Dowload videos from YouTube

Youtube-dl is a brilliant small command-line program which enables quick and simple downloading of videos from YouTube and a several more sites (eg Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, NBC, ABC, CNN, FOX NEWS, etc, see supported sites). It can even convert the videos to MP3’s within a single command.

To install

To download directly from youtube-dl’s repository, open a terminal and type and execute the following command (you can copy and paste), then press Enter:

sudo curl -L https://yt-dl.org/downloads/latest/youtube-dl -o /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl

Then execute this command (to grant you permission to use it):

sudo chmod a+rx /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl

Downloading videos with youtube-dl

Youtube-dl is now installed on your system and you can download a video from YouTube (or elsewhere) by typing youtube-dl in a terminal, followed by a space and then the URL of the video. For example:

youtube-dl https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JdABGVooko

You will find the resulting video in whichever directory your terminal was in when you downloaded it, which, if you’ve just opened your terminal, will usually be your home folder. If you want to download a film directly into your Videos directory, you should change the directory in your terminal (eg:cd Videos) before downloading.

Convert YouTube videos to audio on-the-fly

If you want to extract the audio from a YouTube video in the form of an mp3, you can do this while downloading by adding a few options within the command. For example:

youtube-dl --extract-audio --audio-format mp3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0LUh2TK-fs

Updating youtube-dl . . . very important!

Because of the way it installs independently, youtube-dl does not update along with other programs in your system. You will know when it needs updating because it will error when you try to use it to download a video from YouTube !! Remember this!! However, updating is simple. Just type youtube-dl -U in your terminal and it should be fixed.

Be careful – case is very important when using the Terminal: -U and -u will do very different things!

More you-tube-dl options and commands

Youtube-dl is extremely versatile; there are loads of options which can be found at their github page here: https://github.com/ytdl-org/youtube-dl/blob/master/README.md#readme.

How to empty the Trash folder in Roundcube webmail

So you’ve responded to the warning message about your inbox being full; you’ve spent a while deleting old messages and your Inbox is now looking much smaller. But bear in mind that those emails are now lurking in the “Trash” folder, still taking up the same amount of disk space on your server! 

Here’s how to remove them completely to create the extra space you’d been hoping to gain:

1. Log into Roundcube.

2. Click/Select the “Trash” folder.

3. In the bottom left corner of the screen you will see the folder options icon.

4. Click the “Cog” icon to show the “Folder Options” menu. Then select “Empty”.

How to back up your Thunderbird email in Windows 10 and Linux

Mozilla’s Thunderbird is a great email program (we use it!) but it doesn’t have any built in backup tools. If something goes wrong, or you want to move your profile to another computer, you’ll need a backup. 

Windows 10

First of all, make sure Thunderbird is not running.

Open Windows Explorer. In Folder Options, enable “Show Hidden Files, Folder and Drives” .

Then browse to C:\Users\yourloginname\AppData\Roaming, where you will see a folder named Thunderbird.

The Thunderbird folder contains all your Thunderbird settings and address book, as well as all your emails, so it is this folder that you need to copy to your external drive, desktop, or wherever, as your backup.  It’s likely to be a very large amount of data so expect it to take a long time!

When you’re done, don’t forget to disable the hidden files view in Windows Explorer by selecting “Don’t Show Hidden Files, Folder and Drives”.

Linux

Make sure that Thunderbird is not running.

Open File Manager (Thunar). Select “Show Hidden Files” from View in the menu bar (or use keyboard combination Ctrl +H) .

In your Home directory (usually your name) look for a hidden directory named .thunderbird (the preceeding dot is part of the directory name and signifies that the directory is hidden) . This is where all your emails, address book and configuration files are stored. It is this directory that you need to copy to your external drive or wherever you want to store your backup. Expect it to take quite a while – it is likely to be a large amount of data.

When you’re done, don’t forget to disable the hidden files view in your File Manager by deselecting “Show Hidden Files” from View in the menu bar (or use keyboard combination Ctrl +H) .

Skype Alternative

We recently discovered this great free alternative to Skype which doesn’t need to be installed on your system.  You can access it directly on the web at https://appear.in/.  You can have video conversations with up to 4 people at once and guests to your “room” don’t have to register to join in.

It takes less than a minute to create your room and share the link with someone you want to join you for a video chat.

I suggest you “claim” your room by registering;  this allows you to “lock” your room to stop non-invitees from joining; it also reserves the room for you so that no-one else can claim it. There’s lots of information on their site but essentially it’s a very quick and easy process.

Accessing Android phone media in Debian

To get Debian to communicate with your Android phone so that you can download/backup your photos, videos, documents, etc onto your computer, you need to install a couple of packages. Open a Terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install jmtpfs gvfs-backends

Make sure when you connect your phone to your PC that (on your phone)  you choose Media device (MTP), not Carera (PTP).

You should now be able to access media on the device by just clicking it on Thunar (file manager).

Don’t forget to Unmount/Eject the drive in Thunar BEFORE removing the USB cable, in the same way you would do with a USB stick.

How to resize/convert images in Debian using ImageMagick

ImageMagick is a powerful image manipulator, best used in a terminal in Linux.

For complete instructions see:  http://www.howtogeek.com/109369/how-to-quickly-resize-convert-modify-images-from-the-linux-terminal/

In brief, for width (preserving the aspect ratio) (change the 200 for your desired width in pixels):

convert example.png -resize 200 example.png

for height (still preserving the aspect ratio):

convert example.png -resize x100 example.png

It is also possible (and easy) to process several images at the same time. For example, the following command would take all PNG files in the current directory, give the all a width of 600px and save a new copy of each with “-600px” added to the beginning of each file name. The directory will now contain the old and the new image files.

for file in *.png; do convert $file -resize 600 600px-$file; done

For complete instructions see:  http://www.howtogeek.com/109369/how-to-quickly-resize-convert-modify-images-from-the-linux-terminal/ (repeated for emphasis!)

See alsoman convert in your terminal or visit http://www.imagemagick.org/Usage/ for a multitude of things that can be done with imagemagick.

Using pacpl to rip CD’s in Debian

First you need to install pacpl. Open a Terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install pacpl

Any dependencies, as usual with Debian, will also be installed.

Ensure that your CD is in the drive, and decide in which directory you want to put the resulting MP3 tracks – I would suggest your Music directory which will probably be /home/[yourname]/Music.  It’s a good idea to create a directory here with the name of the artist, so the files will be put directly into /home/[yourname]/Music/[ArtistsName] as they are copied & ripped.

Then type:

pacpl --rip all --to mp3 --outdir /home/[yourname]/Music/[ArtistsName]

If you want to check the manual, just type:

man pacpl (q to close it)
or
pacpl --longhelp (q to close it)

Skype on Linux

Although Microsoft acquired Skype and incorporated it into their Office 365 suite, it is still possible to download it for Debian here: https://www.skype.com/en/get-skype/. However, it will only work if you have a 64-bit system.

If you’d prefer not to dabble with this installation you can use a great, yet very simple, alternative directly on the web. See Skype Alternative for more details.

If you’re continuing with the Skype download and installation, you need to choose the Linux DEB package (not Linux RPM or Linux SNAP) which will download skypeforlinux-64.deb into your Downloads folder.

Open a Terminal and change the directory to your Downloads folder:

cd Downloads

Then you need to find the file within your Terminal. You can do this by listing the contents of the directory in the order downloaded so that the skype file is at the bottom:

ls -ltr

Now to install it, you need to type:

sudo gdebi skypeforlinux-64.deb (you’ll be asked to enter your password before you can proceed).

You should now find Skype in your applications menu.