Friday, November 28, 2008

Nvidia controls aren't in the GUI menus

My computer at home has an Nvidia graphics card, and it's running Ubuntu 8.10 at the moment. We have the living room set up as a combo family room/dining room/play space/study/office with an open layout and furniture sort of compartmentalizing the areas for each usage. We do not have cable TV, but we do have a nice TV/computer monitor that we watch movies and YouTube videos on. We pipe in all video content from the computer, whether it's from a DVD or from the Net. In order to make that work, we have the TV monitor set up as a secondary monitor plugged into the video card.

The problem: There was no GUI menu item for the Nvidia driver settings. The display settings that System->Preferences->ScreenResolution gives aren't the right thing at all.

The solution: You *may* have a link in System->Administration for Nvidia X-Server settings. If so, that's what you want. If not, open up a terminal window and type

gksudo nvidia-settings

It will ask you for your password, and then you can set up the secondary monitor as you like.

If you want to make that a selection in the System->Administration menu, right click on the word "System" in the top panel, then choose "edit menus". From there you can add a menu item for the above command.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bash Readline Commands

One of the cool things about most versions of the Linux command line is that you get a built in text editor to allow you to move around and edit your line easily. I generally use the Bash shell, and that comes with Readline. I know a few commands by heart and use them constantly, but there are more that never quite stick in my head. So, I figured I'd write about them here so they'd be easy to find and, possibly, pressed a little more firmly into my gray matter by virtue of having written them down.

Ctrl-e Go to the end of the line
Ctrl-a Go to the start of the line
Alt-f Go forward one word (actually Meta-f, but Meta is usually Alt)
Alt-b Go backward one word

Ctrl-k Kill the text from the current cursor point to the end of the line
Alt-d Kill the text from the current cursor to the end of the word
Alt-DEL Kill the text from the current cursor to the start of the word
Ctrl-w Kill the text from the current cursor to the previous white space
Alt-DEL and Ctrl-w are different because the "word boundaries" are different. Alt-DEL will stop at punctuation and other non-word characters. Ctrl-w does not.
Ctrl-y Yank (paste) the most recently killed text into place at the current cursor

Ctrl-l Clear the screen, putting the current line at the top