How To Use Meld To Compare Changes In Files On Linux

If you do a lot of development or code auditing on Linux, searching through code to find subtle changes can be very tedious. Luckily, there’s an easy solution: just use Meld. With Meld you can quickly detect changes in files, directories and more.

Install Meld

To use Meld, you need to be running either Ubuntu, Debian, Arch Linux, Fedora, OpenSUSE or a Linux OS that can install Flatpaks.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install meld

Debian

sudo apt-get install meld

Arch Linux

Getting the Meld application on Arch Linux isn’t possible without enabling the “Extra” software source. This repository is often shut off by default on many Arch installations, as it has software not critical to the majority of systems.

Turning on the Extra software source is done by making a small edit to the Pacman configuration file. To do this, open up a terminal and gain root access with the su command. If you choose not to allow su, a sudo -s will suffice.

su -

or

sudo -s

Using your root access, open up the Pacman configuration file in the Nano text editing application.

nano /etc/pacman.conf

In Nano, use the down arrow keys to navigate down the file Search for the “Extra” entry. There are three lines to the “Extra” repo. Remove all # symbols from in front of the lines, and press Ctrl + O to save your changes. Exit the editor by pressing Ctrl + X, and re-sync the Arch packaging tool.

pacman -Syy

Running a re-sync downloads new repository information for already set up software repos. It’ll also download the package listings and set up Extra. When that’s taken care of, it’s safe to install the Meld application to Arch Linux.

pacman -S meld

Fedora

sudo dnf install meld

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install meld

Generic Linux via Flatpak

Meld is a part of the Gnome project, so the software finds its way on just about every Linux distribution in the form of a native binary package. However, if you’re on a Linux distribution that for some reason doesn’t have access to a native installer, the next best thing is to get the app via Flatpak.

Before installing Meld via Flathub, follow our guide to learn how to set up the Flatpak packaging system on your Linux PC. When you’ve got Flatpaks working, open up a terminal and enter the following commands to install Meld.

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

After running the commands above to install Meld, launch it for the first time with:

flatpak run org.gnome.meld

Use Meld To Compare Files

Meld’s primary purpose is to find subtle differences in text, and it can detect changes very quickly. Better still, Meld has support for lots of different types of text and file types, ensuring that no matter what, your changes are detectable.

If you’re not sure how to check for “differences” in files in the Meld application, follow these steps.

Step 1: In the Meld start-up page, look for “file comparison”. Under the “file comparison” option, you’ll notice a button that says “none”. Click it and use it to browse for the first file in your comparison.

Step 2: Loading up the first file into meld will transform the app into a split-screen mode. On the left side of the split-screen, you’ll see the first file you’ve added. On the right, you’ll see a blank page. Click the title of the page and load up the file you want to compare with the one from earlier.

Step 3: When the two files finish loading into Meld, it’ll highlight changes it sees in the text with the color blue, and similarities with lime green. Scroll through, and look at the text. If you’re unhappy with differences, click the arrow icon above the “diff” and allow Meld to change it.

When you’re satisfied with the changes you’ve made with Meld, click the “save” button.

Use Meld To Compare Directories

Aside from checking various files for differences in text, Meld can find differences in directories. Directory comparison is a handy feature if you’re trying to keep two different folders the same, but can’t tell if they have the same contents.

To use this feature, launch Meld, look to the start-up screen, and click the “directory comparison” button.

After selecting “directory comparison”, two boxes with “none” will appear. Click on both of the boxes and use the menu to set the folders you’re trying compare. When the folders are set, click “compare”, and the Meld application will instantly load both folders and highlight the differences in both directories.

Copy Files/Folders

Need to copy a file or folder from one side to the other? Scroll through the list, select a directory or file, and right-click on it. After right-clicking, click on the “copy to” option to move the data.

Read How To Use Meld To Compare Changes In Files On Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Install The Flat Remix Icon Theme On Linux

Looking to spice up your Linux desktop with a fresh new icon theme? Check out the Flat Remix icon theme!

The Flat Remix icon theme sports a simple flat design with some tasteful shadows thrown in. It also makes use of color gradients and depth, making it look very modern.

Note: As the Flat Remix icon theme is  Material Design inspired, it goes very well with flat GTK themes like Evopop, Paper, and Arc.

Ubuntu

The Flat Remix icon theme has a few different ways for Ubuntu users to install it, though the best way is through the official PPA. The main reason to go with the PPA over the source instructions is the fact that users will get regular updates. Having regular updates to Flat Remix means always having a fresh, current set of icons.

