Archive for the ‘Notes’ Category.

New Desktop

I decided to try a new window manager [1], just because I hadn’t wasted enough time on just fiddling with Conky [2]. I’m not really into a tiling window managers, even though I have plenty of display space (2 1920×1080 monitors). I had been reading in the Arch forums about GOOMWWM [3] (Get Out Of My Way Window Manager) and looking at the goomwwm web page for it[4] made me think that despite its newness, it looked relatively complete, especially with Xinerama [5] support for my dual monitor setup. So I decided to give it a try.

Trying a new window manager isn’t really that big a deal, especially if you are like me and are lazy hardcore enough to not bother to install a login manager like SLiM and just log in to a text terminal and type startx to bring up X. You just change the window manager that gets exec’d at the end of your .xinitc script to be the one you want. So I changed

exec ck-launch-session dbus-launch openbox-session

to be

exec ck-launch-session dbus-launch `which goomwwm`

and off I went! To be honest, I’m not really sure (a) what the “ck-launch-session dbus-launch” part of the command does or (b) if I really need it (as I just copied it from the openbox Arch wiki page), but I left it in there for safety’s sake.

But with nothing set up, it merely brings you to a blank, black screen. And, as I didn’t have ‘dmenu‘ [6] installed (it should be, I think, at least an optional dependency, as it is prominently featured in the GOOMWWM tutorial [7]), I couldn’t really do anything!

So I went back to the command line and installed dmenu and followed the tutorial, and lo, it was good. Window control is a little more painful with the mouse as you have to hold down the Mod key (left Windows key by default) but is a snap with the keyboard, so that’s okay. The concept of tags for windows that correspond to desktops in other window managers again takes some getting used to but works very well in practice. It’s especially nice to be able to bring up a window on another “desktop” by merely clicking on it.

So then I spent way too much time getting things somewhat customized. I still like blue for a desktop color, so I went over to The Paper Wall to find a few interesting wallpapers and settled on a blue forest [8] as my left desktop and a nice waterfront view of Boston [9] as my right desktop.

Then I went a Conky customizing, which is an endless time sink if there ever was one. Luckily, I discovered this great Conky customizing script called ‘conky-colors‘ [10]. Basically, you pass in a few (or more!) parameters and it creates a stock Conky config file with support scripts and everything. I eventually settled on this for a conky-colors command line:

$ conky-colors –cputemp –theme=human –arch –cpu=4 –proc=5 –clementine=vinyl –calendar –nvidia –hd=default –weather=USMA0245 –photord –network –unit=F –clock=modern –side=left

And then I modified away, mostly to just get the right colors (more blue!). That’s the panel on the left side of the right hand screen. It shows system info, a calendar and clock, a random picture from a folder, what my media player (Clementine) is currently playing, and some more system stats.

The I finally found a script that generated a good Conky weather forecast pane in conkywx[11]. There were a few bumps in the road, but I got them ironed out with the help of the author in the Arch forums and now I have a nice weather panel in the lower right.

So now I just need to get used to goomwwm. I like being able to quickly and easily use the keyboard to move and resize the windows, and even fill the blank space. It can behave a little like a tiling window manager, with commands for windows to swap position, share a position, etc, which I haven’t played with much.

It also has a unique idea about “desktops”. You can tag any window with a number between 1 and 9 and then hit Alt-F[1-9] to bring all those windows with that tag number to the front. The others are still there but just behind. So it is easy to assign windows to different tags and swap between them, but you can also use very easily use windows with other tags by just clicking on them. And goomwwm tells other tools (like Conky) that the tag selected is the “desktop”. Works pretty well.


My October screenshots. Click to embiggen.


/lib -> /usr/lib fiasco, more

I just updated an ArchBang VM I have and I ran into, once again, the:

News: The /lib directory becomes a symlink

debacle. Yes, it’s been awhile since I tried updating. My main machine actually updated without a problem (at least until the hard drive died). The “easy way” failed. The “hard way” failed. Finally I just did the verboten -f and broke everything.

But I’m glad to report that not only did the process mentioned below work, it completely cleaned up my VM and now we’re on the straight and narrow, vis-a-vis /usr/lib:

/lib exists in filesystem when installing testing/glibc 2.16.0-2 (Page 1) / [testing] Repo Forum / Arch Linux Forums.

No more Xorg Mousekeys [Solved]

Want mouse key (ie, move mouse via numpad keys)  functionality back? Do what forum user haroldw did:

So, I added following section to /etc/X11/xorg.conf:

Section "InputClass"
Identifier "Logitech Logitech USB Keyboard"
MatchIsKeyboard "yes"
Option "XkbOptions" "keypad:pointerkeys"

via No more Xorg Mousekeys [Solved]

Arch Schwag

You want to financially support Arch Linux but noticed that the Donate page no longer has a way to accept donations? Well, have you bought any Arch Scwhag lately? That is probably the best way to throw money at the Arch project, while getting some cool stuff and advertising your Arch love, all at the same time.

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I bought a very nice t-shirt and coffee mug a few months ago, and am ordering some pens today. The t-shirt looks real nice and is big enough for my daughter to wear as a nightgown!


If you’re an Arch user, be sure to add yourself to the Google Earth ArchMap list! 2 easy steps:

  1. Find your address in Google Maps and right click on it. Select the “What’s Here” option and, in the address bar for Google Maps, you’ll see your decimal coordinates. Copy these.
  2. Edit the ArchMap/List wiki page and add those coordinates at the bottom. That’s it!



Because I had way too much else I was supposed to do, I decided to do none of it, and look into a way of aggregating all the blogs found here on into a “planet”-type page. On this page I wanted to show the latest posts from all the blogs here on

Searching the AUR on “rss” lead me to rawdog. A little long in the tooth, but there were a couple of options in the config that led me to believe it should work. But alas, the two “planet” options didn’t seem to do anything.

So I just happened to notice today that there is already a Planet Arch – did you know there was one? There’s a link on the right sidebar of the Arch Linux homepage for it. A little uneccessary spelunking (as there’s a Colophon section) by looking at the source code led me to the Planet Venus code. Actually, the Colophon is wrong, because Planet Arch doesn’t use the Planet Planet aggregator. The Planet Venus aggregator is a fork of the Planet 2.0 code. So I think I’m glad I just looked at the code for the page and found this at the top of the html:

<meta name="generator" content="" />

So here’s the result: Planet ArchLinux.Me

There’s very little tweaking of the asf theme, but hey, it’s a start. I sent along a note to Crouse to see if maybe he can run this off of the server, but in the meantime, I’ll just update the above page by hand for now.

Hey, you other bloggers – get busy already!

Yet Another Blog

I couldn’t resist. Thanks to crouse I have stated another blog. My love of writing combines with my Arch Linux fanboi tendencies to make having an blog too irresistable.

I’m not really sure what I’m going to do here. It will certainly be Arch Linux focused, but I’m not exactly sure how it will differ from my other blogs. I already have a “technical” blog (Daemon Dancing In The Dark) which I don’t update nearly enough. I have a Linux Tumblr (JD’s Linux Love) where I post little web snippets, because Tumblr’s bookmarklet is really powerful. I’ll probably at least funnel those posts to here.

Otherwise, I’ll keep it Arch focused here. Maybe I’ll post links to interesting forum topics, wiki pages, new software, announcements and the like. Consider it my Arch Linux messy drawer. You know, that drawer in your kitchen that seems to attract all manner of junk, that you keep meaning to clean out, yet always seems to have what you are looking for.