How to browse the hard drive from the terminal in Linux

The fastest way to browse the hard drive from terminal in Linux is with the ls and cd command. The primary reason why it’s a good idea to use this method to browse your Linux hard drive quickly is that both of these commands come standard with the Linux desktop. There is no software to install, and the whole process of moving through the file system is very straightforward. Here’s how it works.

The ls and cd commands

Ls – shows the contents of any given directory. It can also be made to show hidden files with ls -a.

Cd – can change the working directory of the terminal shell to another directory.

So, for example, if you need to view a file in the “/opt” folder, you would first use the cd command to move to the “/opt” folder from the working directory the terminal starts in (home).

cd /opt

Once inside of the “/opt” directory, the ls command can be called in to show the contents of the folder, exposing the various files and sub-directories that you may want to access.

ls

It is also possible to browse backward with the cd command. For example, if you need to move from “/opt/sub-folder-1/” back one directory to “/opt” cd .. can be used.

cd ..

Terminal based file manager

The ls/cd browsing method is very basic and will allow users to move to through a Linux file system with ease, but it doesn’t offer advanced features such as the quick opening of files, or fast navigation. Also, typing out cd/ls over and over to move through a hard drive to access specific files and folders can be very tedious, and not the best method for impatient Linux users.

Another way to browse the Linux file system in the terminal is with a text-based file manager such as Midnight Commander or Ranger.

Midnight Commander

Midnight Commander is the go-to text-based file manager for many Linux users who need to browse a Linux file system through a terminal window. The reason it’s so popular? The user interface is colorful, easy to understand, and even Linux users who are new to the platform can figure out how to use it very quickly!

Install Midnight Commander

Midnight Commander has been around for quite a while in the Linux world, so virtually every distribution has it in their software repositories. To install it, open up a terminal window with Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, follow the command-line instructions below to get the app installed.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install mc

Debian

sudo apt-get install mc

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S mc

Fedora

sudo dnf install mc

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install mc

Browsing with MC

With the Midnight Commander application installed, launch it from the terminal by entering the mc command.

mc

Once you open up the Midnight Commander app, a text-based file manager UI will appear on screen with two panels. From here, use your mouse (if you have one) and click on the folder you’d like to access. To go back a folder, click on “/..”.

To access some of the more advanced Midnight Commander functions press Alt + 2, select the option you want to execute in the menu with the mouse or up/down arrows, and press Enter to select your choice.

To access any of the special operations in the bottom bar of Midnight Commander, press Alt + 1 – 10.

Ranger

Ranger is another popular file manager for the Linux terminal. It lacks a lot of the more advanced features that Midnight Commander has, but it’s perfect for browsing files and folders on Linux through the command line.

Installing Ranger

Ranger is a well-known text-based file manager, so it’ll be easy to get going on most Linux operating systems. To install it on your computer, open up a terminal window with Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T and follow the command-line instructions below that match the OS you use.

Ubuntu

sudo add-apt-repository universe
sudo apt update
sudo apt install ranger

Debian

sudo apt-get install ranger

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S ranger

Fedora

sudo dnf install ranger

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install ranger

Browsing with Ranger

To browse your Linux hard drive from the terminal with Ranger, start by writing the ranger command in a terminal, and it’ll launch in your home directory (~).

ranger

With Ranger open, use the left arrow key to go back a folder level, or the right arrow key to open a folder. Use the up arrow or down arrow to highlight any file you’d like to access, and Ranger will instantly launch it in the default program, or display it if it’s a text file.

Note: in addition to the arrow keys, it’s possible to open folders and files by clicking with the mouse.

To close the Ranger file manager, press Q.

Read How to browse the hard drive from the terminal in Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to set up a backup snapshot on Linux Mint

A backup snapshot on Linux Mint is created with the Timeshift utility included with the operating system. Open up the Timeshift application by pressing Win on the keyboard, typing “Timeshift” and select the option in the app menu with the red/black icon labeled “Timeshift.”