To set up the Flat Remix PPA, open up a terminal and enter the following command.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:daniruiz/flat-remix

With the PPA set up on Ubuntu, it’s time to run the update command. This update will allow your PC to refresh all of its software sources, as well as detect any new sources recently added.

sudo apt update

Running the update command will no doubt detect any pending software updates for Ubuntu. While installing these updates isn’t essential to the Flat Remix icon theme, we recommend doing it anyway, as having an up-to-date version of Ubuntu is never a bad thing.

sudo apt upgrade -y

Ubuntu is up to date. The last thing to do is to install the  Flat Remix icon theme with Apt.

sudo apt-get install flat-remix

Arch Linux

Arch Linux users looking to use the Flat Remix icon theme on their PC have the option of going the AUR route, as the icon theme has an official package there. The AUR package is similar to building the icons from source, it’s an excellent way to go, because the AUR is much faster.

Before interacting with the Arch Linux AUR, you’ll need to do a few things. Specifically, you’ll need to update your PC and install some development packages. To update, run the command below.

sudo pacman -Syyuu

When everything is up to date, install the development packages.

sudo pacman -S base-devel git

Next, grab the Flat Remix snapshot from the AUR using Git.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/flat-remix-git.git

CD into the snapshot folder.

cd flat-remix-git

Install the Flat Remix icon theme into Arch Linux by executing the makepkg command.

makepkg -si

Fedora

The creator of the Flat Remix icon theme has a Copr software repository available for Fedora Linux users to make it much easier to install and enable the icon theme. If you’re looking forward to regular, automatic updates to Flat Remix through DNF, open up a terminal and allow the third-party software source.

sudo dnf copr enable daniruiz/flat-remix

The Flat Remix Copr repository is working on Fedora. Finish up the installation process by using the DNF command below.

sudo dnf install flat-remix

Source Instructions

If you’re on a Linux distribution that doesn’t have direct support for the Flat Remix icon theme, you’ll have to install it from source. To start the installation, open up a terminal and use the CD command to move to the tmp folder.

cd /tmp

Next, install the Git package to your Linux PC.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install git

Debian

sudo apt-get install git

Fedora

sudo dnf install git -y

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S git

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install git

Other Linuxes

Git is a top-rated service for Linux users, so you should have no problem installing the tool on your Linux PC. Search your package manager for “git” and install it.

Can’t find it? Download and install it from the official website.

Git is working. Use it to clone the icon theme to your Linux PC.

git clone https://github.com/daniruiz/flat-remix

Create a new icons folder in your home folder if you’d like to use it as a single user.

mkdir -p ~/.icons

Install the icons for your single user with:

cp -r flat-remix/Flat-Remix* ~/.icons

Alternatively, if you prefer to make Flat Remix available for all users on your Linux PC, do the following command in a terminal window.

sudo cp -r flat-remix/Flat-Remix* /usr/share/icons/

Enable Flat Remix Icon Theme

Now that the Flat Remix icon theme is set up on your Linux PC, it’s ready to use. To allow it to be your default icon theme, open up “Settings”, search for “appearance”, and select “Flat Remix” in the icon area.

Want to turn on the Flat Remix icon theme but not sure how? We can help! Choose the desktop environment you use on Linux to learn how to enable a custom icon theme!

Read How To Install The Flat Remix Icon Theme On Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Set Up Rclone For Linux

Many cloud services don’t support the Linux platform, so if you’re looking to transfer files back and forth you’ll need to use a third-party solution. There are many types of solutions that enable Linux users to access third-party cloud services (like Google Drive, Backblaze, etc) but Rclone for Linux is the best by far, as it allows users to have multiple connections to many different services.

Install Google Go

Rclone uses Google Go, so before you can install it, you’ll need to have a build profile set up and ready to go. Thankfully, most Linux distributions have a recent version of the Go language in their software sources. Open up a terminal and get it set up on your Linux OS.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install golang

Debian

sudo apt-get install golang

Arch Linux

Most Linux distributions automatically set up a build environment for Google Go. Arch isn’t one of those distributions. Use the Pacman package tool to install the latest version of Google Go. Then, set up a build environment by following the official Arch Wiki instructions.

sudo pacman -S go

Fedora

Fedora Linux has Google Go in the official software sources, but it doesn’t automatically set up a build environment. Use the DNF packaging tool to get Go, then follow the Fedora Developer instructions that show how to set up a build environment.

sudo dnf install golang

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install go go-doc

Generic Linux

Using a Linux distribution that doesn’t have a convenient package for installing Google Go? You’ll need to set everything up manually. Setting up Go from scratch starts out by downloading the release from the website.

cd ~/Downloads

wget https://dl.google.com/go/go1.11.linux-amd64.tar.gz

When the Go package finishes downloading to your Linux PC, use the tar command and extract it to /usr/local.

