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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February 26, 2010 at 1:33 am (arch, dropbox, packages, tips)

I’m sure a good portion of people have heard about this program, but I thought I would list it anyways for those who haven’t. Basically dropbox is an instant online storage for files placed into a the dropbox folder. This program is amazing for backing up documents and other lightweight files. I highly recommend it.

It also runs on Windows as well as Mac, and instantly updates across multiple computers. There is nice list of features that it has, so it’s almost easier to just watch the video. Check it out at The Dropbox Website.

Installation is easy, simply head over to the AUR and install it. And once installation is complete, run this command:

$ dropboxd

It will guide you through and automatically start up each time your computer is turned on.

There is an alternative to dropbox if you don’t wish to use it. Check out Spider Oak. I haven’t used it, but I’ve heard it’s nice.

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Lynx During Install

February 18, 2010 at 12:12 pm (arch, install, lynx, pacman, tips)

I wish I had known this tip when I originally tried to install Arch Linux months ago. An incredibly handy tip once you have the Arch base system installed (i.e. you don’t have X or a Desktop Enviroment) is to use Lynx in a virtual console.

All you have to do is hit [Alt] + [F2] (or any of the F2-F7 keys) and log in to that console. Install Lynx with this command:

$ pacman -S lynx

Just run it once it’s been installed ($ lynx) and you should have a working text browser. I then navigated to (by hitting g in lynx) and arrowed down until I hit the Beginners Installation Guide. I used that during after my intial setup and that made it heck of a lot easier than running back and forth to another computer, or printing off a ton of instructions. All you have to do to get back to your other console is hit [Alt] + [F1] and you can run any of the commands from there. Then when you need more guidance, just simply [Alt] + [F2] back to the Lynx browser.

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Pacman Installation Tip

February 18, 2010 at 12:50 am (pacman, terminal, tips)

Something I learned the other day installing KDE using pacman. When installing multiple packages, you can do a step by step install by saying ‘no’ to the initial :: Install whole content?. It will then walk you through the individual packages and ask whether you want to install it or not. I found this incredibly useful for installing KDE as I only wanted some of the packages.

I originally did a kdebase-workspace install, but wanted/needed a chunk of the KDE packages. So running:

$ sudo pacman -S kde

Then by hitting ‘n’ when asked to install all of the content, walked me through each package.

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