Archive for May, 2011

xfce4: xfwm4: Tune the windowmanager to switch from one workspace to another and back

May 23, 2011

As already mentionend in this blog, I use xfce4 with 10 different workspaces. Important applications run on dedicated workspaces, e.g. firefox on #3, emacs on #4 and so on.

You may switch from one workspace to another very conveniently by keyboard (per default e.g. for workspace #3).

There is one more configuration option, which is unfortunately off by default. You will find it in the xfce-config tools under “Detailed configuration of the window manager”. Select the tab Workspaces. There is a line reading similar to “Remember last workspace, use it again when changing via keyboard shortcuts”. If you check this, bring you to the workspace #n. Pressing the same shortcut again, it will you bring back where you came from.

IMHO very convenient.

Using a shell you may set this via xfconf-query:


xfconf-query -c xfwm4 -p /general/toggle_workspaces -s true

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natty install crashed rendering system unbootable: Using grub-install to make it bootable

May 9, 2011

Using a dual boot system since years, I always have one partition for my productive system (currently for various reasons still Karmic 9.10) and another partition to test new releases.

Recently I upgraded an Maverick 10.10 to Natty 11.04. All went well. Today I tried to do a fresh install of Natty. This failed twice (ubiquity crashed).

It turned out that the system was no longer bootable (I got a prompt saying grub rescue, neither help nor ? gave me helpful information).

I again started from USB stick, selecting rescue mode. I then mounted my productive root partitition and then issued

grub-install –boot-directory=/mnt/boot /dev/sda

On restarting the system I luckily had a proper grub list again. After some strange error messages my productive system booted.

When it was finally up and running, I again ran grub-install, this time using

grub-install /dev/sda

The mentioned strange messages are gone – may be this is a version issue (grub-install in Natty using files from Karmic).

I will retry the Natty installation but in the first place I will make a really fine backup …