How to change Corsair keyboard backlight settings on Linux

Corsair keyboards are great for gaming on a PC, especially at night time, due to the excellent RGB backlight capabilities that they have. Users can easily change the Corsair keyboard backlight to display different colors and styles.

Through the Linux kernel, the Corsair line of gaming keyboards works pretty well. Media keys usually work, and the lighting patterns display correctly though, it’s not possible to configure and set the lighting on Linux through official software. Instead, users looking to customize the look and feel of the backlight need to install a custom tool called CKB-Next.

Install CKB Next on Linux

The CKB Next application is not installable via software sources on Linux. You won’t even find it available as an AppImage, Instead, installing this application requires building the program from scratch using a software compiler.

To start building CKB Next on your Linux operating system, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, once the command-line window is open, follow the terminal instructions that correspond with the Linux operating system you are currently using.

Dependencies

As mentioned earlier, CKB Next needs to be built from source to run. Installing software from source requires build-time dependencies. In this section, we’ll show you the various dependencies necessary to build the software successfully on various Linux OSes.

Ubuntu

On Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, 18.04 LTS, and newer, there’s a handful of dependencies required to build CKB Next. To start the installation, enter the Apt command below.

sudo apt install git build-essential cmake libudev-dev qt5-default zlib1g-dev libappindicator-dev libpulse-dev libquazip5-dev

Debian

The developers don’t specifically outline dependencies necessary for Debian Linux users. However, the web-page does list what to install on Ubuntu, and Debian Linux shares the same packages. To get these Ubuntu dependencies set up on your Debian Linux PC, enter the Apt-get command below.

sudo apt-get install git build-essential cmake libudev-dev qt5-default zlib1g-dev libappindicator-dev libpulse-dev libquazip5-dev

Arch Linux

Arch Linux has a few unofficial AUR packages available for those looking for an easy way to install CKB Next. However, the developer also lists dependencies on their GitHub so it can be compiled from source. In the terminal, enter the following Pacman command below to install the build-time dependencies needed to compile on Arch.

sudo pacman -S base-devel git cmake libsystemd qt5-base zlib libappindicator-gtk2 quazip libpulse

Fedora

All versions of Fedora Linux can build CKB Next, so long as they install the various build-time dependencies required by using the Dnf command below into a terminal window.

sudo dnf install gcc git gcc-c++ make cmake glibc zlib-devel qt5-qtbase-devel quazip-qt5-devel libappindicator-devel systemd-devel pulseaudio-libs-devel

OpenSUSE

No matter what version of OpenSUSE Linux you’re using, the CKB Next software can compile on it, provided the several build-time dependencies are installed. To get it working, run the following Zypper command below.

sudo zypper install git gcc gcc-c++ make cmake linux-glibc-devel zlib-devel libqt5-qtbase-devel libappindicator-devel systemd-devel libpulse-devel quazip-qt5-devel libudev-devel

Building the software

With the dependencies taken care of, use the Git command to clone the software directly from it’s GitHub repository.

git clone https://github.com/ckb-next/ckb-next.git

Once the code is done downloading, move into the code folder using the CD command.

cd ckb-next

It is time to build the CKB Next software on Linux. Thankfully, compiling the software code will not require dozens of commands. Instead, just run the “quickinstall” script included with the code.

./quickinstall

Once the CKB Next application is installed, you’ll need to reboot your Linux PC to finish the process. Upon login, your Linux PC will be using the Corsair CKB Next driver and will be able to configure the  Corsair keyboard backlight.

Change Corsair keyboard backlight settings

To change the Corsair keyboard backlight settings, start by opening up CKB Next for the first time. When the app is open, it should automatically detect the Corsair keyboard plugged into your Linux PC.

From here, locate the “Device” tab and click on it. Inside of the “Device” area, find “Status” and click the button next to it to update the firmware on it.

After updating your device’s firmware, find “Lighting” and click on it to access the keyboard backlight settings. Inside this area, look to the side-bar on the left to switch between some of the pre-programmed lighting settings.

To create a new lighting mode for your Corsair keyboard, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Find “New mode” and click it to create a new lighting mode.

Step 2: Write the name of the new mode on the keyboard to label it in CKB Next.

Step 3: Click on the furthest square from the left, and select the button with (255,255,255) to set the color for this square. Do the same for the other squares.

Step 4: Go back to the first square on the left, select it with the mouse and click “New animation.”

Use the animation configuration window to customize how you want the keyboard to animate this square. Be sure to do the same with the other two squares in the app.

Step 5: Select the new keyboard lighting mode you’ve just made on the sidebar, and click “Save to hardware” to apply it to your Corsair keyboard.

