Keeping Arch Clean

March 24, 2010 at 3:18 pm (arch, bash, commands, terminal, tips)

So I’ve been digging around on the Arch forums and came across a little script to run. It will show you what you’ve installed explicitly to help keep your system clean and free from miscellaneous packages. Simply save the following script to a blank text document (no file extension needed):

pacman -Qei | awk '/^Name/ { name=$3 } /^Groups/ { if ( $3 != "base" && $3 != "base-devel" ) { print name } }' > exp_pkglist

Then simply run the file with this command:

It will export all your explicitly installed packages (excluding base and base-devel) to a text file which you can then go through and $ sudo pacman -Rs PACKAGE_NAME_HERE. That should help keep your system clean.


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‘Embedded’ Terminal on Desktop

March 11, 2010 at 8:03 pm (commands, linux, terminal, tips)

My desktop with a terminal built in.
So I’ve been dinking around quite a bit with my desktop again and stumbled upon a juicy tip. I’m always trying to find ways of simplifying my life and this made it even easier. Since I ran into Tilda tossing up a ton of GTK errors, I’ve been looking for a drop down/always present terminal that wouldn’t show up in the system tray. I’ve seen a majority of people using Rxvt-unicode and heard it’s quite customizable. So digging around on the Openbox Wiki, I came across some tips about a transparent terminal. I had to modify it a bit since it wasn’t working properly, but the above screenshot is what it looks like. Notice no terminal in my bar 🙂

To achieve this, here is what I did. I installed Rxvt-Unicode in pacman.
$ sudo pacman -S rxvt-unicode.

I then added this to my ~/.Xdefaults file:


If you currently don’t have a .Xdefaults file, just simply create one in your home folder. Then I added the following to my ~/.config/openbox/rc.xml file:

<application name="urxvt">

Then the last thing I did was adding urxvt to the ~/.config/openbox/ file. Simply add:

# Urxvt Terminal on Desktop
urxvt &

You should be good to go after that. On a side note, those settings work for a dark/black wallpaper like I’m using. To adjust it for a light colored wallpaper, simply change the foreground to black and the cursor to black in the .Xdefaults file. You can also adjust the size and font as well as quite a few other things. If you’re interested check out these 2 pages:

Rxvt-Unicode Preferences in Xdefaults

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My Openbox Switch

March 1, 2010 at 6:45 pm (install, openbox, packages, pacman, sudo, terminal, tips)

My Openbox Screenshot

So over the last few weeks, I’ve been debating on switching to openbox. I borked my sound the other day trying to use mpd and could only get login/logout sounds to work. I didn’t have sound from any movies/music or flash videos. I decided that was a good enough reason to switch. I spent the past 2 days messing around with various settings and programs and did one last fresh install today. I’ve got most things set up pretty much the way I like it (still have to mess with the menu and add a few more programs, but overall, I’m good).

I followed the Openbox Wiki and got a basic idea for programs to install and ways to set them up. I’ll list the programs I went with and I’ll post the themes/icons configuration files in another post.

The common codecs: Flash Player, Microsoft Fonts, and Java
$ sudo pacman -S flashplugin ttf-ms-fonts jre
Note: jre is optional (well, all of it is, but I rarely use java, so that can be excluded)

My Browser of Choice (at least temporarily): Firefox
$ sudo pacman -S firefox

A very basic, lightweight notepad/editor: Leafpad
$ sudo pacman -S leafpad

A Lightweight/Speedy File Manager: Thunar, with optional plug-ins
$ sudo pacman -S thunar thunar-volman thunar-thumbnailers ffmpegthumbnailer thunar-archive-plugin thunar-media-tags-plugin

Archiver of choice: XArchiver
$ sudo pacman -S xarchiver

Misc system information: Conky
$ sudo pacman -S conky

A Taskbar/System Tray: Tint2
$ sudo pacman -S tint2

Wallpaper Manager: Feh (Extremely Lightweight)
$ sudo pacman -S feh

Image viewer: Mirage
$ sudo pacman -S mirage

Screenshot Utility: Scrot (Command Line)
$ sudo pacman -S scrot

Torrent Program: Deluge
$ sudo pacman -S deluge

CHM viewer: Xchm
$ sudo pacman -S xchm

Terminal of Choice: Tilda
$ sudo pacman -S tilda

IDE/Development Program: Geany
$ sudo pacman -S geany

A GUI for the Openbox Menu: OBMenu
$ sudo pacman -S obmenu

Music Player: Goggles Music Manager – Very lightweight and extremely fast with 22k song list
$ sudo pacman -S musicmanager
Note: This program is started by issuing the following command $ gmm

Movie Player: SMPlayer
$ sudo pacman -S smplayer

RSS Reader: Liferea
$ sudo pacman -S liferea

Super Easy Openbox Menu Generator: MenuMaker
$ sudo pacman -S menumaker

CD Burner: Xfburn – Very lightweight, and almost no dependencies.
$ sudo pacman -S xfburn

That should give you a pretty good setup in terms of basic programs. I know not all are super lightweight, but I can’t live without some. I tried to install only the most basic programs and avoid anything with gnome/kde dependencies. Some pull in a fairly large amount of dependencies (smplayer), but most are just codecs.

These are the few that I grabbed from the AUR using packer.

Office Program: Abiword-Light (without gnome dependencies)
SNES Emulator: ZSNES
PSX Emulator: pSX
Internet Browser: Chromium
PDF Reader: Foxit Reader (Yes, I know it’s proprietary…it’s just the best one I can find besides Okular)
Color for Pacman: Pacman-color
Windows Emulator: Wine
Virtual Desktop: Virtual Box
Online Backup: Dropbox

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The TOP command

February 27, 2010 at 3:57 pm (commands, linux, terminal, tips)

So I found a nice little command the other day called ‘top’. Essentially what it does is show the top processes in your system in the terminal.  It’s simply run by issuing the following command:

$ top

A neat little thing about it though, is that it also shows the process ID. Which can then be ‘killed’. So for instance, I’ve got a program that’s misbehaving. I simply run top and find it’s process ID (pid…or to the far left). I can then run a command to kill it.

$ kill pid xxxx

Where xxxx is replaced by the actual number. So for instance if I want to kill Chromium, I simply run $ kill pid 8925.

There are also various hot keys that can be pressed while in top:

a or w- Sorts the processes in various modes. Cycles through all four windows.
k – Kills a command by entering it’s process ID. Easier than using $ kill pid xxxx.
q – Quits the program.
t – Turns on/off the summary information.
z – Turns on/off color.
A – Yes it’s ‘a’ that capitalized. It sorts your processes a bit differently and allows for an easier view of memory hogs.

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Force Removal of Trash

February 24, 2010 at 11:28 pm (commands, linux, sudo, terminal, trash)

Alright, I’ve got a quick tip. I recently (as in like 10 minutes ago) ran into a few files that had characters in another language that wouldn’t delete from the trash bin. I tried to run dolphin in root access but it still wouldn’t go. I found this command that forced a deletion of trash regardless of filename:

$ sudo rm -fr /home/USERNAME/.local/share/Trash/files/

Simply change the USERNAME to your own and it should force a deletion of all the files from the trash. Then simply try to “empty” the trash and they should disappear from the trash bin entirely. I believe that’s the newest command for where the trash bin is located, otherwise you could try:

$ sudo rm -fr /home/USERNAME/.Trash

Again, I believe that’s an outdated command, but just in case the first command didn’t work, you could always try that depending on if the operating system you’re using. It’s just a general Linux command.

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