Change theme and icon of Sparky Linux MinimalGUI

Sparky Linux is a Debian based distro.  Sparky Linux MinimalGUI loaded with Openbox Desktop. So its performance is very fast. Very suitable for the netbook, low profile processors and old computers. The Sparky Linux MinimalGUI loaded with very minimum applications.

ObConf is the default tool to customize the theme. But it has no option to change the icons. The user can install another app called lxappearance and control the look and feel. Apply the following command to install the lxappearance tool;

sudo apt install lxapperance

The tool will appear at Applications > Settings > Customize Look and Feel

Debian 9 (Stretch) Indian repository

Debian Indian repository can speed up the download speed while upgrade and installation of new packages. Indian users get the advantage of local Debian repository. Here is the Indian repository of Debian 9 (Stretch).

Add to sources.list

Open the sources.list using your favorite text editor,

leafpad /etc/apt/sources.list

Delete or comment out the existing repository details in the file. Copy and paste the following content into the file.

deb stretch main
deb-src stretch main

deb stretch/updates main
deb-src stretch/updates main

deb stretch-updates main
deb-src stretch-updates main

Save and close the file.

Apply following commands to update the repository information.

apt update
apt upgrade

Install MariaDB on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

Visit the following link and choose the desired version of MariaDB,

Following commands will add repository and install MariaDB 10.3,

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common

sudo apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver hkp:// 0xF1656F24C74CD1D8

sudo add-apt-repository 'deb [arch=amd64,arm64,ppc64el] bionic main'

sudo apt update

sudo apt install mariadb-server

Add metadata to PDF files

Master PDF Editor is a PDF editor application and can act as metadata editor. The user can add metadata to an existing PDF files (book, articles etc.) Metadata can give more document visibility while others searching in World Wide Web.

Installation of Master PDF Editor
Download the application
Download the DEB file from following link.

Installation of DEB package
Apply the following command to install the package,

dpkg -i master-pdf-editor*

The application will open from Applications > Office > Master PDF Editor

Adding metadata to PDF file
Open the PDF file with Master PDF Editor

Editing mode of a PDF file.
Open File > Properties to add the metadata.

Save and close the document after adding the metadata.
Right click on the PDF file from file manager and select properties. Newly added metadata visible.

Add metadata to images using XnView

XnView is an image viewer and organiser tool. The tool has a strong module to handle image metadata. No other tools offer user-friendly metadata management interface. XnView is very helpful for add metadata (keywords, byline, location etc.) to images. Metadata can give more visibility for images while search engines dig for information. XnView is very useful for photographers and website content developers and search engine optimizers.

Download the deb file from XnView homepage and install using dpkg command.

sudo dpkg -i XnViewMP-linux-x64.deb

After installation, XnView will appear in Applications > Graphics 

Create PDF forms using LibreOffice

PDF form is convenient to collect data (e.g. survey, application form). Linux users can easily create PDF forms using LibreOffice Writer.

1. Enable Form Controls in Libre Office,
LibreOffice > View > Tool Bars > Form Controls

Form Controls tool bar

2. Open the document, click on Form Controls button and place on the document. Save the document for future editing purpose.

3. Save the document in PDF format.

4. Open PDF file and enter the input. After entering the input, save the PDF in a different name;
File > Save As

Install Canon MF4820d on Ubuntu

Download the driver from the following link,

Extract the pack.

Go inside the folder, find and install the file.
Change the permission of the file and execute it.

chmod +x

Allow to download the dependencies.

Install VirtualBox on Ubuntu 18.04

Virtual Box is useful application for installing other operating systems inside your Linux installation without disturbing your hard disc. It is very easy to mange a guest OS using Virtual Box.

Download the VirtualBox package for Ubuntu 18.04
Visit the following link,

Choose the appropriate package match with Ubuntu edition
Download the VirtualBox Extension Pack from the following link,

Install the dependencies for VirtualBox
Apply the following command in a Terminal,

sudo apt-get -y install gcc make linux-headers-$(uname -r) dkms

Apply the command to install the VirtualBox package downloaded,

dpkg -i virtualbox*.deb

Install the VirtualBox Extension Pack

Double click on the extension pack (Green) downloaded.

Debian Hybrid images

I was playing with Debian 8 (Jessie) & 9 (Stretch) last few days. I tried Debian installation to revive my 7 years old laptop. Also, need to upgrade Linux and Koha in our university server.

