Tag Archives: installation

Install Light Table on Ubuntu with Launcher

Recently I’ve been trying out the open source editor Light Table. It has a lot of great features, my favorite being inline evaluation. The editor will run a single line of code and display the value at the end! It’s super customizable and really reminds me of Sublime Text in terms of looks.

Here are some simple instructions on how to install Light Table and create a nice launcher for it.

  • Download the correct version for your system from lighttable.com.
  • Change directory to wherever the file is located.
  • Unzip the archive. This will give you a folder called LightTable. The wildcard ‘*’ in the filename makes this command work for either the 32-bit or 64-bit downloads.
  • Move the unzipped folder to /opt to live with other non-traditional installations. Then delete the archive. Note: Programs in /opt are available to all users.
  • Create a launcher file called light-table.desktop and enter the details to make it work.

    Make sure to hit enter at the end to leave a blank line, then hit Ctrl+D to exit the cat command.
  • Make the launcher executable so Ubuntu registers it as a program.
  • Last step is to create a symlink in your user /bin folder to enable calling Light Table from a terminal. You can call yours whatever you want, but here I’ve named it ltable so the command to start it up is nice and short.

    Edit: If ~/bin does not exist, create it. Ubuntu treats ~/bin like a per-user installation folder. If you want this shortcut to be available for all users, instead use sudo and place it in /usr/local/bin.

That’s it! All done! Have fun using and customizing the Light Table editor! I’m certainly no Light Table expert but if you have any questions about these instructions please let me know in the comments. Have a great day!

Finally, Netflix on Ubuntu

In my house we watch a lot of instant Netflix. So, as you can imagine, it was pretty sad finding out it wouldn’t work when I changed my laptop to Ubuntu Linux. The Netflix technical blog has talked about their eventual switch to all HTML5 video. Hopefully they won’t continue blocking Linux users after they finalize the change, as the new encoding should be platform independent.

Last time I checked, the only workaround I could find was Netflix-desktop. It runs Wine with a windowless Firefox browser inside. Many of the reviews said it was stable but with choppy playback, especially for older machines. My Acer laptop certainly wouldn’t handle that (and my tower is dual-boot so not worth it).

Enter Pipelight! This great program allows you to install Silverlight onto your Linux browser. Included are a few other normally unavailable plugins like Flash and Shockwave.  Installing Pipelight does not activate any plugins on its own. You manually decide what to activate and whether it’s system-wide or current user only. So, we add two repositories, and install the software. Make sure to quit any web browser before installing.

Now you activate Silverlight. This will be for your current user only, so just add  sudo to apply Silverlight to all users.

Now open your browser of choice and Silverlight will begin installing. There’s one more step left. Netflix will still see you as a Linux user and redirect you away from watching videos. This is where a browser plugin comes in. There are two options for Firefox and one for Chrome. I’m a fan of Chrome and went with User Agent Switcher. If you’re using Firefox, you’ll need to go with UAControl or User Agent Overrider. Whichever browser you’re on, the advice I’ve seen says to select the newest version of Firefox available in the browser plugin.

The plugin for Chrome, User Agent Switcher, had some reviews about it not deactivating properly for certain sites. Because of this, I created a new Chrome user to install it in (which can be done in Settings). Separate users have a different set of extensions, allowing your Netflix viewing to have no impact on your normal browsing.

Now you’ll be having smooth playback without a full Wine instance. Pipelight does use parts of the Wine code base, but it’s not resource heavy as far as I’ve seen. Netflix played beautifully with this setup on my four-year old Acer laptop. If you can’t live without instant streaming on your Ubuntu machine (or other Linux distro) then this seems to be the best option.

If you give it a go, let me know if you have any questions or run into any problems!

Source: WEB UPD8 Pipelight: Silverlight In Your Linux Browser | Ask Ubuntu Netflix Streaming Question

Music In My Terminal – Using Pandora With Pianobar

Pandora has been my go-to for music since 2007. I loved it the second my friend told me that it was customized radio stations. I get great joy from listening to music, but the amount of time I’m willing to invest in finding new artists is non-existent. There’s just no drive there and I simply don’t do it. When Pandora starts up, I see my handful of stations, and probably have one already picked out. Each station has a specific vibe and has been tailored to different activities. If I’m writing code or browsing, “Cryogenic Dreams” radio is on. Mellow electronica with very few voices. In the car or making jewelry, I generally go for one of my three or four hits-type stations. They range from new hits back to my favorites from high school. Now really, on to why I’m writing this article… Pianobar.

Pianobar is a wonderful player for Pandora that lives in a terminal window. It is so simple and easy to use, and most importantly it’s always there. The terminal emulator I love to use is called Guake, and it drops down from the top of my screen with one keystroke. This makes it much faster than switching to another browser tab. For Windows users, Pandora’s Desktop app is decent, but it lacks the glorious keyboard controls of Pianobar! A single tap to change or pause the music and right back to action. Hitting thumbs up or down on a song is done with the + and – keys, and play/pause is ‘p’ or the spacebar. Much more than just the basics are available in Pianobar. It has functionality for shelving a song, adding variety to your stations, bookmarking, and pretty much any other action you could want. It’ll even call up the last five songs played so actions can be performed on them.

I’ve really grown to love using this program, and I have it installed on my desktop and laptop. Both are running Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail. Pianobar is in the ‘raring’ repository, but as of this writing, it hasn’t been updated to the latest release. I started getting an error when the program started up a few days ago, but installing the latest version of Pianobar from source fixed it.

First I’d try installing the release version and see if the repo has been updated. Do that with

Start it up and you’re good to go!

Now hopefully it all goes smoothly and you’re listening to your favorite stations. If not, you’ll have to install the latest version from source. If you haven’t done this before (as I hadn’t), it may seem daunting. It’s actually really simple if you’re used to installing through apt-get and using the terminal.

Download the binary through Pianobar’s main site. Unpack it with something like the following, just change it to match the file name of your downloaded file.

Now install the packages required to build the program.

Make sure your’re currently in the unpacked Pianobar folder, and then run the following and you’re set.

I hope you enjoy listening to some awesome music from the cool comfort of your command line. Let me know what your favorite station is or leave a link to it in the comments!