Open Source Musings

linux

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

In the early days of the web, a hundred browsers bloomed. Well, figuratively at least. Back then, there were more than a few of web browsers, but eventually that number was whittled down. Today, we're left with the Big Three and a (very) small handful of other web browsers.

Does the world need another web browser? I'm not the one to decide that. But some people think there is room for alternatives to Firefox, Chrome, and that other browser.

One of those alternatives is Min. As its name suggests (suggests to me, anyway), Min is a minimalist browser. That doesn't mean it's deficient in any significant way. Being open source, under an Apache 2.0 license, of course piques my interest in Min.

Let's take a look at Min and see what it can do.

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While Apostrophe is my Markdown editor of choice at the moment, others occasionally catch my eye. It's not that I'm constantly looking for a new Markdown editor, but part of me likes to know what's out there.

Recently, I stumbled across an editor called Ghostwriter. Well, stumbled across isn't quite the way to describe this discovery. I've used Ghostwriter in the past, and was impressed by its combination of a minimal design and a decent feature set. So I thought it was time to revisit Ghostwriter.

Let's take a look at it.

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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 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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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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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

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

Good spelling is a skill. A skill that takes time to learn and to master. That said, there are people who never quite pick that skill up—I know a couple or three outstanding writers who can't spell to save their lives.

Even if you spell well, the occasional typo creeps in. That's especially true if you're quickly banging on your keyboard to meet a deadline. Regardless of your spelling chops, it's always a good idea to run what you've written through a spelling checker.

I do most of my writing in plain text and often use a command line spelling checker called Aspell to do the deed. Aspell isn't the only game in town. You might also want to check out the venerable Ispell.

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