Tag Archives: Opera

Tweak Opera to Befriend Transmission

I use Opera as my main browser and I use Transmission as my torrent client.  The problem begins that Opera is its own torrent client.  Nothing wrong with that except that I want Opera to pass torrents over to Transmission instead.

There are really two operations that you need to consider in dealing with torrents today.  The first is to inform Opera what you want done with .torrent files; the other is to inform Opera what you want it to do when it encounters a so-called Magnet Link.

With the torrent file you are probably already familiar.  It’s a tiny file containing just enough identifying information for your torrent client to participate in the torrent for which you seek.  Is that too esoteric?  Well, that’s because it is.  It’s about as interesting as the number you pull out of that thing at the DMV and wait.  Sure it’s important because it’s necessary, but you’re just going to throw it away.

The Magnet Link obsoletes the torrent file.  A Magnet Link passes the needed number, the hash (which is all the torrent file really carries) directly to the torrent client.  (Here is good article on magnet links with links to a potentially useful script.)

Since we can’t guarantee that all sites will use one or the other we want to address both of them.

Getting Opera to pass .torrent files to your torrent client is a simple matter of changing that particular file association in Opera itself.  This way when you click on a torrent file link you are done.  I have mine set up to ask me what to do.  I like it that way.  You should be able to set it up to open them directly with the information which follows if you are so inclined.

Torrent File Modification

There are three things to note in making this alteration.  You want to make this in the Downloads section  of the Preferences dialog.  You want to ensure that the “Hide file types opened with Opera” check box is unchecked.  And finally if you sort by extension (by clicking File extension(s)) you can just roll down to T to select torrent.  Click the Edit button (duh!).  Pick the option you prefer for this file extension.

(If there is no torrent entry, and there ought to be, you can add one using the MIME type and File extension you see in the image above.)

Magnet Links are working (see Update below).  The other bit, the Magnet Link, I haven’t sorted out as yet.  Transmission supports Magnet Links as of version 1.9 or so (and I’m using a supported version).  Here is how I have my Opera preferences arranged:

Magnet Link Modification
Magnet Link Modification

For this I went into Programs (also in the Preferences dialog) and clicked the “Add…” button.  The Protocol is magnet, of this I am certain.  I also believe that my shortcut to Transmission is called out correctly.  (If you are using a different client, modify accordingly.)  And yet I get this error when I attempt to use a Magnet Link: You should no longer get this error if you follow the Update directions below.

Magnet Link Error
Magnet Link Error

Bummer. No bummer here.

I tried using %s, %u, and no modifier.  Without a modifier the link does nothing.  With either %s or %u I get the above error message.  I’ll update this post as I am able to figure this out.  In the meantime prefer torrent links.

Clearly these instructions are for Ubuntu (well, that may not be clear to everyone), but there ought to be enough information here for you to sort it out for Mac or Windows.

Happy torrenting.

(Firefox users will find this link useful.)


As of the release of Opera 11.10 magnet links are working.  You will want add /usr/bin/transmission into the Open with other application box and put %s into the Parameter box.


Opera flickr Workaround

I have been having trouble signing into flickr for a long time now.  As a matter of fact, I mostly stopped using flickr because of this issue.

My initial tests pointed to a third-party cookie issue.  It seemed that either flickr was requiring them or Opera was misinterpreting non-third-party cookies as though they were third-party cookies.

A recent test has shown this to be incorrect.  The problem does relate to the cookies but in the end you will be able to sign into flickr with third-party cookies globally disabled using Opera.

Here is my workaround.  It is very simple.

When you attempt to sign into flickr you will be taken to a page showing this:

Cookie Error Page
Cookie Error Page

Clicking on the login link or returning to flickr’s home page and clicking the login link or just going to the login page directly will all take you into this silly loop from which you will not be able to extract yourself.

What you may not notice is the small redirect page which flashed just before this cookie error page.  Go back one page (using a keyboard shortcut, a mouse gesture, or your browser’s back button) and you will see a page which reads:

If you are seeing this page, your browser settings prevent you from automatically redirecting to a new URL.

Please click here to continue.

Click there.

You have successfully worked around the issue.  Congratulations.


Linux and the Visually Impared

I stumbed upon a rather interesting built-in feature on my Linux box.

Opera for the Visually Impared
Opera for the Visually Impared

All of the colors—images, text areas, icons, &c—have been inverted.  Perhaps you’d like to see your Opera perform like this?  Or any other application on your computer?

This would be great for folks with visual difficulties relating to color perceptions (like color-blindness).  I’m not clear whether this is something particular to Ubuntu, Gnome, or Compiz, but it is easy to toggle on and off.

Merely hit super-n (Windows-n) on the application in question.  In the example above I have done this in Opera, but I tested it in Thunderbird, AbiWord, Terminator, and (oddly enough) a remote session (where it effected all the visuals for the remote system through the RDP connection).

Mac has some similar functionality.  If you use ctrl-opt-apple-8 the OS will invert the colors too.  The difference is the Mac version applies across the entire desktop (background, doc, &c), but the Ubuntu version is application specific.

Happy hunting.


The Future is Now

Opera 9.6 - Making you faster

The newest version of Opera is running loose in the world.  Excited?  You should be:

Some of the most interesting features and ones which I constantly take advantage of I will mention briefly here.

Opera allows you to sync your bookmarks between any number of computers (across platforms) and with Web access instantly through their Opera Link feature.  This sync tool also syncronizes a number of other browser features as well.

