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Archive for the ‘KDE Programs in Ubuntu’ Category

If you’ve tried as many burning apps as I have over the years, both in Windows and Linux, you’ll already know that they all have their limitations, if you look hard enough. And when it comes to especially long file-names, you’ve probably also seen a few messages telling you the offending file-names will be truncated to fit in with the standard being used to burn the disc.

K3b is a great program that can do many things the others can’t, but it will complain about really long names that go past the allowed amount of characters, at least on the default setting. But there is a way around this, and it isn’t opening another app like GnomeBaker.

When you are in the Burn dialogue, go to the Filesystem tab, and under File System you will notice the setting is (probably) Linux/Unix + Windows, and this Windows support is the problem. Instead, choose Linux/Unix only and your project will be burned to disc without mention of long file-names. And your disc will still be able to open in Windows, and current versions of it should be able to handle the extra-long names. But, if you are worried about cross-platform compatibility issues, you can change it back to Linux/Unix + Windows when burning your next disc, and only set it to Linux/Unix only when you need to.

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Click here for all K3b tips

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K3b is an excellent disc burning program with lots of features, and one of those is the ability to customise the quick start pane that is shown when there is no open project.

The 2 default buttons are New Audio CD Project and New Data Project, but you can add more to these, or replace them with whatever you please. As an example, I’ll show you how to add a button for movie DVDs while removing the rarely-used audio CD button.

To add a new button, you can right-click any existing button, and from the Add Button menu choose your option.

Alternatively, just right-click anywhere in that pane (other than on a button) and automatically the Add Button menu is displayed. Simply click on your choice and a button for it will be added to the end (right of existing buttons).

To remove a button, simply right-click it and choose Remove Button, and it will be gone from sight. Note that you cannot delete the More actions… button (which is actually a good thing).

As I said, you can add as many buttons as you want. In fact, you can pretty much eliminate the need to go back into the More actions... menu ever again.

However, if you want to keep it neat and tidy, and only really use a couple of options – like burning data discs and movie DVDs – just display buttons for those.

As you can see, it is incredibly easy to tailor K3b‘s quick start pane to your needs, so set it up how you want and you will rarely ever need to click More actions… again.

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Click here for all K3b tips

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K3b is a versatile CD/DVD burning utility that makes a great addition to anyone’s arsenal of multimedia apps. It has features many others lack, like the ability to successfully burn VIDEO_TS folders to playable movie DVDs, and even if you’re happy with your current burning app, it’s good to have just in case. But it is so feature-rich and easy to use that it could well become your disc burning app of choice.

K3b is actually made for KDE (Kubuntu’s desktop environment), but runs fine in Gnome. If you have KDE installed as a secondary desktop environment, then you’ll already have all the libraries and dependencies K3b will need; if you’re only running Gnome, when you install K3b any bits and pieces of KDE it needs will be installed along with it. It will probably look a bit different than your Gnome apps, because it will be themed by KDE, but should work absolutely fine.

K3b is user-friendly, yet has advanced options, and is even customisable. If you’re using another app and come across something it can’t do for you, you’ll probably find K3b has no such problem. And even if K3b can’t seem to do it, there is probably a way, if you just look around.

In this post you will find all tips related to K3b, so hopefully you can find answers for your burning needs, whether you currently use another program (like the default Brasero) or already use K3b.

If you don’t already have K3b, you can install it via Synaptic, or enter sudo apt-get install k3b into a terminal. Any dependencies will be installed automatically.

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Burn VIDEO_TS Folders to Playable Movie DVDs

Customise K3b: Add or Remove Quick Start Buttons

Long File-Name Support for Burning Data Discs with K3b

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If you are trying to load a movie DVD into Kaffeine or MPlayer, or any other multimedia or video player, and you get the error:

Cannot find input plugin for MRL [dvd:/]

… then creating a symlink via the terminal might be the quick and easy answer to your woes. Basically, you need to link your disc drive’s address to the device /dev/dvd, then all should be good.

Just take note of your drive’s actual mount point, or visible address, which should be something like /media/cdrom0 (and don’t worry if it has the word “cdrom” in it, as it just means any optical disc drive, including DVD burners). Then simply enter the following into a terminal (replacing the drive’s address, if need be), and your DVDs should now open fine:

sudo ln -s /media/cdrom0 /dev/dvd

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Command won’t work? Then your mount point doesn’t match the one listed in the command (/media/cdrom0 is quite common, but by no means universal). All you have to do is change it to the correct address; if you don’t know what your mount point is, then read this.

