How to install the ULauncher quick-launch app on Linux

Ulauncher is an excellent application launcher that when installed, makes it very easy to find and launch your files, quickly open websites, find programs to open, calculate math problems, and more.

This app isn’t the first app launcher for Linux we’ve covered on Addictivetips. In fact, in the past, we talked a few before. Still, Ulauncher stands out and is worth talking about due to how fast it is.

Install ULauncher on Linux

There are a few ways to install Ulauncher, depending on the Linux distribution you use. On Ubuntu, there is a dedicated PPA. For Arch, there’s an AUR package, while on Fedora and OpenSUSE there is a downloadable RPM package.

Ubuntu

As mentioned earlier, there’s a dedicated PPA available for Ubuntu users looking to install ULauncher. To enable this PPA, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard.  Then, use the add-apt-repository command to enable the new repo on your system.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:agornostal/ulauncher

Following adding the new PPA to your Ubuntu system, you’ll have to run the update command, as Ubuntu’s software must be refreshed for the new ULauncher PPA to work.

sudo apt update

After running the update command, go ahead and run the upgrade command to see if you have any pending software updates or patches.

sudo apt upgrade -y

Finally, use the apt install command to get the latest version of Ulauncher on Ubuntu.

sudo apt install ulauncher

Debian

ULauncher has support for Debian, though the PPA won’t work. Instead, if you want to use the app on your system, you must manually download the DEB package file from the developer’s website.

To grab the latest ULauncher package from the internet, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, use the wget downloader tool to start the download.

wget https://github.com/Ulauncher/Ulauncher/releases/download/4.4.0.r1/ulauncher_4.4.0.r1_all.deb

With the download complete, it’s time to install the software on Debian Linux with the dpkg command in the terminal.

sudo dpkg -i ulauncher_4.4.0.r1_all.deb

Finally, finish up the installation process by correcting and fixing any dependencies that may not have been set up correctly during the Dpkg process.

sudo apt install -f

Arch Linux

There’s an AUR package of ULauncher ready to install, however, in this guide, we’ll go over installing Trizen instead. The main reason to do this is that Trizen is an AUR helper, and will take care of the dependencies automatically.

To start the installation of Trizen, use the Pacman package manager to install the Git and Base-devel packages on Arch.

sudo pacman -S git base-devel

Following the installation of the two packages above with Pacman, use the Git tool to download the latest AUR build of Trizen to your Arch PC.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/trizen.git

Install Trizen with makepkg.

cd trizen
makepkg -sri

Finally, use the Trizen tool to install ULauncher on your Arch Linux PC.

trizen -S ulauncher

Fedora

To get ULauncher on Fedora Linux, you can download the RPM package file directly from the website, with the wget downloader tool.

wget https://github.com/Ulauncher/Ulauncher/releases/download/4.4.0.r1/ulauncher_4.4.0.r1_fedora.rpm

With the package done downloading, you’ll be able to install the ULauncher application very quickly with the Dnf package manager.

sudo dnf install ulauncher_4.4.0.r1_fedora.rpm -y

OpenSUSE

Thanks to the RPM release, every OpenSUSE Linux release has the ability to install the latest version of ULauncher. To do this on your system, open up a terminal window and use the wget downloader to grab the newest package from the internet.

wget https://github.com/Ulauncher/Ulauncher/releases/download/4.4.0.r1/ulauncher_4.4.0.r1_fedora.rpm

After you’re done downloading the ULauncher package onto your OpenSUSE PC, it’s time to install it to the system. To do this, use the Zypper command below.

sudo zypper install ulauncher_4.4.0.r1_suse.rpm

Use ULauncher

To start using ULauncher, open up your application menu, search for “ulauncher” and open it up to start up the app. Immediately after it starts up, ULauncher will inform you that the shortcut to access it is Ctrl + Space.

Press the keyboard combination (Ctrl + Space) to bring up the ULauncher window. From there, start typing, and the app will show you results, such as installed applications, emoji, suggested websites, etc.

After you’re satisfied with the search result, press Enter to access it immediately. Or, use your arrow keys to sort through results.

