Wednesday, December 28, 2011

always keep tint 2 visible

when maximizing applications.
autohide = 0
autohide_show_timeout = 0.3
autohide_hide_timeout = 2
autohide_height = 2
strut_policy = follow_size

Also interesting and related:
How to set windows up in OB:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Putting your monitor in portrait mode

I have a wonderful HP LP2475W monitor with a pivoting standard:

I wondered if it was easy to use the portrait mode under Linux.

When using proprietary nvidia drivers it is no problem at all:
1. Add the following line to the Device-section for the graphics-card (in /etc/X11/xorg.conf):

Option "RandRRotation" "on"

2. Use these two commands:
xrandr -o 1 Rotate to portrait
xrandr -o 0 Rotate to landscape

3. Add this to rc.xml keybindings to use Openbox keybindings Super + Left (W+ Left) for Portrait and Super + Right back to Landscape Mode

xterm -e "xrandr -o 0"   Screen in Portait Mode
xterm -e "xrandr -o 1" Screen in Landscape Mode

Thanks to this article:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Getting gtk 3.0 themes to work in Openbox

One small glitch I discovered was the lack of GTK3 themes with a corresponding GTK2 alternative and a gtk-engine needed to coherently display the UI for several GNOME applications from the default install such GNOME Character Map, Disk Utility, Transmission. So the latter appear un-themed and rather ugly in comparison to the other GTK applications in the default selection.

I have fixed this cosmetic deficiency by installing gtk-engine-unico (that is needed by most of the GTK3 themes anyway) and a theme that has both a GTK2 and 3 variant. The GTK2 variant can be selected through lxappearance, but in order to make use of the corresponding GTK3 theme, its gtk-3.0 folder should be copied into ~/.config. Please note that lxappearance creates a ~/gtk-3.0 folder that might be a bug in lxappearance 0.5.1 dealing with GTK3 and needs further investigation. I have found that this directory is not utilized in any way and may be safely deleted to keep ~/ clean


see also:

Friday, December 9, 2011

set keyboard to us in openbox

$sudo setxkbmap -layout "us"

setting it alternately from us to british with alt+shift:

setxkbmap -layout "us,gb" -option "grp:alt_shift_toggle"

Thursday, December 1, 2011


When I read in oms blog on FocusWriter I was immediately interested in having a nice quiet workspace for typing. It is in AUR.

When spellchecking it uses the hunspell spell checker. You will have to install the dictionaries you need to be sure, it is active.

So # pacman -S hunspell-eng hunspell-nl

in my case.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How to play DVD menu's with vlc or smplayer

With VLC I can use the menu of a DVD (not all, some protected dvd's won't play).
Open the directory and it will play the menu; I use the arrow keys to select a menu item and enter to start it.
In the playback menu of vlc you can select titles and then the chapters of the dvd.

SMplayer / MPlayer crash, exit code: 127

Errors with mplayer may be related to this:
I had this problem too. Solved it by extracting from
the previous version of x264 in var/cache/pacman/pkg and copying it to /usr/lib/.

The dvd menu in smplayer is activated by shift + arrow up, down left, right and entering or clicking to activate selection.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How to chroot In Arch

Open a terminal and enter root user via su or whichever method you are familiar with and do
as follows:

Run "fdisk -l" in this root term to determine which device the Archbang root partition actually is.

Make the mount point if it does not already exist via "mkdir /mnt/sdxx".
After mount point has been created
Mount this partition like so. "mount /dev/sdxx /mnt/sdxx".

Just an example:
mkdir /mnt/sda5
mount /dev/sda5 /mnt/sda5
that is, if the ArchBang root partition WAS /dev/sda5 as determined via output of fdisk -l shown earlier in post.

After ArchBang partition is mounted, copy resolv.conf to /etc of ArchBang partition via same root term:
"cp -vf /etc/resolv.conf /mnt/sdxx/etc"

Now chroot into the ArchBang partition.
"chroot /mnt/sdxx"

Run "pacman -Sy" and after repos are updated
run "pacman -S packagename_1 packagename_2 packagename_3 packname_etc"
to install all packages needed.
After packages have been installed, type "exit" to exit chroot.

Note that sdxx would be the actual partition device as found via fdisk -l,
and the commands are inside double quotes, do not use the double quotes on command line.

as explained by Kruppt on the Archbang forum

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mount internal drives as a normal user

What I noticed is that devmon isn't able anymore to automount a partition with the line: (sleep 15 && devmon --mount /dev/sda16) &

Maybe this is a solution?

If you want to mount an internal drive in KDE or Gnome (maybe on other Desktop Environments too) as a normal user (without the need to type your superuser password), you just have to create the following file in PolicyKit Local Authority:

[Mount a system-internal device] Identity=* Action=org.freedesktop.udisks.filesystem-mount-system-internal ResultActive=yes 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Problems with consolekit

prevent sda16 from autoloading at start

I have added this to home/paul/.config/openbox/
to launch devmon:
(sleep 5 && devmon --mount sda16) &

But get these errors when doing
unix-user = '1000'
realname = '(null)'
seat = 'Seat2'
session-type = ''
active = FALSE
x11-display = ':0'
x11-display-device = '/dev/tty7'
display-device = ''
remote-host-name = ''
is-local = FALSE
on-since = '2011-11-07T19:18:18.704650Z'
login-session-id = '4294967295'

Note both false values which should be true.
So found this solution at

On Arch Linux (and possibly other distributions), you may need to add these two lines to the file /etc/pam.d/login:

session optional
session optional

You may need to reboot for this change to take effect.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

When gtk 3.0 doesn't look good in some applications

Copying the folder




works fine .

A handful of good gtk2 themes have already been ported to gtk3. Some that immediately come to mind are:

> Elegant Brit
> Zukitwo
> Atolm
> Hope


If Thunar doesn't load partitions or drives

reinstall libgdu:
#pacman -S libgdu

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Decorate and Undecorate Applications in Openbox

with a simple keybinding in /home/username/.config/openbox/rc.xml

keybind key="W-F7"v
vaction name="ToggleDecorations"/v

The V in front turn 90% forwards and at the end 90% backwards

Also in rc.xml:
vapplication class="*"v


Monday, October 31, 2011

How to Make openbox menu transparent -Arch

Remove xcompmgr
#pacman -R xcompmgr

Install xcompmgr-dana:
$packer -S xcompmgr-dana

Add to /home/username/.config/openbox/
xcompmgr -fF -t-5 -l-5 -r4.2 -o.55 -D2 -m.83 &

Thanks Dana for your work on Openbox!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Free ebook for self-service Linux Problem Solving

Read more here:

Educational software

Good introduction article about educational software on the Linux desktop.
Some essential links from it:
The KDE Education Project : To find Linux software check under Education Software on the left side of the page and select the GNU/Linux operating system at the top of the list.


and a link to a pdf file
Kids's Software for Linux

What this article leaves out of its focus is the incredible amount of cross platform educational pages on the web. Many use Java, youtube or flash content. I would like to mention the site as a great example of youtube based content.
JClic as an example as community driven java software.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Copy partitions and correct partition size and empty space

Copied partition sda 11 (30 gb) to a bigger partition sda15 (43gb), both are ext4

#dd if=/dev/sda11 of=/dev/sda15

You have to be patient because dd soesn't give feedback until finished whict took me nearly 56 minutes.

