Tuesday, December 29, 2015

How to fix Ubuntu 14.04 resolution in VirtualBox

If you have ever attempted to run Ubuntu 14.04 in VirtualBox you might notice the fact that the resolution is stuck at 640 x 480 . Similar issues have been reported for Kubuntu 14.04 and Ubuntu Gnome 14.04 . 

There are a few easy possible solutions to this problem . 

A. The first solution would be to click on Dash and search for "xdiagnose".

Once the window opens , check all the boxes under "Debug" section . Hit apply and close the window. Power off the VM and then start it back up . 

After starting up the virtual OS you will notice an increase in the size of the window . You can check the resolution by searching for "Displays" in Dash .

B. Another more comprehensive solution is installing "Guest Additions" .

The VirtualBox Guest Additions consist of device drivers and system applications that optimize the operating system for better performance and usability.

Run the script and install the necessary software.

Reboot the virtual OS once the "Guest Additions" have been installed .

Using the second solution will let you resize the window on the fly with the desktop snapping right into place . 

"How to" video below : 

Monday, December 28, 2015

How to install and customize Qmmp audio player on Ubuntu

Qmmp is a multi-platform (Linux, FreeBSD, Microsoft Windows) open-source lightweight audio Supported formats include MPEG, Ogg Vorbis, Native FLAC, Ogg FLAC, Musepack, ADTS AAC. 
player written in C++ with the use of Qt the library. The audio player has a built-in equalizer and supports video playback via Mplayer.

To install the audio player use the following commands in a terminal :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:forkotov02/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install qmmp qmmp plugin-pack 

When the installation is complete launch Qmmp from Unity Dash . 
With an interface inspired by Winamp , Qmmp can be customized using Winamp skins 2.x
A variety of skins can be found on Customize.org .

Once you finish downloading the skins you decided upon extract them all in a folder . For this tutorial we will be creating a folder called "winamp skins".

To install skins, right click on top of the Qmmp window >  "Settings" > "Appearence" and add all the skins from the folder you created.

All windows are detachable and can be adjusted according to your preference .

I usually set it up with the equalizer on the left of the main window and the playlist under those 2 windows .

Thursday, December 24, 2015

How to install Mumble on Ubuntu

Mumble is a voice over IP (VoIP) application primarily designed for use by gamers, similar to programs such as TeamSpeak and Ventrilo.
It has a simple interface featuring high sound quality and low latency . All communication is encrypted to maintain the user's privacy. 
Mumble is free and open-source as well as cross-platform.
To install it on Ubuntu open a terminal and type in the following commands :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mumble/release
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mumble 

Once installed you can launch the application from Dash . 
Upon opening mumble you should see the "Audio Tuning Wizard" prompt. Click the "Next" button to continue the wizard.

Configure your audio devices 


Setup "Push To Talk" and select a key 

Select "High" or "Balanced according to the type of connection you have

Add a new server to begin your communication 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Wine tweaks for better fps on Ubuntu

In this tutorial we will be editing Wine to improve fps when gaming . Before you proceed make sure that your CPU Governor is set to performance .This can be done via :

1. Terminal 
 # cpupower frequency-set -g governor (where "governor" represents the setting - performance,ondemand,powersave)
To adjust for only a single CPU core, append -c core_number to the command above.

2. tlp 
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:linrunner/tlp
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install tlp tlp-rdw
(reboot required)

 sudo apt-get install cpufrequtils
 sudo apt-get install indicator-cpufreq
(reboot required)

If you are using proprietary drivers for your GPU make sure they are up to date .

Note: when using open-source drivers for your AMD GPU make sure it is configured for maximum performance as mentioned here . This can also be achieved if you have tlp installed with radeon.dpm=1.

sudo gedit /etc/default/grub

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash radeon.dpm=1"

sudo update-grub

Once you have completed the steps above open a terminal (ctrl+alt+t) and install Wine :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ricotz/unstable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install wine1.8 winetricks

To install the latest development verision use these commands instead :

sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386  (If your system is 64 bit, enable 32 bit architecture)

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:wine/wine-builds
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install --install-recommends winehq-devel

After Wine is done installing  open winecfg by typing it into your terminal :

Add the application (game launcher) 

Once added select it and set the Windows version to Windows XP

Adjust Audio device's

1. Open a terminal (ctrl+alt+t) and type in regedit and hit enter

2. Open the tree on the left to the section where you need to add it , in this case HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Wine

3. Create a key with the name Direct3D

4. Now go to the Direct3D key you have just made and make string values by right clicking and doing New > String Value (ex. create a string named, ‘VideoMemorySize’ and then double click on it and enter the amount of memory  your video card contains with integers only, do not enter MB) :  

DirectDrawRenderer = opengl

UseGLSL = disabled (when using Nvidia card , enabled when using AMD video card)

VideoMemeorySize = 1024 

All the games installed that support OpenGL will benefit from this configuration .
Optionally you can try opening a game using the following command  :

wine ~/.wine/drive_c/Program*/Game folder/"Game.exe" -opengl

Where "Game folder" represents the folder where the game is installed and  "Game.exe" is the executable , located within the folder of the game you are trying to launch .
For more registry editing tips, go to the Useful Registry Keys section on Wine's official website.

This tutorial is meant for educational purposes only . I do not take responsibility for any damage that occurs during this process . 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Add some eye candy to Ubuntu and Derivatives

When you do a clean install of a Distro the first glance of it might not be as visual appealing as one would like.With a few tweaks we can add some eye candy to our freshly installed OS.
This post was created to help inspire those looking to customize their Linux OS , especially users running Ubuntu based Distros on older hardware .With a few simple tweaks we can turn a very plain Distro like Lubuntu , Xubuntu , LXLE, Watt OS, Peppermint OS & others , into one with a more modern feel and look .
These configurations have been created using custom icon themes , typhoon weather widget , gnome-pie , conky-manager/custom conky config  and will work on the majority of Linux Distros .

To install numix icons and gtk theme type in the following command into a terminal :

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:numix/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install numix-icon-theme numix-icon-theme-circle
sudo apt-get install numix-gtk-theme

To install moka icons use the following command :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:moka/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install moka-icon-theme

Unity Tweak Tool (Unity)

Icons and themes can also be changed through different tools depending on the environment you are  using.
In Ubuntu we will be changin the gtk themes along with icon themes using Unity Tweak Tool (if you dont have Unity Tweak Tool installed run sudo apt-get install unity-tweak-tool in a terminal) :

 Ubuntu Tweak (works on most Ubuntu versions and Derivatives)

 Gnome Tweak Tool (gnome) 

KDE (look and feel in system settings).

Xfce/LXDE :

After the installation is finished go to > Preference > Customize Look and Feel (Appearance)

If you are using a lightweight Distro right clicking the panel can bring out a configuration menu :

Eye Candy Screenshots (Unity,LXDE,Xfce)




Additional screenshots with a variety of configurations can also be found here . Enjoy !