Note: the Timeshift application is built into Linux Mint, and should be installed on your Linux Mint PC by default. If it is not, open up a terminal window and type sudo apt install timeshift to install it to the system.

Backup snapshot with Timeshift

Upon the first launch of the Timeshift tool on Linux Mint, you’ll see a password box that says that “Authentication is needed” (or something similar). Write out the password for the current user you’re logged into, and Timeshift will be usable. You’ll then see the “Setup Wizard.”

In the Timeshift Setup Wizard on Linux Mint, you’ll see the first page. On this page, the program asks to “Select Snapshot Type.” The Snapshot options available to Mint users are the “Rsync” protocol, and “Btrfs.” Select the “Rsync” option on the menu, as it’s the most reliable option. Only choose “Btrfs” if your Linux Mint operating system’s root/home filesystems are using the Btrfs file system and know how it works. Then, once you’ve chosen the “Btrfs” option, find the “Next” button at the bottom of the page and select it to move to the next section of the Setup Wizard.

On the page following the “Snapshot Type,” one is “Snapshot Location.” In this area, you must choose the drive in which Timeshift will save the system snapshots to. Look through the list of choices and choose the storage location. All snapshots will be saved to the “timeshift” folder in the partition’s root on the drive you select. After making your storage location selection, click “Next” to move to the next page.

Past the “Snapshot Location” page is the “Select Snapshot Levels” area. Here it’s possible to tell Timeshift when to take snapshots of the Linux Mint operating system. The choices for snapshot levels are “monthly,” “weekly,” “daily,” “hourly,” and boot.

Read through the different choices available and choose the option that fits best for you. Be sure also to customize how many Snapshots Timeshift will save by default, as you may not like the default amount. When done, find the “Next” button at the bottom of the page and click it to move on to the next section.

After “Snapshot Location,” Timeshift will show the “User Home Directories” page. On this page, Timeshift allows users to choose what home directories on the system it includes in the snapshot process, as well as what home directories it should exclude.

Go through the list of home directories and check the box next to “Include All” for each one you wish to add to the snapshot configuration in Timeshift. Leave home directories you want to exclude set to “Exclude All.” Also check “Include Hidden,” if you want Timeshift to save your backups and configuration files. Once your selections are made, click the “Next” button to move to the final page.

On the final page of the Timeshift Setup Wizard, a “Setup Complete” page will appear, with detailed instructions on how snapshots work on Linux Mint, and what to do. Read through the page, and click “Finish” to close the Setup Wizard.

Create first Timeshift system snapshot in Linux Mint

To make a snapshot in Linux Mint with the Timeshift tool, find the “Create” button and click it. As soon as the “Create” button is selected, a window will pop-up on the screen and create a snapshot. Wait as it creates the snapshot, as the process will most likely take a lot of time to complete.

When the snapshot process is complete in Timeshift, it will appear in the app. Click “create” to make additional snapshots if you wish.

Restoring system snapshots in Linux Mint

Did you mess up something on your Linux Mint PC? Need to restore the Timeshift snapshot you took at a previous time? Here’s how to do it! First, look through the list of created snapshots (they’re sorted by date created). Then, select the snapshot you wish to restore in the list with the mouse. Click the “Restore” button to restore the backup to your Linux Mint system.

When Timeshift is done restoring the snapshot to your Linux Mint system, your computer will reboot.

Deleting system snapshots in Linux Mint

Deleting system snapshots taken in Linux Mint with the Timeshift application is very simple. To remove a saved snapshot, look through the list of snapshots in the Timeshift app, and select the one you want to delete with the mouse. Then, after selecting the snapshot in the list select the “delete” button, and Timeshift will remove it from the “timeshift” folder on the system.

