How To Install Ardour Audio Editor On Linux

Sometimes people say that the Linux platform doesn’t have “the best tools” for professionals. When it comes to video editing, it’s understandable as users won’t be able to install things like Adobe After Effects, Final Cut Pro X, and etc. With audio editing, however, it’s a totally different story. It turns out there’s an incredible, competitive, open source audio workstation ready to install Linux now; the Ardour audio editor. You can install Ardour on most Linux distributions via the package manager. It has a ton of features, like multi-track editing/recording, hardware support, video sound extraction and more.

Install Ardour

To use this software, you must be running Ubuntu, Debian, Arch Linux, Fedora, OpenSUSE. If you’re running a different distribution, you will have to build Ardour from source. Keep in mind that if you choose to install Ardour from your operating system’s software sources, you may not get the latest version.

To install Ardour, open up a terminal and enter the command that corresponds to your operating system.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install ardour

Debian

sudo apt-get install ardour

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S ardour

Fedora

sudo dnf install ardour

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install ardour

Building From Source

Though the Ardour audio editor is available for installation on multiple platforms, newer versions of the software are distributed on the website. Developers let the users purchase a binary (like a DEB or RPM file) to support the project. The only other way to get it is to compile from source.

If you’re using a Linux distribution that doesn’t support Ardour, this route is a good way to go. To start the building process, you’ll first need to address the many program dependencies. Ardour is a large audio editing suite and uses a lot of codecs and other tools. To install the dependencies, head over to the official website, read the documentation and learn what they are.

Once you’ve figured everything out, use the Git tool to clone the latest version of the source code from the Ardour public repo.

git clone git://git.ardour.org/ardour/ardour.git

Using the CD command, change the terminal’s working directory from /home/, to the newly cloned Ardour git folder.

cd ardour

Next, you’ll need to run the “waf” script. This script has multiple functions. We’ll first need to run it to scan your Linux PC to create new configuration files (makefiles and etc). Running the waf script will also help you determine if you have all of the correct dependencies installed. The script will refuse to configure without these files so if you’re having trouble finding them, this is a good way to troubleshoot.

./waf configure

If waf configure sees that all dependencies are satisfied, and everything is ready to go, Ardour will build. To start the building process, run the waf tool again, except this time leave out configure.

./waf

The Ardour audio editing suite is very large and will take quite a bit of time to fully compile and build correctly. Leave the terminal and let the GCC compiling tool build the software. In time, it will complete. When the process finishes up, it’ll be possible to run the software from the build directory.

Use the CD command to move to where the output of the build is.

cd gtk2_ardour

From there, start Ardour with “ardev”.

./ardev

From this point on, the Ardour audio editor is portable (provided the PC you move the builds to has all the required files to run it). Feel free to take the source and put it on a flash drive. Alternatively, install the software on your Linux PC by running the following command in the terminal.

Note: installing the build of Ardour using waf may require sudo privileges. Gain a root shell in the build directory with sudo -s before running the install tool.

cd ..

./waf install

Uninstall Ardour

Building programs from source though handy if the operating system you’re installing on isn’t supported, can be dodgy when it comes to uninstalling. Often times, developers don’t bother to include a way to uninstall compiled programs. Luckily, Ardour is not one of those programs and offers users the ability to easily uninstall it at any time.

To uninstall a compiled build of Ardour from your Linux PC, open up a terminal and use the CD command to move into the source directory.

cd ~/ardour

Uninstalling is as easy as using waf.

./waf uninstall

Waf should delete all necessary files from your PC. From there, just delete the source folder using rm.

rm -rf ~/ardour

Updating Ardour

Building Ardour from the source means that every time there’s a new release, you’ll need to repeat the build process. This is tedious but can be controlled by “cleaning” the sources. Cleaning deletes the various libraries and other files that show up after building a fresh batch of software.

Clean the sources with waf.

cd ~/ardour

./waf clean

Read How To Install Ardour Audio Editor On Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Use Tiling Windows In Gnome Shell

Tiling windows aren’t a new thing on Linux. In fact, it’s one of the more popular ways to display windows on the platform. The reason people (especially developers) love the tiling setup is because it allows them to have many different things on the screen at once. Unfortunately, those looking to enjoy tiling window managers in the past have had to deal with clunky, aging keyboard-shortcut driven desktop environments like i3. As a result, those using modern desktop environments have had to miss out — until now, thanks to a Gnome extension that can enable tiling windows in Gnome shell.

This extension is known as gTile, and it allows users to bring the beloved tiling functionality found on a lot of lightweight window managers to the modern Gnome Shell desktop environment. Here’s how to set it up.

