La Boina Roja

Linux, the struggles are real!

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How to run Xubuntu faster

Are you like me and do you own a netbook with rather low specs, like 1GB RAM for example?

Then you might have noticed that Xubuntu can become painstakingly slow after using it for a while. Not to mention all the moaning and groaning your hard disk does  photo shutup.gifThis is not you having way to many applications open or whatever, this is Xubuntu. Since it is not you, the problem can be fixed  photo loveit.gif

Fire up terminal and log in as root.


cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness


After you hit enter a number will return, it will be most likely 60.


This is way to high and this is the cause of Xubuntu’s slowness. We need to decrease this number to 10.


mousepad /etc/sysctl.conf


(the “l” in sysctl is that letter of the alphabet, not the the number “one” photo emo.gif)

After you hit enter this screen will open.


Scroll all the way down and add this line add the end of the document:



Make sure to save the changes before you close mousepad!

Reboot (yes this time you really need to reboot) and check in terminal if swapiness is 10. As you can see in my case it was photo thumbsup.gif10
(Remember, you can always do the cliccie for a larger piccie!)

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How to install the Java plug-in in Chromium running on Xubuntu

Today I wanted to download a vid from youtube, I discovered that in order to do so, I need to have Java installed. So that’s what I did, it is a quite simple process photo shiny.gif

Open terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install openjdk-7-jre icedtea-7-plugin


After a couple of seconds you will be asked if you want to continue:


press y

Within minutes the installation will be completed, and Java is enabled  photo thumbsup.gif There is no need to restart Chromium!

(Remember, you can always do the cliccie for a larger piccie photo puh2.gif)

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How to get “youtube” working in Xubuntu

So there you are, with your freshly installed Xubuntu you go to youtube to play your favourite Bruno Mars vid. But wtf? The vid won’t play  photo piangry.gif

No worries  photo puh2.gif we can solve this by installing “restricted extras” in Xubuntu. The “restricted extras” is a package that not only contains flash, the thing needed to play youtube videos, but also other goodies like codecs for example. Codecs are needed to be able to play all your movies and songs stored on your harddrive.

Let’s get started  photo loveit.gif

Open terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install xubuntu-restricted-extras


After a while you will be asked if you want to continue:


press y

After another while you will see this screen.


Press the tab button to highlight the <ok> and hit enter.


Then you’ll see this screen:


Press tab again to higlight <Yes> and hit enter.

And you are done  photo thumbsup.gif you will be able to play youtube vids without having to restart.

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How to get wireless working on a Mini Dell 9 in Xubuntu

Having owned 2 Dell laptops, I know the frustrations of having to get wireless working in Xubuntu. It was after many re-installations later  photo bonk.gif that I found out that the process is quite simple  photo emo.gif and it actually requires only on line in Xubuntu. Open terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install bcmwl-kernel-source


Atfer a couple of seconds you will be asked if you want to continue:


press y

And you are done  photo thumbsup.gif wireless will work not without you having to restart.

(Yeah, I know the screenshots say, Ilona instead of Roja. That is because I gave her my mini Dell and I reinstalled Xubuntu for her. Since she will be moving far away, from where I can’t help her I decided to write this tutorial for her, in case she needs to re install.)


How to fix Parole’s “GStreamer backend error” in Xubuntu

Well yesterday, I installed Xubuntu on my new netbook and I made a mistake a BIG one  photo piangry.gif I removed parole and installed vlc, only to find out vlc is painstakingly slow to start and plays videos slow and choppy. After googling around messing with vlc’s settings I gave up and I decided to reinstall parole. When trying to play a vid, I was greeted by this error message  photo emo.gif

paroleerrorNo worries  photo puh2.gif I managed to fix it and I am sharing my solution with you guys.

First make sure you are logged in as root, you do this by typing:

sudo su


After you have typed your password, let’s find the folder in which parole is installed. Type:

whereis parole


As you can see parole is installed in /usr/share/parole. Well, let’s move to this folder then. Type:

cd /usr/share/parole


We are now “inside” parole, let’s fix it. Type:

parole --xv false


There might not be much screen activity after you have typed this command, but if you open parole now, it will work  photo vork.gif

(Remember, you always do the cliccie for a larger piccie!)

Edit 13/03/2014:

For quite some time I had the feeling that this “How to” became obsolete…. Rudolph was kind enough to confirm my suspicions, this is how he solved the problem:

I run Linux Mint 14 Nadia and decided to try XFCE and of course Parole media player. I tried your instructions as Root and it failed. Simple solution was to issue command “parole –xv false” at the Terminal default Home directory prompt $ as an ordinary user NOT as Root in the Parole directory. Parole now works perfectly. This might help Ubuntu / Xbuntu users as well because as Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu. Thank you for sharing your tips above because I would not have succeeded without your help.

With Rudolf’s  photo thumbsup.gif comment in mind, I made a new “How to” you can check it here.