Category Archives: Linux Tools
Did you remember my post about PhraseExpress and PhraseExpander? These software are running under Windows OS and they are very helpful automation software. But, what about in Linux? Does Linux have similar application?
Of course! Any superb Windows application always has its Linux version. They are not literally the same applications because mostly, they come from different developer and different “shape” (read: different user interface). But they are pretty helpful to habituate the newly migrated Windows user so that they fell “like at home”.
For the Linux version of PhraseExpress and PhraseExpander, we have Autokey. The basic concept is just the same: you create the most-used words/phrases list, assign the abbreviation text as a trigger, and done. Read the rest of this entry
On my previous post I wrote about NRG to ISO, a free application to convert Nero image files into standard image file (ISO). This tiny portable application is very helpful for Windows user, especially for unintentional image conversion.
To do similar image conversion, Windows users have a lot of options—a lot of alternatives—but mostly, professional image converters are expensive proprietary software with a very limited time trial and or only a demo software with a very limited file size to be converted.
On the contrary, if you are a Linux user, you might be much luckier because there are a lot of free similar image converter in your software center. I myself rely on AcetoneISO under my PCLinuxOS machine.
AcetoneISO is a CD/DVD image manipulator that can mount, convert, generate, and extract a lot of image files. For converting feature, AcetoneISO can convert many image files into ISO, including from MacOS image into ISO. For specific image conversion, you’ll sometimes need to install additional add-on (e.g. PowerISO). But don’t worry, all stuffs are already available in the software center. Moreover, AcetoneISO will also offer to download and install the add-on directly from its main UI.
AcetoneISO key features:
Mount image, Convert image, Generate image, Extract image, Compress image, Split image, Encrypt image
AcetoneISO is also capable to split and compress image file for easy sharing. And later, AcetoneISO can help us to re-merge the splitted image. Besides splitting and compressing the image file, AcetoneISO also offers image encrypting to secure our image files. It can be very useful for internal data sharing.
Additional Rare Features
As an image manipulator software, AcetoneISO can also rip a DVD to Xvid AVI, convert FLV to Xvid AVI, and download video both from Youtube and Metacafe. It’s amazing!
Mostly, non-Linux users—especially Windows users—recognize Linux as a complex and complicated operating system with lack of compatibility to common file formats. The way to run Linux is also “difficult”, where the users need to remember and understand a lot of commands on terminal, build a package by themselves, or do some “tricky” things to gain satisfaction, etc. But, above of those all, Linux has no (“crack-able”) cool games! And it’s frustrating enough!
Typically, I’m not a gamer. But when I’m bored, I used to play some games on my Windows-based PC. I like playing Warcraft, Starcraft, Age of Empire, and the similar games. But sometimes, I need to work on my Linux-based netbook and no time to switch to my Windows machine. Unfortunately, my PLinuxOS machine only offers flash-based games, card games, platform games, and some “confusing” games—I said so because some games’ concept in Linux are hard to be understood, or maybe because I’m not smart enough to read the hints J
Years ago, when I was running Ubuntu, I installed 0AD game (if I’m not mistaken, it was still in beta version). As today I’m running PCLinuxOS, I need something new. Thanks God, besides 0AD, there is also Warzone 2100 in PCLinuxOS repository. So I installed Warzone and I “tested” it. Read the rest of this entry
After a review about PortableApps.com for Windows, here I come again with a review about portable application set, now for Linux.
The name is so similar to the one I reviewed before: PortableLinuxApps.org. But, unlike the PortableApps.com, PortableLinuxApps.org doesn’t give us a managed launcher that looks like a start menu. The applications provided by PortableLinuxApps.org are stand-alone and come in <.bin> file format. They can be executed directly from the directory where they are saved.
How to run portable applications in Linux
- Visit PortableLinuxApps.org to download your favorite application(s) and save to your preferred directory or USB flash-disk. Choose the 32-bit or 64-bit version as you need.
- After you download the application(s), in your terminal, cd to the directory of your downloaded application(s). Use “root mode” (sudo su, su, etc.) if necessary. By the way, I’m running PCLinuxOS where I can access the integrated terminal directly right from my Dolphin (file manager). If you are running a different distribution, it’s better for you to find out the information, whether your file manager support an integrated terminal or not. Click the image below to enlarge.
