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Firefox version 29 has had a nice make-over, but one thing that has greatly annoyed many users is that not only has the Tab bar been moved to the top above the Address bar, but that when going into Customize, there is no longer an option to move it back to where you want.

Move your Firefox Tab Bar back below the Address Bar

Move your Firefox Tab Bar back below the Address Bar

While you can install the Classic Theme Restorer Add-on to do this, you will still need to fidget with its settings to move the Tab bar, and it will revert to the old-style square tabs instead of the nice new rounded ones. But rather than install yet another add-on, which you then have to figure out how to use, and then loose the rounded corners on tabs, you can actually hack one of Firefox‘s config files – userChrome.css – to get your Tab bar to go back to the bottom.

To open your Firefox profile folder where the file is located, just go to Help > Troubleshooting Information, and in the Application Basics section on the config page that appears, next to Profile Directory click the Open Directory button (Show Folder in Windows, and Show in Finder in Mac OS X)

When the folder appears, open the chrome folder, right-click userChrome.css and choose to open it with a text editor. When the file is open, go to the bottom of the document and add the following code (if the end of the document is at the end of a line of code that was already there, then add a couple of blank paragraphs by hitting Enter twice):

#TabsToolbar{-moz-box-ordinal-group:10000!important}

Once you’ve saved and closed the file, go to File > Restart, and when Firefox reloads, the Tab bar will be below the Address bar, not above it.

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While there are ways to change the default web browser via a GUI, this command-line method is even quicker. Also, while your email program and other apps might know which browser to open URLs with, you might find that ApportUbuntu‘s bug reporting system – looks to another browser you have installed. This is especially true if the other browser was at one point the default, and most notably this happens with Opera, though could also happen with Chromium/Google Chrome, Firefox, or any other browser you’ve installed before.

While Apport generally carries on with the bug reporting silently once you’ve clicked to continue, occasionally it require you to log into Launchpad, and will fire up the wrong browser, quite often it being Opera.

But it’s easy to remedy this by entering the following into the terminal:

sudo update-alternatives --config gnome-www-browser

Change Default Browser in Ubuntu

As you’ll see, all you have to do is enter the number corresponding to the browser you want to be the default (in this case 2 for Firefox). To complete the process, enter this command:

sudo update-alternatives --config x-www-browser

Change Default Browser in Ubuntu 2

… and do the same there. That’s it – you’ll no longer have Apport or any other app open the wrong browser again.

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If you’re a Kubuntu user (or, like me, an Ubuntu user with multiple desktop environments installed, including KDE), you may have noticed that every time you start Chromium (or Google Chrome) web browser, KDE Wallet pops up and asks for authentication. While you can just exit that without having to enter your password, one can be forgiven for finding it irritating to have to do so every time the browser is opened. But it’s actually quite easy to disable, and all you have to do is enter the following into a terminal:

gedit ~/.kde/share/config/kwalletrc

Once the file opens, hit Ctrl+End to go to the bottom of the file, hit Enter a couple of times (so there will be a blank paragraph between the last entry and the test you’ll be pasting), and add the following:

[Auto Deny]
kdewallet=Chromium

(substitute “Google Chrome” instead of “Chromium” if using the former)

Save and exit the file. Log out and back in again for the changes to take effect, or simply enter the following into the terminal:

killall -9 kwalletd

That’s it – the next time you open Chromium/Google Chrome, kwallet will no longer appear to annoy you.

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If you’ve been getting blue faces when watching YouTube clips, or any other Adobe Flash videos, the cause can be hard to pinpoint. When faces and flames, and other red/orange elements, turn varying shades of blue, it can be due to a buggy Flash update (especially for 64-bit users), or it can be due to video card driver issues (currently it seems to be affects a few Nvidia users after upgrading to Ubuntu 12.04 – read more at the bottom). Whatever the cause, this issue usually drives people to uninstall Flash, then reinstall an earlier version.

But hopefully the following fix will correct the colours in the movies you watch in Firefox or Chrome (and any other web browsers) without having to resort to such drastic measures. All you need to do is create a text file and paste a line of text into it, but since saving it will fail unless you create the folder first, do so by running the following in the terminal:

sudo mkdir /etc/adobe/

Now to create the file and open it for editing:

gksu gedit /etc/adobe/mms.cfg

When it opens, paste in the following:

EnableLinuxHWVideoDecode=1

Close the file, and confirm you want to save the changes. Now, all you need to do is restart your browser and your clips should look fine. If not, you may need to reboot, and hopefully all is fine when you return.

