Linux User Group of Mauritius Promoting open source software in our beautiful island

1Dec/130

Skype “no sound” fix

Posted by Ish

I installed Skype v4.2 on openSUSE 13.1 KDE 64bit. Although having PulseAudio configured, there was no sound in Skype. I checked around and found this announcement:

PulseAudio 4.0 and Skype

By Arun | Published: August 2, 2013

This is a public service announcement for packagers and users of Skype and PulseAudio 4.0.

In PulseAudio 4.0, we added some code to allow us to deal with automatic latency adjustment more gracefully, particularly for latency requests under ~80 ms. This exposed a bug in Skype that breaks audio in interesting ways (no sound, choppy sound, playback happens faster than it should).

We’ve spoken to the Skype developers about this problem and they have been investigating the problem. In the mean time, we suggest that users and packagers work around this problem in the mean time.

If you are packaging Skype for your distribution, you need to change the Exec line in your Skype .desktop file as follows:

Exec=env PULSE_LATENCY_MSEC=60 skype %U

If you are a user, and your distribution doesn’t already carry this fix (as of about a week ago, Ubuntu does, and as of ~1 hour from now, Gentoo will), you need to launch Skype from the command line as follows:

$ PULSE_LATENCY_MSEC=60 skype

If you’re not sure if you’re hit but this bug, you’re probably not. :-)

Now, instead of launching Skype from command line as instructed, it can be fixed by adding the latency value in the Skype launch file.

sudo vi /usr/share/applications/skype.desktop

Replace Exec=skype %U by Exec=env PULSE_LATENCY_MSEC=60 skype %U. Start Skype and audio should now be fixed. Make a test call to verify ( :

skype-4.2-pulseaudio-bug

27Nov/130

Font anti-aliasing in openSUSE KDE

Posted by Ish

Some time ago a friend, Abdallah Yashir asked me about font anti-aliasing in openSUSE KDE. He liked the KDE version of openSUSE but somehow was disappointed with the quality of fonts. As a developer typography was his main concern. I told him I’ll put some quickie instruction on my blog.

So, to get smooth looking text on your screen you have to enable “anti-aliasing”. Press Alt + F2 & fire up kcmshell4 fonts. It should bring up the KDE Control Module for Fonts. Enable anti-aliasing and click on the configure button. Select Use sub-pixel rendering and set it to RGB. Apply the new settings.

font-anti-aliasing

All newly started applications will now feature smooth fonts. For a better experience though, restart the KDE session.

font-anti-aliasing-writer

Update – 29.11.13

Getting some nice fonts from Google …

sudo zypper in google-alegreya-fonts google-allerta-fonts google-anonymouspro-fonts google-arimo-fonts google-cabin-fonts google-cardo-fonts google-cousine-fonts google-croscore-fonts google-droid-fonts google-exo-fonts google-inconsolata-fonts google-lato-fonts google-lekton-fonts google-merriweather-fonts google-nobile-fonts google-roboto-fonts google-tinos-fonts

 

Follow the above mentioned instruction & set the system font as Lato and the size as shown below …

font-anti-aliasing-lato

You should end up with a sleek & smooth KDE desktop ( :

10Nov/130

Set up keyboard layout applet in Cinnamon 2.0

Posted by Ish

As I continue exploring Cinnamon 2.0 features (on openSUSE 13.1) I noticed the keyboard layout setting wouldn’t function as expected. For some weird reason I couldn’t add Hindi (Bolnagri) layout although this is present in the GNOME session. I also tried setting it up using gnome-control-center instead of Cinnamon settings but didn’t work.

A little bit of Google search & I found many people reporting the issue. Some folks resorted to adding their required keyboard layout directly to the X11 configuration. Well … it could do the trick but I was looking for something less system-wide. My search then led me to the following setting using setxkbmap.

setxkbmap -layout "us,fr,in(bolnagri)" -option "grp:alt_shift_toggle"

Upon running it adds English (US), French and Indian (Hindi/Bolnagri) layouts in the order as specified. To get it launched at login we just need to include the command & parameters in Cinnamon’s startup programs.

Open Cinnamon-settings ($ cinnamon-settings) & click on Startup Programs.

cinnamon-settings-startup-programs

Click Add and specify a name & the command parameters.

cinnamon-settings-add-startup-program

Re-login into Cinnamon and you should find the shiny keyboard layout applet on the bottom-right.

cinnamon-keyboard-layout-applet

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10Nov/130

Set up keyboard layout applet in Cinnamon 2.0

Posted by Ish

As I continue exploring Cinnamon 2.0 features (on openSUSE 13.1) I noticed the keyboard layout setting wouldn’t function as expected. For some weird reason I couldn’t add Hindi (Bolnagri) layout although this is present in the GNOME session. I also tried setting it up using gnome-control-center instead of Cinnamon settings but didn’t work.

