Using the Linux Command Line with Nautilus Terminal

Nautilus logo

Nautilus logoOne myth about Linux that just won’t die is that you absolutely need to understand and use the command line to get the most out of it. I know a number of Linux users who’ve never cracked open a terminal window, and they’re quite happy.

That said, I find the command line to be an essential part of my toolkit. And, like much in the Linux world, there are a number of options for getting to the command line. One of my favorites is an add-on for the Nautilus file manager called Nautilus Terminal.

Let’s take a look at it.

A Terminal in Nautilus?

That’s what’s advertised, and that’s what you get. Nautilus Terminal embeds a terminal at the top of the Nautilus window. You can run any command from Nautilus Terminal and no matter what directory you’re in, that’s where the terminal opens.

Nautilus Terminal

And if you move around directories in Nautilus, the terminal follows you. So, if you start in /usr/local/bin and move to the directory /usr/share, Nautilus Terminal changes to /usr/share automatically. No need to use the cd command to move around.

Getting Up and Running

That’s pretty easy. You can download the source code for Nautilus Terminal and compile it yourself. Or, you can get packages for Ubuntu, Fedora, Frugalware, and Gentoo. The Nautilus Terminal download page explains how to get those packages.

Once you’ve installed Nautilus Terminal, fire up Nautilus. The embedded terminal will be open.

Customizing Nautilus Terminal

I don’t know about you, but I find having the terminal open all of the time a bit annoying. It takes up a lot of space and can be distracting. You can either click the Close button to hide the terminal, or you can change the settings by clicking the Preferences icon.

Setting preferences

In the Preferences window, click the Start Nautilus Terminal hidden checkbox.

Notice that you can also change:

  • The number of lines to display in the terminal window
  • Whether or not to show a scrollbar
  • The shape of the cursor in the terminal
  • The colors that you use with Nautilus Terminal
  • The font used in the terminal

Using Nautilus Terminal

Let’s assume you’ve set up Nautilus Terminal to hide until you need it. Whenever you need to use Nautilus Terminal, just click the Show button. From there, type the command(s) that you need to run and then press Enter.

Nautilus Terminal in action

Then, click the Close button and continue with what you’re doing.

While I don’t spend an enormous amount of time in Nautilus, I do quite a bit of work — file management, maintenance, and the like — with it every day. Having an embedded terminal window makes it easier on those frequent occasions when I need to use the command line.

Make Upgrading Your Fedora System Easier with PreUpgrade

Keeping with their six-month release cycle, Fedora 13 – codename Goddard – was released on Tuesday.

Upgrading your Fedora installs can be a time-consuming process if you’re using the downloaded DVD.  Reinstalling can also take time considering you will need to backup and restore your system.

PreUpgrade is a utility that simplifies the Fedora upgrade process by only downloading the upgrades that apply to your specific system.  PreUpgrade can be installed and used on any system running Fedora 8 and after.

Important Note: Using PreUpgrade to upgrade multi-boot systems can cause problems and prevent the update from initializing.  The Fedora Wiki provides some information for using PreUpgrade on multi-boot systems.

Upgrading Fedora with PreUpgrade is outlined below.  Make sure that your system is connected to a wired network connection for best results.

Step 1: Ensure all current updates are installed with the following terminal command

sudo yum update

Step 2: Install the PreUpgrade package.

sudo yum install preupgrade

Step 3: Run PreUpgrade to start the upgrade process

sudo preupgrade

If you’re upgrading remotely via Secure Shell, then you can start PreUpgrade with the following command.


Step 4: Follow the on-screen instructions to begin the upgrade.

If you are presented with an error message saying that “the installer image could not be downloaded due to lack of space on /boot”, click continue if you’re connected to a wired connection and the installer image will be downloaded upon restart.  You may need to consult the Fedora Wiki for more information on clearing space in your /boot partition.

That’s it!  The necessary upgrades will be downloaded and installed.  The amount of time this takes will vary depending on your internet connection speed.

How to Setup Internet Connection Sharing in Fedora 12

If you have a computer with two network interfaces, one wired and one wireless, it can sometimes be beneficial to share an internet connection from one interface to another.  In Microsoft Windows this is called Internet Connection Sharing (ICS).  This guide will show you how to setup the equilivant of ICS in Fedora 12 by sharing a wireless connection with a wired port of a computer.

1. Right-click the NetworkManager icon in the Gnome Panel and left-click Edit Connections… If you do not have this icon, navigate to System > Preferences > Network Connections.

2. When the Network Connections window is shown, click the wired port that you wish to share the wireless connection with and click Edit…

3. Click the IPV4 Settings tab and select Shared to other computers from the Method drop down.

4. Click Apply… and enter the root password when prompted.

Once the above steps are complete, anything connected to the wired port will be sharing an internet connection with the wireless card of the computer.

