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Kill a Frozen or Crashed UNIX / Linux X Desktop

Here is a quick tip to kill a crashed Linux / UNIX X desktop system. Many new user do not know this simple tip and end up hitting computer reboot button. Press CTRL + ALT + Backspace to kill GUI and get back to login screen. There are more ways to kill a crashed desktop without restarting your computer.

If CTRL + ALT + Backspace refused to work, try to login to console by pressing CTRL +ALT + F1. To kill GDM (Gnome Desktop) manger, enter:
killall gdm
You can also run the following:
/etc/init.d/gdm stop
To start GDM again, enter:
/etc/init.d/gdm start
To kill KDM (KDE Desktop), enter:
killall kdm
/etc/init.d/kdm stop
To start KDM again, enter:
/etc/init.d/kdm start
This is useful for killing desktop session. You can always kill indidual process such as a web server or firefox using kill / killall command line option. Under X windows you can use xkill command kill a client by its X resource and not by process ID.

Install Flash 10 Under Ubuntu Linux 64 bit Edition

I've already written about installing Flash player 10 under 32 bit version. But, couple of our readers asked about installing Flash player 10 final version under Ubuntu Linux 64 bit edition. This small post will cover flash 10 Ubuntu Linux 64 bit installation.

Update [Oct-03-2009]: Please use this updated script for Ubuntu Linux 9.04 or above.

Alejandro has published a shell script to automate entire process. Open terminal and type the following command to install Flash 10 under 64 bit edition (please exit any browsers you may have running):
$ wget http://queleimporta.com/downloads/flash10_en.sh
$ sudo bash ./flash10_en.sh

Fire a Firefox and type about:plugins to verify installation:

Fig.01: Ubuntu Linux flash 10 in action

Fig.01: Ubuntu Linux flash 10 in action

Alternatively, visit Youtube to see flash videos.

A note about RHEL / CentOS / Fedora Linux 64 bit version

Download Of The Day: GIMP 2.6 For Linux / Windows / Mac OS X

GIMP version 2.6 has been released and available for download. It is a free raster graphics editor used to manipulate digital graphics and photographs under Linux and other operating systems. It is often used as a free software replacement for Adobe Photoshop, the most widely used bitmap editor.

What's new in GIMP v2.6

Major revisions in interface and tools were made available with the 2.6.0 release in 2008. There is a bigger changes in UI, free select tool and brush tools. Lesser changes in code and partial, tool level, provide higher color depths and even non-destructive editing. See Gimp release note for more information.

Fig.01: GIMP 2.6 running on Linux (credit GIMP project)

Fig.01: GIMP 2.6 running on Linux (credit GIMP project)

Download Gimp 2.6 for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X

Gnome Desktop Tip: Quickly Open Any File / URL / Write Email

There are three ways to open any file under Gnome Linux / UNIX Desktop. gnome-open is the quickest and easiest way to open any file or url. Let us see how to open a pdf file quickly.

Open a File Using Application itself (time consuming)

Click on Application > Select App > File > Open > Select File

Open a File Using Run Application Dialog box

The Run Application dialog gives you access to the command line.
Hit Alt+F2 > Type file name > Enter

Fig.01: Run File / Command Dialog box

Please note that when you run a command in the Run Application dialog, you cannot receive output from the command.

Open a File Using The Command Line

gnome-open will open file using your preferred application. To open a pdf file, enter:
gnome-open file.pdf

Other common usage

Write email:
gnome-open 'mailto:user@example.com'
Open example.com website:
gnome-open example.com
Play mp3s:
gnome-open *.mp3
Open file browser in current directory:
gnome-open .
gnome-open /share/docs/

Put the following alias to speed up operation:
echo 'alias o="gnome-open $@"' >>~/.bashrc
$ o /path/to/file.pdf
$ o theos.in

How do configure preferred application?

Use the Preferred Applications preference tool to specify the applications that
you want the GNOME Desktop to use when the GNOME Desktop starts an application
for you.

Simply click on System > Preferences > Preferred Application

Fig.02: Preferred Applications

Fig.02: Preferred Applications

You can customize the preferences for the Preferred Applications preference tool in the following functional areas.

  1. Web Browser
  2. Mail Reader
  3. Terminal

How To Open VMware Server Remote Console with Firefox 3.0.1

Update: Vmware sever 2.0 final has been released. Version 2.0 has updated version for Firefox 3.0.x series.

VMWare remote console plugin allows to control VMWare server 2.0RC1. However, when you upgrade Firefox to 3.0.1 it will not work or get disabled by Firefox 3.0.1 due to plug-in compatibility issue. To fix this issue shutdown your Firefox, locate a directory called VMwareVMRC@vmware.com. This hack tested on:
=> Linux running Firefox 3.0.1

=> VMware Remote Console Plug-in version

Open a shell prompt and type the following commands:
$ cd ~/.mozilla/
$ find . -type d -iname "VMwareVMRC@vmware.com"

Sample output:


Change the directory, enter:
$ cd ./firefox/szvrcz3m.default/extensions/VMwareVMRC@vmware.com
Open install.rdf
$ cp install.rdf ~/install.rdf.bak
$ vi install.rdf

Find line that read as follows:


Replace it with:


Save and close the file. Open Firefox and plug-in should work without a problem.
(Fig.01: Running VMWare Server Remote Console Plugin under Updated Firefox v3.0.1)

Linux / UNIX: Geany Lightweight Integrated Development Environment

If you wanted to quickly edit PHP, Java, C etc, Geany IDE is perfect. It is a small and lightweight integrated development environment. It was developed to provide a small and fast IDE, which has only a few dependencies from other packages. Geany is known to run under Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, MacOS X, AIX v5.3, Solaris Express and Windows.

Basic features of Geany
=> syntax highlighting
=> code folding
=> code completion
=> auto completion of often used constructs like if, for and while
=> auto completion of XML and HTML tags
=> call tips
=> many supported filetypes like C, Java, PHP, HTML, Python, Perl, Pascal and many other
=> symbol lists
=> build support (to compile, link, run programs)
=> plugin interface (C, Lua)

Gnome Desktop Add Folder Shortcut To Left Panel File Browser ( Places )

This task is really simple, just drag folder and drop to left panel.

I was trying to use bookmark (CTRL + D) feature but it never worked for me :(