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Note that you may need to repeat this after rebooting, so you can just hit the on your keyboard to save you retyping it in the terminal, or just make an alias for it. If it’s a common bug, it should get fixed soon enough, but at least it isn’t that much of a major deal getting Kaffeine working again in regards to DVD playback.

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Dolphin became the default file manager when KDE went to 4.0, so Kubuntu users already know what a great program it is (unless they preferred to stick with the previous default file manager, Konqueror). While Ubuntu‘s desktop environment, Gnome, has certainly stepped up of late when it comes to visual effects, screenlets and the like, KDE has always been about “bells and whistles”. And while Gnome can end up looking pretty stunning, the same can’t be said about its default file manager, Nautilus, which is about as plain as they come.

Dolphin, on the other hand, has the little niceties one would expect of a KDE file manager, like animated folder icons, and a lot more. There is an easy to access zoom slider for thumbnails, and has some pretty unique “views”. You can customise it in ways you could only dream of in Nautilus or Thunar, like not only add extra panes, but also move them where you like, and resize them to your needs.

If you look at the above pic, you’ll see that you can add a Folders (“tree”) pane and put it above the Information pane on the right (you could put it under Places, of course, but why not save that for shortcuts). Also, you can add a Terminal to the bottom, so whatever folder you’re in, you can just type commands without having to open a terminal in each folder (or continually change paths).

The views are Icons (like the same in Nautilus, but smaller, and just the icon, no preview),Details (your standard row-by-row format with information next to each file), Columns (starts off with 2 columns, and every sub-folder you click on opens another), Preview (turns your icons into thumbnails, and folders will show previews of pics inside), andSplit (gives you 2 columns you can browse with).

When you are inSplit mode, you can look at the beginning and end of a large folder at the same time, or use the second column to browse another folder or drive. The Columns mode offers another interesting and useful way of browsing, so you certainly have a few choices in ways to browse.

Some things to note are that with Dolphin, like other KDE file managers, the default is to treat a single-click as a double-click. This can confuse Gnome users, as even slowly clicking a file will open it. All you need to do to select a file is click the green + that appears in the top left corner when you hover your cursor, and it will select it. But if you’re selecting a file simply to know the filesize, like you would in Nautilus, then you don’t need to, as that information will appear in the status bar and the Information pane simply by hovering your cursor over the file.

Not only that, but if you are in Icons view, hovering over picture files will show the preview in the Information pane. In Preview mode, another nice feature is that when you hover your mouse cursor over a folder, its preview thumbnail will cycle through other pictures in the folder (which you can see in the second pic, as the selected folder looks different from the preview in the Information pane).

So there are some great reasons to try out Dolphin. There’s a lot more you can do to customise its interface, and if the single-click/double-click issue ends up annoying you, then don’t worry, you can change the setting to what you’re used to. You can change that and other default settings via Settings > Configure Dolphin.

While Dolphin needs certain KDE libraries, etc, to function, any such dependencies will be installed with the program into your Ubuntu/Gnome system. Mark it for installation in Synaptic, or enter in a terminal:

sudo apt-get install dolphin

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When looking around for more programs to install, you may hear of great KDE (K Desktop Environment) apps, and be wondering if you need to be running Kubuntu to use them. The answer is that while these apps do indeed need parts of KDE to function, those dependencies can be automatically fulfilled via your package manager, Synaptic.

So you need not have installed KDE as a backup desktop environment, as those programs will just install needed KDE libraries and programs/commands they depend on. Or more accurately, Synaptic will take care of that. And don’t worry about KDE system files interfering with Gnome, as they are quite separate, and they will only ever be called upon by those KDE programs when needed.

As you’ll note in Synaptic, those programs will be listed as KDE apps, but nonetheless can be installed into Gnome. And they’re easy to find, as the majority actually start with K. So don’t be shy to try a few out, as some will be so good they’ll replace apps you currently use, and others will end your search for an app for a particular task. Just note that occasionally there might be a few minor issues, like parts of programs not displaying properly, but these can be easily resolved.

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The 4.x incarnation of KDE is still pretty much in its infancy, so there are still bugs to be ironed out, especially when it comes to running them in Ubuntu‘s default desktop environment, Gnome. I’ve noticed bits and pieces of programs don’t always display properly, like when I click on an alarm task in KAlarm to edit it. Basically, the box pops up, but all I can see is the charcoal KDE4 background, and clicking around in it does nothing.

But I found if I maximise it, suddenly everything appears, then I can then restore the dialogue box to its proper size (not that I really need to), and then proceed with the task. So if you get the same thing happening with a KDE4 app in Gnome, try maximising it to see if it makes a difference.

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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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