Installing gTile

Since the gTile tool is a Gnome Shell extension, users should install it from the Gnome extensions store. Click here to get to the gTile extension page. From there, find the slider and select “on” to bring up the extension installation prompt. When the prompt appears, press “install”. gTile should install right away.

Understand that the easy installation will only work if you’ve got the “Gnome Chrome” integration plugin enabled for your browser. To get the plugin working, follow our guide here.

Don’t want to install the plugin? Consider installing the extension via download.

To install the extension without the browser plugin, open up “Gnome Tweak Tool” and click “Extensions”. Open up the gTile extension page on the website, and click the drop-down menu next to “Shell Version”. Select the version of Gnome Shell you use to start the download.

When the download is complete, go back to the Gnome Tweak Tool and click “open”. Clicking the “open” button will bring up a file-browser dialog window. This window asks the user to browse for an extension to install.

Find gTile in “Downloads” and select it. From there, it should install to the system. Activate the extension by scrolling down and clicking “on” in the Tweak Tool next to “gTile”.

Using gTile

Now that the gTile extension has been installed, you can use it to get tiling windows in Gnome Shell. To start tiling windows, select the icon graphical tool icon in the Gnome panel. This icon allows the user to tell gTile how to scale windows on a grid.

There are three different sizes of grids to scale windows on that users can choose from. These grids are 8×6, 6×4, and 4×4. To switch between grids, click the gTile icon, look for one of the three grid options and select it. The scaling tool will automatically start using the new size.

Note: gTile works best with multiple windows open at the same time.

Manual Tiling

One of the most powerful features in gTile is its ability to let the user manually tile. It achieves this by using the Gnome window manager, rather than weird hacks and tricks. To manually scale a program, switch to it. From there, use the grid to draw the tile.

The gTile extension looks at the grid drawing and scales the program accordingly. Repeat this process for every program to create a custom tiled layout.

4×4 split screen tiling

Along with manual tiling, the gTile extension can do things automatically. One of the automatic functions is a “4×4” tile (aka scaling 4 windows in equal 25% portions of a screen). Users should know that 4×4 doesn’t require 4 programs. It scales up. Clicking this option with 8 programs open turns into 8×8, and etc.

To auto scale programs in this mode, click the gTile icon in the panel and click the icon that shows 4 windows in equal size.

1×2 Screen Tiling

Another good tiling mode for gTile is the 1×2 mode. With this mode, users can have one program on the left take up 50% of the screen, while 2 others share 25% of the right. Like the other automatic mode, 1×3 scales up (1×2 can become 1×4, etc).

To tile programs in the 1×2 mode, click the gTile icon on the panel and select the icon next to 4×4. It should automatically scale programs into the 1×2 layout.

Uninstall gTile

Don’t want to use gTile anymore? Uninstall it by opening up Gnome Tweak Tool, and clicking on the “extensions” button. Inside extensions, scroll down and find “gTile”. Look for the “remove” button and click it. Alternatively, go back to the gTile extension page and click the slider to “off” to temporarily disable it.

Other Tiling Extensions

Along with gTile, there are a lot of other great extensions that bring this functionality to the Gnome desktop. One of the best alternatives to gTile is Tilingnome. It’s a solid alternative that focuses primarily on keyboard shortcuts, rather than the mouse. Currently, Tilingnome has support for all versions of Gnome Shell up to version 3.28.

To install it, head over to the Gnome Shell extension store, click the “on” slider and install it. Be sure to also check out the official Github page to learn more about the Tilingnome keyboard shortcuts.

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How To Backup KDE Plasma 5 Desktop Settings On Linux

Love Plasma 5 and want to back up the configuration files just in case? If so, you’ll need to do some digging around in your home directory, as the configuration files for the KDE Plasma 5 desktop belong in the ~/.config/ folder. That said, KDE doesn’t save all of its configurations in one folder. Instead, they’re scattered all over the place in the ~/.config folder. It’s possible to backup KDE Plasma 5 by saving the entire configuration folder, but this isn’t something we recommend. The hidden config area on most Linux distributions is large. Compressing it would take way too long.

Back Up KDE Connect

Instead, it’s better to sort through and copy out all the KDE items. Let’s start by backing up one of the KDE Plasma desktop’s key features: KDE Connect. Keeping a backup of KDE connect really helps, as it’s a pain to re-set everything up.

