Monday, June 30, 2008

alternative windowmanager: WindowMaker

I wanted to install WindowMaker because I needed a windowmanager that runs on low resources.
Also it is very nice to customize and installation is a breeze. To configure what user runs what desktop, you need to make a .xsession file in the home directory of that user. Mind the dot (hidden file) and make sure it's executable (chmod). Edit the file and put this line in it: exec wmaker. Here you can also specify some other programs to autostart or add arguments to the windowmanager. I've used the --no-dock and the --no-icons arguments to make WindowMaker start with an empty desktop. This page also has some nice WindowMaker tricks:

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

apt and proxyserver

If you're on a network that connects to the internet through a proxyserver, you can't use apt-get.
To fix this use export http_proxy=http://username:password@proxyserver:port/ and
export ftp_proxy=http://username:password@proxyserver:port/
Username and password is not needed if the proxy does not use authentication.
You need to do this in each shell or terminal. To avoid that, you need to add these lines in your /etc/bash.bashrc file. Other commands might use this too. The second option is to only configure apt to use a proxy. Edit your /etc/apt/apt.conf like this: Acquire::http://Proxy "http://proxyserver:port";

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

make applications start up faster

There is a program called preload, that loads the most used programs into memory, so when you run them they start faster. Preload is adaptive, which means you don't need to configure it. It will monitor your working habbits and choose what programs to preload into memory. Personally I prefer to have some config files or some sort of status or logging, but the program does a good job and uses very few resources, so why not let it run? Everyone likes speed.

Monday, June 16, 2008

vi improved editor

I'm not a vi guru, but I use it a lot. By default debian has vi installed, but I prefer vim (vi - improved). It makes things a bit easier. Use apt-get install vim. You might want to enable syntax highlighting: edit the /etc/vim/vimrc and uncomment the syntax on option.

install ati and nvidia cards in sid

I used this script a lot to install the proprietary nvidia driver in debian sid:
I only tested it with an nvidia card. You don't even need to download anything, the script does that automatically. Sgfxi is originally for sidux, which in fact is sid. Worth a try but your mileage may vary.

find the biggest packages in debian

What package is eating up all your disk space? Install the debian-goodies (apt-get install debian-goodies) and run dpigs. Use the -n option to see more big packages.

lazy command repeater

Okay, this probably works on all linux boxes, if they're using bash:
You want to repeat a command but you are too lazy to retype it. And it's been a while since you used it, so you don't want to type the arrowkey-up 100 times.
Try this in a shell or terminal window: press CTRL-r, a (reverse-i-search)`': will appear. Now you can type the first letters of the command you used earlier, bash will search prevoius commands and suggest one of them. Type more letters for a better result. Simple, fast and lazy!

kill them all

Have you lately installed a Debian (sid, etch, ...) and noticed that the killall command is missing? Use apt-get install psmisc, et voila!
Byebye bad process.

exclude a package from upgrading

Debian has it's wonderful package management system called 'apt'. You can upgrade your entire box with just one command: apt-get upgrade. This will upgrade all installed packages. If there is one package you want to exclude from updating; use this:
wajig hold
I used this for the vtun package because newer versions had some compatibility issues.


Hi! My name is deeLer, welcome to my blog. Here you'll find usefull tips and trick to administrate your linux/debian box. Some of the topic apply for linux or even unix in general, some are specificly related to debian.
It's stuff for geeks, but I hope you find it usefull.