Gnome 'Applications' menu suddenly empty

By robrt on Sunday 19 July 2009 14:32 - Comments (2)
Categories: Linux, Ubuntu, Views: 3.614

Just had a strange bug using the "Main menu" tool in Gnome; after some fiddling around it removed all items from my "Applications" menu.
For some reason this tool removed all contents of the file, rendering my gnome panel useless.

Luckily, there's a pretty straight-forward fix for this.

• Open a terminal window (Alt+F2 -> gnome-terminal)
• Verify the file is empty: cat ~/.config/menus/
• If it is, edit the file: nano ~/.config/menus/
• Paste the following in the file:

PUBLIC '-//freedesktop//DTD Menu 1.0//EN'
<MergeFile type="parent">/etc/xdg/menus/</MergeFile>

• Save & exit
• Restart the Gnome panel using "killall gnome-panel"

That's all. :)

Use 'backspace' again in Firefox

By robrt on Monday 22 June 2009 21:05 - Comments (21)
Categories: Tricks, Ubuntu, Views: 4.915

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: 6.821

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 :)

Getting Ubuntu 9.04 to play nice with the MX Revolution

By robrt on Sunday 21 June 2009 15:00 - Comments are closed
Categories: Howto, Ubuntu, Views: 2.108

Support for the MX Revolution in 9.04 is pretty basic; left, middle and right-mousebutton works and that's about it.

What I'd like to accomplish is the same setup I used to have with Vista;
- Auto free spin in all applications after a quick slam on the scrollwheel
- Button 4 / 5 (thumb button) volume up / down / mute
- Button 6 (quick find) CTRL+F

The first issue can be tackled rather easily; all we need is a little utility written by Edgar Toernig called "revoco".

• Download revoco 0.5 here (mirror here)
• Untar it by issuing "tar zxvf revoco-0.5.tar.gz"
• Compile it by running "sudo make"
• Move the compiled file to a new folder; .e.g /usr/local/bin/ (sudo mv revoco /usr/local/bin/)
• Run sudo /usr/local/bin/revoco to verify all works.

As you can tell straight away after running it, it only supports a few basic parameters, tilt-to-tilt, free-spin, auto and manually specified. I'm quite content with the "auto" option, but it's up to you whichever one you use.
For the purposes of this blog post we'll assume you want to use "auto" as well.

• Run: sudo /usr/local/bin/revoco auto
Try and scroll somewhere now; lo and behold! Scrolling as it's supposed to be!

Next, we'll need to try and tie this into the system somehow; came up with few awesome bash scripts that'll do the job nicely:

• Create a new file in /etc/init.d called "revoco". Like so: sudo nano /etc/init.d/revoco
• Paste the following, be sure to replace "auto" for the mode you wish to use.

/usr/local/bin/revoco click

• CTRL+X and "Y" to save the file
• chmod +x /etc/init.d/revoco
• That's that! Revoco will now be automtically called on boot with your desired argument. Now we need to ensure it's called after hibernate/standby as well:

• sudo nano /etc/pm/sleep.d/10revoco:
• Paste the following:

case "$1" in
                /usr/local/bin/revoco click
                /usr/local/bin/revoco click
        *) exit $NA

• CTRL+X and "Y".
• sudo chmod +x /etc/pm/sleep.d/10revoco

That's that! Revoco is now called on boot and after hibernate/standby.

Next; getting all buttons to play nice! :)
I've looked a bit deeper into it and don't have a solution yet, but I'll update this post as soon as I do.

Original post: here

Slow ssh logon with Ubuntu 9.04

By robrt on Sunday 21 June 2009 03:54 - Comments (2)
Categories: Tricks, Ubuntu, Views: 1.193

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