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    Feed Moved to New Host

    Matt · pubsub.dcentralisedmedia.com / ItsFoss · 6 days ago - 01:30

This feed can now be found on pubsub.do.nohost.me

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    Starship: Open-Source Customizable Prompt for Any Shell

    pubsub.dcentralisedmedia.com / ItsFoss · 7 days ago - 06:20 · 4 minutes

Brief: A cross-shell prompt that makes it easy to customize and configure the Linux terminal prompt, if you care too much about the looks of your terminal.

While I’ve already covered a few tips to help you customize the looks of your terminal , I also came across suggestions for an interesting cross-shell prompt.

Starship: Tweak your Linux Shell Prompt Easily

starship screenshot

Starship is an open-source project that’s written in Rust to help you set up a minimal, fast, and customizable shell prompt.

No matter whether you’re using bash, fish, PowerShell on Windows or any other shell, you can utilize Starship to customize the appearance.

Do note that you do have to go through its official documentation to be able to perform advanced configuration for everything you like but here I will include a simple sample configuration to get a head start along with some key information about Startship.

Starship focuses on giving you a minimal, fast, and useful shell prompt by default. It even records and shows the time taken to perform a command as well. For instance, here’s a screenshot:

starship time

Not just limited to that, it is also fairly easy to customize the prompt to your liking. Here’s an official GIF that shows it in action:

starship demo

Let me help you set it up. I am using bash shell on Ubuntu to test this out. You can refer to the steps I mention, or you can take a look at the official installation instructions for more options to install it on your system.

Key Highlights of Starship

  • Cross-platform
  • Cross-shell support
  • Ability to add custom commands
  • Customize git experience
  • Customize the experience while using specific programming languages
  • Easily customize every aspect of the prompt without taking a hit on performance in a meaningful way

Installing Starship on Linux

Note

Installing Starship requires downloading a bash script from the internet and then run the script with root access.|
If you are not comfortable with that, you may use snap here:
sudo snap install starship

Note : You need to have Nerd Font installed to get the complete experience.

To get started, ensure that you have curl installed. You can install it easily by typing in:

sudo apt install curl

Once you do that, type in the following to install Starship:

curl -fsSL https://starship.rs/install.sh | bash

This should install Starship to usr/local/bin as root. You might be prompted for the password. Here’s how it would look:

install starship

Add startship to bash

As the screenshot suggests, you will get the instruction to set it up in the terminal itself. But, in this case, we need to add the following line at the end of our bashrc user file:

eval "$(starship init bash)"

To add it easily, simply type in:

nano .bashrc

Now, navigate to the end of the file by scrolling down and add the line at the end of the file as shown in the image below:

startship bashrc file

Once done, simply restart the terminal or restart your session to see the minimal prompt. It might look a bit different for your shell, but more or less it should be the same by default.

starship prompt

Once you set it up, you can proceed customizing and configuring the prompt. Let me show you an example configuration that I did:

Configure Starship Shell Prompt: The Basics

To get started, you just need to make a configuration file ( TOML file ) inside a .config directory. If you already have one, you should simply navigate to the directory and just create the configuration file.

Here’s what you have to type to create the directory and the config file:

mkdir -p ~/.config && touch ~/.config/starship.toml

Do note that this is a hidden directory. So, when you try to access it from your home directory using the file manager, make sure to enable viewing hidden files before proceeding.

From this point onwards, you should refer to the configuration documentation if you want to explore something you like.

For an example, I configured a simple custom prompt that looks like:

starship custom

To achieve this, my configuration file looks like this:

starship custom config

It is a basic custom format as per their official documentation. But, if you do not want a custom format and simply want to customize the default prompt with a color or a different symbol, that would look like:

starship different symbol

And, the configuration file for the above customization looks like:

starship symbol change

Of course, that’s not the best-looking prompt one can make but I hope you get the idea.

You can customize how the directory looks by including icons/emojis, you can tweak the variables, format strings git commits, or while using specific programming languages.

Not just limited to that, you can also create custom commands to use in your shell to make things easier or comfortable for yourself.

You should explore more about in their official website and its GitHub page .

Concluding Thoughts

If you just want some minor tweaks, the documentation might prove to be too overwhelming. But, even then, it lets you achieve a custom prompt or a minimal prompt with little effort that you can apply on any common shell and any system you’re working on.

Perosnally, I don’t think it’s very useful but several readers suggested it and it seems people do love it. I am eager to see how you customize the Linux terminal for different kinds of usage.

Feel free to share what you think about it and if you like it, in the comments down below.

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    7 Ways to Customize Cinnamon Desktop in Linux [Beginner’s Guide]

    pubsub.dcentralisedmedia.com / ItsFoss · Thursday, 18 February - 06:36 · 3 minutes

Linux Mint is one the best Linux distributions for beginners . Especially Windows users that want to switch to Linux , will find its flagship Cinnamon desktop environment very familiar.

