Showing posts from October, 2010

No Gnome in Maverick Meerkat

I am a little surprised that no one has yet commented on how there is no longer a Gnome entry in the Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat login screen. Instead, you have various options for "Ubuntu Desktop Edition." When you select "Ubuntu Desktop Edition" you get something that looks, acts, smells, and sounds almost exactly like Gnome. For now.

Enabling touchpad clicking and edge scrolling in Squeeze

Gnome has a mouse configuration interface that lets you enable touchpad clicking and scrolling. But if you are a Debian Squeeze user and prefer Xfce, LXDE, or some handmade alternative, you will find that your touchpad's clicking and edge scrolling won't work [1]. You'll also find that those functions don't work in the GDM login screen even if you do use Gnome. No probs. The fix is easy.

To fix:
Open  /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf (as root) in an editor.Add the text
Option "TapButton1" "1"
Option "VertEdgeScroll" "1"
between Section "InputClass" and EndSection.Save, reboot and enjoy.Note that if you use Gnome, you might find that your old mouse settings are messed up after the above. Set them again and all should be fine.

If you don't like the idea of changing system config files, you can use synclient in a startup script to enable things as well.

Useful links:…

Fixing brightnes control, etc. on a Samsung R510 with Debian Squeeze

I finally got around to installing Linux on my Samsung R510 laptop. One of the problems with Samsung laptops is that they don't play well with some Linux standards. One example is the brightness control--it just doesn't work. There are some other issues that are less irritating, but this one is the worst for me.

There is a fix for these ails that was developed for Ubuntu (some of which is also at Google code.). The problem is that my current distribution of choice is Debian Testing (Squeeze). The good news is that these bits developed for Ubuntu can be used in Squeeze as well.

We need to install three different packages: easy-slow-down-manager, samsung-backlight, and samsung-tools. Here's what I did after installing Squeeze with Gnome on the R510:

Download the Maverick *.deb for easy-slow-down-manager from from and install it directly with gdebi or your favorite package installer. It's all DKMS source code…

Workaround for installing desktops in Squeeze

I've done a couple new Debian Testing installations in the last couple days and have noticed something strange in the installer. At a point in the installation process, you will be offered a menu of choices for major package bundles to be installed. If you want a desktop environment, you're supposed to select "Desktop environment." In the past when I did this, the following screen would offer you a choice of DTEs including Gnome, KDE, Xfce, and LXDE. However, the last few installs I tried did not. And exactly what it installs I'm not sure because I wasn't willing to wait 3 hours (at my connection speeds) for the download and install process to complete. So here's the workaround:

First, using the installer, install the system you want but do not install a desktop environment. 

When the installation completes, login using the command line. Then become root

Next, make sure you have tasksel installed:
# apt-get install aptitude tasksel

Finally, use tasksel t…