Archive for the ‘beryl’ Category


Upgrading to Beryl 0.2.0

March 17, 2007

Beryl 0.2.0 is out with many cool features and fixes :

    New Plugins :

  • Thumbnail: Thumbnails on the taskbar (window list) which show a mini view of the actual window
  • Snap: Allows windows to “snap” to each other, or provide edge resistance
  • Opacify: Makes windows behind the active window transparent
  • Group: Allows windows to be group, to easily switch between a set of windows
    New system requirements check :

  • The improved check has much better accuracy
  • The check is a lot faster
    New Window Decorators :

  • Since 0.1, we have two new window decorators
  • Heliodor: Uses metacity themes
  • Aquamarine: Uses Kwin themes.
    Newly Rewritten Beryl-Settings :

  • Written in Python
  • More user-friendly UI
  • Better profile support
    New Translations :

  • Thanks to all of our foreign speaking users, we’ve had a much better time getting translations

Now how to upgrade your version (mine used to be 0.1.4) on your kubuntu edgy ?
Edit your /etc/apt/sources.list and add the following lines :
deb edgy main
deb-src edgy main

Update the list :
sudo apt-get update
And upgrade the following packages :
sudo apt-get install beryl
sudo apt-get install beryl-core
sudo apt-get install beryl-manager
sudo apt-get install beryl-plugins
sudo apt-get install beryl-plugins-data
sudo apt-get install beryl-settings
sudo apt-get install emerald
sudo apt-get install emerald-themes
sudo apt-get install libberylsettings0
sudo apt-get install libberylsettings-dev
sudo apt-get install libemeraldengine0
sudo apt-get install libemeraldengine-dev

Reboot and enjoy!


How to get rid of the 10 minutes Blank Screen screensaver ?

January 27, 2007

You might not have noticed when you never happen to idle on your kubuntu more than 10 minutes, but a Blank Screen will be triggered. Not that embarassing you might think as there’s a big chance you’re away but well if there’s screensaver settings, it’s to configure that… And it becomes really irritating when you have a pctv card watching tv and that you have to move the mouse every 10 minutes.

So I couldn’t understand why this BlankScreen would appear although my settings in Desktop (right-click) / Configure Desktop / ScreenSaver was clearly using fireworks screensaver after 15minutes, and even after disabling it, I would still see this bloody BlanckScreen popping up. I thought it could be the Energy optimization from System Settings / Monitor & Display. But this one was set to 1 hour.

After some browsing on the net and some unsuccessful tries (with xset …) I thought I found it… in Desktop (right-click) / Configure Desktop / ScreenSaver / Blank Screen, unsetting the Start Automatically

Blank Screen Disabled

But that wouldn’t work either, finally I found a trick to disable this behavior thanks to ubuntu forum. In fact the problem appears when you run beryl with Xgl as a session on display :1. You’ll need to edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf and add at the end :
# To prevent Blank Screen from popping up every 10 minutes
# when xgl is run as a session on display :1,
# when all the power management settings
# you normally find only concerns display :0
Section "ServerFlags"
Option "blank time" "0"
Option "standby time" "0"
Option "suspend time" "0"
Option "off time" "0"


Playing with Beryl

January 21, 2007

My Beryl CubeToday I played a bit with Beryl. But firstly I needed to get the Super Key (Windows Key on Keyboard) working, this was accomplished by modifying Keyboard Section “InputDevice” in /etc/X11/xorg.conf with the following :
Option "XkbOptions" "altwin:super_win"
Now you can enjoy some more Beryl features, with the shortcuts (you can see snapshot of my desktop on the right) :

  • Pause Key or F8 : Scale Effect : Arrange and View All Windows
  • Ctrl + Alt + Left/Right Arrow : Switch desktops on cube
  • Ctrl + Shift + Alt + Left/Right Arrow : Switch desktops on cube – with active window following
  • Ctrl + Alt + left-click and grab desktop : Rotate cube manually
  • Alt + wheel mouse : Make window translucent/opaque
  • Super Key + wheel mouse up / down : Zoom-in/out manually
  • Ctrl + Super Key : Water
  • Shift + F9 : Rain

Also be sure to test the funky burn effect on windows minimizing through Beryl Settings Manager / Visual Effects / Animations / Minimize Animation => Burn


Kubuntu Install day!

January 14, 2007

I installed Kubuntu one week ago and thought I would share my experience toward that.

Firstly now that I have it installed, running, tweaked, I find it not so bad.
I have experienced quite a lot of os install :

  • For personal use : Debian (2.2, 3.0, Sarge), and the usual microsoft : windows9x/2k and XP.
  • For educational use : FreeBSD

And now it’s Kubuntu 6.10 Edgy turn, a Debian-based system.

