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Topics - Fritz74

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GNU/Linux Discussion / What's wrong with LXQT?
« on: May 18, 2020, 10:38:15 am »
PCNEtSpec wanted to base the next release of Peppermint on Xubuntu, as Lubuntu 20.04 switches to LXQT.

Why is that? I have not used LXQT yet, but it seems to be a good idea in theory. The reviews are not that bad either, for example:

User Submitted Tutorials / Options for indicators in the Xfce panel
« on: February 25, 2020, 07:32:28 am »
The following picture shows a part of the panel in my Peppermint installation:

As the icons in the systray (aka notification area) usually have no spacing between them, I was looking for a way to change this and get some pixels between the indicators for the WIFI and the battery.  I achieved it by using the indicator plugin instead of the systray. It can be installed with the following command:

Code: [Select]
sudo apt install xfce4-indicator-plugin
The following article on gives a good overview about all options to get indicators for the Xfce panel:

It won't even be an issue for most people, but I could not stand looking at those icons cramped together like that. ;)

I recently installed Brave to replace Chrome.  Brave is a little faster than Chrome and has a good ad blocker out of the box. They have their own model for internet advertising and a system for tipping content creators. You can collect little amounts of a crypto-currency by clicking banner advertising (if I understood that correctly). I am not using those features, but will probably buy some of their merch to support them.

Here is the how-to that worked for me for installing Brave from the terminal:

The only problem is that syncing bookmarks between PCs does not work - at least not sufficiently. I created some Google Docs for my bookmarks. That's of course no FOSS solution. Maybe there is something better? Probably a Chrome extension?

The other browser I tried is Vivaldi. It felt not quite as fast as Brave. It offers more possibilities to customize it than any other browser. Syncing bookmarks works very well and I also like the look. The sidebar and the panel on the bottom can be hidden, so you can make Vivaldi almost look like Chrome. The only reason why I prefer Brave (and made it my new daily driver) is the increased speed. Vivaldi can be installed easily with a .deb package from their website

You can install Chrome extensions on both browsers - as they are both based on Chromium.

What are you running Peppermint on? / Intel NUC5CPYH
« on: November 30, 2019, 01:17:03 am »
I recently bought a used NUC5CPYH on for only 69 $. With customs and shipping, the device cost me 106 €. A new one would cost about 115 €, and there are newer models with quad core processors for just a few € more - so in retrospect the decision to buy it was not as smart as I thought in the beginning. ;)  Still, it is a nice and quiet little machine.

I put 8 GB RAM and a 120 GB SSD in it. It is fine for surfing the web, writing, image editing and some programming. It also runs Minecraft with slightly reduced settings.

Code: [Select]
System:    Host: fritz-nuc Kernel: 5.0.0-36-generic x86_64 bits: 64 gcc: 7.4.0
           Desktop: N/A Distro: Peppermint Ten
Machine:   Device: desktop Mobo: Intel model: NUC5CPYB v: H61145-405 serial: N/A
           UEFI: Intel v: PYBSWCEL.86A.0078.2019.0807.1133 date: 08/07/2019
CPU:       Dual core Intel Celeron N3050 (-MCP-)
           arch: Airmont rev.3 cache: 1024 KB
           flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx) bmips: 6400
           clock speeds: max: 2160 MHz 1: 479 MHz 2: 772 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Intel Atom/Celeron/Pentium Processor x5-E8000/J3xxx/N3xxx Integrated Graphics Controller
           bus-ID: 00:02.0
           Display Server: x11 (X.Org 1.20.4 )
           drivers: modesetting (unloaded: fbdev,vesa)
           Resolution: 1920x1080@60.00hz
           OpenGL: renderer: Mesa DRI Intel HD Graphics 400 (Braswell)
           version: 4.5 Mesa 19.0.8 Direct Render: Yes
Audio:     Card Intel Atom/Celeron/Pentium Processor x5-E8000/J3xxx/N3xxx Series High Def. Audio Controller
           driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:1b.0
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k5.0.0-36-generic
Network:   Card-1: Intel Wireless 3165 driver: iwlwifi bus-ID: 02:00.0
           IF: wlp2s0 state: down mac: <filter>
           Card-2: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCIE Gigabit Ethernet Controller
           driver: r8169 port: e000 bus-ID: 03:00.0
           IF: enp3s0 state: up speed: 100 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 120.0GB (11.4% used)
           ID-1: /dev/sda model: CT120BX500SSD1 size: 120.0GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 110G used: 13G (13%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda2
RAID:      No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 38.0C mobo: N/A
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 173 Uptime: 47 min Memory: 867.2/7898.4MB
           Init: systemd runlevel: 5 Gcc sys: 7.4.0
           Client: Shell (bash 4.4.201) inxi: 2.3.56

GNU/Linux Discussion / Some recent distro hopping
« on: October 12, 2019, 03:03:38 pm »
Here are my recent impressions from some other distributions:

Sparky OS will stay on my ThinkPad E470 for the next few years. APTus is a great tool for tweaking the system. I installed kernel 5.3.6 today. Everything is running great.

Solus OS with Budgie looks nice but is not as easy to customize as Xfce. Also, they have few packages. I could live with it if I had to.

