Open Source Musings

Sharing a passion for Linux and open source, with a decidedly non-techie slant

I don't know how many Linux utilities exist for viewing graphics. Most distributions come with one, and usually that app is more than enough for you to flip through the images on your computer.

One image viewer I've been partial to for a while is feh. It a small, light image viewing tool that's simple to use. While you can run feh from a window manager, you can also run it from the command line.

To do the latter, open a open a terminal window and navigate to the folder containing the image or images that you want to view. Then, type:

feh [name-of-image]

A new window opens, displaying the image.

Viewing an image with feh

feh opens the image at or near its full size. You can scale the image by pressing the down arrow key on your keyboard.

To view multiple files, include a wildcard with the command — for example:

feh *.jpg

feh displays all the files with that extension. Click the window or press the left and right arrow keys on your keyboard to move between the images. feh also displays the number of images in the folder in its title bar.

feh displaying the number of images in a folder

While feh can't edit or save files to different formats, it's a great tool for quickly viewing graphics or photos and for creating impromptu slide shows.

Scott Nesbitt

#linux #cli #utility

(Note: This post was first published, in a slightly different form, at Opensource.com and appears here via a CC BY-SA 4.0 license.)

Even though I'm not their most enthusiastic user, I do realize that spreadsheets can be very useful. And they're not just tools for people working in finance or in data science. Anyone can use spreadsheet to keep track of their personal finances, to catalogue a personal library, and more.

Desktop spreadsheet editors have their limitations. The biggest is that you need to be at your computer to use one. On top of that, if you need to share a spreadsheet, it can quickly become a messy affair.

Enter EtherCalc, an open source, web-based spreadsheet. While not as fully featured as a desktop spreadsheet, EtherCalc packs enough features for most people.

Let's take a look at how to get started using it.

Read more...

(Note: This post was originally published at Opensource.com and appears here via a CC BY-SA 4.0 license.)

Even though I write for a living, I rarely use a word processor these days. I do most of my work in a text editor. When I do need to use a word processor, I turn to LibreOffice Writer. It's familiar, it's powerful, and it does everything that I need a word processor to do.

It's hard to dispute LibreOffice Writer's position at the top of the free and open source word processor food chain — both in popularity and in the number of features it has. That said, Writer isn't everyone's favorite word processor nor is it their go-to application for writing.

While the number of free and open source word processors has dwindled over the years, LibreOffice Writer isn't the only game in town. If you're in the market for an alternative to Writer that's also open source, test drive these three word processors.

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A calendar is more than just something that you use to mark off the days until the weekend. It's also a powerful tool for keeping organized and keeping track of your appointments and more. One of the apps built into Nextcloud is a calendar.

Nextcloud Calendar is easy to set up and use. It packs just enough features for most people. And, if your needs are fairly simple, it's a great alternative to the popular web-based calendar tools out there.

Let's take a closer look at Nextcloud Calendar.

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Here's the latest in an irregular series of short posts that teach some Linux command line basics that you might not know or may have forgotten.

While I keep saying that you don't need to use the command line in order to use Linux, knowing a few basic commands can be a useful.

Take, for example, times when you have a folder on your hard drive packed with files. Hands up if you don't have at least one. Yeah, I thought so. Me, too.

How do you effectively and efficiently view the files in a directory? And how do you pinpoint the files that you want to see? By using the ls command, of course.

Let's take a look at some of the ways in which you can use ls.

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Recently I was culling some notes and I came across one from early 2008. A note that somehow escaped various attempts at pruning over the last 13+ years. A sign or just blind luck?

The note in question was about a post at a now-defunct blog about open source. One quote I extracted from that post pointed out something that I'd been saying for a (long) while:

There are some functionality that isn't available for the free options out there yet, but the actual portion of people that need that specific functionality is so small.

Believe it or not, most free and open source (FOSS) alternatives to commercial software are fine for most people. And they have been for a while.

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As someone who writes for a living, I tend to take a lot of notes. Once upon a time, I used a desktop application called Tomboy to do that. Tomboy was a nifty little app, but it ran a bit slowly for my tastes. And I found that it could be more than just a little unstable at times.

On top of that, Tomboy needed something called Mono in order to run. To say that Mono has something of a controversial rep in the Linux world is like saying a monsoon is a little bit of rain. I'm not a zealot, but having Mono on my laptop to run a single application seemed like overkill to me. So, it was bye-bye Tomboy and Mono.

While I now use Standard Notes to take notes, my road to it took me through several other applications, both on the web and on the Linux desktop. With the latter, one that I tried and liked was Gnote — a rewrite of Tomboy in the C++ programming language.

Recently, I decided to give Gnote another look. Here's what I found (and recalled).

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This is the first in an irregular series of short posts that teach some Linux command line basics that you might not know or may have forgotten.

Let's kick off this series with a quick look how to move around the command line using the cd command.

The cd command enables you to move between directories. So let's image you're at the top level of your /home directory — for example, /home/scott — and you want to move to a directory named Photos. To do that, type:

cd photos

You can also use cd to move into and around subfolders. Say you're in your home directory, and you want to go to the folder Documents/Letters. To do that, type:

cd Documents/Letters

If, on the other hand, you want to move to a directory that's outside of /home, type cd and the full path to the directory. For example, to jump to a common directory for executable files on your system, type:

cd /usr/local/bin

You can also use the cd command to up and down inside a folder and its subfolders. If you're in the directory Photos/Family, but decide that you want to move one level up to the directory Photos/Taupo2021, type:

cd ../Taupo2021

The ../ tells the cd command to move up one level and then change to the directory that you specify.

You can use ../ as many times as you need. So, if you want to move from Photos/Taupo2021 to the folder Documents/Letters, type:

cd ../../Documents/Letters

The ../../ moves you up two levels in the directory structure and the cd command puts you in the directory in which you want to go.

Scott Nesbitt

#linux #cli

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