How to Change Console Fonts In Ubuntu for 4K Screen

Recently I bought HP Spectre x360 Convertible that has a fantastic crisp 4K screen. Using CTRL+F1 (upto F6 usually) one can access console. With 4K screens now becoming available the default font size becomes really minute and one would need to increase it somehow. gnome-terminal provides shortcut SHIFT+CTRL and plus key (+) to increase font size when needed, or profiles which can be changed. But with console something more is necessary. Font used in the console is monospaced and is not the same as the tt or otf fonts used for document and browsers. In addition, there is also a limited selection fonts and sizes to choose from. So here is how to do that. Go to a console and login. Following command has to be run as root or using sudo.

sudo dpkg-reconfigure console-setup

Leave the first two screen settings as is. On third one you will see list of Font styles as Fixed, Terminus (and its variations), VGA and few others. Fixed is the default one and at least for me its biggest font size was still small for me. So I used VGA. Terminus looks fantastic but as the warning says it is not good for programming because of the way some of characters are represented. So select VGA and move to next screen. Select the biggest font and press enter. Within few seconds change will take effect. Try other font styles and sizes to suit your need.

Suspend button in Gnome3

The button is not visible with shutdown and logout buttons. But by pressing ALT key the Shutdown button changes to Suspend/Pause button in Gnome3. No need to install a plugin to find it. Just a keystroke.

Setup WebEx on 64 bit Ubuntu 12.04 using 32 bit Oracle Java

WebEx would not work on Ubuntu 12.04 64 bit with default configuration. It requires 32 bit java. WebEx control window would launch but desktop sharing, application sharing, white-board etc. do not show up. Neither I could see other people’s shared content nor I could share mine even if I am the host of the meeting.

Starting Firefox from command line on a terminal shows ELFCLASS32 error from WebEx shared objects. So it was clear that WebEx would not work on 64 bit system as is and would need 32 bit java to work. Because I use 64 bit system I do not want to downgrade to a 32 bit version just for the sake of WebEx.

In brief, these three steps cover the fix.

  1. Install 32 bit Oracle Java locally. Oracle Java is must and OpenJDK would not cut. Warning: because it is local installation, user would need to manually keep on updating as new java becomes available. Recently there have been many releases from Oracle which came with very little time in between addressing major security issues so this would be concerning.
  2. Install Firefox locally so it can be configured to use this 32 bit java. Add a different profile and use a different theme so it does not conflict with the native Firefox and clearly stands out if both are running.
  3. (Optional) Add shortcut in Unity HUD for quick access.
    Continue reading “Setup WebEx on 64 bit Ubuntu 12.04 using 32 bit Oracle Java”

Add a custom script in Unity HUD

Here is how to add a custom script in Unity HUD/dash for quick access. /usr/share/applications directory has all shortcuts for Unity desktop. So create a file named “mycustomscript.desktop” (or any_name_you_like.desktop) there which has information about the custom script. Additionally an icon could be added by pointing to an image. Files in /usr/share/applications directory have to be created as root.

 [Desktop Entry]
 Version=1.0
 Type=Application
 Terminal=false
 StartupNotify=true
 Icon=/home/vishalj/Pictures/mycustomscript.jpeg
 Name=MyCustomScript
 Comment=My Custom Script for X, Y and Z
 Exec=/home/vishalj/scripts/mycustomscript.sh
 Categories=Application;Productivity
 

Then run sudo update-desktop-database after which you will be able to use Unity HUD for invoking the custom script. Also note that each time you update a .desktop file you have to run update-desktop-database.

VPN : Connecting to Nortel VPN from Linux

I moved to Ubuntu full-time a while back. See the first part Migrating from Windows to Linux. But VPN into my office from Linux remained an open issue because my organization uses Nortel Contivity. Ubuntu comes with vpn client but that does not work with Nortel. Then I found vpnc-nortel branch of vpnc open source project that can connect to Nortel vpn servers. In this series I will explain how to connect to Nortel VPN from Ubuntu. You may need to tweak few of these instructions for your favourite Linux version. I am on Ubuntu 11.10 x86_64, using vpnc version 0.5.3-481.

Continue reading “VPN : Connecting to Nortel VPN from Linux”

Migrating from Windows to Linux

What would one need to move off of Windows in corporate world? A replacement for Microsoft Office Suit. Linux has LibreOffice as replacement for MS Word, Excel, Power Point etc. If you are a power user of these tools then it will be difficult to migrate to LibreOffice but hey that is a start. If for Outlook, your organization provides access via WebMail interface, then you are in clear with using any email client on Linux that supports Pop or IMAP by making use of DavMail. Though Evolution support a direct access to WebMail or even MAPI, but Evolution itself is very thick and sometimes slow. Then came out Ubuntu 11.10 which provides Thunderbird as the default email client with integration to desktop and Unity. Perfect.

Here is the list of replacements that are available on Linux. I will cover setup for DavMail and Thunderbird in another post. Continue reading “Migrating from Windows to Linux”