Useful Applications

In this page

  1. List of applications
  2. Firefox configurations
  3. Virtualbox
  4. Gimp extensions"
  5. LibreOffice extensions
  6. List of applications to install

1. List of applications

This is a list to remind me a list of applications that I find interesting, but sometimes forget they exist.

T-Bird & F-Fox add-ons
  • Sozi: On my quest to find a linux replacement for PowerPoint (and no, Impress ain't it -- it falls way short in usability) I recently run into this plugin for Inkscape. It creates a scripted svg file that can be seen in a proper web browser. The presentation is created with Inkscape tools (not wonderful but ok). The svg file is then configured (inside Inkscape) with the Sozi extension. The final result may be quite appealing. Not very performant, yet.
System Tools
  • MultiSytem: Creating a bootable USB stick with multiple systems in linux is a somewhat obscure task. Multisystem works nicely for that. For installation, it should be in the ubuntu repositories. If it is not, take a look here. After installation it will be in Start > Accessories > MultiSystem. Note that to install Win ISOs one should go to the "Non-Free" tab and install the appropriate extension.

2. Firefox configurations

Tabs on bottom

  • Type 'about:config' in the location bar;
  • Go to or search 'browser.tabs.onTop' field;
  • Double click on this field to set it to false.

Bookmarks drop down tool

This one keeps disappearing from Firefox. There is a drop-down bookmark menu that can be added to the tool bar in FireFox. But it only appears when the menu bar is hidden. To show it and the menu bar:

  1. Right-click around the header area and uncheck (hide) the Menu Bar;
  2. Right-click around the header area and check (show) the Bookmarks Toolbar;
  3. Right-click around the toolbar area and choose Customize...;
  4. Move the bookmark drop-down icon to the beginning of the bookmarks toolbar;
  5. Close the dialog and show (or not, your choice) the menu bar again;

But in the most recent versions (> 23.0) this is still not enough. To get it working you have to put this userChrome.css file in the ~/.mozilla/firefox/<your profile>/chrome/. Until the next hack.

3. Virtualbox (WinXP VM on xubuntu host)

3.1. Install the package and the guest additions

$ sudo apt-get install virtualbox virtualbox-guest-additions-iso

3.2. Install the guest additions in the virtual machine (menu 'Devices > Install Guest Additions')

3.3. In order to get rid of the nasty "Cannot copy file: cannot read from the source file or disk" that sometimes appears when erasing files from a shared folder with the host do the following:

  • In the WinXP users control panel uncheck the "Fast User Switching" box (and while you are at it, also uncheck the 'Use the Welcome screen' - not necessary but a good practice).
  • Go to the explorer (the file, not internet) 'Tools > Options > Offline files' and uncheck the work with offline files option.

Increase vdisk size

3.4. Increasing virtual disk size (only for dynamic disks):

$ VboxManage modifyhd filename.vdi --resize XXX   # XXX: size in MB (15360 = 15GB)

  • Use a gparted live cd to resize the boot partition.
  • After resizing the partition, rebooting the machine might trigger a chkdsk. No panic. Just let it do its job. Windows might also detect the change as a new disk and ask for a reboot after “installing” it.

Compact vdisk

3.5. Release free space to compact vdisk :

3.5.1. Start by erasing unwanted files (broweser cache, temp files, etc) and defragging the disk to push files to the beginning of the disk. The position of the last occupied cluster will determine the size of the disk.

3.5.2. In a windows dos box zero the free space of the c:\ drive, assuming that this is the drive to be compacted (urn off the virtual machine once it is done):

C:\> sdelete -z c:\

3.5.3. In a linux shell go to the directory containing the virtual disk and "manage" it:

$ vboxmanage modifyhd <filename.vdi> --compact

4. Gimp extensions

4.1 Several useful plugins, including David's Batch plugin (complete list in here):

$ sudo apt-get install gimp-plugin-registry

4.2 Resynthesizer: very useful plugin that allows to erase a part of the image replacing it by a guess of what it should be. Once installed it can be found in "Filters > Map > Resinthesize...". Before using it, select the region to erase with the rectangle, ellipse or the lasso tool.

$ sudo apt-get install gimp-resynthesizer

5. LibreOffice extensions

5.1 TexMaths allows to enter equations in LaTeX syntax.

5.2 Fancy 3D slide transitions:

$ sudo apt-get install libreoffice-ogltrans

6. List of applications to install

Copy and paste the line below in a command line box to install a bunch of the applications I use.

$ sudo apt-get install freecad freecad-doc libreoffice libreoffice-base \
  myspell-fr myspell-pt-br ssh sshfs texlive texlive-fonts-recommended \
  texlive-humanities texlive-latex-extra texlive-publishers texlive-science \
  texmaker virtualbox virtualbox-guest-additions-iso jabref pdftk epstool \
  maxima wxmaxima octave g++ python-sympy python-scipy meld geany \
  geany-plugins git git-cola gitk xfce4-xkb-plugin wine mencoder imagemagick