Tag Archive | panels

How to Install Internet Explorer in Linux for Idiots

“Why the hell would you want to install Internet Explorer in Linux?”, you ask? Am I stupid? No. Well, at least I don’t think I am. 🙂

Sometimes you HAVE to load certain websites in Internet Explorer because there are still a lot of website designers that don’t know what tInternet Explorer Iconhe hell they are doing or have been brainwashed by Microsoft in believing that there are no other browsers out there, even though every other browser out there surpasses Internet Explorer in every way, even IE7. Why that browser still exists is beyond me; it should have gone down with Netscape. Stupid Microsoft brainwashing.

Anyhow, the fact remains: IE is a parasite that we must live with and use at one point or another. 😮

IEs 4 Linux is a remarkable project that allows you to run Internet Explorer 6, 5.5, and 5 on Linux, all at the same time (optional).

“Kevin, would you shut up and tell me how I can quickly and easily install this in Ubuntu?” Well, to answer your question, I won’t shut up! And you can quickly and easily install this in Ubuntu by following these steps:

You have to enable universe packages first. It is also recommended that you use the official winehq ubuntu package:

1) Open a terminal

2) Open /etc/apt/sources.list
sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list
3) Uncomment (or add) following lines:

deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu edgy universe

4) Add this line:

deb http://wine.budgetdedicated.com/apt edgy main

5) Close gedit. Update and install wine and cabextract:

wget -q http://wine.budgetdedicated.com/apt/387EE263.gpg -O- | sudo apt-key add -
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install wine cabextract


6) Download IEs 4 Linux and install

wget http://www.tatanka.com.br/ies4linux/downloads/ies4linux-latest.tar.gz
tar zxvf ies4linux-latest.tar.gz
cd ies4linux-*


Note for Dapper users: if you use Ubuntu Dapper, replace ‘edgy’ with ‘dapper’ on the lines above.

When I finished installing IE on my Ubuntu, I noticed an unhidden “ies4linux-2.0.5” directory. This folder simply contains installation files and scripts and can safely be removed.

With all the Internet Explorers installed and 3 new icons on my desktop (and not wanting them there), I created a new Drawer on my bottom panel, used the icon pictured above (taken from Deviantart) as the Drawer’s icon, dragged the 3 icons from my Desktop to the new Drawer, and deleted the icons from my Desktop.

Easy as pie! An idiot’s grandma can do it! 😛

BTW, did you subscribe to Linux FUD, yet? You should. It’s good for your health. 😉

How to Change the Color of Gnome Panel Text, Handles, Buttons, and More

An issue you will run into when customizing your Ubuntu/Gnome system and playing with themes is not having an easy way to change the color of your text and other aspects of your panels. The gnome-theme-manager applet doesn’t have those options, yet. Not being able to change the color is a problem when using transparency or dark themes; the default color for text is black.

But there *is* an easy way to change the color of your panels’ text, handles, window list button colors (hover, active, and normal), background, etc.

Don’t believe me? Brent Roosshowed us how last year . UPDATE: You can find instructions here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=334747

Smart Quotes versus Straight QuotesMy only addition to his post is that you must change all the double-quotes when you paste the information to the file in your home folder by typing them in again. Why? Because WordPress’s format for quotes is to use smart quotes instead of straight quotes (see picture) and your changes won’t work if you don’t manually change them all to straight quotes.

Also, play around with the different options in that file by un-commenting the lines (removing the #) and changing the hex color code. You will find that you can change the colors for many different aspects of your panels. Just remember that you must do a ‘killall gnome-panel’ or use a “Refresh GUI” button every time you change and save the file.

You may also want to change the color of your tooltips.

Take a look at my Gnome Panels below (click to enlarge). I was able to change the text color from the default black so I can read it against my dark theme. By playing around with the other color options in the .gtkrc-2.0 file, I was also able to change the window list button hover color (Amarok) and the active color (The Gimp). The normal buttons (Kopete and Swiftfox) are simply from the theme itself, but they are changeable, too.  You can also see that my tooltip color was changed (Amarok).