Read How to set up a backup snapshot on Linux Mint by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to install the VNote markdown editor on Linux

VNote is a VIM-like markdown editor for Linux. The developer designed the app around a similar design philosophy to that of the VIM text editor and its feature set is friendly to programmers and advanced users looking to write the markdown markup language. Here’s how to install it on your Linux OS of choice.

Ubuntu/Debian installation instructions

The developer of the VNote application doesn’t have a DEB package for Ubuntu Linux, and there doesn’t seem to be any plans to change that. The only existing Linux-native package is an RPM for various releases of OpenSUSE Linux. Thankfully, this RPM package is easily converted to a DEB for use on Ubuntu.

The conversion of the VNote RPM package starts by downloading the RPM file directly from the internet, via the wget command in terminal.

Note: this process should also work on Debian Linux.

wget https://provo-mirror.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/Chingyat/openSUSE_Leap_15.1/x86_64/vnote-2.5-lp151.2.1.x86_64.rpm

With the RPM file downloaded from the internet, install the Alien package conversion tool on your Linux PC. On Ubuntu, it’s the following command.

Note: need help getting the Alien package conversion tool working on your Linux PC? Follow our guide here.

sudo apt install alien

After installing the Alien package conversion tool, use it to generate an installable DEB package from the RPM file.

sudo alien -dvc vnote-2.5-lp151.2.1.x86_64.rpm

The output of the Alien package conversion tool is a DEB package with the label of “vnote_2.5-1_amd64.deb”. From here, install the file to your Ubuntu Linux PC with the dpkg command.

sudo dpkg -i vnote_2.5-1_amd64.deb

From here, you’ll need to install the Qt5 dependency that VNote requires to run correctly on Ubuntu.

sudo apt install libqt5webenginewidgets5

Once the “libqt5webenginewidgets5” package is set up on Ubuntu, the VNote markdown application should run flawlessly!

Arch Linux installation instructions

VNote has an Arch Linux AUR package available for installation. The package downloads and sets everything up quite nicely, which is excellent considering the developer has not provided a native Arch Linux package in the release section.

A few packages must be installed to get the VNote app to work on Arch Linux. These packages are “Base-devel” and “Git.” Without them, the AUR package will not build. Using the Pacman command, load up the packages.

sudo pacman -S base-devel git

After installing Git and Base-devel, download the latest VNote AUR package with the git clone command.

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

Move the terminal session into the “vnote” folder using the CD command.

cd vnote

Build and install VNote on your Arch Linux PC with the makepkg command.

makepkg -sri

Fedora installation instructions

Fedora Linux isn’t officially supported by the developer of VNote, which is strange, as they do have official packages available for OpenSUSE Linux, and both Linux distributions use the same packaging format.

Getting the VNote markdown editing program working on Fedora Linux is pretty simple. To start, open up a terminal window and download the latest RPM package file from the OpenSUSE 15.1 LEAP software repository with the wget command.

wget https://provo-mirror.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/Chingyat/openSUSE_Leap_15.1/x86_64/vnote-2.5-lp151.2.1.x86_64.rpm

After downloading the RPM package file to your Fedora Linux PC, install it with the dnf install command.

sudo dnf install vnote-2.5-lp151.2.1.x86_64.rpm

OpenSUSE installation instructions

On OpenSUSE Linux, the VNote application is extremely easy to get working, as there are dedicated software repositories for all current releases of the operating system (except 42.3, because of the QT version it has).

To install the VNote software on your OpenSUSE Linux PC, follow the instructions outlined below.

OpenSUSE Tumbleweed

To get the VNote app working on Tumbleweed, head over to the OBS page for VNote, and click the “1 Click Install” button under the “OpenSUSE Tumbleweed” section. Then, follow the on-screen instructions in YaST to get VNote.

OpenSUSE 15.1

For LEAP 15.1, go to the VNote OBS page, and scroll down till you find “OpenSUSE LEAP 15.1”. From there, click on the “1 Click Install” button next to one of the community packages to get the software set up.

