39 cards

Ubuntu with Gnome: move and resize windows easily

On Ubuntu I always had a hard time resizing windows as window borders are so thin that they are hard to grab.

Using the mouse

My solution for Ubuntu Mate was to resize windows with ALT + right mouse and move them with ALT + left mouse.

Ubuntu with Gnome Shell (Ubuntu 20.04) uses different shortcuts. You have to use the super key (windows key) with mouse-wheel-click to resize.

If this feels awkward to you, you can change this using the Tweaks application:

  • select Windows > Window Action Key > Alt
  • enable Windows > R...
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Drawing diagrams with https://app.diagrams.net/

diagrams.net Archive is a web application that lets you draw flow charts and other diagrams. It works much nicer than office suite tools like LibreOffice Draw or Google Drawings.

Its UI is easy to use: Simply drag and drop shapes or arrows from the left-hand side onto your sheet. Drag start/end of arrows to shapes to automatically connect them. You can add text to shapes by selecting them and typing. To add colors, select a shape and use the right-hand panel.

While you can, you don't need to store your charts online. "...

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Ubuntu: How to disable unused microphone devices

When you are using a dedicated webcam device on a desktop machine, you never want to use its microphone. Here is how to disable it.
This can be useful if "smart" voice chat or phone software picks its microphone at random. If you disable all but one, you can avoid that.

  1. sudo apt install pavucontrol
  2. Launch pavucontrol
  3. Go to the "Configuration" tab at the very right
  4. Disable your webcam's microphone by choosing "Off" from the dropdown menu.

You may use any other mixer tool wher...

Google Meet: How to increase the size of a shared screen

When another person on a Meet call is sharing their screen, text may be hard to read due to the large number of UI elements taking up space.

Here are some things you can do to increase the size of the shared screen:

  • Pin the shared screen by hovering over it and pressing the Pin icon.
  • Hover over your own image and press the Minimize icon.
  • In the Meet Menu (triple dots) switch your Layout to "Focus".
  • Zoom out (!) by pressing CTRL+minus a couple of times. This reduces the size of the Meet controls at the bottom. You can later ...
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How to force-enable hardware acceleration in Chrome, Chromium

Google Chrome uses hardware acceleration of your GPU to ensure smooth scrolling and animations.

By default, Google blacklists most Linux GPU drivers from hardware acceleration because they get too many support calls. The result is that on Linux, Chrome will often have slow scrolling and animations.

Please make sure your Chrome browser has hardware-acceleration enabled so your experience matches that of most users of the apps you build. You should usually be able to override the blacklist without issues.

Todo

chrome://gpu should ha...

GPG in Thunderbird 78+

Thunderbird 78 and newer handles GPG differently than previous versions as previously the extension Enigmail was used to handle GPG functionality. Now Thunderbird has GPG built-in, Enigmail is no longer needed and no longer works.

The main implication due to this is that Thunderbird uses its own keystore. Therefore you don't have to enter a passphrase for your key. The good news is that you can, if you want and know what you do, use your system GPG (as previosly) for private key operations. See the appropriate section below, if you want to ...

Ubuntu: How to test the actual output of your microphone

To test your microphone you can either check the amplitude in the settings or create a temporary loop.

Start the loopback

pactl load-module module-loopback latency_msec=1000

The effect ist something like this:

  • Speak "Hello"
  • You will hear your "Hello" as echo 1 second later

Stop the loopback

pactl unload-module module-loopback
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Zammad: Keyboard shortcuts

Zammad has a number of helpful keyboard shortcuts.

I particular recommend using CTRL+SHIFT+C to close the current ticket, and CTRL+SHIFT+O to return to the last overview list.

You can access a list of available shortcut by clicking on your user profile icon at the bottom left, then select Keyboard shortcuts.

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Fix pale colors in Google Chrome

If colors rendered by Chrome look off (e.g. bright red becomes a tone of brown), try this:

  • Go to chrome://flags
  • Search for "color"
  • Set "Force color profile" to "sRGB"
  • Restart Chrome

If your colors look good, you don't have to do this.

