Latest Tilda

I did post some time ago about the disappearance of Tilda from Fedora. At the time this was due to the lack of upstream support and the fact that development had stalled. Since then development has again started and Tilda is being improved. While it is not (yet?) available for Fedora it is a simple procedure to add it. The following link covers compiling and installing it. I tested it in Korora 20 Xfce and it worked fine and I have the latest Tilda running now.

/kernel_reloaded/ » compile latest tilda and enjoy solarized terminal.

Clementine Error

I use a couple of music applications when I’m working. Mostly I use Amarok but I also like Clementine. It was inspired by Amarok 1.4 so is popular with many who didn’t like the changes brought by KDE 4.

For some time I’ve had an issue with Clementine, it wouldn’t save the last played date. Not a major problem for most people I guess. However I use a dynamic playlist that is designed to play all the tracks in my collection with minimum repetition. It uses the last played date and won’t repeat something that has been played in the last few weeks.

I did a search online and didn’t find anything. I also asked on a couple of forums but got no response. Today I got around to looking at it again. I found the the config directory, located at ~/.config/clementine, contained 2 subdirectories. One of these is called “networkcache”. I deleted this as an experiment and was surprised to find the date saved again. Strangely I notice that the directory hasn’t been recreated so maybe it isn’t used any more.

However problem solved, Clementine is working again.

Lots of Little Things

I had one of those days where you don’t do anything much but seem to have a number of small successes. That has been my day.

First I installed Korora 20 Xfce on my netbook. I don’t use the netbook much so it hasn’t been updated for a while. There was no issues, Korora installed without problems.

While checking over the netbook I noticed something that has been happening for a while. My conky is set up to show the current power adapter status, charging, discharging etc. For a couple of versions it has shown ‘no adapter, charging’. Obviously something was wrong but it said charging when it was so it wasn’t a major problem. Looking at the Conky man page I found there is an option for the acpiacadapter variable to specify the subfolder of /sys/class/power_supply that indicates the current state. It looks for AC or ADP1 if the option isn’t used. Fedora and hence Korora uses AC0. Adding that as the option fixed the problem. Easy fix when you take the time to research it.

Second, a minor nuisance is the need to enter my password twice when logging in on my netbook or laptop. I use the same password for login as for the keyring. I found an older post on the Fedora Xfce mailling list that gave the solution. Deleting the leading – from the line

-auth       optional    pam_gnome_keyring.so

in /etc/pam.d/lightdm allows LightDM to open the keyring so it can be used by other applications. Again a simple fix after a bit of research.

I also updated the links on this blog when I noticed that the Korora link was for Kororaa. So I checked all the others and found a couple of dead links and a couple of typos too.

All in all an easy day but some little annoyances fixed.

Google Chrome in Korora

Korora comes with many repos already set up so you can just install many software packages from the Package Manager or command line. One of the repos that is set up is Google Chrome. A simple

dnf install google-chrome

will install the stable version of Google Chrome.

However if you want the beta or unstable version, I prefer the beta version, then you need to edit the repo file. Actually other versions like the beta will install with the specific command

dnf install google-chrome-beta

but they won’t be updated in future. Using your preferred text editor open /etc/yum.repos.d/google-chrome.repo. The last line is an exclude statement. You will need to delete or comment out this line. Alternatively you could edit it by removing the version you wish to install / update from that line.

Now you can use the beta or unstable version of Google Chrome in Korora.

Amarok Art

I have been using Conky to display the current track information from Amarok. This uses qdbus, the command qdbus org.kde.amarok /Player GetMetadata gives a great deal of information on the track including lyrics, artist, title etc. and the cover art. Search for amarok conky script and you will find lots of examples using this method. It was the cover art that gave me problems recently.

I haven’t used Amarok for a while as I tend to switch between Clementine and Amarok. When I started Amarok conky would show the track details but for many tracks it wouldn’t display the cover art even though it was displayed in Amarok. I searched for a while until I found the problem.