Using sdd -t if=/dev/sda11 of=/dev/sda15 will report total time and show progress.

The bigger partition sda15 is shown with the size of sda11.

Gparted shows the partition with the right total size.
But used 33.75 gb and unused 9.34 gb which is not correct.
The file managers show wrong total size (that of sda11) and the wrong free space too.

I did this:


After shrinking the partition with gparted with 1 gb and then resizing it to its original size the problem is solved and the right information is there for the filemanagers and gparted: 42.4 gb total size and 20.1 gb free.

But the better and easier solution is :

After using dd to clone smaller partition to larger partition:
Run in root term:

resize2fs /dev/sda15

Thanks Kruppt


Saturday, October 15, 2011

daa to iso conversion

Checkout AcetoneISO - a GUI utility for Linux and the disk image emulator that mounts images of DVD and CD media. It can open your .daa file.

Friday, October 14, 2011

When updating to xorg-server 1.11 leads to problems with Nividia driver

For being able to prevent this problem:

First remove all unnecessary video drivers:

Add this line in /etc/pacman.conf:
IgnorePkg = xf86-input-evdev xf86-input-mouse xf86-input-aiptek xf86-input-synaptics xorg-server xorg-server-common xorg-apps xorg-xkb-utils xorg-server-utils xorg-utils synaptics libgl libdrm xorg-res-utils xf86driproto xf86-input-keyboard xkeyboard-config
And update.

When you are too late to prevent it.
When you have to recover do the same with ect/pacman.conf
Move in terminal to /var/cache/pacman/pkg
and do:
pacman -U xorg-server-1.10.4-1*
I do * because I don't know if you have a 64 bits system or not
and reinstall nvidia.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Create Move to Trash for pcmanfm-mod

People who get the creeps if their files are deleted permanently by deleting in a file manager can choose for a right click option Move to Trash folder in the pcmanfm-mod context-menu.

First step: create the script
It is a modification of a volume aware delete script from here
To spare you the work of the modification I put the modified script here:
Copy it to a text editor and save it as del, make it executable
chmod -v 755 /path/tofolder/del

and move it to /usr/bin/.

Second step
Now we can create the right click Move to trash option for pcmanfm-mod

First copy the file /usr/share/applications/pcmanfm-user-f6.desktop to ~/.local/share/applications/
Edit this file in second and third line to:
Name=Move to Trash
Save. Done. When restarting pcmanfm-mod and you right click on a file or folder you want to delete you see the option Move to Trash
Use it and your file will be save in the HOME/.local/share/Trash/files folder.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

When sandfox doesn't close well

  1. Hi I have created the sandfox script in etc/rc.d. And added sandfox as daemon.
    The problem I have is that the sandbox isn’t deleted when shutting down. I have to do it by hand. How could I solve this?

    It is a firefox sandbox and an Arch installation

  • Not sure why it won’t close the sandboxes for you – make sure you close all programs using the sandbox, but during shutdown I would think that would happen already. Sometimes a process will hang on too long.

    You might try adding the close command to /etc/rc.local.shutdown:

        sandfox --closeall --user myuser

    You could run

        lsof | grep sandfox > somefilesomewhere

    in the shutdown script and see if anything is reported running in the sandbox. You might also try logging sandfox with ––verbose enabled and see if that gives any clues. Try to determine a) if the closeall command is executed, b) if any error is given by it.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Remove items from adeskbar applications menu

Start in terminal gmenu-simple-editor
UNcheck the items you don't want to use.
Quit adeskbar and restart.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Since Openbox 3.5 Icons in your openbox right click menu

Since Openbox 3.50 this is possible, icons in your right click openbox menu.
First install openbox-menu from AUR:
packer -S openbox-menu

Read the rest here

Sunday, September 25, 2011

mbr vs guid (gpt)

Problems with MBR

  1. Only 4 primary partitions or 3 primary + 1 extended partitions with many logical partitions can be defined. If you have 3 primary + 1 extended partitions, and you have some free space outside the extended partition area, you cannot create a new partition over that space.
  2. Within the extended partition, the logical partitions meta-data is stored in a linked-list structure. If one link is lost, all the logical partitions following that metadata is lost.
  3. MBR supports only 1 byte partition type codes which leads to many collisions.
  4. MBR stores partition sector information using 32-bit LBA values. This LBA length along with 512 byte sector size (more commonly used) limits the maximum addressable size of the disk to be 2TB. Any space beyond 2TB cannot be defined in a partition if MBR partitioning is used.


Advantages of GPT

  1. Uses GUIDs to identify partition types - No collisions.
  2. Provides a unique disk GUID and partition GUID for each partition - A good filesystem-independent way of referencing partitions and disks.
  3. Minimum of 128 partition table entries - No need for extended and logical partitions.
  4. Uses 64-bit LBA for storing Sector numbers - maximum addressable disk size is 2 ZiB.
  5. Stores a backup header and partition table at the end of the disk that aids in recovery if the main copy is clobbered.
  6. CRC32 checksums to detect errors and corruption of the partition table.
Archlinux provides three bootloaders GRUB-Legacy, GRUB2 and Syslinux. The default bootloader of the Arch Linux installer, GRUB-Legacy, does not support GPT.
GPT specific instructions

GRUB2 in BIOS-GPT configuration requires a BIOS Boot Partition to embed its core.img in the absence of 32 KiB post MBR gap in GPT partitioned systems.

Create a 1 MiB (minimum size - 2 MiB recommended if you use LVM and/or RAID etc.) partition using cgdisk or GNU Parted with no filesystem. The location of the partition in the partition table does not matter but it should be within the first 2 TiB region of the GPT disk. It is advisable to put it somewhere in the beginning of the disk before the /boot partition. Set the partition type to "EF02" in cgdisk or set bios_grub on in GNU Parted.

This partition is used by GRUB2 only in BIOS-GPT setups. No such partition type exists in case of MBR partitioning (at least not for GRUB2). This partition is also not required if the system is UEFI based, as no embedding takes place in that case. Neither GRUB-legacy nor SYSLINUX require this partition.

Note: This partition should be created before grub_bios-install or grub-setup is run or before the Install Bootloader step of the Archlinux installer (if GRUB2 is selected as bootloader).

Comment: more possibilities are 'paid' by a significantly more intricate disk preparation scenario.

Friday, September 23, 2011


With a nvidia videocard it it worthwhile to install mplayer-vdpau-svn:
packer -S nvidia-vdpau-svn
When after an update you get error messages like can't find, you will have to reinstall it so it gets build anew.
Even if it says same build do it anyway because it needs new components.

