How to stream media from Linux to Mobile or remote PCs with SMPlayer

On Linux, Smplayer often gets overshadowed by VLC due to how popular it is. The reality is that Smplayer has some seriously impressive, unique features that make it worth using, noteworthy of which is that you can use it to stream media from Linux to mobile.

This streaming feature is called “Casting.” With this, users can load up any video or audio file into the player and output the playback over a local network to any mobile phone or tablet. It even works on desktop computers!

Install Smplayer

Before going over how to use Smplayer to cast to Smartphones and Tablets from Linux, you’ll have to install it. Thankfully, the Smplayer video application is quite popular. As a result, many Linux distributions have the app in their primary software sources. So, installing Smplayer on many Linux distributions will not be an issue.

In this installation section, we will go over how to get the Smplayer app working on Ubuntu, Debian, Arch Linux, Fedora, and OpenSUSE. If you do not use any of these Linux-based operating systems, we highly recommend going to the Smplayer website. It may have information on how to get it working for your OS. Or download the source code and build it from scratch.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install smplayer

Debian

Smplayer is available for Debian users, but be warned: due to how out of date packages tend to be on Debian Linux, the version of Smplayer you install may not have the casting functionality that we cover in this article. Before continuing, we highly recommend enabling backports for the release of Debian Linux you use. Then, install Smplayer with the Apt-get command below.

Note: if Backports aren’t your style, consider upgrading your release of Debian instead.

sudo apt-get -t stretch-backports install smplayer

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S smplayer

Fedora

Fedora Linux’s default software repositories do not contain the Smplayer video application. Instead, Fedora users looking to use this program must first install the RPM Fusion Free software repository.

To enable the RPM Fusion Free software repository, launch a terminal window and use the Dnf package manager to install the RPM file. Be sure to replace X in the commands with the release number of Fedora you are using.

Note: as SMplayer is a video app, you should also enable the non-free RPM Fusion repo, as it contains several video codecs not traditionally found on Fedora Linux.

sudo dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-X.noarch.rpm -y
sudo dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-29.noarch.rpm -y

Install Smplayer on Fedora with:

sudo dnf install smplayer

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install smplayer

Stream media to mobile

Smplayer streams video to mobile by creating a small web server, then pushing the content out to an accessible IP address. So, to start a stream, launch the Smplayer application on your Linux PC. Then, find “File,”  click on it, then select “open.”

Browse for a video file and import it into the video player. Be sure to immediately press “pause” to stop it from playing right away.

Right-click on the video and hover over “Play” in the menu. After that, find “Cast,” followed by “Smartphone/Tablet” and click on it.

Take out your mobile device and scan it the QR code on it to start playback on your mobile device. Alternatively, if you’re having some issues using with scanning, take the URL provided under the QR code, copy it, send it to your mobile device, and access the stream that way.

Want to stop streaming to your mobile device from Smplayer? Click the stop button in the play bar.

Stream media to a PC

Smplayer’s mobile casting feature works great on most mobile phones and tablets, but that’s not the only place it can be used. Did you know that you can use this feature to stream to a remote PC on your local network? To do it, ensure you have a modern browser installed that can handle Mp4 video playback (Chrome and Firefox usually work best).

Once you’ve got a compatible browser working, launch it and open up a new tab. Then, go back to the Smplayer app on a separate machine, right-click on the video, click “Play,” followed by “Cast,” and then click on the “Smartphone/Tablet.”

Note: when using the stream feature on the desktop, keep in mind that playback may look a bit off, because the video stream is intended for smartphones and tablet computers, and not full-fledged desktop computers.

Clicking the “Smartphone/Tablet” option will open up a pop-up. From here, ignore the QR code and select the URL below it. Then, share it to the remote PC looking to watch the remote stream of the video. To stop the stream, click the stop icon in the Smplayer play bar.

Read How to stream media from Linux to Mobile or remote PCs with SMPlayer by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to check system logs on Linux

Want to access your system logs on Linux? All Linux system logs are stored in the log directory. Each one is an individual file, and everything is categorized and sorted based on each application.

System logs – Terminal

If you’ve had trouble with a particular program on your Linux PC or server, you’d navigate to the log directory and view all of the files inside.

