Archive for the ‘fluxbox’ Category

Update 20090705 – services trimming, fluxbox tweaking, added xsel, dircolors, etc

July 5, 2009

I was going to install some ratpoison-friendly tools late (for me) last night but, as usual, they come with so much overhead that I decided against installing. These are things that work well regardless of window manager. I’d run into similar bloat issues back when I was using Debian on my old laptop — try to install something light and it comes with MBs of dependencies that aren’t needed unless you compile with every option. This is one of my biggest gripes against binary-based distros. For the convenience of not having to compile anything, you’re hostage to how others compile them for you.

This time the apps I wanted to add were xsel and xbindkeys; the dependencies in Fedora are guile and tcl/tk.


Had to say no. I think I can add xsel without guile or tcl/tk — I’ll check and see in a bit. (Edit…) Okay, I’ve installed xsel because it has no dependencies I didn’t already have installed. I could live with guile but I’m not going to install even more languages like tcl just to use one small app. Fedora comes with enough as it is. Why not streamline everything and use perl, python, or lua only? I think I installed ruby when I installed mew. I wish everything in open source was more standardized and more attention was paid to reducing dependencies so you don’t have disparate libs for disparate apps like this.

I also spent a little time last night trimming down services that start up in my favored run level. I decided to start CUPS manually since a lot of the time I’m not connected to my main printer or near enough one of the available network printers to get my stuff. I also shut off the NFS-related (rpc) services, IPV6, and a few others.

This morning I started on something totally unimportant except to Linux “reviewers” (especially the ones at distrowatch), aesthetics. I wanted something a little less dark. This is it for now. Whatthefuckever.


Of course, my terminal is still black and about 75% of what I do is in that (screen) so it doesn’t make much difference. I decided to alias ls to include dircolors in my mksh profile so I have a little more color there now. Not a big deal either way. Same information as before.

Since I added more stuff in my .xinitrc, it’s apples to oranges comparing initial RAM hits. At login, though, I’ve lost about 10 more MB. I know there are people who consider unused RAM a waste of resources, but I find it more wasteful to clog up RAM with things that won’t be used or which serve dubious purposes lacking any utilitarian value (including wobbling windows).

I still have more things to do with fluxbox configuration, especially adding more keybindings. It’s kind of awkward the way it’s set up now with some of the defaults. I also want to add more things to the menu to automate tasks.

That’ll all have to wait. I hadn’t planned on doing any of this last night or this morning. More during the week when (if) I find time.

Little fluxbox tweaks

July 3, 2009

Nothing fancy. I edited a theme — bora_black — so that it’s flat and uses terminus font instead of sans. Maybe I’ll adjust colors some time soon. I’ve also been messing around with setting up fluxbox to act a bit more like ratpoison or dwm. For now, that means apps which I like opened full screen (which is just about everything except GIMP and Skype) are set to do that. They’re also opening without title bars. I think title bars are a waste of space when running things maximized.


What’s not to love about screen and emacs? Works the same regardless of window manager. At least the iconbar updates as I switch between things in screen.

I kind of like the way fluxbox is working set up like this but not as much as I like ratpoison. I have more stuff set up to operate via keybindings, including the menu. The menu is so spartan than I’m pretty much opening things via fbrun. I’ll get around to filling it in sooner or later. I’m also looking through the fluxbox documentation to see how much more I can do with it to keep it out of my way.

One thing I wish it had is tabbing, which I remember from the old version in DSL. See, sometimes the bigger version number isn’t necessarily better.

That’s it for today. And maybe for the weekend. Happy Fourth!

Fedora 10 on AA1: Configuring Skype, Using Fluxbox

July 2, 2009

Using fluxbox in Fedora 10 today. Mainly because I was working on Skype settings between conference calls and writing reports, and Skype is one of those nasty little apps that opens up multiple little windows which ratpoison manages individually. I haven’t had good luck using tmpwm in ratpoison, and I wouldn’t want to do that just to go back and forth to Skype.


I’m also running NetworkManager (and nm-applet) again today while I test something else out. I’m likely removing that altogether ASAP and trying something different and easier to manually configure. I hate having networking spawned as a child process within X. It’s no problem as long as you’re in X but it has to be restarted if you break your X session for any reason. I saw a few options (not wicd — I want something lower resource but still able to choose between certain networks and blacklist others) so I may play around when I have more time and see if I can find something manageable and fairly flexible. Or no?

I had Skype working before I scrapped everything and installed Debian. I had to go through every setting again to remember what I did before, and then I realized Skype’s setting was still stuck on “Let Skype Adjust Your Audio.” Oh no. I got it all fixed when I stopped letting Skype fight me. Skype should be easier to set up without pulseaudio since it uses alsa anyway; IIRC, I had an easier time setting it up before even though I didn’t remove pulseaudio the first time I set up Fedora 10. BTW, I used alsamixer this time to adjust my audio settings.

I know Skype isn’t open source. So what. Not everything is or can be. I don’t have a problem with it. If someone could come up with a legitimate cross-platform open source application that works as well and (in most cases) easily, I’d use it. Right now Linux has no video conferencing software compatible with AIM let alone multi-platform so Skype it is. If there’s an argument against Skype being closed source it means that it can’t be re-written to use only one window. But the same argument is pretty much true of open source software like GIMP which also opens too many windows rather than operating within one.

I’ve also noticed one of those quirks between Linux and Windows. The space just to the right of the Synaptics touchpad gets pretty hot. That’s right above where the wifi card is located. I wonder if that’s why it’s gone wonky on me a couple times before. I haven’t noticed it getting this hot before in Windows. Who knows.

I’ve written before that I’m not a big fan of fluxbox. It works which is all that matters to me. I think I still prefer jwm because it’s more utilitarian and fairly easy to configure. I’ll see if I can get around to binding more keystrokes for things; I’d like to ditch the redundant title bars on the windows, too, and open (most) things maximized.

Okay, back to work. I have a lot of stuff to edit tonight.