- Ensure that the files you downloaded are in <.bin> file format and has no space in the name. If you find the file format is not <.bin>, rename the file name into: bin, name-of-application.bin, name_of_application.bin, etc.
- Type command: chmod a+x name_of_apps.bin to change the access rights and type ./name_of_apps.bin to execute the application.
- Such that simple.
How to create your own portable applications in Linux
Although PortableLinuxApps.org provides almost all portable Linux applications as a ready-to-use application, for some reasons, we might want to create our own applications collection. And for Linux users, luckily, it’s so easy and almost cost nothing (except the bill of internet connection, of course).
As a basic guide to create your own portable application, please watch the following video:
- To create a portable application, you will need AppDirAssistant and AppImageAssistant. So, if your Linux distribution doesn’t have them in its software center, you can download the portable version and run them manually from http://sourceforge.net/projects/portable/files/ (for 32-bit Linux) or http://sourceforge.net/projects/portable/files/64bit/ (for 64-bit Linux).
- To create a portable application, it’s better for you to not start it from a very updated operating system since the application package (including the dependencies in it) may not compatible in other older distribution. If you have a very updated operating system, you may get the following warning (click the image below to enlarge):
What are the good things
Portable applications are always a good thing since they make us able to do any work, anywhere and anytime—borderless. They are tiny applications that won’t spend our disk space. Their portability and their file format are supported (recognized) by all Linux distributions, so we will never be worried about unable to run an application in a various Linux distribution.
What are the bad things
Just the same as other Linux applications, to run or to install or to create a package of a particular application, sometimes we still rely on “typing a command” feature. For a Linux newbie, it might be pretty hard to understand and remember the commands sequence. But for me, nothing too hard if we want to keep learning :).
But, the problem above is a “tradition” on Linux. The only part of PortableLinuxApps.org I quite “hate” is that there is no Help/Contact/Forum page on the web site. Whenever a newbie like me need help, nobody can help, except asking someone from other forums. That’s all.
Just the same as the package for the Windows version, PortableLinuxApps.org also comes to meet our daily mobile computing under major Linux operating system, so it’s crucial to have them in our removable media (USB flash-disk, portable hard-drive, etc.).
Printing photos is not always an easy thing to do. I mean, we cannot always just right click on a photo then press “print”. Sometimes, we need to adjust the layout too. And although Linux provides sets of application related to photo management and photo printing, and you might be loving one of them, here I will show you another option (if you have never tried it yet). The application is PhotoPrint, it is so friendly application even for newbie.
Well, the basic operation of PhotoPrint is printing any photo as you need. You can choose to set the photo(s) to fit the paper size, set one piece of paper to load many photos at once, or even to set the photo size by the need.
To print some photos at once, you can firstly choose the layout method. There are two methods that you can use: specify rows/columns and specify image dimensions. Example: when you want to fill the paper with 4 photos, you can set the parameter as follow (unit in millimeter):
We can set the number of rows and columns to place the photos and set the spaces or gaps among them. We can even set the margins and paper size. The default unit is millimeter, but you can change it into centimeter or inches from menu Options – Units.
We can also set the size of photo that we want to print. Example: we want to print a 4 x6 cm photo, we can set the parameter as follow (unit in centimeter):
To add photos into the PhotoPrint, we can do it easily by pressing Ctrl + I and then access the directory where we save the photos. Once the photo appears, we can select other photos to put them into the remaining rows or columns. If we want to fill the whole paper with some pieces of the same photo, just click on the first photo, then click Image – Duplicate to Fill Page. It’s good for mass photo printing.
There are 4 layout options we can use: auto, poster, carousel, and manual. If you are planning to print a large photo into a small size paper, we can choose poster layout mode. The photo will be printed into some pieces of papers.
PhotoPrint also provides a few effects that can be applied. They are Desaturate, Warm/Cool, and Sharpen. Not for professional use, but maybe you want to make your photos little bit “different”, then you can use one of those effects.