The EASY WAY: Now that you understand what’s needed, you could cheat and just do the whole process with one command:

sudo mkdir /etc/adobe/ && echo -e "EnableLinuxHWVideoDecode=1" | sudo tee /etc/adobe/mms.cfg > /dev/null

If you also want to force the Flash player to bypass its GPU validity checks (GPU validation – see below), then the command would be:

sudo mkdir /etc/adobe/ && echo -e "OverrideGPUValidation=1\nEnableLinuxHWVideoDecode=1" | sudo tee /etc/adobe/mms.cfg > /dev/null

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That Didn’t Work, or Caused Problems? In some cases, you might find you need to disable GPU validation in addition to, or instead of, telling Flash to use vdpau hardware acceleration. If you’re experiencing trouble at some sites but not others (like YouTube videos are now fine, but at Vimeo the Flash plugin crashes), you may want to play around with the settings. For example, to enable the acceleration but bypass GPU validation, the text in mms.cfg would be:

OverrideGPUValidation=1
EnableLinuxHWVideoDecode=1

… or the following to just bypass GPU validation:

OverrideGPUValidation=1
EnableLinuxHWVideoDecode=0

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To Revert Back: If these tweaks have caused you more headache than it was worth, just delete the entire folder you created with:

sudo rm -r /etc/adobe

Or you can just edit the file with:

gksu gedit /etc/adobe/mms.cfg

… and set EnableLinuxHWVideoDecode= to 0 if you prefer to keep it.

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Nvidia users: Apparently the issue (which Adobe reportedly won’t be fixing) is caused by having hardware acceleration enabled, so right-clicking a Flash video, choosing Settings… and disabling “Enable hardware acceleration” can often fix this. However, the above fix is perhaps more elegant since you’re allowing Flash to use vdpau hardware acceleration, rather than just disabling it altogether.

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If you’ve set up Indicator Applet to include Mozilla Thunderbird, you may have noticed that the notifications are somewhat limited compared to what you get for the default email client, Evolution. But by installing a Thunderbird add-on and a small package, you can get a green envelope notification for newly received mail in the Indicator Applet, as well as a “black bubble” pop-up notification that blends in with the rest of your Gnome desktop.

First off, download the “Indicators for Thunderbird” add-on and install it:

In Thunderbird, go to Tools > Add-ons, click the Install button, locate/select the file you downloaded, and click OK.

You will note that the envelope indicator will be green when you get new mail, but you may also get an error message complaining about that libnotify-bin must be installed (to get popup notifications), so just enter the following into a terminal:

sudo apt-get install libnotify-bin

Once installed, you’ll get the familiar “black bubbles” popups for incoming mail.

 

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Bonus: Also works with other distros like Arch.

Limitation: Only works with your Inbox; if you filter your incoming email into different folders, you won’t be informed when new (filtered) email arrives.

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Remove Evolution Mail Notifier from Indicator Applet in Ubuntu’s Panel

Remove the Volume Button from the Indicator Applet in Ubuntu’s Panel

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Did this information make your day? Did it rescue you from hours of headache? Then please consider making a donation via PayPal, to buy me a donut, beer, or some fish’n’chips for my time and effort! Many thanks!

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The Search bar in Firefox – which many still look at as the “Google bar”, even though it lists other search engines – is extremely useful, but you can make it even more so by adding all sorts of search options.

What we’ll look at here is the “Search Ubuntu packagesadd-on, which (as the name suggests) lets you hunt for software for Ubuntu directly from the Search bar. All you have to do is go to the download page and click the Add to Firefox button, restart Firefox, and it’s done.

Alternatively, if you’re browsing the Firefox Add-on index you can just click the Add to Firefox button next to “Search Ubuntu packages“, and confirm by clicking Add.

Once you restart Firefox, your new search option will be in the Search bar’s drop-down menu. When wanting to search for software, select Ubuntu packages, type the name of the program or package, and hit Enter.

Like all new additions to the Search menu, it will appear at the bottom, so if you’d like to move closer to the top, click Manage Search Engines… (at the bottom of that menu) and move it where you want with the up arrow.

Note that once you’ve used it, it will stay as the default search option till you choose another (so make sure you choose Google or whatever before doing a regular web search).

Search Ubuntu packages

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Did this information make your day? Did it rescue you from hours of headache? Then please consider making a donation via PayPal, to buy me a donut, beer, or some fish’n’chips for my time and effort! Many thanks!

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