Ubuntu Fan

life with ubuntu on a thinkpad T40

Archive for December, 2006

A Beryl of Monkeys

Posted by ubuntufan on December 29, 2006

I have been tinkering and googling for ways to get beryl to run on my T40. I figured it should be at least somewhat capable of running it. I’ve seen posts where folks have it working, but alas, I just can’t get it to come up. It always shuts down the X server or just won’t launch the x server. So I punted. I have other boxes at home. One is a P4 2.4 or something like that with about a gig of ram or so. It has a matrox card in it. I installed Dapper and gave it a go. No luck there either. Crazy.  So I thought to myself “should I bite the bullet and put it on my beloved main desktop box?”. Granted the beloved box is a few years old and not as fast as some of today’s powerhouse systems. But it’s got plenty of ram and a cool Quadro 980 video card. What the hell. I downloaded the latest nvidia driver and got it installed. When I checked glxgears, I was getting something like 7000 fps. Wow, I thought, that should do it. I followed all the instructions for installing beryl and emerald-themes, rebooted, crossed fingers, opened terminal, typed beryl-manager, crossed fingers again, gently pressed enter and then…….beauty revealed itself. I love it. I mean it’s a lot of eye candy and some if ain’t all that necessary, but it is REALLY cool. The transparency that is actually transparent and not just a duplicate of the desktop background. The neat little wiggle when you move things around, the effects when  you minimize and maximize. Oh and the cube. I’ll admit that I thought the cube was stupid when I saw the screenshots. Once I used it, I started using multiple desktops more often. It really is nice. I’m learning some little trick about the interface all the time. If you stuff the mouse pointer in the upper right corner, you get thumbnails of all your open windows, similar to os x f9. Alt-Tab is pretty cool and a little 3d-ish. I can’t wait to get familiar enough with it to quit oogling at it and do some real work 🙂



Posted in Beryl, displays, General Linux, ubuntu | 1 Comment »

Hot Keys…Get Your Hot Keys

Posted by ubuntufan on December 29, 2006

Since I’m trying to keep this blog specifically pointed toward the Ubuntu distro and not any of the other *ubuntu variants, I’ll mostly talk about the Gnome environment. I’m an old school computer user, meaning that I like using the cli and keyboard shortcuts. Here’s a list of hot keys and what they do. These may work in other environments, but I’m only going to say that all of them work in Gnome. Let me know if I missed any.

ALT-Tab Task List Selection
Crtl-Alt-(F1-F12) Command prompt
Crtl-Alt-Backspace Restart XWindows
Crtl-C Copy the selected text or region onto the clipboard
Alt-(leftclick mouse) To hold on to the window/GUI and move it around
Ctrl-F Open Search(find) dialog
Alt-F2 Show the panel run application dialog
Alt-F1 Show the panel menu
Prnt Scrn Take a screenshot
Alt-Prnt Scrn Take a screenshot of active window
Ctrl-Alt-Arrow keys Switches to the workspace to the specified direction of the current workspace
Ctrl-Alt-D Minimizes all windows, and gives focus to the desktop
Ctrl-Alt-Tab Switches the focus between the panels and the desktop
Alt-F4 Closes the currently focused window
Alt-F5 Unmaximize the current window, if it is maximized
Alt-F7 Move the currently focused window
Alt-F8 Resize the currently focused window

Alt-F9 Minimize the current window
Alt-F10 Maximize the current window
Shift-Ctrl-Alt-Arrow keys Moves the current window to another workspace in the specified direction
Ctrl-N Create a new document or window
Ctrl-X Cut the selected text or region and place it on the clipboard
Ctrl-V Paste the contents of the clipboard
Ctrl-Z Undo the last action
Ctrl-S Save the current document to disk
F1 Launches Help
Tab Move between controls in the interface or items in a list
spacebar Activate or choose the selected item
F10 Activate the left-most menu of the application window
Shift-F10 Activate the context menu for the selected item
Esc Close a menu without selecting a menu item, or cancel a drag operation

Posted in Gnome, ubuntu | 4 Comments »

Getting to the Root

Posted by ubuntufan on December 27, 2006

I have been asked many times how to become root in Ubuntu. I often reply, “you don’t need to be root; just use sudo”. Some folks just can’t stand not having root access all the time. So in my quest to add something worth while every day, I’ll post a quick tutorial on how to become root and know the root password. First thing’s first….I don’t recommend this. You can severely cripple your system if you aren’t careful, so don’t come crying to me if you follow this and then accidently rm -fR / or something crazy like that.

First from a terminal window type sudo su – . Enter your password and you are now the equivelant of root (well, you actually ARE root according to whoami) From here you can type passwd and change the root password. I recommend using something besides “password” but security is up to you. Now you can login to the system as root…simple eh? Now you can say “Bow before me, for I am ROOT!!! Mwahahaha” if you like….enjoy the power


Posted in Administration, General Linux, ubuntu | 6 Comments »