Tuesday, August 30, 2016


My normal approach to cleaning up old kernels and headers in Ubuntu: In Synaptic, search linux-image, mark all but the two most recent linux-image packages for complete removal, search linux-header, mark all but the two most recent linux-headers packages for complete removal, apply the changes, reboot. This isn't something that normally needs to be done in Debian, but Ubuntu receives a lot more kernel updates and accumulates a lot more old kernels than you'll ever see in Debian Stable.

For the first time, I tried another approach: the purge-old-kernels command.

For info about using the purge-old-kernels command in Ubuntu, see http://blog.dustinkirkland.com/2016/06/purge-old-kernels.html and http://www.webupd8.org/2016/07/how-to-safely-remove-old-linux-kernels.html.

And, of course, don't forget to take a look at man purge-old-kernels.

Dustin Kirkland wrote, "You'll already have the purge-old-kernels command in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (and later), as part of the byobu package." Here, turned out I had to install byobu in 16.04.

Then, I ran the following:

$ sudo purge-old-kernels
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
  libpango1.0-0 linux-headers-4.4.0-31 python3-feedparser unity-scopes-runner
Use 'sudo apt autoremove' to remove them.
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  linux-headers-4.4.0-31-generic* linux-image-4.4.0-31-generic* linux-image-extra-4.4.0-31-generic*
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 4 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
After this operation, 225 MB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n]

I let that that operation proceed and then went back and ran the following as recommended by the output above:

$ sudo apt autoremove libpango1.0-0 linux-headers-4.4.0-31 python3-feedparser unity-scopes-runner
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  libpango1.0-0 linux-headers-4.4.0-31 python3-feedparser unity-scopes-runner
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 4 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
After this operation, 70.8 MB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n]

Again, I let the operation proceed. Seems to have worked out fine here, but as always, be careful when using that autoremove option! Perhaps take a look at the "autoremove" section in man apt:

autoremove (apt-get(8))
           autoremove is used to remove packages that were automatically installed to satisfy dependencies for other
           packages and are now no longer needed as dependencies changed or the package(s) needing them were removed
           in the meantime.

           You should check that the list does not include applications you have grown to like even though they were
           once installed just as a dependency of another package. You can mark such a package as manually installed
           by using apt-mark(8). Packages which you have installed explicitly via install are also never proposed for
           automatic removal.

Monday, August 29, 2016

bunsenlabs info

BunsenLabs "Hydrogen" is mainly the same as Debian Jessie except for packages (scripts, artwork, etc.) that come from the bunsen-hydrogen repository (deb http://pkg.bunsenlabs.org/debian bunsen-hydrogen main) (see the BunsenLabs Repository Index page).

From https://www.bunsenlabs.org/resources.html:

The list of currently maintained packages is as follows:

bunsen-common (script libraries)
bunsen-configs (application-related config files)
bunsen-conky (conky-related config files and scripts)
bunsen-docs (tool documentation)
bunsen-faenza-icon-theme (default icon theme)
bunsen-images (artwork for logos, icons, avatars, backgrounds)
bunsen-meta-* (meta packages for task-specific software bundles)
bunsen-os-release (provides lsb-release and os-release data)
bunsen-pipemenus (Openbox pipemenus)
bunsen-themes (GTK theme collection)
bunsen-utilities (utility scripts)
bunsen-welcome (initial user and system setup)

BunsenLabs users can search Synaptic for "bunsen" to see BunsenLabs packages, and for info on installed files.

To see a list of installed packages with names beginning with the string "bunsen":

$ dpkg --get-selections | grep bunsen
bunsen-common install
bunsen-configs install
bunsen-conky install
bunsen-docs install
bunsen-faenza-icon-theme install
bunsen-images install
bunsen-keyring install
bunsen-os-release install
bunsen-pipemenus install
bunsen-python-apt-template install
bunsen-themes install
bunsen-utilities install
bunsen-welcome install

For a list of all available packages with names beginning with the string "bunsen":

$ apt-cache pkgnames bunsen

Monday, August 22, 2016

inxi -F

Another shot of my BunsenLabs Hydrogen desktop, this time showing the output of the very useful inxi -F command:

touchpad, again

Earlier, I wrote about using xinput to disable a touchpad (see: "disabling that touchpad").

There are other ways to do that, of course. Your chosen desktop environment probably provides a GUI tool for touchpad settings. Or your laptop itself may have a way for you to disable the touchpad. A quick web search should turn up some different approaches you can take.

xinput comes in handy for Openbox, which has no GUI tool for touchpad settings (as far as I know).

Settings made by xinput do not survive the current user session. You can put the following at the end of your ~/.config/openbox/autostart file:

xinput set-prop xx "Device Enabled" 0 &

(where "xx" is the device id number found by running the xinput list command)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

a different look

Changed my BunsenLabs desktop into something that fits me better. Vertical, left-side tint2 panel, and my own conky.

Monday, August 15, 2016

disabling that touchpad

Here's a way to disable a touchpad in Linux via the command line (tip found here).

To get a list of connected modules, I ran

$ xinput list

From the output, I found the id number for the touchpad ("id-14"), then ran:

$ xinput set-prop 14 "Device Enabled" 0

If I want to re-enable the touchpad, I can simply run the xinput set-prop command with "Device Enabled" 1 instead of "Device Enabled" 0.

That's it! Thanks, Jonquil!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

bunsenlabs and the tao of openbox

BunsenLabs Linux ships with a nice Openbox set-up and a great collection of apps and tools (see: "two community projects"). Of course, one of the most fun things about Openbox (and, Linux in general) is personalizing your installation to suit your own tastes.

I did a fresh installation of BunsenLabs "Hydrogen" using an updated (as of July 10 2016) image I found at the BunsenLabs Installation page (see the "Downloads" section). Here's another shot of the default desktop:

I added a few of my favorites, including chromium, spacefm, geeqie, xfce4-terminal, inxi, and the menu package (for the Debian menu). I edited the tint2rc file, putting in a different set of application icons, darkening the panel a bit, and adding the date to the panel's clock area. I increased the number of workspaces from 2 to 3, removed the conky, changed the cursor theme, and added my own set of wallpapers to choose from.

With no apps running, my desktop now looks like this:

The BunsenLabs folks put so much obvious care into their default Openbox menu that users can get along just fine without changing it; but, who can resist starting up the GUI Menu Editor (aka "obmenu") and having some fun with it? To make things a little more convenient for me, I changed a few menu entries and added a few submenus.

Some shots of my revised Openbox menu in BunsenLabs "Hydrogen", with three new submenus added:

As a result, some apps have entries in multiple places in the menu; I'm okay with that.

I'm very impressed with this distro. The actual installation time for me, after partitioning the hard drive and before post-installation set-up and tweaking, was only about 15 minutes. A look at three of the default submenus -- the Preferences, System, and Help submenus -- gives an idea of the many tools and links you'll find:

Those Openbox-lovers who like something based on Debian Stable, along the lines of our wonderful (but now defunct) CrunchBang, will want to download the latest image and try the "Hydrogen" release in a live session to get a taste of what BunsenLabs has to offer. Don't be fooled by this (apparently) under-appreciated distro's (current) low "page hit ranking" at DistroWatch; BunsenLabs, overall, looks like one of the finest, most intelligently-designed projects out there right now, and has quickly become one my favorite distros to use.