Sunday, July 10, 2011

configuring X with xmonad without KDE/gnome

While configuring X11 to use the xmonad tiling window manager instead of the more usual KDE or GNOME, some things were somewhat less then obvious, and I document them here.

.xsession configuration

These are settings that all can be made permanent by adding them to the
.xsession file in your home directory.

disable CAPS, enable Compose

setxkbmap -option compose:caps

Now you can use the Caps Lock key to compose special characters. E.g.

  • <Caps> 'e   gives é
  • <Caps> e=  gives €
  • ...
... and as a bonus you can't accidentally press the Caps Lock key any more!

disable beep globally

xset b off

start gpg-agent on startup

eval `gpg-agent --daemon`

start ssh-agent on startup

eval `ssh-agent --daemon`

other things


Install the suckless-tools package for dmenu among things.
Just use <alt>-p to quicklanch apps with dmenu.


I want to use plain xterm as terminal emulator as the tabbing of gnome-terminal and konsole is rather pointless in combination with the tiling.
The default font size was to small. To solve this I did a dirty hack like this:

  • update-alternatives -config xterm and change it to uxterm to have an UTF-8 terminal by default
  • edit /usr/bin/uxterm and change the last line by adding -fn 10x20 to it.


At the moment I'm still using kmail as email client (and accidentally akregator as RSS feed agregator). I'm still thinking about switching that as well.

... to be continued ...

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