When you have problems mounting external hard drives -Arch

I use pcmanfm-mod; it works great in mounting external hard drives, partitions.
Other options:
gvfs for thunar:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Nice new Dutch OSS pc webstore

A new webstore for Dutch OSS users:

For instance this desktop for 600 euri:

Het belangrijkste van deze desktop is het lage geluid dat hij produceert wanneer de computer is ingeschakeld is.
Computer kast Cooler Master Midi Tower Silencio 550 ATX, No PSU (zwart)
Aansluitingen voorkant USB3.0 x 1, USB2.0 x 1, Mic x1, Audio x 1, SD card reader x 1
Voeding Be Quiet Pure Power L7 300W
Moederboord Asus P8H67-M EVO B3 iH67, SATA600 RAID, USB3.0
Processor Intel Core i3 2100T 2.50GHz 3MB
Intern geheugen Corsair 2x2GB, DDR3, PC12800, CL9, XMS3
Hardeschijf SSD OCZ SSD 2.5", 40GB, SATA, Vertex 2
Hardeschijf HDD Western Digital Harddisk 3.5" 500gb, SATA600, 7200rpm, WD10EALX
Optical Lite-On DVD-/+/RAM IHAS124-19 24x/24x/12x SATA
Maten (W) 210 x (H) 415.5 x (D) 505.0 mm

Friday, September 2, 2011

What is a pacnew file that shows up after a softwareupdate -Arch

A .pacnew file may be created during a package upgrade (pacman -Syu, pacman -Su or pacman -U) to avoid overwriting a file which already exists and was previously modified by the user. When this happens a message like the following will appear in the output of pacman:

warning: /etc/pam.d/usermod installed as /etc/pam.d/usermod.pacnew


A .pacsave file may be created during a package removal (pacman -R), or by a package upgrade (the package must be removed first). When the pacman database has record that a certain file owned by the package should be backed up it will create a .pacsave file. When this happens pacman outputs a message like the following:

warning: /etc/pam.d/usermod saved as /etc/pam.d/usermod.pacsave

These files require manual intervention from the user and it is good practice to handle them right after every package upgrade or removal. If left unhandled, improper configurations can result in improper function of the software, or the software being unable to run altogether.


locate *.pacnew

to check out what needs manual adaptation

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

problem with nvidia after aptosid update

Got this error: Add --ignoreABI to server
Found solution here
After X failed load with an ABI error following a D-U today I added these three lines to my 20-nividia.conf

Section "ServerFlags"
Option "IgnoreABI" "True"

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Always (dist) upgrade aptosid after first logging out as user
At least once a month you should follow this procedure:

NEVER EVER do a dist-upgrade nor upgrade whilst in X
Always check Current Warnings on the aptosid main web site. The warnings are there for a reason due to the very nature of unstable (Debian sid), which also updates 4 times per day.

Log out of Openbox.
Go to Textmode by doing Ctrl+Alt+F1
logon as root,
and then type:
init 3
apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade
apt-get clean
init 5 && exit

Or first download the necessary files logged in and then upgrade:

apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade -d # download but don't install yet

init 3 (terminal mode)

apt-get dist-upgrade
apt-get clean

NEVER DIST-UPGRADE [or UPGRADE] with adept, synaptic or aptitude

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Install and use openteacher in Arch

More info about this program:

Installation after download: Go to download folder in terminal and do:
#pacman -U openteacher-2.0-1-any.pkg.tar.xz
Go as root to usr/bin/ , open openteacher with leafpad or alike and change
It will work now

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Change slim login background image

copy (as root) any background you like to /usr/share/slim/themes/archbang
make sure your picture is named background.png or it won't work.

If you like another theme just copy (as root) any theme folder to /usr/share/slim/themes

2. edit /etc/slim.conf
edit current_theme to your new theme

then logout to check

Monday, August 8, 2011

Integrate adesk-menu in tint2


All you need is the single page menu script and a .desktop pointing to it.
Here is the code for the menu script:

and here is the .desktop file.

[Desktop Entry]


Make the menu script executable and move it to /usr/bin "sudo chmod +x adesk-menu2 && sudo mv adesk-menu2 /usr/bin/"
After that put the .desktop file somewhere like ~/.scripts and point tint2 to it. After that you should be good to go. By default the menu opens in the top left corner of the screen. If you need to adjust where
the menu opens edit line 369 in the script.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mate, gnome 2 fork

Started by Perburus this gnome2 fork:
Very laudable enterprise.

How to edit xinitrc:
exec ck-launch-session mate-session

Friday, July 8, 2011

Setting time in Arch

pacman -Qo /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/Amsterdam
/usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/Amsterdam is owned by tzdata 2011g-1

And set date and time in terminal:
date 07081306
Fri Jul 8 13:06:00 CEST 2011

Start time service:# ntpd -s -d
Hardware clock is set in etc/rc.conf

Friday, June 24, 2011


pstree - Shows the process tree for the current user.


“pstree” can be used for system administration tasks. Like, if you wish to see which process was started by what program, then this command will be useful.

Syntax: pstree [OPTIONS] [PID] [USER]


$ pstree # Shows all running processes for the current user
$ pstree 2747 # Shows the process tree for the pid specified

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Another reason for the init: Id "x" respawning too fast-error

A user in the AB forum noted this solution for this problem:chmod /tmp to 1777 and reinstall xkbcomp.
So no write permissions to the /tmp and no setup file for his keyboard, probably a non-US layout. But how can it be that you have no write permissions to your /tmp file?

Autologin in Aptosid

What I really find difficult to get used to in Aptosid that you can't find easily text files in which you can change things easily: in arch you change the # for two lines *delete one and add one) in etc/inittab and you are done.
In Aptosid you have to use gdemsetup as root; go to login window preferences, tab security and check the box automatic login and choose the user.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Change computer name in Arch

Change computer name: got as root to etc/rc.conf
Edit it with your fav text editor:
HOSTNAME="archbang" to

If you have configured your hosts file (also in /etc) and it is different from the default: localhost.localdomain localhost

you might to have to adapt that to the new settings.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

gnome 3 video on Fedora 15

Just skip the first five minutes, which is not so interesting:

Saturday, May 14, 2011

ob-autostart gives simple GUI start up editor for openbox

Gives you a interface for editing openbox

Trying to save some of AdComps work now his site is down.
I put up this script here:

Howto :
* download script
* chmod
* copy to /usr/local/bin

And add this as first line to .config/openbox/

ob-autostart -d &

Thursday, May 12, 2011

install adeskbar or adeskmenu

AdComp , one of my fav programmers, who made adesk-menu, adeskbar and madbox has disappeared from the internet radar; his site is down.
Lets hope this will be only a temporarily loss.
Try adeskmenu: info:
and install instructions:
after download extract and put it as root in /usr/bin/
make it executable: sudo chmod a+x /usr/bin/adesk-menu
Edit with leafpad /home/user/.config/openbox/
add this line: adesk-menu &
Restart openbox or reboot and it will show up on the right in your taskbar.
In this scenario you also have to put the two png files in the same folder; if you don't like that , you can put it in a folder adesk-menu with the two images in it in usr/share and make a symbolic link to usr/bin: ln -s /usr/share/adesk-menu/adesk-menu /usr/bin/adesk-menu

I used it in tint before using adeskbar, that is the finest, unobtrusive dock and menu you can think of. (versie4.2)

Versie 4.3 in deb: deb conversion:

If you have problems starting it:
Simply edit the first line of /usr/bin/adeskbar file

Monday, May 9, 2011

Moonlight voor Uitzendinggemist of Cultura in Firefox/Chrome

How to activate Moonlight 2.0 in google-chrome?
Just extract the contents of the plugins folder in the .xpi archive ( to /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/. I just tried it and it works.
On another installation I had to put it in /home/user/.mozilla/plugins/moonlight/
I had to install the codecs as root via sudo firefox