As soon as you install the new mode to your keyboard, it will start using it on Linux!

Read How to change Corsair keyboard backlight settings on Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to prevent Windows games from changing monitor resolution on Linux

A lot of Windows games, when running on Linux can manipulate the native display resolution of Linux desktop sessions and change them to the wrong size. Games switching resolutions is a severe annoyance, and it’s something that many Linux users would like to know how to fix. So, here’s how to prevent Windows games from changing monitor resolution on Linux.

Method 1 – change game display mode to windowed

One way to prevent Windows games you run on Linux via Wine is to go into the settings of the game itself and change it to “windowed” mode. To set your game in windowed mode, locate “Settings,” followed by “Video” and set it to “Windowed” mode.

Windows mode puts the game into a window, like every other program on your Linux desktop, which will prevent it from manipulating the display size (which windows games often do on Linux.)

Keep in mind that all games are different, and the game you are playing through Wine on Linux may not support non-fullscreen modes. If this is the case, you’ll need to try out some of the other method covered in this guide.

Method 2 – install games in Proton via SteamPlay

Proton and SteamPlay are technologies that Valve has been working on to vastly improve generic Wine on Linux, and how it handles video games. By far one of the best things about this new technology is that it requires little to no configuration, and also comes with several Linux fixes that enable Windows games to run better than they would on traditional Wine. There’s a lot less likelihood of these Windows games messing with your Linux desktop’s screen resolution while playing with SteamPlay.

Access SteamPlay/Proton on Linux

To install games through this method, all that’s required is that you install the latest release of Steam. To do this on Linux, head over to Pkgs.org and get the app working on your Linux OS of choice.

Once you’ve got the latest release of the Linux Steam client up and running, click here to follow our in-depth guide all about enabling SteamPlay on Linux. Then, search your Steam library for a game and click the “install” button to get it working with SteamPlay!

Method 3 – use Wine virtual desktop feature

Wine has a built-in feature called “virtual desktop.” When enabled, this feature can be used to generate a safe, Windows-like space to execute programs where none of the running applications interact with the Windows ones.

The virtual desktop feature isn’t very well-known to Linux users on Wine, and many don’t bother to mess with it because of it. However, if you’re running Windows games on Linux through Wine, and can’t use SteamPlay or enable windowed mode within the game, this is your best bet.

Before we begin

The virtual desktop feature in Wine is accessible in nearly every version of Wine — even old ones. That said, if you’re running into graphical issues when playing your Windows games, it’s a great idea to get Wine up to date, as it includes tons of graphical patches and improvements for gamers.

To update to the latest stable version of Wine, open up your Linux software updater and install all available software patches. Or, consider following our guide to learn how to upgrade from the version of Wine you’re currently running to version 4.

Detect your desktop resolution

The best way to use the Wine virtual desktop feature is to have it mimic the exact screen resolution of your monitor. So, before setting Wine’s virtual desktop to use your monitor’s resolution, you must figure out what it is.

Look inside of the display settings on your Linux desktop for “display,” or “resolution” and open it. It should print out the resolution. Or, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard and enter one of the commands below.

Xdpyinfo

xdpyinfo  | grep 'dimensions:'

Xrandr

xrandr | grep '*'

Keep the terminal window open, as it will have the display size information listed, as you will need it later.

Set Wine virtual desktop

All configuration for Wine is done inside of the Wine configuration app. To access this app, press Alt + F2 on the keyboard to open up the desktop quick-launcher. Then, write the following command into the launch window to access the Wine settings.

winecfg

With the Wine configuration settings window open, you’ll see several different tab pages to choose from. Locate the tab called “Graphics” and click on it with the mouse to access it.

On the “Graphics” page, locate “Emulate a virtual desktop” and check the box next to it to enable the feature. Then, move on down to the “Desktop size” area and write in your monitor’s display resolution.

Click the “Apply” button to change the settings and enable the Wine virtual desktop feature. Once enabled, all Windows games running on Linux will not be able to manipulate the screen resolution on your computer.

Read How to prevent Windows games from changing monitor resolution on Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to correct Ubuntu dependency errors

Dependency errors on Ubuntu happen when users install a third-party DEB package they’ve downloaded from the internet through the command-line, and the package manager can’t find the correct dependent packages required to run the program on Ubuntu. Though these kinds of issues come up less and less in 2019, due to most Ubuntu fans moving away from DEBs in favor of Snaps and Flatpaks, it’s still important to know what to do when an error like this comes up. So, in this guide, we’ll show you how to fix dependency errors on Ubuntu.

