Posts Tagged Xfce

Enabling hibernation on Debian

no hibernate issue in Linux

If for any reason during the installation process the hibernation function wasn’t added on Debian, when choosing it from Xfce or Gnome you will get an error like the one shown above. In order to fix this just install the hibernation and windows manager (like Xfce and Gnome) scripts packages:

aptitude install hibernate pm-utils

Then just log in again into the graphic session to enable the hibernation and suspend functions.


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Video thumbnails in Xfce

Thunar - videos non-thumbnails / sin vista en miniatura

One thing I missed about Gnome’s file browser was the thumbnails for pdf, image and video files. I assumed Xfce doesn’t have such a feature, so I’ve never worry about it…until I came across thunar-thumbnailer.

Installing the thumbnailer

In Debian you can install the thumbnailer with:

moody:~# aptitude install thunar-thumbnailers ffmpegthumbnailer

Notice, thunar-thumbnailers generates thumbnails for pdf, documents, images and videos files, but for the latter it will need ffmpegthubmailer.

Setting Thunar

After installing those packages, and as the user who runs the graphical environment update the cache:

lgallard@moody:~$ /usr/lib/thunar/thunar-vfs-update-thumbnailers-cache-1

Restart the file browser:

lgallard@moody:~$ thunar -q
lgallard@moody:~$ thunar --daemon &

Now open the file browser again to see the changes:

Thunar - videos thumbnails / con vista en miniatura

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Volume control on Xfce


Volume control for Xfce

Xfce doesn’t come with volume control shortcuts enabled by default. In fact, in order to make it work you have to install the following package:

aptitude install xfce4-volumed

After this this every time you log in on Xfce, volume control will be enabled.



Galculator: a calculator for XFCE

If you’ve installed Xfce and don’t want to install anything related to Gnome, because it might mean a lot of libraries for running such application,  you can give Galculator a try.  It’s an application  similar to Gnome’s calculator (so it’s a Windows-like calculator) and it’s Xfce project’s suggestion.

Installing Galculator

If you have root privileges, you can type:

aptitude install galculator

Paper mode

The last screenshot is an special mode you can use in Galculator, called “Paper mode”. Just write an operation as you would do in a piece of paper, and press Enter to have it done!



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Locking the screen up in Xfce4


Xfce4 comes without any screensaver or utility that lets you lock the screen up. This is a security issue if you have to leave your computer alone for a while, for instance, when you go to break during class. I did a research and I found there’s a command for Xfce4 called xflock4 that locks your screen up, but it failed showing this message:

/usr/bin/xflock4: line 22: xlock: command not found

I didn’t want to install a screensaver but I had to, because it seems the lock function is only provided by a utility like gnome-screensaver or xsreensaver. Due to I’m not using Gnome I chose the latter.
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Keyboard shortcuts in Xfce 4


“Home” button

Setting shortcuts in Xfce is not that intuitive, at least for me. I was interesting in using the “home” button in my lenovo S10e’s keyboard. After doing a research a reading carefully I understood how to do it.

1) Go to Applications > Settings > Xfce 4 Setting manager. The following windows will show up where you have to click on the Keyboard icon:


2) In this window, select the second tab. There click on Add button


3) . A small window dialog will pop up. Fill in the command field with the application you want to launch. In this example a used xfce4-popup-menu to pop the Applications menu up. Click on Ok.



4) Here comes the non-intuitive part. You will see a window dialog, but only the Cancel button will be available. Well, here the window dialog will be waiting for the shortcut you want to assign to the launcher. Press the keyboard shortcut (like the “house” button) and the windows will close by itself.


Now, if you press the “home” button (or the keystroke you selected), the Applications menu will show up. If you want to use another application, just change xfce4-popup-menu with the command you want to use (for instance thunar, gnome-terminal, iceweasel, etc).




Default brightness on Xfce


I’m using Xfce in my Lenovo S10e, and one pending thing was the brightness’s adjustment. First I tested Gnome’s power manager and later Xfce’s. Both do their work, they control brightness according to power source, i.e, battery or AC (they also control other things related to saving energy).

But none of them let you set a default brightness when getting into the desktop. After doing lot of research, the best I could find was to set it manually in the /sys/class/backlight/acpi_video0/brightness file. This file shows and sets monitor’s brightness.

But let’s see how to do it automatically every time you get into Xfce…
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Custom actions in Thunar

I recently started to use XFCE and its file manager called Thunar.  As expected Thunar is quicker and lighter than Nautilus (Gnome’s file manager), but I was tempted to use  Nautilus because I thought Thunar didn’t  have those fancy right-click scripts and another right-click action I perform frequently: “Extract here”…well, I was wrong.

Extract here

It turned out Thunar has “Extract here”  option, but you have to install a plugin. Just type this to install it:

aptitude install thunar-archive-plugin

Right-click scripts

Nautilus has a special directory where you can put some scripts to have them available from right-click menu scripts (context menu), as shown next:

Right Click

Right click in Nautilus

It turns out Thunar has a similar feature called “Custom actions” and is even more sophisticated because you don’t need to  have a directory so you can select any script or program in the system, and you can also define when it should appear according to the file type (video, music, directory, documents, etc).

Defining a new action

Here’s how you can define a new custom action. We will be working with the script used in the Converting ogv to avi file on Gnome post. This script just convert an ogv file to avi format using mencoder.

In order to be organized I made a new directory called scripts in the ~/.config/Thunar folder (Thunar’s config folder) then I put my script there:

mkdir -p ~/.config/Thunar/scripts
cp ~/.gnome2/nautilus-scripts/* ~/.config/Thunar/scripts

To make the new action, open Thunar and go to Edit > Configure custom actions. You’ll see a windows like this one:

Custom Actions

New custom action

Click on the “+” button to add a new action. Then select the script by browsing in the system and any other information you want to add. For instance I put the %F option (path to all selected files)  in the command text-box.

Edit Actions

Srcitp selection

Finally to set when the right click action will appear, select the Appearance Conditions tab. Check mark the “video” option.

Appearence Conditions

Appearance conditions

If everything went fine, you see something like this when right-clicking on a video file:


Right click in Thunar