Tag Archive: linux


LaTeX plugin for Geany

The Statler forum over at the CrunchBang site is letting users vote on which applications they want included in the Statler alpha release. I noticed that Geany was third in text editor voting, and since I am unfamiliar with Geany, I decided to check it out. Turns out they have support for plugins, and have a LaTeX plugin. What is odd is that I have never seen anyone in a “Which Linux LaTeX editor to you use” thread mention Geany. Geany and all of the plugins and the LaTeX plugin are in the Lucid repositories (I have Lubuntu on my netbook) and have no additional dependencies.

The LaTeX plugin has its own menu under “tools” and appears to have more menu options than any LaTeX editor plugin I have tried other than gedit. Geany appears to be more of an IDE than a text editor, so there are also a ton of other options cluttering up the menus. There also doesn’t appear to be an auto spell checking option, which is crucial for me.

The Geany LaTeX plugin is easy to install, and would be a good alternative for people that don’t have access to the gedit LaTeX plugin or people that are already Geany users.

Geany LaTeX plugin

But Wicd is good stuff. Anyone know why the buntu’s are so in love with Network Manager? And, why does the LXDE team feel the need to develop their own network manager, when they could just include Wicd in the same way they include Leafpad? Same goes for Slim and LXDM. If there are good lightweight apps out there, just use them.

This guy gets it

Great post from K. Mandla about Ubuntu’s new default theme Link. I have noticed that a lot of Ubuntu and even Linux blogs are covering this as some sort of news story. Doesn’t Ubuntu come standard with like 10 themes? And doesn’t it also give you the ability to change your own wallpaper? What gripes my ass is that these same blogs should be spending their time talking about how increasingly unusable Ubuntu is becoming. I installed it a few weeks ago on my netbook, and to uninstall the default email client breaks the clock, and pretty much everything else, due to an insane amount of dependencies.

What I don’t get is why doesn’t Ubuntu follow more of a Debian distribution plan were you can select your desktop at install, and only the bare minimum applications are included? Since they roll in Synaptic anyways (which I love), it’s very easy for users to find and install new applications. They also include the Ubuntu software store, another means for users to add applications. Why does Ubuntu feel the need with their GNOME desktop to ram a bunch of applications down our throats? It makes sense for Microsoft to do so, but unless they plan on using a similar business model as they push further into the enterprise market, I just don’t see why they do it. The plus is, hopefully more Ubuntu users will switch to Debian.

One of the applications included in Lubuntu is the system profiler Hardinfo. As a user of the LXDE desktop included with Debian I had never come across hardinfo. Hardinfo appears to be lightweight (I have no idea what it’s written in, but when I installed it on my Debian+LXDE machine it required no additional dependencies) but has all the functionality you’d expect to find in heavy apps such as Device Manager. As someone who continually formats their machines with various Linux distributions, I occasionally need to find device information that I have forgotten or lost. Hardinfo can quickly display the name of your wireless device so you know which drivers to install. This would also be handy if you receive a computer as a hand-me-down, which I just did. Here’s the hardinfo community page at Ubuntu.

Hardinfo at Ubuntu

I don’t sip the LaTeX Kool-Aid, I chug it. The combination of my hatred for Microsoft Word and the need to write papers and slide-shows heavy with equations made this a marriage of love and not convenience. I’ve read many threads on which LaTeX editor Linux users prefer, and I’d like to toss my two cents into the conversation. My vitals: I use Debian+LXDE, I am not a computer programmer (which affected my experience with Vim), and I’m not much of a Linux user. Here’s a list of what I’ve used and I feel gedit is hands down the best.

1. Kile. In 2008 when I first began searching for a LaTeX editor, Kile appeared to be the most popular and the most polished. Since I was new to Linux, I didn’t mind the Qt libraries that are needed for Kile. Kile is a very solid LaTeX editor, but as I’ve evolved from GNOME -> XFCE -> LXDE, I have both put a premium on lightweight desktops and learned to really dislike KDE. I have never gotten it to work correctly, on any computer. If you like KDE, Kile is for you, but I hate KDE and I won’t make an exception for this very good program. Also, as of the last time I used Kile, there was no auto spell checking, and I need auto spell checking.

2. Vim. The next time I set out for a LaTeX editor, I added the constraint that it couldn’t be written in Qt. This eliminated Kile, TeXMaker and TeXWorks. And Vim was the most popular amongst more experienced Linux users, which I thought I was. I used Vim for about 6 months, but ultimately it defeated me. First, as noted above, I have never been a computer programmer, and I’m too old to learn the keyboard shortcuts. And you can’t use a mouse to highlight text for cutting and pasting. And while the Vim addons manager package for Ubuntu is nice, I always had to tweak something in the .vimrc file, either for Vim to recognize a .tex file or to compile beamer class files. If you know Vim and like hacking away in the terminal, I’m sure this rocks, but I suck at both. Also, no auto spell checking.

3. Gummi. Gummi is a very new editor, but has a lot of promise. It appears lightweight and has some nice features, but as of this writing there is no auto spell checking. Once again, I can’t spell for dick.

4. LyX. I have only tested LyX and hated it , but other people seem to love it. Here’s why I don’t recommend it: 1) it’s in Qt so that’s strike 1, and 2) it’s WYSIWYM, which defeats the purpose of using LaTeX to begin with, I’m using LaTeX because I’m a document control freak. If you need the functionality of LaTeX, do yourself a favor and learn LaTeX.

5. gedit. Is the winner for best Linux LaTeX editor, in a landslide. First, it’s in Gtk, so it fits into my LXDE lifestyle. Second, it’s easy as hell to install; pop open synaptic, check select three packages (gedit, gedit-latex-plugins, and gedit-plugins) and you’re done. Gedit will recognize .tex files immediately, and compile to whatever you like. Adding the extra plugins package adds bracket completion and word completion. Combine this with an already very robust text editor, and you have the easiest, most powerful LaTeX editor available. And gedit has auto spell checking capabilities.