Howto: Terminal Tips and Tricks Part 2

July 28, 2006 at 4:38 pm | Posted in tips and tricks, xubuntu | 2 Comments

Last time, I talked about setting up a trash can for Xubuntu. Now, you can use it in Thunar too!

1. Set up the trash can as described in Howto: Terminal Tips and Tricks.
2. Open Thunar and select “configure custom actions…” in the Edit menu.
Add a new action by pressing the “+” button.
3. In the dialog, set the options like shown in the figure. Name it whatever you want. I named it “Move to trash”.
Custom action - move to trash
4. In the “appearance conditions” tab, leave the pattern as “*” and select all the check boxes. See second figure.
Second figure
5. Finally, you get the Move to Trash option in the popup menu:
Menu screenshot

Credit goes to for this!


Transmission: A lightweight GTK Bittorrent client

July 25, 2006 at 5:24 pm | Posted in programs, xubuntu | 12 Comments

If you’re missing a Bittorrent client, but you want one with low memory and CPU usage, then Transmission is the one for you:


It features…next to nothing. If you want something with more features, then you might prefer Azureus.

However, if you’re interested, you can install it by typing these commands into the Terminal (Xfce Menu > System > Terminal):


sudo dpkg -i transmission-0.7.0-806.deb

You can run it by going to Xfce menu > Network > Transmission, or run


From the Terminal.

You could also use the original Bittorrent; however, the one in the repositories is very outdated (Version 3.x). If you want something that’s still light and has more features, you can also try that too.

Howto: Load Xfce menu with IceWM

July 24, 2006 at 9:15 am | Posted in tips and tricks, xubuntu | 8 Comments

Do you miss the Xfce menu when you’re using IceWM? Here’s how to get it back:

1) Edit the file .icewm/toolbar. Open up a terminal (Xfce menu > System > Terminal) and type:

mousepad .icewm/toolbar

Paste in the following, at the very top:

prog "Start" "/usr/share/icons/Human/24x24/places/distributor-logo.png" xfdesktop -menu

Save, and exit.

2) Now we need to edit your X session file, and make sure that xfdesktop gets loaded when you log in. To do this, type the following:

mousepad .xinitrc

And paste this in the file:

xfdesktop &

* Note: if the file is empty, paste this in, instead:


xfdesktop &

Save, and exit.

3) Remove IceWM’s default start menu by editing its preferences file. To do this, type the following:

mousepad .icewm/preferences

Search for (or, if the file is empty, paste in):


and change it to


Save, and exit.

4) Log out and back in. Now when you log in, you should have Xfce’s menu when you click the start button, and when you right click the desktop. You’ll have your old keyboard shortcuts and whatnot too. Enjoy!


July 22, 2006 at 9:15 am | Posted in tips and tricks, xubuntu | 4 Comments

Xubuntu’s very fast…but you can make it even faster!

1) HOWTO: run Ubuntu on low RAM computers:

I set this up for all of my installations. Obviously, the best tweaks are using IceWM/Fluxbox, and using lighter programs (my suggestions: web browser – Opera, email client – Sylpheed-claws, terminal shell – Dash, virtual terminal – Mingetty, terminal – xterm, mp3/cd player – xmms, file manager – xfe).

Disabling virtual terminals will help a little, but if you use Mingetty you probably won’t notice. Mingetty also has a guide on permanently removing extra virtual terminals, but I still use Ctrl-Alt-F4 in case of a crash.

If you play games, freeing up video RAM will make a noticable difference. Be careful removing ‘glx’ though! Some games need it!

2) That guide suggests removing services, but I would go one step further: Speeding up ubuntu boot process – the way you can feel it. I can get my boot-up under a minute with these tweaks…however, make sure you understand what you are doing!

3) You can follow some of the guides here: Improve performance in Ubuntu. My favourites are speeding up Firefox, enabling DMA to speed up your hard drive (You can also do this with Automatix), and choosing a better kernel (The speed can be noticable depending on your hardware). The rest don’t have very noticable speed increases.

4) If you have enough time to waste, compiling your own kernel also helps.

Happy Xubuntuing!

Xubuntu 6.06 LTS Review

July 21, 2006 at 9:24 am | Posted in reviews, xubuntu | 2 Comments

Here’s a nice review of Xubuntu 6.06 from a new user’s perspective.

I’ve been interested in Zenwalk, but I know it doesn’t use dpkg/apt-get. Vector Linux is very nice, and it has one of the nicest IceWM setups I’ve seen (besides mine, of course Smiley). However, it has a terrible installer (the installer itself works okay, but there’s so many rude and sarcastic comments everywhere I was ready to throw it out the window).

Arch Linux might be fast, but it sounds like a bit too much work to set it up.

This review will hopefully help new users make up their mind as to whether to switch to Xubuntu.

Howto: Terminal tips and tricks

July 20, 2006 at 4:55 pm | Posted in tips and tricks, xubuntu | 5 Comments

Xubuntu requires the terminal more than Ubuntu…so let’s have fun with it!

