for instance 30 if it did not help

Menu Hover Delay Gnome-panel

You want a faster opening menu ? Add these lines to the file ~/.gtkrc-2.0 :

gtk-menu-popup-delay = 0
gtk-menu-popdown-delay = 0
gtk-menu-bar-popup-delay = 0
gtk-enable-animations = 0
gtk-timeout-expand = 10

Full list of gtk-settings : 
Credits :

Apt-get upgrade "the following packages have been kept back"

Sometimes you get this message when running apt-get upgrade. The solution is simple : just run apt-get install followed by the list of packages returned after the following packages have been kept back message. This works well enough to get rid of any errors.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Using OpenDNS as your default DNS in Debian

What's OpenDNS : . To use OpenDNS as your default DNS resolution in Debian type the following commands with root privileges:

cp /etc/dhcp/dhclient.conf /etc/dhcp/dhclient.conf.orig
echo -e "\n# Using OpenDNS as your default DNS -" >> /etc/dhcp/dhclient.conf
echo "prepend domain-name-servers,;" >> /etc/dhcp/dhclient.conf

ifdown eth0 && ifup eth0

Pay attention to "Privacy issues, conflicts and Google redirection" on the wikipediapage .

Flash Player "Square" Preview Release

Adobe® Flash® Player "Square" is a preview release that enables native 64-bit support on Linux, Mac OS, and Windows operating systems, as well as enhanced support for Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 beta. That's good news ! 
Download and install the Flash Player "Square" preview release .
First remove nspluginwrapper and flashplayer-mozilla, after that I move to ~/.mozilla/plugins ( I compile firefox myself ). Or move it to /usr/lib/firefox/plugins.
Can confirm that it works with less CPU usage !

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Rebuilt libcairo2_1.8.10-4_amd64.deb

To have better font rendering with iceweasel I decided to rebuild libcairo2 according to this page : ...davidturner... It was a great success !
No need to patch libxft2 and libfreetype6.

Installing Nvidia Driver

For a howto read from here on this page : ...NvidiaGraphicsDrivers... By default Debian comes with a stock kernel : uname -r gives me 2.6.32-5-amd64. You will need module-assistant and nvidia-kernel-common : apt-get install module-assistant nvidia-kernel-common . After that you run the following command m-a auto-install nvidia-kernel${VERSION}-source . And that will be all to build the nvidia kernel module !
After that you will need to install the X driver and user-space libraries package : apt-get install nvidia-glx${VERSION} .
I use the same xorg.conf as on my old computer !

Debian Squeeze 64 bit

With space enough on my harddisk after reinstalling Windows 7 I could easily make a new partition and install Debian Squeeze 64 bit.
Get a netinstall image from and after the first installation of the bare essentials I did a apt-get install xorg kdm kdebase .
( instead of using kdebase you could also use kde-plasma-desktop).
Gnome users : apt-get install xorg gdm gnome-core.
Add the following lines to /etc/apt/apt.conf :

APT::Install-Recommends "0";
APT::Install-Suggests "0";

A New Computer

I recently bought a new computer from a local Aldi supermarket, it's a Medion Akoya E4360D.
For a review have a look at : 

It came with Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit Dutch version, and surprise, surprise, they divided the whole harddisk into four primary partitions, two of which were hidden ( no drive letter assigned ).

So here is what I did : I backupped my activation with ABR ( Activation Backup and Restore ) :  .
I also downloaded a ( legal ) copy of 64 bit Windows 7 English version : ( go down to ISO method ).
After that I could wipe out the whole harddisk and start all over again, making my own partitions !