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Posts Tagged ‘programs’

Whether you have a fresh Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal install or have upgraded, one thing you may have noticed is that the familiar Alt+Tab key combo for cycling between open programs and folder windows doesn’t work, which is even more of a pain if you’re using Unity.

 

Since there is no taskbar in the Unity desktop, and at this current early stage of development leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to accessing running applications, this can be a problem for those not wanting to waste a lot of time fiddling.

But you can actually rectify this, and that’s by enabling a Compiz-Fusion plugin. Go to System > Preferences > CompizConfig Settings Manager, and under Window Management enable Static Application Switcher (if prompted, click the Enable Compiz Library Toolbox button to proceed).

If that doesn’t work, click on that plugin, and set the desired binding (“Next window“) to Alt+Tab in the Bindings tab. Make sure you click the button opposite the “Next window” for keyboard, not mouse. After selecting to enable that combo you can click Grab key combination and hold Alt while you press Tab.

Alt+ Esc?

If you’re wondering whether the other related key combo can be restored, being Alt+Esc for cycling between windows without the popup, you’ll note further down in the Bindings tab that there is also “Next window (No popup)“. You can once again get it to grab the key combo, but after setting it to <Alt>Escape it unfortunately did not work. However, setting it to <Super>Tab did work, just not as it used to, in that it will only bring another window to the foreground once you’ve let go of the keys. Hitting the combo once just cycles between the last two windows repeatedly, but hitting more than once will bring others in the chain to the fore, so for now the Alt+Tab combo is preferable (unless you know the order of open windows).

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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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Here is a Wine “error” that appears to be fairly new, and if you’ve been upgrading your system (and Wine along with it), you probably haven’t encountered it yet. However, if you’ve recently installed Ubuntu (10.04 – not sure if this affects any earlier versions), you would have noticed it won’t let you run any Windows .exe files:

Blocked: wine start /unix
The file ‘/home/user/Downloads/program_name.exe’ is not marked as executable. If this was downloaded or copied form an untrusted source, it may be dangerous to run. For more details, read about the executable bit.

If, like me, you decided to do a fresh install, but copied your old .wine folder over so all your Windows programs work as they had in the old system you’ve migrated from, you probably have no problems opening those previously installed, only new .exe files that Wine hasn’t dealt with before.

But this isn’t a bug or an error, just an overly-cautious default setting, and it is actually really easy to disable. Open a terminal and enter the following command:

gksu gedit /usr/share/applications/wine.desktop

Located the line Exec=cautious-launcher %f wine start /unix and change it to Exec=wine start /unix %f

Save and exit the file, and Wine will now behave as you want when it comes across new Windows programs.

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If you prefer to leave this cautious setting as the default, you can always exclude individual Windows programs or, rather, bypass this security measure for individual .exe files. Simply right-click the .exe file in question, select Properties, and in the Permissions tab check “Allow executing file as program“. Click Close and that particular .exe will open as normal when you double-click it.

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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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