Posts tagged: X Window System

Multiple monitors, Primary Monitor, GNOME 3 and the Top Bar

I have generally been a fan of GNOME 3. Innovation makes me happy and it was certainly a foray away from the well known desktop styles. I really like the idea of the dynamic workspaces which gets a lot of use. Searching for applications instead of looking through folders manually makes a whole load of sense.

Ever since google, we seem to be moving more and more towards a search-centric life. Forget about folders and organising things, just use search.

The old way of organising things into folders were never very efficient anyway. Most things needed to be filed under more than one section and this, of course, wasn’t possible. Search on the other hands means that you just plonk everything in one place and let the search worry about finding it.

There are however, several issues with GNOME 3 – and ironically, it seems to be basic functionality that’s missing. It’s technical things too – not a case of philosophy. I use multiple monitors and it is expected that I can choose which monitor displays the top bar. It should be possible to put it on the “Primary Monitor” or one of any secondary monitors.

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Exporting X11 to Windows [1109]

Playing Skyrim the last week, sometimes I just missed Linux so terribly that I wanted a piece of it and not just the command line version. I wanted X Windows on my Windows 7.

There has been a solution for this for several years and the first time I did this, I installed cygwin with X11 but there is a far simpler way to accomplish this.

Install XMing. I then used putty, which has the forward X11 option. Once logged in, running xeyes shows the window exported onto my Windows 7. Ah.. so much better.

I actually used this to run terminator to connect to a number of servers. Over local LAN, the windows didn’t have any perceptible lag or delay. It was more or less like running it locally.

It is possible to set up shortcuts to run an application through putty and have it exported to your desktop. I haven’t played with this enough to comment though.

This of course only worked because I have another box which is running Linux. If that is not the case for you, then you might want to try VirtualBox but since the linux kernel developers have described the kernel modules as tainted crap, you might want to consider vmware instead which is an excellent product.

Gnome Desktop Inaccessible After Screensaver Kicks in [1103]

Yesterday, I mentioned a problem that I’ve been having with GNOME 3 on Ubuntu 11.10.

Essentially what happens is that when I leave my desktop for a while, under specific circumstances, and often, on returning and moving the mouse or using the keyboard, the pointer would come back  on screen. However, this only works on one of my two screens.

The unlock dialog does not show up and it seems that there is no way to get back in.

In the past, I would log into the terminal (Ctrl-Alt-F1 or any function key through to F5 or so) and

$ kill -9 -1

This would of course kill all processes owned by me and is therefore unpleasant at best and have you losing a bunch of work at worst.

After a brainwave yesterday (as detailed in the aforementioned post), I decided to check the status of the screensaver and killed just those processes. Happily, this gives me my desktop back. However, my gnome-shell had given up which I had to restart

$ gnome-shell --replace

Unfortunately, I did not get the windows into the original workspaces since everything just got dumped into the one workspace but it is better than having to kill everything off.

EDIT: I just realised that the screen saver of course no longer kicks in and I had to restart it

$ gnome-screensaver --no-daemon

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