Monday, 11 March 2013

Fedora - Unexpected Inconsistency, moving to KDE and other Linux stuff

Oh Mondays.
Monday last week started out great and by great I mean with a broken system, I don't know why or how this happened, I blame using the "hibernate" function as it never seems to work properly for me on any OS.

The fix:

efsck /dev/disk/by-label/_Fedora-16-86_64
(That path was for the hard drive he was complaining about) 
Then I pressed "yes" to everything he asked me, I mean, he asked "would you like to fix this?", what was I supposed to say? "Maybe"?

I was unable to login properly as the package metacity was crashing and gnome was all sort of weird. So I did whatever a sensible person would do, I jumped in the console and installed KDE.
It's been a strange journey, not that I mind learning new things.
First thing I did was to rebind my keyboard console shortcut (which is one of the most popular posts on this blog, a testament to fedora's user friendliness or lack of thereof), cool thing though, KDE allowed me to use the Ctrl-Alt-T (like you had on Ubuntu) that for some reason Gnome didn't let me use. Second thing I did was update said blog post.
First of all, I discovered that I had to install "npmixer" to have a little volume slider on the taskbar, for some reason it was not installed by default.
Then I had to manually set the keyboard shortcut for "volume up" and "volume down" as these keys, though recognized by the system was not working.

Changing volume on the console:

amixer set Master 1%- 
amixer set Master 1%+
These two commands are the ones I used to bind my key, they allow to easily control 100 levels of volume on the keyboard. 
Since I was doing this stuff anyway, I poked around musique to find a way to bind the "play/pause".

Musique console commands:

musique --toggle-playing
musique --next
musique --previous
I've bound these commands to shift+volumeup/down and play/pause buttons on my keyboard.
I still haven't made it possible to launch the calculator with the calculator button, despite the fact I've bound the command "gcalctool"  (which opens it) the they calc key... I think this key is special, haven't looked into it yet.

Auto Mount Drives

Other thing I noticed, how easy it is to have hard drives to automount on login! I tried to follow some scary and complicated guides I found on google about it, but on KDE you just have to tick a few boxes.
Go to Settings -> Removable Devices, should be self explanatory.

Amusingly, I've also found that to take screen shots one needs to install ksnapshot (yum install ksnapshot) and I'm yet to bind it to the keyboard shortcut.

Finally, my favourite feature of all time, you can specify different desktop wallpapers to different displays! Just right click on the background of the display you want to change and go to "Desktop Settings" and settings there are display specific, might sound  basic, but I love this feature and it annoys me it's not present much of anywhere else... In fact, as far as I know, it only also this simple on OSX.

This allows me to have two different wallpaper origin for each display, this is important since one of them has better resolution (you can notice that as the screen on the right has a lot of black space bellow the memory and cpu widgets, but in reality they're at the bottom of the screen).
However for some reason so far I have not been able to make KDE remember the display settings, every time I boot I have to tell him that my VGA screen is on the left of the LCD one - and yes, I've saved it as default.

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