The One with the Thoughts of Frans

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KOReader 2018.11 “An die Freude”

As one of the maintainers of KOReader, a versatile a document and image viewer for E Ink devices, I’m proud to announce the latest release.

Twenty-five years ago today, the Maastricht Treaty took effect. So let’s take a moment to enjoy the Anthem of Europe before moving on to regular business.

This release introduces support for BQ/Fnac devices, ported by @pazos (#4294). More information about how to turn your device into an open Linux reader can be found here. You will have to replace /etc/rc.local with the content of We hope this sparse documentation will suffice for the moment, because we really wanted to include all of these devices in this release!

Going forward, the tagged releases on GitHub will be considered stable, unless otherwise indicated by a suffix such as -beta or -rc. Hopefully this will remove user confusion about which release to use, particularly since new users will often be on newer devices that require a recent version (#4292).

The many changes since the last stable release are too numerous to mention or do justice. There were many visible changes, but even more under the hood. A few that stand out to me personally include:

We’d like to thank all contributors for their efforts. Some highlights since the previous beta release include:

Full changelog (since previous beta)
Full changelog (since previous stable)


KOReader beta 20181007 “don’t read alone tonight”

As one of the maintainers of KOReader, a versatile a document and image viewer for E Ink devices, I’m proud to announce the latest release.

The previous beta unfortunately broke OTA updates. This was quickly fixed (#4150), but you might need to update manually.

This release introduces support for the Sony PRSTUX, ported by @v01d (#4198).

There is now also a basic text editor (#4135).

KOReader Pumpkin Halloween logo

(Pumpkin credit:

We’d like to thank all contributors for their efforts. Some highlights include:

Full changelog


Is Thunar the first Gtk file browser to implement breadcrumbs almost right?

The biggest issue with breadcrumbs in Nautilus and Nemo is that suddenly you can only reach the full path by pressing the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + L or with too precise clicking somewhere far from where you need to be. Thunar has always shared this problem, but it looks like it was silently fixed in the 1.8.x release. (That is, I couldn’t find anything about it in the NEWS file.)

Note how everything to the right of the breadcrumbs is a giant button to activate location entry. Very elegant. Next, let’s have some “Open terminal here” on the breadcrumbs!

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kdenlive: use a background color clip for composite and transform transition

A quick little note on kdenlive: to use the composite and transform transition it needs something to composite to. Just the regular black background won’t do. I normally only use color clips for colors other than black, so I was a touch confused by the transition not working.

If you don’t know how to add one, it’s in the top left (or wherever you put the project bin).

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Three-finger middle click on modern touchpads in Xfce

I went with a mildly deceptive clickbait title since this is generic, not specific.

The simplest way is to add synclient TapButton3=2 to your ~/.bashrc:

echo synclient TapButton3=2 >> ~/.bashrc


KOReader Beta 20180602

As one of the maintainers of KOReader, a versatile a document and image viewer for E Ink devices, I’m proud to announce the latest release.

This release debuts the new KOReader logo, courtesy of @AliLozano. We’re very happy with it!


MuPDF has been updated to version 1.13, which means there is now basic support for tables in EPUB in that rendering engine.

We’d like to thank all contributors for their efforts. Some highlights include:

Full changelog


Mimic Windows Touchpad Gestures in Xfce with libinput-gestures

Windows and Mac have added some conveniences over the past decade that I’m missing to some degree, also see my post on mimicking Windows snap hotkeys in Xfce. There’s something called libinput-gestures, supposed to be an interim solution but it is nonetheless extremely useful. The website contains installation instructions but here’s the rundown based on my installation notes.

libinput-tools is a required package to install for people like me who use Debian and derivaties, xdotool is to automate X11, mostly through faking keyboard presses. Docs here.

sudo apt install libinput-tools xdotool

Compile and install the actual program:

git clone
cd libinput-gestures
sudo make install

Copy the global config to your user dir so you don’t need sudo to edit:

cp /etc/libinput-gestures.conf ~/.config/libinput-gestures.conf

Ensure you have permission to read input from the touchpad:

sudo gpasswd -a $USER input

NB Normally if you’re not a part of a group by default it’s for sensible security reasons. In this case you’re giving more programs access to your input so the negative implications are fairly self-evident.

The program can now be controlled through the libinput-gestures-setup command. You probably want to set it up to autostart:

libinput-gestures-setup autostart

While playing around with the configuration you’ll probably be using libinput-gestures-setup restart a fair bit.

As the docs say, log out of your session and log back in (or just restart) to make it work.

There are some default gestures of possible use, but I’d rather keep it closer to Windows insofar as I don’t dislike what it does to reduce disconnects when switching between systems. As such I’d stick with three finger swipe up (away from yourself) to mean window switching. For example, if you have Nimbler or something equivalent installed you can use xdotool to trigger it, whether through the default F10 or my preferred Alt+`. On various systems you also have overviews similar to Windows and Exposé. Of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that as far as I know Compiz Scale preceded it, but that aside.

gesture swipe up 3	xdotool key F10
gesture swipe up 4	xdotool key alt+F1

That Alt+F1 is to trigger the global menu in Xfwm. It’s just something I’ve got in there as an experiment. We’ll see how it goes.

Should you decide to use the default gestures for back & forward in the browser, you still have to customize them because they go in the wrong direction by default. Left is back, not forward, and vice versa.

gesture swipe left	xdotool key alt+Left
gesture swipe right	xdotool key alt+Right

It’s a little rough around the edges but definitely a lot better than nothing.

Useful links


Sort Folders Before Files in the Gtk3 Filechooser

It’s quite simple to do but surprisingly hard to find. Mixed files and folders confuse me. They seem disorganized.

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How To Play Mark of the Ninja on Debian Stretch

To resolve the weird “ERROR: Missing required OpenGL extensions,” set the environment variable force_s3tc_enable=true.

force_s3tc_enable=true ./

An alternative, more permanent solution consists of isntalling libtxc-dxtn-s2tc:

sudo apt install libtxc-dxtn-s2tc

Thanks to the game’s forum.

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Mimic Windows Snap Hotkeys in Xfce

It’s quite simple. Open Settings → Window Manager → Keyboard. Then find the various “Tile window to the…” options. Finally, pick your desired keys.

You can’t make it function quite as smoothly as in Windows 10, but it certainly helps.

Of course you can also just drag the window against the side of the screen with the mouse. But sometimes the keyboard is faster.

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