AppImage installation instructions

If you’re using a Linux operating system that doesn’t support the RPM or DEB format, and can’t interact with the Arch Linux AUR, the only way to run the VNote application is to download the AppImage release of the program. To get your hands it, open up a terminal window and use the wget downloading tool command below.

wget https://github.com/tamlok/vnote/releases/download/v2.7.2/VNote-2.7.2-x86_64.AppImage

When the VNote AppImage file is done downloading to your Linux PC, create a new folder called “AppImages” in the home directory using the mkdir command.

mkdir -p ~/AppImages/

Using the mv command, move the VNote AppImage file into the newly created “AppImages” folder.

mv VNote-2.7.2-x86_64.AppImage  ~/AppImages/

Once the VNote AppImage file is in the “AppImages” folder, it is time to update the permissions of VNote, so that the program can run successfully on the system.

sudo chmod +x VNote-2.7.2-x86_64.AppImage

With the permissions of VNote up to date, move the terminal session into the “AppImages” folder using the CD command.

cd ~/AppImages/

To launch the VNote AppImage, run the following command in a terminal window.

./VNote-2.7.2-x86_64.AppImage

Alternatively, to launch VNote without the terminal, launch the Linux file manager, click on “AppImages,” and double-click on the VNote app image. It is also possible to launch it by right-clicking it and selecting “run” or “execute” if your file manager supports it.

Read How to install the VNote markdown editor on Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to get detailed Linux system info with StatusPilatus

If you’ve ever wanted detailed system information about your Linux PC regarding the CPU, GPU, RAM, disk usage, and network statistics, you’ve turned to programs like Glances. Glances is an excellent application and great for monitoring system info, but it’s also terminal-based, which isn’t always the best for Linux desktop users. For a more user-friendly monitoring experience on Linux, you need StatusPilatus.

Install StatusPilatus

StatusPilatus isn’t available through the Ubuntu Software Center, or any included software sources for mainstream Linux distributions, so installation isn’t straightforward. So, before getting into how the app works, and what you can do with it, we must go over the installation process.

To start the installation process, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, follow the command-line instructions below to get StatusPilatus working on your Linux OS of choice.

Note: some features in StatusPilatus may not work correctly for you, as the program is under development.

Ubuntu/Debian

StatusPilatus is installable on both Ubuntu Linux and Debian Linux thanks to the developer providing a downloadable DEB package on the project’s GitHub release page. To get your hands on this DEB file, use the wget downloading command below.

wget https://github.com/PilatusDevs/StatusPilatus/releases/download/0.5.0/StatusPilatus_0.5.0_amd64.deb

Once the StatusPilatus file is done downloading to your Ubuntu or Debian PC, the installation process can begin. Using the dpkg command, load up the StatusPilatus file.

sudo dpkg -i StatusPilatus_0.5.0_amd64.deb

Following the installation of the StatusPilatus package file, you may notice some errors appearing in the terminal prompt. These errors are most likely dependency issues. To correct these issues, follow our guide for Ubuntu or Debian.

Fedora/OpenSUSE

Fedora and OpenSUSE Linux users can install StatusPilatus no problem thanks to the downloadable RPM package file on the GitHub release page. To get the latest version of this RPM file, use the wget downloading command below.

wget https://github.com/PilatusDevs/StatusPilatus/releases/download/0.5.0/StatusPilatus-0.5.0.x86_64.rpm

With the RPM package file is done downloading, follow the command-line instructions for Fedora Linux or OpenSUSE down below to get the package file up and running.

