FAQforge provides answers for frequently asked questions for the Linux-, MAC and Windows operating systems.

How to enable hibernation in Ubuntu 12.04 and Linux Mint 13

Friday, July 27, 2012 - posted by CSch

Hibernation is disabled on Ubuntu 12.04 and Mint 13 by default – you can only access it with the command line. To have it as an option in the shutdown menu again, open a terminal and enter the following:

sudo gedit /etc/polkit-1/localauthority/50-local.d/com.ubuntu.enable-hibernate.pkla

By that you create a new text file. Paste the following into it:

[Enable hibernation]
Identity=unix-user:*
Action=org.freedesktop.upower.hibernate
ResultActive=yes

Save the file afterwards and reboot. Hibernation should now be an option in the shutdown menu again.

Uninstall VirtualBox Guest Additions on Ubuntu and Windows 7

Thursday, July 26, 2012 - posted by CSch

Ubuntu:

To uninstall VirtualBox Guest Additions on Ubuntu and similar operating systems, mount the virtual disk again that you used to install them – to do that, click on the Devices menu on the virtual machines top menu bar and select Install Guest Additions. If you get a pop-up about auto-start procedures just cancel it.

Now that the virtual disk is mounted, open a terminal and look for the contents of the disk in the /media folder.

ls /media

In my case, the disk is named VBOXADDITIONS_4.1.10_76795. This name may vary depending on the version of VirtualBox you have installed. Now uninstall the guest additions (don’t forget to adjust the path):

sudo sh /media/VBOXADDITIONS_4.1.10_76795/VBoxLinuxAdditions.run uninstall

Windows:

You can uninstall the guest additions just like any other program on a Windows machine: Click on Uninstall a program in the Control Panel and search for the version you installed. Select it and click on the Uninstall button above the program list.

Disable Autoplay on Windows 7

Monday, July 23, 2012 - posted by CSch

If you are one of those who like to deal with inserted DVDs, USB keys and other removable media yourself, the Autoplay feature of Windows will most likely do nothing but being clicked away by you.

If you want to save yourself a pop-up and a click you can disable Autoplay. To do so, open the menu and type in gpedit.msc. The group policies window will open and you’ll see a navigation pane on its left. Browse it for

Local Computer Policy > User/Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > AutoPlay Policies

Pick User or Computer Configuration depending on the range you want your settings to have. On the right pane, there should now be some settings, on of them being Turn off AutoPlay. DOuble-click it for the configuration window to open.

On the left, click the Enabled radio button. On the options pane you can choose between turning AutoPlay off for all media or just for CDs or removable media drives (since those are the most common I’d recommend to choose that). When you’re done, click Apply and exit the group policies. Next time you insert something you won’t be bothered with pop-ups.

VirtualBox offers a feature that let’s you treat windows opened in the running guest system almost as is they were native to the host system – you can drag them around on the host system, copy and paste texts between the system and only see the host’s desktop while doing so:


(Windows 8 Release Preview guest system on a Linux Mint 12 host system in Seamless mode)

The requirement for Seamless mode to run is that the VirtualBox Guest Additions are installed. You can quite easily install them by clicking on the Devices menu on the the guest system’s window menu and selecting Install Guest Additions… – follow the installer afterwards and reboot the guest system when you are told to. After the reboot you can enter Seamless mode by selecting the guest system’s window and pressing right Ctrl + L.

Skip Metro startscreen on Windows 8 with ClassicShell 3.5.1

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - posted by CSch

Whether you want to use Metro in all its glory is up to you of course but for those who want avoid this interface as thoroughly as possible, version 3.5.1 of ClassicShell brings a useful new feature: it can now get you around the first instance of the metro startscreen that you are presented with directly after login. Combined with its formidable start-button it makes Windows 8 look nearly like Windows 7, saving you the muddle of learning how to use a touch-interface on your desktop computer.

To install ClassicShell 3.5.1, download it from http://sourceforge.net/projects/classicshell/files/Version%203.5.1%20general%20release/ClassicShellSetup_3_5_1.exe/download and follow the installer.

The startscreen should be disabled by default – if you just want the start-button, you can turn on the start-screen again by opening the menu and selecting Settings > Classic Start Menu. Afterwards click on the All Settings radio button ond go to the General Behaviour tab.

To enable Metro welcoming, deactivate the Skip Metro screen checkbox.

German keyboards are usually QWERTZ keyboards, named after the first line of letters up to the first that differs from the English layout, which is QWERTY.

You can switch between these two using the key combination Alt + Shift.

This switch may be the cause of your keyboard behaving strangely – for example if you pressed the combination by accident. In this case z would be replaced by y and nearly every special character would be mapped differently. Try to switch layouts if you experience that.

Revert cursor from block form to bar (Windows, Linux, Mac)

Friday, July 13, 2012 - posted by CSch

Windows as well as other platforms use two different forms to display a text-cursor. One, which is used most, is the bar-formed cursor which rests between two letters. The other has block form and rests on a letter, replacing it if new input is done and going one letter further. This is annoying if you activate it by accident.

You activate as well as deactivate it with the Ins key on usual keyboards. If you are using different hardware, look for a key combination equivalent to the Insert-key.

Change terminal color theme in Linux

Monday, July 9, 2012 - posted by CSch

Since every aspect of Linux is customizable, so is the terminal. Why not spice it up instead of working on a plain white box?

To do so, just open one and go to the Edit menu where you select Profile Preferences. This changes the style of the Default profile. In the Colors and Background tabs, you can change the visual aspects of the terminal. Set new text and background colors here and alter the terminal’s opacity.

On the other menus, you can create more profiles that you can save and also change fonts.

Establish shared folders between VirtualBox and host system

Thursday, July 5, 2012 - posted by CSch

Virtualbox, as most other virtualisation technologies, provides a service to establish shared folders between the host system and the virtualbox guest OS. For that, you need to install the Virtualbox guest additions. To do so on virtual desktops, just open the Devices menu and select Install guest additions….

Mount the CD and proceed like you are told to install the guest additions (steps differ in Windows and Linux). Before you can mount a shared folder you first need to create and/or assign one. Open the settings of the Virtualbox you are running and select the last menu item from the left pane, Shared Folders. Click the icon with the plus symbol on the right to assign a shared folder and give it a name, I’ll use the name blabla for future reference. After assigning a shared folder you can mount them on your virtual machine.

On a Windows machine, open a cmd terminal and enter following (replace my folder name with yours):

net use x: \\vboxsrv\blabla

The folder will then be accesible from the Computer directory.
In Linux, open a terminal and enter following:

sudo mount -t vboxsf blabla /mnt

You can replace /mnt with any mount directory you like, of course.

The shared folder is now set up. You can push files there from the host or the guest system and access them from the other, which makes connecting both much easier than setting up an FTP or SSH connection.

Sometimes you are forced to compile packages from source because they are not present in your current distribution’s package format, which can be really annoying. While this is the safer option, there is also a quicker alternative, which is converting existing packages into the one you need with alien.

sudo apt-get install alien

Before you use it, make sure to have read the alien man page!

man alien

If you’re on Ubuntu for example and need a package that is only available in the rpm format, power your terminal and convert the package (the following is available as deb, it’s just an example):

sudo alien clementine-1.0.1-1.fc16.x86_64.rpm

The package will then be converted. There are a few points that you should be aware of though:

- Dependencies of converted packages will not be resolved. If you install it anyway, your update manager may notice the missing dependencies and install them however.
- It is not recommended to use alien for critical packages. The man page gives further info on that.