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Packt Publishing is a UK based publisher focusing on educational eBooks and Videos for IT professionals. All their eBooks and Videos are DRM-free.

If you are looking to learn something new or want to freshen up your skills don't miss out on this.

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Switching back to Gnome3

Last July last year I switched from Gnome3 to KDE, you can read that post here

At first I was fine with running KDE, but lately I have been a bit unhappy with the look of KDE, been trying out a lot of themes but didn't find any that I really liked. Since many websites are lacking support for dark desktop themes I went back to the default Oxygen theme, but a gray theme is a bit boring.

However since there seems to be a upswing for Qt I wanted to use a Qt-based desktop, I was hoping for projects like LXQt and I tried the 0.7.0 release but I felt it had the same issue with the themes as KDE. There is also the Hawaii desktop environment that run on Wayland, but I havn't tried it that since it lacks drivers for Virtualbox.

I did a quick test of Elementary OS, which I found was very good looking, but it lacked way to much configurability. But it made me actually like the of a Mac-like dock instead of the traditional task panel. And when searching for available docks most of them are for Gnome GTK, however there are some for KDE like the Fancy tasks and Daisy Docks but I found both of them to be either buggy or not behaving the way I want.

So I decided to give Gnome 3 another try. So now I am running Gnome 3.8.4 (the current Gnome release on Debian Testing) and Docky. Here is a screenshot:

Gnome3 Screenshot

So far I am very pleased, feels much more modern then KDE. I do however notice how much features they have removed from the old Gnome 2 days. No transparent background in the terminal? who decided that. The file manager has also been striped from some options like how to handle preview of images on remote shares, but I can however live with these changes since it looks so good.

Last time I used Gnome I used a lot of extensions to make Gnome usable which was one of the reason for my switch to KDE, but this time around the only extension that I have added is the alternative Alt-tab extension since I find the default alt-tab behaviour counter productive.

Learning Nagios 4

Learning Nagios 4

Learning Nagios 4 by Wojciech Kocjan is a very good book for learning Nagios. It starts with describing the value of monitoring your servers and how it will help you prevent and troubleshoot issues in your system environment. It goes on to describe how to build and install Nagios from source on both Ubuntu/Debian and Red hat based distributions. The author then guides you though creating your Nagios configuration by showing how to use the Nagios plugins to check your hosts and services. He also goes through how to setup dependencies, escalations, event handlers and more.

For the more advanced users the author also goes though how extend Nagios by writing your own plugins and send/receive data from Nagios through the command interface.

I totally recommend reading this book if you want to learn how to use Nagios to monitor your systems.

Switching to KDE

I recently switched from Gnome3 to KDE 4.8 (4.8 is the current available version for Debian Wheezy stable).

The reason I switched was that Gnome3 felt unfinished, in order to get a Gnome3 to be usable you need to install a lot of user contributed extensions which needs to be maintained and sometimes improved.

Another reason for switching is that I wanted try a QT based desktop environment, since it seems to be where the DE's seems to be headed with Ubuntu changing Unity from GTK3 to QT and recently LXDE switching to QT and merging with Razor-QT.

Installing KDE on Debian is easy:

sudo apt-get install kde-standard

And to make GTK based applications look better in KDE these packages should be installed:

sudo apt-get install kde-config-gtk-style gtk2-engines-oxygen gtk3-engines-oxygen

After that you can configure how GTK applications should look like in System Settings -> Application Apperance -> Gtk Configuration

GTK Configuration

Update

It turns out I also needed to install QtCurve and set QtCurve as my gtk2 theme for gtk2 applications theme to work.

sudo apt-get install qtcurve