Note: though this guide focuses on fixing dependency issues on Ubuntu Linux, the information we cover is also applicable to Linux Mint, Elementary OS, Zorin OS, and any other Ubuntu-like operating system out there. Feel free to follow along if you use any of these Ubuntu-based distros!

What is a software dependency?

A software dependency is a general term used on Linux to mean necessary programs, libraries, codecs, and other items that are required by a given application to run correctly. Usually, the developer handles these important files by bundling them within the package. However, sometimes, developers do not bundle software dependencies, and instead, they rely on the Ubuntu software sources to provide it for them.

Correcting dependency errors with Apt

The most straight-forward way to correct dependency errors on Ubuntu Linux is with the default package manager: Apt. To start the correction, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Once the command-line window is open, use the command below to fix the errors.

sudo apt install -f

Upon running the install command above, Ubuntu’s package manager will try to fix the dependency issues you are facing, and print out the changes it’s going to make. Read through the on-screen prompt that the terminal prints out. Then, when you’re done reading the on-screen prompt, press Y on the keyboard to continue.

Let the Apt packaging tool install the various software dependencies required to set your program up. Alternatively, if Apt can’t find any of the missing software dependencies it needs to work, it will automatically uninstall the app. If this is the case, consider trying to find the app through other means, rather than a DEB package.

Correcting dependency errors with Synaptic

Solving dependency errors through Apt and the command-line usually works pretty well. That said, if you’re not a fan of that method, there’s another way: Synaptic package manager.

To get your hands on Synaptic package manager on Ubuntu to solve dependency errors, you’ll need to install the application. Open up a terminal window with Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T. Then, use the command below to install the app on your system.

Note: It is also possible to install Synaptic by searching Ubuntu Software Center for “Synaptic.”

sudo apt install synaptic

After installing the Synaptic package manager on Ubuntu, launch the application, and enter your user’s password to gain access to the app. Then, follow the step-by-step instructions below to learn how to solve dependency errors with it.

Step 1: Look in the Synaptic package manager for the “Search” button and select it to access the search function in the app.

Step 2: Type the name of the app with broken dependencies into the search box. For example, if you’ve installed the Discord DEB package, you’d write “discord” in the search box.

Step 3: Look through the search results in Synaptic for the app with missing dependency files, and select it with the mouse.

Step 4: Find the “Edit” menu in the Synaptic package manager window, and click it to reveal the options inside. Once the menu is open, select the “Fix Broken Packages” button.

Step 5: Find the “Apply” button and select it to tell Synaptic to go forward with the dependency resolving process.

The fix feature will go out and collect all missing software dependencies the program needs. When the process is done, your errors are solved, and the app is ready to use!

Ways to avoid dependency errors on Ubuntu

Dependency errors on Ubuntu can easily be avoided by following this simple rule: only install software from the official Ubuntu software sources. Don’t be tempted to download random DEB packages, unless you need them. Ubuntu has an enormous amount of free, open source, and proprietary software. There shouldn’t be any reason to download DEB packages off the internet (especially since a lot of these come with problematic dependency issues.)

Getting the software from outside of the Ubuntu software sources is sometimes necessary. Even with Ubuntu’s vast amount of apps to install, some slip through the cracks. If you need to get your hands on an app not found in the traditional Ubuntu software sources, consider looking for a Snap or Flatpak version instead, as they never have dependency issues, and get regular updates directly from the developers.

Read How to correct Ubuntu dependency errors by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to fix Ubuntu not detecting Windows 10 partition during install

Many Ubuntu Linux users choose to dual-boot the Linux-based operating system with Microsoft Windows 10, either by selecting it during the installation when setting up Ubuntu or after the fact, by loading it up with Grub.

Most of the time, Ubuntu can detect and set up Microsoft Windows 10 automatically, with no fuss at all. However, in some rare cases, the Ubuntu Linux operating system can’t find Windows 10 and cause problems for those trying to set up a dual-boot.

If you’re trying to set up Ubuntu Linux and Windows 10 on the same system, and you can’t figure out why Ubuntu won’t detect it, we can help. Here’s to how to fix Ubuntu not detecting Windows 10!

Fix Ubuntu not detecting Windows 10 during installation

The Ubuntu installation tool scans for alternative operating systems during the installation. Usually, a separate hard drive running Windows 10, or a Windows 10 partition is automatically detected with Os-Prober, a sophisticated operating system scanning tool. If Windows 10 isn’t recognized, it likely means that Windows 10 wasn’t shut down correctly and needs some quick maintenance before the Ubuntu installer will be able to see it.