Cinnamon gives a traditional desktop experience and many users like it as it is. It doesn’t mean you have to content with what it provides. Cinnamon provides several ways for customizing the desktop.

Reading about MATE and KDE customization guides, many readers requested similar tutorial for Linux Mint Cinnamon as well. Hence, I created this basic guide on tweaking the looks and feel of Cinnamon desktop.

7 Different Ways for Customizing Cinnamon Desktop

For this tutorial, I’m using Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE 4). You can use this on any Linux distribution that is running Cinnamon. If you are unsure, here’s how to check which desktop environment you are using.

When it comes to changing the cinnamon desktop appearance, I find it very easy to do so as it is just 2 clicks away. Click on the menu icon and then on settings as shown below.

Cinnamon Settings

All the appearance settings are placed on the top of the window. Everything on “System Settings” window looks neat and tidy.

Cinnamon Settings

1. Effects

The effects options are simple, self-explanatory and straightforward. You can turn on and off the effects for different elements of the desktop or change the window transitioning by changing the effects style. If you want to change the speed of the effects, you can do it through the customise tab.

8 Cinnamon Effects

2. Font Selection

In this section, you can differentiate the fonts you use throughout the system in size and type, and through the font settings you can fine-tune the appearance.

Font Selection in Cinnamon desktop

3. Themes and icons

A reason that I used to be a Linux Mint user for a few years, is that you don’t need to go all over the place to change what you want. Window manager, icon and panel customization all in one place!

You can change your panel to a dark or light colour and the window borders to suit your changes. The default Cinnamon appearance settings look the best in my eyes, and I even applied the exact same when I was testing the Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix but in orange colour.

Cinnamon Themes And Icons

4. Cinnamon Applets

Cinnamon applets are all the elements included at your bottom panel like the calendar or the keyboard layout switcher. At the manage tab, you can add/remove the already installed applets.

You should definitely explore the applets you can download, the weather and CPU temperature Indicator applets were my choices from the extras.

Cinnamon Applets

5. Cinnamon Desklets

Cinnamon Desklets are applications that can be placed directly to your desktop. Like all the other customization option, Desklets can be accessed from the settings menu and the wide variety of choices can attract anyone’s interest. Google calendar is a handy app to keep track of your schedule directly on your desktop.

Cinnamon Desklets

6. Desktop wallpaper

To change the desktop background on Cinnamon desktop, simply right click on the desktop and choose “Change Desktop Background. It will open an easy to use window, where on the left side the available background system folders are listed and on the ride pane there is a preview of the images within each folder.

Cinnamon Change Desktop Background

You can add your own folders by clicking the plus (+) symbol by navigating to its path. At the Settings tab you can choose if you background will be static or slideshow and how the background is being positioned on the screen.

2 Cinnamon Change Desktop Background

7. Customize what’s on your desktop screen

The background is not the only desktop element that you can change. You can find more options if you right click on the desktop and click on “Customise”.

Cinnamon Desktop Additional Customization

You can change the icon size, change the placement from vertical to horizontal and the spacing among them on both axis. If you don’t like what you did, click in reset grid spacing to go back to the default.

Cinnamon Desktop Additional Customization

Additionally, if you click on “Desktop Settings”, more options will be revealed. You can disable the icons on the desktop, place them on the primary or secondary monitor, or even both. As you can see, you can select some of the icons to appear on your desktop.

Desktop Additional Customization

Conclusion

Cinnamon desktop is one of the best to choose, especially if you are switching from windows to Linux , but also for someone who is looking to a simple yet elegant desktop.

Cinnamon desktop is very stable and never crashed on my hands, and it is one of the main reasons why it served me for so long on a variety of Linux distributions.

I didn’t go in much details but gave you enough pointers to explore the settings on your own. Your feed to improve Cinnamon cuztomization is welcome.

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    Dual Booting Ubuntu With Windows 10 Pro With BitLocker Encryption

    pubsub.dcentralisedmedia.com / ItsFoss · Thursday, 11 February - 15:10 · 12 minutes

I have written about dual booting Windows and Ubuntu in the past. The process has improved so much in the last few years. Ubuntu and other Linux play very well with secure boot and UEFI now.

So, why I am I writing about installing Ubuntu with Windows 10 once again? Because these days Windows 10 Pro version comes with BitLocker encryption and hence when you try to dual boot like normal, it either refuses or creates issue.

I noticed it with my new Dell XPS 13. I bought the last Dell XPS in France and it was preinstalled with Ubuntu. Unfortunately, Dell India had no option other than buying the Windows 10 version. In a way, that’s good because it helped me to write this tutorial.

To be honest, dual booting with BitLocker encrypted disk is also not complicated. It just involves the extra step of disabling encryption before starting the dual boot and re-enable it after installing Linux.