A little bit of Google search & I found many people reporting the issue. Some folks resorted to adding their required keyboard layout directly to the X11 configuration. Well … it could do the trick but I was looking for something less system-wide. My search then led me to the following setting using setxkbmap.

setxkbmap -layout "us,fr,in(bolnagri)" -option "grp:alt_shift_toggle"

Upon running it adds English (US), French and Indian (Hindi/Bolnagri) layouts in the order as specified. To get it launched at login we just need to include the command & parameters in Cinnamon’s startup programs.

Open Cinnamon-settings ($ cinnamon-settings) & click on Startup Programs.

cinnamon-settings-startup-programs

Click Add and specify a name & the command parameters.

cinnamon-settings-add-startup-program

Re-login into Cinnamon and you should find the shiny keyboard layout applet on the bottom-right.

cinnamon-keyboard-layout-applet

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9Nov/130

Linux meetup – Geek talk around a pizza

Posted by Ish

The past week having worked till 01h00 I wasn’t in good shape to attend Linkbynet Openday. I pinged others informing I’ll come directly to PR School of Management & Education (PRSME) for the Linux Meetup.

Neha, Darshinee and Pawan had been to the Openday in the morning. I heard they got lost around in Quatre Bornes while looking for PRSME. Ahaan! We have Google Maps for such situations folks.

Natasha & Avinash on the other hand were waiting for me at UoM. I met them a little before noon and we moved to PR School of Management & Education. By then the lost penguins had found their way & they were sitting in the cozy conference room. A quick introduction & we started talking about Linkbynet Openday; how it happened etc. It was interesting to note a lot had changed there. Natasha & Avinash didn’t stay for long.

Other geeks joined us gradually. In all these folks showed up today : Avinash Seetaram, Natasha Fokeer, Pawan Babooram, Neha Gunnoo, Darshini Seeburn, Abdallah Yashir, Avinash Mayaram, Nitin Bachraz, Hasvin, Yuram Venkatiah, Nitin Mutkawoa & me.

Linux-meetup-91113-1

Linux-meetup-91113-2

Nitin Mutkawoa was the last to join us & he lost his way too while bringing Pizza & Coke for us. Oh! Hunger was almost killing me.

Which topics were on menu …

Earlier on the facebook event page I published the topics as still brewing. Well, today when we started discussions there were 2 things I tossed on table.

1. How can we (Mauritians) help & contribute to openSUSE or other FOSS projects?

Around 3 years ago I joined the openSUSE project as an ambassador. I told folks how it all started and what are the different channels through which we can help the project; like marketing (advocacy), content writing (wiki/blog), graphic design, and development (bug-reporting, coding etc). We don’t need to be experts but simply be passionate by stuffs in which we’re skilled.

Those who wish to connect & help the openSUSE team can ping me any time or send your query to the corresponding mailing list.

2. Cinnamon 2.0 running on openSUSE 13.1 RC2

Since the past few days I was hacking around to get Cinnamon work on openSUSE 13.1. It’s now working. I demoed a Cinnamon session with the Void theme.

Cinnamon-void-theme

Cinnamon 2.0.11 running on openSUSE 13.1 RC2

To install Cinnamon on openSUSE 13.1, do as follows :

sudo zypper ar http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/X11:/Cinnamon:/Factory/openSUSE_13.1 Cinnamon
sudo zypper ref Cinnamon
sudo zypper in -t pattern "Cinnamon Desktop Environment"

 

Yuram has been learning new stuffs too. He showed us how he’s been using vmstat and free commands to get details about memory usage on Solaris & RHEL servers at our workplace. He nicely explained us about swap usage. Hope to see more of it showing up on his blog. We also had some ps and dmesg fun!

Hasvin came for the first. He introduced himself and told us about his graphic designing work. It would be nice to see him showcasing his graphic genius in the coming meetups.

Nitin Bachraz gave us some insight on recruitment of Unix/Linux engineers. He shared some tips that should boost the confidence of freshers. He emphasized on stress management & gave us examples on how things should be dealt within the work environment. It was also great to have a Database Administrator among us today. Yes, Abdallah is a DBA at Spoon Consulting. He shared some of his experiences as both a DBA & coder. Nitin Mutkawoa shared the news of Blackout OS, an upcoming Linux distro for pen-testers.

Linux-meetup-91113-3

Abdallah, Yuram and me.

Pawan asked us about the use of echo command. He found it a bit silly that a command just returns the argument you passed it. His doubt was cleared when we showed him the usage of echo in a Bash script :) I was happy though to see that Pawan has progressed in his Linux learning. He’s become quite comfortable with the command line & he surprised us when he answered Yuram about using top to analyze CPU & memory usage. Good going little penguin!

In the end … We all had our fun time with geek chats & pizza munching :)

Photos, courtesy of Pawan Babooram.
We thank Shaleena Callichurn, CEO of PRSME, for providing the facility to hold our Linux meetup. We also thank Rishen Armoogum for his presentation on PRSME’s aim & research programs.
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