Gecko Linux sounds great in theory: OpenSuSe with codecs and improved font rendering and improved package management. However, I dislike YaSt. It has too many options for a simple-minded guy like me and it needs a lot of clicks to achieve something that only requires a simple command in the terminal.

Manjaro 18.1.0 has a great community and it works well. I don't trust the rolling release approach, though. Snapshots of the entire system are just not for me. Would it break sooner or later? Who knows...

Mint 19.2 is almost great. It is what I would recommend to people who want to switch from Windows 7. Peppermint just feels a little snappier and it has Nemo, which allows easy resizing of desktop icons.

Debian Buster comes with a blunt default version of Xfce and suboptimal font rendering. It did not recognize the touchpad and the wifi on my ThinkPad, even with all the nonfree drivers.

So, for my needs, there is nothing better out there than Peppermint OS. :)

GNU/Linux Gaming / Play Windows-only games on Linux with Steam Play
« on: September 23, 2019, 03:00:55 pm »
As nobody has mentioned this yet: I can play Age of Empires 2 on my Peppermint machine now, thanks to Steam Play.
Steam is using its own fork of Wine. Here is a tutorial how to enable Linux support for games that are listed as Windows-only:

News and Reviews / Peppermint 9 review on Tutnaut / Germany
« on: September 18, 2019, 08:05:06 am »
This is an older but very enthusiastic review by Mirco Lang for the German magazine Tutnaut:

He recommends Peppermint for people who want to switch from Windows or Mac.

I want my terminal to start on workspace 3. This can be achieved with the app wmctrl - which is complicated.
There is an easier way with Python. I am using Python 3.

First install pip, the Python package manager:
Code: [Select]
sudo apt install python3-pip
Then use pip to install pyautogui. This is a library that lets Python perform mouseclicks, keystrokes etc.
Code: [Select]
sudo pip install pyautogui
I want Python to click on the workspace switcher in my Xfce panel. To get the coordinates, I make a screenshot and open Gimp. If I move the cursor over the image, Gimp shows me the coordinates. On my desktop, a click on 1569/1056 will open workspace 3.

The script that clicks on workspace 3 gets the name
Code: [Select]
#!/usr/bin/env python3
import pyautogui,1056)

This can be used in shell scripts, whenever I want them to click on workspace 3.
The script gets the name
Code: [Select]

Make them executable with sudo chmod +x and sudo chmod +x

Running the script now opens the terminal Sakura on workspace 3.

Finally, put a starter that opens the script into the Xfce panel.

Software & Applications / Nemo and desktop icons
« on: September 10, 2019, 03:17:48 am »
This is for something I want to do in my Debian installation - but maybe someone can give me a hint how you did it in Peppermint.

I installed Nemo and made it the preferred application to handle files. I also want it to handle the icons on the Desktop.

Thanks in advance!

GNU/Linux Discussion / People's dislike for Ubuntu
« on: September 08, 2019, 05:15:08 am »
I recently saw a video by Chris Titus with a number of reasons why he dislikes Ubuntu:

Some of his points:
  • The way Canonical tried to monetize Ubuntu: Sending search data to Amazon.
  • Making some of their software proprietary.
  • Their attempt to copy the Google Play Store (abandoned in 2014).
  • Making the server side of Snaps closed source.
  • Vanilla Ubuntu is bloated

At the moment MX Linux is number one on Distrowatch. I wondered what Ubuntu brings to the table that cannot be found in Debian.

From time to time I see posts by new users on Reddit. They seem to have some issues with stability. Or they just enjoy complaining?

I have been using Ubuntu and its derivatives for a while and never had any issues. On the other hand, for me personally there is nothing essential in Ubuntu. I don't need any ppas. While ICE on Peppermint is nice, I'm not really using it either.

So, why are so many popular distributions based on Ubuntu and not directly on Debian?

News and Reviews / Peppermint 10 - Switched to Linux
« on: May 23, 2019, 08:32:00 am »
Tom from "Switched to Linux" reviewed Peppermint 10:

His conclusion: On the surface not much has changed. The improvements are under the hood. He is still using Peppermint 7 for his writing computer.

User Submitted Tutorials / Change the icon theme in LibreOffice
« on: May 09, 2019, 08:49:35 am »
With some decluttering and a new icon theme, LibreOffice is as beautiful as the competition.

I like the Office 2013 theme, that can be downloaded here:

To install it, copy the .zip file to the following directories:


Then change the icon theme in:
Tools > Options > LibreOffice > View

Software & Applications / Update Manager vs update from the terminal
« on: November 09, 2018, 04:53:58 am »
As I found the old version of Mint's update manager confusing, I switched to updating the system from the terminal with sudo apt update and sudo apt upgrade.  Would using an update manager offer any benefits?

News and Reviews / Len's Top 10 of easy Linux distributions for beginners
« on: November 06, 2018, 09:39:59 am »
Don't call me Lenny! is making reviews again. Peppermint OS is in his Top 10 of Linux distributions for beginners:

Artwork, Themes, and Icons / Wallpaper "Planet Peppermint" 1920x1080
« on: August 03, 2018, 09:32:45 am »
Another wallpaper. The wallpapers that come with Peppermint 9 are the only part of the design that I don't enjoy. So I am creating some that I might use myself...

It is based on the following image. The license allows changing and using it for all purposes.

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