Start out by using CD to move into ~/.config

cd ~/.config

Copy the KDE connect folder into a new Plasma backup folder.

mkdir ~/plasma-backups

cp -R kdeconnect

Alternatively, feel free to create a separate archive of it:

tar -jcvf kdeconnect-backup.tar.bz2 kdeconnect

Next, go through and create a backup of all of the “k” related files. This will include things like “kwin”, and “kscreenlocker”, etc.

mkdir plasmak-backups

cp k* plasmak-backups

mv plasmak-backups ~/plasma-backups

The majority of the files have been backed up. Keep in mind that you may have more items, so use the ls command and look around for any other widget folders you may want to save. Move them with the mv command into ~/plasma-backups.

Back Up KDE Plasma

Now that a lot of the non-plasma KDE-related files are safely copied into the ~/plasma-backups folder, we can move the core Plasma backup items to the backup folder created earlier.

mv plasma* ~/plasma-backups

Everything pertaining to the KDE Plasma desktop environment should be inside of ~/plasma-backups. At last, we can create the tar archive backup of everything. Start off by moving the terminal out of ~/.config and into the home folder.

cd ~/

Then, use the tar command to create a new archive backup.

tar -jcvf plasma-backups plasma-backups.tar.bz2

Every file inside of the ~/plasma-backups folder is now compressed in an archive. Feel free to take this folder and upload it to Dropbox, Google Drive, home servers and etc.

Restoring The Backup

Need to restore the backup to a new install? Get started by downloading your plasma-backups.tar.bz2 archive file. Move it from the folder you downloaded it to and put it in ~/.config/ For example:

cd ~/Downloads

mv plasma-backups.tar.bz2 ~/.config/

From here, you’ll be able to extract the archive backup contents.

tar -xvf plasma-backups.tar.bz2

cd plasma-backups mv * ..

rmdir plasma-backups

rm plasma-backups.tar.bz2

Everything should go exactly where it needs to.

When the restoration is complete, log out of your KDE session, and then back in. Everything should be like it was when you created the backups!

Automated KDE Plasma 5 backups – Deja-Dup

There are many ways to create backups of files on Linux, but Deja Dup is one of the best. If you’re an avid KDE Plasma 5 user and want to keep track of KDE Plasma configuration files at all times, you may want to consider using Deja Dup for backups.

The advantage of going this route is that Deja Dup can back up over multiple interfaces like local network shares (Samba, FTP), directly to various online storage sites or even locally. Another advantage to using Deja Dup is that it’s possible to tell the backup tool what to exclude.

Here’s how to set up an automated KDE Plasma settings backup. First, follow the installation process in our guide here. Then, open up Deja Dup and select “folders to ignore”. Click the + sign to and navigate to the ~/.config folder.

Add all folders that don’t pertain to KDE Plasma 5. Excluding these files should dramatically cut the size of your backup archive.

Note: Deja Dup currently doesn’t support filtering of each file, so some other non-KDE files may be included in the backup, depending on what is installed.

Next, go back to the main page and select “Folders to save”. Click + and add ~/.config as the main backup folder.

Now that the correct folders are ready to go, click “Scheduling” and click the slider next to “automatic backup”.

Go to “Overview” in the Deja Dup backup tool and click “Backup” to create the first backup. From now on, all KDE Plasma desktop settings will back up automatically.

Restoring The Backup

Restoring backups for KDE Plasma on Deja Dup is pretty easy and it starts by opening up Deja Dup and clicking on “storage location”. In the location box, fill out the network details correctly so Deja Dup can find everything.

With the correct location set, click on “Overview” and then select the “Restore” button. If Deja Dup correctly finds the storage location, the restoration can begin. When Deja Dup finishes, restart your PC. As you log in, everything should be back to normal.

Read How To Backup KDE Plasma 5 Desktop Settings On Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Reset Ubuntu To Default Settings

Ubuntu works very well, but sometimes unfixable issues arise. If you’re trying to use your Linux PC to get work done, the last thing you should have to worry about is fiddling with the desktop environment, tinkering, and troubleshooting. Unfortunately, there isn’t a button in Ubuntu that users can click to “reset Ubuntu to default settings like in Windows 10 or Chrome OS. Instead, users looking to completely reset Ubuntu to default settings have to jump through some serious hoops.

In this article, we’ll break down two ways to quickly reset Ubuntu to its original state; the Dconf method and the Live Disk method. The Dconf method resets a single user to default though it can be used to reset multiple users. The Live Disk method is more thorough and it will reset your entire Ubuntu installation.

Reset Ubuntu – Dconf

If your Ubuntu Linux desktop is messed up and you’re looking to get it back to the original settings, a great way to do it is to use the built-in Dconf editor. Dconf is an integral tool for all desktop environments built with GTK. Gnome, Cinnamon, XFCE4, and LXDE; they all use it.

