Preivew OpenOffice/LibreOffice .odt documents in Ranger File Manager

Quick tip for those that use the Ranger file manager (which is awesome, by the way).

Ranger file previews are defined in the configuration file. You can add your own preview mechanisms here.

To preview .odt documents in Ranger, you’ll need to install the odt2txt tool. On Ubuntu (and presumably other debian-based distros) install it using the following command:

sudo apt install odt2txt

The odt2txt command converts a .odt document into a text file and outputs it to standard output (prints it to the terminal or makes it available to be piped).

In your file add the following within theĀ case “$extension” block.


odt2txt “$path” && fmt -s -w $width; exit 0;

Save the file and fire up a new instance of Ranger, then select a .odt file and you should get a text preview in the right pane.

Synaptics Clickpad Configuration for ThinkPad T440s

I briefly tried an Arch Linux install on my laptop. It wasn’t my favorite for my daily use, would probably be great for a lightweight computer or a server. In any case, the default configuration (non-) settings for the clickpad were utterly unusable, and the examples I was finding didn’t have all of the features I wanted. I dug into the man pages for the driver and put together a configuration I’m happy with, and have since rolled out to my Ubuntu 16.04 install on the same machine.

These settings enable the soft-buttons at the top of the clickpad to use with the trackpoint, creates another soft-button on the right half of the bottom of the pad for right click, disables edge scrolling, enables two-finger scrolling (horizontal and vertical), and single/double/triple-finger clicking.

This file lives (in a 16.04 Ubuntu system) in /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/ . I replaced the default 50-synaptics.conf file with the following contents:

Section "InputClass"
 Identifier "touchpad"
 Driver "synaptics"
 MatchIsTouchpad "on"
 MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"

 Option "ClickPad" "1"

 Option "PalmDetect" "1"
 #soft buttons at top of pad
 Option "SoftButtonAreas" "60% 0 0 2400 40% 60% 0 2400"
 Option "AreaTopEdge" "2400"

 #soft buttons at bottom of pad
 Option "HasSecondarySoftButtons" "1"
 Option "SecondarySoftBUttonAreas" "50% 0 85% 0 0 0 0 0"

 Option "HorizHysteresis" "30"
 Option "VertHysteresis" "30"
 Option "FingerLow" "30"
 Option "FingerHigh" "50"
 Option "MinSpeed" "1"
 Option "MaxSpeed" "1"
 Option "AccelerationProfile" "2"
 Option "ConstantDeceleration" "4"

 Option "VertEdgeScroll" "0"
 Option "HorizEdgeScroll" "0"
 Option "TapAndDragGesture" "0"
 Option "CircularScrolling" "0"

 Option "TapButton1" "1"
 Option "TapButton2" "3"
 Option "TapButton3" "2"
 Option "ClickFinger1" "1"
 Option "ClickFinger2" "3"
 Option "ClickFinger3" "2"

 Option "VertTwoFingerScroll" "1"
 Option "HorizTwoFingerScroll" "1"
 Option "CoastingSpeed" "0"
 Option "MaxTapTime" "125"

Tray Icons Not Appearing in i3 on Ubuntu

On my laptop install of Ubuntu Server 16.04, when I first installed i3 I found that tray icons weren’t working. I tested with volti, the network manager applet, and dropbox – nothing, and no errors from the applications.

The problem was with the following line in the i3 configuration file (located at ~/.config/i3/config, formerly .i3/config in prior versions [or packages]):

tray_output primary

I suspect this would work fine if there were a primary display configured in my xorg settings, but that isn’t the case. Commenting out this line did the trick (removal would also work) after restarting i3 (shift+mod+r).

5Ghz Wifi Networks Not Available on Ubuntu Server Install

I needed a fresh start on my laptop (a ThinkPad T440S) and thought I would try starting with Ubuntu Server 16.04, so I can install what I want without as much Ubuntu Desktop bloat.

For networking I installed network manager and it’s corresponding tray applet control application (the network-manager and network-manager-gnome packages, respectively). Everything worked great, except that 5Ghz networks weren’t showing up to connect to.

I don’t recall where I found this solution, but the answer was to edit the file /etc/default/crda, which had this line


This needed to be changed to


Saving that change and rebooting fixed the issue – it’s possible that restarting network services might have done the same as the reboot.