1) Move to Trash: Currently, Xubuntu doesn’t have an option to move files to the trash. You can, however, recreate it in the terminal:

First, create a file named /usr/bin/del:

sudo mousepad /usr/bin/del

Copy and paste the following into the file:

mv -vi -- "$@" $HOME/.Trash

Save, exit, and make the file executable. Run sudo chmod -v 755 /usr/bin/del.

Now, to move a file to the trash, just run del filename and it will be moved to the .Trash folder. If you’re used to DOS, using del will be easy for you.

2) Aliases: If you want to save some typing time, then aliases are for you. (Example: Rather than constantly typing sudo apt-get install, you can just type apt.)

To make an alias, edit the file ~/.bashrc, by running mousepad ~/.bashrc. The method is as follows:

alias aliasname='command'

aliasname being the name of the alias, and command being the command run when you type the alias. Example:

alias apt='sudo apt-get install'

Here are all of my aliases:

alias free='free -m'
alias kill='pkill'
alias apt='sudo apt-get install'
alias remove='sudo apt-get remove'
alias search='apt-cache search'
alias edit='mousepad'
alias suedit='sudo mousepad'
alias i='sudo dpkg -i'
alias upgrade='sudo apt-get upgrade'
alias dist-upgrade='sudo apt-get dist-upgrade'
alias update='sudo apt-get update'
alias clean='sudo apt-get autoclean'
alias build-dep='sudo apt-get build-dep'
alias df='df -Hl'
alias home='cd ~'
alias mktar='tar -cvf'
alias mkbz2='tar -cvjf'
alias mkgz='tar -cvzf'
alias untar='tar -xvf'
alias unbz2='tar -xvjf'
alias ungz='tar -xvzf'
alias ls='ls --color=auto'
alias mv='mv -i'
alias cp='cp -i'
alias rm='rm -i'
alias del='rm -r'
alias sources.list='sudo leafpad /etc/apt/sources.list'
alias menu='edit .config/xfce4/desktop/menu.xml'
alias xorg.conf='sudo leafpad /etc/X11/xorg.conf'

Just copy and paste these into your .bashrc file, and log in and out. Using the terminal is now a lot faster!

My IceWM Setup

July 20, 2006 at 3:11 pm | Posted in tips and tricks, xubuntu | 2 Comments

I’ve been getting questions about my setup, so I’ll cover it in more detail:

1) If you’d like my configuration, download this file to your home folder: icewm.tar.gz. Untar it, and you’re good to go.

2) .xinitrc: This controls what programs load up when you log in. Create a file in your home directory named .xinitrc and paste in the following:


xcompmgr -CcFf &
xscreensaver -nosplash &
ivman-launch &

Save the file, and exit. Make sure the file is executable (run chmod +x .xinitrc).

(You can also use ~/.icewm/startup: just delete the line icewm-session from the file.)

3) Using my login automatically guide, I changed the line startxfce4 to startx in my .bash_profile file. This, along with .xinitrc, automatically logs me into IceWM.

If you’re using my configuration files, make sure to also do Step 5 (Rebooting and shutting down without a password).

4) My wallpaper is Ubuntu Glass. I scaled it down to 1024×768 using the GIMP.

5) My beep-media-player theme is Dapper Orange – BMP, and my Opera theme is Dapper.

Hope this helps anyone who is interested in my setup!

Current Screenshot

July 18, 2006 at 12:09 pm | Posted in xubuntu | 2 Comments

Here’s my current setup: Is it IceWM or Gnome? Can you tell?

IceWM screenshot

It’s IceWM with a composite manager, xfce4-terminal and Opera. I got myself set up with IceWM following this guide here: I’m using the IceBuntu theme, and used Icepref to configure it to my liking. I followed the guide here: The Composite Manager Guide: How to Get Vista-ish Effects in (K)(X)Ubuntu to get transparency and shadow effects, and disabled GDM and used Mingetty with my guide. It’s lightning fast!


July 16, 2006 at 1:02 pm | Posted in programs, xubuntu | Leave a comment

If you enjoy the desktop games of Gnome, but don’t want to take up too much disc space installing Gnome-games, you can try Gtkboard:

Gtkboard Tetris

While some games are experimental, you can play games like Pacman, Tetris and mazes with it. Open up a terminal (Xfce menu > System > Terminal) and type:

sudo aptitude install gtkboard.

Howto: Thumbnails of your to-do list

July 15, 2006 at 10:01 am | Posted in tips and tricks, xubuntu | Leave a comment

This is a creative idea.

1) Create a text file on your desktop (Open up Thunar, go to ~/Desktop, right-click, mouse over Create Document, and click Empty file), and name it To-Do List.

2) Edit the file, and write in your to-do list. Save the file. Its contents will be shown on the desktop. To make the icon bigger, right click the icon and click Stretch Icon. Stretch it as you see fit.

That’s one use for thumbnails, and I’m sure there are many others (Cheat sheet for the terminal, perhaps?)

(Credit goes to oss_monkey at

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