Any user, root or otherwise, can access and read the log files /var/log/ directory. To get to /var/log/ launch a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T. Then, in the command-line window, use CD to change directories from the home folder (~/) to the system log directory.

cd /var/logs/

Once you’ve made it into the log directory on the system, you’ll need to make use of the LS command to view all of the individual sub-directories and files in /var/log/.

ls

LS will print out a complete list of all log files on the screen. From here, find a file you’d like to view and take note of the filename. Then, run the cat command to take a look at the contents of the log file.

sudo cat example_error_log

Or, if you need to view a log in a sub-directory, do:

cd name_of_program_folder

ls

sudo cat example_error_log

Copy error logs

For whatever reason, you may want to make a copy of a system log, for later reading outside of the /var/logs/ directory. To do this, you can make use of the cp command. For example, to copy a single error log file, do the following.

cd /var/log/

Then, create a folder to store the system logs on your system in the ~/Documents directory.

mkdir -p ~/Documents/system-logs/

Make a copy of your log file with:

cp example_error_log ~/Documents/

Alternatively, it is possible to make a copy of a log folder inside of the /var/log/ directory with cp and the “r” command-line switch. For example.

Note: in some cases, you may not be able to copy logs out of the /var/log/ directory without the use sudo.

cd /var/log/
mkdir -p ~/Documents/system-logs/
cp -r name_of_program_folder ~/Documents/system-logs/

View system logs via GUI

The command-line way of looking at system logs on Linux is efficient and fast. However, not everyone likes working with the command-line. If you want to keep track of your Linux system’s error logs but would prefer a GUI interface to do so, there are a few good GUI system log reading applications out there for you to choose from.

One of the easiest application to install and understand is Gnome Logs. It has lots of great features, including sorting errors by category (application, security, hardware,) the ability to export logs to a file, and even a search button.

Install Gnome Logs

To install Gnome Logs, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T. Then, follow the instructions that correspond with your Linux operating system.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install gnome-logs

Debian

sudo apt-get install gnome-logs

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S gnome-logs

Fedora

sudo dnf install gnome-logs

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install gnome-logs

View error messages

Gnome Logs is pretty straightforward. Just open it up and instantly you’ll see the latest system logs printed on the screen, sorted by category.

When the Gnome Logs application opens, by default it starts up the latest error log file. If you need to view older log files, click the arrow button in the center of the window UI. Then, use the menu that appears to select the error log you wish to view manually.

View logs based on category

One of the best things about Gnome Logs is that it sorts error logs based on several category types. These categories are:

  • Important
  • All
  • Applications
  • System
  • Security
  • Hardware

To sort logs based on category, look to the left-hand sidebar. Then, click on the category you wish to view. Soon after, Gnome Logs will display only system logs with that specific tag.

Search logs

Need to quickly find an error and don’t have time to wade through dozens of log files? Try out the search feature!

To search system logs in the Gnome Logs, click on the magnifying glass icon. Then, write out your search query. Soon, the app should show you some results that relate to your keyword.

Export logs to file

Gnome Logs makes saving error logs to an external file incredibly easy. Here’s how it works.

Step 1: Select the log you wish to view with the Gnome Logs selection menu.

Step 2: Click on the export button to the right of the magnifying glass icon.

Step 3: Use the file browser to save the log file to your Linux system.

Read How to check system logs on Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to download torrents from the command-line on Linux

Downloading data over the torrent protocol on the Linux platform can be done through the command-line. The advantage of using torrents in the terminal is that it allows users to download files to computers remotely, or even over the local network. Along with that, Linux users can easily seed files remotely, rather than having to have a client open on their machine all the time. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to get going with downloading torrents in the command-line.

Use a VPN when downloading torrents on Linux

Though downloading data through the torrent protocol has legitimate uses, most internet service providers don’t see it that way. Many block their users from even accessing torrent protocols regardless if the content is legal or not. So, if you plan to use this app to download torrent files, we highly recommend using a VPN.

ExpressVPN takes the top spot as the best VPN reviewed by our security experts. It works well on Linux and has an excellent client for download. Better still, they offer fast download speeds with 256-bit AES encryption and perfect forward secrecy across 94 different countries. Also, they have an exclusive offer for AddictiveTips readers: 3 months free on the annual plan, a 49% discount.

