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Linux tips and tricks for all users.

Using the Larswm window manager and some other good tips when using Linux.

Larswm Debian desktop.
Larswm Debian desktop.

The Larswm window manager deserves to be given a try if you want a fast and flexible window manager to use on a netbook or low specced desktop machine. This window manager is very fast and usable for any user that wants to use a desktop that is free from bloat. Using a fully featured Linux desktop like KDE or Gnome on a netbook is defeating the purpose; even though my ASUS eePC can run Gnome Shell ok; the Larswm window manager is faster and more usable and you can have a thin bar at the bottom of the screen that contains the name of the application you are running; the workspace navigator; the system information and the clock. That is a very usable and informative bar and provides all of the information you need to use the desktop properly. This below is my .larswmrc I am using on my netbook.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
! .larswmrc example !
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

! Color scheme used with xsetroot -solid darkgray
!
! larswm.foreground: black
larswm.background: lightgray

! Desktop names - first monitor
!
larswm.0.0.dtname: Syslogs  [0---]
larswm.0.1.dtname: WWW  [-1--]
larswm.0.2.dtname: Work  [--2-]
larswm.0.3.dtname: Misc  [---3]

! Desktop names - second monitor
!
larswm.1.0.dtname: Comms  [0---]
larswm.1.1.dtname: IRC  [-1--]
larswm.1.2.dtname: Other  [--2-]
larswm.1.3.dtname: Misc  [---3]

! These are the windows I want tiled
!
larswm.dotileclass.0: XTerm~xterm
larswm.dotileclass.1: Netscape~Navigator

! Some tool windows
!
larswm.toolclass.0: XLoad
larswm.toolclass.1: XBiff

! Windows that should always stay above other windows
!
larswm.floatclass.0: XCalc~xcalc

! Assign all new Netscape windows to the WWW desktop
!
larswm.dtclass.0: Netscape
larswm.dtnum.0: 1

! Use a wider left track on the WWW desktop
!
larswm.0.1.left_track_width: 80

! Don't resize windows on the WWW desktop
!
larswm.0.1.tile_resize: False

! Add some mouse button apps
!
larswm.button1.application: sample.editor
larswm.button2.application: xcalc
larswm.button3.application: xterm

! Add a shortcut for Netscape
!
larswm.application.0: netscape
larswm.application_key.0: n
larswm.application_mod.0: Shift+Control

! Add a shortcut for restarting larswm
!
larswm.application.1: larsremote restart
larswm.application_key.1: r
larswm.application_mod.1: Shift+Control+Alt

! Add a shortcut for exiting larswm
!
larswm.application.2: larsremote exit
larswm.application_key.2: q
larswm.application_mod.2: Shift+Control+Alt

! Add a shortcut for redrawing the screen
!
larswm.application.3: xrefresh
larswm.application_key.3: l
larswm.application_mod.3: Control+Alt

! Add a shortcut for viewing manual pages
! on whatever is highlighted.
!
larswm.application.4: xterm -e man "$WM_SELTEXT"
larswm.application_key.4: m
larswm.application_mod.4: Shift+Control

! This starts an editor on the highlighted filename.
! Please see the file sample.editor for specifics
! on how to make it find the right directory etc.
!
larswm.application.5: sample.editor
larswm.application_key.5: e
larswm.application_mod.5: Shift+Control

! Add a shortcut for starting a new terminal
! This emulates the old behaviour
!
larswm.application.6: xterm
larswm.application_key.6: Return
larswm.application_mod.6: Shift+Control

And this is my .xinitrc file that will get this desktop working.

xterm &
larsclock &
larsmenu &
exec larswm

There is a nice ~/.larswmrc file here if you want to try another example: .

How to create an alias to shorten a command. This example is shortening the clear command to cls.

alias cls='clear'

Using the hwclock command; you may retrieve information from the hardware clock on your computer. This command requires super-user privileges.

[Mon 12/11/19 20:16 EST][pts/0][x86_64/linux-gnu/3.5.0-17-generic][5.0.0]
<john@deusexmachina:~>
zsh 12 [70] % sudo hwclock --debug
[sudo] password for john: 
hwclock from util-linux 2.20.1
Using /dev interface to clock.
Last drift adjustment done at 0 seconds after 1969
Last calibration done at 0 seconds after 1969
Hardware clock is on unknown time
Assuming hardware clock is kept in UTC time.
Waiting for clock tick...
...got clock tick
Time read from Hardware Clock: 2012/11/19 20:16:39
Hw clock time : 2012/11/19 20:16:39 = 1353356199 seconds since 1969
Tue 20 Nov 2012 07:16:39 EST  -0.060637 seconds

And using the biosdecode command; you may retrieve information about the BIOS in your computer. This command also requires super-user privileges.

[Mon 12/11/19 20:21 EST][pts/0][x86_64/linux-gnu/3.5.0-17-generic][5.0.0]
<john@deusexmachina:~>
zsh 14 [1] % sudo biosdecode
# biosdecode 2.11
SMBIOS 2.4 present.
	Structure Table Length: 1205 bytes
	Structure Table Address: 0x000F0100
	Number Of Structures: 39
	Maximum Structure Size: 91 bytes
ACPI 1.0 present.
	OEM Identifier: GBT   
	RSD Table 32-bit Address: 0xDFBE3040
BIOS32 Service Directory present.
	Revision: 0
	Calling Interface Address: 0x000FB350
PNP BIOS 1.0 present.
	Event Notification: Not Supported
	Real Mode 16-bit Code Address: F000:BAC8
	Real Mode 16-bit Data Address: F000:0000
	16-bit Protected Mode Code Address: 0x000FBAA0
	16-bit Protected Mode Data Address: 0x000F0000

To view the current active network connections on your computer use this command.

[Mon 12/11/19 20:36 EST][pts/0][x86_64/linux-gnu/3.5.0-17-generic][5.0.0]
<john@deusexmachina:~/Documents>
zsh 50 % lsof -i | grep ESTABLISHED
ubuntuone 2542 john   34u  IPv4  12771      0t0  TCP 192.168.1.2:36023->kwaimuk.canonical.com:https (ESTABLISHED)
chromium- 4464 john   70u  IPv4  52713      0t0  TCP 192.168.1.2:51077->cf-199-27-135-56.cloudflare.com:http (ESTABLISHED)
chromium- 4464 john   94u  IPv4  52497      0t0  TCP 192.168.1.2:52338->syd01s06-in-f8.1e100.net:http (ESTABLISHED)
chromium- 4464 john   96u  IPv4  51811      0t0  TCP 192.168.1.2:34096->syd01s06-in-f3.1e100.net:https (ESTABLISHED)
chromium- 4464 john   99u  IPv4  36379      0t0  TCP 192.168.1.2:46207->hg-in-f125.1e100.net:xmpp-client (ESTABLISHED)
chromium- 4464 john  104u  IPv4  52523      0t0  TCP 192.168.1.2:38036->syd01s06-in-f24.1e100.net:https (ESTABLISHED)
chromium- 4464 john  106u  IPv4  54283      0t0  TCP 192.168.1.2:37056->a184-84-221-43.deploy.akamaitechnologies.com:https (ESTABLISHED)
chromium- 4464 john  107u  IPv4  51830      0t0  TCP 192.168.1.2:47463->syd01s06-in-f24.1e100.net:http (ESTABLISHED)
chromium- 4464 john  153u  IPv4  51859      0t0  TCP 192.168.1.2:34997->syd01s06-in-f5.1e100.net:https (ESTABLISHED)
chromium- 4464 john  195u  IPv4  43248      0t0  TCP 192.168.1.2:51944->syd01s06-in-f19.1e100.net:http (ESTABLISHED)

And this command will view all current network connections on port 80.

[Mon 12/11/19 20:38 EST][pts/0][x86_64/linux-gnu/3.5.0-17-generic][5.0.0]
<john@deusexmachina:~/Documents>
zsh 57 [1] % lsof -i :80  
COMMAND    PID USER   FD   TYPE DEVICE SIZE/OFF NODE NAME
chromium- 4464 john   70u  IPv4  52153      0t0  TCP 192.168.1.2:34267->cf-173-245-61-146.cloudflare.com:http (ESTABLISHED)
chromium- 4464 john   94u  IPv4  52758      0t0  TCP 192.168.1.2:44938->syd01s06-in-f3.1e100.net:http (ESTABLISHED)
chromium- 4464 john  132u  IPv4  54414      0t0  TCP 192.168.1.2:34903->tb-in-f121.1e100.net:http (ESTABLISHED)
chromium- 4464 john  150u  IPv4  54415      0t0  TCP 192.168.1.2:34904->tb-in-f121.1e100.net:http (ESTABLISHED)
chromium- 4464 john  154u  IPv4  54416      0t0  TCP 192.168.1.2:34905->tb-in-f121.1e100.net:http (ESTABLISHED)
chromium- 4464 john  156u  IPv4  54417      0t0  TCP 192.168.1.2:34906->tb-in-f121.1e100.net:http (ESTABLISHED)
chromium- 4464 john  157u  IPv4  54418      0t0  TCP 192.168.1.2:34907->tb-in-f121.1e100.net:http (ESTABLISHED)
chromium- 4464 john  160u  IPv4  54419      0t0  TCP 192.168.1.2:34908->tb-in-f121.1e100.net:http (ESTABLISHED)
chromium- 4464 john  195u  IPv4  43248      0t0  TCP 192.168.1.2:51944->syd01s06-in-f19.1e100.net:http (ESTABLISHED)

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