Community Blogs

Using/Editing GTK themes in Fluxbox


Using and changing the appearance of gtk themes in fluxbox.
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Animated Wallpaper in fluxbox (video in root window)


Toggle Videos, Toggle Extras, Toggle Conky

1.Toggle Videos

Toggle Videos removes all but the bottom Conky and places a video, or series of videos on your root window using mplayer.
Mplayer does everything under the sun concerning video.

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Sticky xfce4-terminal in Fluxbox


Sticky xfce4-terminal How-to

This will place and resize an xfce4-terminal in the Fluxbox root window, with a menu entry, or upon start up of Fluxbox.
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Using 'Feh' in Fluxbox


Using feh, because it is there.

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Canto in Fluxbox


How to Canto

Canto is a python RSS reader that sits in a terminal. Screenshot:

It is highly configurable, and fairly easy to use.
I have mine sitting in a pre built xfce-terminal window for ease of use. You can of course, just use a regular terminal and invoke "canto", but it just won't be nearly as fun.
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Event sounds in Fluxbox


Sound events in fluxbox

How to add event sounds to any fluxbox menu item.
This includes the login and logout sounds, as well as sounds for exit to login and restart fluxbox, and any other item you wish to have open with a sound event.
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Fluxbox Transparency with xcompmgr



How to have decent transparency and fading in fluxbox using xcompmgr.

It used to be an issue to have composite effects with fluxbox. Not anymore.

Screenshot: **Here**
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Hello World!

Hello World!

Ubuntu 9.04 InstallFest: Recap

Today I attended the Ubuntu 9.04 InstallFest in Atlanta, and as always, the event was a shining example of the Linux community in action.  Free from debates, namecalling, and other disputes that have become the stereotypical Linux discussion, people were helping each other, discussing new ideas, and installing the latest version of Ubuntu, 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope. 

Roughly 25-30 people showed up throughout the day, and there were many new faces.  I'm looking forward to the next InstallFest coming in November, and thanks to all who came out today!


Exciting Future of the Linux Desktop

Below is a list of exciting projects happening in the Linux ecosystem. This is a list I've compiled over time from reading, the "distro planets", and developer blogs.  Not all of these things have arrived yet - many are a work in progress. For each project, I've provided short summaries and links for further reading. Don't forget to leave a comment! ;-]

The Popular Stuff: 

  • Gnome3.0 - GnomeLive
    • a new 3D-accelerated UI for the Gnome Desktop.
  • Compiz++ - smspillaz
    • a "better suited" C++ rewrite. Its future is uncertain - it may become a WM in future because of Gnome Shell.

The Low-Level Jungle: 


  • Btrfs - BtrfsWiki
    • what will be the most modern and featureful filesystem to date.
  • Kernel ModeSetting - KernelNewbies
    • a new way of managing video cards that provides a Flicker-Free & native resolution gfx experience. Makes running X non-root possible and thus, safer.
  • Gallium3D - TungstenGraphics
    • a new driver development model/core that is based on modern hardware; will provide for simpler, smaller drivers that can run multiple graphics APIs.
The Inter-Distro *Kits of Unity:
  • DeviceKit - Creator's Blog
    • a cleaner hal reimplementation that will leave device management to udev.
  • PolicyKit - Creator's Blog
    • a dbus-like privilege-escalation model to replace apps running as root.
  • ConsoleKit - Fedora[FUSA]
    • an common framework for handling FUSA and session management.
  • PackageKit - Creator's Blog
    • an interdistro package manager that works on multiple backends.
And if these weren't cool enough, just take a peak at the F11 feature list.

The Cult of the Terminal

I just signed up for a group celebrating the Terminal. It's weird that I would join a group where, in plumbing, this would be the equivalent of celebrating a monkey wrench. I still like the terminal (it certainly makes my job a hell of a lot easier). But preferring the terminal to the GUI strikes me as a bit odd.

It's not so much that the terminal is better conceptually than a GUI but that in practice most OSS GUI's are wretched. There's very little fore-thought, and the lack of design acumen simply makes using them a drag.

When a GUI is terrific, it stays out of your way and allows you to accomplish your goals in a simple manner. Your web browser is a good instance of it. You simply type in your desired destination, et voila! It brings you to a page that will betray you with a good old Rickrolling.

What I'm trying to get at is that there's not a whole lot to terminal output design, but there is for graphical design. Therefore, it requires a whole lot more care than it currently receives from the OSS camp. With positive iterative GUI design improvements though, the terminal will become less and less necessary (and that won't be a bad thing). The KDE project is doing some pretty fascinating things with the desktop, and it's getting to be less that I want to fuss over the irrelevant (read: distracting) details.

I love the terminal, I use it a lot. At the end of the day though, it's just a tool. When there's a better tool, I'll drop it like a bad habit.

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