About Alan

Drinking tea, playing with computers, and dealing with the screaming children...

Changing the default file handler in XFCE on Debian

Since reinstalling my computer, I’ve been getting annoyed that PDF files are being opened in the GIMP, rather than ePDFview, which is more useful. I’ve finally been annoyed enough to work out where to change this. The “Preferred Applications” settings dialog only sets a few basic types. So I needed to wander round the MIME information stuff.

A quick google for stuff had lots of people saying “Right click in Thunar, select ‘Open with other application’ and pick the application and set it as default”. There already were applications listed, I didn’t want to change too much. I then found this post on StackExchange, which didn’t quite make sense with my filesystem. Then I worked out what to do…

I had an empty mimeinfo.cache file in <home>/.local/share/applications, but the one in /usr/share/applications had all of the MIME types listed. Including one line for PDF files:

application/pdf=gimp.desktop;gimp.desktop;epdfview.desktop;

So I copied this into the local user file, changed the first program listed to epdfview.desktop, and tried it. It worked. Obviously, this only changes it per user, but it means that it’s not likely to be overwritten by a package upgrade later.

Maybe doing the “Select as default” option is better. I’ll have to try it next time I need to do this. But, I now know how to modify it manually when I mistakenly set JPG files to open in Totem, or something equally stupid.

Stuff added

Aside

I’ve just imported my old blog, and am testing out the WordPress Android app at the same time. Here goes nothing…

The ups and downs of re-usable nappies

Daughter #2 is now well established with us, and this time round, Roz decided to use re-usable nappies. Nice and easy for her… she doesn’t normally do the washing…

With that aside, they are a lot better than I expected. Once assembled, they are as easy to use as the disposables, but the assembly is the downside. They are all slightly different, and Roz appears to have one of every type.

The one thing that I am happy about is that the re-usable wipes that we bought for use with daughter #1 are a lot easier to use now. I had problems washing them, since my instinct (considering what is on them once used) is to put them on a 60°C wash, and they needed washing twice a week. Now, of course, we’re washing nappies at that, multiple times a week, so they just get put in. They are also better at wiping babies clean too 🙂

Rootkits, or not…

I’ve just spent about an hour, checking on the internet, after chkrootkit on my workstation flagged up a couple of supposedly hidden processes. Not exactly panicking, but more a case of trying to work out what it’s found.

The first thing that I came across was a site that said that there is “no malware for Linux”. Ignoring that one, I then found references to rkhunter. I’d spotted the Debian package before, but never really played with it. So with a quick “apt-get install”, I was able to run it. And it found something…

Turns out though, that there was a bug (#576680) listed with Debian. I then used this workaround, which basically says “do what it says in the README.Debian file distributed with the package”, and all is now happy. Even better – I’ve now had a chance to have a look at both chkrootkit and rkhunter a bit more than I had before.

Printing and Debian (HP CLJ CP1215)

I’m currently in the process of reinstalling my workstation with the latest version of Debian, and have just been asked to print stuff.
Fine. I have an HP Color LaserJet CP1215 (it was reasonably cheap, and we were fed up with inkjet cartridges drying up in the 6 months between uses). I’d had it set up with my old workstation, but there had been issues, and I tended to use my old XP laptop when I needed to print things directly.
First stage. I wandered over to the HP Linux Imaging and Printing website, to go and see what I needed to do. I had a quick look – the hplip package was already installed. I plugged in the USB cable with the printer turned on, and immediately got a message that I’d just plugged in a printer, and it was ready to work. Seemed too good to be true, so I pressed “Print Test Page”, and waited.
The CUPS test page appeared, and I thought that it was a lot more monochrome than I remembered…
Back to the HP website, searching for the specific printer. Yes, it was supported (specifically under Debian) but required a proprietary plug-in download. Not a problem.
Back to the instructions. I ran hp-setup as root, which failed due to not having relevant GUI support, apparently. So I ran hp-setup -i instead, which gave me an interactive setup on the command line. I hit enter a couple of times to accept the defaults, and it installed the plug-in successfully. I restarted CUPS (/etc/init.d.cups restart) for good measure, and opened up the local CUPS interface (the link only works if you have it installed) in my browser. A test page printed then showed colour, and so I was away.
Now I just need to work out how to use the GNOME printing settings, as most can be done from there. That’s for another time though.

UPDATE: April 2012:
I’ve just had to reinstall again, and this time the hp-setup GUI worked first time. Currently installing with Debian testing (wheezy).

Welcome

Afternoon.

Testing… Testing… Is this thing working?

Welcome to my blog. I will attempt to update this with things that other people might find useful, but there is no guarantee that anyone will.

Things that are likely to appear are bits about using Debian GNU/Linux, Android phones, and being a house-husband in a society which still assumes that it’s the mum who stays at home.