28 May 2016

Fixing virtual console resolution with nVidia driver

I tried a number of things to get a laptop with an nVidia GT218M [NVS 3100M] video card to provide decent resolution in virtual consoles. This particular unit needs to run the proprietary video drivers to behave well--the big exception being the big-and-fuzzy virtual terminal text.

What finally worked for me in /etc/default/grub was

# If you change this file, run 'update-grub' afterwards to update
# /boot/grub/grub.cfg.
# For full documentation of the options in this file, see:
#   info -f grub -n 'Simple configuration'

GRUB_DEFAULT=saved
GRUB_SAVEDDEFAULT=true
GRUB_TIMEOUT=5
GRUB_DISTRIBUTOR=`lsb_release -i -s 2> /dev/null || echo Debian`
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet"
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX=""

# Uncomment to enable BadRAM filtering, modify to suit your needs
# This works with Linux (no patch required) and with any kernel that obtains
# the memory map information from GRUB (GNU Mach, kernel of FreeBSD ...)
#GRUB_BADRAM="0x01234567,0xfefefefe,0x89abcdef,0xefefefef"

# Uncomment to disable graphical terminal (grub-pc only)
#GRUB_TERMINAL=console

# The resolution used on graphical terminal
# note that you can use only modes which your graphic card supports via VBE
# you can see them in real GRUB with the command `vbeinfo'
#GRUB_GFXMODE=640x480
GRUB_GFXMODE=1600x900
GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=keep

# Uncomment if you don't want GRUB to pass "root=UUID=xxx" parameter to Linux
#GRUB_DISABLE_LINUX_UUID=true

# Uncomment to disable generation of recovery mode menu entries
#GRUB_DISABLE_RECOVERY="true"

# Uncomment to get a beep at grub start
#GRUB_INIT_TUNE="480 440 1"
The important parts are the GRUB_GFXMODE=1600x900 and GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=keep lines.

Don't forget to
$ update-grub
Credit goes to StackExchange.

01 May 2016

Adding "Run" options to Thunar

 Clicking on executable shell files no longer executes them in Thunar.

While there is a hidden option to revert to the old behavior, I decided in a new install to instead add right menu "Run" and "Run in terminal" custom actions. First create the custom actions from within Thunar to get valid unique-ids, and then open ~/.config/Thunar/uca.xml and edit the entries as needed:

<action>
    <icon>system-run</icon>
    <name>Run</name>
    <unique-id>xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx-x</unique-id>
    <command>exec ./&apos;%n&apos;</command>
    <description>Execute this file</description>
    <patterns>*</patterns>
    <other-files/>
    <text-files/>
</action>
<action>
    <icon>xterm-color</icon>
    <name>Run in terminal</name>
    <unique-id>yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy-y</unique-id>
    <command>xterm -T &apos;%n&apos; -e &quot;./&apos;%n&apos;; echo &apos;&apos;; read -p &apos;Press &lt;Enter&gt; to close...&apos;&quot;</command>
    <description>Execute this file in a terminal</description>
    <patterns>*</patterns>
    <other-files/>
    <text-files/>
</action>

26 April 2016

Concerns about Qt's increasing commercial focus


It's not just me. Phoronix is reporting on growing concerns in the Qt community about the project's increasing commercial focus and apparent deprecation of its open source core.

I have said many times in these pages and elsewhere that I really like Qt: it's the right tool for a lot of jobs. But increasingly I've been feeling that any contribution I make in educating users about Qt is benefiting a commercial enterprise and not a community tool. So much so that I am re-surveying other open source multi-platform libraries to use as an alternative to Qt.

If the community no longer has meaningful Qt ownership, a lot of users will no longer be interested.

25 April 2016

Fixing Debian sid touchpad with libinput

A recent sid update brought in Xorg's libinput package, which appears to make the old way of configuring touchpads (including synclient) obsolete.

One of the issues I had after the update was that my touchpad's tap-to-click stopped working. I fixed this using the info on this Stack Exchange post, namely I created a file
/usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-touchpad.conf containing:

Section "InputClass"
        Identifier "MyTouchpad"
        MatchIsTouchpad "on"
        Driver "libinput"
        Option "Tapping" "on"
EndSection

Note the different location from the one in the post. I also disabled the old 50-synaptics.conf, 50-vmmouse.conf, and 51-synaptics-aptosid.conf files (the latter two present possibly only in aptosid).

Apparently, Petter Hutterer has a post that goes into detail regarding what you can do with libinput, but I've not yet had time to read it.

Update (later the same day): With the above changes, my touchpad still had behavioral problems. I'll return to this later, but for now I re-enabled 50-synaptics.conf, 50-vmmouse.conf, and 51-synaptics-aptosid.conf and purged xserver-xorg-input-libinput (which removed xserver-xorg-input-all).

10 April 2016

Qt "Demerger"



Phoronix reports that Qt will be "demerged" from parent company Digia soon.

It seems there has always been interesting dynamics around Qt, and this I suppose is the latest chapter. I'm hoping this is more of a good sign than a bad one.