Ubuntu – Gutsy 7.10 – Two weeks on

Well it’s been a couple of weeks since I installed Gutsy, and ubuntuforums has taken quite a pounding in order to sort out all the little quirks that Gutsy has introduced. Having decided to run with Compiz, most of the tweaking has been around getting it to work correctly and stabilise across reboots. It is still not as stable as edgy, but given I am running an ATI card I kind of expect this. Having seen the trouble I was having with display, I dived onto ebay and bought and Nvidia 6200 with 256mb for @ £30, but the following day resolved most of my problems. Now do I or don’t I ? 🙂

My default xorg.conf had quite a few entries missing on the modules section. By adding these things improved immensely. See attached copy of my conf file xorgconf.zip

I also had problems with the power management side of things. Despite changing settings through System, my screen continued to blank after ten minutes. So additional entries in xorg.conf again to sort this out. Added this to my xorg.conf which completely shuts everything down 🙂 :

Section “ServerFlags”
Option “blank time” “0”
Option “standby time” “0”
Option “suspend time” “0”
Option “off time” “0”

Got the 3D Windows plugin up and running, one of the features I really liked about Compiz/Beryl before. I used this script:3dtar.gz

screenshot-bimmablog03.png screenshot-bimmablog02.png

Found out how to set a different background for each workspace too. I chose the easy route which was to drop the desktop under nautilus and add backgrounds in Compiz, don’t like icons on my desktop anyway and can live without the right click functionality. Like so:

Open gconf-editor (Alt+F2 and type gconf-editor)

Click through to apps>nautilus>preferences and untick “show_desktop”

Then you go into Compiz settings, desktop cube, appearance, and define the background images by adding them one by one. You can reorder them once added
Also found the Expo Compiz module which shows off the multiple backgrounds nicely.


Finally figured out the syntax needed to run java programs from the CLI, which means I can create launchers for those programs that don’t have a set up (e.g. HJSplit). Use “java -jar /path/to/program.jar” (no quotes needed)

Had trouble with smart window management which was opening new windows part off screen. This can be fixed by opening up ccsm (compiz settings manager), > Window Management > Place Windows and change setting to Cascade.

Solved my XMMS problem of not staying on top by installing Audacious an XMMS clone which is being developed on. Had to hunt around a bit to find all the plugins, but now have all the functionality I had with XMMS but with improved look and feel of GTK2

The new password box in vncviewer started to play up again with Compiz enabled. I found two solutions: the first is to left click, then right click, then middle click. If this doesn’t work, try clicking both left and right at the same time. However, even if you can login in, I lose functinoality of SHIFT and CTRL keys on the remote machine. The second was to install xtightvncviewer which does the same job but without the glitches.

I have been fiddling about with Easycrypt, a GUI frontend to TrueCrypt, a program that creates “crypts” or secure volumes, which are password protected and can be of any size to store files. really needed to introduce some security onto my flash drives for work use, given that my running of linux at work won’t allow me to use the Kingston Data Travellers we have provided. Check out ubuntuforums for this nice piece of work by Stephen Harper.

Needed to create a new iso of GeexBox for my media server, but found that Apparmor was blocking the generator. Couldn’t make head nor tail of how to get Apparmor to work so uninstalled it!

Improved the look and feel of Virtualbox a bit more, thanks to Mikeytag on the forum. if you install polymer along with qt3-qtconfig, you get a much better looking GUI if you select polymer as your theme in qt-config.

Oh, not related just to Gutsy, but learnt something new about GRUB, that I have overlooked. If you want a different OS to boot from your default one in the magic section, just type savedefault in the stanza for your chosen OS, then scroll up to default and replace the 0 or number with saved. Much easier than counting all the lines, which is a bit hit and miss anyway. Just goes to show you should occasionally read all that stuff after the hashes at the top of files 🙂

I have also been having a play with scripting wmctrl. Rather than install devilspie, I have created a script that will start up my XP virtual machine and move it to my chosen workspace. The script is right, but it doesn’t work all the time, don’t know why. You also have to identify the name of the window you will be creating, but as this remains the same everytime, it’s not so bad. Here is the script:

#! /bin/bash
#open vm and move to second workspace

#command line syntax to run the VM
VBoxManage startvm WINXP

#wait for 10 seconds to allow window to be created
#then move window to next work space (first workspace = t0)
sleep 10 && wmctrl -r “WINXP [Running] – innotek VirtualBox” -t1


To find the name of the window, have the window you want open and then type this in a terminal (assumes you have installed wmctrl!) wmctrl -l (that’s an “elle”)

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