Category Archives: How-To

A Guide To Playing Blu-rays On Ubuntu Linux

Today tis a happy day.  A noble day.  A day for dancing and chivalry.  We shall deck the courtyard in the finest tapestries, fill the cups with the finest wine, deck the halls with beautiful women, and grunt like men. All shall hear me roar “In your face Blu-ray!”  Interested now?  I thought so.

Read the rest of this entry

Integrating Steam into XBMC using xpad and xboxdrv

Now, I am going to assume I am not the only person on earth with this situation. I own and maintain a HTPC, otherwise known to most as a “Home Theatre PC.” I custom configured the xboxdrv userland module in a previous HTPC Project post, so that I could full use a Microsoft Xbox controller as a mouse + keyboard.  This enabled quick restart/shutdown, mouse movement, and media controls.  The problem was, if I wanted to use Steam, a custom configured xboxdrv set was not gong to play well with Steam.  The solution was simple…
Read the rest of this entry

How To – Working with and Publishing Photos with Shotwell for Linux

A short how-to on using Shotwell for Linux that I made for my parents. Enjoy


Managing A Programs’ CPU and Memory Utilization With cgroups

There are many days, especially days I have off from work, that I want to do a little ripping/encoding of my movie collection (still have a ways to go).  While MakeMKV will not tax my i5 2600k Intel processor, handbrake will, of course.  If you wish to still work on various average tasks on your system without a large amount of slowdown, you will want to setup cgroups to handle either handbrake or MakeMKV’s CPU/Memory constraints.  I will also go through an alternative universal method.  Read on for more Read the rest of this entry

SteamOS – Turning On The FPS Counter For Metro Last Light

Here’s a quick tip for you playing Metro: Last Light under SteamOS, and you want to guage how many FPS you are getting by using these new fangled “video quality sliders.”  While I like the ease of adjusting the graphics, you won’t really get a feel for the effects under you can see the frames per second during gameplay.  Personally, even on an Nvidia GTX 560ti, I have moved the slider all the way up at times, and even with FPS as low as 17-24, have not noticed such horrible gameplay.  I think on SteamOS some of it can be subjective of course.  Anyway, if you are interested in seeing the FPS, there is a quick way to do this.  Read on for more. Read the rest of this entry

SteamOS Troubleshooting – No Audio With HDMI or On Board

Thanks to a great fellow over at GitHub, I recently resolved some sound issues with SteamOS after I swapped graphics car.  Maybe these steps will help you as well.  This will be linked to the main SteamOS workarounds launch page.

Caution:  Please try this method at your own risk.  If you wish to be safe about this backup the pulse folders before removing them.  All steps below should be reversible.  If you remove the file configured below, restore the pulse folders.  and regenerate your initramfs, you should be back to the state you were in.  I have tested this for onboard Intel audio, as well as AMD/Nvidia HDMI output.  You may find the easiest method to be using Ye Olde SteamOSe, detailed at the bottom of this article.

Read the rest of this entry

How To Play In The Snow Without Going Outside

Thanks to sontek over at /r/linux on Reddit, there is no need whatsoever to go outside!  Who needs sunshine!  All joking aside, wanted to share some holiday cheer with this simple python script to make your own personal shell snowglobe.  I should think about trademarking that… in any case, hit up the source link below, and leave a comment below if you have any comments or questions.

tar -xvzf snowjob-0.0.2.tar.gz
cd snowjob-0.0.2
chmod +x


Have a Happy Holidays.



How To – Extending XBMC Above And Beyond

In a previous post, I revisited using Ubuntu 12.04 and Linux in general as an HTPC.  While there were some advanced steps I took, I asked myself, can this be easier?  Can all of what I want fall under a unified interface?  Having toyed with the OUYA console a fair bit, I remembered Advanced Launcher, which is coincidently, also available for XBMC.  What this turned into, was a simple way to launch any web link to a video stream or Linux program.  This enabled me to use XBMC entirely as an HTPC solution without a need to escape XBMC itself.  Read on for me! Read the rest of this entry

How To – Making a Media Center Using Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

ccdf6dc794fd35c2a702751c7732b2324b66586216aee7bcad8017dd8ab508f3For quite some time I have been away from the HTPC scene (~2 years), having resigned to using a Roku Player with the Plexapp channel for home media purposes.  I recently took another look last week at the HTPC option for my home.  Safe to say, I found I could safely get 80 percent of what I wanted for a media box out of the experience.  The Dell GX755 PC slim desktop is now tucked safely into the TV stand, and it works beautifully.  How did I do it it? Why? Read on for more.  Read the rest of this entry

SteamOS Workaround Added: Ye Olde SteamOS

Ye Olde SteamOSe

Thanks a ton to directhex on Reddit, we have our first SteamOS spinoff!  This “distribution” removes the UEFI requirement, modifies the storage requirement to a sane number, and adds support for a number of things including AMD video cards, VirtualBox 3D acceleration, and DVD or USB bootable options for the media.  Enjoy!

Method 1: (easy) Ye Olde SteamOSe

Also see: 

SteamOS Workarounds (featured article)
Project Github Page
Reddit Article 1
Reddit Article 2