Don’t worry. I won’t leave you just like that with my words. I’ll show you each and every step with appropriate details.

Installing Ubuntu with BitLocker Encrypted Windows 10

Please keep in mind that I have used Ubuntu here, but the steps should be applicable to Linux Mint and other Ubuntu-based distributions as well.

Attention!

This dual boot guide is exclusively for systems that have Windows 10 installed with BitLocker. Since it is relatively a newer thing, the steps are only for UEFI systems with GPT portioning scheme. Please check your system first before following the steps.

I also recommend reading the entire steps before you start following it. This may help you locate pain points and you may prepare accordingly.

Prerequisite

Here are the things you need:

  • A Windows 10 system with BitLocker encryption.
  • A USB key (also known as pen drive or USB drive) of at least 4 GB in size and no data on it.
  • Microsoft account for saving the recovery key of BitLocker encryption (external USB can be used as well but MS account will be more convenient).
  • Internet connection.
  • Optional: External USB disk for making back up of your data.
  • Optional: Windows recovery disk.
  • Some time and patience (mandatory).

Step 1: Make a backup of your important data on an external disk

This is optional yet recommended. You should make a backup of your important files on an external disk because you are going to deal with disk partitions.

If you are not sure of anything, I suggest look for documents, music, movies and other important stuff you must not lose and copy them on an external USB disk. You can use an external HDD (slower but cheaper) or SSD (faster but expensive).

You may also use a pen drive for copying files and storing it on some other computer (if you have more than one system).

If possible, have a Windows 10 recovery disk with you (optional)

This one is optional too but could be helpful if anything goes wrong. You could fix the boot records and restore Windows.

Step 2: Verify that you have BitLocker encrypted disk

First thing first, check if you actually have BitLocker encryption enabled. How do you do that? It’s simple. Go to file explorer and check if your main drive has a lock displayed.

Verify If Bitlocker On System

Alternatively, just search for BitLocker in Windows menu and see if you have BitLocker settings.

Bitlocker Settings Bitlocker Settings

Step 3: Back up recovery key and disable BitLocker encryption

Now that you know that you have BitLocker encryption enabled on your system, the next step is to disable it.

Before you do that, you must back up your recovery key. It is a 40 digit key to reset BitLocker encryption. Why? Because you are going to change the boot settings and BitLocker won’t like that. It will ask you to enter the recovery key to ensure that your encrypted disk is in safe hands.

Bitlocker Encryption Windows

You may back up the key on an external USB disk or to your Microsoft account. I saved it to my Microsoft account because it is easier to keep track of the recovery keys at one central place. Of course, you must ensure that you have access to a Microsoft account .

Back Up Recovery Key

Verify that your recovery key is properly saved by going to this link and logging into your Microsoft account.

Once you have saved the recovery key, disable BitLocker encryption. The decryption process may take some time depending on how much disk space you had already utilized.

While you wait for the decryption to complete, you should go on and download Ubuntu ISO. Once BitLocker is disabled, you would notice that the lock has disappeared from the drive icon.

Step 4: Download Ubuntu ISO

Download Ubuntu Desktop

While the disk is being decrypted, you should utilize the time in downloading the ISO image of Ubuntu desktop version. It’s a single file of around 2 GB in size and you may download it directly or use torrent if you have a slow and inconsistent internet.

Step 5: Create a live USB of Ubuntu

Once you have got the ISO, you should get a tool for making the bootable live USB of Ubuntu .

You may use Etcher on Linux , Windows and macOS. However, the way Etcher creates a bootable disk leaves the USB in a weird state and you’ll have a difficult time formatting the disk after the dual boot is over.

For this reason, you are using Windows, I recommend using a free tool like Rufus. Download Rufus from its website.

Plug in the USB key. Since the USB will be formatted, make sure it doesn’t consist of any important data.

Rufus automatically identifies the plugged in USB keys but it will still be a good idea to make sure that it is pointing to the correct USB. Then you should browse to the location of the downloaded ISO image.

You must ensure that it uses GPT partitioning scheme and UEFI target system.

Make Live Usb With Rufus

Hit the start button to initiate the process of live USB creation. If asked, choose ‘Write in ISO Image mode’:

Making Live Usb With Rufus

It will take a few minutes to complete the process. Once you have the live USB ready, the next step is the actual installation of Ubuntu Linux.

Step 6: Boot from live USB

With the live USB of Ubuntu plugged in to your Windows system, it’s time to boot into this live system. There are two ways to do that:

  1. Restart the system and at the boot time, press F2/F10 or F12 to access boot settings. From here, move ‘booting from removable media’ up the order to boot from USB.
  2. From within Windows, access UEFI settings and choose to boot from removable media. This will reboot the system and you’ll be booting from the USB.

I prefer the second method because you may have difficulties in with boot settings from the first method.

