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Linus Torvalds Switched Back To Gnome

Linus Torvalds, Linux's creator, dislikes the GNOME desktop. There was a big flame war(s) between Linus Torvalds and the GNOME community. At one point he claimed that - "Gnome seems to be developed by interface Nazis and that its developers believe their users are idiots". And guess what? Who made the switch to Gnome?
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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.

The Totem Movie Player application is a movie player for the GNOME desktop (default on Ubuntu Linux) based on GStreamer framework and xine library, and enables you to play movies or songs. You can watch Youtube video or listen BBC streams (podcasts) with this player without installing anything else such as Flash.

Totem Movie Player is simple and easy to use player. It provides the following features:

  1. Support a variety of video and audio files.
  2. Provide a variety of zoom levels and aspect ratios, and a fullscreen view.
  3. Seek and Volume controls.
  4. A playlist.
  5. Complete keyboard navigation and much more

How to watch / listen BBC videos in the Linux?

Start Totem by visiting Applications > Sound & Video > Movie Player

Make sure Youtube and BBC content enabled. Click on Edit > Plugins:

Fig.01: The Totem Movie Player Plugins

Fig.01: The Totem Movie Player Plugins

Make sure you place a check in the box labeled 'YouTube browser' and 'BBC content viewer' > Click Close to save changes.

How do I view BBC content under Ubuntu Linux?

To see all BBC content, select BBC from the box located in upper right side of Totem. A list will be fetched for you. Double click a podcast to listen:

Fig.02: BBC Content Under Linux

Fig.02: BBC Content Under Linux

How do I view YouTube Video under Ubuntu Linux?

Simply select YouTube from the box located in upper right side of Totem. Type a search such as "Quantum of Solace James Bond" and hit [Enter] key. Totem will search YouTube.com for your keywords. It will load results in sidebar. Simply double-click a video to watch it:

Fig.03: Watching Youtube Video Using Totem

Fig.03: Watching Youtube Video Using Totem

Important keyboard shortcuts for For Totem:

Keyboard shortuctDecscription
ptoggle between play and pause
Escexit full screen mode
ftoggle full screen
htoggle display of on-screen controls
0resize window to 50% original size
1resize window to 100% original size
2resize window to 200% original size
rzoom in the video
tzoom out the video
Left-arrowskip back 15 seconds
Right-arrowskip forward 15 seconds
Shift+Left-arrowskip back 5 seconds
Shift+Right-arrowskip forward 15 seconds
Ctrl+Left-arrowskip back 3 minutes
Ctrl+Right arrowskip forward 10 minutes
Up-arrowincrease volume by 8%
Down-arrowdecrease volume by 8%
bjump back to previous chapter/movie in playlist
njump to next chapter/movie in playlist
Ctrl+Eeject the playing optical media
Ctrl+Oopen a new file
Ctrl+Lopen a new URI
F9toggle display of the playlist
mshow the DVD menu
cshow the DVD chapter menu

Command line options

To view other command line options that are available, type totem --help or read man page:
$ totem --help
$ man totem

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

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 :(

Conduit is a synchronization software solution for Linux GNOME desktop. With this software you can take your email, files, bookmarks, and any other type of personal information and synchronize that data with another computer, an online service, or even another electronic device. For example, you can synchronize your photos with on line photo sharing service such as Flickr or Picasa.

Synchronization solution for GNOME which allows the user to take their emails, files, bookmarks, and any other type of personal information and synchronize that data with another computer

You can download Conduit here

February 6, 2007 : nixCraft FAQ Roundup

Recently updated/posted Linux and UNIX FAQ:

=> Shell command or script to write simple output on screen under Linux and UNIX

=> Delete a log files in Linux or UNIX

=> VSFTPD limit the number of simultaneous vsftpd connections for a single IP address

=> Gnome Desktop Keyboard Shortcut Keys

=> Disable Advanced power management (APM) on Linux

=> Locate files on linux, FreeBSD and UNIX system

=> List installed packages on Linux or FreeBSD / OpenBSD system

=> Howto: Use mysql or run mysql queries from shell script

=> Linux configure batch jobs using at command

=> Solaris add a new swap file for database

=> Apache server view performance status with mod_status configuration

=> Howto Secure portmap service using iptables and TCP Wrappers under Linux