sudo tar -C /usr/local -xvzf go1.11.linux-amd64.tar.gz

Go is working. The next step is to configure a development/build environment so that we can install Rclone on Linux. Start out by using the mkdir command to make a new folder.

mkdir -p ~/go-development

Following the main folder, create the “bin,” “src,” and “pkg” subfolders.

mkdir -p ~/go-development/bin
mkdir -p ~/go-development/src
mkdir -p ~/go-development/pkg

Open your Bash profile in the Nano, text editor.

nano ~/.profile

Or:

nano ~/.bash_profile

Paste the code below into Nano.

export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/go/bin
export GOPATH="$HOME/go_projects"
export GOBIN="$GOPATH/bin"

Save the edits to your profile with Ctrl + O, and exit with  Ctrl + X.

Install Rclone

To install Rclone on Linux, open up a terminal and use the go get command. Running this command will download a recent version of the Rclone source code directly to your Go development environment.

go get github.com/ncw/rclone

CD into your Go environment path.

cd $GOPATH/bin

Find the Rclone binary file and place it in your Bin directory. Putting the data in this directory will make the app executable, like any other program.

sudo cp rclone /usr/bin/

Install Rclone Without Google Go

Using the Google Go version of Rclone is a great way to get the application up and running, as Go has support on nearly every Linux distribution.

That said if you don’t feel like setting up Go, feel free to check Pkgs.org for a binary version to install.

To install the Binary version, scroll through the list on the page, find your Linux distribution and click on “rclone.”

Use Rclone on Linux

Setting up Rclone on Linux starts by generating a new configuration file. In a terminal, run the rclone config command.

rclone config

Using Rclone requires a new remote. To create a new remote connection, press the “n” button on your keyboard and press the enter key.

In the terminal box, type the name of the connection. In this tutorial, we’ll call this connection “test.”

After selecting a name, choose the type of connection for Rclone to use. Options are:

  • 1. Amazon Drive
  • 2. Amazon S3
  • 3. Backblaze B2
  • 4. Dropbox
  • 5. Encrypt/Decrypt a remote
  • 6. Google Cloud Storage
  • 7. Google Drive
  • 8. Hubic
  • 9. Local Disk
  • 10. Microsoft OneDrive
  • 11. OpenStack Swift (Rackspace Cloud Files, Memset Memstore, OVH)
  • 12. SSH/SFTP
  • 13. Yandex Disk

Enter the selection number for your new connection and press the enter key on the keyboard to move on to the next step in the configuration process.

Follow the prompts and do what the steps say. When your new Rclone connection is ready to go, write the letter “y” for “yes this is OK” and press the enter key.

Copying Files

Your new Rclone connection is set up. Let’s copy some files. To copy some data into the root directory of your connection, do:

rclone copy /home/username/path/to/local/data-folder/ nameofconnection:remotefolder

Syncing Files

Want to sync some data down from your remote connection with Rclone? Do it with the following command.

rclone sync /home/username/path/to/local/data-folder/ nameofconnection:remotefolder

Read How To Set Up Rclone For Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

6 Best VLC Plugins To Improve Video Playback On Linux

Many Linux users love to use VLC as their primary video playing program. It’s not hard to see why, as the video player has dozens of features, and can do anything from playing DVDs and Blu-rays, to playing streaming videos, to handling any video format (no matter how obscure) with ease.

Still, for as many features that VLC has, there’s always room for improvement, and that’s why we’ve made this list. Here are the six best VLC plugins to improve video watching on Linux!

Note: many plugins in this tutorial rely on a folder that may not be on your Linux PC. Before continuing, please open up a terminal and run the following commands.

mkdir -p ~/.local/share/vlc/lua/

mkdir -p ~/.local/share/vlc/lua/extensions/

mkdir -p ~/.local/share/vlc/lua/playlist/

1. Resume Media

VLC is an excellent media player that manages to pack in a lot of different useful features. Unfortunately, having a resume feature isn’t one.

That’s where the Resume Media plugin comes in. It allows Linux users to quickly resume playback for any video or audio file, by making use of bookmarking.

Install Resume Media

To install the Resume Media plugin to your VLC Media player, download the Plugin and then open up a terminal. In the terminal, use the unzip command to extract the archive.

cd ~/Downloads

unzip 165231-VLC*Release.zip

Place the plugin in the VLC plugin folder.

mv VLC*.lua ~/.local/share/vlc/lua/extensions/

To use Resume Media, open any video file, right-click to open the menu, highlight “view” and click the “Resume Media” button.