My search for Debian images always ends at installer iso files. Installer iso of Debian available with fewer desktops; LXDE and XFCE. LXDE and XFCE belong to the lightweight desktop category. So the desktop's look thin with a poor shabby look!!.

My favourite Linux desktop is MATE. It gives a nostalgic classic look of GNOME 2. I always download and install with the help of Debian XFCE installer CD. Then install MATE desktop and remove XFCE. This practice took time and requires more patience. Little risk also in the work. Chance for the loss of lightdm display manager while removing XFCE. Linux will boot into text mode without a display manager.

What is Debian Hybrid image?
Finally, I found that Debian has hybrid iso images with a range of desktops including MATE. Debian Hybrid iso image contains both installer and live mode. "The live images come in several "flavours" providing a choice of desktop environments (GNOME, KDE, LXDE, Xfce, Cinnamon and MATE). Many users will find these initial package selections suitable".

Linux newbies can find Debian MATE hybrid iso image more comfortable.  Here is the download link to hybrid image of Debian 8;

Debian MATE loaded with few goodies and faster than Ubuntu MATE. It also gives a gentle look desktop. Debian MATE duo can perform fast with laptop, desktop and servers.

Install MATE desktop on Debian

Ambiant-MATE theme on Debian 8 (Jessie).
It tried to install MATE Desktop on Debian 8 (Jessie) and Debian 9 (Stretch). I installed Debian XFCE from CD. Visit Debian Download page to get CD. XFCE desktop is not beautiful. So I decided to install Ubuntu MATE Desktop. Then installed Ubunt MATE Theme. Ubuntu MATE theme is very shiny.

How to install LibreOffice 6 on Ubuntu

LibreOffice 6 released. Here the steps to install LibreOffice 6 on Ubuntu 16.04.

1. Download the LibreOffice package from here.
2. Copy the file in home folder.
3. Right click on the file and extract.
4. Enter inside the folder of extracted files,
cd LibreOffice_6.0.0.3_Linux_x86-64_deb/DEBS
5. Install the files,
dpkg -i *.deb
6. Check the new version of LibreOffice at Applications > Office

Empower your Netbook using Linux

Netbook has now become a major segment of the computer market. Netbooks are miniature of laptops and less powerful. If you are not a power user, no need to buy a powerful and costly laptop. The price of Netbook is affordable to everybody's pocket; especially for students and research scholars. The users can buy from the price range between Rs. 12000 to 20000. Netbooks are lightweight and convenient to carry while travelling. Renowned brands like Dell, HP, Asus and Acer have Netbook range of products.

Install MATE Desktop Environment in Debian and Ubuntu

The MATE Desktop environment is the fork of GNOME 2. GNOME 2 was seized after the arrival of GNOME 3. Linux users still love GNOME 2 classic desktop due to its simplicity. MATE desktop provide more shining classical desktop and give the same GNOME 2 experience. MATE desktop can install on various Linux distributions. Here is the instructions to install MATE desktop minimal in Debian and Ubuntu. Minimal version of the MATE desktop provide core of the desktop without all default applications.

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
Apply following commands one by one;

sudo su
apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/xenial-mate
apt-get update
apt-get install mate-desktop-environment-core

Log out and choose the MATE desktop.

MATE desktop in Ubuntu

apt-get install mate-desktop-environment-core
apt-get install mate-themes

Log out and select MATE desktop.
MATE minimal installation in Debian 9

Tasksel: an easy walk tool with Linux

Tasksel is a tool which available with Linux which helpful to install a bunch (related) of packages. If a user wants to install LAMP (Apache, MySQL, PHP) package, need to apply the command to install individual applications. With the help of Tasksel, the user can select and install LAMP package from GUI.

Tasksel is very useful to select and install the desired desktop package while working with Debian/Ubuntu. For example, Tasksel can help the user to install a new desktop like Ubuntu MATE/Xubuntu desktop. Otherwise, the user needs to apply the concerned command to install Ubuntu MATE minimum desktop.

Install Canon MF226DN All-in-One Printer in Ubuntu

1. Install following dependancy packages.

sudo apt-get install libxml2:i386
sudo apt-get install libjpeg62:i386
sudo apt-get install lib32z1
sudo apt-get install libstdc++5:i386 libstdc++6:i386
sudo restart cups

2. Download the Canon driver from following link,

3. Install the Canon driver.
Extract the package. Find the folder contain the .deb packages suitable for 64 bit architecture. Apply the command to install the .deb packages.

sudo dpkg *.deb

Go to Ubuntu Settings and find that the Printer added in the list.