PCManFM is a free and open source file manager which is meant to be a lightweight alternative to applications like Thunar (the default Xfce4 file manager) or Nautilus/Files (the GNOME counterpart). Although designed to by easy on resources, PCManFM doesn’t lack functionalities, and it can be extended with custom actions.
Adding a monitor to a setup is probably one of the most effective and immediate ways to increase productivity. A multi monitor setup can be useful, for example, when we need to consult some kind of documentation and at the same time work on another task full-screen. Autorandr is a free and open source utility able to apply specific X11 configurations depending on the displays connected to our machine.
Every desktop environment on Linux has its own notification system which implements the Freedesktop notifications specifications. Some of them, like GNOME or KDE, use their own built-in notification systems which cannot be replaced; others like Xfce or Mate, use more modular components (Xfce notification daemon and Mate notification daemon, respectively). Desktop-independent notification systems also exist (dunst, for example): most of the time they are used on minimal setups (e.g. when using a plain window manager instead of full blown Desktop environments).
The OverlayFS pseudo-filesystem was first included in the Linux kernel 3.18 release: it allows us to combine two directory trees or filesystems (an “upper” and a “lower one”) in a way that is completely transparent to the user, which is able to access files and directories on the “merged” layer just like he would do on a standard filesystem.
Super Mario needs no presentations: it is one of the most beloved video games characters. Super Mario 64 was originally released for the Nintendo64 console in 1996, and represented the first 3D episode of the Mario franchise. Thanks to a github project, which achieved the full decompilation of the game, it is now possible to build a native Linux port and play it without the need of a Nintendo64 emulator. In order to compile the port, an original, and legally obtained “.z64” rom of the game is needed.
BleachBit is a free and open source application available on Linux and Windows, which can be used, among the other things, to remove unnecessary files and directories from a filesystem. BleachBit can be used to free the caches of many applications, remove cookies and browsers history, but also to shred (secure delete) files and directories.
Dconf is the low-level configuration system used by the GNOME desktop environment. It is basically a database, where the various configuration are stored as keys together with their values. The keys in the database can be inspected, changed, or dumped with the dconf utility or by using the dconf-editor graphical tool.
In a previous tutorial we discussed about the /etc/fstab file, and how it is used to declare the filesystems which should be mounted on boot. In the pre-Systemd era, filesystem where mounted in the order specified in the /etc/fstab file; on modern Linux distributions, instead, for a faster boot, filesystem are mounted in parallel. Systemd manages the mounting of filesystems via specifically designed units automatically generated from /etc/fstab entries. For these reasons a different strategy must be adopted to establish the dependency between two filesystems, and therefore to set their correct mount order.
KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) is the virtualization solution (type 1 hypervisor) included in the Linux kernel, which, by default, is used together with QEMU, the userspace software which actually performs the guest systems emulation (type 2 hypervisor). In a previous tutorial we saw how to create and manage KVM virtual machines from the command line; in this article, instead, we will learn how to create and manage guest systems snapshots using tools like virsh and virt-manager.
SDDM (Simple Desktop Display Manager) is a modern, free and open source Display Manager available on Linux and other Unix platforms like FreeBSD. It works both with X11 and Wayland, and is based on QtQuick, a framework to build QML applications. SDDM allows a great degree of customization and; thanks to this, a lot of custom themes are available for it.
Plymouth is an application originally developed by Red Hat and later adopted basically by all the most commonly used Linux distributions. The software runs very early in the boot process, and provides eye-candy animations which accompany the user until he is prompted to login into the system. When Plymouth is used, boot messages are hidden, although they can be visualized simply by clicking the
esc key. Some users, however, may prefer to visualize boot messages by default, and avoid any animation.