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Posts Tagged ‘launchers’

If you’ve upgraded to Ubuntu 11.10, you may have noticed your movie files not looking as they should in the default Movie Player (Totem), and probably others like SMPlayer and MPlayer. For me, the clips actually looked fine first off, but only in Totem, as SMPlayer kept crashing. Then, after getting some updates, Totem started displaying the colours all mixed up (as did SMPlayer, which wasn’t crashing any more). I tested GNOME MPlayer, and that was fine, but all my other players were affected.

From the looks of comments I’ve seen around, updating/installing Medibuntu is a likely suspect, but whatever the cause, it should actually be quite easy to fix. Simply go to Edit > Preferences > Display in Totem, and adjust the Hue from the default 50% mark all the way up to 100%. If yours is all the way down at 0%, as some have reported, then you definitely need to do the same. You may need to do this with each player, but in my case changing the setting in Totem immediately rectified the problem in SMPlayer. If it doesn’t for you, however, then you know how to fix this easily.

Lastly, don’t be surprised if later on you go to play a vid and your colours are all mucked up again. This time, you’ll probably find the Hue is still at 100%, so you’ll need to drop it back to the default of 50%. It might be a bit of a hassle, but this should be fixed up at the development end soon enough, and at least it only takes a few seconds to get your movies looking as they should.

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If you upgraded to Ubuntu 11.04, you might find that some of your familiar icons in the notification area of your panel’s system tray are missing. These will include such system apps as the Update Manager, but more importantly those programs you are running that usually put icons or indicators there.

Some of these might be used for bringing the related programs to the foreground (which is the only way to access those that disappear when minimised, like Firestarter and Vuze), while others are completely useless if not shown in the notification area. A good example of the latter is Parcellite, a clipboard manager which sits in the system tray, and which you can’t access any other way.

So, in Unity, you might not even be sure certain apps are running, without opening the System Monitor. They’re actually open and still trying to put their icons there, but are being prevented by a default Unity setting. But it’s easy to fix, either by the hands-on/visual approach, or the quicker command-line method.

Dconf Editor

First off, if you don’t have Dconf Editor installed, do so by entering the following into a terminal:

sudo apt-get install dconf-tools

To open it, hit Alt+F2 and enter dconf-editor. Navigate to desktop > unity > panel, where the value for the systray-whitelist entry should look something like: [‘JavaEmbeddedFrame’, ‘Mumble’, ‘Wine’, ‘Skype’, ‘hp-systray’, ‘scp-dbus-service’]

You can manually add programs and indicators to it (eg: [‘JavaEmbeddedFrame’, ‘Mumble’, ‘Wine’, ‘Skype’, ‘hp-systray’, ‘scp-dbus-service’, ‘your-indicator-here’]), or you can just get it to show all notifications (which would be preferable, since any programs you install in the future would be included there).

Simply click the systray-whitelist entry and type ['all'] over what is there. That should restore all your usual system tray icons, which were always running, just not visible. To complete this, you will need to run (via Alt+F2) unity --replace to refresh Unity.

Terminal Command

It’s even easier to do this via the terminal (or Alt+F2):

gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Panel systray-whitelist "['all']"

Once again, you’ll need to refresh Unity to see your changes.

Extra Notes

No Notifications: If you actually want no notifications showing up, leave the value empty. Actually, it will need to be [”] (that’s two single-quotes inside the box bracket), which you can do manually, or by the following command:

gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Panel systray-whitelist "['']"

Don’t Refresh Unity in Terminal: Use Alt+F2 to refresh Unity, as while running unity --replace in the terminal is fine, if you halt that process, or close the terminal window, Unity will crash. While that isn’t a major deal, it will however leave you without a way to rectify this, as Alt+F2 will not produce the Run dialogue (since the panel isn’t running – which also means no way to log out or restart). You may also find that if you manage to get a terminal up (like if you have a launcher for it on your desktop), you won’t be able to type anything into it.

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If you’re scratching your head wondering why your launchers for folders and drives are opening with something other than the default file manager, Nautilus, then hopefully the answer you’re looking for is here.

If you’re experiencing this, you might find your desktop launchers to be fine, but those you’ve custom made for your panel, and even those in the Places menu, will be opening with the wrong program.

In my case, I had right-clicked a DVD’s VIDEO_TS folder and used Open With to open the title with SMPlayer (since the folder was on my hard drive), and all was well – until I clicked a location launcher on my panel. I had done this before without issue, but suddenly all my location launchers started opening SMPlayer, which then tried to find anything to play in the folder Nautilus was supposed to open. It might be a coincidence, but I saw others complaining of this strangeness occurring with another media player – the popular VLC.

If something similar is happening to you, you don’t need me to tell you that something has changed the default app for the task. And while you may have done similar to me in opening a folder with a program like a media player, there is no way you could have accidentally set it to be the default task. But there is a way to fix this, and you don’t even need root privileges for it.

Simply run the following command in a terminal or via Alt+F2:

gedit ~/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.list

When the file opens, look for the line starting with inode/directory= and you should see the offending app listed at the beginning, ahead of Nautilus. All you have to do is either remove it or put it on the end of the line, making sure that nautilus-folder-handler.desktop is directly after inode/directory=.

Once you save and exit the file, your location launchers should be back to normal.

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If you’ve ever installed any Windows programs in Ubuntu, you’d know Wine takes care of extracting the program’s icon (usually in the ancient .ico format) for use in Ubuntu. But, for whatever reason it may be, you may need to recreate those, but you don’t have the reinstall your programs just to do so.

In my case, copying over the entire .wine folder to a freshly-installed system gave me all my old Windows programs in perfect working order (gotta love Linux!), but the launchers no longer have the familiar icons. While I copied over a hidden folder with panel launchers, I’d have to do some digging in my old system to restore those icons to what they were, but probably a less time-consuming answer would be to just extract those icons, have them converted to .png, and put them somewhere safe for use with the associated program.

Another scenario for why you would want to extract icons is that the default icon for one of your programs is horridly pixellated, yet you know the .exe actually contains a bunch of higher resolution icons, and wish to change it to one of those, simply to make it look better.

Now, there are a bunch of apps available for this, mostly command-line solutions but a few little GUI apps as well, but the easiest to use is gExtractWinIcons. All you have to do is open a resource file (like an executable .exe or .dll library), pick a destination to save to, select the desired icon(s) for extraction, and click Save.

If the file contains a lot of images, click Deselect All, and manually mark those you want for extraction. Once you’re finished, move your icons somewhere safe, and assign them to your Wine programs’ launchers.

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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!

Buy Ubuntu Genius a Beer to say Thanks!

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