3 Tools for PDF manipulation

PDF (Portable Document Format) is one of the most used document format for exchanging information due to its great flexibility and portability, here anothers feautures we can mention:

  • It allows encapsulating text, fonts, images and other information necessary to view the document.
  • It is platform independent, both software and hardware, so as its name implies it is extremely portable.
  • It is a standard and open format.

3 Tools for PDF manipulation Read More »

How to create a symmetrical heart with GIMP


GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a free and open-source raster graphics editor used for image retouching and editing, free-form drawing, converting between different image formats, and more specialized tasks.

GIMP is released under GPLv3+ licenses and is available for Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows.

In this guide I show you how to create a heart with GIMP, following simple steps.

How to create a symmetrical heart with GIMP Read More »

DeaDBeeF – the last music player

DeaDBeeF is a lightweight, stable, flexible and cross-platform music player: GNU/Linux, *BSD, OpenSolaris, Mac OS X. DeaDBeeF is able to play files in different formats: mp3, ogg vorbis, flac, … It has a clear, simple and elagant interface based on GTK2, GTK3. It has not GNOME or KDE dependencies then it’s good option for lightweight desktops like LXDE, LXQT, Lumina, XFCE.

DeaDBeeF – the last music player Read More »

How to pretty print XML on GNU/Linux

The obfuscated XML files are difficult to read because the content of the file occupies a single line. Today LibreByte offers 3 tools that allow you to format an XML file.

Tool 1: web browser, examples: Mozilla firefox, Google Chrome. The disadvantage of using a browser is that you can not edit the XML file, only useful if you if you want to view it and nothing more.

Tool 2: use xml_pp, xml_pp is part of the XML-Twig suite, to install it on Debian GNU/Linux type:

$ sudo apt-get install xml-twig-tools

You can then format the XML file by typing:

$ xml_pp -i mifichero.xml

If you want to save the formatted content in another file, type:

$ xml_pp mifichero.xml > mifichero_pp.xml 

If you want to edit the formatted file, you can use any text editor.

Tool 3: Use Geany editor and prettyprinter plugin, to install it on Debian GNU/Linux type:

$ sudo apt-get install geany geany-plugin-prettyprinter

After running the above command, you must perform the following steps to activate the plugin

1. Run Geany

Menu-> Development-> Geany

From the console, you can also type:

$ geany &

2. Find the Menu

Tools -> Plugin Manager

3. Activate the plugin XML PrettyPrinter

Once the plugin is activated, the option to format XML appears in the Menu:

Tools-> PrettyPtrinter XML

Further reading

– man xml_pp
Geany Project
Geany un IDE ligero

How to pretty print XML on GNU/Linux Read More »

Convert video file to watch on a DVD player


Some DVD player do not support video in high definition resolution then it is necessary to convert it to a supported format, so

* Look for your DVD player specifications
* Look at the details of the video file that you want to convert using MediaInfo
* Use a video conversion tool, in this case we will use avconv which is part of the Libav suite

The following example assumes that your DVD supports:

* Video mpeg4 simple profile format,
* mp3 audio format
* 720 frame size (width) by 576 (high).

Install Libav and libmp3lame on Debian GNU/Linux
$ sudo apt-get install libav-tools libmp3lame0
Perform the conversion
$ avconv -i fichero-origen -f avi -vtag divx -c:v mpeg4 -c:a libmp3lame -s:v 720x576 -aspect 16x9 -qscale 3 fichero-destino


-f, the destination file format, usually avconv guess the format from the extension of the destination file
-vtag, specifies that we will use fourcc divx video codec to mpeg4 (Simple Profile)
-c:v, video code that will be used during the conversion
-c:a, code of audio that we will use during the conversion
-s:v, the frame size
-aspect, aspect and ratio that will have the resulting file. Is recommended to be the same as the original file to achieve good picture quality
-qscale, value between 1-31. A value of 1 means that the resulting file will have the same quality as the original file

Further reading

– man avconv

Convert video file to watch on a DVD player Read More »

MediaInfo – detailed information of an audio or video file


MediaInfo is an utility that allows you to:

  • Read various audio and video formats
  • Show information in several formats: text, html, spreadsheet, hierarchical,…
  • Customize the previous views
  • Exporting information as text, csv, html…

The following is the information dumped by MediaInfo:

  • General: title, author, director, album, size, …
  • Video: codec, aspect, frame per second (fps), bitrate, width, height, …
  • Audio: codec, channels, language, bitrate, …
  • Text: subtitle language

MediaInfo supports following formats:

  • Video: mkv, ogm, avi, divx, quicktime, mpeg-1, mpeg-2, mpeg-4, …
  • Audio: ogg, mp3, wav, acc, m4a, …
  • Subtitles: srt, ssa, ass, sami, …

MediaInfo can be used through its graphical interface, command line interface or integrated into an application using the API.

To install MediaInfo (cli) in Debian GNU/Linux type:
$ sudo apt-get install mediainfo
In order to obtain information from a file type:
$ mediainfo buffers_listed_and_hidden.ogv
ID                                       : 280403682 (0x10B69EE2)
Complete name                            : buffers_listed_and_hidden.ogv
Format                                   : OGG
File size                                : 4.61 MiB
Duration                                 : 3mn 28s
Overall bit rate mode                    : Variable
Overall bit rate                         : 186 Kbps
Writing application                      : ffmpeg2theora-0.25
SOURCE_OSHASH                            : 3fd514e6b64347ca

ID                                       : 889190165 (0x34FFF715)
Format                                   : Theora
Duration                                 : 3mn 28s
Bit rate                                 : 89.5 Kbps
Nominal bit rate                         : 297 Kbps
Width                                    : 640 pixels
Height                                   : 480 pixels
Display aspect ratio                     : 4:3
Frame rate                               : 30.000 fps
Compression mode                         : Lossy
Bits/(Pixel*Frame)                       : 0.010
Stream size                              : 2.22 MiB (48%)
Writing library                          : Xiph.Org libtheora 1.1 20090822 (Thusnelda)

ID                                       : 1236641633 (0x49B5A761)
Format                                   : Vorbis
Format settings, Floor                   : 1
Duration                                 : 3mn 28s
Bit rate mode                            : Variable
Bit rate                                 : 80.0 Kbps
Channel(s)                               : 2 channels
Sampling rate                            : 44.1 KHz
Compression mode                         : Lossy
Stream size                              : 1.99 MiB (43%)
Writing library                          : libVorbis 20090709 (UTC 2009-07-09)

Further reading

– man mediainfo
MediaInfo project

MediaInfo – detailed information of an audio or video file Read More »