Close the Ubuntu Linux installation tool and reboot into your Windows 10 PC. From there, follow the step-by-step instructions to clean your Windows 10 installation.

Step 1: Upon logging into Windows 10, make your way to the “My Computer” section and locate the main “C:\” hard drive.

Step 2: Right-click on the “C:\” hard drive with the mouse, locate the “Properties”  option and select it to open up the C:\ drive’s settings area.

Step 3: In the settings area, find “Tools” and select the “Check” button under “Error checking.”

Step 4: Selecting “Check” will tell Windows 10 to automatically scan the C:\ drive for errors, and fix them if they’re present.

Step 5: Open up the Windows 10 Command-prompt window in the app menu. Then, once the “Command Prompt” app shows up in the menu, right-click on it and select “Run as administrator.”

Step 6: When the User Account Control prompt opens up on the screen, saying, “Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device,” select “Yes.” Choosing “Yes” will give you access to a command prompt window with system-level access.

With the command line open, run the chkdsk command below. Keep in mind that this should only be run if the “Error checking” scan in step 4 found no errors at all.

chkdsk C: /F

Step 7: After running the chkdsk command, a prompt will appear in the command-line, letting you know you need to reboot to run the command. Select “Y” to restart.

Step 8: Let the chkdsk command run. When it finishes running, boot into Windows 10.

Once you’ve loaded Windows 10 back up, click “Shutdown” to turn it off safely. Then, plug in the Ubuntu USB stick, and boot to it to re-try installing Ubuntu. The installation app should now detect Windows 10 in the installation process.

Fix Ubuntu not detecting Windows 10 after Ubuntu is installed

Not every user that intends to dual-boot Windows 10 and Ubuntu plans to install the operating systems on the same hard drive. Many Linux users have two hard drives: one for Linux and one for Windows 10.

If you’ve installed Ubuntu onto your PC, the Ubuntu installer should detect the Windows 10 hard drive automatically. If it doesn’t, here’s how to fix it.

Step 1: Boot into Ubuntu Linux on your PC. Once booted, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard.

Step 2: Use the lsblk command to detect what your Windows PC’s drive label is, as well as the partition names. In this example, it will be “/dev/sdb”, and the partitions we’ll work with are “/dev/sdb1”, “/dev/sdb2”, “/dev/sdb3”, and “/dev/sdb4”.

Step 3: Run the fsck tool on each of the partitions on the Windows 10 drive to clean out any dirty bits on the drive. Be sure to replace each instance of “/dev/sdb” with your actual Windows 10 partition names.

sudo fsck -y /dev/sdb1
sudo fsck -y /dev/sdb2

sudo fsck -y /dev/sdb3

sudo fsck -y /dev/sdb4

Step 4: Install the Os-prober package to Ubuntu Linux using the Apt command below.

sudo apt install os-prober

Step 5: In the terminal, using the update-grub command, force Ubuntu to manually update your bootloader.

sudo update-grub

Step 6: Watch the terminal prompt, and make sure that Ubuntu detects Windows 10. You’ll know Os-prober works if you see it in the output. If the update-grub command doesn’t recognize your Windows 10 hard drive, the fsck command may not be enough. Consider booting into the Windows 10 drive with your BIOS, run chkdsk, and then re-run the update-grub command.

Step 7: Reboot your Ubuntu installation. During the boot process, take a look at the Grub bootloader. If the process is successful, Ubuntu will have detected Windows 10 and added it as a boot option!

Read How to fix Ubuntu not detecting Windows 10 partition during install by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to fix media keys not working on Linux

Lots of desktop keyboards have media playback buttons the user can use to pause, stop, skip and play music with the press of a button. For the most part, the Linux kernel, and Linux operating systems have support for these devices, due to increased Linux driver development over the years. That said, not every single keyboard’s media keys are supported out of the box, and that’s a real shame.

If you’re looking to get your play, pause, stop, and skip buttons on the keyboard to work with your favorite open-source media players, you’ve come to the right place. Follow along as we show you how to fix media keys not working on Linux!

Installing Playerctl

Playerctl is essential for enabling media keys functionality on keyboards which aren’t natively supported on Linux. Playerctl supports most Mpris-based music players, which means when bound to your media keys, will be able to control the playback of Spotify, Clementine, Google Music Player Desktop, and many, many others.

Installing Playerctl is necessary before we begin, as the software isn’t pre-installed on any Linux distributions out of the box. To get it working, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T, then follow the command-line instructions that correspond with the distribution you currently use.

Ubuntu

On Ubuntu Linux, Playerctl is only available to 19.04 users. So, if you plan to fix media keys and are on an older release of Ubuntu (like 18.04 LTS or 16.04 LTS), it may be time to upgrade.

