Posts Tagged ‘ubuntu’

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Raspberry Pie with a Taste of Chocolate, the funny Desktop Droste effect

Tuesday, June 28th, 2022

The original Droste Effect

Trying out the new Ubuntu 22.04 on my Raspberry Pi 400, I was surprised by the smoothness of the new Ubuntu distribution. Much better impression then the first time I tried Ubuntu on the RPI, I think that was the 20.10 release.

A funny thing to try out, especially if you love fractals or you are an admirer of the Dutch graphic artist Escher who’s work features features mathematical and even impossible objects, is the subject of this post.

Another returning phenomenon in his drawings and paintings is the Droste-effect , and I’ll shwo you how to create a Droste effect on your Raspberry Pi with a few mouse-clicks.

Creating a Droste effect on your Raspberry Pi

Yes, you can do that with just a couple of mouse-clicks, you don’t need a mathematical package or a graphical editor like Gimp or so.

Trying out the new Gnome Desktop Sharing feature, which let you share your desktop not only with the older VNC protocol, but also with the newer RDP protocol, gave me this idea.

To activate:

Settings -> sharing -> enable -> enable Remote Desktop -> and setup some authentication: username and password

For creating the Droste-effect we gonna do something silly: we gonna connect to our-self! Yes a Remote Desktop Connection with a local client.

A Remote Desktop Connection with a local client


Start up the default remote desktop client Remmina.

Quick setup a new connection, enter your IP-address and the authentication you just entered: username and password.

To find your IP-address, open a terminal, (CTRL ALT T) and type `ip address` return. Then you will find it in the output, or look it up under details in the network settings.

Save and connect in the Remmina dialog, and see the connection being made.

Click the `Toggle Scaled Mode` button to rescale the desktop (CTRL_R S), and there it is.

A nice Raspberry Pi Droste Effect of the Ubuntu Desktop in a local remote Desktop connection: šŸ™‚

Remmina Droste effect

Remmina Droste effect


An alternative to `Remmina` is Gnome-connections. That program is in development, but like all Gnome apps, it does offer an very easy and intuitive approach.

Can all the settings in Remmina be overwhelming, gnome-connections is easy as it can be.

But the default resolution seems to be quite poor. And I could not find a scaling options, so you end up with a more spacey psychedelic form of computer art.

The Gnome-Connections Art

The Gnome-Connections Art

Cool as well.

Update: Actually there is a scale setting for Gnome-Connections, a bit hidden, under properties once you established a connection. Using Gnome-connections for managing my Pi400 from another Ubuntu 22.04 is working quite well, although I had to restart the Pi400 to get control working.

So maybe Gnome-connections is lacking a lot of settings, it’s working out of the box surprisingly well in Ubuntu 22.04.

Give it a try, if you own a Pi.

How does the Pi create a Droste effect?

You open up a program that shows your complete desktop scaled including the program that shows your desktop scaled, etc etc.

Actually I was expecting a crash, or out of memory error, you will probably get that when you let it run for hours, but the Raspberry Pi kept being responsive for the couple of minutes I tried. Enough time to take a screenshot.

So it seems Ubuntu and Gnome are much more optimized for running on less powerful hardware in 2022 then a couple of years ago.

This funny showcase of the Droste-effect is the prove, and that is all a big win.

Please let me know what you think in the comments.

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Installing Gimp 2.8 on Ubuntu 12.04

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Gimp 2.8 has been released a few weeks after the major major Ubuntu 12.04 LTS update. Unfortunately, because Gimp 2.8 has some nice improvements. Luckily it’s quite easy to install Gimp 2.8 manually with adding a PPA and do an update. There is no need to compile it manually.

The latest update of this PPA also offer new newly compiled plug-ins for Gimp 2.8, which is quite an improvement, because I could install Gimp 2.8 today to over 2.6 without a hassle. Some sites tell you that you need to uninstall anything before or that you will running into problem, An that was true, until a few days.

Just paste this in a terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gimp gimp-plugin-registry

It worked for me with no problem for with Gimp 2.6 install.

What’s new in Gimp 2.8

A fine list is you can find on the Gimp website:

But what I like is a nice and quick feature to create a screenshot from any webpage:

file -> create for webpage -> url

Well, it’s more then a screenshot because it renders the whole page not only what’s visible in the viewport of your browser. Something like the Shutter can do as well.

It did hang though on some sites with flash content.

Other changes include that saving is now only impossible as xcf file, the native Gimp file format. Other formats, like jpeg, or pgn is now called exporting, This isn’t a regression only you need different menu item, and there is a shortcut `export to` for fast exporting.

How to add `save as compressed xcf file`

XCF files are big uncompressed files, saving it as a xcfbz or xcfgz cab save a lot of MB’s but somehow that option is missing from the new 2.8 install. Luckily it’s not so difficult to get it back, just install the file-compressor plug-in manually., by taking it from an older gimp build.

UPDATE: with the latest ppa update the file-compressor is installed automatically.

How to get the menu back in Gimp under Unity

Gimp does support the global menu for Gnome 3 or Unity, in short this saves worthy space on your screen, but because Gimp uses several floating windows for layers, and the toolbox this isn’t working well, because the toolbox doesn’t have a menu, and the main menu doesn’t show when the toolbox window is selected. Also that can be cured easily, just enable the window menu again in the picture window.

That can be done by adding this environment variable to the command to run Gimp:


The best way to do that:

Copy the gimp.desktop Ā file fromĀ /usr/share/applications/gimp.desktop to ~/home/.local/share /applications and change the line with

Exec=gimp-2.8 %U


Exec=env APPMENU_DISPLAY_BOTH=1 gimp-2.8 %U

and drag the gimp.desktop file from the ~/home/.local/share/applications folder to your launcher.

That will create a new launcher that will start Gimp with a menu in the image window. So you can use that menu, and the global menu.

To be honest, I had to get used to Unity/ the dash / global menu / Hud, but now I’m used to it and and start missing it on other Ubuntu machines

No Gimp image showing in the launcher

The gimp.svg icon is missing in /usr/share/icons/hicolor/scalable/apps .

Just download it from here by:


and rename andĀ  copy it to theĀ usr/share/icons/hicolor/scalable/apps folder. You need root access for that.

Then change the line that start with Icon in the desktop file to this:


Gimp not showing in the dash

Somehow the dash is not showing Gimp, anymore but it’s offering it for download. CLicking it will open Ubuntu Store, and that will tell you Gimp is already installed. Well, that’s because Gimp is not called Gimp but the GNU Image Manipulation Program in the desktop file. Now you know why Gimp is called Gimp.

So change the line that start with name in the gimp.desktop file to this:


Then log out, or reboot.