To reset Ubunutu, open up a terminal window and run the following command. Please understand that doing a Dconf reset is serious business. It will delete everything on your Desktop environment. This means shortcuts, icons, etc. Only run this if you are absolutely sure.

Note: Dconf reset is done on a per-user basis. It won’t reset the Ubuntu desktop for everyone on the PC. To reset multiple users, run this multiple times.

dconf reset -f /

When Dconf reset finishes, restart your PC. When you log in, everything will look exactly as it did when you first installed Ubuntu. It should also be noted that this command resets settings for many different Dconf-dependent programs (music players, the file manager and etc), so you may have to re-set that up too.

Reset Kubuntu Desktop

The Dconf reset method works very well with versions of Ubuntu that make use of GTK. Kubuntu is not one of those Linux distributions. Since Kubuntu uses KDE, the above method won’t work. Instead, if you’d like to reset the KDE desktop on your Kubuntu PC, follow these instructions.

Note: much like the Dconf reset, removing the Plasma configuration works on a per-user basis. You must re-run this command on every user you want to reset the desktop on.

Open up a terminal window and delete the default Plasma configuration with the following command.

rm -rf .kde/share/config/plasma-*

Additionally, you may want to remove several Plasma files from your own user directory. These Plasma files are in ~/.config and help set the desktop for individual users. Delete them with the rm command.

cd ~/.config

rm plasma*

After removing the Plasma configuration files, things are going to start breaking. Click the KDE application icon, find the log out button and click it.

As you log back into the Kubuntu desktop, the desktop should look exactly the way it did when it was first installed.

Reset Ubuntu – Live Disk

Using the Dconf reset method works very well if all you want is to reset the way Ubuntu looks on the surface, and maybe a few GTK programs. However, if your Ubuntu installation is broken beyond repair, Dconf isn’t going to be enough.

The best way to fully reset Ubuntu to stock settings is to re-install the operating system. However, we won’t be doing a traditional re-installation where the hard drive is deleted, and you lose your files. Instead, we’ll be taking advantage of a great Ubuntu feature that allows the user to “re-install” it but keep all their files.

Going this route is a last resort, and will refresh the core components of Ubuntu. To get started, you will need to create a Ubuntu live disk. Plug in the Ubuntu live DVD/USB, and turn off your PC. Open up the BIOS and configure it so that the Ubuntu live installer loads first.

When Ubuntu loads up, click the “Install Ubuntu” button to start the installation process. On the next page, be sure to select “Download updates” and “install third-party software”, if you chose that option for the original installation.

Move through the installer till you get to the “Installation Type” page. This is the most important page of the entire installer, as it is where users set the type of Ubuntu install.

Look through the lists, and find the option that says “Reinstall Ubuntu”. Selecting this option will erase the core operating system files, but keep stuff like Music, Documents, etc on the hard drive.

Once “Reinstall” is selected, click through and finish up the rest of the Ubuntu installation.

Note: be sure to create the same username in the installer that you used before

When Ubuntu finishes the Re-installation process, a pop-up message will appear letting you know that the process is complete. Click “Restart Now” to reboot. When you log in, Ubuntu will be completely reset to the defaults.

Read How To Reset Ubuntu To Default Settings by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Play Sony PSP Games On Linux With PPSSPP

Those looking to play your favorite Sony PSP games on the Linux platform need to try out PPSSPP. It’s a Sony PSP emulator written in C++. The emulator works very well on nearly any Linux distribution. Best of all, it takes all PSP CPU code and optimizes it to work with regular computer CPUs.

Note: Addictivetips in no way encourages or condones the illegal downloading or distribution of ROM files for PPSSPP. If you want to play Sony PSP games with PPSSPP, please use your own game ROM files you’ve backed up to your PC, legally.

Install PPSSPP Emulator

Getting the latest version of the PPSSPP emulator for Linux can be challenging at times. Some Linux distributions choose to package it, and others don’t. It is possible to find installable binary packages, but not every OS has them. It is because of this, in this guide, we’ll be working with an archive binary instead.

Ubuntu/Debian

Ubuntu and Debian users should be able to run the PPSPP emulator once the correct dependency is installed. In this case, PPSSPP requires libsdl2-dev. Install it on Ubuntu or Debian with:

sudo apt install libsdl2-dev

If you’re using an older version of Debian that doesn’t use apt, replace apt with apt-get.

Arch Linux

Install PPSSPP via the Arch Linux User Repository.