2. YouTube Playlist

Love YouTube but hate the website? Install the YouTube Playlist plugin into VLC! With it, you’ll be able to load up individual YouTube videos or entire playlists directly into your local VLC video player.

Install YouTube Playlist

To get YouTube Playlist, download the plugin. Then use mv to put the plugin in the right place on your PC.

cd ~/Downloads

 mv 149909-playlist_youtube.lua ~/.local/share/vlc/lua/playlist/

3. Twitch Playlist

Out of the box, VLC can play many different types of internet broadcasts. Stream protocols like RTP, RSTP, HTTP, and others are no match for the video player.

However, if you’re a fan of the Twitch streaming platform, you won’t be able to catch your favorite VODs or live streams without the Twitch Playlist plugin.

The Twitch Playlist plugin is an excellent addition to VLC, considering many Linux users use it for various types of live streams, so adding this plugin is only natural. Features include watching live streams, videos on demand, video collections and game clips.

Install Twitch Playlist

Twitch Playlist is a Lua script, so installation is very straightforward. To install, download the Twitch Lua file and move it into place with the mv command.

cd ~/Downloads

mv twitch.lua ~/.local/share/vlc/lua/playlist/

4. Click To Play/Pause

VLC has a pretty intuitive user interface, but let’s face it; it feels much more natural to click the video to pause it.

That’s what the Click to play/pause plugin for VLC does. It allows users to stop or start a video just by clicking the content.

Install Click to play/pause

First, install the “Git” package, and all of the plugin’s dependencies to your Linux PC.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install git build-essential pkg-config libvlccore-dev libvlc-dev

Debian

sudo apt-get install git build-essential pkg-config libvlccore-dev libvlc-dev

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S git base-devel

Fedora

sudo dnf install git
su -

dnf groupinstall "Development Tools" "Development Libraries"

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install git

sudo zypper in -t devel

With the dependencies taken care of, build the plugin and install it.

git clone https://github.com/nurupo/vlc-pause-click-plugin.git

cd vlc-pause-click-plugin
make
sudo make install

To enable the plugin, launch advance preferences in VLC, click on “Video” and check the box next to “Pause/Play video on mouse click”.

5. Subtitle Finder

VLC can display subtitles for videos and movies, but it doesn’t do a good job of finding them. That’s why the Subtitle finder extension is so useful.

The VLC plugin works by interacting with OpenSubtitles.org. It searches through its vast database to help you get the subtitling you need for the videos you want.
Subtitle finder works great on macOS and Windows, but it also has excellent support for Linux, which is excellent as the Linux platform doesn’t have many subtitle downloading tools.

Install Subtitle finder

Like many of the plugins on this list, Subtitle finder is a Lua script file.

To start the installation for Subtitle finder, you’ll need to head over to the official plugin page on VideoLAN.org.

Click the “Files” tab and download 141787-subtitles-mod.lua.

Once Subtitle finder is done downloading to your Linux PC, open up a terminal window and use the CD command to move into your ~/Downloads folder.

cd ~/Downloads

Using the mv command, move the 141787-subtitles-mod.lua file into place in the correct folder.

mv 141787-subtitles-mod.lua ~/.local/share/vlc/lua/extensions/

6. Get Movie Info

VLC can play just about any video file, DVD, etc. However, it has no real ability to provide relevant information about them. Not knowing what movie you’re watching in the VLC app can be quite annoying.

The best way to fix this problem for Linux users on VLC is to install the Get Movie Info extension. It’s a simple tool that can quickly find information on what you’re watching in VLC.

Install Get Movie Info

Loading up Get Movie Info on VLC is a little more involved than most. Before installing the extension, you’ll need to grab an OMDb API key.

To get the API key, go to the OMDb website and fill out the form. Be sure to click the “FREE” option.

Download the extension, and install it to VLC with the following commands.

cd ~/Downloads

mv GetMovieInfo.lua ~/.local/share/vlc/lua/extensions/

Next, load any video file and right-click on it. Select the “view” option, and click “Get Movie Info.”

At this point, you’ll be prompted to put in your OMDb API key. Do so. When the API key loads up, VLC will be able to use Get Movie Info.

Conclusion

VLC gives Linux users an excellent video watching experience that other video players can’t deliver. When coupled with the plugins on this list, the VLC media player becomes unstoppable!

Read 6 Best VLC Plugins To Improve Video Playback On Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Improve The Linux Clipboard With CopyQ

Tired of your boring Linux clipboard? Check out CopyQ! It’s a powerful clipboard manager that lets users save data for later, edit entries, and even encrypt them!

