Recollrunner: use the powerful search features of recoll with krunner in Kubuntu 12.10

Hitting Alt+F2 and opening up krunner is something most KDE users like to do. People who use recoll marvel at its speed and acuity. Although krunner has a Nepomuk plugin which produces good results, some people (like me) prefer not to have an indexing and semantic tagging service going on in the background.

One good solution is to create a recoll index and team it up with with krunner to get that deep search capability we sometimes need. Luckily, someone has made a plugin for krunner called recollrunner to do just that.

1. Setting up the recoll database

If you haven’t already got recoll, it’s in the repos so install it with Muon or Synaptic or whatever software manager you use or do

sudo apt-get install recoll

On the first run of recoll you need to do some setting up to build an index and do a first run of the xapian database. It’s wise to restrict searches to your /home folder by making that your top directory.

Recoll turns up all sorts of things

Make sure to use the Preferences dialog to filter out any folders you don’t want to have indexed e.g. you can filter out your Games folder, otherwise it will index and record the contents of every single file in your downloaded games. It’s junk you don’t want to see coming up in your search results.

It will take some time to index everything you want and you may have to stop it and filter out more directories you don’t need to search through e.g the .config folders and files in your /home folder can be filtered out with ~/.* so you don’t find recoll indexing your browser cache and other stuff you’re not looking for.

Remember to set a schedule for recoll so that it updates regularly.

2. Installing recollrunner

There is no deb package for recollrunner so you will need to download and compile it.

Download recollrunner from this link and save it to your Downloads folder.

Make a folder there called recollrunner and copy the downloaded tar.bz2 archive into it.

Extract.

Open a terminal in this directory or do

cd $HOME/Downloads/recollrunner

I found I was missing a dependency, make sure you have kdelibs5-dev installed.

If you don’t then

sudo apt-get install kdelibs5-dev

You will also need to install cmake if you haven’t got it already.

You can get more hints on missing dependencies from here.

Once all the dependencies are satisfied the build process is easy.

mkdir build
cd build
cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=$(kde4-config --prefix) ..
make
sudo make install

Then you need to run this command so that krunner can find your plugin:

kbuildsycoca4

Now just hit Alt+F2 and check the krunner plugins to see that the recoll plugin is there.

If all went well you will see the recoll plugin in krunner

The plugin creator suggest to restart krunner, you can do that like this:

kquitapp krunner && krunner

From reading other people’s comments it seems you need to disable the Nepomuk krunner plugin for this to work properly. If you want to know how to disable all desktop search and indexing, a guide such as this will tell you how.

Don’t buy Flight Pro Sim – it’s already free – it’s a rip off of Flightgear

Flightgear is a wonderful open source flight simulator which is free to download.

However, there is a scammer who is selling Flightgear (which is already free) with a website calling it Flight Pro Sim.

To try to make sure that people are warned about this scam, there is a webpage now which warns about this scammer which hopefully will come up first on Google if enough people link to it:

http://flightprosim.sgier.com/

Meanwhile, here is a nice video of Flightgear in action:

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How to compile OpenTTD in Ubuntu Linux 9.04 to get the 32bit graphics set

OpenTTD is an incredibly addictive and absorbing transport simulation game which is an open source clone of the original Transport Tycoon Deluxe. It is free to download.

Bus passes through a town in the hills

The standard game at present uses 8bit graphics and while they have a certain charm, they look a little outdated to many people. However, the OpenTTD forums are very active and graphics developers have been working on finely detailed 32bit sprites for some time now. On 9/1/2010 they released a package of the work so far which you can find here:

http://www.tt-forums.net/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=46682

To get these to work, you need to have an OpenTTD binary which is patched to allow for Extra Zoom Levels, so that you can zoom in on objects much closer than you can with the standard game.

If you’re using Windows, you can download pre-compiled Win32 and Win64 binaries.

A busy city centre

If you’re using Linux, you need to compile. Don’t worry, it’s not that difficult if you just follow the instructions. I compiled mine on Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty by following the OpenTTD Wiki and here is a summary of what I did.

First of all, if you don’t already have the standard game, download the Release 1.0 beta from the OpenTTD website.

This is the one I like to use, the tar.gz for 32bit Linux:

http://binaries.openttd.org/releases/1.0.0-beta2/openttd-1.0.0-beta2-linux-generic-i686.tar.gz

Create a folder in your /home directory called /Games and extract it there.

Now, to get the new graphics working, make sure you have installed all the prerequisites as listed in the Wiki:

sudo apt-get install build-essential libsdl1.2-dev subversion zlib1g-dev liblzo2-dev timidity dpatch libsdl1.2debian-pulseaudio

At this stage, you may get a dependency error relating to libglu1-mesa-dev. At least, I did anyway. Eventually I got around it by downgrading libglu1-mesa to the previous version in Synaptic (just select Package/Force version from the menu).

You also need Subversion so that you can download the Source Code:

sudo apt-get install subversion

Now, you’re ready to download the Source code, further details are in the Wiki:

svn checkout svn://svn.openttd.org/trunk openttd

If you run that command from the /home directory, it will dump all the source code into a folder called ~/openttd.

Now you have the source code, you need to get the patch for Extra Zoom Levels and apply it to the code.

As stated in the Wiki, you can get the latest patch here:

http://www.tt-forums.net/download/file.php?id=122598

It should be a file of type xxxx.diff

Copy that patch into your ~/openttd folder.

You’ll notice the patch is called “32bpp_r18768_v13.diff”. This mean that we need to make sure that our source code revision matches the revision number (18768) of the patch, so let’s do that before we apply the patch. Make sure you’re in the ~/openttd folder:

svn update -r 18768

Now we have the correct revision, we can apply the patch:

patch -p0 < 32bpp_r18768_v13.diff

These should only take a few seconds to complete. Now we have the source code containing the stuff we want, it’s time to compile. Making sure you’re in the ~/openttd folder, run this command:

./configure

Then:

make

This should take a few minutes. Once it’s done you will see a folder called /bin in your ~/openttd folder. This is the binary you’ve compiled. To check if it’s working, go into the /bin folder and double-click on the executable called “openttd”. This should start up the game.

Trains leaving a large station

So do you want to leave the /bin folder where it is, or move it somewhere else? It doesn’t really matter but for the sake of ease of access, I then copied the /bin folder from ~/openttd to ~/Games and renamed it as /openttd. That way, all your games binaries are in one place.

Now, you will need to move some .grf files from the Release 1.0 Beta into your newly compiled binary. If you moved your /bin files into your Games folder and renamed it as /opentdd then you can do this from the command line:

cd Games
cd openttd-1.0.0-beta2-linux-generic-i686
cd data
cp *.grf ~/Games/openttd/data

Or you can do it visually with the mouse in Nautilus, whichever.

You also need the OpenSFX Base Sound Set. Download it from here and extract it into your ~/Games/openttd/data folder.

OK, next, we need to get those lovely 32bit graphics, which was the point of the whole exercise.

train

As mentioned earlier, you can download the entire bundle from here:

http://www.tt-forums.net/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=46682

This is a big archive containing lots of .tar files. Each set of .tar files contains sprites for a different class of objects e.g. buses, trains, industries, roads, trees, houses.

Next step is to put all of the .tar files in your ~/openttd/data folder.

According to some people on the OpenTTD forums, there’s no need to extract the .tar files, that they will appear in the game without extracting them.

However, this didn’t work for me, I had to extract each one and put the sprites into the /openttd/data/sprites folder. This can be a little tricky, but if you do them one at a time it’s not too bad.

When you extract a .tar file, the folder structure will be like this:

/sprites/ogfx1_base.

There may also be other subfolders, like /sprites/ogfxc_arctic or /sprites/ogfxe_extra and more. It’s just a matter of copying the sprites from your .tar files into the correct subfolder under your /openttd/data/sprites folder.

Also, some of the .tars contain .grf files, you will need to copy them to to /openttd/data. You will also need to enable them in-game, don’t forget to do that.

Lastly, you need to edit the game config file. If you have started up the game before this, you should find it has been created in ~/.openttd. It’s called openttd.cfg. To open it from the command line do:

gedit ~/.openttd/openttd.cfg

It needs to contain these two lines under the [misc] section:

blitter = "32bpp-optimized"
sprite_cache_size = 64

I have compiled this in Jaunty (Ubuntu 9.04). I don’t know if you need to do anything else to get it to work in Karmic (Ubuntu 9.10). If you run into any problems, just ask on the OpenTTD forums.