Opera has a flexible and powerful built-in notes feature (which can be synqued).  You can copy portions of Web pages directly into a note and mail your notes later.

The layout and look of Opera are completely manipulable.  My arrangement of panels, toolbars, and buttons have little resemblance to what came out of the box.  I don’t use skins usually, but if you are into that sort of thing Opera makes it very easy.  Through this you can make the browser look and perform in ways that are most comfortable to you and the way that you work.

Opera employs mouse gestures.  When I tell folks about mouse gestures they are often rather cool to the idea.  Until they try them.  Once they understand how mouse gestures work, they have no desire to turn away from them.  Mouse gestures are so infectious you will yearn for your file browsers and other applications to use them.

Opera has been using tabbed browsing for nearly ten years.  Others may act like they invented it (I’m looking at you, Internet Explorer) but even Opera didn’t invent them.  They’ve merely employed them in the best manner.  If you accidentally close tabs (or even entire windows) you can reopen them using the trash can located to the right of all your tabs.  And navigating between tabs is extremely simple, with thumbnail views of each tab upon mouse-over.  You can even move your tabs around, arrange them in any order you’d like—you can even create new windows from tabs or move tabs between windows.  (It doesn’t have tab specific crashing, but give it time.)

It’s ad-blocking, image blocking, and site-specific preferences are unparalleled—and they are all available by a simple right-click on a Web page.

And Opera can do all of this out of the box with a smaller memory footprint than its competitors.  It also wins test after test in the browser wars.  Lifehacker loves Opera.

There are many others but I wanted to give out some of my favorites.

Make the switch now.  You won’t regret it.


Opera mailto Thunderbird

Well, I wanted my Opera to use Thunderbird for mailto links.  Even though I have changed the System —> Preferences —> Preferred Applications in Ubuntu Opera was not recognizing Thunderbird as the default mail client.  So it goes.

I had some difficulty tracking down the file to point Opera to but here it is.  In Opera open Tools —> Preferences and choose the Advanced tab.  From the menu on the left select Programs.  Under Protocols on the right find mailto and click the “Edit” button.

When this dialog appears you’ll want to click the “Open with other application” radio button.  If you are running 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron) like I am, you should be able to enter /usr/bin/thunderbird to the left of the “Choose” button.  Then click “Ok” and “Ok” to get out.

Now your mailto links should spawn a Thunderbird mail window.


Add Opera to Ubuntu’s Update Manager (Synaptic)

One of the nice bits about running a version of Linux which supports a robust package management system is that the operating system itself can manage your updates.  This means that not only does your operating system seek out and alert you to updates for itself, but it can also alert you to newly available versions of your favorite software—and then, at your command, run that update.

It works smoothly concerning the software that comes installed on your system when you first create it.  That pretty much goes without saying.  It’s expected.  But I run Opera and I had to install Opera on Ubuntu 8.04 in order to do so. (I’ve used this same method up to and including 12.04.)

You’ll want to have a terminal open for a couple of lines of code.  You can open a terminal by navigating to Applications —> Accessories —> Terminal.  There are only two (one if you already have Opera installed) and you can just copy and paste them into the terminal window.

Ok, let’s ask Synaptic to manage any new updates that come down for Opera.  Open Synaptic (System —> Administration —> Synaptic Package Manager).  You will be asked for your password.

Navigate to Settings —> Repositories —> Third-Party Software and click the “Add” button.  Enter this line in the “APT Line:” text box:

deb http://deb.opera.com/opera/ stable non-free

Then click the “Add Source” button and the “Close” button twice.  (The second dialog is just letting you know that you have made a repository change.)

This tells Synaptic where to seek out updates for Opera.  (These are Opera updates, mind you.  They give those over to the cats at Debian.  Debian uses etch squeeze as the present stable version, and Ubuntu can use the Debian packages for Opera just fine.  For more about Debian and squeeze see Debian.)

You’ll need to add the public key.

(There is a line of code for adding the key on the below-linked-page.  This works in some versions of Ubuntu but not in others.  See my comments below if you would like to use the line of code.  Otherwise just follow the instructions in the next paragraphs for adding the key manually.)

Go here and copy the entire block of code near the bottom of the page (including both lines with several dashes which represent the BEGIN and END statements for the key).  Save this text into an empty file some place easy to find, like your desktop.  To create an empty file on your desktop, merely right-click on the desktop and choose Create Document —> Empty File.  Name it whatever makes it easy for you to find it and just paste those lines of text directly into the document.  Save the file.  (After you import the key you may delete this file.)

Let’s import that key.  (See the note at bottom of post.)

Go back to Synaptic and navigate to Settings —> Repositories —> Authentication and click the “Import Key File…” button.  Find the file you just saved with the key in it and click “OK” to import the key and then the “Close” button which follows.

Now, when you click the “Reload” button in the Synaptic Package Manger you will not get a key verification error.

Installing Opera is a one line command operation:

sudo apt-get install opera

(You will be asked for your password.)

From now on, when you run your updates by navigating to System —> Administration —> Update Manager it should seek out any new updates for Opera in addition to any updates otherwise ready for your system.

Thanks to my friends over at MyOpera who helped to make this happen.  Of course, thanks to all those Debian contributors for doing all the heavy lifting.


The key changes annually and so you will need to revisit the above page to get the new key each year.