In the Windows menu, search for UEFI and click on ‘Change advanced startup options’:

Accessing Uefi Settings Windows

Under the Advanced startup option, click on Restart now button.

Access Uefi Settings Windows

On the next screen, click on ‘Use a device’:

Access Uefi Settings Windows 1

Recognize the USB disk with its name and size:

Access Uefi Settings Windows 2

Now it will power off your system and reboot into the disk you chose which should be the live USB disk.

Step 7: Installing Ubuntu with Windows

When you boot from the live USB, you should see the GRUB screen that presents you the option to try Ubuntu in live USB or install it right away. You may go with either option.

Ubuntu Live Install Screen Booting into live Ubuntu USB

If you chose to try live USB, you should see the installation option on the desktop screen.

Start Installing Ubuntu Start Ubuntu installation from live session

Clicking it will start the installation procedure that starts with choosing language and keyboard layout.

On the next screen, it asks for the kind of installation. Go with Normal installation. No need to download updates or install third-party software just yet. You may do it after installation completes. In my experience, it increases the installation duration and may create issues at times. I prefer to avoid it.

Install Ubuntu by replacing Windows Go with normal installation

It takes a little time and then you see the Installation type screen. This is one of the most important parts of the dual booting procedure.

If you see the ‘Install Ubuntu alongside Windows Boot Manager’, it’s good news. You can proceed with the rest of the installation.

Ubuntu Installation Type Choose to install alongside Windows

But if you are one of the unlucky ones who don’t see this option, you’ll have to quit the installation and do some additional efforts that I have explained under the expandable section.

What to do if you don’t see ‘Install Ubuntu alongside Windows’ option?

Here’s what you should be doing. Quit the installation. Power off the live Ubuntu session, take out the live USB and turn on the system again.

When you boot into Windows, go to Disk Management settings. Here, shrink your C Drive (or D/E/F drives wherever you have plenty of free space) and make some free space like 50, 100 GB or more.

Disk partitioning for dual booting Windows and Ubuntu

Once you have the free space, repeat the procedure from step 6. Which means boot from the USB and start the installation procedure. When you see the Installation type screen again, go with Something Else this time.

Install Ubuntu Something Else

It will take you to the partitioning screen. Here, you can use the free space you created earlier for installing Ubuntu.

partition on Ubuntu Windows 8 dual boot

You may choose to allocate the entire free space to root ( swapfile and home will be created automatically under root) or you can separate root, swap and home partitioning. Both methods are fine.

Creating partition for Ubuntu installation

Once the partition is in place, click on Install now and follow the rest of the tutorial.

Things are pretty straightforward from here. You’ll be asked to select a timezone.

Installing Ubuntu Timezone Selection

You’ll be asked to enter a username, hostname (computer’s name) and a password. Pretty obvious, right?

Installing Ubuntu Account Setup

Now it’s just the matter of waiting. It should take 8-10 minutes to complete the installation.

Installing Ubuntu

Once the installation finishes, restart the system.

Restart After Installing Ubuntu Restart after installation completes

You’ll be asked to remove the USB disk. You can remove the disk at this stage without worrying. The system reboots after this.

Ubuntu Finished Installation Remove USB and press enter

If everything went smooth, you should see the grub screen once the system powers on. Here, you can choose Ubuntu to boot into Ubuntu and Windows boot manager to boot into Windows. Pretty cool, right?

Dual Boot Grub Screen You can choose the operating system from the grub screen

If you don’t see the option to install Ubuntu alongside Windows, quit the installation, turn off the system and boot into Windows. Here, make some free space on your disk by shrinking your disk size.

What are your option if you don’t see the grub screen?

In some unfortunate cases, you may not see the grub screen. There are a few possibilities here.

If it boots straight into Windows, go to UEFI boot settings and see if there is an option for Ubuntu along with Windows. If yes, try to move Ubuntu up in the boot order.

If you see grub rescue screen, you may try to fix the boot issue by booting into live Ubuntu USB and use the boot repair tool .

If you are not able to fix the grub error and getting panic attack, calm down. You can revert to Windows. Go into UEFI boot settings and use Windows boot manager to boot into Windows. Here, delete the Ubuntu partition to claim the disk space and from the UEFI boot settings, delete the Ubuntu/grub boot file.

If you are not able to boot into Windows at all (extremely rare case), it is time to utilize the Windows recovery disk and the backup you had made earlier.

When you boot into Ubuntu, you should see this welcome screen.

Ubuntu After Booting Ubuntu first run

You are at penultimate stage. The only remaining part is to re-enable BitLocker for your Windows partitioning, if you want encryption again. You may leave it unencrypted as well. It’s really up to you.

Step 8: Enable Bitlocker after installing Ubuntu successfully

Restart your system and select Windows boot manager at the grub screen to boot into Windows. In Windows, go to BitLocker settings and click on ‘Turn on BitLocker’ option.

