Installing NetSurf Browser on Ubuntu 18.04

The NetSurf Browser looked interesting to me. I was using a virtual machine with ArchBang Linux and I’m a sucker for a different browser. I have at least two dozen browsers installed at any one time, even though I regularly only use a few. Anyhow, ArchBang has a default of NetSurf and that piqued my interest.

NetSurf doesn’t do anything special. It’s just a light browser that claims to have CSS support. When I tried browsing with it, it was quite painful and it displayed sites rather poorly. Still, if you have a very old computer and want to have a browser, this may be the kind of browser you’re stuck with. It is technically a browser that’s lightweight and seems to have some basic CSS support.

As I said, I’m a sucker for browsers and have a bunch installed. In this case, I downloaded the source code and decided I didn’t really feel like building it. So, I did the ol’ ‘apt-cache search netsurf’ and nothing popped up. So, I went online and looked for a .deb that’d make it easy to install. It turns out to be more of a pain in the butt than you might think.

No matter… I’ve got you covered. Like normal, crack open  your terminal with CTRL + ALT + T. Then, enter the following:

cd Downloads
mkdir netsurf
cd netsurf
sudo apt install ./netsurf-common_3.6-3.2_all.deb
sudo apt install ./netsurf-gtk_3.6-3.2_amd64.deb
sudo apt install ./netsurf_3.6-3.2_all.deb

Then, assuming all goes well, you’ll have a working NetSurf in your menu, under Internet if you use an Ubuntu flavor that uses menus like that. 

As 18.04 is the last official 32 bit Ubuntu, and official flavors, odds are good that many people will be looking for a lightweight browser to go with it. This isn’t a very good browser – but it’s a working browser, and a browser that doesn’t take a lot of resources to run. Don’t expect too much from it and you won’t be too let down.

You’re probably better off taking the performance hit and running Vivaldi

How To: See Installed Applications

Here’s a nice and quick way to see what software you have installed – assuming you’re using a distro with Aptitude.

Crack open your terminal. You can use CTRL + ALT + T. Enter this:

[code]dpkg -l[/code]

That doesn’t do you a whole lot of good, but it works. So, let’s make it more usable.

[code]dpkg -l > Documents/installed_apps.txt[/code]

Now, open your Documents directory and you’ll have a handy list of your installed apps in a file with an intuitive name.

Minimize Pidgin to Tray

I’d been trying to figure out how to minimize Pidgin to the tray and finally figured it out. It turns out, it’s easier than I’d expected.

Lately, I’ve been lurking a few of the Lubuntu IRC channels. This means leaving a chat client open and I figured I might as well use the default and Pidgin used to be pretty good back when I still regularly used IRC. Seriously, IRC has been around for a long, long time – eons in Internet time.

It also turns out I should have used a search engine. That would have saved so much time.

Open Pidgin, click on Tools, click on Preferences, and set it to always show the system tray icon. That’s all it takes.

pidgin settings
Set Pidgin to minimize to tray.

And that’s all it takes.

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.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:atareao/atareao
sudo apt update
sudo apt install my-weather-indicator

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.

VirtualBox No Longer Working

I use VirtualBox quite a bit. It is how I do things like check my answers, look for bugs, test new OSes, and general things like that.

Well, on my Lubuntu 18.04.5, it had stopped working with my kernel. The kernel had updated from the older (4.8.x maybe?) and is now at 5.04.x and VB wasn’t working. This needed to be resolved.

Crack open a terminal and try this:

[code]sudo apt-get install dkms build-essential linux-headers-generic
sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r)
sudo apt install –reinstall virtualbox[/code]

And Bob’s Your Uncle.