Cool Calender Desklet for Linux Mint 20

A desklet is a small applet that can be placed on top of the user’s desktop. Usually, they are clocks, calendars, and weather applets.

Here is how to install a calendar desklet that I like and recommend. Note, all clicks are left-clicked unless indicated otherwise.

Right-click on desktop, it will open a menu. Click on “add Desklet.”

It opens the Desklet menu. When it open it defaults to the “Manage” tab, switch to the “Download” tab.

In the search bar, search for “calendar.” Click the down arrow on “Calender desklet by kanchudeep”. That will download it.

But this does not add it to your desktop. To do that you have to go back to the “Manage” tab. Click once on the “Calendar desklet” so it is highlighted. Then click the plus button “+” on the bottom to add it to the desktop.

It is not added to your desktop. You can click and hold to move it to where you want it.

You will also want to customize it to your liking. You can right-click on your desklet to open a menu that will give you the option to configure or remove it, as well as an about file.

Personally, I leave most of the defaults alone. However, my preference is to not show time, since it is military time. I also make it completely transparent.

NOTE: If you get a crash installing a desklet, it will switch the whole Desktop into fallback mode and ask if you want to restart Cinnamon, just select “Yes”.

dpkg Interrupted Error in Linux Mint

Did you receive this error, “E:dpkg was interrupted, you must manually run ‘sudo –configure -a’ to correct the problem. E:_cache->open()failed,please report”?

The “dpkg” is the Debian Package manager. The automatic process has an issue and you must open up the terminal (Ctrl+Alt+t) and type in:

sudo dpkg --configure -a

Hit enter, enter your password, hit enter again, and it will run through the process to correct this.

You shouldn’t be getting this error. I am running an updated Kernal and a newer system, so that is probably why I had this issue.

Linux Alternatives to Window Programs

It is true that many Microsoft programs that run on Windows will not run on Linux. Some you can get running with W.I.N.E.

The good news is the Linux has many alternatives, most of which are equal to or better than their Windows equivalent. Here are eight that I recommend.

  1. Alternate to Microsoft Office Suite
    LibreOffice at http://www.libreoffice.org
  2. Alternate to Notepad / Wordpad (Text Editor)
    Gedit at https://wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Gedit
  3. Alternate to Photoshop (Graphics Editor)
    Gimp at http://www.gimp.org
  4. Alternate to Movie Maker (Video Editor)
    Kdenlive at http://www.kdenlive.org
  5. Alternate to Windows Media Player (Video Viewer)
    VLC Player at http://www.videolan.org/vlc
  6. Alternate to Microsoft Outlook
    Thunderbird + Lightning at https://www.thunderbird.net
  7. Alternate to Intuit’s Quicken
    GnuCash at https://www.gnucash.org/
  8. Alternate to Apple’s iTunes
    Clementine at https://www.clementine-player.org/

Why I Believe in Open Source Software

Why am I so passionate about Linux and open source? I will tell you why.

It is because freedom is important.

Freedom to choose what to do with your computer. Freedom to use it the way that you want to use it. Freedom to improve upon a program that you use. Freedom to customize that program to better suit your needs.

The freedom to be free from surveillance and an invasion of your privacy. In other words, freedom of choice is why I believe in Linux and open-source software.

The freedom to use the software you need, regardless of your level of income. Lennox and open source software is free, in both respects. It is free as in free beer, and it is free as in freedom of speech.

If we are ever going to have a world in which there is equality see, there needs to be access to the means of production. And in the information age, the computer is the means of production in many cases.

Best Free VPN for Linux 2021

ProtonVPN is TechRadar’s “#1 free VPN – Unlimited data allowance without paying penny.”

The ProtonVPN Linux app is easy to use and packed with advanced security features.

Distros that are currently supported are Debian 10, Ubuntu 20+, Mint 20+
MX Linux 19+, Fedora 31+, Archlinux / Manjaro.

How to install a VPN on Linux Mint

The ProtonVPN Linux app officially supports Mint 20. If you are currently using the community-developed version of our Linux app, you should uninstall it before installing their official app.

1. Download their repo setup package

Download the ProtonVPN DEB package at:
https://protonvpn.com/support/official-linux-vpn-mint/

2. Install the ProtonVPN repository

Double-click the downloaded DEB package to install the repo using your default package manager.

3. Update the apt-get package list

Open Terminal and enter the command:

sudo apt-get update

4. Install the ProtonVPN Linux app

sudo apt-get install protonvpn

The ProtonVPN Linux app is now installed and can be run from your application launcher menu.

How to Use ProtonVPN

Here I will pass you off to the article by ProtonVPN: “How to use ProtonVPN on Linux.”

This is the only free VPN I currently recommend and use.

No Cookies and No Pop-ups

My website is unique in a number of ways. There are others who do the same, but it is not the majority.