To get it, grab the latest AUR package with git.

Note: be sure to install “git” before attempting this

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/ppsspp-git.git

Using CD, enter the clone directory.

cd ppsspp

Lastly, use makepkg to build and install the program.

makepkg -si

Fedora

PPSPP works fine on Fedora in binary form, once SDL2-devel is installed. To install this package, open up a terminal and enter the following command:

sudo dnf install SDL2-devel

OpenSUSE

SUSE, like other Linux distributions in this guide, require an SDL library to run the PPSSPP emulator software. Follow these instructions to get the correct SDL files.

First, add the external game repository (Leap 42.3)

sudo zypper addrepo http://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/opensuse/repositories/games/openSUSE_Leap_42.3/ opensuse-games

(Tumbleweed)

sudo zypper addrepo http://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/opensuse/repositories/Emulators/openSUSE_Tumbleweed/ opensuse-emulators

Then, use the Zypper package management tool to install the software.

sudo zypper install libSDL2-devel

Other Linuxes

The program should work as-is on your PC. The only real requirement here is that you install SDL2 development libraries. Consider heading over to pkgs.org and searching for “SDL2 develop”. Pkgs.org has a long list of binaries, as well as instructions on how to install from nearly every Linux distribution (even the obscure ones).

If you can’t find it on this website, consider looking in the official manual of your OS for “SDL2”.

With all of the dependencies required to run the binary installed, all that is left is to download the program. Go here, scroll down and select “Linux.” Be sure to select “dev-working.” When the download is complete, open up a terminal window and use CD to move to the ~/Downloads directory.

cd ~/Downloads

Make a folder to unzip the file using mkdir.

mkdir ppsspp-emulator

cd ppsspp-emulator

Unzip the program.

mv "ppssppbuildbot-org.ppsspp.ppsspp-dev-working-linux-amd64.zip" ~/Downloads/ppsspp-emulator/

unzip *.zip

rm *.zip

Lastly, move the program into your /home/ folder.

mv ~/Downloads/ppsspp-emulator/ ~/

Using PPSSPP

To use the PPSSPP emulator, go to /home/username/ppsspp-emulator/ with your file manager, right-click on “PPSSPPSDL” and run it. Clicking PPSSPPSDL opens the main emulation window. In this window, you’ll need to use the arrow keys to navigate and enter to select things.

To load a PSP ROM file, press the right arrow key and move to “Games.” Selecting “Games” exposes PPSSPP to the /home/ directory. Select your username, then find the PSP ROM inside your home directory. Press enter to load up any selected ROM file.

To close a game while it’s currently playing, press ESC to open up the main settings area in-game. From there, use your keyboard (or gamepad) and select “exit”. This should quit the ROM. On the main menu, select “exit” once again to quit PPSSPP altogether.

Saving And Loading

Unlike a lot of other emulators, the save menu for PPSSPP is only accessible when ROMs are running. To save a game, press ESC on the keyboard. Pressing this key reveals the central settings area for PPSSPP, including 5 save state slots. Whenever you’d like to save, access this menu then use the up or down arrow keys to find a save slot, and enter to start the saving process.

To save multiple times, simply select different slots before saving.

Loading a save state in PPSSPP also happens in the ESC menu. At any time, press ESC on the keyboard, and use up or down arrow keys to select a saved game. Once you’ve found the saved game you want to load, press enter to load it up.

Graphics And Audio Settings

Looking to change graphics for the PPSSPP emulator? Select “Settings” on the main menu with the arrow keys and press enter to open it. Inside “Settings,” look for “Graphics” and press the enter key. Inside the graphics area, users can change the rendering mode, as well as framerate control, and even such settings as post-processing control.

To enable fullscreen mode with PPSSPP, look towards the bottom of the “Graphics” area of settings and click the check-box to enable it.

In addition to the graphics options, the PPSSPP emulator has some pretty decent audio settings as well. To access these settings, select “Audio” in the settings window. In “Audio” users can enable/disable sounds, change the volume of the emulator globally, change the audio-latency as well as sound speed hacks, etc.

Configuring A Controller

To configure a gamepad with PPSSPP, plug in a compatible joypad, open up “Settings” and select “Controls” in the menu. From there, click  “control mapping” to open up the controller binding tool. By default, PPSSPP should assign controls automatically. Chances are your gamepad will work out of the box.

With all that said, the default controls may not work for everyone. If you’d like to manage the different mappings, go through and click on the + symbol to re-assign controls.

Read How To Play Sony PSP Games On Linux With PPSSPP by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter