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Ten tweaks for a new Acer Aspire One

Take charge of Linpus

Reducing security risks from open source software

5. Install Skype

The AA1 is a great communications device, but Skype doesn't come pre-installed. Head over to the Skype website and download the VoIP app. You're looking for the Linux versions and, in particular, the release for Fedora 7, the Linux distribution on which the AA1's Linpus Linux is based.

Skype downloaded

Skype's .rpm downloaded

When it's downloaded, open up your AA1's Downloads folder - click on any of the entries in the desktop's Files section - and double-click on the skype-2.0.0.72-fc5.i586.rpm icon.

Again, when it's installed, Skype will appear in the Advanced Menu, part of the Network sub-menu.

6. Add Desktop Icons

It's all very well having the Advanced Menu, but for some apps you'd also like the fast access provided by the AA1 desktop. Here's how you make them appear. Press Alt-F2, type in xterm to open the command line window - experienced Linux hands call it a Terminal - and click on Run...

Linpus' desktop configuration file

Linpus' desktop configuration file
Click for full-size screengrab

At the command line, type sudo mousepad /home/user/.config/xfce4/desktop/group-app.xml and hit Enter. This calls up the desktop's configuration file. Scroll through and you'll see how the entries are arranged. Skype's already present, but it's set so that the desktop will ignore it - remove the !-- at the start of the line it's in and the -- at the end. You'll also need to change the app sequence= number - set it to 8.

Save the file then restart your AA1. Click on the right-arrow button in the Connect section, and you should see a new Skype icon. Drag and drop it higher in the list if you prefer.

Linpus' desktop with new icons

The AA1 desktop... with new Skype, VLC and Gimp icons
Click for full-size screengrab

Other apps are kept in the AA1's /usr/share/applications folder as .desktop files. You can add these to the desktop UI by editing the group-app.xml file as above, copying the Skype line, pasting it into any of the four sections and changing the name of the app to be loaded. Make sure all the apps in a section - indicated by the <id>x</id> tags - have different app sequence= numbers.

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