Re Enable Bitlocker Re Enable BitLocker

Here’s an important thing. Each time you disable and re-enable BitLocker the recovery key changes. This is why you’ll be asked to back up your recovery key once again. Save it to your account once again.

Back Up Recovery Key Again Back up recovery key again

On the next step, it asks if you want to encrypt the entire disk or only the used space. You can choose either option depending on your need.

Encrypt Disk With Bitlocker Encrypt disk space With BitLocker

Go with the new encryption mode:

Encryption Type Encryption Type

Start the encryption. Please keep in mind that encrypting the disk will take some time (based on your used disk space) and consumes considerable processing power. Have patience.

Bitlocker Encryption Completed

Things look all set. Before ending the tutorial, I’ll also show you what to do when Windows asks for the BitLocker recovery key.

Bonus Tip: Using BitLocker recovery (when asked for it)

When you re-enable BitLocker, it can sense that the boot settings has been changed. For that reason, it will ask for the recovery key when you try to boot into Windows after re-enabling BitLocker.

It mentions the recovery key ID. The first eight characters are important to identify the correct recovery key.

Bitlocker Recovery Key BitLocker asking for recovery key

On a mobile device or on another computer or boot into Ubuntu and then access your Microsoft account and look at the saved recovery keys.

You may have more than one recovery keys on the account of saving the key multiple times. This is where the recovery key ID comes in handy. Take a note of the 40 digit recovery key associated to that recovery key ID.

Bitlocker Recovery Keys Ms Account BitLocker recovery keys in Microsoft account

Enter this recovery key to unlock BitLocker and access Windows.

Don’t worry. It won’t ask you for the recovery key every time you boot into Windows. It is just when you make a change in the boot settings.

Were you able to successfully dual boot Windows 10 with Ubuntu and BitLocker?

I know it was long read with too many steps and images. I actually tried to give you all the necessary details so that you don’t feel uncomfortable or lost at any stage. I am also working on a video for these steps so that you can see things in action.

If you tried the tutorial, did it work for you? Do you still have problems or questions? Please feel free to ask in the comment section.

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    How to Add Fingerprint Login in Ubuntu and Other Linux Distributions

    pubsub.dcentralisedmedia.com / ItsFoss · Tuesday, 9 February - 09:30 · 3 minutes

Many high-end laptops come with fingerprint readers these days. Windows and macOS have been supporting fingerprint login for some time. In desktop Linux, the support for fingerprint login was more of geeky tweaks but GNOME and KDE have started supporting it through system settings.

This means that on newer Linux distribution versions, you can easily use fingerprint reading. I am going to enable fingerprint login in Ubuntu here but you may use the steps on other distributions running GNOME 3.38.

Prerequisite

This is obvious, of course. Your computer must have a fingerprint reader.

This method works for any Linux distribution running GNOME version 3.38 or higher. If you are not certain, you may check which desktop environment version you are using .

KDE 5.21 also has a fingerprint manager. The screenshots will look different, of course.

Adding fingerprint login in Ubuntu and other Linux distributions

Go to Settings and the click on Users from left sidebar. You should see all the user account on your system here. You’ll see several option including Fingerprint Login .

Click on the Fingerprint Login option here.

Enable Fingerprint Ubuntu Enable fingerprint login in Ubuntu

It will immediately ask you to scan a new fingerprint. When you click the + sign to add a fingerprint, it presents a few predefined options so that you can easily identify which finger or thumb it is.

You may of course scan left thumb by clicking right index finger though I don’t see a good reason why you would want to do that.

Adding Fingerprint Login Ubuntu Adding fingerprint

While adding the fingerprint, rotate your finger or thumb as directed.

Adding Fingerprint Ubuntu Linux Rotate your finger

Once the system registers the entire finger, it will give you a green signal that the fingerprint has been added.

Fingerprint Added Ubuntu Fingerprint successfully added

If you want to test it right away, lock the screen by pressing Super+L keyboard shortcut in Ubuntu and then using the fingerprint for login.

Login With Fingerprint Ubuntu Login With Fingerprint in Ubuntu

Experience with fingerprint login on Ubuntu

Fingerprint login is what its name suggests: login using your fingerprint. That’s it. You cannot use your finger when it asks for authentication for programs that need sudo access. It’s not a replacement of your password.

One more thing. The fingerprint login allows you to log in but you cannot use your finger when your system asks for sudo password. The keyring in Ubuntu also remains locked.

Another annoying thing is because of GNOME’s GDM login screen. When you login, you have to click on your account first to get to the password screen. This is where you can use your finger. It would have been nicer to not bothered about clicking the user account ID first.

I also notice that fingerprint reading is not as smooth and quick as it is in Windows. It works, though.

If you are somewhat disappointed with the fingerprint login on Linux, you may disable it. Let me show you the steps in the next section.

