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Showing posts with label Ubuntu maintenance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ubuntu maintenance. Show all posts

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Facebook, Twitter & Ubuntu Lucid Lynx

Former Ubuntu logo. New version at File:Ubuntu...
PCs running Ubuntu will be getting more social thanks to changes that will set the popular Linux distro's look and feel for the next five years.
Lucid Lynx, released last April, will bring social applications like Twitter and Facebook directly into the software, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has said in an interview here.

Apparently, the idea is to merge the desktop and online worlds, so people don't have to fire up their browser or a separate application to use their social applications.

Also coming is what Shuttleworth called "new styling" for the Lucid Lynx desktop. He didn't provide further details, but Shuttleworth has been a consistently keen advocate of the need to improve the design, not just the user experience, of Linux through Ubuntu.

"There will be some shiny, new bling on the desktop - we will have some new styling, which is going to be the starting point of another five-year view. We've bee human for the last five years - now we are going to be light oriented," Shuttleworth told Dell's cloud computing evangelist Barton George.

Shuttleworth also promised big changes for the version of Ubuntu targeting netbooks after Lucid Lynx.
Shuttleworth on March 1 will step down as chief executive of Canonical, the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu, and take on a more technology oriented role, working on Ubuntu. He said he's putting "a lot of time" into the Ubuntu Netbook Remix, saying it will go through what he called a period of rapid evolution in the next cycle after Lucid Lynx.

He also claimed that Linux - and particularly Ubuntu - is growing on netbooks in the wake of Microsoft's release of Windows 7 and the disappearance of Windows XP.

"There was some speculation around the death of the netbook," Shuttleworth said. "We haven't seen that. With Windows 7 out there, people have a real choice between free software and proprietary software, and it turns out free software is a popular choice.

"The share of Linux on netbooks seems to be growing now that XP's getting downplayed and we want to be right in the thick of that."
He was also optimistic about uptake of Ubuntu on mobile devices like smart books and said he was starting to see innovation around ARM-based devices since the release of Ubuntu 9.4 that officially put the disto on this hardware architecture popular in mobile devices.

Ahead of that, Lucid Lynx will have a "strong focus" on cloud, which as an LTS release is a major milestone. Lucid Lynx will rollout as people put into production the clouds they've built and tested on features that were introduced in Ubuntu last year for users to build Amazon EC2 images on their Linux systems.
You can get the full Shuttleworth experience here.

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Monday, 26 July 2010

"WOW" All in one script to tweak Ubuntu after a fresh installation!

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I had a few fresh installs of Ubuntu 10.4 Lucid lynx to complete this week for friends and family, usually i go through the normal adding repositories to the sources list and installing the usual software we all need to operate our daily computer lives. I came across the information below from the boys at WebUpd8, I have run the script provided and feel it saved me some time. Hope you like it too!

A new version of "What to do after installing Ubuntu? Run this script!" has been released. The script now has an actual name: "Ubuntu 10.04 Start".

For those who've used the first release of the script: since a few versions ago, you can select which applications to install and which tweaks to apply from this script so if there's something you don't like, all you have to do is not select it!

Instead of a changelog, I'm going to list all the features again:
  • Adds extra repositories: Ubuntu restricted, extras, Medibuntu, Getdeb, Dropbox (only if you select to install Dropbox)
  • Installs from repositories: The GIMP, Pidgin, WINE, Choose between the best 3 docks for Linux (Docky, Cairo Dock and Avant Window Navigator), Install Google Earth, Bisigi Themes, Community themes (and extra community themes), Chromium browser, Gnome Do, Guake, VLC media player, Mplayer, SMplayer, Thunderbird, Dropbox, Codecs (multimedia, java, flash), additional archives support, DVD support and fonts, Ubuntu Tweak, Deluge Torrent, CompizConfig Settings Manager, Development tools (from build-essential to Subversion, GIT and so on).
  • Downloads and installs the following: Google Chrome browser (will download the build for 32 or 64 bit, depending on your Ubuntu version), official smiley themes for Pidgin (for all the protocols), the latest Flash Player for 64bit via Adobe's website, Skype (32 or 64bit, depending on your Ubuntu version).
  • Tweaks:

    • Move window buttons to the right (Karmic style)
    • Change Update Manager behavior to the one in Jaunty
    • Remove mounted drive icons from desktop
    • Disable the GDM login sound
    • Enable the icons in menus and buttons
    • Disable the GDM login user list
    • Remove the ubuntu-docs package (frees up 252MB)
    • Change Gnome Calendar first day of the week from Sunday to Monday
    • Downloads, installs and configure sharp fonts (starting with version 0.4.5: also installs sharp fonts for Firefox)
    • Fix 'apt-get update' delay for Google repository
    • Automatically mount NTFS drives on startup

  • Option to reset any changes made by the tweaks (tweaks only!) (stating with version 0.4.5)
  • Automatically accepts the JAVA and Google Earth license so you don't have to
  • The Medibuntu server is currently down which made me develop a new feature: the script now tests the main Medibuntu server and 2 other mirrors and adds whichever of these 3 is working.
  • Lots of checks to make sure you run the script proprely: will check if the script is ran as root, if Synaptic, apt-get, dpkg or Software Center is running and will ask you to close it before running the script, checks the internet connection to make sure you can actually install the packages, etc.
The new version also fixes lots of bugs from the previous version.

Update: I've updated this post with a new version which also comes with multiple language support:
  • Czech - Translation submitted by clever fox
  • German - Translation submitted by Sebastian
  • French - Translation submitted by astromb
  • Slovak - Translation submitted by enjoy
  • Spanish - Translation submitted by Vicente. Also many thanks to CokiDVD and Ezequiel
  • Italian translation by Lippol94 (, Santiago (
  • Polish translation by buczyw. Also many thanks to Jacek
  • Japanese translation by Yuya Saito (
  • Dutch translation by Raoul
  • Portuguese (PT) translation by FatGiant
  • Malaysian translation by akmalhisyam (
  • Galician translation by Jose Basalo
  • Turkish translation by bsod1 (
  • Korean translation by J.Park
  • Brazilian Portuguese translation by Benjamim and lau
  • Catalan translation by Joan Padrosa
  • Estonian translation by Magnus
  • Simplified Chinese translation by Iven Day
  • Bahasa Indonesia translation by antok
  • Asturian translation by iñigo
  • Romanian translation
  • Slovenian translation by summerb0y
  • Arabic translation by sub7ei
  • Swedish language by Abhijit
  • Traditional Chinese translation by Robert D. Wei
  • Vietnamese translation by Duy Thang
  • Urdu translation by Shoaib Mirza
  • Danish translation: Lars S. Hansen
  • Latvian translation by Linards Liepiņš (
  • Russian translation by XRain -
  • Lithuanian translation by Edmundas Ciucko

Why would you want to use Ubuntu 10.04 Start?

The main purpose of this script is to speed up configuring Ubuntu 10.04 immediately after you've just installed it. This includes both installing popular applications and codecs as well as fixing some annoyances in Ubuntu 10.04.

You can search for each package in Synaptic or Ubuntu Software Center and manually install it. But then you'll also need to go to the Skype website and manually download and install it (Skype is no longer available in the Medibuntu repository), the same for Google Chrome, and so on. You can also use Ubuntu Tweak for some tweaks (but only a few of the tweaks in this script). But this script combines the most popular tweaks which are not available in a single application with installing common packages which almost everyone uses, so the time spent configuring Ubuntu 10.04 is decreased dramatically.

The script should also help new Ubuntu users since the script configures lots of things without any input from the user (such as automounting NTFS drives on startup and so on).

Download and run the Ubuntu 10.04 Start script

Remember it's not recommended running a script without knowing exactly what it does, so I invite you to look at the code before running it.

Note: The script comes with no guarantees. Use at your own risk!

To install Zenity (required by the script), download and run the script, copy / paste the following commands in a terminal:
sudo apt-get install zenity
tar -xvf ubuntu-10.04-start-
cd ubuntu-10.04-start/
sudo ./ubuntu-10.04-script

You can also manually download the latest version from

A few explanations on the tweaks:

Move window buttons to the right (Karmic style) - will move the Metacity window buttons to the right side, in the following order: Minimize, Maximize, Close

Change Update Manager behavior to the one in Jaunty - Ubuntu 9.04 (and newer) introduced a change to the handling of package updates, launching update-manager directly instead of displaying a notification icon in the GNOME panel. Users will still be notified of security updates on a daily basis, but for updates that are not security-related, users will only be prompted once a week. This tweak makes the update-manager not pop-up, but always show the updates in the notification area.

Remove mounted drive icons from desktop - removes ntfs and usb drives from the desktop; usually when mounting a drive it shows up on the desktop

Disable the GDM login sound - all the sounds in Ubuntu can be turned off from a GUI except this one. This is the sound produced when the GDM login screen loads.

Enable the icons in menus and buttons - the icons in menus and buttons were removed in Gnome 2.28 (starting with Ubuntu Karmic). However, up until Lucid, users were able to enable these from the Appearence dialog preferences. This is no longer possible so use this tweak instead.

Disable the GDM login user list - in Lucid, the user list is displayed in the GDM login screen (which IMO is a security concern). This fix will make no user show up in this list, and for logging in you must enter your username and password manually.

Change Gnome Calendar first day of the week from Sunday to Monday tweak - Gnome Calendar comes with Sunday as the first day of the week. This tweak fixes this for non-US citizens.

Remove the ubuntu-docs package (frees up 252MB): removed the ubuntu-docs package to free up 252 MB of disk space.

Install and configure sharp fonts: info about this feature, here:

Fix 'apt-get update' delay for Google Chrome repository - when downloading Google Chrome .deb, it automatically adds the Google repository. The same goes for Picasa, etc. This repository has a known issue which cause "sudo apt-get update" to take a very long time to complete. This tweak fixes this issue.

Add additional repositories (GetDeb, Medibuntu etc.) - Adds the following repositories: Getdeb, Medibuntu, Ubuntu universe and multiverse and lucid partner.

Note: I am no expert at BASH, so the script code will look very unpolished to some. But it works :)


Want to help translate this script? We've set up a simple, plain text file which you can help translate. See THIS post.

Report bugs or ask for new features (suggestions) in this post or @ Launchpad.

Update: Ubuntu 10.04 Start is now also available @ Softpedia.

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Saturday, 17 July 2010

Known Lucid Lynx issues/bugs with workarounds

ubuntu bug jamImage by ebel via Flickr
I got this infomation from the Ubuntu Forums thought someone may find it useful.

The purpose of this post is to list known Lucid Lynx issues and bugs, and give the corresponding workarounds and launchpad entries.

Feel free to propose other known Lucid Lynx bugs to be listed here but please provide a link to the workaround and a link to the corresponding launchpad entry.

Warning: Before upgrading or attempting a reinstall make sure you backup essential files.
Please read the Release Notes:-
Upgrade 8.04 -> 10.04 can break apt-get.
The package flashplugin-nonfree has been problematic when upgrading 8.04 -> 10.04 and breaks apt-get;

Bug Report

For those not wanting to read the bug report in detail, the fix is :

sudo rm /var/lib/dpkg/info/flashplugin-nonfree.prerm

sudo dpkg --remove --force-remove-reinstreq flashplugin-nonfree
sudo dpkg --purge --force-remove-reinstreq flashplugin-nonfree
Nautilus location bar, bread crumbs vs text based.
Breadcrumbs is now the default. The button to switch between the two has been removed. Users can switch with ctrl+l and then esc to revert to breadcrumbs. To permanently switch to text users have to use gconf-editor from a terminal. Note: gconf-editor has been removed from the menus. The key is.
apps>nautilus> preferences> always_use_location_entry

Minimize, Maximize and Close button placement.
A decision has been taken to move the placement to the left. Mark Shuttleworth explained that this was because "something" is going to be placed in the right hand area in the next release. Moving the buttons now would help enable this change.
[Update ]

The buttons are in the old location on all default themes apart from Ambiance,Radiance and Dust, If you still want the Ambiance ,Radiance or Dust theme but with buttons on the right, choose one of those other themes and use the Customize button to achieve what you want. e.g.
1. System > Preferences > Appearance
2. Select the theme icon "New Wave"
3. Click the button "Customize.."
4. Select tab "Controls" and select "Ambiance"
5. Select tab "Window border" and select "Ambiance"
6. Select tab "Icons" and scroll down and select "Ubuntu-mono-dark"
7. Select "Save Theme" to your choice.
Using gconf-editor is not the right approach as this could bork future themes. This change makes it easier for themes to do interesting things with window borders. Unfortunately, if the wrong approach spreads, they won't be able to do that.

Problem with Huawei and possibly other usb mobile broadband dongles. 
Please see this bug report and click the affects me button if you have this bug.
Try this first

sudo apt-get install usb-modeswitch
A fix is committed.
Also fix/workaround here. See post #32

Users should experience a much faster boot however some users may experience problems with Plymouth after the nVidia graphics driver has been enabled. Users may experience plymouth using lower graphics resolution.

Graphical solution :

Command line :
(Some of the fixes put forward dont work for everyone.)
One that works for nVidia and to try is this.

gksu gedit /etc/default/grub
and add the line in BOLD.
# The resolution used on graphical terminal
# note that you can use only modes which your graphic card supports via VBE
# you can see them in real GRUB with the command `vbeinfo'
GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=1680x1050 Save the file and run

sudo update-grub
The resolution chosen should be your monitors native resolution.

Other graphics card users including nVidia may get a black screen with flashing cursor and then a very short duration plymouth.
One fix for this is to create this file.

gksu gedit /etc/initramfs-tools/conf.d/splash
and add this option FRAMEBUFFER=y, save the file.

sudo update-initramfs -u
Plymouth now has a hard dependency on mountall thus trying to remove Plymouth would remove half the OS. The advice is, if you don't want a graphical boot then uninstall any plymouth themes.

If the problem is a slow boot, and you have no floppy drive, disable the floppy in the bios. This has been reported as a fix to this. FIX Released.

If the problem is plymouth not displaying, and a black screen from grub to gdm, this could be due to graphics drivers needing to be loaded quicker. This is bugged.

Plymouth is installed with 2 themes by default you can install more via synaptic.
To change themes this code is used.

sudo update-alternatives --config default.plymouth
Sun java has been deprecated. Openjdk is now the default, i.e installing ubuntu-restricted-extras with recommends will install openjdk and the icedtea plugin. Openjdk has been certified by Java SE Test Compatibility Kit (TCK) and is compatible with the Java(TM) SE 6 platform on the amd64 (x86_64) and i386 (ix86) architectures. However sun-java is in the partner repo.
There's a bug regarding the icedtea plugin and certain applets.
Not fixed yet. Workaround may be to create a new Firefox profile.

Boot options hidden by default on Desktop and Netbook LIVECDs
The Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Desktop and Netbook CDs feature a new boot interface that is non interactive by default.
To configure advanced boot options, press any key at the first boot screen.

Scrolling with ALPS Laptop Touchpads
Various users who have ALPS touchpads have reported that scrolling no longer works in the final release. A bug report is already open on the case, and the current workaround is to run:

sudo rmmod psmouse
sudo modprobe psmouse proto=imps
If this works, you can make it permanent by putting:

options psmouse proto=imps
At the bottom of the file /etc/modprobe.d/options

Ubuntu shuts down after unplugging Laptop power cord
A problem known with MSI wind and some Vostro users.

Current workaround is to open gconf-editor and browse to:

And de-select the option use_time_for_policy

There is no need to restart, just close the configuration editor.

A lot of users are overwriting their windows boot sector due to a confusing message with the grub2 install. It says something like 'Choose where to install grub. If you are not sure select all partitions'. And this leads some to select their windows partition.

NOTE: if you are reading this before you upgrade, the only place you should install grub is to the drive you are booting from. For most people it's /dev/sda . If you installed from within windows (a WUBI install), do not install the grub2 bootloader - leave all boxes unchecked.

The fix and diagnosis is at: courtesy of meierfra.

This is not the same as the bug that caused the re-release of certain iso's. That had to do with the windows not being listed in the grub menu. In this case, the windows option is listed but fails to boot.

Links to launchpad bug(s);

There is a rather permanent problem with the propietary ati drivers. Maximizing and unminimizing is terribly slow with compiz enabled. There are several workarounds, however. You could either try the no-backfill xserver, the back-clear patch or enable Direct2D.

Direct2D can be enabled with the following steps:

1. backup your current xorg.conf

~$ cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.bak

2. delete the contents of xorg.conf

3. let aticonfig make an initial configuration:
~$ sudo aticonfig --initial

4. then enable Direct2D:
~$ sudo aticonfig --set-pcs-str=DDX,Direct2DAccel,TRUE
I personally prefer the backclear patch as I noticed that although the maximizing issue is reolved with Direct2D, scrolling in for example emacs becomes totally sluggish. You can find more information on the backclear patch here:

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Friday, 16 July 2010

Getting Quickbooks Online to work in Firefox

Mozilla Firefox IconImage via Wikipedia
In linux or mac, install the user agent switcher from here:

then go to tools > user agent switcher > options > options

then do add:

Description : Firefox 3 (Windows XP)

User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.0; en-US; rv: Gecko/2009011913 Firefox/3.0.6

App Name: Mozilla Firefox

App Version: 5.0 (Windows; en-US)

Platform: Win32

Then switch to it from tools, and go!

You won't be able to print pdfs (actually you will, but not the way quickbooks would like you to) until you install adobe pdf reader.

here's how:
Make sure the medibuntu repositories are enabled.

sudo wget --output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list


sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install medibuntu-keyring && sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install acroread acroread-plugins mozilla-acroread

Then open firefox again, and you should be able to print documents or whatever.

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Monday, 5 July 2010

Ubuntu Tutorial: Compiz Cube & Special Effects

Ubuntu Tutorial for beginners. #1
Learn to:
- Enable Special Effects
- Enable Desktop Cube

** Using Ubuntu 8.04 LTS

More info:
- if you couldnt see or hear it the code i put in terminal was "ccsm"
- the code after that was
"sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

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Saturday, 3 July 2010

Nyutech: Six must-have applications for Ubuntu Lucid Lynx

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Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx is on its way for a public release. Here's a list of 6 applications that you must have on your Ubuntu system if you are installing the operating system afresh or if you don't have them already. But before that the basic.

How to install an application in Ubuntu?

a) From Ubuntu Software Center: Go to Applications > Ubuntu Software Center and search for the application or tool in the list. Click install. Can't get any easier. If it's not available in the software center, download a .deb package of the application and run. (Deb packages are Ubuntu or Debian Linux equivalent of .exe installation files in Windows.)

b) Using the Terminal and command line: If you want to be geeky, you can use the command line for installation. Go to Applications > Accessories > Terminal.

Type the command: sudo apt-get install application-name.

If you want to uninstall, replace install with remove: sudo apt-get remove application-name.

Ubuntu restricted extras/Gstreamer plugins

Ubuntu does not ship with in-built support for various media formats such s .mp3, .mp4, flash and Java files. Ubuntu restricted extras will add codec and file to support them and enable you to enjoy your music collection without any hassle.

Gstreamer plugins for adding media support is available in Software Center channel, so it's more convenient to install.

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

VLC Media Player

VLC is undisputedly one of the most versatile multimedia player. It will play almost everything: mp3s, videos, flash, CDs and DVDs.

sudo apt-get install vlc

GIMP Image Editor

If you have a digital camera or a phone camera, you should install GIMP. Earlier, it came pre-loaded with Ubuntu, but now it has been categorized as a geeky application that's used by medium to advanced users. That's why it has been kept out of the default applications. GIMP is a Photoshop alternative that comes handy when you need to process your images or makes some interesting collage.

sudo apt-get install gimp

Gnome Do

Starting a new application can sometimes be a pain. You need to first go to the Applications menu, then to the appropriate segment and search for the entry. Launchy or Gnome Do application launchers will ease the pain.

Gnome Do makes the process of launching new applications a breeze. Just start typing the name of the application and hit enter when you get the desired one in the Gnome Do's eye-candy suggestion window. Or else type the first letter and then use down arrow key to choose from the available options. Gnome Do can also be used for searching your files and folders, chatting with friends or sending a tweets, thanks to plug-ins that come with it.

Gnome Do can be dowloaded from the Ubuntu Software Center. Once installed, you will have to configure it on its first run. Click on the small down arrow to choose Settings from the menu. Check "Start Gnome Do at login", "Hide window on first launch" and "Show notification icon" in the General tab.

In the Keyboard tab, you will see that the hot key for calling and hiding Gnome do is set as . What's key? It's the Window or Command key. If you want to change the shortcut to, say, , double click on the shortcut and press the two keys of your choice simultaneously.

In the Plugins tab, choose the ones that you want to activate. In the Appearance tab, you can check "Always show results window". Now your Gnome Do is ready to serve at your slightest hint.
Launchy is another application launcher, but it's lacks some features of Gnome do. The default hot key for calling Launchy is . If you want to be able to use Launchy on top of other applications, click on the configuration icon (looks like a gear) and tick the "Always on top" option.

Launchy is not available in Ubuntu software channel and will have to be
downloaded from its website. If you are using a computer with Inter processor, download Launchy_xx.xx_i386.deb file. If your's is an AMD computer, download Launchy_xx.xx_AMD64.deb. After downloading, run the installer. You will find Launchy in the Applications > Accessories channel after successful installation.

Google Chrome

Google's new web browser is making its place among users with its speed and its growing list of add-ons. Even if you are more comfortable with the default Firefox Web browser, installing Google Chrome will only do good as an alternative browser.
Google Chromeis also not available in the Ubuntu software channel, and will have to be downloaded from its website. Opera is also a good alternative Web browser, with focus on bells and whistles.

Ubuntu Tweak

Though I have listed
Ubuntu Tweak at the end, it's the one which you should install first. Ubuntu Tweak comes handy in easily managing and tweaking the settings of an Ubuntu system. It allows you to install and uninstall applications, choose display settings and manage your desktop settings, among others. It can also be used too install a large number of application (including some of the above listed ones) easily using the graphical interface. It also includes Compiz Settings Manager.

Go to Ubuntu Tweak's download page and use any one of the listed methods for installing the tool. I would suggest you follow the link to download the latest .deb package and run it on your system.

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Saturday, 8 May 2010

How to Install Chromium (Google chrome) in Ubuntu using deb package

Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. The Chromium codebase is the basis for Google’s Chrome browser.
First you can use this tutorial to install chromium in Ubuntu using PPAs and after that you can try any one of the following methods.

First you need to download .deb package from here using the following command
Now you have cxchromium_0.9.0-1_i386.deb package install this package using the following command
sudo dpkg -i cxchromium_0.9.0-1_i386.deb
Using Ubuntu PPA
First you need edit /etc/apt/sources.list file
gksudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list
Add the following two lines for Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty) Users
deb jaunty main
deb-src jaunty main
For ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic) Users add the following two lines
deb karmic main
deb-src karmic main
For ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid) Users add the following two lines
deb lucid main
deb-src lucid main
save and exit the file
Now add the GPG key using the following command
sudo apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver 0xfbef0d696de1c72ba5a835fe5a9bf3bb4e5e17b5
or For karmic users use the following command
sudo add-apt-key ppa:chromium-daily/ppa
Update source list
sudo apt-get update
Install chromium browser using the following command
sudo apt-get install chromium-browser
This will complete the installation
If you want to open chromium go to Applications->CrossOver Chromium->Chromium

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