Saturday 22 February 2020

Using 'LXPanel' as a UI for Crostini

If you are used to a menu-driven user interface in Linux or find the Chrome OS application launcher not quite to your liking for accessing Crostini Linux applications then one option you could try is LXPanel.

The panel generates a menu for installed applications automatically from '*.desktop' files and can itself be incorporated in its own '.desktop' file which if pinned to the Chrome OS shelf can also be used as a means to start the 'penguin' container after booting.

Unfortunately it is not quite perfect as the panel is displayed in the middle of the screen and doesn't respond well to changing its position under geometry in its panel settings. However you can toggle its visibility by clicking the panel's icon on the shelf. Also closing the panel (by right clicking the icon) only closes the 'LXPanel' application in Chrome OS so to terminate it fully you need to use 'killall lxpanel' in a terminal session.

To set it up first ensure 'LXPanel' is installed in your container: assuming you are using the default Debian-based 'penguin' or a similar derivative (e.g. Ubuntu) container simply enter 'sudo apt install lxpanel'.

Once installed open up a terminal session and create a file '~/.local/share/applications/lxpanel.desktop' (or '/usr/share/applications/lxpanel.desktop') containing:
[Desktop Entry]
Name=LX Panel
Comment=Opens LX Panel and to terminate use killall lxpanel
Icon=<icon path here>

For the icon you can use any icon '.png' you prefer. For example if you have already previously installed LXDE then you could use the icon '/usr/share/lxde/images/lxde-icon.png'. If you don't have a suitable LXDE icon then you can always download this one and edit the 'lxpanel.desktop' file accordingly (e.g. 'Icon=/home/linuxiumcomau/247px-LXDE-logo.svg.png').

After a minute or so your new 'LXPanel' application should appear in the Crostini applications:

You can now right-click on its icon and pin it to the shelf:

To start it click on the shelf icon and 'lxpanel' will appear in the centre of the screen:

Its visibility can be toggled by clicking its icon on the shelf. As previously mentioned closing the panel by right-clicking the shelf icon only closes the application in Chrome OS so to terminate it fully you need to enter 'killall lxpanel' in a terminal session.

Please donate if you find this guide useful using the following link

Tuesday 18 February 2020

Canonical have announced a new point release for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS - 18.04.4 (Bionic Beaver)

Canonical have released the fourth point release of Ubuntu 18.04 Long-Term Support (LTS) as Ubuntu 18.04.4.

I’ve respun the desktop ISO using my ‘‘ script and created ISOs suitable for Intel Atom and Intel Apollo Lake devices:

Atom (-i ubuntu-18.04.4-desktop-amd64.iso --atom)
Apollo (-i ubuntu-18.04.4-desktop-amd64.iso --apollo)

Downloading Note

After downloading an ISO file it is recommended to test that the file is correct and safe to use by verifying the integrity of the downloaded file. An error during the download could result in a corrupted file and trigger random issues during the usage of the ISO.

The program 'md5sum' is designed to verify data integrity using the MD5 (Message-Digest algorithm 5) 128-bit cryptographic hash. The MD5 calculation gives a checksum (called a hash value), which must equal the MD5 value of a correct ISO.

First open a terminal and go to the correct directory to check a downloaded ISO. Then run the command 'md5sum <ISO>' for example:
md5sum linuxium-atom-ubuntu-18.04.4-desktop-amd64.iso
'md5sum' should then print out a single line after calculating the hash:

d73fd13a4bf1c130b9e38d80ab453026 ./linuxium-atom-ubuntu-18.04.4-desktop-amd64.iso

Compare the hash (the alphanumeric string on left) from your output with the corresponding hash below. If both hashes match exactly then the downloaded file is almost certainly intact. However if the hashes do not match then there was a problem with the download and you should download the file again.

ISO 'md5sum' hashes

d73fd13a4bf1c130b9e38d80ab453026 ./linuxium-atom-ubuntu-18.04.4-desktop-amd64.iso
a9f0e931ae3a84efda6ef13f7cdf7240 ./linuxium-apollo-ubuntu-18.04.4-desktop-amd64.iso

Please donate if you find these ISOs useful.