Fix: Adobe AIR Apps Crash After Upgrading to Fedora 12

adobe_airAfter upgrading your system to Fedora 12, you may notice that some of your Adobe AIR applications no longer load properly.  The problem may persist even after you have reinstalled both Adobe AIR and the individual Adobe AIR applications.

An error you may receive when installing the AIR applications is shown below:

Application crashed with an unhandled SIGSEGV

The above problem is caused by an invalid certificate file.  Simply deleting the certificate file as shown below will cause your Adobe AIR applications to begin working again.

Run the following command from terminal to fix the problem:

sudo rm -rf /etc/opt/Adobe/certificates/crypt/

Fedora 12 “Constantine” Released Today

fedora-logoToday marks the release date of the newest version of Fedora Linux distribution — Fedora 12.  Codenamed “Constantine”, Fedora 12 marks the newest release in a long line of Fedora versions.


Some features included in this new release are listed below:

  • Gnome 2.28
  • Change to i686 architecture
  • Improved webcam support
  • Fedora Studio
  • PackageKit Browser Plugin

You can read my article describing these features in further detail here.


The recommended way of downloading Fedora 12 is via BitTorrent, and a list of the torrent files can be found at the Fedora Project BitTorrent tracker.

Fedora 12 can also be downloaded from the Fedora FTP server and other FTP mirrors.  A full list of mirrors can be found at the Fedora Project Mirror List page.  Be sure to select a FTP mirror that is closer to you to help improve download speeds.

Have you experienced any problems after installing Fedora 12?  What are you opinions of the release so far?  Let us know by commenting below.

Fedora 12: What To Expect From The Next Fedora Release

fedora-logoIt’s already been 6 months since Fedora 11 “Leonidas” was released, which means its time for a new version.  With the release of Fedora 12 “Constantine” happening in just less then a week, you may be wondering what exactly the new version contains.  I’ve had some time to play around with Fedora 12  and will highlight some of the major features in this newest release.

Gnome 2.28

The change to Gnome 2.28 in Fedora 12 will bring many updated features to users.  One new feature is the added Gnome Bluetooth manager which supports hundreds of keyboards, mice and headsets.  PulseAudio integration has also been added, allowing support for Bluetooth speakers.

Another change included in Gnome 2.28 is the change to Empathy as the default instant messaging client.  Major features included in Empathy include audio and video support, geolocation of contacts, and multi-protocol support.  Empathy users also have the ability to share their desktop with the Gnome Remote Desktop Viewer, Vino.

Cheese, the Gnome webcam application, includes several updates in Gnome 2.28.  Cheese now has the ability to take several photographs at one time, allowing users to specify number of photos and time delay between the photos.

The user interface to Cheese has also been optimized for use on netbooks.  The image bar, previously located on the bottom of the main window, has now been moved to the right side.  This change allows Cheese to make use of the wide area offered by a netbook screen.

Change to i686 architecture

A major change implemented in the Fedora 11 release was the move to the i586 architecture, dropping support for most processors previous to the Pentium.  This change was a stepping stone for the change to the i686 architecture in Fedora 12.  Changing binaries to i686 will allow packages to be optimized for today’s modern processors, including the Intel Atom.  Benefits include faster binaries and fewer kernel builds for developers.  Processors that will no longer be supported include the original Intel Pentium and AMD Geode, along with other similar lines.

Improved Webcam Support

Included in Fedora 12 is better out-of-the-box webcam support.  Fedora developers have done testing with 50+ of the most common webcams, looking at aspects such as performance and video quality.  Testing also included playback of recorded webcam videos through several common applications such as Cheese, Ekiga, Camorama, VLC, MPlayer, and Skype.  A list of webcams tested can be found at the Fedora 12 Feature Page.

Fedora Studio

Previous versions of Fedora grouped all audio and video applications into the Sound & Video application group in Gnome.  This structure made it difficult to determine what applications were used for, often confusing users.  With Fedora 12, applications have been categorized into common groups, making the ever increasing number of multimedia applications easier to navigate for all users.

PackageKit Browser Plugin

A task that can still be difficult with any Linux distribution is the installation of new packages.  Fedora 12 includes a new feature that hopes to make this process easier.  Included in Fedora 12 is a PackageKit Browser Plugin that will allow users to install missing packages from a web browser environment without having to issue yum commands from the terminal.

From the PackageKit development page:

This is a very simple browser plugin that is meant to allow a website to add a box to allow to install or run a particular piece of software provided in their distribution’s repositories.

The features covered in this article are just a few of the improvements that you can expect to see in Fedora 12. For a complete list, checkout the Fedora 12 Feature List.  Fedora 12 will be released on November 17th.

Decrease Fedora Update Time With yum-presto

fedora-logoInstalling updates on any operating system can be a time consuming process.  Part of the philosophy of a free and open source operating system is the commitment to keeping your system updated with the latest security patches and feature updates.  With Fedora systems, I often see 50-100 MB worth of updates per week.  Even on a broadband connection, downloading updates can still take time.