Most of the time gecko-mediaplayer will be a good alternative if you don't want to use closed, propriety software.
sudo pacman -S gecko-mediaplayer

Thursday, April 28, 2011

How about Windowmanager hopping instead of distro hopping? Try Pekwm

Sometimes it is all so nice and quiet on using your AB install that you might get restless and want to discover new ways of doing things.
Instead of distro hopping, exploring different window managers might be a good option.
There is a lot of options and choices to discover and it broadens your view what is possible in the look and feel of your OS. We forget about the obvious KDE an GNOME, Compiz, XFCE or LDXE and even E17 (see Bodhi linux if you want to explore Enlightenment); go and explore the more lightweight and configurable options.
Basically the choice is between floating or stacking window managers and tiling window managers although a combination of the two is also possible. See ]

Tiling window managers provide a dashboard of applications and are good for overview; have a great geek factor but personally I like to have as less visual clutter as possible.
I works nearly always with one window full screen. So floating window managers are my thing. I am especially interested in small solutions like Pekwm


When you want to experiment with new window managers you might want to use a separate install of AB, so you won't risk or lose your production pc when you have an off day. A simpler way is to create a new user and login as that user.

# adduser

adduser asks common questions about the user with sane defaults and constructs a useradd command to run. It also sets the password and changes finger information.

Install a login with session choice

To use different window managers is is handy to be able to change the session; I install gdm: #pacman -S gdm.
To make the graphical login the default method of logging into the system, edit your /etc/inittab file

Choose x:5:respawn:/usr/sbin/gdm -nodaemon to login and edit out with # the present login method.

Installing a new window manager

Lets take the example of Pekwm: pacman -S pekwm
After that you reboot choose the pekwm session in the gdm login and the configuration file will be made in /home/user/.pekwm
Now we can go and have a look at the specific possibilities of pekwm
If you have a new window manager installed, you will also need to add a line to the file /home/user/.xinitrc: exec pekwm

Now can we go and learn about the specifics of pekwm.
And check out what others have done with it:
Two aspects are important to me: keyboard control:
A speciality of pekwm is the chainbindings:

PeKwm support keybindings & 'chain bindings' which means that you can execute a script/apps with a keybinding (like in openbox) but you can also use 'keychain': ie you press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[M](for Menu), then release , then when you press [R] and you've got the RootMenu, if you press [W], you've got WindowMenu...

Another special and very useful feature is the window grouping which can be compared to tabbed and bound windows.
Arch wiki on Pekwm: ]

I installed menumaker to get a accurate menu but that didn't work out too well. But editing by hand is not too difficult:
the menu file is ~/.pekwm/menu. The syntax for the menu file is fairly straightforward. A simple entry has the following structure:

Entry = "NAME" { Actions = "Exec COMMAND &" }

A submenu has the following syntax:

Submenu = "NAME" {
Entry = "NAME" { Actions = "Exec COMMAND &" }
Entry = "NAME" { Actions = "Exec COMMAND &" }

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Using the keyboard in PEKWM

Pekwm allows excellent keyboard control of your window management. Lets try it out a bit. If you don't have the windows key on your keyboard, please see ~/.pekwm/keys for the keychains you can use to do the same and a lot more.

Moving and Resizing windows. --> special MoveResize state. This happens by pressing Mod4+Enter. The window should after this be movable by using the arrow keys. To resize, press Mod4(=Super or Windows key) and use the arrows. Using the Shift-key with these actions makes them be careful. To accept the new size and position, press Enter. To fail back to the old position and size press Escape.

Minimizing. Press Mod4+I. Mod4+Shift+I pops up the icon menu you can use to bring it back.

Shading. This is to hide most of the window, leaving only the titlebar visible. Press Mod4+S to toggle the shaded state.

Maximizing. Mod4+M toggles the maximized state.

Filling (making a window grow as big as it can in the space it has around it). Press Mod4+G to make windows grow to fit.

Fullscreen. Press Mod4+F to toggle the fullscreen state.

Moving between frames. Press Mod1(=Alt)+Tab and Mod1+Shift+Tab to move between frames. Or use Mod1+Ctrl+Tab and Mod1+Ctrl+Shift+Tab to move between most recently used frames. You can also use directional focusing. Press Mod4 and one of the arrow keys. The focus should change to the frame that is in the direction you pointed to. Try it out.

Moving inside frames. Press Mod4+Tab and Mod4+Shift+Tab to move between the clients in a frame.

Closing. Press Mod4+Q to close windows.

Grouping. The easiest way to group is to use marking. You select clients you want to group to another frame by toggling them marked with Mod4+Z. You can have as many marked clients as you wish. Then go to the frame you want those now marked clients to be attached and press Mod4+A. That's it.

Menus. There are some simple menu bindings. Mod4+R shows your main menu (the Root menu). Mod4+L shows a list of your active windows (the Goto menu). Mod4+C shows a list of all your open windows (the Goto menu). Mod4+W brings up the Window menu. And Mod4+Shift+I the Icon menu.

Those were the basics. There's a ton more. See the rest of the documentation for rest of the simple bindings and ~/.pekwm/keys for a list of the keychains. And again, if you hated something, go ahead and edit it.
source: here and here

If Archbang mirror is still present after pacman update

you get this error: could not open file /var/lib/pacman/sync/archbang.db: Failed to open '/var/lib/pacman/sync/archbang.db'
This is because there is a new sort of database in pacman 3.5.
The solution is to comment out the archbang repo in etc/pacman.conf with #

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New version of FVWM released

I'm really totally into Openbox as very user friendly and easy to configure window manager. But sometimes the adventure calls, for instance when you see a new version of FVWM announced: This is really exotic, but seems quite useful; see the Arch Wiki:
Amazing screenshots:

And ready made config files are downloadable on

Also see on youtube:

Starterkit here

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Error resizing ntfs partition with gparted

Not only with ntfs but also with ext3 and ext 4 ther seem to be probelms when resizing your partiton. Always backup you data.
The error you get is:
ERROR: Current NTFS volume size is bigger than the device size!

When you go to the parted forum you will be very well guided to solve the problem though.
And so this didn't lead to data loss for me.
Just stay cool and don't start deleting partitions in your panic.
See for details:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Howto change root password

Change root and use the passwd command, or erase the password field entry. Any Linux capable LiveCD can be used, albeit to change root it must match your installed architecture type.
Change Root

Boot the LiveCD, and change root.
Use the passwd command to reset your root password.
Exit change root.
Reboot, and remember your password.

Howto chroot:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Trying Aptosid is a mixed experience

Stimulated by IgnorantGuru's blog I decided to try out Aptosid.
Install went well. One strange error in the grub file: a wrong uuid was mentioned, which I happily discoverd before rebooting.
With blkid I could find the right one.

Nice login theme that I lost however with the first system upgrade.
What you do todo a system upgrade?
apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade -d # download but don't install yet
init 3 (terminal mode)
apt-get dist-upgrade
apt-get clean
Then reboot.
Because of dependency problems a lot of progs have problems. I couldn't install adeskbar ( problem with python-gtk2; python-gtk2 : Depends: python-numpy (< 1:1.5) but 1:1.5.1-2 is to be installed
E: Broken packages).
I solved this by updating the mirrors in etc/apt/sources.list.d/debian.list s
New list looks like this:
deb sid main
deb unstable main contrib non-free
deb sid main contrib non-free
deb sid main fix.main
deb sid main

I couldn't install pcmanfm-mod in a ordinary way.
My home configuration openbox were not so useful as I had hoped.
Nitrogen was busted after the first update: GdkPixbuf-WARNING **: Cannot open pixbuf loader module file '/usr/lib/gdk-pixbuf-2.0/2.10.0/loaders.cache

It worked later but then nvidia kernel built was corrupt and had to go back to fallback kernel, etc. In short lots of issues

The openbox shortcut for the Superkey doesn't work:solution:
change in /etc/default/keyboard is more system-wide and permanent.
# change:

# to:

Finetuning Font Settings:

As root:
dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig-config

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Why and how to block JavaScript on your email account


The JavaScript Trap

When you visit a website such as Gmail, your browser will download and run several thousand lines of JavaScript code. JavaScript code is no different to languages like Python, C++ or Ruby — applications written in those languages running on our computers should be free software, so we can run, modify and share them if we wish. JavaScript today is not the JavaScript of the past — it is now used to write powerful, server-side applications thanks to free software like Node.js and the V8 JavaScript engine.

Further, we've recently seen companies such as Research In Motion (makers of the Blackberry) advising customers to entirely disable JavaScript in the WebKit browser on its devices because of a security problem that was discovered. While free software JavaScript can have security problems too, this example illustrates that we have a real need to be able to see what the code we're running on our computers is actually doing, and change it.


Howto do it:

1. select "Basic HTML" at the bottom of any screen in your Gmail account.

2. Set basic html as default view

3. use No script to block javascript on the site

Or use a desktop email client with imap enabled and pop disabled; this will keep your data on the Google internet server.

More details:

Monday, March 28, 2011

More privacy when on internet

1. Use a search engine that respects your privacy for instance DuckDockGo.
In August 2010 Duck Duck Go introduced anonymous searching, including an exit enclave, for its search engine traffic using Tor. This allows anonymity by routing traffic through a series of encrypted relays. Weinberg stated: "I believe this fits right in line with our privacy policy. Using Tor and DDG, you can now be end to end anonymous with your searching. And if you use our encrypted homepage, you can be end to end encrypted as well."

2. Use HTTPS Everywhere

HTTPS Everywhere is a Firefox extension produced as a collaboration between The Tor Project and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. It encrypts your communications with a number of major websites.

Many sites on the web offer some limited support for encryption over HTTPS, but make it difficult to use. For instance, they may default to unencrypted HTTP, or fill encrypted pages with links that go back to the unencrypted site.

3. Use TOR The Tor software protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location, and it lets you access sites which are blocked.

For Arch:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dependency problems with pacman3.5.1

With the new pacman 3.5.1. I had to remove a lot of pacman helpers: sudo powerpill -R bigpkg package-query perl-xyne-arch bauerbill powerpill rebase reflector.
This will probably fixed soon. Today the new firefox 4 was in the Arch reps.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Create partition backup using SystemRescueCD and FSArchiver

SystemRescueCD provides different backup and recover solutions.
What I want to do is backup a partition to a special backup partition.
Scenario is that I want to backup my Arch install on partition sda11 to the backup partition on sda12.
After downloading and burning the SystemRescueCD.
I start it up; I choose for the graphical environment to have firefox as tool the find my commands or search for necessary info.
I will use FSArchiver to make the image.

Preparing the target
After starting up the terminal I do: mkdir /mnt/backup
I make a mount point for the backup partition; this is not needed as the mount point was already created.
Now I mount the backup partition to the mount point: mount /dev/sda12 /mnt/backup
Now I can make the backup:
fsarchiver savefs -j2 -o /mnt/backup/archma11.fsa /dev/sda11

The -j2 -o option is for dual core processors to make it a bit quicker.

When ready you get this kind of feedback :
Statistics for filesystem 0
* files successfully processed:....regfiles=261239, directories=23462, symlinks=29814, hardlinks=2661, specials=28
* files with errors:...............regfiles=0, directories=0, symlinks=0, hardlinks=0, specials=0

To restore it;
I will first have to mount the restore partition: mount /dev/sda12 /mnt/backup

And then I can do:
fsarchiver restfs /mnt/backup/backupname.fsa id=0,dest=/dev/sda11

Adapt backupname and partition.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Undelete deleted files on NTFS partition or HD

ntfsundelete (belonging to ntfsprogs) makes it possible to do this from Linux.

ntfsundelete -h for help
ntfsundelete -s, --scan
Search through an NTFS volume and print a list of files that
could be recovered. This is the default action of ntfsun‐
delete. This list can be filtered by filename, size, percent‐
age recoverable or last modification time, using the --match,
--size, --percent and --time options, respectively.

The output of scan will be:

Inode Flags % age Date Size Filename
6038 FN.. 93% 2002-07-17 26629 thesis.doc

│Flag Description │
│F/D File/Directory │
│N/R (Non-)Resident data stream │
│C/E Compressed/Encrypted data stream


Look for deleted files on /dev/hda1.

ntfsundelete /dev/hda1

Look for deleted documents on /dev/hda1.

ntfsundelete /dev/hda1 -s -m '*.doc'

Look for deleted files between 5000 and 6000000 bytes, with at least
90% of the data recoverable, on /dev/hda1.

ntfsundelete /dev/hda1 -S 5k-6m -p 90

Look for deleted files altered in the last two days

ntfsundelete /dev/hda1 -t 2d

Undelete inodes 2, 5 and 100 to 131 of device /dev/sda1

ntfsundelete /dev/sda1 -u -i 2,5,100-131

Undelete inode number 3689, call the file 'work.doc' and put it in the
user's home directory.

ntfsundelete /dev/hda1 -u -i 3689 -o work.doc -d ~

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Run firefox in a sandbox for more security

Why run Firefox or other programs in a sandbox? In the Firefox example, there are many components running: Java, Flash, and third-party plugins. All of these can open vulnerabilities due to bugs and malicious code; under certain circumstances these components can run anything on your computer and can access, modify, and delete your files. It’s nice to know that when such vulnerabilities are exploited, these components can only see and access a limited subset of your files.

For example, to build a sandbox for Firefox and start Firefox running in the sandbox, close all running windows of Firefox, then:

sudo sandfox firefox
Sandfox has a default profile for Firefox, so it will automatically load that profile. The profile tells Sandfox how to build a sandbox which provides the system and user folders that Firefox requires. (For full functionality of your version of Firefox, you may want to edit this profile to add more folders and files. The profile is stored in /etc/sandfox/firefox.profile.

More info:

Friday, March 4, 2011

Deluge permission problems storing to ntfs drive

I'm storing my torrent downloads to a NTFS drive.
Regularly I 'm facing permission problems to leads to problems restarting the downloads or accessing the drive by Deluge.
I found out the default user for deluge is deluge.
I added deluge to the storage group hoping this will solve the problem.
gpasswd -a deluge storage

We'll see.

Test your hd speed

sudo hdparm -t --direct /dev/sda

Timing O_DIRECT disk reads: 314 MB in 3.02 seconds = 104.13 MB/sec


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pilaunch Dmenu like starter

Set up the new app pilaunch

It is a dmenu like program/web/music/terminal starter

Possibilities: keywords-- these will only be activated by typing them in, followed by a space
calculator = "c" #"calc"
web = "u" #"url"
websearch = "w" #"web"
sudo = "su"
term = "t" #"term" #bring up a new terminal running it
music = "m" #"music" #support for mpd

I have linked it in rx.xml to super+i .

