Friday, June 13, 2008

Zshfully Yours, Gem Shortcuts

Stephen Celis provided a slick bash-method for quickly opening and browsing RDocs, over at his blog. I have merely ported the function to zsh. As a slight modification, $BROWSER and $BROWSER_OPTIONS are used instead of just open, so it works cross platform. The code:

gemdoc() {
local gemdir=`gem env gemdir`
$BROWSER $BROWSER_OPTIONS $gemdir/doc/`ls $gemdir/doc/ | grep $1 | sort | tail -1`/rdoc/index.html

_gemdoc() {
compadd $(ls `gem env gemdir`/doc)

compdef _gemdoc gemdoc

Friday, June 6, 2008

Arch Linux: Changing Gnome's default browser

I'm a big fan of OpenBox, but out of habit I use a couple of Gnome apps. Most notably Gnome Terminal. For some reason, when I clicked URLs in the terminal they opened in Epiphany. Firefox is still my main browser, so I wanted to change that. I solved it like this:

  1. sudo pacman -Sy gconf-editor
  2. Run gconf-editor , edit the /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/http(s) keys to your liking. In my case "firefox %s".
That should be it!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Script for removing orphans in Arch Linux

Shell scripting is fun, so I created a small function that removes all orphaned packages as reported by Pacman. It calls itself recursively if removing the current orphans revealed any new ones. Tested with zsh since that is my personal preference the best shell around :) - but it probably runs under bash as well. Here is the code:

remove_orphans() {
for pkg in `pacman -Qdt|awk -F ' ' '{ printf("%s\n", $1) }'`; do
sudo pacman -R $pkg
if [ `pacman -Qdt|wc -l` -gt 0 ]; then remove_orphans; fi

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Arch Linux: Alt+gr not working in Java apps

I got quite confused when my good old trusty Alt+gr key did not work in NetBeans (since I use Norwegian keyboard layout, this key is essential for progamming). The key worked everywhere except in Java apps, actually. Luckily, I figured out how to fix it:

  1. Install scim.
  2. Add your locale to the scim global config (/etc/scim/global).
  3. Start scim from your xinitrc.
  4. Restart your X server - it now should work!
For good measure, here's my .xinitrc file:

export XMODIFIERS='@im=SCIM'
export GTK_IM_MODULE="scim"
export XIM_PROGRAM="scim -d"
export QT_IM_MODULE="scim"
scim -d
exec openbox-session

Monday, June 2, 2008

Arch Linux: First impressions

So, I finally got fed up with Ubuntu. I really wanted to use FreeBSD again - but unfortunately the hardware in this box is not compatible. Arch Linux looked like a decent alternative so I downloaded the 2007.08-2 image and started installing. Misfortune struck again as I had to spend a couple of hours trying to get wireless working, but everything worked well as soon as I switched to the 2008.04-RC image. I wonder why they don't link to the RC image on the "Get Arch" page.

After some configuration I ended up with a really slick system - It's amazing how much faster stuff runs on OpenBox! Also, the BSD inspired rc.conf and init system made my day. The only real problem I encountered was when I tried to install an older version of a library. Pacman (Arch's package manager) doesn't support this. I consider this to be a flaw in the package manager (which all over feels immature compared to apt or BSD ports), and I predict the devs will realize this sooner or later - even though they currently consider it to be a "feature".

I find it amusing how things tend to move in cycles. When I started out with Linux ~8 years ago Slackware was the coolest thing around. Then we somehow ended up with Ubuntu. And now the "KISS"-distros are turning into the hippest kids on the block again. If you're fed up with the bloat, give Arch a try. :)