Disabling Bluetooth on your Thinkpad permanently

Persistently disabling Bluetooth across reboots is not trivial on some Ubuntus (I'm using 16.04 LTS).

Instead of configuring systemd or editing config files, you may also disable Bluetooth in your BIOS:

  • Interrupt start-up with a hotkey (ENTER on my X260)
  • Enter BIOS configuration utility
  • Go to Security
  • Go to I/O Port Access
  • Set Bluetooth to Disabled
  • Save changes and reboot

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Deprecated

Ubuntu: Fix screensaver not locking the screen

If the default lock function of your desktop environment isn't working you can try this workaround with xautolock.

sudo apt-get install xautolock

Autolock runs a command after a given duration of inactivity. Your screensaver or "locker" usually has a programmatic way to lock the screen. How that command looks like depends on which environment you're using.

MATE

  • Go to Control Center and "Startup Applications".
  • Add a new application with the command xautolock -time 10 -locker "mate-screensaver-command -l"

The time is...

Creating a new Google Meet meeting with one click

Visit meet.new Archive to quickly create a meeting with a random ID.

We suggest adding a bookmark for https://meet.new/ to your browser.

Linux: Manipulate PDF documents

Here are some tools that are useful to manipulate PDF documents under Linux/Ubuntu:

Xournal Archive (Ubuntu 14.04+)

Add text, add images, add hand-written notes. No geometrical shapes. Recommended. Simple tool to insert a signature image and some text to a PDF.

uPdf Archive (old Ubuntus)

Add text, add images, add geometrical shapes. Horrible GUI, but works some of the time.

PDF-Arranger Archive (PDF-Shuffler on old Ubuntus)

Graphical G...

Working around Thinkpad + ThinkVision issues on Ubuntu

The centerpiece of our home office setup usually consists of a docking station which charges the notebook and acts as a proxy to various peripheral devices.

For reference, I am running Ubuntu 18.04 on a Thinkpad T480. You might not run into the same issues on other devices.

Lately I switched to using the ThinkVision P27h Archive monitor. The neat thing is that it made my docking station unessential:

  • The monitor offe...

Ubuntu MATE: What to do when your desktop freezes

When your PC no longer reacts to input, you might be able to restart your MATE session:

  • Open another terminal with CTRL+ALT+F1.
  • Sign in with your user and password
  • killall mate-session

If successful you should see the visual login prompt (it will automatically switch back to CTRL+ALT+F7).

After that, go back to CTRL+ALT+F1 and log out with exit so no one with physical access to your PC can use that session. The session will not be locked by the screen saver in your graphical MATE environment!

Cards now has a reader mode

makandra cards now has a "Reader mode" that will display the current card in a minimal layout. This is useful for presentations.

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We added some keyboard shortcuts to help with navigation:

  • You can activate Reader Mode by pressing R or by clicking the book icon.
  • You can navigate between cards using the left and right cursor keys.
  • To close Reader Mode, press R or Escape.
  • To edit the current card, press E.

These keyboard shortcuts also work in the regular card view.

How to encrypt and decrypt GPG mails in the terminal

Encrypting

gpg -e -a -r <receiver@email.address> [-r <receiver2@email.address>]
<type message>
<ctrl d>

Now copy the PGP message to your mail client and send that mail.

  • You need one -r flag per receiver address
  • With a single receiver, you can also write gpg -ear reci@pie.nt

Decrypting

gpg -d
<paste encrypted message>
<ctrl d>

Adding public keys

gpg --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --search-keys <user@domain.com>
<number of the search result that should be imported>

Also see [Using GPG/PG...

How to fix huge buttons in Zoom

If you're running Ubuntu Mate and your Zoom suddenly has huge buttons, it might assume you're using a very High DPI display. While this is usually a good idea, the heuristic determining whether to enable this HiDPI mode or not does not work perfectly with Ubuntu Mate and multiple displays.

Force a specific scale factor

Unfortunately, this setting is not exposed in the GUI, you'll have to change the config file.

First, make sure zoom is closed completely, i.e. there should not be a zoom icon in the panel next to the clock.

Open `~/.conf...

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