First, there are no HTTP cookies used by this site. This means that no one is tracking you as you read my blog. Links on this site may take you to others sites that will track you.

Image

Doing this is very inconvenient for content creators. I can’t use Google Analytics or WordPress’s JetPack to get stats. I have to rely on my Webhosting stats alone. I also can’t offer their subscribe to blog by mail feature, which I used in the past.

Second, I also don’t have any affiliate links on the site. I used to have one to Green Geeks, but I removed the link but left the image, letting people know I run an eco-friendly website.

Third, I don’t have any annoying pop-ups. The only advertising is a link to my books on Amazon, and that is just for people who are interested.

This means that this blog makes me no money, but costs me to produce. I pay the Webhosting and domain name fees out of my own pocket. Why? It is a labor of love for you, my few readers.

What can you do? Subscribe and tells others about my site. That’s all I ask.

Linux Mint 20 – CD player Not Working

I have a windows program that I bought many years ago, and I want to run it on Linux. How you might wonder? Install Wine. It is a Windows API implementation. That means it runs some windows programs on Linux.

But a strange thing happened when I put my CD in the computer, it didn’t recognize the drive.

Here is the fix.

Go to the terminal and enter the following:

sudo apt install ubuntu-restricted-extras

Enter your password, press enter, and wait till it asks if you want to install it. Type y and hit enter.

Now what is really going to stump you is when it gets to the question if you accept the EULA for the TrueType core fonts. You are supposed to choose <ok> but you probably won’t know how to.

Use the Tab key to navigate. Select OK and hit enter.

Then it will ask you “Do you accept the EULA license terms?” Select it by using the Tab key and then press enter.

Let it finish the install, and you are done.

Peppermint Linux: “dpkg was interrupted”

First, I should probably explain what Peppermint Linux is. It is one of the last Linux distros that support 32-bit computers. And it runs great on older computers.

So in my test drive of the distro, the only issue came when I went to install updates after the install. I got this message:

“E: dpkg was interrupted, you must manually run ‘dpkg –configure -a’ to correct the problem.”

The solution is to open the Terminal and run the command it tells you to

sudo dpkg --configure -a

and it should be able to correct itself.

If it doesn’t, try running sudo apt-get install -f (to fix broken packages).

Then try running sudo dpkg –configure -a again.

When it prompts you, choose the default (N)

This is the only issue I have run into so far.

Best Linux Distro for 2021: Linux Mint

Linux MintAnytime you are choosing just one Linux distribution as the best, you must already be assuming an audience. And this is in fact what I am doing. When I say that Linux Mint 20.1 “Ulyssa” Cinnamon Edition is the best Linux distro for 2021, I mean it is the best Linux distro for the average computer user.

Now, what are the categories I used to select Linux Mint? The first is the quality of the software. There are some distributions that are running very old versions of software. (Debian Stable is a good example here.) Which means you don’t get the latest features. Quality also means that you have a variety of programs to choose from. Linux Mint gets 5 stars here.

The second category is documentation and support. Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, which means most of the documentation from that release will be relevant to Linux Mint 20. Plus there is documentation and online support through the Forums and the Chat Room. Plus there are many YouTube Videos. Learn Linux TV has an excellent Linux Mint Beginners Guide.

The third category is the ease of use and practicality. Let’s best honest, the average user is familiar with Microsoft Windows layout. Gnome is excellent, but the workflow is very different. KDE may be Windows-like, but its customization is extreme and the user can easily screw up their system. Linux Mint is a great balance here. Furthermore, more stuff just works out of the box on Linux Mint. I have less issues getting things to work than any other Linux distro.

The fourth category is looks and aesthetics. This is more a personal preference and less objective, but I think Linux Mint with the Cinnamon desktop environment is the best looking of all of them, including Windows and Mac. It has style, grace, and functionality.

The last category is long-term support. The average user doesn’t want to install a new operating system every year. Linux Mint 20 is a long-term support release that will be supported until 2025. This is perfect for the average user. And upgrading to newer versions is easier than ever.

For all these reasons I believe that Linux Mint is currently the best Linux distribution for the average computer user. I use it on my production machine and laptop, and I have it on both my parent’s and my wife’s parent’s computers.

“Check for video drivers” Linux Mint 20 Issue Solved

I recently bought a new laptop. It is an AMD Ryzen 7 4700U with Radeon Graphics.

I installed Linux Mint 20.1 Cinnamon on it. However, every time I reboot I get a “Check for video drivers”. The thing is, there are no drivers available for this laptop.

The problem is that the laptop is too new for the Linux Kernal in Linux Mint 20.1.

The solution is to move to an updated Linux Kernal. I will tell you how but proceed at your own risk. I have no problem, but results may vary.

Open Update Manager, click View, and then click Linux Kernal. You will get a warning, click continue. Then install Kernal 5.11.0-22. It is supported until February 2022.

Rebook your computer and no more annoying popup. Problem solved.