Gnome Panel Color Changes

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Add a “Refresh/Reload GUI” Button to your Gnome Panel

Your first thought when reading the title of this post is probably, “WTF? Why would I need that?” Gnome Black LogoWell, if you’re like me and you love customizing your Gnome system, you’ll know that during your customizations, you have to reload this and reload that for your new changes to take effect. Sometimes its simply because a change you did caused some problems and something didn’t load correctly. Whatever it is, most of the time it requires you to use the killall command in the terminal.

This is common enough for the Gnome panels and for Nautilus since it draws and handles the desktop by default. I was tired of pulling up a terminal window and typing in the killall commands to “refresh” my GUI or Desktop or repeating them if I had already ran them previously. Not that it takes that long to do. I just wanted a quick “button” I can click that will do it automatically.

So I did it myself. Not very complicated, really. Actually, it’s not complicated at all. 🙂

  1. Right-click the panel or drawer you want the button to be situated
  2. Select “Add to Panel…” and the “Add to Panel” window will open
  3. Click on the “Custom Application Launcher” at the top of the window
  4. In the Launcher Properties, select “Application in Terminal” as a Type
  5. Name it “Refresh GUI
  6. For the command, type in: “killall gnome-panel nautilus” without the quotes
  7. For the comment, type in: “Reloads the panels and the desktop (Nautilus).” or whatever you want. 😉
  8. Click on the “No icon” button and choose an icon of your choice.
  9. Click close and you’re done

Now, whenever you need to reload/refresh your Desktop, you can simply click on your brand-spanking new shiny button!

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How to Reset Ubuntu/Gnome Settings to Defaults without Re-installing

As a new user, there comes a time (or there will come a time) when you are playing around with Ubuntu/Gnome, trying different themes, different engines, different window managers, etc, and all of a sudden you run into a problem that you can’t seem to find a way to fix it.

Computer FrustrationMaybe some of your customized settings are causing your gnome-panel to crash all the time or causing your windows and applications to look ugly, even having window buttons (close, minimize) disappear. You start Googling and spending a lot of time – sometimes days – trying to find how you can fix it.

You are frustrated (sometimes hitting your monitor/tower yelling some vulgarities at it as if it understands and you will kill it if it doesn’t fix it… there’s no Valentine’s love there, that’s for sure) and are ready to go back to Microsoft Windows.

But wait!

You keep thinking, “I wish I could just reset it back to its defaults, like a clean install, without losing all my applications and data.”

Well, you’re in luck. There is a way to reset your Desktop settings back to their defaults. If you keep in mind that everything in Linux is a file, all of its settings are files. All of Gnome’s customizations are located in their own specific folders. And these settings are user specific; they are in your Home folder. If you would create another user and log in with that user, you wouldn’t have any of the problems you are having in your own account. If you remove all these folders, you essentially remove all the settings. Therefore, we will remove the folders needed to reset Ubuntu/Gnome back to its defaults.

UPDATE (2008.01.30): Keep in mind that this will only reset your Gnome-specific settings. If you are having problems with your video card, display, x-server, etc., this WILL NOT fix your problems.

If you don’t have access to your graphical (GUI) desktop to delete these folders in Nautilus or you’re stuck at the login screen, drop to a terminal by hitting CTRL + ALT + F1, login to your account, and run this command:

rm -rf .gnome .gnome2 .gconf .gconfd .metacity

Get back to your GUI desktop by hitting CTRL + ALT + F7.

Login and VOILÀ! Just like the first time you ever logged into your Gnome desktop.

SCREENSHOT: November 20, 2006

In the “Adventures” series, a user asked to post a screenshot of my desktop to see the customizations I was talking about. It gave me the idea of posting my screenshot every time I made big changes to it. So I’ve decided to make it a regular thing here on Linux FUD.

You will find all of my screenshots HERE.

Although it isn’t what my desktop looked like at the time the customizations I mentioned in that post were made, here is my first screenshot… I call her “Glassy LiNsta”:

Ubuntu Screenshot - November 20, 2006 1280 x 1024 – PNG

Gnome (Ubuntu)

Click thumbnail to enlarge to full size. 

