Use 'backspace' again in Firefox

By robrt on Monday 22 June 2009 21:05 - Comments (21)
Categories: Tricks, Ubuntu, Views: 4.856

Apparently one of the most heated debates in the Firefox team is not how they'll overthrow IE and claim world dominance, but whether or not the backspace key in Firefox on Linux should go UP in the same page or BACK in the browser history.

Well .. I love backspacing in history, so let's fix that:

Open up:

Assure Firefox you'll be careful.


Change to:

That's all. Effective immediately. :)

As a sidenote; I understand the need for platform conventions and adhering to them, but 'backspace=back' is such a common feature in the everyday browsers (IE, Safari, Opera AND Firefox) that I can't for the life of me understand why platform conventions go above every day usage conventions! It's almost as if they're purposefully trying to scare away new users of Firefox on Linux!
Well .. maybe not, but it's certainly not to their advantage.

Just my $ 0.210. ( :+ )

Update: Just found a mozillazine article here explaining a bit more of the rationale behind this break away from its old behaviour.

These are the possible values in the field:

Pressing [Backspace] will go back a page in the session history and [Shift]+[Backspace] will go forward. (Default in Windows)

Pressing [Backspace] will scroll up a page in the current document and [Shift]+[Backspace] will scroll down. (Default in Linux builds before 2006-12-07)

Any other integer value will simply unmap the backspace key. In Linux builds after 2006-12-07, the default is 2. 

Let's show your support to at least change this behaviour in Ubuntu :) :

Ubuntu & GOpenVPN: Tunnelblick for *nix!

By robrt on Monday 22 June 2009 16:35 - Comments (7)
Categories: Tricks, Ubuntu, Views: 6.692

Update: It appears there's network-manager-openvpn which provides the exact same (and even more) functionality. So if you want it neatly integrated with network manager, use that instead. :)

GOpenVPN is a nice little OpenVPN client with its GUI based on Tunnelblick for OS X.
Establishing a new connection is as easy as right-clicking on the icon and choosing "Connect <name of connection>". :)

Unfortunately, this wonderful tool appears pretty hard to get up and running on Debian & Ubuntu (9.04). Seeing as the tool is old, instructions are scarce and 95% of Google results for "gopenvpn" give you results for "openvpn" I figured I'd outline it here :)

• Ensure you have all dependencies installed
sudo apt-get install libglib2.0-dev libgtk2.0-dev libglade2-dev libgnome-keyring-dev gksu subversion build-essential autogen automake1.9 autoconf intltool openvpn

• Download the source from svn:
svn co gopenvpn

• Open the folder
cd gopenvpn/trunk/gopenvpn/

• In order to get rid of some pesky error messages about missing files, run:

• Next, run

• The following re-creates some language files if I'm not mistaken:

• And, lastly, configure it, make it and install it!
sudo make install

Once completed you can run it by issuing "gopenvpn" on the command line. Personally, I added "/usr/local/bin/gopenvpn" to my start-up items (System > Preferences > Startup Applications)

Have fun. :)

Note: I'm not sure if this works at all with KDE (any version). I run Ubuntu with Gnome so that's the only working combination I know of :)

Evolution <> Google Calendar two-way sync

By robrt on Sunday 21 June 2009 05:10 - Comments (7)
Category: Tricks, Views: 3.225

Current version of Evolution (2.26.1) in Ubuntu 9.04 - and probably others as well ;) - now supports two-way sync between Evolution's calendar and Google calendar.

To set it up:
• Go to "Calendar" in Evolution
• File, New, Calendar

Use the following settings:
• Type: Google
• Name: anything. only used to represent the calendar within Evolution
• Username: your full Google account address (including if it's gmail)
• Refresh: set as desired. I set it to 5 min. Quick enough for updates, low enough to prevent hammering Google's servers all the time
• Use SSL: enabled
• Calendar: press "Retrieve list" and - after giving your password - you should be shown a list of your Google calendars.

Finally, pick a pretty color to go along with it and you're all set! :)

Slow ssh logon with Ubuntu 9.04

By robrt on Sunday 21 June 2009 03:54 - Comments (2)
Categories: Tricks, Ubuntu, Views: 1.166

Looks like an old issue (even though I never experienced it before), but not quite fixed yet.
Logging on through ssh can easily take up to ~ 20 seconds even before the password prompt appears.

Comment out the following two lines in /etc/ssh/ssh_config and you should already see a noticeable improvement:
GSSAPIAuthentication yes
GSSAPIDelegateCredentials no

Mounting a remote filesystem over SSH

By robrt on Sunday 21 June 2009 03:45 - Comments are closed
Categories: Linux, Tricks, Ubuntu, Views: 960

Mainly applies to Ubuntu 9.04, but if you can get your hands on the package for another distribution / find the source package it'll probably work there too.

SSHFS is the package that'll work its magic for us. It's in the main repository nowadays so shouldn't be hard to find.
Else you can download it from here.

• Fire up the terminal and run "sudo apt-get install sshfs"
• Ensure you have a valid mount point available; I'd suggest something in your own userdir but it can be anywhere really. As long as your particular user has the appropriate rights.
• Run: sshfs remote_username@remote_host:/remote_path /local_path
(i.e.; " /home/robert/mnt/ssh" will log on to as user 'robert', and mount the remote folder "/home/robert" to local folder "/home/robert/mnt/ssh")
• Accept any fingerprint warnings if you get them
• Done! The remote host is now mounted over SSH on your local box.