Disable fingerprint login

Disabling fingerprint login is pretty much the same as enabling it in the first place.

Go to Settings→User and then click on Fingerprint Login option. It will show a screen with options to add more fingerprints or delete the existing ones. You need to delete the existing fingerprints.

Disable Fingerprint Login Disable Fingerprint Login

Fingerprint login does have some benefits, specially for lazy people like me. I don’t have to type my password every time I lock the screen and I am happy with the limited usage.

Enabling sudo with fingerprint should not be entirely impossible with PAM . I remember that when I set up face unlock in Ubuntu , it could be used with sudo as well. Let’s see if future versions add this feature.

Do you have a laptop with fingerprint reader? Do you use it often or is it just one of things you don’t care about?

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    Viper Browser: A Lightweight Qt5-based Web Browser With A Focus on Privacy and Minimalism

    pubsub.dcentralisedmedia.com / ItsFoss · Monday, 8 February - 11:20 · 2 minutes

Brief: Viper Browser is a Qt-based browser that offers a simple user experience keeping privacy in mind.

While the majority of the popular browsers run on top of Chromium, unique alternatives like Firefox , Beaker Browser , and some other chrome alternatives should not cease to exist.

Especially, considering Google’s recent potential thought of stripping Google Chrome-specific features from Chromium giving an excuse of abuse.

In the look-out for more Chrome alternatives, I came across an interesting project “ Viper Browser ” as per our reader’s suggestion on Mastodon .

Viper Browser: An Open-Source Qt5-based Browser

Note : Viper Browser is fairly a new project with a couple of contributors. It lacks certain features which I’ll be mentioning as you read on.

Viper Browser

Viper is an interesting web browser that focuses on being a powerful yet lightweight option while utilizing QtWebEngine .

QtWebEngine borrows the code from Chromium but it does not include the binaries and services that connect to the Google platform.

I spent some time using it and performing some daily browsing activities and I must say that I’m quite interested. Not just because it is something simple to use (how complicated a browser can be), but it also focuses on enhancing your privacy by giving you the option to add different Ad blocking options along with some useful options.

Viper Browser Setup

Even though I think it is not meant for everyone, it is still worth taking a look. Let me highlight the features briefly before you can proceed trying it out.

Features of Viper Browser

Viper Preferences

I’ll list some of the key features that you can find useful:

  • Ability to manage cookies
  • Multiple preset options to choose different Adblocker networks
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Privacy-friendly default search engine – Startpage (you can change this)
  • Ability to add user scripts
  • Ability to add new user agents
  • Option to disable JavaScript
  • Ability to prevent images from loading up

In addition to all these highlights, you can easily tweak the privacy settings to remove your history, clean cookies when existing, and some more options.

Viper Browser Tools

Installing Viper Browser on Linux

It just offers an AppImage file on its releases section that you can utilize to test on any Linux distribution.

In case you need help, you may refer to our guide on using AppImage file on Linux as well. If you’re curious, you can explore more about it on GitHub .

My Thoughts on Using Viper Browser

I don’t think it is something that could replace your current browser immediately but if you are interested to test out new projects that are trying to offer Chrome alternatives, this is surely one of them.

When I tried logging in my Google account, it prevented me by mentioning that it is potentially an insecure browser or unsupported browser. So, if you rely on your Google account, it is a disappointing news.

However, other social media platforms work just fine along with YouTube (without signing in). Netflix is not something supported but overall the browsing experience is quite fast and usable.

You can install user scripts, but Chrome extensions aren’t supported yet. Of course, it is either intentional or something to be looked after as the development progresses considering it as a privacy-friendly web browser.

Wrapping Up

Considering that this is a less-known yet something interesting for some, do you have any suggestions for us to take a look at? An open-source project that deserves coverage?

Let me know in the comments down below.

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    5 Tweaks to Customize the Look of Your Linux Terminal

    pubsub.dcentralisedmedia.com / ItsFoss · Wednesday, 3 February - 05:32 · 7 minutes

The terminal emulator or simply the terminal is an integral part of any Linux distribution.

When you change the theme of your distribution, often the terminal also gets a makeover automatically. But that doesn’t mean you cannot customize the terminal further.

In fact, many It’s FOSS readers have asked us how come the terminal in our screenshots or videos look so cool, what fonts do we use, etc.

To answer this frequent question, I’ll show you some simple and some complex tweaks to change the appearance of the terminal. You can compare the visual difference in the image below:

Default TerminalCustomized Terminal

Customizing Linux Terminal

This tutorial utilizes a GNOME terminal on Pop!_OS to customize and tweak the look of the terminal. But, most of the advice should be applicable to other terminals as well.

For most of the elements like color, transparency, and fonts, you can utilize the GUI to tweak it without requiring to enter any special commands.

