random linux notes 2012-04-28

Perm URL with updates: http://xahlee.org/linux/linux_notes_2012-04-28.html

install Xfce desktop

Xfce is one of the light-weight desktop. If you hate the fancy shit in Ubuntu Unity or GNOME 3, and prefer a classic, standard UI that doesn't suck the blood out of your GPU, then use Xfce. Linus, reportedly, got fedup with KDE 4, then GNOME 3, and now uses xfce.

to install, run this: sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop

Xubuntu is basically Ubuntu with xfce as desktop by default.

there's another competing light-weight desktop, called LXDE, and Lubuntu is Ubuntu with LXDE as default desktop.

If you don't know already, Unity and GNOME 3's UI are bleeding-edge, “simplified”, “smart”. Basically, they try to innovate classic desktop metaphor to cater to those brainless computer-illiterates who just use browser, watch movies, and don't know anything about files, folders/directories, apps, workspaces, etc. They try to fashion it to be intuitive and easy-to-use just like Apple's stuff that just works, except that they failed.

since GNOME moved to GNOME 3, leaving GNOME 2 dead in the water, some people forked GNOME 2 and is now named MATE (desktop environment).

Learn Technical Writing from Unix Man in 10 Days

Quote from man apt-get:

    remove is identical to install except that packages are removed
    instead of installed. 


    kicking is identical to kissing except that receiver is kicked
    instead of kissed.

Disappearing URL in Doc

so, i was reading man git. Quote:

Formatted and hyperlinked version of the latest git documentation can
be viewed at http://www.kernel.org/pub/software/scm/git/docs/.

but if you go to that url, it shows a list of over one hundred fourty empty dirs.

I guess unix/linux idiots can't be bothered to have correct documentation. Inability to write is one thing, but they are unable to maintain a link or update doc?

does this ever happen to Apple's docs? If it did, i don't ever recall seeing it from 18 years of using Mac.

more records of careless dead link:

apt-get Package Naming Confusion and 〔/var/lib/〕

so a friend told me about a game named “githug”. It's a command-line app that teaches you git, as if playing a game.

githug site says: gem install githug. I ran which gem and got no result, so i brainlessly typed sudo apt-get install gem and it went. But apparently, the gem package isn't what i want. What i wanted, turns out, is called “rubygems”, which is ruby's package management system.

there are several issues thus far:

  • in unix, never brainlessly run things on command line (like i just did) unless you sure know what you running
  • WTF is “gem” and “gem” named the same?
  • question: how do YOU find a description of a package in “apt-get”?

now, continuing the story… so i: sudo apt-get install rubygems then i gem install githug all went well, except, when i type which githug nothing is to be found. WTF is going on?

Answer: “githug” is installed in 〔/var/lib/gems〕 by default. You need to either call it with full path or add it to your $PATH.

(the command updatedb and locate are helpful in locating files. They are basically a cached version of find …. (Thanks to Huynh Kang))

Why the fuck is it in 〔/var/〕 dir?? To refresh my Unix Philosophy, see: Unix directory structure. Quote:

〔/var〕, a short for “variable.” A place for files that may change often.

in unix shit, there's always some tech justification that makes you feel better.

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