For some time it has irritated me that launching URLs from my terminal would always launch Iceweasel/Firefox, rather than my default browser Chromium. If you’re running KDE or Gnome, then I accept that this would be governed from somewhere in the desktop environment’s control panel or settings, but I run PekWM, and assumed that setting the default browser in update-alternatives should be enough:
# update-alternatives --config x-www-browser
Unfortunately of course many of the applications that I am using are native to KDE or Gnome and probably are still respecting their environment’s settings. In the end it was simply a case of editing:
And adding the following lines:
Now opening links from my terminal is correctly opening a new tab in Chromium, or running Chromium if it isn’t already.
I finally decided to upgrade my work desktop to Debian Squeeze.
Preparing for the Upgrade
I manually removed all but the official lenny repositories (and removed the Debian Volatile repository which is no longer used), and updated them to “squeeze”: Continue Reading
I confess, I like XKCD. Even though some of them are unfunny and others beyond my understanding, sometimes, just sometimes, they strike a chord.
Once I moved to pekwm I found myself with a black plain desktop, what could be better, I thought, than the current XKCD comic in the centre, with the tooltip comment located underneath in an appropriate font.
This Saturday I attended the Surrey Linux User Group meeting held at Sirius in Addlestone. Mike Judd of Akuna Group brought along a number of thin client PCs, along with monitors, keyboards, mice and a switch and set a challenge for attendees to attempt to install Linux on them.
The thin clients were IGEL thin clients with 1GB RAM and 1GB transcend flash card. The RAM is plenty for Linux, so the main challenge was keeping the installation under 1GB, when modern Linux distros are probably 6gb or so.
I decided to try installing a minimal version of Debian, running just the PekWM Window Manager and not much else. This would me the advantage of the enormous Debian repositories, with all the flexibility that this provides.
I have just been recommended to try the “tint2” panel. It looks lovely and minimalist, and has happily taken the kwalletmanager system tray icon; so hopefully will work on my laptop with battery and wireless monitors.
Whilst you’re looking at my screenshot, note the Window grouping between Google Chrome and Iceweasel and the two terminal windows grouped together. The window grouping feature really is very, very handy.
Installing tint2 is simple:
$ sudo apt-get install tint2
And then add tint2 to your
If you need to configure it, then edit
~/.config/tint2/tint2rc; so far I have found the defaults to be okay.
Update: Battery monitor
To get the built in tint2 battery monitor, simply edit
battery = 1
battery_hide = never
Three things I love about pekwm:
- Window grouping: I love the fact that you can middle click on a window’s titlebar and drop it onto another window and the two windows join together – with the titlebar split in segments. You can switch between the applications by clicking on the relevant part of the titlebar, or use the Windows key with TAB – so just as Alt+Tab switches between windows, Windows+Tab switches between the applications grouped inside the current window.
- Double-click to fill available space: I love the fact that you can open an application and just double-click on its titlebar to fill the available space. This feels so intuitive and just so damned right, that I struggle to understand why it is not the standard behaviour in all window managers and desktop environments.
- Clicking on the desktop edge moves you to the next workspace: I’ve never really got on with multiple desktops/workspaces – it is difficult enough to keep track of multiple applications inside a single workspace, but pekwm has converted me. I find it just so intuitive that, by clicking on the edge of the desktop, that it it progresses you to the next desktop.
So what do you love about pekwm?
After my laptop spontaneously switched off on two separate occasions, because I had failed to switch on the mains socket, I decided that something had to be done about the lack of power management in pekwm.
Hunting the ‘net for anything to do with pekwm is a frustrating business. You can’t help thinking that there are only a handful of us that use it. I may post something about why I think pekwm is great, but that is a topic for another day.
As my laptop’s primary desktop environment is KDE, I wanted to use the KDE power management with pekwm, rather than install the Gnome Power Manager, which would bring in a load of Gnome dependencies. If you already have Gnome installed, then I suspect the Gnome Power Manager is for you.
There seem to be three parts to this:
- Getting the power management daemon to run
- Adding a power meter
- Adding the configuration tool to the menu
Whilst these instructions are primarily for pekwm, I am sure that openbox, fluxbox and other *box window managers could use them with a little adjustment.