Installing Aria2 on Linux

There are a few decent command-line only torrent clients for Linux. One of the best ones to use, however, is Aria2. The reason? It can handle torrent magnet links, torrent files along with other types of downloading types like FTP/SFTP, HTTP, Metalink, and more.

Installing the Aria2 client is possible on most Linux distributions quite easily. In this section of the guide, we will cover how to get the app set up and installed on Ubuntu, Debian, Arch Linux, Fedora, and OpenSUSE. We’ll also show you where to get the source code if your Linux OS doesn’t have a pre-built package available for easy installation.

Ubuntu

On Ubuntu, the Aria2 download app is available for installation in the “Universe” software repository. If you are using a version of Ubuntu Linux that doesn’t already have the “Universe” repo turned on, open up a terminal window and enter the following command.

sudo add-apt-repository universe

Next, run the update command to finish setting up the repository on Ubuntu.

sudo apt update

Finally, you can install Aria2 with:

sudo apt install aria2

Debian

Aria2 is on Debian in the “Main” software repository. To get it going, launch a terminal window and enter the following Apt-get command.

sudo apt-get install aria2

Arch Linux

On Arch Linux, you’ll find Aria2 in the “Community” software repository. To install it, ensure that the “Community” software repository is enabled in /etc/pacman.conf. Then, use the Pacman package manager to install the software.

sudo pacman -S aria2

Fedora

The Aria2 download client is in the primary Fedora Linux software sources, so it’s quite easy to install. To get it working, open up a terminal and use the Dnf command below.

sudo dnf install aria2 -y

OpenSUSE

All versions of OpenSUSE Linux have Aria2 available to users in the OSS software repository. To set it up, launch a terminal window. Then, use the Zypper package manager to download the app.

sudo zypper install aria2

Generic Linux

The source code for the Aria2 download application is available on the developer’s official website. To download it click here. For information on how to compile the program, check out the official documentation.

Download torrents from the command-line

Aria2 handles torrent files by specifying the magnet URL or torrent file. To start a download, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T.

Once a terminal is open, you can add a torrent in the following ways:

aria2c 'magnet-link'

Or

aria2c 'web-link-to-torrent-file'

Or

aria2c -T /location/of/torrent/file.torrent

When the download is complete, press the Ctrl + C keyboard combination. Pressing it will end the download and print a message letting you know where your file(s) are on your computer.

Download multiple torrents at once

Aria2 can let users download many torrent files at one time. To do it, launch a terminal like usual. Then, use the touch command to create a blank text file.

touch ~/aria2-torrents

Using the echo command, add the torrent Magnet links, Torrent file links or local files to the aria2-torrents text file.

Note: be sure to replace the torrent link with the Magnet link or Torrent file location.

echo 'torrent-link 1' >> ~/aria2-torrents
echo 'torrent-link 2' >> ~/aria2-torrentsecho 'torrent-link 3' >> ~/aria2-torrents

When the desired amount of torrents are added to the text file, start the download with:

aria2c -i ~/aria2-torrents

Press Ctrl + C to stop the client when the downloads are done.

Clear the text file

After downloading, it’s a good idea to clear out the text in the aria2-torrents text file. To do it, enter the following command.

echo ' ' > ~/aria2-torrents

Read How to download torrents from the command-line on Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to install Kodi 18 on Linux

The Kodi project has released Kodi 18, code name, Leia. This new release is out on Linux, as well as other platforms and is packed with excellent new features including things like retro video game support, an improved user interface, better music playback support, live TV fixes and much more! In this guide, we’ll show you how to install the latest release of Kodi, Kodi 18 on Linux operating systems like Ubuntu, Debian, Arch Linux, Fedora, and OpenSUSE. Also, we’ll show you how to get Kodi 18 on Flatpak if your OS doesn’t have Leia just yet.

Ubuntu Instructions

Kodi comes in the default Ubuntu Linux software sources. Despite this fact, Canonical and the Ubuntu developers haven’t gotten around to updating the package to version 18. So, if you’re managing your favorite TV shows, movies, and stuff like that on an Ubuntu PC and are interested in getting the newest version, you’ll need to take matters into your own hands.

