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orange box in software manager, can't install skype

For some reason Skype in the Linux Mint software manager is failing to install. Naturally people then head to to download the latest version for Ubuntu but this fails too.

The first part of the fix is to remove the orange box in software manager - open a terminal and type

apt purge skype

(if that fails, make sure that software manager is closed and try again)

This will remove any skype files, settings, partial install and the whole lot (more than apt remove would remove)

Now go to, find the latest Ubuntu version, install it and it will work.

uninstall program linux mint

Sunday, January 10, 2010 18:01 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
You may have installed from the Software Manager, Package Manager or via the Terminal.

The Software and Package managers way of removing is just the opposite to installing. Select the item and apply the changes.

Or in the Terminal do apt remove programname

To install a Linux program

Filter the results of a long output to save reading

15:57 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
You may be asked to do a command that has a long output. Reading this whole output just find one thing is tiring and if you are in an IRC or forum it is best that you do not paste unwanted data.

Many commands can be put through a secondary command before the result is outputted. Imagine search the kitchen = many results but search the kitchen and only list fruit, gives less.

This is called piping and a pipe is represented by |

So the command man conky gives the entire manual page for conky and the command lspci gives the entire list of hardware. In both cases you could pipe the command to filter the more useful information.

The command to pipe through is grep. Grep filters the results. We often need to add the switch -i to grep so that results are returned no matter what cAsE TheY ARE writtEn iN.

lspci | grep -i audio

This gives any reference to Audio audio or AUDIO in the output of the lspci command.

man conky | grep cpu

This gives only parts of the conky man page that refer to the cpu (remember grep -i will return CPU cpu Cpu cpU and so on)

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I can't move my window, it doesn't fit on the screen

00:07 Posted by Leo Saumure 1 comments
I can't move my window, it doesn't fit on the screen, the resolution is messed up...

Any problem where you can't move a window in the normal way can be solved by:

pressing ALT then clicking anywhere in the window and dragging the window to a new place.

Ubuntu Cheat Sheet

00:03 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
This is a handy document to print out and keep near your PC

You may also want to scribble additional notes on there too. Like how to reset your root password... as if you can't remember, you can't log in to read how to do it :)

How do I add a Firefox Theme?

Firefox themes should have a name ending in .jar

1) In Firefox go Tools > Addons > Themes

2) In your file manager locate the theme.jar

3) Now drag the theme.jar onto the Themes Window

Firefox will add the theme and prompt you to restart Firefox.

Default Keyring asks password every login

Monday, January 04, 2010 19:39 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
Click the MintMenu button once and type

encry to find Encryption key

Open > Passwords and Encryption keys > Edit > Preferences > Password keyrings

Then change to your new password


Sunday, January 03, 2010 21:55 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
Your entry to Linux is probably through Gnome as the most popular distribution Ubuntu and the most user friendly distribution Linux Mint both use Gnome as their main desktop environment.

Gnome gives you your desktop, windows, look and feel and many useful features such as some basic tools and programs. Great, stick with it.

Why all the alternatives? why change? why so people say gnome sucks?

Some consider Gnome boring, some say it is slow, and so on. Why all the choice and voice? Well Linux = Choice. Only you know what is best for you.

In windows you had 3 very similar themes, most Windows computers looked the same. in Linux you can alter every detail, get creative. Linux Mint offer Gnome, KDE, XFCE and Fluxbox alternatives, possibly LXDE soon too.

Gnome, you can add themes to gnome and use the popular Compiz to have cool and useful effects.

KDE is the daddy. It looks as highly polished as Windows Vista but has the solid underbody of Linux, so great looks and stable. It is going through a big transition right now and depends on a powerful computer and compatible graphics hardware.

XFCE is lighter weight than KDE and Gnome and better for lower powered systems or users who enjoy high speed. It takes a little more setting up as the options are spread out in the control panel but it can be made to look very nice while still offering a full desktop environment, speed and great looks. The composting for example gives very nice transparencies, shadows and so on without slowing the system.

LXDE Is a full desktop environment using the Openbox Window manager (see below). It is very much quicker than the above 3 choices but is much more basic than Windows users would expect. It takes work to make it look nice but is light and fast so people love it for this. It is also a contender for lower powered systems, giving life to old systems, and a tweak geeks dream.

Fluxbox One for those who like other light window managers to try. Has Window placement, a panel and the rest is up to you.

Openbox My weapon of choice. This is purely a Window Manager, it can place windows on the screen. It offers no desktop as you'd know one, no panel, very little - It is a tweakers dream, fast, so fast, and you have to customize every detail.


So maybe gnome is for you?

To install an alternative the best choice is to look for a Linux distribution that has the alternate desktop environment. Ubuntu and Linux Mint offer several. You may also add one environment to an existing setup - beware though as it will potentially mess up what you have so I wont cover that in this blog.

Why can't I install Why strange errors?

20:51 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
It is possible to download an ISO, burn a CD, have no errors but still have a bad installer. This installer can work but the resulting system will have odd errors.

In Mint you can right click an ISO file and check the MD5 or Checksum then compare this to the one listed at the download location.

The current MD5 of the latest version of Linux Mint 8 Helena Main Edition is:

If your MD5 matches that then the ISO is good. Now burn the CD slowly to avoid write errors.

You can not depend on the CD burner to check for errors, it will check for a good burn but has no idea if every 1 and 0 is in place on the burned ISO disk, so;

With the CD in the drive open your terminal and enter one of these - depending on the location of your CD drive: *

dd if=/dev/sr0 | md5sum
dd if=/dev/cdrom | md5sum
dd if=/dev/scd0 | md5sum

The computer should think a while, the CD should move and after some time the terminal will return a long number. Anything other than 06fc2f27f8352a2bac5516b86c020755 is no good.


*If the terminal returns an instant reply of d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e then that is the MD5 of nothing and the path to the CD drive was wrong, try an alternative.

Linux I have no sound

20:42 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
Basics to try first are to check the levels in alsamixer. ALSA = Advanced Linux Sound Architecture.

Type alsamixer in terminal and you will be greeted by a friendly, useful yet geeky looking mixer.

Press F1 for a list of keys. The basics are;

Left and Right arrow keys move you to the different level meters.

Up and Down arrow keys increase or decrease volume (for trouble shooting put everything to 100% and strap down the cat)

Press the M key on your keyboard to Mute or Un Mute a channel. A muted channel shows MM at the bottom of the slider.

Alternate Web Browsers

20:24 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
Swiftfox is based on Firefox and you can use all your favourite plugins. It is built specifically for your CPU and has various speed hacks. I use it as my main browser, quick and full of features.

Midori is a very fast and simple browser.

Arora was the fast and simple browser of choice before Midori came along. It is written in QT though so is more suited to those of you on KDE. If you don't know what this means then you are probably on Gnome and don't know what that means either.

Opera. Many people love the opera web browser, it was the first to introduce the "speed dial" idea (I think) and this feature has now made it to Chrome, Midori and others.

Google Chrome is a very nice browser and is sure to become a 'must have' as google introduce ideas that run best on their own browser. For now it is quick and has a nice minimal and out of the way interface. The problem it has is the Flash plugin eats CPU and makes your computer hot. Look for the process called exe and you'll see it burning your CPU.

How do I install these browsers on Linux?

Frozen System OMG

19:55 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
Windows has freezes and you have CTRL+ALT+Del

Linux has less freezes (none on a good setup) but more ways to get you out of trouble.

CTRL+ALT+BackSpace "kills X" That is it kills the graphical environment and gets you to a command line. Ubuntu have removed this feature (as they think you'll hit 3 keys accidentally(??)) So you have to try other things. CTRL+ALT+F1 or open a terminal and type sudo killall Xorg. (Capital X on Xorg)

The more "Windows way" to do things is open "System Monitor" and terminate the problem process that way.

When the system is totally broken DONT POWER OFF! do this..

REISUB = Restart Even If System Utterly Broken

Press ALT+PrtScrn OR ALT+SysReq (depends on your system) (laptops may need to add the Fn key)

With those buttons held down, use your nose or a friend to type reisub (that is BUSIER backwards).

It shuts down processes, stops hard drives and so on, each letter calling the frozen system to correctly shutdown.

Copy and Paste on Linux

19:37 Posted by Leo Saumure 1 comments
When you select some text in Linux it is already copied.

Middle click the mouse somewhere and the selected text is pasted.
(Left and Right mouse buttons together simulate a middle click if you don't have a middle mouse button)

You can also use CTRL+c for copy and CTRL+v for paste.


The Linux terminal already has key commands such as CTRL+c kill a process and CTRL+z background a process. So to copy and paste in the terminal use the middle click method or add SHIFT to the key commands
eg CTRL+SHIFT+c for copy and CTRL+SHIFT+v for paste.

Basic terminal commands

19:16 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
ls will list the files in that folder
man ls will give more options for the ls command

cd will change directory eg
cd /home/myname
the short way to get to home is type cd ~
the short way to get to the root is cd /

To be sure you are typing the names correctly, to avoid too much typing and to give yourself clues on the path you want - use the tab key.

cd .. will go up one level
eg when in ~/Pictures/My-Birthday/
cd ..
would go to ~/Pictures/

to do a command as root you have choices;
sudo thiscommand
does the command with root privileges

to open a graphical application as root use gksu (not sudo) this is root access the graphical way.
eg gksu gedit or gksu synaptic

Always remember tab auto completion so
gksu syna<tab>

How do I use Terminal (1)

19:04 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
Basic terminal use is very handy.

The best button is <tab> (the tab key)

Begin typing a command and press TAB and it will offer you choices, if it does not, then press TAB again and it will give a list.

This also works with addresses and saves typos.

So to edit a file, you may use gedit, so type


and it says $gedit

Now after gedit begin typing an address /hom<tab>

and it will say $gedit /home/

now press t<tab>

and it says $gedit /home/tawan/

A short way to type /home/tawan/ is ~/

type gedit ~/<tab> and it will say $gedit /home/tawan/

How do I add icons

18:41 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
Icons fonts and so on can all be added to

/usr/share/fonts or /usr/share/icons

You need root privileges to do this so right click the /usr/ folder and "open as root"

after installing new fonts run this command

sudo fc-cache -fv


In both cases you may also put the files in ~/.fonts or ~/.icons

~/ means /home/yourname/ and is a short way to type that.

folders and files with . in front or their name eg .fonts or .icons are invisible, to display them open a file manager and press CTRL+H

How do I add a new theme?

18:37 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
Open the Appearances window

Download a theme from gnome-look-org

The theme should be name.tar.gz

Drag the theme.tar.gz onto the Appearance window.

Now select the new theme from the options.

Do I need a virus scanner, Adware scanner on Linux...?

18:33 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments

Viruses are rarely written for Linux and even if they are they only get the rights of the user.

On Windows you run as Administrator. Administrator = Root.

On Linux you do not run as Root but instead as a user.

The virus only gets the same privileges as the user, so can't do damage..

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How do I lock the computer?

18:28 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
If you want to go away and leave the computer busy doing something then


When you come back, shake your mouse or press the keys again, then enter password.

How do I install a program?

18:19 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
On Linux Mint first look in Software Manager (in the MintMenu)

If the software is here then it is perfectly compatible with Mint, select it and install.

If the program is a little less Mint specific you may find it in Package Manager (this may also be the case for more specific items not listed in Software Manager.

A short way to install things is via the terminal;

In Mint type

apt install programname

eg apt install firefox

In Ubuntu type

sudo apt-get install programname

eg sudo apt-get install firefox


If the program you want does not seem to be available then do a web search for programname .deb

A .deb file is originally suited to Debian Linux and Ubuntu and Mint are based on this, you may find a suitable .deb file for your version of Linux. Double click it once downloaded it opens with Gdebi.

If not in the Software Manager, not in Package Manager, not an available .deb file then you may find a .tar.gz

Download the .tar.gz and extract it, read the instructions in there and then read them again - this may work, it may not.


To install Windows programs

To remove a Linux program

Linux install Windows program

18:19 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
First see if a Linux version exists, it will not have the same name but can be found with a web search

eg ubuntu yahoo

If Linux has no version of your program then you may try WINE

See if your program is compatible with wine with this site.

Install wine

apt install wine

Now find your Windows program (should be an .exe) then right click it and choose "open with wine".

How do I enable the CUBE?

18:11 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
go to ccsm (Compiz Settings Manager) > Turn on "Cube" and turn on "Rotate Cube" > agree to questions it asks..

Now press CTRL+ALT+Right Arrow


Press CTRL+ALT+Click the desktop > now move the desktop with the mouse.


People with a middle mouse button may be able to middle click and move the cube (no extra buttons required)

How do I change workspace?

18:09 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
CTRL+ALT+Right Arrow

How do I move my panel to the top?

18:08 Posted by Leo Saumure 0 comments
Right click the panel > properties >