Notes on upgrade from Ubuntu 14.04 to 16.04


I know that the standard policy in Ubuntu is to offer the upgrade from an old LTS to a new one when the new LTS reaches .1, i.e., 16.04.1, but well…

I upgraded my 14.04 in several machines, and I can signal these almost show-stopper problems (workaround exists for all of them, though):

on […]

xkcd color list for LaTeX users…


After reading the (very) fun post about colors name at xkcd, I decided to create a small package to add the color list to my LaTeX documents…

After circumventing a small bug in xcolor, and ten lines of python, I have managed to create a small package that I am sharing here.

To use […]

A new nice trick for the Linux keyboard: greek letters

New layout for my Spanish keyboard

I do not know you, but me (as an engineer) use Greek letters like α, β, γ and so on quite often. I did a small change to my linux keyboard layout: the new part in the keyboard symbols files now is

partial alphanumeric_keys xkb_symbols “standard_tlde” { include “es(basic)” key <TLDE> { [ grave, asciitilde, […]

Managing PPAs in Ubuntu: a couple of useful scripts.

PPAs are really a great thing in Ubuntu: they allow you to have quite recent programs without upgrading all your system; most Ubuntu users use them extensively.

They have just one problematic side — the havoc that can happen on an upgrade. You see, when you upgrade your system, PPAs are disabled, but the program […]

Quick fix xfig bug


Ok, so I am a computer dinosaur. I still use xfig for much of my drawings, although I recon it is a program from the old century…

Unfortunately, after the recent upgrade to Ubuntu 14.04, a nasty bug surfaced in xfig: a crash whenever you try to draw point-dashed lines.

Fortunately, the launchpad user madHamish […]

How to modify a keyboard layout in Linux

New layout for my Spanish keyboard

Or: how to define a programmer-friendl(er) Spanish keyboard. …and you can add Greek, too!

A bit of history

There was a time when the computers all had the same keyboard — basically, the US one. You really do not need any more; the set of characters that could be represented where, after all, just the […]

How to modify a gnome shell theme

comparison of the top bar, before and after

This is (I think) the correct way of doing what I tried to do with an extension. My objective was to reduce a bit the size of the gnome shell top bar, and especially the font size.

The correct way is to use a “user” theme. What I did is to create […]

Randomly change the background of your Gnome desktop

Nice background

One of the thing I never got to understand is why the Gnome desktop do not have the option (present in KDE) to use the content of a directory to randomly pick an image for the “wallpaper” of the desktop.

There are a lot of solution outside, but I would like to share with you […]

A Gnome shell extension to change the top panel look

comparison of the top bar, before and after

Notice: this is NOT the best way to achieve this. I have posted a much better way…

This is my first Gnome Shell extension… so that will not be a coding style gem, but it works for me and I think it’s quite useful, so…

The idea is to change the look […]

Xfig thumbnailers with Gnome3/Nautilus3

thumbnails for xfig files

Ok, after the upgrade to Ubuntu 11.10 and the switch to Gnome 3, I discovered that my nice xfig thumbnailers stopped working. After a bit of struggle, I discovered why. The “gconf” mechanism of Gnome2 is being phased out, so now there is another way (simpler, when you know it) of doing the same thing.