UPDATE:  The background can be found here: http://www.kde-look.org/content/show.php?content=37590

There isn’t anything special with this desktop. It’s just Gnome with some window borders, icons, and wallpaper that I downloaded from the GNOME-Look site. No extra software to achieve it. Well, I mean, you do see other applications in that screenshot, but they don’t alter the look of it. Maybe just complement them! 😛

What do you think of it? I like the “freshness” of it… Maybe I should show you my GDM login screen, too. It goes perfectly with my desktop. I think it’s the best login screen around…

GDM LoginThe Shutdown button overlaps the faded design a little in this shot, but shows normally in a 1280×1024 screen; the GDM screen was shot within a nested xnest window.

I love the look of my desktop. 🙂

Adventures in a New Ubuntu 6.10 Clean Install: Day 5, Part 2

Day 5, Part 2

Itsy Bitsy Customizations

Top Panel

The one thing I don’t like about Ubuntu is having a panel at the top of my screen. Why? Because I’m use to handling windows (which I generally always keep maximed) by throwing my mouse cursor at the menu bar and then clicking or double-clicking.

For example, if I want to close a window, I simply throw my cursor to the top right of the screen without even looking, and then I click. The cursor hits the corner edge and my click closes the window. You can’t do that if there’s a panel at the edge of your screen. Doing this with Ubuntu’s default settings will make you click on the red “power” button.

Solution? Click and drag it to the bottom of the screen. Nice and simple!

Menu Bar

I also don’t like the “Applications | Places | System” menu bar. It takes up too much space on a panel. This is easily fixed by right-clicking on it and selecting “Remove from Panel”. It’s just an applet, so no big deal.

But now I don’t have anything there. What I DO want is ONE button, like in Windows. Not because I’m used to Windows, but because it saves screen space.

Main Menu AppletSo lets add a ONE-BUTTON menu to our panel… Right-click on the panel and select “Add to Panel…” Find the Main Menu applet (shown in the figure) and drag it to where you want the button on your panel. Now you have one tiny button which will open a menu that contains the Applications menu, the Places menu, and the System menu! Sweet…

Weather At-A-Glance, Please!

When I want to know what the weather is like outside, my logic tells me to look in the system tray with the date and time. But there’s nothing there… so let’s add the weather down there!

Right-click on the panel and select “Add to Panel…” and in the Accessories section, you will find the Weather Report applet. Drag it beside the Date and Time Applet or wherever you wish. Right-click on it, select Preferences, and search for your city within the Location tab. You can also set your unit preferences in the General tab and then click close to finish. Wicked sweet…

Is My Network Connection On?

I always like to see if my network connection has any activity going on… at a glance, again. So I also add the Network Monitor applet to my panel.

And a few more…

Misbehaving apps? Add the “Force Quit” applet for quick access.

My Window List is too small. I like having two rows of windows to maximize the amount of windows I can see without reducing the size of the button. Therefore, I right-click on the panel containing my Window List applet and select Properties. The default is set at 24, so I double it to 48… anything smaller will only give me one row.

And then I remove all the application icons from my Panel and I add all my favorite or most frequently used applications. Yes, I remove Firefox because I like Swiftfox (installed through Automatix). Essentially, Swiftfox IS Firefox, but with some tweaks specific to your CPU (automatically detected and set by Automatix). I remove Evolution because I prefer Thunderbird, and I remove the Help icon, cause I don’t use it. Once all my icons are set and nicely spaced, I lock them all by right-clicking on them and selecting “Lock to Panel”. This prevents accidental moves.

That’s it! My very basic customizations are done. And you know what? The best thing about it is, nothing crashed, nothing reset itself, and it does exactly as I tell it to. Microsoft Windows CAN’T do that whatsoever!

Ubuntu Crashes on Start and Returns to the Login Screen

While customizing my Ubuntu Desktop, I installed Murrine by following this thread on Ubuntu Forums.

I spent quite some time customizing my desktop’s look and feel after this installation. Once all was said and done, it was late, so I logged out and went to bed.

The next day, I could no longer log into my Gnome Desktop. It would start loading, my gDesklets would load, the panels would start loading, and all of a sudden, Read More…