Open your terminal. In the top right corner, look for the hamburger menu. In here, click on “ Preferences ” as shown in the screenshot below:

Linux Terminal Preferences

This is where you’ll find all the settings to change the appearance of the terminal.

Tip 0: Use separate terminal profiles for your customization

I would advise you to create a new profile for your customization. Why? Because this way, your changes won’t impact the main terminal profile. Suppose you make some weird change and cannot recall the default value? Profiles help separate the customization.

As you can see, Abhishek has separate profiles for taking screenshots and making videos.

Terminal Profiles Terminal Profiles

You can easily change the terminal profiles and open a new terminal window with the new profile.

Change Terminal Profile Change Terminal Profile

That was the suggestion I wanted to put forward. Now, let’s see those tweaks.

Tip 1: Use a dark/light terminal theme

You may change the system theme and the terminal theme gets changed. Apart from that, you may switch between the dark theme or light theme, if you do not want to change the system theme.

Once you head in to the preferences, you will notice the general options to change the theme and other settings.

Terminal Theme

Tip 2: Change the font and size

Select the profile that you want to customize. Now you’ll get the option to customize the text appearance, font size, font style, spacing, cursor shape, and toggle the terminal bell sound as well.

For the fonts, you can only change to what’s available on your system. If you want something different, download and install the font on your Linux system first.

One more thing! Use monospaced fonts otherwise fonts might overlap and the text may not be clearly readable. If you want suggestions, go with Share Tech Mono (open source) or Larabiefont (not open source).

Under the Text tab, select Custom font and then change the font and its size (if required).

Terminal Customization 1

Tip 3: Change the color pallet and transparency

Apart from the text and spacing, you can access the “Colors” tab and change the color of the text and background of your terminal. You can also adjust the transparency to make it look even cool.

As you can notice, you can change the color palette from a set of pre-configured options or tweak it yourself.

Terminal Color Customization

If you want to enable transparency just like I did, you click on “ Use transparent background ” option.

You can also choose to use colors from your system theme, if you want a similar color setting with your theme.

Linux Terminal

Tip 4: Tweaking the bash prompt variables

Usually, you will see your username along with the hostname (your distribution) as the bash prompt when launching the terminal without any changes.

For instance, it would be “ankushdas @ pop-os :~$ ” in my case. However, I permanently changed the hostname to “ itsfoss “, so now it looks like:

Itsfoss Hostname

To change the hostname, you can type in:

hostname CUSTOM_NAME

However, this will be applicable only for the current sessions. So, when you restart, it will revert to the default. To permanently change the hostname, you need to type in:

sudo hostnamectl set-hostname CUSTOM_NAME

Similarly, you can also change your username, but it requires some additional configuration that includes killing all the current processes associated with the active username, so we’ll avoid it to change the look/feel of the terminal.

Tip 5: NOT RECOMMENDED: Changing the font and color of the bash prompt (for advanced users)

However, you can tweak the font and color of the bash prompt ( ankushdas@itsfoss:~$ ) using commands.

You will need to utilize the PS1 environment variable which controls what is being displayed as the prompt. You can learn more about it in the man page .

For instance, when you type in:

echo $PS1

The output in my case is:

\[\e]0;\u@\h: \w\a\]${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\[\033[01;32m\]\u@\h\[\033[00m\]:\[\033[01;34m\]\w\[\033[00m\]\$

We need to focus on the first part of the output:

\[\e]0;\u@\h: \w\a\]$

Here, you need to know the following:

  • \e is a special character that denotes the start of a color sequence
  • \u indicates the username followed by the @ symbol
  • \h denotes the hostname of the system
  • \w denotes the base directory
  • \a indicates the active directory
  • $ indicates non-root user

The output in your case can be different, but the variables will be the same, so you need to play with the commands mentioned below depending on your output.

Before you do that, keep these in mind:

  • Codes for text format: 0 for normal text, 1 for bold, 3 for italic and 4 for underline text
  • Color range for background colors: 40-47
  • Color range for text color: 30-37

You just need to type in the following to change the color and font:

PS1="\e[41;3;32m[\u@\h:\w\a\$]"

This is how your bash prompt will look like after typing the command:

Terminal Bash Prompt Customization

If you notice the command properly, as mentioned above, \e helps us assign a color sequence.

In the command above, I’ve assigned a background color first , then the text style , and then the font color followed by “ m “.

Here, “ m ” indicates the end of the color sequence.

So, all you have to do is, play around with this part:

41;3;32

Rest of the command should remain the same, you just need to assign different numbers to change the background color, text style, and text color.

Do note that this is in no particular order, you can assign the text style first, background color next, and the text color at the end as “ 3;41;32 “, where the command becomes:

PS1="\e[3;41;32m[\u@\h:\w\a\$]"
Linux Terminal Customization 1s

As you can notice, the color customization is the same no matter the order. So, just keep in mind the codes for customization and play around with it till you’re sure you want this as a permanent change.

