Archive for the ‘os’ Category

Spotify on Debian GNU/Linux in Canada

March 29, 2016 Leave a comment

Today I decided to try out the free ad-sponsored Spotify music streaming service. It has been available in Canada since September 2014.

After signing up you can immediately use the flash-based web player at

Installing the client app

Alternatively you can download and install the Spotify client app. I cannot say yet what the advantages or disadvantages are, maybe reading this article can be helpful.

Anyway, if you want to try the client app, for Debian (or Ubuntu) users it works like this:

  1. Add the repo key (to verify downloaded packages)
  2. Add the spotify repo to apt sources
  3. Update apt caches
  4. Install the spotify client

Here are the shell commands (requires sudo):

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp:// --recv-keys BBEBDCB318AD50EC6865090613B00F1FD2C19886
echo deb stable non-free | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/spotify.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install spotify-client

After successful installation you will find a “Spotify” entry in the “Multimedia” section of your start menu.

Using your Facebook login

If you use your Facebook account to sign into Spotify you will probably see this question:

Spotify would like to post to Facebook for you.
Who do you want to share these posts with?

It is safe to choose “Not Now” which prevents Spotify from posting to your timeline. The login will still work.

If your are using the downloaded stand-alone client app and the Facebook login fails with an error page, then simply enter the email address and password from your Facebook account into the login fields of the Spotify client app.

Spotify says that it only uses these credentials to pass through to the Facebook authentication and won’t store your password anywhere. I hope that’s true.

Categories: bash, debian, linux, music Tags:

Which process is locking a file on Windows ?

September 1, 2015 Leave a comment

List processes locking a file by file path sub-string:

Command line

  1. Install the handle tool from the Sysinternals suite
  2. Run handle -u [file path sub-string] in a cmd.exe window

The -u option includes the user owning the process.


handle -u "some.pdf"
AcroRd32.exe   pid: 11208  type: File  localnet\oliver 
244: C:\Users\Public\Documents\some-folder\some.pdf


  1. Download Sysinternals Process Explorer
  2. Menu : Find – “Find Handle or DLL …”



Windows Alt Codes for German

September 1, 2015 Leave a comment

Hold Alt while typing Alt codes on your numeric keypad :


Ä : 0196
Ö : 0214
Ü : 0220

ä : 0228
ö : 0246
ü : 0252

Scharfes s

ß : 0223

Categories:, windows Tags: , ,

Set the X cursor theme in XFCE 4.10

August 16, 2015 Leave a comment

After upgrading to Debian Jessie and XFCE 4.10, I set the default cursor theme in XFCE main menu – Settings – Mouse and Touchpad – Theme tab.

But this seemed to affect only a few applications.

To consistently set the theme for all applications and the desktop I had to run this:

oliver@debian:~$ sudo update-alternatives --config x-cursor-theme
There are 3 choices for the alternative x-cursor-theme (providing /usr/share/icons/default/index.theme).

  Selection    Path                                    Priority   Status
  0            /usr/share/icons/Adwaita/cursor.theme     90        auto mode
  1            /usr/share/icons/Adwaita/cursor.theme     90        manual mode
  2            /usr/share/icons/DMZ-Black/cursor.theme   30        manual mode
* 3            /usr/share/icons/DMZ-White/cursor.theme   50        manual mode

Press enter to keep the current choice[*], or type selection number:

Select the desired theme from the listed options and make sure it is the same as the one you selected in the XFCE settings.

Categories: bash, coding, debian, linux, xfce Tags: ,

Fix Eclipse installation after Cygwin unzip

August 5, 2015 Leave a comment

I used Cygwin’s unzip on Windows 7 to unpack freshly downloaded Eclipse zip packages. When trying to start eclipse.exe, I was getting weird error messages:

For Luna (4.4):


For Mars (4.5):


It turned out that after unzipping, the executable permission was not set on ‘exe’ and ‘dll’ files, so I had to fix it like this:

find eclipse \( -name '*.dll' -or -name '*.exe' \) -exec chmod +x {} \;

Categories: bash, coding, cygwin, dev-tools, eclipse

Zulu – Certified OpenJDK 8 builds for all operating systems

May 5, 2015 1 comment

You might have heard that Java is Open Source. And then you noticed that the Java SE downloads from the Oracle website are not actually Open Source. Maybe you also heard about OpenJDK.

So how does this fit together?

OpenJDK is an Open Source implementation of Java and Oracle Java engineers do work on Java with the OpenJDK community and and within the OpenJDK projects.

But source code needs to be compiled into executable binaries to be useful for end users. And that’s where things get dicey …

Where to find OpenJDK builds

For a long time there has been no reliable source for certified, well-supported builds of OpenJDK for all platforms.

The various GNU/Linux distributions, like Fedora, Debian, etc, have provided OpenJDK builds for a quite a while now, but for Windows and MacOS there were only some unofficial, often outdated hobby projects without reliable security updates.

Zulu – Open JDK builds


This changed within the last 2 years: JVM vendor Azul Systems first released their “Zulu” line of free OpenJDK builds in September 2013, mainly targeting Windows Servers and the Microsoft Azure cloud. In 2014 they added support for Linux, MacOS and Java 8, as well as Docker images. All Zulu builds are certified against the official Java SE TCK. The focus is on the JDK and servers, without browser plugin or webstart.

The Azul website does not clearly state their security update policy for their free builds, but they offer deb and rpm package repositories that seem to contain latest builds of OpenJDK that match the current Oracle JDK update versions. Also, their engineers participate in the community and allegedly contribute back to OpenJDK.

Zulu – OpenJDK 8 for Debian stable

For Debian stable (Wheezy or Jessie), Azul is a convenient way to install OpenJDK 8, since the Debian openjdk-8 package is currently only available in Debian unstable and hasn’t even made it into the Debian testing yet.

Here is how I set up the Azul deb repo and installed their OpenJDK 8:

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp:// --recv-keys 0x219BD9C9
apt_source='deb stable main'
echo "$apt_source" | sudo tee "$apt_list" > /dev/null
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install zulu-8

Please note, that the package installation automatically sets the Java related system alternatives to the Zulu ones. So right after zulu-8 installation the java version in your system path will be something like this:

oliver@basement:~$ java -version
openjdk version "1.8.0_45"
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (Zulu (build 1.8.0_45-b14)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (Zulu (build 25.45-b02, mixed mode)

How to use Oracle Java 8 plugin in Iceweasel on Debian wheezy

April 9, 2015 Leave a comment

Download the JRE from Oracle website.

Then perform the following steps (adjust the tar.gz filename according to what you downloaded, and replace “jre1.8.0_40” with the directory of your extracted tar.gz):

cd /opt
sudo tar xvzf ~/Downloads/jre-8u40-linux-x64.tar.gz
sudo chown -R root.root jre1.8.0_40
sudo ln -s jre1.8.0_40 jre
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/ /opt/jre/lib/amd64/ 1000
sudo update-alternatives --set /opt/jre/lib/amd64/