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lsof : one of the most powerfull Unix commands nobody uses


Here's a nifty overview of lsof, one of the Swiss army knives of Unix. The article mentions lsof as a command nobody uses, but that's plain wrong : I use lsof quite frequently, though some of the lsof outputs can be obtained through other programs too.

Beryl 0.2 makes Vista and OSX look boring


I upgraded yesterday to Beryl 0.2, and besides some minor upgrade problems, this desktop manager is looking spiffy. has a nice roundup at the state of the current Linux desktop, which has way more eye candy than OSX and Vista together.
I really like trailfocus, which makes unfocused windows transparent. I don't like a cluttered desktop, so trailfocus really emphasizes the current active application.

Linux virtualization


IBM carries an article containing an overview of the current Linux virtualization methods, the techniques used over the years, and a survey of Linux virtualization projects. The different methods are somehow very briefly discussed, eg the part about the now standard KVM could have been described in more detail. QEMU though, looks promising, and I really should give it a try in order to remove VMWare from my system.



I upgraded my XGL/Compiz set from Quinnstorm packages to the new Beryl-manager. The Gimp has an attitude of keeping several windows open, so trailfocus isn't really helpfull there, so I decided to exclude Gimp from the trailfocus module. That can be accomplished to specifying a WM_CLASS in the Beryl-manager, but what has to be specified there exactly ?

On can find the exact name of a WM_CLASS object by typing the command :

xprop | grep WM_CLASS | cut -d \" -f 4

The cursor then changes to a cross, which enables you to select the application of which you want to know the WM_CLASS.

Nasty Sparc Xorg bug fixed


A long living Xorg bug has finally been fixed : on my Ultra-10, Xorg crashes the system when starting up. The code in Xorg was trying to mimmick VGA routing by disabling I/O responses behind the Simba PCI controller. Unfortunately, doing this also happens to disable access to the IDE controller I/O registers, thus crashing the system. No console messages because the console has been put into framebuffer mode by the X server already.

This took a painfully long time to track down and debug. Luckily, once fixed, the code got blindingly fast implemented in the Debian packages, and the fix is now available in xserver-xorg-core-1.1.1-10. No luck however in SparcUbuntu, cause the package isn't yet available, and the Debian xserver-xorg-core package cannot be installed on Ubuntu, because of conflict issues. However, by unpacking the deb file, one can simply copy the Xorg binary to /usr/bin, which fixes also the problem.


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