Configuration of mpd:
Because I have set up mpd in root and in etc/mpd.conf to have access to a ntfs partition.

I edited /usr/share/pilaunch/

with mpd = False to mpd = True
and changed mpdcon = {'host':"/home/$USER/.mpd/socket", 'port':"6600"} to
mpdcon = {'host':"localhost", 'port':"6600"}

Keys for music:

"delete" key removes all from playlist
"end" key removes selected song from playlist
"tab" key switches between "playlist", "option", and "artists"
Left arrow and right arrow move between playlist, selected artist, selected album, and individual tracks.
e.g. if "lady gaga" is highlighted, hitting right will reveal her albums, hitting right again will show highlighted album's tracks. Left in reverse.
"enter" key adds selected to end of playlist, or if in playlist, plays song.

Configuration of apps in the same file:

#desktop defaults
browser = "firefox"
searchengine = ""
editor = "leafpad"
path = os.path.expandvars("$PATH") # + ":/home/paul/.scripts
terminal = "lxterminal"

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Paccheck tools to control mirrors

There is a serious security issue regarding pacman mirros.

A partial solution is paccheck.
Install: packer -S paccheck
Use: first synchronize mirrors: sudo pacman -Sy
Then: paccheck --install abc xyz

This will install package abc and xyz and their dependencies, check only those targets (including full mirror compare if configured), and offer to install them. Be sure to read the report to determine if installation is indicated.

How to do a general update with paccheck

When you do paccheck the command pacman -Sy is forwarded to the terminal and the mirrors are checked; when you don't get a warning, - look at the terminal output, you can let it go on; it will go on with pacman -Su ; when you see warnings you have to stop the update manually; fastest way is to close terminal window.
If you did this (stop the update) and want to go on anyway you will have to remove /var/lib/pacman/db.lck to be able to continue.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Wakka new GTKPacman wrapper like Synaptic

This gives a nice user interface for exploring Pacman installed etc; something like Synaptic. If'you use it for installing ,open the terminal feedback window by clicking on the little triangle
Download here:
On the Arch forum:

Use go to the folder where located in terminal and do: sudo python2 wakka

What I miss is the size of the files to be installed.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Make room with pkgcacheclean in Arch

All installed packages will be cached in /var/cache/pacman/pkg
If you look in this cache you will be surprised to find as much as four or five versions of the same program.
If you want to make room than it is useful to purge the cache of too many versions of the same program with pkgcacheclean:
Do as root: #pkgcacheclean -v 
to actually do it.
Usage: pkgcacheclean [options] [number]
The default number is 2. That means, for all installed packages, the currently used version and the newest of the remaining cache is retained. All caches of not-installed packages are removed.
Currently, supported options only includes -v/--verbose, -q/--quiet, -n/--dry-run, -k/--all-as-installed.
more info 

Friday, February 18, 2011

When you miss xorg.conf as a configuration tool

Now most drivers are administered with udev the xorg.conf is not default present in your install anymore.
Still you can get your xorg.conf back for instance if udev can't work for you in getting the correct driver to work or you cannot set the screen resolution you want.

You have to add hal as a daemon in rc.conf
Notice this when doing so:
Edit as root /etc/rc.conf
especially the last daemon line
Make sure you DON'T have dbus in your daemons line if you have hal in it. I stopped dbus by putting an exclamation mark before it: !dbus
hal will start dbus as well.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bad fonts in Chromium?

Use a custom font:
Go to Pref Under the hood and specify a different font.
I use Verdana. It works for me.
For managing fonts I recommend fontmatrix.

A lots of people seem to have this issue: … l?id=29871 comment 48 step 3 seems to provide a solution:
Create a ~/.gtkrc-2.0.mine file in your home directory with the following content:
gtk-xft-hinting = 1
gtk-xft-hintstyle = hintfull
gtk-xft-rgba = rgb

Step4: Restart your X server (for e.g. do a Logout)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Problem: username is not in the sudoers file

1.You can use su
give root password and you work as root.

2. How to configure sudo, under header configuration on this page:

Some Linux theory: su compared to sudo
The sudo solution is a different way of granting permission.
The reason sudo is sometimes considered superior to su is that it allows privilege escalation based on the user’s own identity, and most importantly does not require use of a shared password. Using su to access a privileged account requires distribution of a password to an admin-capable account, a security weakness that sudo does not have. Sudo is considered less secure for the same reason - it eliminates the two factor authentication that would otherwise be required to "get root" (or become the administrator. A more secure alternative would require a second, but per-user, password instead of using the user's own password.

sudo executes a command as another user but observes a set of constraints about which users can execute which commands as which other users (generally in a configuration file named /etc/sudoers, best editable by the command visudo). Unlike su, sudo authenticates users against their own password rather than that of the target user (to allow the delegation of specific commands to specific users on specific hosts without sharing passwords among them and while mitigating the risk of any unattended terminals).

Some Unix-like systems have a wheel group of users, and only allow these users to su to root.[2] This may or may not mitigate these security concerns, since an intruder might first simply break into one of those accounts.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

When you have difficulty with oblogout

before i used the zenity script to do that job i also used oblogout and had the same problem after the update, try the follwing:

- open /etc/oblogout.conf as root

- settings must look like this

usehal = false

source barchi

This may be useful, when you don't have hal installed or active.
In my configuration oblogout works well with usehal=true

The zenity script is a very useful and low resource exit script for open box that doesn't need hal (thanks xunil for the tip:

Zenity Exit / Shutdown Script for Openbox

Finally got around to doing this.

Use the zip file included at the bottom, as all the double hyphens get lost on this blog.
Also, depending on with version of zenity you have (e.g. on Debian Squeeze / #!-10), you may need to remove the “- - no-cancel” options in the second half of the script.


Or on aur pastebin:

When you forgot to add auser during install Arch

Creating a user and giving a root password is part of the install.
I suppose you oversaw it.
Here is the solution:
User management

Local user information is stored in the /etc/passwd file. To list all user accounts on the system:

# cat /etc/passwd

To list users currently logged on the system, the who command can be used.

To add a new user, use the useradd command:

# useradd -g users -G group1,group2{,...} -m USERNAME

This command will create a new user named USERNAME belonging to the users group (GID 100 by default) and the specified supplementary groups. Groups are discussed below, and must be comma-separated.

For more advanced uses of useradd, type:

$ man useradd

To specify the user's password, type:

# passwd USERNAME

A guided tool is available for adding users:

# adduser

adduser asks common questions about the user with sane defaults and constructs a useradd command to run. It also sets the password and changes finger information.


when you create a user, and use the -m flag, the files in /etc/skel are placed in the home directory.

here is an example for creating a user who is in the most common groups:

useradd -g users -G users, wheel, hal, network, video, audio, optical, storage, power -m USERNAME

after using this command in terminal, you can go to the file "/etc/group" and open it with leafpad, now you can see all the groups of the system and which users are in these groups.


how to blacklist an unwanted module

Mostly in connection to a wireless card it is necessary to block some modules in the kernel to overcome kernel panic:

Note: Some people experienced random kernel panic with the new 2.6.37 because they forgot to blacklist some modules that normally had to be disabled for their Broadcom wireless card. See the wiki.
The thing is many wireless drivers are included with this new kernel so your wireless card will most likely work right away but you still have to be careful (at least for Broadcom users). If you get a kernel panic and your wireless card gets disabled, your system
might freeze with a black screen everytime until you enable your wireless card again through windoze or something else). If you used to install broadcom-wl for your wifi card, you should still install it (to be sure your wifi card works perfectly and to have a blue LED rather than a RED one)
It occured to me so I know

Blacklist the unwanted module on the MODULES= line by prefixing it with a bang (!) in /etc/rc.conf.
MODULES=(!ath5k !rt2860sta forcedeth snd_intel8x0 ... ...)

install Archbang on USB drive from windows

You of course can do using a live CD
If you want to install from usb, don't use unetbootin but run the following command "sudo dd if=ArchBang_Symbiosis-2011.01.24-i686.iso of=/dev/YourUsbDevice bs=8M". Type fdisk -l to see your list of devices (your usb stick is probably /dev/sdb)

If you use unetbootin this is a workaround according to a forum member of AB>
When you get the "Wait 30sec for device 'ARCH-20XXXX'" Error or so, try to name the device exactly this way under Windows.
Then unetbootin and every other method should work fine.

The universal USB Installer from Pendrive seems to work out of the box:

Arch set the keyboard to german or french

Press ALT+F2 and type: setxkbmap de
or setxkbmap fr

To enable locale
To enable or disable them, the file /etc/locale.gen is used. It contains every locale you can enable, and you have just to uncomment lines you want to do so.

So #pt_BR.UTF-8 UTF-8
becomes pt_BR.UTF-8 UTF-8
Remove the # before the locale.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

fun type weblinks

type shooter: thanks to awebb on the crunchbang forum

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hunspell solves spell checker problems in LibreOffice

Had problems with spell-checking in LibreOffice.
Installing hunspell and hunspell-en and hunspell-nl (Dutch language pack solved this for me.
sudo pacman -S hunspell hunspell-en hunspell-nl

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ratpoison some essential info

Ratpoison kills your mouse; that aspect of it I really like.
But it is difficult to get used to it and even to get it working:
This review explains it very clearly:

More info

Found this review about the basics of Ratpoison:

What is interesting is to me that is is a mouseless window manager.
What I don't like about it is, that it is a tiling wm.
I like to see one application at a time.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

show all image files of a folder with feh

This was added to the FEH Wiki two days ago and I like it.

You get a new addition in the context menu of thunar.

First make the script by putting this code ( a text file and making executable.
Put it in a desired place.
Go in thunar to Edit, Create Custom actions and add in the command something like:
home/paul/Scripts/feh_thunar_images %f -F -Z

Adapt place and user name of course.
Give it a name: browse images with feh
and a description: shows all images in a folder.
And of course be sure you have feh installed.

wicd sometimes won't connect;hosts file ctkarch changed

Sometimes wicd works in ctkarch sometimes it don't.
As it is working is all my other installation I figue it must be a configuratio issue
Changed localhost.localdomain localhost ctkarch

to paul.localdomain localhost paul

Sunday, January 30, 2011

How to create a custom search plugin for Arch Wiki and Forum

See this post:

Or get the code directly from here.

Firefox Add on creator for Arch wiki and forum is found in that post.
Click on the OpenSearch plug-in ArchWikiGoogle Toolbar button
And click on the OpenSearch plug-in ArchForum button to install.

After downloading it is put in ./.mozilla/firefox/XXX.default/searchplugins.
There you can customize it,if you want.
If you don't have this folder you only have the default search engines and you have to create it.
The best way to do that is by installing the Duckduckgo search engine (and use, it's excellent).

There is another way do sudo pacman -S arch-firefox-search
This is far more easy

Cairo Composite Window Manager

On the Archbang blog some was full of enthusiasm about the cairo-compmgr the cairo composite manager that give you a more lively window behaviour. It works well and especially the mosaic (« exposé ») plugin that you can activate with Tab keys is very neat. Bit I don't need all this bling; but it is nice to know that openbox can have a more luxurious form.

It also has a magnifier build in:

To start simply activate the plugin in the preferences :


and press simultaneously on F12 to launch it.

Friday, January 28, 2011

If a theme doesn't show up in lxappearance

You have 2 tools to configure the look and feel of Openbox : in the preferences of the openbox menu the gui config tool (Obconfig) and User Interface Settings (lxappearance) under Preferences.
If your desired theme doesn't show up in the latter, put it in /home/user/.themes and it will be found and can be activated. The smae with icons; create a folder .icons and install/put icons there.

After install Archbang 2011.1 Symbiosis -what is needed what is nice?

First I want to update; pacman didn't work so I thought the repositories were uncommented in /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist. I had to sync with pacman -Syy.
After an update of pacman I installed powerpill for quick updating. Then updated with pacman -Syyu.
Symbiosis comes with thunar. As I use single click for opening folders and this option wasn't kept in Thunar as a preference I installed pcmanfm.
In fact I prefer pcmanfm-mod but I also install the basic pcmanfm. The reason I use pcmanfm-mod is that all my other partitions are always shown and easily mounted. It is in AUR.

On the forum I read that packer in which you build pcmanfm-mod was missing fakeroot and patch as dependencies in the default Symbiosis; so installed that. To build pcmanfm-mod I also needed gcc (C compiler), pkg-config and make. You get all the needed build tools in once by doing sudo pacman -S base-devel

You can get all this with pacman -S base-devel .
(Another issue I had is the incompability of fam and gamin; gamin is newer and replaces fam and includes it; had to remove fam and thunar-vfs to be able to install gamin).

With packer I also installed adeskbar and my own self made openbox-madpablo-theme. I put Adeskbar on top in autohide and moved tint2 to the bottom.

Multimedia: vlc (a pity it pulls the qt deps) and minitube. (built with packer).
Create a symbloic link from my media on the ntfs drive to my home video folder
sudo ln -s /media/Backup/VIDEOS /home/paul/videos
Idem for music files.

For versatility: python 2, gksu.

Then I add my keybindings for manipulating windows to /home/user/.config/openbox/ rc.xml.

I installed Firefox, with Adblock plus, Evernote, Xmarks, DuckDuckGo as search engine plugin, dictionaries for spell checking and the most important addon text-area cache that backups everything I type in Firefox and proved a life saver on many occasions. This last add on would already be enough to keep using Firefox. But I drift away from my main topic.Link

Install libreoffice (pulls openjdk) and libreoffice-nl.

Manage groups, add group burning (groupadd burning) and user (gpasswd -a paul burning)
to it.

to be continued

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Creating a hidden Linux installation

You have a Windows pc maybe somewhat older; wife and kids are using it, and don't want to migrate to Linux; but you hate waiting endlessly till updates and virus checkers an all other bloat has finished and you want to be able to quickly boot up and access internet for example.
You want a Linux install but you don't want to present them a grub menu, even with autoboot in Windows.