To install the application on Ubuntu, use the following apt command.

sudo apt install playerctl

Debian

Debian Linux users have access to Playerctl in the “Main” software repository, provided they upgrade to version 10 of the operating system. So, if you haven’t already, upgrade from version 9 to 10. Then, use the apt-get command below to install Playerctl.

sudo apt-get install playerctl

Arch Linux

The Arch Linux “Community” software repository provides Playerctl, so, to install it, ensure this repo is set up in your Pacman configuration file. Once the software repository is enabled, use the installation command below to get it going.

sudo pacman -S playerctl

Fedora

Fedora Linux has Playerctl in the primary software repository for versions 29 and 30. To install, open up a terminal window and use the Dnf command below.

sudo dnf instlal playerctl

OpenSUSE

OpenSUSE Tumbleweed and Leap both have access to Playerctl via the Oss all software repository. To install Playerctl, no configuration is required. Instead, launch a terminal window and enter the following command below.

sudo zypper install playerctl

Basic Playerctl functions

Playerctl can be used to do many things with Mpris-enabled media players on Linux. Here’s a list of the functions, and how to use them.

  • playerctl play – starts media playback. Perfect to set on a dedicated “play” button.
  • playerctl pause – pauses media playback. Useful for those with a dedicated pause button.
  • playerctl play-pause – a combination command that pauses and resumes media playback. An ideal command to bind to a play/pause media key.
  • playerctl stop – stops the playback of media. Often not necessary to bind, unless the user has a dedicated “stop” media key.
  • playerctl next – skips to the next media item in the playlist and automatically plays it. Good to bind to the “next” button.
  • playerctl previous – skips to the previous media item in the playlist, and automatically plays it. Ideal for binding to the “back” media key.

Aside from the basic player functions in the list above, Playerctl does more things. For more information, type man playerctl in the command-line to view the program instruction manual. Or, save the manual to a readable text file with:

man playerctl > ~/playerctl-manual.txt

Assign Playerctl functions on media keys in Linux

Now that the Playerctl app is installed on your Linux PC and you’re aware of their basic command-line functions let’s bind some functions to the media keys.

Gnome Shell

Step 1: Press the Windows key on the keyboard, and search for “keyboard,” and open up the app with that name.

Step 2: Scroll to the bottom of the shortcut list and click “+.”

Step 3: Name your custom shortcut by typing the name in the “Name” box.

Step 4:  Refer to the “basic commands” list in this article, and fill out the command you’d like to bind in the “command” box.

Step 5: Click “set shortcut,” and press the media key you’d like to bind the command to on Gnome.

Step 6: Click “Add” to apply the shortcut.

Repeat this process to bind each of the functions to all of your media keys.

KDE Plasma 5

Step 1: Press the Windows key on the keyboard, search for “custom shortcuts” and open up the app with that name.

Step 2: Find “Edit,” and click it with the mouse. Then select “New,” followed by “Global Shortcut,” and finally, “Command/URL.”

Step 3: Select “Action” and write out the playerctl command you wish to add to the shortcut. Refer to the “basic commands” list above if you need help.

Step 4: Choose “Trigger” and press the media key on the keyboard you wish to bind the command to.

Step 5: Select “Comment” and write the name of the custom shortcut.

Step 6: Click apply to set up the shortcut.

Repeat this process to bind all of the media functions to KDE Plasma 5.

Mate

Step 1: Open up system settings, find “Keyboard Shortcuts” and select it to access the Mate keyboard shortcuts area.

Step 2: Find “+ Add” and select it to create a new keyboard shortcut.

Step 3: Under “Name” write the name of the shortcut you’d like to create. Then, select “Command” and write in one of the commands listed in “basic commands.”

Step 4: Click “Apply” to add the new shortcut to Mate.

Step 5: Locate the custom shortcut you’ve just made in Mate. Then, double-click on the “disabled” area to re-bind it to a media key.

Repeat this process to bind all of the Playerctl commands on Mate.

XFCE4

Step 1: Open up the XFCE4 system settings by pressing Alt + F2 and writing in the command below.

xfce4-settings-manager

Step 2: Find “Add” and click it to create a new custom shortcut.

Step 3: Look to the “basic commands” list and write in the playerctl command you wish to add to the new shortcut.

Step 4: Press the media key you wish to bind the command to.

Step 5: Select “Close” to close the shortcut window, and your new shortcut should instantly be working.

Repeat this process as many times as necessary to set up Playctl on XFCE4.

Read How to fix media keys not working on Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter