Let’s Install Microsoft Edge

Today, we’re going to learn how to install Microsoft Edge. That’s the browser made by Microsoft that even has a Linux version. That’s right, it’s from Microsoft but has a Linux version – and a version packaged for pretty much everyone.

We’ll be installing on Linux Mint, just to mix things up a bit. It’s really not that much of a change, it’s still using apt. It just so happens that I’m sitting at a Linux Mint computer when I’m writing this. We might as well use GDebi while we’re at it.

Yes, I’m well aware that many of you hate Microsoft with a passion. That’s fine. If you don’t want to install Microsoft Edge, just move on and don’t bother those of us who are curious about the browser. You’ll have another article in a couple of days, and it quite likely won’t have anything to do with Microsoft.

If you don’t know, Microsoft Edge is based on Chromium – which is the opensource version of Chrome, more or less. Chromium doesn’t have feature parity with Chrome, so it’s not quite the same version. Chrome is mostly based on it.

There are many browsers based on Chromium. Brave, Vivaldi, Opera, etc.? They’re all based on Chromium. There are only so many browser engines out there, and Chromium being opensource means people are going to use it. Microsoft jumped on the bandwagon with their Edge and made it available for Linux users. So, we’re going to…

Install Microsoft Edge:

This article requires an open terminal, but only for a minute. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

To keep things easy, we’re going to install GDebi. As we’re doing this on Mint, the command will work with any apt-using distro, the command to install GDebi is:

Follow any prompts to ensure you install GDebi properly.

Next, fire up your favorite browser and:

Click to download Microsoft Edge for Linux (make sure to get the right one for your distro). There are a number of choices, so pick the right version of Microsoft Edge for you.

Let it download, say to your Downloads directory. When your download is complete, right click on it and choose to open it with GDebi directly from the right click menu.

That part is easy, just let it do its preliminary checks and then  you can click on the install button (upper right) when it’s ready to be installed. Later, if you don’t like it, you can open the .deb with GDebi again and opt to uninstall the package. See? It’s pretty handy.

Closure:

I actually wrote a review of Edge before, but it’s on the old site and not really very good. Even if you can’t stand Microsoft, it’s not a bad browser. It’s not one that I’m going to use in my day-to-day browsing, largely due to lethargy, but it’s still a viable browser.

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How To: Search With apt

Today we’ll learn how to search with apt. There are any number of reasons why you’d want to do this. You can use this to find applications by name or subject. Maybe you want to find files that meet a certain criteria? It could be that you’ve forgotten the name of the application you’re thinking of? Perhaps you want to know if an application is available in the repositories before you go seeking it elsewhere?

There are all sorts of reasons, including those, why you might want to search with apt. Obviously, this requires an operating system that uses apt, so that limits you to things like Debian, Ubuntu, official Ubuntu flavors, Linux Mint, etc… So, well, it’s a pretty sizable number of distros where this will work.

This will be a pretty simple article. It will also be pretty brief. I’ve likely mentioned searching in another apt article, but it’s important that we cover it. Alas, I’m running out of things that make for longer articles (in the notes I’m working from), so this is just another article where I’m trying to make you aware that certain tools exist.

This should absolutely be a short and easy to understand article. In some recent commentary, I realized that what’s ‘simple’ to me is something that someone else has been dealing with for the past year. Even my easier articles have the chance to help people figure out their Linux problems. Good… It makes me feel better when I write an ‘easy’ article.

So, with all that said… Let’s learn how to:

Search With apt:

This article pretty much requires an open terminal, like oh so many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, and you should by now – if you’ve been following along long enough, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

Now, it should go without saying, apt is how you interact with your package manager. It’s how you install, uninstall, or otherwise manage your software in the terminal. You could insist on using a GUI to install software, in which case this won’t be of much interest to you, or you could just do it all in the terminal. Either way, if you are using a different package manager then this will be of no value to you.

Me? I prefer to do this sort of stuff in the terminal because I find it easier and faster. I’ve already got a terminal open anyhow, so I might as well use it.

Anyhow, with your terminal open, go ahead and type:

For example:

Seriously, if you’ve never used the search function, go ahead and try the above command. You might be surprised by what you find.

Now, if you’re trying to narrow it down some, you can use the –names-only flag. Which isn’t as accurate as it could be. For example, try:

But, as near as I can tell, that’s searching not just the names but also searching the one-liner description. Like, if you run the above command you’ll also see ‘terminator’, which is definitely not ‘terminal’.

However ‘terminator’ includes ‘terminal’ in the description. So, I’m not sure where that’s going with that and the man pages weren’t all that helpful. You can also use RegEx (Regular Expressions, for the uninitiated). For example,  you can run:

This, of course, only works if you have Google’s Chrome repositories enabled. Otherwise, pick something else to test this with. Or, just trust me when I say RegEx works, which the man page will confirm.

Anyhow, our example command from above would (on this computer) would have an output that looks like this:

Which, as you can see, means I have multiple versions of Chrome available. So, that’s something positive in my life! But, the point is, I did a search with apt and came away with the information I wanted. I’d normally send you to the application’s man page, but in that probably won’t make it all that much clearer. 

Closure:

Yeah, that’s it. You can now search with apt and find what you’re looking for. Use some of your own search terms, like apt-cache search image editor, and see what sorta results you get. It’s not the most refined, but it’s an effective way to search with apt.

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Let’s Talk About Using dos2unix

Today, we’re going to talk about using dos2unix, a tool for converting Windows text files to Unix (Linux) formatted text files. The command isn’t very difficult to use, so this article is more about making you aware of the existence and purpose of said dos2unix. It should be a remarkably short article.

First, we have to go back in time…

Once upon a time, when you reached the end of the line with text, you had to instruct the hardware to start a new line. These were the old days of things like teletype machines and dumb terminals. They needed to be told when to begin a new line.

Well, that still exists in software today. The thing is, if a file was created on Windows it will have two characters denoting when a new line should begin while a file created on Linux will only have one character indicating when a new line should begin. Yay for compatibility issues!

Anyhow… This is why you will sometimes get errors with text files. For example, writing a shell script on Windows and then trying to use it on Linux may result in end of line errors. Windows uses CR (Carriage Return) and LF (Line Feed, you may know it as /n) while Linux (and Unix) just uses LF. This, of course, can cause some confusion for the operating system.

This is where dos2unix comes into play. This is why you’re getting an article about using dos2unix… So, with that in mind…

Using dos2unix:

This article requires an open terminal, like oh so many other articles. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open. Tada!

Now, you’ll need to install dos2unix. It probably isn’t installed by default. Just use your package manager’s standard install command and I’m like 99% certain it’s a package available to you by default. For example, in Debian, Ubuntu, and Ubuntu derivatives and flavors, it’s just a simple apt command:

Once you have dos2unix installed, you can convert Windows-created text files to Unix (and thus Linux) formatted text files by fixing the way they end a line and start a new line. That’s really easy. It’s just:

Yup…

Well, I suppose you could also do /path/to/filename.txt if you needed, or you can just navigate to the directory and use the command above. It really is that easy.

There’s more to the dos2unix application, but that’s about all you’re really going to need to know under normal circumstances. It really is that simple. Do check the man page (man dos2unix) for other options, but you’ll see that’s about all you’re gonna need.

Closure:

Like I said, this article is really about making you aware of the problem and solution, so that you can start using dos2unix if and when you need it. It turns out that dos2unix is more than just a contributing forum member on Linux.org, it’s actually a useful application for dealing with Windows files on a Linux box!

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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Let’s Root Around In The /proc Directory

Today, we’re going to root around in the /proc directory. Why? So we can learn about our Linux system. See, there’s quite a bit of information hidden in there and I’m going to show you how to get it out of there. You’ll have to root around for it, as I’m not going to document every possible combination, but you’ll have the tools to do so.

We will be using the terminal for this, but we’ll only be using a couple of tools. The first tool we’ll use is the ‘ls’ command. We’ve used it before to sort files by time and sort files by size and even to show hidden files and folders. So, as you can guess, it’s a pretty handy command.

The other application we’ll be using is ‘cat’. We’ve used that less often, but we’ve used it before, but here’s a brief overview of the ‘cat’ command. You might want to read that. But, basically, we use the cat command to read files in the terminal. 

The ‘cat’ command is also a pretty handy command. You can try it out yourself. If we assume you’re using bash and have history enabled (the vast majority of Linux users) you can do something like:

That command should spit out the history of commands you’ve typed into the terminal. Perhaps some of ’em will have been things you learned right here on Linux-Tips! Well, maybe… I mean, people tell me they learn stuff here, though I’m never quite sure how! 😉 Anyhow…

So, this will be a fairly informal article. It should also be quick and easy. You’re welcome!

Rooting Around In The /proc Directory:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

Like I said, this is a fairly informal article. Quick and easy, right? Well, I’m going to show you everything you need to know in one command. Ready?

You’ll see a whole lot of files. What you want to do is use ‘cat’ on those files. Like, if you want to read/check your CPU information, you’d use:

Do you want to see the information the system has for your memory?

Not all the files have useful data, but some of them do. That’s why you’ve gotta root around in there. You’ve gotta learn which files contain which information – but I’ve given you a head start with two of them. You’re on a path of discovery, ’cause I’m surely not going to go through all of ’em to tell you what they do. I give you the tools, you do the work. Or something like that…

Closure:

See? Nice and easy, and very much an informal article. You can now root around in the /proc directory to get some system information. You may need elevated permissions to read some files, and some of them contain what’s pure gibberish to me. They might make more sense to you!

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Disable Bluetooth From Automatically Starting At Boot

In today’s article, we’re going to learn how to disable Bluetooth from automatically starting at boot. It’s a handy thing to know, if you’re like me and have no real use for the service.

I suppose it’d even speed your system’s boot time a trivial amount and reduce the number of running services. So, it’ll make your system a trivial amount more efficient. I just don’t care for Bluetooth so I have a way to prevent it from automatically starting in my notes. These articles are generally based on my notes, so now you’ll know.

NOTE: I should probably also mention that this is really only useful for those of you who use systemd. If you still haven’t moved to systemd, or refuse to move to systemd, then this article isn’t going to be of much use to you. You can still do this, but you’ll have to do so with your particular init system’s commands. These commands are not gonna work for you.

Even if you don’t want to disable Bluetooth from automatically starting at boot, you may want to learn how to disable other services. The process for other services is pretty much the same as it is for Bluetooth. So, you can learn something from this article if you’re new to this whole thing.

This is a nice and easy article, it shouldn’t take much time to read and understand. So then, let’s get on with it!

Disable Bluetooth From Automatically Starting At Boot:

Yeah, that’s longer than it should be. Oh well… Blame the need to optimize for keywords! I try to keep ’em shorter, but here we are…

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

With your terminal open, let’s first check the Bluetooth service status:

It may or may not be running. If it’s not running, odds are that Bluetooth isn’t set to automatically start at boot. You can ensure that it’s not set to automatically start with the following command:

Now, that’s the command you probably want. It’ll disable Bluetooth from automatically starting at boot – and it will still let the Bluetooth service start if you want it to later or if something else in the system calls for it to start. You can reboot and make sure the setting has changed, if you’d like.

On the other hand, if you ‘mask’ the service, like we did in the How To: Disable Sleep And Hibernation on Ubuntu Server article, you won’t be able to start the service at all. That’s the biggest difference between ‘disable’ and ‘mask’, in case you’re curious. Both of these options are better than manually deleting the services, ’cause you can undo the setting fairly easily. In fact, to do so with the Bluetooth service, you just:

After which, you should check the status again:

And all should be well. You can now reverse it after you’ve chosen to disable Bluetooth from automatically starting at boot. See? Pretty easy and handy information to have for other services. By the way, if you chose ‘mask’ then you’d ‘unmask’ the service, which seems like an obvious way to do it.

Closure:

See? I told you that this one would be pretty quick and easy. I’m kinda amazed that I haven’t run out of ideas for articles yet! I’m still chugging along, well after the initial year-long scope for the site. If I can do it, anyone can! I’m still very much open to guest articles, within reason.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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