Get Xfce to participate in Google’s 2008 Summer of Code

March 5, 2008 at 8:27 am | Posted in xubuntu | 5 Comments
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Brian J. Tarricone posted the following message to the Xfce mailinglist:

As some of you already know, I’m in the process of applying to Google’s
Summer of Code as a mentoring organisation. Xfce applied in 2006, but
wasn’t accepted. I don’t really know why, but hopefully this year we
can do a bit better. To that end, I’ve created a few pages on our wiki,
and people have been working on them for the past couple weeks:

Now, we won’t know if we’ve been accepted into the program until March
17th. However, I’d like to generate some interest for our participation
in the program; in particular, I’d like to get some names on that
‘students’ wiki page.

So, if you don’t mind, if you have a blog, or some other means of
publishing to a group of people (via means other than spam, of course),
could you please do a little advertising for us? Just point out that
we’re applying to the program, we’re looking for student participants,
and give a link to our wiki page (the main ‘ideas’ page).


He also posted the following on his blog:

While we haven’t been accepted into the program yet, we (Xfce) are applying to participate in the 2008 Google Summer of Code as a mentoring organisation. Please see our wiki page for more information, and add your name to the students list if you’d like to work on one of the projects. Feel free to add to the project ideas list as well.

If you’d like to act as a mentor, you still have a few more days before I submit the application. Add your name to the mentors list and email me to let me know.

The message is simple: if you’re a student that likes Xfce and would like to earn some money improving it over the summer, be sure to add your name to the list so Google can see there are students willing to participate, hopefully being a reason for approving Xfce.

If you own a personal website, a blog, or happen to know a student passionate about Xfce: spread the word! This is an excellent opportunity to improve upon our favourite desktop environment, so make sure Xfce can grab it!

Howto: use audio-convert in Thunar

February 18, 2008 at 1:09 pm | Posted in programs, scripts, tips and tricks, xubuntu | 7 Comments
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One of the best scripts for GNOME’s file manager Nautilus is audio-convert. audio-convert is a program that lets you convert mp3s to oggs, wavs, and vice versa. For me, it’s one of the main reasons I use Nautilus. Now, though, I can also use it with Thunar too. Here’s how:

1) If you haven’t already, install audio-convert. To do so, open up a terminal (Xfce Menu > Accessories > Terminal) and run the following:

sudo apt-get install nautilus-script-audio-convert

2) Next, open up the Thunar file manager and go to Edit > Configure custom actions…. Click the Add (plus) sign and put in the following:

a) Under the Basic tab:

Name: audio-convert
Command: /usr/share/nautilus-scripts/ConvertAudioFile %f

b) Under the Appearance Conditions tab:

Put a checkmark next to Audio files. Click Ok and exit out of the actions manager.

Now you can right click any audio file and go to audio-convert. audio-convert will do the work from there. Enjoy!

Fedora Xfce spin

February 13, 2008 at 6:19 pm | Posted in reviews, xubuntu | 6 Comments
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Rahul Sundaram has announced the release of a new Fedora spin with – you guessed it – Xfce!

Hello Friends,

I am pleased to announce the immediate release of a brand new and sparkling, Fedora 8 Xfce Spin. Fedora Xfce Spin is a bootable Fedora Live CD image available for x86 and x86_64 architecture. It can be optionally installed to hard disk or converted into boot USB images and is ideal for Xfce fans and for users running Fedora on relatively low resource systems. As a additional bonus, this release rolls in updates for Fedora 8 released till yesterday (2008/02/12).

Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment available in Fedora. Designed for productivity, it loads and executes applications fast, while conserving system resources. More information at

Nicu has posted some screenshots, and it looks as if this spin-off is really focusing on being light-weight and minimalistic. Some Xubuntu users might want to give this a try – being based on Fedora might prevent the speed decrease Xubuntu has by being based on Ubuntu.

In any case, seeing another big distribution providing an Xfce version is always good news, so it will be interesting to read some reviews. Have you tried it? If so, how did you like it?

Mythbuntu has seen the light!

September 27, 2007 at 7:40 pm | Posted in xubuntu | Leave a comment
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Today the xubuntu-devel mailinglist received this message from Mario Limonciello from Mythbuntu:

Hi guys,

I’m leading the Mythbuntu effort, and for our next alpha we are
switching over to Xfce for our base. We were previously doing an
openbox/feh/idesk method, but Xfce is much prettier.

So in our migration over, there were a few items that I wanted to iron
out the proper way to do things.


This is great news, not only for Mythbuntu users (which now get to enjoy the finesse of Xfce), but also for Xubuntu because, as Jani Monoses put it:

it’s nice to see getting more users, testers and devs for
xubuntu even if indirectly 🙂

Mythbuntu seems to be a good citizen, which means Xubuntu will be even more polished:

The Mythbuntu team works closely with all of the relevant package maintainers in Ubuntu to make sure that our changes, customizations, and enhancements are included within Ubuntu for other users, teams, and projects to take advantage of. Also, all scripts used for our build process are GPL licensed and available to anyone interested on our launchpad bzr branch at mythbuntu/mythbuntu/mythbuntu

What is Mythbuntu you ask? Well, according to their website:

Mythbuntu is an Ubuntu derivative focused upon setting up a standalone MythTV system similar to Knoppmyth or Mythdora. At the time, it is not a Canonical sanctioned project because of the licensing on several of the MythTV dependencies. Mainly, it can be seen as a preconfigured Ubuntu install for mythtv usage. All unnecessary applications such as OpenOffice, Evolution, and a full Gnome desktop are not installed for a Mythbuntu installation. At any time, a user may choose to install ubuntu-desktop, kubuntu-desktop, or xubuntu-desktop and add a full desktop onto their installation.

Then of course you also need to know what MythTV is. Well, Wikipedia answers that question:

MythTV is a Linux application that turns a computer with the necessary hardware into a digital video recorder, a digital multimedia home entertainment system, or Home Theater Personal Computer. MythTV is free software licensed under the GPL. It can be considered as an alternative to Windows Media Center, although MythTV predates Windows Media Center.

Congrats Mythbuntu community, and welcome to the team!

Gvtray: A volume control for your system tray

August 15, 2007 at 12:39 pm | Posted in programs, tips and tricks | 15 Comments
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this guide is no longer necessary IMO. I’ve solved my volume control problems by dragging the Volume Control plugin from the item list to the panel. Simple, but it works.

I have problems with the default Volume Control plugin in Xubuntu, so this is a useful solution. It displays the volume percent, and can be turned up or down using the mousewheel.

1) First, open up the terminal and get the necessary programs:

sudo apt-get install python-alsaaudio python-gnome2-extras

2) Extract gvtray-1.1.tar.gz and go into the newly created directory:

tar -xvf gvtray-1.1.tar.gz
cd gvtray-1.1

3) Run all of the following commands:

sudo mkdir /usr/share/gvtray
sudo cp gvtray /usr/bin
sudo cp /usr/share/gvtray/
sudo cp -r gvtray_about/ /usr/share/gvtray/gvtray_about

4) Now test it out:


And there it is, a volume control in the system tray. You will get an error message in the terminal; just ignore it.

Hope this program is useful!

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