Looking at the output of the qdbus command I saw that sometimes the ‘arturl’ was a file in the music directory. This is where I have put covers that I downloaded manually or that came with the album. I would then use Amarok’s set custom cover screen so Amarok would display them. These lines in the qdbus output show illegal characters like ‘%’ that weren’t part of the filename. When it was a cover that Amarok had downloaded automatically it would be listed as a file in ~/.kde/share/.apps/amarok/. These files worked in Conky.

The answer was simple but time consuming. I used Amarok’s fetch cover option which would then display the custom cover I had previously set. I select it and then it works in Conky. There may be a better way but I haven’t found it yet. Hopefully I will only need to do it for one track from each album.

Xfce’s Drop Down Terminal

Screenshot - 011213 - 16:53:01As a followup to yesterday’s post on Tilda there is an alternative for Xfce users. The current Xfce terminal has a drop down option. However it is not obvious to most users.

It is a hidden option which is standard for Xfce4-Terminal. To access it you need to start the terminal with the command ‘xfce4-terminal –drop-down’. The man page gives more details and suggests you bind that command to a keyboard shortcut. That way you can press the key to open the terminal and pressing it again will hide but not close the terminal. This means there is no need to add it to your sessions or Autostart. The first time the key is pressed will launch and open it. Further presses will reveal or hide it.

I would suggest binding it to F12. To do this right click on the desktop, select Applications – Settings – Keyboard. Select the Application Shortcuts tab,  click on the Add button, type in the command as above. Click OK and it will open another window asking for the key, press your chosen key(s) and the window will close. Test the shortcut, the terminal should open as a drop down.

In the Edit menu (or right click in the terminal) there is a Preferences option with a new DropDown tab. Make your choices here for size, location etc. If you turn off the menu bar you can access the preferences and new tab etc. options with a right click. The Dropdown preference screen also has an option for Opacity this applies to the whole terminal including the text. The Opacity option on the Appearance tab only affects the background. The Duration option controls the speed of the animation as the terminal drops down and ascends.

There is an option for a panel indicator too, it will appear in the notification area. Clicking on the panel icon will open the terminal. Right clicking gives access to the Preferences and an option to close the terminal.

This is a great option for Xfce users wanting the convenience of a drop down terminal and may remove the need for Tilda in future versions.

RIP Tilda, Long Live Tilda

UPDATE: Since I wrote this there has been some progress, although Tilda still isn’t available from the Fedora repos there has been some development work done on it. There is a new maintainer so go here for the latest details. You will need to build from source to have Tilda in current versions of Fedora or Korora but hopefully a new packager will emerge.

As many who have read this blog will know I’m a fan of drop down (aka quake style) terminals. I use Yakuake in KDE but in Xfce I’ve been using Tilda. I prefer its minimal style and features to the other options.

However when I installed Korora 19 I discovered that Tilda has been dropped from Fedora’s repos for 19 as it isn’t being currently maintained. In cases like this you have the choice of finding an alternative or building it yourself from source.

I found there is another way of installing Tilda in Korora or Fedora 19. Please note that this isn’t a procedure I would recommend for most packages but it works for Tilda. I ran Fedup on one of my systems but did a clean installation on another. Initially I didn’t notice the Tilda hadn’t been updated by fedup as it was still working. Only after I installed on the other system was the lack of Tilda noticed. I realised that packages from the older version still worked. So that was how I got it working in 19.

First we need a rpm file to install. That’s easy as I found the version for 18 works in 19. One way to obtain rpms is with RPM Search. I’ve used it before to back date when updates break something and yum history hasn’t worked. Go to here for a 64 bit file or here for an i686 one.

Now, as root, change to the directory where the downloaded file resides and run ‘yum localinstall packagename’, obviously replace packagename with the name of the file you downloaded. Yum will handle the dependency and install Tilda for you.

Problem solved, you now have Tilda in Korora or Fedora 19. Hopefully someone will step up and package it again in future version but as development has been slow I guess that’s not likely. See Tilda on github for details on the current state of development.