Category: Linux


GIMP is a good free software for photo-editing. It has most of the capabilities you will require of its commercial counterpart Adobe Photoshop. What’s more with the right plugins, you can extend its capabilities. Here I’ll tell you about some GIMP plugins which will primarily be of interest to photographers. They will make your photo work-flow easier & faster.

GIMP-logo

Vignette – As the names suggests, this adds a vignette to your photo. Vignette can be used creatively to allow viewer’s eye to stay within the frame. Most of the photos will benefit from a small amount of vignette. The vignette plugin allows you to choose parameters like vignette colour, softness, darkness etc. It does its job very well.

Lomo – Want to mimic the look of a LOMO camera? This plugin will do it for you. It saturates the colour, adds a vignette(there is also an option for double vignette) & some other parameters for fine-tuning the output. Have fun!

Split Tone – Split toning is another beautiful effect. This plugins lets you select the two colours for split toning(as oppose to just two offered by most other programs) & end up with results beyond your imagination. Give this a try.

Darla Contrast Fix – This plugin aims to normalize the contrast in the photograph. With the right settings, it can make a photograph. However, this plugin requires some practice & knowledge of the parameters before one can get consistent results regularly.

National Geographic – Have you always wondered at the quality of the photos published by Nat Geo? They are sharp, contrasty & look as if edited by professionals. This simple plugin will put the same power in your hands too. This is a great plugin & as Darla Contrast Fix, this too requires practice before you’re able to get consistent results on a regular basis.

G’MIC – Stands for GRECY’s Magic for Image Computing. This is a grand-daddy of plugins. It is so packed with various image manipulation tools that I wonder even if someone will discover all of them in lifetime. Right from the basic sharpening, noise reduction to advanced like soft glow. This covers it all. And did I say, each of the tools come with several more options to fine tune the output? Yes, this is one hell of a plugin.

Off-course, there are many more plugins in the GIMP repository but these are the few I use on a regular basis & find to work properly. If you have your favourite GIMP plugin not listed here, do share it below. Will benefit all. :)

Many have been reporting problems when installing VMware Workstation 9 on Fedora 18 64 bit machines & on other distros using the newer kernel versions – 3.8* or newer. The installer reports of missing kernel header files & prompts for the same. Installing kernel-headers package does not work. This problem isn’t related to Fedora 18 but its due to Vmware guys not updating their vmware-config-tool for the new kernel releases. Before you go ahead to rectify the problem, I advise you update your kernel & its headers.

#yum update kernel* -y

#yum install kernel-headers kernel-devel -y

Reboot the system & boot into the new kernel. Fire up a shell & issue,

#uname -r

This will output you the current booted kernel version. Copy the entire line into the clipboard.

Now create a new directory at the following path,

#mkdir -p /lib/modules/your-kernel-version-here-from-above/build/include/linux/

It should look similar to,

#mkdir -p /lib/modules/3.9.5-201.fc18.x86_64/build/include/linux/

Now we need to copy the missing .h file to the location we just created. Issue,

cp usr/include/linux/version.h /lib/modules/3.9.5-201.fc18.x86_64/build/include/linux/

Now launch Vmware 9, if it still fails have a look at the pointed log file in the error prompt.

#cat /tmp/vmware-root/vmware-modconfig-3787.log

It should mostly indicate failure to build ‘vmci’ or ‘vmblock’. This is okay & one can ignore this. Hit cancel to quit the Vmware 9. Open a shell. We will now edit the vmware configuration file & disabled the entry which ensures ‘vmci’ or vmblock’ module is built & loaded.

#vi /etc/vmware/config

Find the line

VMCI_CONFED = “no” (It will be YES, make it as ‘no’)

This will cancel building of vmci module. Same can be done for vmblock.

VMBLOCK_CONFED = “no”

Now save & quit Vi editor issuing,

ESC key + :wq! + Enter Key

Now launch VMware 9 & it should launch normally. :)

Have you encountered the following error when trying to install a package on your system?

” file /usr/lib64/audit from install of glibc-2.16-31.fc18.x86_64 conflicts with file from package audit-2.2.1-2.fc18.x86_64 “

It states a file conflict between the two mentioned packages. There is a simple way to solve this error. Simply install the audit package.

#yum install audit -y

You should not get the error anymore.

Regular users do not have permissions to alter files, however the super user can do any changes to the critical system files. For most of the times, one must avoid logging as a root user but at times one needs to login as a root user itself. Here, a small mistake could potential cause irreversible damage to the system. Take an example you are deleting a file & enter the following;

# rm -rf / etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0:0

Noticed the space after ‘/’? That’s not intentional & it got mistyped in haste. Now, if the root user hits enter without correcting his mistake, it will lead to deletion of the entire root directory. You wouldn’t want that. However there is a simple command which prevents root user from deleting files or directories. You can set it on files or directories which you perceive to be important.

The command sets a certain attribute onto a file. These are special attributes over the regular file permissions. The attribute can be only set & unset by a root user.

# chattr +a filename

Now try doing,

# rm -rf filename

You will get,

rm: cannot remove ‘filename’ : Operation not permitted

You can do same on directories.

# chattr +a directory

This will also have an effect on the subsequent sub-directories in the specified directory. However, with the append(a) option, the file can still be altered using the append command. So to avoid that, use the immutable(i) switch instead of (a).

# chattr +i filename

The file can be now deleted nor written to(cannot be appended too).

To unset any of these attributes, simply use minus(-) along with the attribute you specified & file name/directory name.

# chattr -i filename

# chattr -a /directory/

Set this attribute on critical files & directories and you may avoid a potential doom’s day.

Record Shell Output to a File

There are times when you need to post the outcome of a particular command(s) from a shell on a forum or somewhere else. It might be for troubleshooting or demonstration. However, copy-paste is not exactly a good option if your shell is filled with tons of information. Not to mention, you would spend a lot of time just selecting the text & then pasting it into a word processor. Wouldn’t life be easy if there would be a script which would gather all the data from a terminal & save it to a file? It does exist.

Before starting to run the command(s) whose output you wish to capture, enter;

$script -a filename

You will get,

[shuttertux@localhost ~]$ script -a filename

Script started, file is filename

[shuttertux@localhost ~]$

Now one can begin entering the required commands. Once done, type;

$exit

You’ll get,

[shuttertux@localhost ~]$ exit

exit

Script done, file is filename

[shuttertux@localhost ~]$

Now you can view the output file simply by,

$cat filename

Wasn’t that easy? Just remember, the output file is saved in your present working directory.

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