If they don't mind seeing and waiting for the grub menu to pass by:
Auto-boot in Windows with grub:
# By default, boot the first entry.
default 0

#sets the delay for mounting in seconds
timeout 3

## hiddenmenu
# Hides the menu by default (press ESC to see the menu)

# Fallback to the second entry.
fallback 1

# (0)Windows XP
title Windows XP
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader +1

# (1) Arch Linux
title ArchBang Linux
root (hd0,7)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz26 root=/dev/sda8 ro noresume
initrd /boot/kernel26.img

You can set the grub delay; with timeout you can influence how long the menu is shown in seconds.

Hiddenmenu the simple option to hide grub

but you overwrite the MBR, the master boot record (more on that below).
As you see you also have the option hiddenmenu that you activate by editing out the # before hiddenmenu (third line). You will have to time exactly when pressing the ESC key to reach your Linux installation, when Windows is the default boot.
You will see a notification that grub is loaded and that you have to press the escape key to load the menu.
By making the timeout very short (2-3 seconds) you can also make this almost hidden too. Or use grub with 0 sec timeout and hold shift when booting for getting the grub menu.
When we want to hide it altogether and leave the mbr untouched, we have to find another way to reach the grub menu. How to arrange that , I'll show below.
But I will already reveal how we are going to do that. We will use a CDROM with the supergrub disk on it.
Hermans dual boot page explains the functionality of the supergrub disk better than I can.

Note that partition sda8 is (hd0,7).

Note further that the first entry in the menu.l st is 0 zero and the second1, etc. When I declare 1 to default, it means that the second entry in the menulist will be the default system, that is loaded without intervention or making a choice with the up/down arrow keys. This order is not corresponding to the order of partitions or so. If you put a Linux or a window distro the first entry in the menu.lst is also of no relevance as long as a default number is mentioned in the menu.lst.

Preparing the Hard Disk
I will write about a XP install.
Don't use this method on win 7: there you need the native Win 7 partition tool to shrink D see this and this post .

The backup data on D can be easily stored on a external hard drive, if you haven't enough space left. So first make D as empty as you can, move files, delete obsolete ones. Remember you will need at least 20 % free space on D after you have made D smaller. After the big cleanup do the defragmentation of D.

So you defragmented your partitions; especially the partition you want to resize. I use the free tool Auslogics Defragment for this task (don't choose the right option Bootspeed; that you will have to pay).
You will need at least 10 gb hard disk space. Optimal double the size of your memory as swap partition and the rest for the Linux install.
I put the Linux install at the end of the second partition; often C is the system partition; D is the backup partition on which all files that should be recovered in case of system crash, E is often a smaller recovery partition.
I will put the new partition after D and before E. It is not wise to change size of C in case you have to use your recovery tool that is set to a specific size of C.
Also it is save to leave the recovery partition intact.

Partitioning with GParted using a live CD

Now we can partition. I always create the partitions with GParted before an install.

If the partition seems locked
Using a live CD, you will be have to aware that if there is already a Linux install on the hard drive the live CD may have started using the swap partition; because only unmounted partitions can be partitioned that may cause a locked extended partition. In that case right click on the swap partition and swap it off.

We have to create two partitions at least swap and the file system partition; some people prefer to have a separate home partition. But if you are short of hard disk space that isn't the fist choice.
Choose ext 3 or the newer ext4 or what you want as file system.
If you're unfamiliar with partitioning using gparted there are enough tutorials with screenshots around. It is fairly simple: first resize D by sliding the ruler back to the desired size creating new unallocated space. After that is created you can create the 1,5 or 2 GB swap space and the new 10 GB partition.
After we have created the two partitions we login in Windows XP. Windows will have some adapting to do, noticing that the partition D has been resized; partition tables are adapted automatically; probably you will get a notification: new devices discovered or installed. So now Windows is OK.
Now we are installing form the live CD; using Archbang this is a fairly simple process; note that you can cancel the partition process and that you will be asked to specify the partitions; first the mount point of the swap partition is asked; than the mount point of / , the filsystem. You will have to set root password, give a username and password.

Where to install GRUB, the bootloader?
Not in the mbr!!! At least without testing the grub setup.
The critical point is the installation of the bootloader: grub has become the standard. By default it will install itself in the mbr, the master boot record.
I prefer to install the bootloader in for example sda8, in the file system of the just installed Linux installation.
Note: sometimes the option of where to install the bootloader is hidden by an advanced button; always use the advanced option to set the custom place where you want it.

The great advantage is that if you decide to install more Linux installations next to each other, each grub bootload file is easily to be found linked to its typical install.

This always leaves all options open; to install another Linux distro and to remove it again; to install grub 2 on one partition next to grub legacy on another. I will prefer to install a distro with grub legacy first on a Linux-free hard drive, because the easy of adapting it and integrating later installations.

A complicated aspect of the present situation is that 2 versions of grub are used next to each other grub legacy 0.97 and grub2. Grub 2 has some advantages but I prefer to use grub legacy because of the easy configuration. Arch comes with grub legacy as default.

So now the install is finished and we haven't touched the mbr, the master boot record.

Tada, now comes the moment supreme for the SUPERGRUB DISK

We have burned the supergrub disk iso: download here

Supergrub makes all kind of wizardry tricks with grub possible.
If you want to login on your hidden partition, put the Supergrub disk in your CD-ROM drive. Ignore the language choice and go in the main orange screen to the option Linux manual. All the boot/grub/ directories in all partitions will be shown. In the scenario I described we only have one; we only have to select it and we're sent to the grub menu and login.
This is the most secure way of testing your grub configuration before touching the mbr.
How many people haven't got shaky when they had overwritten their mbr and booting the first time weren't able to boot in XP any more and also maybe not in the Linux partition. And then had to find out how to fix the mbr. The menu.lst file in /boot/grub (which I had installed in the new Linux partition sda8) is always easily edited using an text editor like leafpad or nano, working as root from a live CD.

The big pay-off is that after you test the grub file logging in in Windows and in the new Linux install and everything is indeed OK, you can with a confident mind overwrite the MBR. For insecure newcomers, making the first Linux install, mostly always a dual boot, this will be a secure and trusted path to walk.
The whole procedure, I mean booting with help of the Supergrub cdrom goes so fast and slick that this is a feasible alternative to installing grub in the mbr. In this way you will have a completely hidden Linux installation without touching the mbr!!

So with all the other benefits of this method, this post might have well been called:

How to overwrite your mbr in the full confidence that you will have a dual boot system after doing so

Some people still don't want to touch the master boot record.
A perfect solution uses the boot.ini file to make a dual boot with Wingrub that finds your grub menu for you. Again this is clearly described in a wonderful tutorial by Herman.

When it is safe and you want install grub in the mbr, to overwrite the MBR
But if you do want to overwrite the mbr and let grub do the booting for you, you just have to use the Supergrub disk again and select grub ==>mbr & !linux! (1) auto in the main page (option two is manual and makes choice for a specific, one out of more grub installs possible).
Some people are simple terrified about touching the mbr, but the mbr is easily fixed again with the wonderful supergrub disk. See option fixmbr.
Or select win ==> mbr &!Win! in the main page.

Blog Archive

About Me

Exclusion of liability Regarding StillStupid: The use you make of the guides, tips and downloads that you listed on this web site or on another website to which I refer is entirely at your own risk. In no way can I be held liable for damage or consequential damages of any kind, which occurs as a result of that use.