Install Dependencies

Sadly, the developer of the CopyQ clipboard application doesn’t have any pre-compiled binary files for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora or other major Linux distributions out there. Instead, if you want to use the program, building from source is the only way. To make CopyQ from source, you need the build tools.

CopyQ has quite a lot of build tools and dependencies, and each distribution has different needs. To get them working, open up a terminal and enter the following commands.

Note: Arch users, the developer, doesn’t outline specific dependencies for building this software. Grab the AUR package instead.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install \
  git cmake \
  qtbase5-private-dev \
  qtscript5-dev \
  qttools5-dev \
  qttools5-dev-tools \
  libqt5svg5-dev \
  libqt5x11extras5-dev \
  libxfixes-dev \
  libxtst-dev \
  libqt5svg5

Debian

sudo apt-get install \
  git cmake \
  qtbase5-private-dev \
  qtscript5-dev \
  qttools5-dev \
  qttools5-dev-tools \
  libqt5svg5-dev \
  libqt5x11extras5-dev \
  libxfixes-dev \
  libxtst-dev \
  libqt5svg5

Fedora

sudo dnf install \
  gcc-c++ git cmake \
  libXtst-devel libXfixes-devel \
  qt5-qtbase-devel \
  qt5-qtsvg-devel \
  qt5-qttools-devel \
  qt5-qtscript-devel \
  qt5-qtx11extras-devel

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install \
  gcc-c++ git cmake \
  libXtst-devel libXfixes-devel \
  libqt5-qtbase-common-devel \
  qt5-qtsvg-devel \
  qt5-qttools-devel \
  qt5-qtscript-devel \
  qt5-qtx11extras-devel

Generic Linux

Building CopyQ on a Linux distribution that isn’t Redhat, Debian, or Ubuntu based is possible, though you’ll have to search for the dependencies on your own.

To find the dependencies you’ll need, refer to the official documentation and install the correct packages required for the build.

Build CopyQ

You’ve got all the critical CopyQ dependencies on your Linux PC. The next step in the installation process is grabbing the source code. In the terminal use the git clone command.

Note: don’t feel like using Git? A Tar archive of the CopyQ source code is downloadable on SourceForge.

git clone https://github.com/hluk/CopyQ.git

Using the CD command, move the terminal from your home directory into the CopyQ source code folder.

cd CopyQ

Run cmake and set up the build configuration files.

cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/local .

Compile CopyQ with the make command. Keep in mind that compiling source code takes a long time. Be patient and let the compiler build in the background.

make

Using the make install command, finish the build process.

sudo make install

Set Up CopyQ Startup Entry

Once CopyQ is built and installed, the application is accessible via your Linux desktop’s launcher. Before using it, it’s a good idea to set up an automatic startup entry. Setting up a startup entry for CopyQ is vital since the concept of the program is to monitor your clipboard for data to save consistently.

There are many different ways to set up a startup entry for CopyQ. Each Linux desktop environment does it a little different, so we’ll be focusing on the terminal instead. Start off by using the CD command to move into the applications folder on your PC.

cd /usr/local/share/applications

Create a new autostart folder (if you don’t already have one) using mkdir.

mkdir -p ~/.config/autostart

Copy the CopyQ desktop shortcut to the autostart folder.

cp com.github.hluk.copyq.desktop ~/.config/autostart

Update the permissions for the file.

cd ~/.config/autostart

sudo chmod +x cp com.github.hluk.copyq.desktop

Using CopyQ

The CopyQ clipboard manager has a lot of features, but at its core, it’s a clipboard manager. To use it, highlight some text, right-click on it and select “copy”. Clicking the “copy” action will automatically save it as an entry to the CopyQ manager. To access any collected data, click on the CopyQ icon in your system tray.

Move To Clipboard

At any time, if you’d like to move an old entry in CopyQ to your clipboard, look through the clipboard data and click the “move to clipboard” icon.

Encrypt Entry

If you’ve got some sensitive information saved in CopyQ, don’t delete it! Instead, use the encryption feature. To encrypt, find a clipboard entry and click the lock icon. Doing so will invoke GnuPG and automatically encrypt your data.

Note: the encryption feature will not work without GnuPG. If your Linux PC doesn’t have it, install it here.

Edit Entry

CopyQ lets users edit existing clipboard entries with ease. To do it, highlight a clipboard entry with the mouse and click the edit button (or press F2).

Create Entry

A handy feature that CopyQ has is its ability to create new clipboard entries without actually using your clipboard on Linux. This feature is “new item”. To use it, click the “new item” button. From there, write in your text and click the save icon.

Clicking save will automatically add the new clipboard entry to the list of data that CopyQ has saved.

Read How To Improve The Linux Clipboard With CopyQ by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter