gnome-shell Macbook/applesmc keyboard brightness extension

So, since this needs a bit of hacking – because of permission and such, I decided to put up a small howto on how to add an extension to gnome-shell where you can set the keyboard brightness.

First off we need to setup a bash-script who takes care of the keyboard-backlight settings.

The following script will do the trick:

BACKLIGHT=$(cat /sys/class/leds/smc::kbd_backlight/brightness)
echo $BACKLIGHT | tee -a /sys/class/leds/smc::kbd_backlight/brightness
exit 0

Put that into /usr/local/bin/applekb-backlight with your favorite editor(emacs, vim, nano).

After you’ve done this(which of course needs to be sudo`ed) you need to add execution permissions to the script.

sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/applekb-backlight

Now the script is ready to work – you can test it by entering:

applekb-backlight [0-255]

After this i put together a gnome-shell extension who uses this script to set the brightness, just like the screen-brightness extension.

The extension can be downloaded here.

This is just a quick workup and need modification and error-handling to work properly, but it gives a general idea on how to solve this issue.

Of course the best solution would be to be able to use the fn + F5/F6 keys!

Apple iPad – Problems And Solutions

So, received my new iPad and thought I would post some guides on how to work around different problems I encountered.

Air Video on Ubuntu
So I found this lovely app that enabled me to live convert and stream my videos from my computer(s) to my iPad! So excited I took a closer look and found out that the server-software was only made for OSX and Windows. Luckily, the server software was made mostly in Java, which means a port to linux could easily be made.

Here is a guide on how to comile and install the required packages in Ubuntu:
And here is a forum-post about the issue on providers website:

Another issue I encountered, was that the ahavi-daemon setup didn’t work – so I found a working one in the forum post. Create a file called /etc/avahi/services/airvideoserver.service – and add the following lines:

<?xml version=”1.0″ standalone=’no’?><!–*-nxml-*–>
<!DOCTYPE service-group SYSTEM “avahi-service.dtd”>
<!– $Id: airvideoserver.service 995 2010-04-12 15:06:53Z sam $ –>
<name replace-wildcards=”yes”>%h</name>

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Howto: Setup Ubuntu on MacBook Air without a SuperDrive

I looked all over the net for a guide on how to setup Ubuntu on a MacBook Air without buying the SuperDrive, but couldn’t find anything. So I hade to do it the hard way, figure it out myself!

What you need is:

  • MacBook Air
  • External drive of some kind with enough space for a Ubuntu install disk
  • Ubuntu Hardy Heron image

First step

You need to start out by creating a bootable Ubuntu disk. I’ll do a quick guide on that, if it doesn’t work, theres a lot of guides out there that could help you out. Forget it! I’ll just post a link.

I’de suggest to use the script to do it, worked good for me.

Second step

So you’ve got a disk or a stick with a Ubuntu Hardy Heron image on it, whats next?

First we need to partition the harddrive on the MacBook Air. I suggest using the “Disk Utility” in OSX, works quick and is easy. What you need to do, is use the disk utility to create TWO additional partitions. HFS+ allows resizing, so the data on your disk will not be lost.

Just choose your main harddrive, and then the tab called “Partition“.

Then add 2 new partitions
Continue reading Howto: Setup Ubuntu on MacBook Air without a SuperDrive