To help decrease the size of update download, you can install the Presto plug-in for yum.  With the Presto plug-in, yum now has the ability to download only the changes in the packages, called deltarpms, and not the complete package.  Using yum-presto can reduce the total download size anywhere from 60 to 80 %.


Installing the Presto plug-in for yum is done with the line below.

sudo yum install yum-presto

After the plug-in installs, update your system with

sudo yum update

I have had a very good experience with yum-presto.  Recently I performed a new installation of Fedora on a system and without the Presto plug-in, I would have had to download around 400+ MB of updates.  With Presto, I was able to download all updates in only 112 MB.

Have you heard of the Presto plug-in for yum?  What other yum plug-ins have you used?  Let us know in the comments below.

Fix: Connecting USB Devices To VirtualBox On Fedora 11


Update: This problem has been resolved in VirtualBox Version 3.0.8. Remove the following fix before upgrading to 3.0.8 to take advantage of the update.  For help on installing VirtualBox on Fedora 11, checkout our guide.

I have come across one problem with VirtualBox on Fedora 11 – USB devices are listed in the device manager but are grayed out and cannot be enabled.  To see if this problems exists on your system you can navigate to Devices > USB Devices in a running virtual machine console window.  The devices physically connected to the host are shown, but are grayed out and are not clickable, preventing them from being connected to the virtual machine.

To correct the problem, edit /etc/fstab and add the following line:

none /sys/bus/usb/drivers usbfs devgid=501,devmode=664 0 0

Substitute “devgid=501” with the id of the vboxusers group which all VirtualBox users should be part of.  The id of the vboxusers group can be found by navigating to System > Administration > Users and Groups.

Once you are finished, power off all virtual machines.  Run the following command in Fedora to enable USB support:

mount -a

When you power on your Virtual Machine next time, the USB devices under Devices should no longer be grayed out and are now clickable, allowing you to connect them to your virtual machines.

How to Install VirtualBox in Fedora 11

fedora-logoFedora 11, the most recent release of the Fedora Linux distribution, includes built-in virtualization capabilities.  Virtualization allows you to install an operating system from within another operating system, which can be a great way to test out a new version of Windows.

Since Fedora’s included virtualization is mainly geared towards developers, many users prefer a different virtualization platform such as VirtualBox which can be used in both Linux and Windows.

Installing VirtualBox in Fedora 11

  1. As root, install the necessary dependencies with yum.
  2. yum install -y qt qt-x11 xine-lib kernel-devel gcc

  3. When the above dependencies have been installed, download the VirtualBox RPM from (At the time of writing I downloaded Version 3.0.4)
  4. Install the VirtualBox RPM you downloaded, replacing the text in the < > with the name of the file you downloaded.
  5. rpm -ivh .rpm

  6. After the installation completes, add your account as a member of the vboxusers group.  To do this, navigate to System > Administration > Users and Groups, select your account and click Properties.  Click the Groups tab and check the box for vboxusers to add your account to the group.
  7. Consult /var/log/vbox-install.log if you receive any error messages or experience any problems during the installation.
  8. If there are any errors in the above log, correct them and run the setup script as root by entering

    /etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup

  9. Start VirtualBox by typing “VirtualBox” in the terminal or navigating to Applications > System Tools > Sun VirtualBox in the Gnome desktop.
  10. Agree to the License.

Once the above steps are complete, you will have VirtualBox installed on Fedora 11.

How To: Install Adobe AIR in Fedora 11

With a new install of Fedora there are a few basic programs that typically should be installed including Java Runtime and Flash Player, and with the recent increase in the number of AIR applications Adobe AIR has been added to the list.  With the default install of Fedora 11, installing AIR does present a problem.  Even as root, a vague error message like the one shown below is presented half way through the installation.


Sorry, an error has occurred.

An error occurred while installing Adobe AIR.  Installation may not be allowed by your administrator.  Please contact your administrator.

The above problem is easily corrected with the following procedure.


  1. Download the Adobe AIR binary for Linux from
  2. Open the terminal
  3. Install gtk2-devel and rpm-devel from the terminal as root
  4. yum install gtk2-devel rpm-devel

  5. Once the packages and dependencies are installed, you can now install Adobe AIR with the following commands
  6. chmod +x AdobeAIRInstaller.bin


  7. Agree to the License
  8. Depending on what AIR application you are installing, simply double-clicking the application may not install it.  An error you may get is shown below
  9. Sorry, an error has occurred.

    The application could not be installed. Try installing it again. If the problem persists, contact the application author.

    Error# 5100

  10. It is possible to install an AIR application from the terminal like shown below
  11. Adobe\ AIR\ Application\ Installer /path/to/file.air

If the above steps are followed, you should now be able to install Adobe AIR and applications without any problems.