Archive for the ‘Debian/Linux’ Category

.screenrc configuration example…

I don’t keep my love for GNU screen a secret. I’ve been using screen for so long that I feel a little handicapped when I work on a system that doesn’t have screen installed. I like to tweak my .screenrc from time to time, to see what I can do to make my experience even more productive.

But screen is so customizable that a person can do really weird things with it. Take, for example, this .screenrc. Warning: it makes my head hurt….

# xterm tweaks
# xterm understands both im/ic and doesnt have a status line.
#Note: Do not specify im and ic in the real termcap/info file as
# some programs e.g. vi will not work anymore.
# termcap xterm hs@:cs=\E[%i%d;%dr:im=\E[4h:ei=\E[4l
# terminfo xterm hs@:cs=\E[%i%p1%d;%p2%dr:im=\E[4h:ei=\E[4l
# 80/132 column switching must be enabled for ^AW to work
# change init sequence to not switch width# termcapinfo xterm Z0=\E[?3h:Z1=\E[?3l:is=\E[r\E[m\E[2J\E[H\E[?7h\E[?1;4;6l


Parole – lightweight media player for XFCE

If you haven’t been paying attention, or haven’t made the upgrade to XFCE 4.8, you may not have heard of Parole, a light-weight media player for XFCE. I know I hadn’t heard of it, anyway, ’til just a few minutes ago.

Parole uses gstreamer for its back-end, kinda like that Gnome media player whose name I will not mention. However, it is written to have a very small footprint, to be as speedy as possible. And based on my testing, they hit that mark.  Parole also seems to fit in with the XFCE look better. At least to my eye.

Of course, gstreamer gives Parole the ability to play an amazing amount of different types of media. Sound, music, video, it’s all there. And optimized! gstreamer makes user of vdpau, so the HD videos from my flip cam play in all of their glory without taxing the processor cores on my laptop. Who needs SMPlayer now? Nope, not me!

Apparently XFCE 4.8 comes with Parole – or at least it can easily be added via the xfce4-goodies package. I’m still running 4.6, however, so I had to manually build and install it. Which isn’t a huge problem, just really annoying.

First step: grab the tarball from:

Second, install the following packages using apt or aptitude:

xfce4-dev-tools intltool libtool gtk-doc gtk-doc-tools libgtk2.0-dev libgstreamer0.10-dev gstreamer0.10-videosource libgstreamer-plugins-base0.10-dev gstreamer0.10-videosource libdbus-1-dev libdbus-glib-1-dev libxfcegui4-dev

Third, install the packages using the following commands:

./ --prefix=/usr/local
make install (as root)

(note: this installs to /usr/local/bin; I like to keep system-installed stuff separate from stuff I’ve built/installed)

Once autogen and make finish their magic, you’ll now have Parole installed at:


If /usr/local/bin is already in your path (and really, why isn’t it already?), you can launch the player by running “parole”.

Give it a try!


How to Install KDE 4.5 in Lucid and Isadora

Xfce logo

Image via Wikipedia

I have been using XFCE forever now, and have written about it here a few times. I love XFCE, and don’t see giving up on it anytime soon. I do still like KDE, though, and every now and then I pull down the latest packaged version and give it a run-through. With all of the hoopla regarding the 4.5  launch, I figured it was time to take another look. But, of course, it wasn’t a straight-forward process in Lucid.

Not all Linux distributions will offer packages for KDE 4.5 upgrades, and none of them, at this time, are supporting them in their official repositories. This takes time

via How to Install KDE 4.5.

Not that it was exactly hard, mind you. It’s actually fairly straight-forward in Lucid (for you *buntu users) and Isadora (for us Linux Mint fiends). Add the Kubuntu backports repository (ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports), do a dist-upgrade, and then add in the kubuntu-desktop packages. A half-hour or so later, and you are good to go.

Logo of the KDE Project

Image via Wikipedia

I only ran into one issue: for some reason the Kontact/kdepim packages didn’t install two libraries required for Kontact to launch. I had to manually add libkontactinterface4 and libakonadi-contact4. I still think this is really, really weird.

No matter, it is working now. I am writing this from within KDE 4.5. All in all, this is a very solid KDE release. Congrats to the dev team!

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Profile picI am a 40-ish uber-geek, Daoist and family man. Blessed to have one incredible wife and three wonderful kiddos. Dao has been kind to me.

February 2020
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