Fedora

To install the StatusPilatus RPM package file on Fedora Linux, you must make use of the Dnf package management tool. Using dnf install, load up the RPM file.

sudo dnf install StatusPilatus-0.5.0.x86_64.rpm

OpenSUSE

Installing RPM package files on OpenSUSE means interacting with the Zypper package management tool. To start the installation process, use the zypper install command below.

sudo zypper install StatusPilatus-0.5.0.x86_64.rpm

AppImage

StatusPilatus has an AppImage release on their GitHub. This version is perfect if you use Arch Linux or another Linux distribution that doesn’t have an official StatusPilatus package file to download. To get the latest AppImage file use the wget download command below.

wget https://github.com/PilatusDevs/StatusPilatus/releases/download/0.5.0/StatusPilatus.0.5.0.AppImage

After the StatusPilatus AppImage file is done downloading to your Linux computer, use the mkdir command to create a new folder with the label of “AppImages.” This folder will be used to house the StatusPilatus AppImage, so it isn’t accidentally deleted at a later date.

mkdir -p ~/AppImages/

With the “AppImages” folder created, use the mv command to place the StatusPilatus file in it.

mv StatusPilatus.0.5.0.AppImage ~/AppImages/

Update the permissions of the AppImage file using the chmod command.

sudo chmod +x StatusPilatus.0.5.0.AppImage

Run StatusPilatus with:

 ./StatusPilatus.0.5.0.AppImage

Alternatively, click on “AppImages,” and double-click the AppImage file (or right-click and select execute).

Detailed Linux system info

With the program installed, StatusPilatus can we can use StatusPilatus to view various system metrics on Linux. Open up the StatusPilatus application. Once open, follow along to learn how to use it to get detailed Linux system information.

CPU

Need to check out what your CPU is up to? Locate the “CPU” button on the left-hand side of StatusPilatus. Once there, you’ll see a detailed graph of your CPU usage. This section will also show you CPU Temperature (though it doesn’t always work,) and the detailed information about the CPU itself (such as Brand, Cores/Threads, etc.)

GPU

The GPU section of StatusPilatus isn’t as complete as most sections of the app, but this lack of GPU info is expected, as graphics cards on Linux are almost entirely locked down.

The GPU, despite lacking, still provides some helpful information though! If you click the “GPU” section, you’ll see detailed info all about your graphics card vendor, model number, and more!

Memory

Trying to find out how much RAM your Linux PC is using? Locate the “Memory” section in the menu on the left and click it. Inside of “Memory” is a graph that shows, in real-time exactly how much RAM the computer is using.

Storage

Curious about how much space you have left on your Linux PC? Find “Storage” on the left and click it to go to information about different devices. Additionally, the “Storage” area has a graph that can outline disk usage in MBs per second.

OS

StatusPilatus can give information about the Linux operating system you use, from the kernel version, to the release number, to the different programs you’ve installed, and much more! To access detailed information about your OS with the app, click “OS” in the side-bar.

Network

StatusPilatus has an excellent network information section complete with real-time upload/download graphs, a ping tester, and more! To access network statistics, view your internal IPv4/IPv6 address, or to test how fast/slow your ping is, click the “Network” section of StatusPilatus.

Battery

Are you using a laptop computer and looking to find out detailed battery statistics? Locate the “battery” section, and you’ll see info pertaining to your laptop computer’s battery.

Read How to get detailed Linux system info with StatusPilatus by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to download files faster on Linux with Motrix

The primary way Linux users download files is through a web browser on the desktop. Mostly, these browsers work fine and get the job done, but they’re not very fast and sometimes leave you wishing files would download quicker. Introducing Motrix, a fast download manager for Mac, Linux, and Windows that can download files faster from protocols like HTTP, FTP, BitTorrent, and more!

Install Motrix

Before we can talk about how to use Motrix on Linux, we must go over how to install the program. Open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T. Then, follow the command-line instructions below that correspond to the operating system you use.

Ubuntu/Debian installation

On the website, the Motrix developers provide a downloadable AppImage file. They also have a DEB package available on their GitHub page which can be used to install Debian and Ubuntu Linux operating systems. To get the DEB package, use the wget downloading tool with the command below.

wget https://github.com/agalwood/Motrix/releases/download/v1.4.1/Motrix_1.4.1_amd64.deb

Once the DEB package is done downloading to your Ubuntu or Debian Linux PC, you’ll be able to load up the Motrix app into the system using the dpkg command.

sudo dpkg -i Motrix_1.4.1_amd64.deb

Following the installation, you may run into some errors in the terminal prompt. These errors that appear are most likely dependency issues. To correct the problem, follow our guide on how to fix dependencies errors on Ubuntu or Debian Linux.

