Open Source Musings

linux

(Note: This article was originally published at Opensource.com and appears here via a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.)

There are great tools on the Linux desktop for taking screen captures, such as KSnapshot and Shutter. Even the simple utility that comes with the GNOME desktop does a pretty good job of capturing screens. But what if you rarely need to take screen captures? Or you use a Linux distribution without a built-in capture tool, or an older computer with limited resources?

Turn to the command line and a little utility called Scrot. It does a fine job of taking simple screen captures, and it includes a few features that might surprise you.

Let's take a peek at it.

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(Note: This post was originally published, in a slightly different form, at Opensource.com and appears here via a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.)

I don't do Windows. The operating system, I mean. At least, not on my own computers and not with any of my own work.

When I was a consultant, I often had to work out of my clients' offices, which meant using their hardware, which also meant using Windows at many of those offices.

Even when using Windows, I tried to install as much open source software as I could. Why? Because it works as well as (if not better than) its proprietary equivalents. One of the applications I always installed was Notepad++, which I looked at for The Plain Text Project.

To be honest, I've wanted a version of Notepad++ for Linux for a while now. Someone made my wish come true in the shape of Notepadqq. Although it's billed as “a text editor for developers,” it's not a bad tool for writers or anyone else, either.

Let's take a look at it.

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Despite all the grand talk of us being in the digital age and of the paperless whatever, many of us still receive and handle more paper than we care to. While most of that can be recycled or shredded, we might need to keep a few of those documents for posterity.

No one wants to deal with drawers full of paper. So why not archive all of your important documents? If you have a scanner or a multi-function printer, and are running the GNOME desktop, then using Document Scanner (which was known for the longest time as Simple Scan) is a quick, easy, and efficient way to do that job.

Let's take a look at it.

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When it comes to editing images and photos on the Linux desktop, the first application that comes to mind is The GIMP. And with good reason: The GIMP is big, powerful, and flexible.

It's also a bit much if you only need to do some basic image editing. Not everyone is a professional photographer or designer. Most of use only need to do basic tasks like cropping, resizing, minor retouching, and the like.

A good option for that is Pinta. To paraphrase Jack Tramiel, Pinta is image editing software for masses, not classes. It's reminiscent of Windows Paint, but with a few more features. Features that you might actually use.

Let's take a quick look at how to do some basic image editing with Pinta.

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For years, I've been saying or writing that you don't need to know how to use the command line to use Linux effectively. I've helped more than a few people over the years migrate to Linux, and none of them have cracked open a terminal window. Guess what? They're getting what they need to get done using graphical applications. And nothing else.

But here we are in 2022 and I'm still trying to break that myth. Over the years, and quite a few times in recent months, have tried to call me out over that. They've pointed to articles and blog posts written about the command line as proof to contrary. As proof that the command line is essential if you want to use Linux.

I don't deny that I use the command line — mainly to make some complicated tasks simple. That said, I'm definitely not a command line master. Far from it. I know just enough to be dangerous, to carry out a few tasks. At most, I spend 5% of my computing time in a terminal window.

That time isn't spent doing anything complex. So, what do I use the command line for? Here's most of what I do in a terminal window:

  • Read RSS feeds with newsboat.
  • Convert files using pandoc.
  • Publish a couple of websites using GitLab Pages.
  • Use three or four simple scripts (which I cobbled together through trial and a lot of error or which were written by people I know) to automate tasks — scripts like this one.

And not much more than that. Hardly the behaviour of a seasoned, hardened, deeply technical command line guru, is it?

Scott Nesbitt

#linux #cli #opinion

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

How do you usually copy all or part of a text file when working on the Linux desktop? Chances are you open the file in a text editor, select all or just the text you want to copy, and paste it somewhere else.

That works. But you can do the job a bit more efficiently at the command line using the xclip utility. xclip provides a conduit between commands you run in a terminal window and the clipboard in a Linux graphical desktop environment.

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