I have to admit Kubuntu did a lot of effort on their install as it’s really easy to handle, with livecd (still I used to prefer the old interface with cfdisk … ;)). But when I installed the other os, I had been installing them on a newer machine while now it is 2 years old, so I won’t get the latest unresolved bug at install screen I had with the other install (sata not recognized for instance with Sarge DVDs…).

I experienced a small problem with grub that would install on an old ide hard drive used only for backup, the faster solution I found was to unplug the harddrive and reinstall with only my sata harddrive plugged (yeah I know I should have played with the hdX,X but had no fun…). By the way speaking of grub that I had installed since Debian Sarge, that’s a great and easy to use booter. I’m happy that LILO belongs to the past.

It took 1 hour to install (incl partition ordering/formatting), and I had a working linux running X (X was a big pain to handle in the past, it’s still a bit when you want the latest drivers working). It detected the other partitions (windows) and mounted them in media.

The ppoeconf was fastly configured (when you know it’s called that way) so I had inet 2minutes after install.

Ok now first problem, how do I increase resolution, I’m stuck at 1024 and 60Hz and my eyes don’t like that. Incredible, my (5 years old) iiyama screen is in the list! Ok click on ‘Test’ and you’ll get a blackscreen and noway to get rid of it even with ctrl-alt-F1… Ok reboot… Try again but with apply directly, cool I can view the effect now…

Ok now drivers, firstly a good idea is to save your /etc/X11/xorg.conf. Firstly tried the ubuntu way from Ubuntu Edgy Installation Wiki Guide. Unfortunately, with the ubuntu way of install I would get a DRI Initialization failed in /var/log/Xorg.0.log, and after installation of the drivers the manual way and a sudo aticonfig –initial then I would get a black screen of the death at login startup with my screen being requested 95Hz that it doesn’t support. So I took back my xorg.backup.conf uninstalled previous drivers and reinstalled the manual way and aticonfig –initial from my clean xorg.conf. Neat, I got it with DRI!!

Then wanted to listen to some Music, so I launched Amarok but it wouldn’t be able to grab the mp3 codec from the net (now it’s working good), So I switched to xmms which worked but had crazy fonts when browsing file system for mp3 (I didn’t fix that yet).

Ok, I find Konqueror better with each linux distro I installed in time, but my favorite webbrowser is : firefox. Naive as I am I tried to apt-get it without success, It would only bring me some patches… So I tried to install it from Mozilla but it complained that it doesn’t find the executable although I am 100% sure it is here… In fact this is the non-explicit message you’ll get each time you install an i386 binary on your amd64 architecture. After some search and some unsuccessful tries, I ended on an Ubuntu forum post How to install 32 bit Firefox with flash, it worked like charm!

While all this, I encountered a major problem with my keyboard : I was not able to type the essential key ‘|’ and several others you get while pressing ‘Alt Gr’. Also / * – + from keypad were not working, not that I use them that much but it’s faster when you have some calculus to do.
This was solved creating $HOME/.Xmodmap with :
keycode 113 = Mode_switch
keysym KP_Divide = slash
keysym KP_Multiply = asterisk
keysym KP_Add = plus
keysym KP_Subtract = minus

This won’t work as I read here and there that xmodmap is deprecated and that xkb should be used instead. For the moment I’ll just add xmodmap ./Xmodmap to my $HOME/.bash_profile. I’ll play with xkb later.

Ok, For the moment we stayed with the basis, I wanted to give a try to beryl 3d desktop manager version 0.1.4. I followed the simple Beryl Installation For Edgy but without success as when I would run beryl-manager I would end with a non-explicit message (again) : Beryl caught deadly signal 11. After some reading around the net I downloaded rearranged amd64 beryl package beryl-0.1.4.tar.gz that I got from Ubuntu Forum. It worked like charm, and then I had to admit I was really surprised by this nice and new Desktop!

Finally, I wanted to have my pctv working so I installed kdetv Viewer. It’s not bad but the screen is scrambled on certain screen size. Then I tried with XawTv, but their interface didn’t change and is still unfriendly… Wanted to try xdtv but couldn’t find the latest deb for amd64 so I took older one (I didn’t want to compile it, as it depends on zillions of lib and that I had better stuff to do than spending time on that), but without success. Finally the award winning for tv watching on my ubuntu was tvtime. But still the rendering without overlay is worse than with K!TV on Windows.

To draw a conclusion, I would say that Kubuntu managed to put one of the best distro around (Debian) available for Desktop users easily. Once configured you’ll have a good Desktop (I’ll blog about that later cause I still have criticism about that). But if you want it perfect, it will take you quite a lot of time to get to the result you want, lambda user doesn’t want that! He wants to click, reboot X times and that’s it…
Now a programmer can spend some more time to get his best Integrated Development Operating System Environment.