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November 16, 2009

Linux Display Managers for fun and profit

by @ 10:53 am. Filed under General Linux, SUSE Tips & Tricks, terminal

When you start up Linux on your box, generally you are taken to a graphical login screen (unless, of course, you have configured things differently). This graphical login screen is called the display manager.

Would you like to check out some different display managers in Linux? There are about 4 that I have been playing around with: xdm, gdm, kdm, wdm

To take a look at the differences, and see which one you like, install them with your package manager. With OpenSUSE, this is yast or zypper.

The commandline way to do this is simple:

For OpenSUSE 11.2

[1004][root@dev:/home/scott]$ zypper in gdm kdm wdm xdm

To see which one you like, edit the /etc/sysconfig/displaymanager file. Look for this section:

## Type:        string(kdm,kdm3,kdm4,xdm,gdm,wdm,console)
## Default:     ""
#
# Here you can set the default Display manager (kdm/xdm/gdm/wdm/console).
# all changes in this file require a restart of the displaymanager
#
DISPLAYMANAGER="kdm4"

You’ll notice that the first couple of lines tell you what to put in for the display manager you want to use (kdm,kdm3,kdm4,xdm,gdm,wdm,console). Put in different ones and see what floats your boat. When you get it how you like it, stop.

For OpenSUSE 11.1

[1004][root@dev:/home/scott]$ zypper in gdm kde4-kdm wdm

I didn’t see xdm available on 11.1, but I could be up in the night.

To see which one you like, edit the /etc/sysconfig/displaymanager file. Look for this section:

## Type:        string(kdm,kdm3,kdm4,xdm,gdm,wdm,console)
## Default:     ""
#
# Here you can set the default Display manager (kdm/xdm/gdm/wdm/console).
# all changes in this file require a restart of the displaymanager
#
DISPLAYMANAGER="kdm4"

You’ll notice that it tells you what to put in for the display manager you want to use (kdm,kdm3,kdm4,xdm,gdm,wdm,console). Take a look at them, see which one suits your fancy, and use the one that makes your heart tingle.

G’day.

October 28, 2009

Slick Linux Virtual Terminal: aterm

by @ 1:32 am. Filed under command-line, Linux tips, SUSE Tips & Tricks, terminal

In the search for a full weight loss program for my window manager (I’m switching from KDE 3.5 to XFCE4), it became clear that another terminal would have to replace Konsole. After 11 full minutes of considerable thought, agonizing contemplation, deliberation and extensive research, aterm became the obvious choice.

aterm looked interesting to me because it has a small memory footprint. Konqueror takes up about 7 times the RAM that aterm does, while xterm takes over twice the RAM that aterm does. aterm also has very little dependencies. Additionally, it supports pseudo-transparencies, while remaining very responsive and quick.

The first thing you want to do is install aterm. This does not appear to be available on OpenSUSE 11.1 by default. But just add the following repo:

http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/-miska-:/Release/openSUSE_11.1

Add the repo as root like this:

[1049][root@laptop:~]$ zypper addrepo http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/-miska-:/Release/openSUSE_11.1 aterm
Adding repository 'aterm' [done]
Repository 'aterm' successfully added
Enabled: Yes
Autorefresh: No
URI: http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/-miska-:/Release/openSUSE_11.1

[1049][root@laptop:~]$

Refresh the repo:

[1049][root@laptop:~]$ zypper refresh aterm
Retrieving repository 'aterm' metadata [done]
Building repository 'aterm' cache [done]
Specified repositories have been refreshed.
[1050][root@laptop:~]$

Install aterm:

[1112][root@dev:/home/scott]$ zypper install aterm
Loading repository data...
Reading installed packages...
Resolving package dependencies...

The following NEW package is going to be installed:
  AfterStep_applets_all 


Overall download size: 310.0 K. After the operation, additional 1.1 M will be used.
Continue? [YES/no]: 
Retrieving package AfterStep_applets_all-070412-5.13.x86_64 (1/1), 310.0 K (1.1 M unpacked)
Retrieving: AfterStep_applets_all-070412-5.13.x86_64.rpm [done]         
Installing: AfterStep_applets_all-070412-5.13 [done]
[1112][root@dev:/home/scott]$ 

Now, run aterm in a terminal window or something to make sure it’s installed.

On to the configuration (which is the cool part, really).

First, determine which font you want to use by running xfontsel. It opens up a window where you can fine-tune the font you want aterm to use.

Then, you’ll want to set up your configuration file. I use .Xresources although there are others you can use.

Copy and paste this into your .Xresources file, and then adjust as necessary:

aterm*font: -*-fixed-medium-r-*-*-18-*-*-*-*-*-iso8859-*
aterm*font1: -*-*-*-*-*-*-2-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
aterm*font2: -misc-fixed-*-r-normal-*-8-*-*-*-*-*-iso8859-*
aterm*font3: -b&h-lucidatypewriter-bold-*-*-*-12-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
aterm*font4: -*-screen-bold-r-normal-*-16-*-*-*-*-*-iso8859-*
aterm*font5: -*-lucidatypewriter-medium-*-*-*-18-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
aterm*font6: -*-lucidatypewriter-medium-*-*-*-20-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
aterm*font7: -dec-terminal-bold-r-normal-*-14-*-*-*-*-*-iso8859-*

aterm*background: black
aterm*foreground: white
aterm*pointerColor: red
aterm*pointerColorBackground: black
aterm*cursorColor: blue
aterm*internalBorder: 3
aterm*loginShell: true

! Do you want a scrollbar?
aterm*scrollBar: true
aterm*scrollKey: true

! How many lines do you want to save in the buffer?
aterm*saveLines: 32767
aterm*multiClickTime: 250

! Do you want transparency?
aterm*transparent: true

! Do you want transparency in the scrollbar?
aterm*transpscrollbar: true

! How much transparency do you want (in percent)?
aterm*shading:20

!aterm*tintingType: true
!aterm*tinting: #a07040

! How many characters wide and tall should your window be?
aterm*geometry: 80x40

! Do you want a visual bell rather than an audio bell?
aterm*visualBell: true

Hopefully, it’s apparent that you can use exclamation points for comments.

Everything in this sample .Xresources config file should be fairly self-explanatory.

aterm takes many of the same configuration directives as xterm. So if you see an xterm directive you want aterm to use, throw it in the .Xresources file and reload it. You reload the .Xresources file with the following command:

[1058][scott@dev:~]$ xrdb -merge .Xresources
[1058][scott@dev:~]$ 

If you are running that command in an open aterm window, you will have to close the window and re-run aterm.

aterm is very quick and responsive, looks nice, and doesn’t take up too much memory. Take a look at it, play around with it, and enjoy it.

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