Archive | September 20, 2006

Ubuntu Panel Menu Bar Applet Loses Transparency / KDE affects Gnome

At one point or another during all of the customizing I’ve been doing since I installed Ubuntu, my panel’s Menu Bar applet lost its transparency:

Panel Menu Bar Applet Loses Transparency

Even the Notification Area’s grab handle lost its transparency. I figured there may be something wrong with the panel itself, so I created a brand new one, added the Menu Bar applet, set the transparency, and yet again it wasn’t working.

I decided to create a brand new user account and log in to that to see if the transparency worked. And it worked! Obviously, this was a user-specific issue. I didn’t want to just start from scratch with a new user; I wanted to solve this.

On another note, I also noticed that when I changed my theme, the colors of most controls wouldn’t change. For example, when going through menus, the menu selection color was still the same and I couldn’t change it no matter what. Also, Amarok’s color theme wouldn’t change either. It was the same color as the old theme.

Then it dawned on me… Amarok is a KDE application. I have the KDE environment installed and that was my main environment for a while and I had customized it a lot. Could this be a KDE-affecting-Gnome issue? Is it even possible? But what would explain the menus and other Gnome components not changing colors?

I did some more research online and checked through a lot of my settings and files.

I finally found the culprit:

Under KDE, I had set the option of using my KDE style in all GTK applications, which – unbeknownst to me at the time – meant in all environments. I found this out in this post.

KDE GTK Styles and Fonts Settings
To fix it, I had to sign out of my Gnome Desktop and sign back into a KDE session. Then I went to [ KDE Menu > System Settings > Appearance > GTK Styles and Fonts ] and changed the “Use my KDE style in GTK applications” to “Use another style” and chose “Human” as the style.

I logged off from my KDE desktop, logged back in to my Gnome desktop, and I noticed a difference right away. It seemed the desktop loaded much faster and my controls were in their correct color.

I set the transparency on my panel and I was back to normal!

Thank god for a little research, Google, and the Ubuntu Forums, I didn’t have to resort to re-installing Ubuntu… which I was planning to do. It was much more rewarding to me, less time-consuming, and a good learning process than having to start from scratch.

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Fixing MSN Connection Problem: Can’t Connect in Gaim, aMSN, or Kopete

For the last couple of weeks or so (maybe it’s just been a week, I don’t know), I haven’t been able to connect to MSN with Kopete or Gaim. It has worked fine since initial installation of Ubuntu, and all of a sudden it just stopped and kept spitting out an “operation is not supported” error message. I didn’t really look into it during that time. But yesterday, it finally pissed me off enough to sit down and troubleshoot it.

After a bit of thinking, Googling, and reading forum posts, I remembered that MoBlock (PeerGuardian for Linux) had recently been updated.

Why would that cause any problems? Well, I remembered that when I initially installed it, I had to remove the Microsoft ranges that MoBlock blocked so that I can connect to MSN. I followed some steps in the Ubuntu Forum MoBlock thread to remove these ranges and it worked… until the update.

Thinking that the update re-added the Microsoft ranges, I figured I’d follow the same steps. When I looked at my MoBlock settings, sure enough, Microsoft was getting blocked again. Then I thought, no. I just want MSN to work and not block all of Microsoft.

So I followed some other steps in the MoBlock thread to tell it to allow the port number Gaim and Kopete use to connect to the MSN servers (UPDATE: A slight update with the latest version (Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and the current moblock).):

  1. sudo gedit /etc/moblock/MoBlock-nfq.sh
  2. gksu gedit /etc/blockcontrol/blockcontrol.conf
  3. Find the line: WHITE_TCP_OUT=”http https”
  4. Add 1863 (MSN Port #) to that line, like this: WHITE_TCP_OUT=”http https 1863″
  5. Save the file and close it.
  6. Do a sudo /etc/init.d/moblock-nfq restart sudo blockcontrol restart

That’s it! No more problems! Then, I got this satisfying feeling in my tummy!