The above command that I mentioned temporarily customizes the bash prompt for the current session. If you close the session, you will lose the customization.

So, to make this a permanent change, you need to add it to .bashrc file (this is a configuration file that loads up every time you load up a session).

Bashrch Customization Terminal

You can access the file by simply typing:

sudo nano .bashrc

Unless you’re sure what you’re doing, do not change anything. And, just for the sake of restoring the settings back, you should keep a backup of the PS1 environment variable (copy-paste what’s in it by default) to a text file.

So, even if you need the default font and color, you can again edit the .bashrc file and paste the PS1 environment variable.

Bonus Tip: Change the terminal color pallet based on your wallpaper

If you want to change the background and text color of the terminal but you are not sure which colors to pick, you can use a Python-based tool Pywal. It automatically changes the color of the terminal based on your wallpaper or the image you provide to it.

Change Linux terminal color based on wallpaper

I have written about it in details if you are interested in using this tool.

Wrapping Up

Of course, it is easy to customize using the GUI while getting a better control of what you can change. But, the need to know the commands is also necessary in case you start using WSL or access a remote server using SSH, you can customize your experience no matter what.

How do you customize the Linux terminal? Share your secret ricing recipe with us in the comments.

  • It chevron_right

    Paru – A New AUR Helper and Pacman Wrapper Based on Yay

    pubsub.dcentralisedmedia.com / ItsFoss · Tuesday, 2 February - 14:33 · 3 minutes

One of the main reasons that a user chooses Arch Linux or an Arch based Linux distribution is the Arch User repository (AUR) .

Unfortunately, pacman , the package manager of Arch, can’t access the AUR in a similar way to the official repositories. The packages in AUR are in the form of PKGBUILD and require a manual process to be built.

An AUR helper can automate this process. Without any doubt yay is one of the most popular and highly favoured AUR helper.

Recently Morganamilo , one of the two developers of yay, announced that is stepping away from maintaining yay and starting his own AUR helper called paru . Paru is written in Rust compared to yay that is written in Go and its design is based on yay.

Please note that yay hasn’t reach the end of life and is still being actively maintained by Jguer . He also commented that paru may be suitable for users that looking for a feature rich AUR helper; thus I would recommend giving it a try.

Installing Paru AUR helper

To install paru, open your terminal and type the following commands one by one.

sudo pacman -S --needed base-devel
git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/paru.git
cd paru
makepkg -si

Now that you have it installed, let’s see how to use it.

Essential commands to use Paru AUR helper

In my opinion these are the most essential commands of paru. You can explore more on the official repository on GitHub .

  • paru <userinput> : Search and install <userinput>.
  • paru — : Alias for paru -Syu
  • paru -Sua : Upgrade AUR packages only
  • paru -Qua : Print available AUR updates
  • paru -Gc <userinput> : Print the AUR comments of <userinput>

Using Paru AUR helper to its full extent

You can access the changelog of paru on GitHub for the full changelog history or you can see the changes from yay at the first release .

Enable colour in Paru

To enable colour in paru, you have to enable it first in pacman. All the configuration files are in /etc directory. In this example, I use Nano text editor but, you may use any terminal-based text editor of your choice.

sudo nano /etc/pacman.conf

Once you open the pacman configuration file, uncomment the “Color” to enable this feature.

Pacman.conf Color

Flip search order

The most relevant package according to your search term is normally displayed on the top of the search result. In paru, you can flip the search order to make your search easier.

Similar to the previous example, open the paru configuration file:

sudo nano /etc/paru.conf

Uncomment the “BottomUp” term and save the file.

Paru AUR helper configuration

As you can see the order is flipped and the first package appears on the bottom.

Paru.conf Bottomup 2

Edit PKGBUILDs (For advanced user)

If you are an experienced Linux user, you can edit AUR packages through paru. To do so, you need to enable the feature from the paru configuration file and set the file manager of your choice.

In this example I will use the default in the configuration file i.e. the vifm file manager. If you haven’t used it you may need to install it.

sudo pacman -S vifm
sudo nano /etc/paru.conf

Open the configuration file and uncomment as shown below.

Paru.conf Vifm

Let’s go back to the Google Calendar AUR package and try to install it. You will be prompted to review the package. Type yes and click enter.

Paru Proceed For Review

Choose the PKGBUILD from the file manager and hit enter to view the package.

Paru Proceed For Review 2

Any change that you make will be permanent and the next time you upgrade the package, your changes will be merged with the upstream package.

Paru Proceed For Review 3

Conclusion

Paru is another interesting addition to the AUR helpers family with a promising future. At this point I wouldn’t suggest replacing yay as it is still maintained but definitely give paru a try. You can have both of them installed to your system and come to your own conclusions.

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