The best way to install Kodi 18 Leia on Ubuntu Linux, as well as any Linux operating system that uses Ubuntu as a base, is to add the official third-party PPA for Kodi. If you add this PPA, you’ll quickly get access to the new release, as well as regular software updates and patches much faster than the Ubuntu developers can give you. To add the third-party software PPA, launch a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, enter the following apt-add-repository command below.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/ppa

After adding the new software repository to your Ubuntu Linux computer, you’ll need to run the update command, so that Ubuntu can finish setting up the new Kodi software PPA.

sudo apt update

Let the update run. Then, when the terminal prompt stops moving, enter the upgrade command to install any pending software upgrades and patches.

Note: if you already have Kodi 17 on your Ubuntu PC, the upgrade command will automatically update Kodi 17 to Kodi 18.

sudo apt upgrade -y

Upgrading usually takes a bit of time, so be patient. When the process is complete, it’s finally time to install Kodi 18 using the Apt package manager.

sudo apt install kodi

Debian Instructions

Though Debian Linux isn’t known for having the newest software, users will be happy to learn that the upcoming release of Debian 10 Buster (aka testing) has support for Kodi 18. Though, to get it working, you’ll need to use a third-party software repository.

Note: Debian 9 Stretch doesn’t have Kodi 18, and probably never will. Therefore, if you’re a diehard Debian fan looking to try the new Kodi, you must first upgrade to Debian 10 Buster. For more information on upgrading to new releases, click here.

Adding the third-party software repository for Kodi on Debian requires editing the /etc/apt/sources.list file. To start the editing, launch a terminal session by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T. Then, elevate your terminal to Root with the su command and open the sources file in Nano.

su - 
nano -w /etc/apt/sources.list

Once your sources file is open up in Nano, scroll all the way to the bottom of the file and paste the following code:

# Debian Multimedia Repo
deb http://www.deb-multimedia.org buster main

Save the Nano text editor with Ctrl + O and exit it with Ctrl + X. Then, run the apt-get update command to set up the new software source.

apt-get update

When the Debian Multimedia repository is done updating, it’s time to set up the Multimedia’s GPG key.

sudo apt-get install deb-multimedia-keyring

Finally, install Kodi 18 on Debian.

sudo apt-get install kodi

Or, if you already have Kodi 17 installed on Buster, run the upgrade command to transition version 17 to 18.

sudo apt-get upgrade -y

Arch Linux Instructions

Strangely, Arch Linux doesn’t yet have Kodi 18 in their package repositories. However, if you’re on Arch and want to get your hands on Kodi 18 right away, it’s possible to install the Kodi development package, which is version 18.

Installing the Kodi development package on Arch Linux requires interacting with the AUR. The easiest and quickest way to do this is with the Trizen AUR helper, as it can automatically build and install the seemingly endless amount of dependencies required to run most software.

To get Trizen on Arch, do the following:

sudo pacman -S git base-develgit clone https://aur.archlinux.org/trizen.gitcd trizenmakepkg -sri

Now that the Trizen AUR helper is installed, you’ll be able to get the Kodi development release working quickly.

trizen -S kodi-devel

Please keep in mind that the Kodi Development package is unstable. If you have issues, we recommend waiting it out for version 18 to hit the central Arch Linux software sources. Or, try out the Flatpak release instead!

Fedora Instructions

Fedora Linux doesn’t have Kodi 18 in their primary software sources, as the Fedora project doesn’t distribute the Kodi Media Center application. With that said, it’s very easy to install the Leia release, as RPMFusion distributes it.

To enable RPM Fusion, open up a terminal on your Fedora Linux PC. Then, use the DNF package manager to install the RPM Fusion packages.

Note: please replace X in the command below with the release number

sudo dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-X.noarch.rpm -y

With RPM Fusion set up on Fedora, Kodi 18 can be quickly installed with:

sudo dnf install kodi -y

OpenSUSE Instructions

Both OpenSUSE Leap and OpenSUSE Tumbleweed do not have Kodi 18 Leia in their software sources. For this reason, we highly recommend uninstalling Kodi from OpenSUSE and instead using the Flatpak release. To uninstall Kodi 17, launch a terminal window and enter the Zypper command below.

sudo zypper remove Kodi

Flatpak Instructions

Version 18 of the Kodi Media Center is on Flathub as a Flatpak package. As a result, even if you’re using a Linux distribution that has yet to provide version 18, you’ll still be able to try it out. However, keep in mind that to install the Kodi Flatpak release, you must enable the Flatpak runtime on your system first. Unsure about how to set up Flatpak? Check out our guide on the subject!

