Posts tagged: X11

Saving your workspace window configuration in Linux [1102]

I am usually working on a good half a dozen things at any given time and this means that I usually have a good ten or twenty windows open. My chromium currently has a 134 tabs and this is after I  cleaned up and closed all the tabs I no longer need.

Luckily, working in Linux means that I can spread each stream of work into the various workspaces.

Now GNOME 3 makes things a little more complicated with the dynamic workspaces but I’m learning to use it to my advantage

However, with Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot and GNOME 3, I seem to be running into an issue regularly…If I leave my computer for a while, it doesn’t unlock correctly. The screen remains black and I can’t move the mouse to my second screen and the unlock screen doesn’t show up.

Thinking about it, it seems like there might be two screen savers being started but I shall investigate that tomorrow. I have the same issue at both work and home so it is more likely to be related to Ubuntu + GNOME 3 or something about the way I set things up.

I  usually resolve this by logging into the console and here a neat trick for killing all our processes in one fell swoop.

$ kill -9 -1

Another thing I have been doing a bit more of recently is gaming which involves rebooting in Windows.

Both of the above leaves me with a restarted workspace. Starting up the applications pops them all into the same workspace. Chrome is especially a nightmare. I might have 135 open tabs but they are in about 6 windows spread across four workspaces.

It is annoying to have to distribute these things out each time.

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X11 Remote Applications Responsiveness

As a developer, I use eclipse a lot… We have a powerful server that off which eclipse is run which allows us to keep the desktops at a much lower spec. In general, this works well for us.

However, recently, I have been niggled by the amount of time it takes to switch perspectives on eclipse. It takes a good 4 seconds to switch between perspectives.There is also a noticeable lag when performing some operations.

To resolve this, I spent a lot of time looking at the linux real-time and low-latency patches. I had expected that running X11 applications remotely would not cause a bottleneck over a gigabit link. Turns out that I was wrong.

To test this, I ran a vnc server on the application server and found that switching perspectives on there was super fast.

To be able to resolve this, the first thing to do was to remove any latency put on the X->X communication by ssh.

We use gdm, so I had to enable to TCP on there first. Do this using the following config line in /etc/gdm/


Restart gdm

on the remote host, export DISPLAY

export DISPLAY=:0

and run your application.

I found the application to be a lot more responsive after this. I didn’t have to worry about X auth since we have nfs mounted home. If you don’t, check this mini howto

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