XF86Mail, Thunderbird, and OpenBox.

My email button on my keyboard didn’t work. It has never worked. I decided to make the keyboard email button open Thunderbird.

This is done in Lubuntu 18.04, but I presume it’s going to work in any Linux that uses OpenBox. It should also work with any ‘standard’ keyboard that has a dedicated email button. First, you should set Thunderbird (or whatever client) as the default email handler. I’m sure this will work with any Linux email client.

Try as I might, the “Setup Hot Keys” GUI method would not take. You’re really not supposed to edit the XML file that stores OpenBox configs. In fact, there’s a rather explicit warning stating that you should not do this. 

Depending on your distro, your OpenBox config may be called something else. In Lubuntu 18.04 it is in ~/.config/openbox/lubuntu-rc.xml – so use that as a guide to find your own.

Then, make a backup of the file and open it up with a plain text editor and add this:

<!-- Keybinding for email button-->
<keybind key="XF86Mail">
<action name="Execute">
<command>lxsession-default email</command>
</action>
</keybind>

Save the file, overwriting the original, logout and login again, now test it. I doubt it really matters where you put it in the file, but I tucked it in with the other keybindings. That will open your default email client. In my case, that is Thunderbird. Whatever you’ve registered as the default email client is what will open.

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Check Your Ubuntu Support Status

Want to know how long your version of Ubuntu is supported? You can find the support status by cracking open your terminal and entering:

ubuntu-support-status

If you’re using 20.04 or newer, then the command is slightly different:

ubuntu-security-status

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Want to boot to UEFI mode?

I’m told that Windows can reboot to UEFI mode. I have no idea if it can or not. If you want to reboot to UEFI mode on Linux, it’s really simple.

Open up your terminal, usually with CTRL + ALT + T, and enter this:

systemctl --firmware-setup reboot

You will, of course, need sudo for that.

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Linux History: A Reminder!

I’ve nearly finished Wiley’s 10th Edition of the Linux Bible and it’s a wonderful book. In it, way back near the start, there’s this gem – and it really tells us how far Linux has come.

Some histories of Linux begin with the following message entitled “What would you like to
see most in minix?” posted by Linus Torvalds to the comp.os.minix newsgroup on August
25, 1991, at
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/comp.os.minix/dlNtH7RRrGA/SwRavCzVE7gJ

Linus Benedict Torvalds

Hello everybody out there using minix –
I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and professional
like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. This has been brewing since april, and is starting
to get ready. I’d like any feedback on things people like/dislike in minix, as my OS
resembles it somewhat (same physical layout of the file-system (due to practical
reasons, among other things). . .Any suggestions are welcome, but I won’t promise
I’ll implement them 🙂

Linus (torvalds@[redacted].fi)

PS. Yes — it’s free of any minix code, and it has a multi-threaded fs. It is NOT
protable[sic] (uses 386 task switching etc), and it probably never will support
anything other than AT-harddisks, as that’s all I have :-(.

Anyone reading this site will not need elaboration. Man, how far has Linux come? How far will it go? Will there someday be a small project that takes off and supplants Linucus Rex?

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A Good Weather App For Linux?

Over the years, weather applications for Linux have come and gone. Finding a good one is a pain in the butt. I’ve generally used the same application, inasmuch as possible, for quite some time.

The name of the application is My Weather Indicator and it can be found here

It allows you to have a couple of locations, provides forecasts, updates as frequently as every 15 minutes, is really minimal, has notifications that you can actually disable, sticks to the system theme just fine, and even has automatic location discovery based on your public IP address.

Most importantly, it works and stays out of your way unless you want to use it. You can look in your system notification and see the temperature and conditions at a glance. You can click on either of the locations, or just the single location if you prefer, and know what to expect.

It’s also trivial to install, especially if you’re using a system that supports PPAs.

{!{code}!}czo5OTpcInN1ZG8gYWRkLWFwdC1yZXBvc2l0b3J5IHBwYTphdGFyZWFvL2F0YXJlYW8NCnN1ZG8gYXB0IHVwZGF0ZQ0Kc3VkbyBhcHR7WyYqJl19IGluc3RhbGwgbXktd2VhdGhlci1pbmRpY2F0b3JcIjt7WyYqJl19{!{/code}!}

Then, you can start it from your application menu, set the preferences to start at boot, and not have to worry about that again. From there, just go ahead and configure your location(s) and other settings, offering both imperial and metric measurements and the ability to blend them, as well as even a variety of icons.

It’s small, it’s simple, it does one thing – and it does it well. It tells you the weather.

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