Saturday, September 10, 2016

ElementaryOS Loki - The Trickster

After installing the latest ElementaryOS Loki, I was left sadly unimpressed. It seemed bugy for a release. But I needed a break, and I had found my old Creative ZEN all covered in dust. I was able to pull off some old music videos of The Small Faces that I wanted to see (I'll get to the point...) I hadn't looked at these in years. So I fired up Videos, surely THAT would be non stressful. The video started, but there was no sound. Check - yep sounds are turned on. I must be missing some codecs. I run

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

And then I have music. And the light came on. During install, I had connected to the internet and selected to

  • load updates while installing
  • install 3rd party software wich includes MP3

But apparently it didn't happen. So I clicked on AppCenter and selected Updates, and sure enough, there was a whole slew of updates waiting. The moral of this story is always double check the install.

After running those updates and rebooting, I found that most of the bugy stuff was gone.

And now I am suitabley impressed with Loki!

Friday, September 9, 2016

After Installing ElementaryOS Loki 4

I upgraded to ElementaryOS Loki Stable Release today. Installing a new OS is often stressful, but this was worst I've experienced in a few years. Was it worth it? Yep. I'm in love!
I've recorded the steps I went thru to 'get back to normal'

1) Elementary has hobbled the command line package manager. To restore:
sudo dpkg --configure -a
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gdebi
apt-get install software-properties-common

2) There is an upgraded version of Elementary Tweaks! Bright desktops give me a headache, I need the dark theme to function:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:philip.scott/elementary-tweaks && sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install elementary-tweaks

3) Elementary doesn't allow desktop icons. I don't get why.
sudo apt-get install -–no-install-recommends nautilus dconf-tools
Here are the instructions I follow to configure the desktop:

4) And I want a show desktop icon. This puts it right on the plank:
sudo apt-get install wmctrl
cd /tmp && wget
unzip && cd showdesktop-master
sudo mv showdesktop /usr/local/bin/ && sudo mv showdesktop.desktop /usr/share/applications/ && sudo mv showdesktop.svg /usr/share/icons/elementary/apps/48/
mv showdesktop.dockitem ~/.config/plank/dock1/launchers/

Finally, I found that Loki still has a couple of quirks.
1) My mouse cursor disappears. To prevent this, I set the power setting 'Turn off display when inactive' to Never.
2) The top bar keeps freezing up. I created a simple desktop icon to fix that when I click on it:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Fix Wingpanel
Exec=pkill wingpanel
Comment[en_US]=Fix Frozen Top Bar
GenericName[en_US]=Fix Frozen Top Bar
Save this to ~/Desktop/Fix.desktop then start a terminal and enter:
$ chmod +x  Desktop/Fix.desktop
And now I click on it about 50 times a day...