Snap package installation

The Motrix downloading application is ready to install directly as a Snap package. So, if you’re running a Linux operating system that can run Snaps, installation is a breeze.

To start the installation of Motrix from the Snap store, enable Snaps on your system. If you don’t know how to enable Snaps,follow this guide on the subject. Then, once Snaps are enabled, download the Snap file from GitHub.

wget https://github.com/agalwood/Motrix/releases/download/v1.4.1/Motrix_1.4.1_amd64.snap

When the Motrix Snap file is done downloading, set it up on the system with the snap install command. Be sure to use the “dangerous” flag, or Snap will not install it.

sudo snap install --dangerous Motrix_1.4.1_amd64.snap

AppImage installation

The AppImage release of Motrix is perfect for Linux users who cannot use the DEB package or install Snap packages. To start the installation process, use the wget command to download the newest AppImage file from the Motrix website.

wget https://dl.motrix.app/release/Motrix-1.4.1-x86_64.AppImage

After the AppImage file is done downloading to your computer, use the mkdir command to create a new “AppImages” folder. Creating this folder is necessary, to keep the Motrix AppImage file safe and out of the way from accidental deletion.

mkdir -p ~/AppImages

Move the Motrix AppImage file into the “AppImages” folder using the mv command.

mv Motrix-1.4.1-x86_64.AppImage ~/AppImages/

Move the terminal session into the “AppImages” folder using the CD command.

cd ~/AppImages

From there, update the file permissions for Motrix, so that it can run as a program on your Linux PC.

sudo chmod +x Motrix-1.4.1-x86_64.AppImage

Run the program for the first time with:

./Motrix-1.4.1-x86_64.AppImage

After the first run, a desktop icon will show up in the “Internet” section of your app menu.

Download files with Motrix

Now that the Motrix application is set up on your Linux PC launch it. Unsure how to launch it? Look for “Motrix” in the “Internet” section of your app menu. Once the Motrix downloader is open and ready to use, follow along below to learn how to download data with it.

HTTP/FTP

Most files people download from the internet through their web browser is an HTTP or FTP file. The files download through a hyperlink on a page. If you’d like to download these types of files through Motrix, rather than the browser, do the following.

First, in Motrix, click the “+” icon on the left-hand side of the app. Clicking “+” will open up a download task window. In this task window, paste the URL for the file which you’d like to download.

Note: not all files will download with Motrix. For best results, copy the direct like that websites often offer if the automatic download process doesn’t work.

For example, to download Ubuntu Linux 18.04 LTS through Motrix, you’d save the “download now” link and add it to the download page.

After adding the link of the file to the download task box, click the “Submit” button to start the transfer instantly.

Torrent files

In addition to handling HTTP and FTP download links, Motrix also functions as a torrent client. To use Motrix to download a torrent file, click the “+” sign to bring up the download task box. From there, locate the “Torrent” option and select it to go to the Torrent download area.

In the Torrent download area for Motrix, locate the box that says “Drag torrent files here, or click to select” and click on it with the mouse. From there, add in the torrent file to start the transfer.

Magnet links

As Motrix supports the Torrent protocol, it can also handle magnet links. To use this feature to start a download, click on the magnet link in your browser and Motrix should instantly add it as a task. Alternatively, copy the magnet link to your clipboard and add it via the URL section.

Note: ensure that you do not have any other torrent clients installed on the system, or Motrix will not be able to detect magnet link clicks!

Upon clicking the magnet link, the file should instantly start downloading in Motrix.

Read How to download files faster on Linux with Motrix by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter