Tag Archives: arch

Quick Guide to Patching Linux Icon Packs

One of the nice advantages of using Linux is the wealth of customization options available. A key area of  that customization are app icons. For those unfamiliar, it is similar to how icons change across Android versions, even though the apps themselves are often the same.

Now I could go over how to install icons packs, however there are countless sites who already explain the process very well, such as Tips on Ubuntu. As for obtaining icon packs, a great site is OpenDesktop.org, which among other things hosts a wide variety of free to use icon packs.

So, now onto something less commonly covered, patching icon sets (no coding or art skills required). First a little background, if you use one of the more popular icon packs, you’ll likely have no issues. However many of the smaller icon packs either only support certain distros or lack icons for lesser known programs.

Take for example my all time favorite icon pack, Oranchelo, it is geared mainly towards Ubuntu. Lately I’ve been using Fedora 28 and while some icons work liked they’re supposed to, others, which work in Ubuntu, do not. So why is that?

Each program has an icon name, and while many programs keep a consistent icon name across distros, this is not always the case, such as with some of the default Gnome apps in Fedora vs Ubuntu. To fix this we need to either change the app’s icon name or create symbolic links to the current icon name, the latter generally being the better option.

First we need to find the current icon name, for all common (and probably for the uncommon ones as well) Linux desktop environments the way to do this is:

cd /usr/share/applications/

Here you will see (using the ls command) a bunch of .desktop files, these are config files that set how a program will be shown on the desktop, such as what will it be called under English or under Polish, as well as what the icon should be.

I’ve already patched Oranchelo for most of my applications but I’ve yet to do it for the IceCat browser (located towards the bottom on the screenshot), so I’ll use it as an example. Since we already have our terminal located in the right folder, lets just search for the right .desktop file:

ls | grep -i icecat

From that command we now know that full name of the file is “icecat.desktop”. Now that we see the file, we just need to find what it’s icon name is:

cat icecat.desktop | grep -i icon

Now that we know what the icon is called (“icecat”, icon names aren’t always this simple), we needed to open up our installed icon pack, if you’re not sure where that is, look back on the install instructions you used for your pack and just find where you placed said pack.

I generally prefer to look at the icons in a graphical file manager, so that I can make sure I pick the right one.

So now that we’re in the file, we want to go into apps, then scalable. Here we have all our icons, once we found one that we like, we need to create a symbolic link.

Since Oranchelo doesn’t currently have an Icecat logo, I will use the firefox nightly icon.

Now we need to open a terminal at this location and do the following command (depending on where you installed your icons, you may or may not need to use sudo)

ln -s icon.svg desiredApp.svg

Or in my case:

ln -s firefox-nightly-icon.svg icecat.svg

Now all we need to do is toggle the icons, simply switch to the system default icon set and then switch back and the correct icons will show.

As you can see, the desired icon is now set for Icecat

However this is not the only way to patch icon sets, some icon sets are designed to only replace a small amount of icons, such as folders. These often use inheritance to fill the void, however you may not always like the set from which they inherit the remainder, or you may simply prefer if it inherited from a different set.

One of my favorite Gnome themes, Canta, comes with its own icon pack that replaces folders but inherits the rest from Numix icon pack, but since I haven’t installed Numix, it defaults to the system default. However, I have the Flat Remix pack installed, I’ll make it instead inherit from that.

As before, we need to go into the icon pack folder. Once we’re in the canta icon pack, we need to open up the index.theme file with a text editor (as before, depending on where it is installed, you may or may not need sudo).

A few lines from the bottom you will see a “Inherits=”. For Canta it is:

"Inherits=Numix-Circle,Adwaita,gnome,hicolor"

So if we want it to inherit from flat remix (provided flat remix is installed correctly), all we need to do is add it in, changing the line to:

"Inherits=Flat-Remix,Numix-Circle,Adwaita,gnome,hicolor"

Once you save the file, all the missing icons should be automatically inherited from Flat Remix.

Best of luck with all your Linux customization.

Arch Linux and Eduroam on a Raspberry Pi, No Ethernet Cable Required


Raspbian may be the most common OS on Raspberry Pi devices, but it is definitely not alone in the market. Arch Linux is one such competitor, offering a minimalist disk image that can be customized and specialized for any task, from the ground up – with the help of Arch Linux’s superb package manager, Pacman.

The office website for Arch Linux Arm contains all the necessary files and detailed instructions for the initial setup. After a reasonably straightforward process, plugging in the Raspberry Pi will great you with a command line interface, CLI, akin to old Microsoft DOS.

Luckily for those who enjoy a graphical interface, Arch Linux supports a wide variety in its official repository, but for that, we need the internet.  Plenty of tutorials detail how to connect to a typical home wifi, but Eduroam is a bit more challenging. To save everyone several hours of crawling through wikis and forums, the following shall focus on Eduroam.

To begin, we will need root privilege; by default this can be done with the following command:

su

After entering the password, we need to make the file:

nano /etc/wpa_supplicant/eduroam

Quick note: The file doesn’t need to be named eduroam.

Now that we’re in the nano text editor we need to write the configuration for eduroam. Everything except the indentity and password field needs to be copied exactly. For the propose of this Tutorial I’ll be John Smith, jsmith@umass.edu, with password Smith12345.

network={
			ssid=”eduroam”
			key_mgmt=WPA-EAP
			eap=TTLS
			phase2=”auth=PAP”
			identity=”jsmith@umass.edu”
			password=”Smith12345”
	}

Quick note: the quotation marks are required, this will not work without them.

Now that that’s set, we need to set the file permissions to root only, as its never good to have passwords in plain text, unsecured.

chmod og-r /etc/wpa_supplicant/eduroam

Now just to make sure that everything was set properly, we will run

ls -l /etc/wpa_supplicant | cut -d ' ' -f 1,3-4,9

The correct output should be the following

-rw------- root root eduroam

If you named the config file something other than eduroam, it will show up on the output as that name.

Now that that’s all set, we can finally connect to the internet.

wpa_supplicant -i wlan0 -c /etc/wpa_supplicant/eduroam &

Provided everything is set correctly, you will see “wlan0: link becomes ready” halfway through the last line of the page, hit enter and just one more command.

dhcpcd

Now, just to check we’re connected, we’ll ping google

ping google.com -c 5

If everything is set, you should see 5 packets transmitted, 5 packets received.
Now that we’re connected, its best to do a full update

pacman -Syyu

At this point, you are free to do what you’d like with Arch. For the sake of brevity I will leave off here, for extra help I highly recommend the official Arch Linux Wiki. For a graphical UI, I highly recommend setting up XFCE4, as well as a network (wifi) manager.

 

Example of a customized XFCE4 desktop by Erik Dubois

 

 

Disclaimer: UMass IT does not currently offer technical support for Raspberry Pi.