When you’re done setting up the Flatpak runtime, you must open up a terminal window and enable the Flathub repository.

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

Then, install Kodi 18 with:

flatpak install flathub tv.kodi.Kodi

 

Read How to install Kodi 18 on Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to install software on Fedora Linux

Fedora Linux is considered a more difficult operating system to use, compared to Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and other more user-friendly operating systems. Instead of focusing on average users, it primarily targets developers, system administrators, and Linux power users. For this reason, many new users are intimidated by Fedora Linux and find it difficult to install software on Fedora.

It’s understandable why new users are intimidated by Fedora. The fact is, many new Linux users only have experience with Debian-based Linux distributions like Ubuntu. As a result, it makes installing programs on Fedora Linux seem confusing and scary. In this tutorial, we’ll take the mystery out of installing programs on it by showing you how to use the DNF package manager to install software on Fedora. We’ll also cover how to install apps through Gnome Software and KDE Discover.

Install programs – Linux terminal

Installing programs on Fedora Linux through the terminal is a two-step process. First, you must search for the program you want with the search command. Then, once you’ve figured out the name of the app you want to install, you can use the install command to load it up. For example, to search for the Chromium web browser, you’d do the following.

Note: we are using Chromium as an example. Be sure to take this example and replace chromium with whatever program you’d like to install on Fedora through DNF.

dnf search chromium

From there, Dnf will print out search results in the terminal, complete with descriptions of each available package. Look through the results for the name of the package you want to install. Then, use the install command to load it up.

sudo dnf install chromium -y

To remove a package installed with the Dnf package manager, use the remove command.

sudo dnf remove chromium

Install programs – Gnome Software

Fedora Linux is famous for having the purest, most complete Gnome Shell experience on Linux. As a result, the majority of Fedora Linux users have access to Gnome Software, a popular software browsing app for the Gnome system, and use it to install a variety of different programs with ease on their Fedora Linux systems.

Installing software on Fedora through Gnome Software works exactly as it does on every other Linux operating system that uses it. To get an app downloaded and running through it on your Fedora Linux PC, do the following.

Step 1: Launch the Gnome Software application. You can open it up by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard, typing “Software” into the search box and selecting the shopping bag icon.

Step 2: When the app finishes starting up, you’ll see a welcome screen. Look over the welcome messages. After that, click on an app category and start browsing for an application you’d like to install. Alternatively, find the search box and locate a program that way.

Step 3: Once you’ve found a program through the category browser or the search results in Gnome Software, click on it with the mouse. Soon after, you’ll be taken to the app’s software page.

Step 4: On the app’s software page, locate the “Install” button and click on it with your mouse. Selecting the installation button will prompt you to enter your system password. Then, after entering the password correctly, Gnome Software will go out and install the program.

Step 5: When Gnome Software is done installing your application, you’ll see a “launch” button. Click it to use your newly installed application.

Install programs – KDE Discover

Though the primary focus of Fedora seems to be Gnome Shell, the operating system also has a robust KDE Plasma 5 version. Like Gnome, KDE comes with its own easy to use software browsing app. If you’re new to Fedora’s KDE spin and want to learn how to install programs from it, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Launch the KDE Discover application. To do this, press the Windows key on your keyboard and search for “Discover.” Launch the app with the shopping bag icon.

Step 2: When the KDE Discover software store finishes opening up on your Fedora PC, you’ll see a “Featured” page. Feel free to check out the suggested apps. Or, if you need a particular application, click on the “applications” button on the left.

Step 3: Selecting the “Applications” button in KDE Discover takes you to the app browser area of the app. From here, you can browse for programs to install through the program categories. Or, use the search box to find a particular app.

Step 4: After finding a program you’d like to install in KDE Discover, click on it with the mouse to be taken to the app’s info page. Then, locate the “Install” button and click on it to start the program installation process.

Step 5: When KDE Discover finishes installing your app, you’ll see a “launch” button appear on the info page. Click it with the mouse to start it up.

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