Start ULauncher at login

Want to have access to ULauncher as soon as you log into your Linux PC? Here’s what to do. First, open up a terminal window. Then, use the CD command to move the session to the /usr/share/applications/ folder.

cd /usr/share/applications/

Make a copy of the ULauncher app and put it in your startup folder with the cp command.

cp ulauncher.desktop ~/.config/autostart/

Upon login, ULauncher should instantly start up!

Read How to install the ULauncher quick-launch app on Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to change the screensaver on XFCE

The XFCE desktop environment, for as good as it is, still fundamentally is built on older technology than ones like Gnome Shell or KDE Plasma 5. This fact especially shows with its choice to go with screensavers, rather than a modern, lock-screen way of doing things. Still, though using a screensaver may be considered outdated, XFCE4 does it well by offering users Xscreensaver, an easily configurable and customizable screensaver tool.

Change the screensaver

To tweak your screensaver options on the XFCE desktop, you’ll need to access the main settings window. To gain access to this area, open up the application menu, and click on the settings icon. Alternatively, press Alt + F2 on the keyboard to bring up the quick-launch menu. Then, write “xfce4-settings-manager” and press Enter to open up settings instantly.

With the main settings window open on the XFCE desktop, scroll through the list of options on the screen until you find “Screensaver.” Double-click on the “Screensaver” icon to access the configuration area for XFCE and Xscreensaver.

In the screensaver settings for XFCE, you’ll see a whole lot of different options to choose from. Ignore all of the options and look for the list on the right. In this list, there are several different screensavers to choose from. Feel free to uncheck boxes to screensavers for ones you don’t want.

Or, to set Xscreensaver only to use one screensaver, find the “Mode” menu and click on the drop-down arrow. From here, look through the menu and change it from “Random Screen Saver,” to “Only One Screensaver.”

Once the Xscreensaver system is set to “Only One Screensaver,” go through the list of different screensavers on the left and select the screensaver you’d like to use on XFCE with the Xscreensaver system.

Change screensaver triggers

By default, the XFCE screensaver is configured to activate after about 10 minutes of inactivity. For a lot of users, 10 minutes is too soon, as many often sit at their computers, reading something only to be interrupted by a screensaver.

If the default time limit annoys you, you’ll be happy to know that it’s possible to tweak and change the time that Xscreensaver activates. To do this, open up the screensaver settings in XFCE, and make your way to “Blank After” area at the bottom left portion of the window.

To set the screensaver activation time, click the text-box, and change it from 10 minutes to a higher number. Then, close the window as the settings will apply themselves to the system automatically.

Screensaver change interval

If you’re using XScreensaver on XFCE and you have “Random Screensaver” enabled, but don’t like how quickly the system cycles between individual screensavers, you can change it by going to the “Cycle After” settings for Xscreensaver.

To access the “Cycle After” settings, open up the XFCE settings on your Linux desktop and go to the Xscreensaver settings and look for “Cycle After” at the bottom of the window, under the “Blank After” area.

The default settings for Xscreensaver to change from one screensaver to another is about 10 minutes. If you want the system to do this quicker, change the number to something lower than 10 minutes. Or, to have it change slower, change it to a number higher than 10 minutes.

Once the new number is added to “Cycle After” in the Xscreensaver settings, the system should automatically adopt the latest changes.

Disable the screensaver

You may want to disable the Xscreensaver system altogether from your XFCE desktop environment if you hate screensavers, and don’t want to see weird shapes and videos playing when your computer goes into idle mode. It’s understandable; screensavers aren’t for everyone.

There are two ways to shut off the Xscreensaver system on XFCE. In this section, we’ll show you both ways to do it.

Method 1 – Turn off Xscreensaver entirely

To shut off Xscreensaver so that the system doesn’t go into effect ever, open up the screensaver settings in XFCE. Then, from there, locate the “Mode” drop-down menu button and click it with the mouse to reveal options.

In the options menu, find “Disable Screen Saver” and select it to shut off Xscreensaver for your XFCE desktop environment permanently.

When you’ve set it to “Disable Screen Saver,” close the window to finish applying the settings.

Method 2 – Disable animations but keep Xscreensaver

Want to disable the weird animations that Xscreensaver plays when your PC is idle but maintain the locking function? If so, here’s what to do. First, open up the Screensaver settings for XFCE and click on the “Mode” drop-down menu with the mouse.

Look through the “Mode” drop-down menu for “Blank Screen Only” and set Xscreensaver to it, so that the system will lock your screen but not play animations.

Once Xscreensaver is set to “Blank Screen Only,” close the window.

Read How to change the screensaver on XFCE by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to install Chromium on Linux

Chromium is the open source equivalent to Google’s closed-source web browser. It is highly considered the best way to go on Linux if you’re a fan of Google’s Chrome web browser, but have issues with privacy, and tracking. It is also a good alternative for those that prefer the free software approach, as the entire Chromium source code is readily available for modification and tweaking.

Many users find themselves needing to install Chromium on Linux, primarily since a lot of distributions do not officially support Google Chrome. Thankfully, even though the Chromium browser is open source, it doesn’t lack features many have come to love in traditional Chrome. Better yet, nearly every mainstream Linux OS on the market makes it incredibly easy to install, as the code is open and free to distribute. In this guide, we’ll show you how you can install Chromium on Linux.

Ubuntu

To install the Chromium browser on Ubuntu Linux, you’ll first need to enable the Ubuntu Universe software repository. To enable this software repository, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, use the add-apt-repository command to turn on “Universe.”

sudo add-apt-repository universe

With the Ubuntu Universe software repository up and running, it’s time to run the update command, so that Ubuntu can check for new software updates, and download the new Universe release file.

sudo apt update

Following the update command, do yourself a favor and run the upgrade command, as installing pending software patches will ensure that Ubuntu is running at it’s best, which will help Chromium.

sudo apt upgrade -y

Finally, after running the upgrade command, you can install the Chromium browser package using the apt install command.

sudo apt install chromium-browser -y

Debian

Chromium is available to Debian users, though, depending on the release of Debian you are using, will determine how new the browser is. For example, in version 10, the latest release of Chromium is ready to install. While version 9 only has version 70.

Getting the Chromium browser installed on Debian Linux is made possible through the “Main” software repository. To get it working, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, use the apt-get command to install the latest Chromium package on Debian.

sudo apt-get install chromium

Alternatively, if you’re using Debian 9 and you want a newer release of Chromium than version 70, feel free to skip this section and install the Snap package release of the app. Or, learn how to enable Debian Backports on your system.

Arch Linux

The latest release of the Chromium web browser is up in Arch Linux’s package repositories. To gain access to this browser, you’ll need to open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, use the Pacman package tool to sync down the “chromium” package.

sudo pacman -S chromium

Want the development release of Chromium? As it turns out, the Arch Linux User Repository has a package available. To install, point your favorite AUR helper to this package here.

Fedora

Fedora Linux has always carried Chromium in their package repositories, because it’s an open-source focused Linux distribution, and the browser meets the requirements of not including any closed-source technology. If you’re a Fedora user looking to get your hands on Chromium, you’ll need to open up your favorite terminal app and enter the Dnf command below.

sudo dnf install chromium

OpenSUSE

Just like the other popular Linux distributions out there, OpenSUSE has the Chromium browser in their software sources, and you’ll be able to install it with relative ease by entering the following Zypper command into a terminal window.

sudo zypper install chromium

It should be noted that certain releases of OpenSUSE Linux may not have the latest release of Chromium. If you need the absolute most recent version of the browser, consider trying out the Snap instructions instead.

Snap

Thanks to the people behind Ubuntu, the Chromium web browser is available as a Snap package. The Snap release is excellent news for people on Linux distributions that may not carry Chromium in their package repositories, or don’t offer up the latest version, for whatever reason.

To get your hands on the Snap release of Chromium, Snapd must be installed. Thankfully, Snapd isn’t tricky to get running, as nearly every Linux distribution at this point supports it. For more information, click here.

Note: can’t get Snapd working on your Linux distro? Consider using Ubuntu instead.

Assuming you have the Snapd runtime up and running on your Linux PC, you’ll be able to quickly install the Chromium web browser from the Snap store with the snap install command.

sudo snap install chromium

Read How to install Chromium on Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to install Oracle VM Virtualbox 6 on Debian 10

Debian 10 is almost ready to transition to the newest Stable release of Debian Linux. However, since it’s relatively new, some apps that users come to expect on Debian via software repositories aren’t yet ready. One of the biggest apps not yet officially supporting Debian 10 with a dedicated software repository is Oracle VM VirtualBox. Currently, the website only has a repo for Debian 9 and older releases. So, if you rely on VirtualBox and are a Debian 10 user, you’ll need to look to other ways to get Virtualbox 6 on Debian 10.

Note: this method involves enabling third-party software sources on Debian. If you prefer to use Virtualbox another way, click on “All Linux” on the VirtualBox website for more info.

Enable the repo

As of writing this post, the best way to get VirtualBox 6 on Debian 10 is with the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS software repository. Not to say that Oracle won’t create a standalone Debian Buster repo in the future, but if you want regular updates, this is the way to go.

To enable the repo, start by creating a backup of your sources list. This backup will ensure that in the event anything goes wrong your repos are safe.

su -

cp /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources.list.bak

With everything backed up, open up the sources file in the Nano text editor.

nano -w /etc/apt/sources.list

Scroll to the bottom of the file and find an open space. Then press Enter on the keyboard to create a new line. On the new line, add the code below. This line of code is a comment, which will remind you what repository you are adding.

# VirtualBox Ubuntu Repo

Press Enter a second time under the code you just added and paste in the second line of code in the file. In this line, you’ll add in the actual software repository.

deb [arch=amd64] http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/debian bionic contrib

From here, you can save the Sources.list file in Nano by pressing Ctrl + O on the keyboard. Then, when your changes are successfully saved, close the editor by pressing Ctrl + X.

Set up the repo key

The new VirtualBox software repository is set up on Debian Linux, but it’s not ready to use yet, as the repo doesn’t have the signed GPG key set up. Without this key, your Debian system will refuse to refresh the repo, going so far as to call it a security risk.

To get the key working, you must first download it from Oracle. Open up a terminal and move to the /tmp directory with CD. Then, grab the key file.

cd /tmp
wget https://www.virtualbox.org/download/oracle_vbox_2016.asc

Using the apt-key command, load in the oracle_vbox_2016.asc file to your Debian 10 system.

sudo apt-key add oracle_vbox_2016.asc

With the repo key up and running on Debian 10, move on to the next step in the guide.

Refreshing software sources

Now that the VirtualBox software repository is set up, and the key file is loaded into the system, it’s time to update Debian to finish setting up the software repository. To do this, you need to run the apt-get update command.

sudo apt-get update

Assuming you set up the key file on your Linux PC correctly, Debian’s package management system will let you refresh everything, and the VirtualBox software repository will be working on Debian 10. To finish up, run the upgrade command to install any pending system upgrades.

sudo apt-get upgrade -y

Install VirtualBox

Installing Oracle VM VirtualBox is very easy to do on Debian 10 now that the software repository is set up, the key is working, and everything is up to date. To get the software, open up a terminal and enter the command below.

apt-get install virtualbox-6*

Along with having the absolute latest release of VirtualBox, you’ll also be able to install version 5.2 and 5.1 with:

apt-get install virtualbox-5.2*

Or

apt-get install virtualbox-5.1*

When the Debian package manager finishes downloading and installing packages, VirtualBox will be ready to use!

Uninstall VirtualBox

Don’t want to use VirtualBox on your Debian 10 system anymore? Here’s how to quickly get rid of it. First, open up a terminal window and uninstall the package from the system.

su -
apt-get remove virtualbox-6* --purge

Or

apt-get remove virtualbox-5.2* --purge

Or

apt-get remove virtualbox-5.1* --purge

Next, you need to delete your current Sources.list file from the system using the rm command.

cd /etc/apt/

rm sources.list

Following getting rid of the sources file, move the sources.list.bak file so it is now the new sources.list file.

mv sources.list.bak sources.list

Run the update command to refresh Debian 10’s software sources.

apt update

Uninstall any VirtualBox dependencies that remain installed (if any) using the autoremove command.

apt-get autoremove

Read How to install Oracle VM Virtualbox 6 on Debian 10 by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to install Linux apps on Chrome OS

Google has recently added support for Linux applications in a container to Gentoo Linux-based Chrome OS, effectively giving users the ability to install open source apps if they so choose.

Linux apps aren’t yet standard on all Chromebooks, and Chrome computers, so you’ll need to enable the features manually. However, when this feature is set up correctly, you’ll be able to install apps with Apt-get (Ubuntu/Debian package manager) and even Flatpaks from Flathub!

Note: the Linux app feature on Chrome OS is a work in progress, and not all Chromebooks support it yet.  You may run into issues with sound, drivers, etc. Use these apps at your own risk!

Developer channel on Chrome OS

Before being able to access Linux apps on Chrome OS, it’s important to switch over to the development channel. With the development channel active, it’ll give you the latest updates related to this Linux technology.

WARNING! By switching your Chromebook to the development channel, you’ll be erasing everything currently on it. Files, settings and unsaved information will be deleted. Be sure to save and back up everything before continuing!

To switch to the developer channel on your Chromebook, click on the time menu at the bottom right-hand area of the screen. From there, click on the settings gear icon. Then, select the menu icon. In the menu area of Chrome OS, scroll down and look for “About Chrome OS.” After that, click on “Detailed build information.”

Under the build information for your Chromebook, it’ll display what channel you are currently using. For most consumers, this is going to be the “Stable” channel. To change it to the development one, select “Change channel.” Then, in the options click “dev.”

Upon clicking “dev channel,” your Chromebook will download an update. Let the update download to your Chrome device. When the update is done downloading, you’ll be asked to restart your device. Do so.

As Chrome OS comes back online, you’ll be using the dev channel!

Enable Linux app support

To enable the Linux features on your Chromebook, you’ll need to go back into settings. To get to settings, click on the time menu at the right-hand section of the screen. Then, click the gear icon to access the settings area.

Inside of settings for your Chromebook, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page till you locate the “Linux” menu option, use it to enable the Linux feature on Chrome OS.

Once the Chrome OS Linux feature is set up on your Chromebook, the system will walk you through installing the Linux container. Don’t skip this step! Without the container, it won’t be possible to run Linux apps on Chrome OS!

When Linux app support is fully functional, Chome OS should automatically open up a terminal for you to use. Alternatively, it is possible to launch the terminal by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T on the keyboard.

Enable Flatpak

Enabling Linux app support on Chrome OS means that you’ll be able to install Ubuntu applications through the Apt package manager. However, this isn’t the only form of software that is possible through the Linux container on Chrome OS. In fact, it’s also possible to set it up to install Linux apps via the Flatpak universal Linux packaging format.

To get apps working through Flatpak on Chrome OS, you’ll need to have the Flatpak app installed on Chrome OS. To do this, open up the Chrome terminal with Ctrl + Alt + T. Then, use the Apt package manager to install the Flatpak runtime.

sudo apt-get install flatpak

With the Flatpak runtime installed in your Chrome OS container, it’s time to subscribe your Flatpak system to the Flathub software store. To do this, use the flatpak command below.

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

Install Linux apps on Chrome OS – Apt-get

Installing applications on Chrome OS via the Apt package manager is quite easy, and it works as if you were using Ubuntu. To install an application, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Use the search command to search for a program you’d like to install.

apt-get search program-name

Step 2: Look through the search results and find the name of the package you’d like to install on your Chromebook. Keep in mind that you can install several packages at a time with the same command.

Step 3: Take the name of the package(s) and plug them into the following install command to get the app working.

sudo apt-get install program1 program2 program3

Install Linux apps on Chrome OS – Flatpak

Installing apps via Flatpak on Chrome OS is a little easier than with Apt, as you can use the Flathub website to more easily search for applications to install. To learn how to get apps working on your Chromebook, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Open up the Chrome terminal with Ctrl + Alt + T.

Step 2: Go to Flathub.org, click on “search” and find the program you’d like to install. Then, click on the app icon to go to the app’s page.

Step 3: Copy the terminal command at the bottom of the app page and paste it into the terminal to install your app on Chrome OS!

Read How to install Linux apps on Chrome OS by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter