Posts Tagged ‘gnome’

Activating the comma instead of the dot in OOo Calc

This article was first written in May 2004 for
the BeezNest technical website (

GNOME seems to have its own way of managing the numeric keypad, which leads to something very frustrating: the dot (or comma) on the keypad is understood as dot, while the decimal separator in Belgium should be the comma.

To change that, I have not found a better solution that to add a line like this in /etc/X11/Xmodmap create it if needed:

keycode 91 = KP_Delete comma

This has been tested on Debian Woody and Debian Sarge, both using GDM and a GNOME Desktop.

Scripting GNOME configuration

July 6, 2008 Leave a comment
This article was first written in April 2004 for
the BeezNest technical website (

GConf is GNOME’s configuration database. It provides tools for configuring every GNOME application installed.

To learn more about what GConf is, how it works, and what tools are available for it, read the very good gnome-gconf documentation

Categories: English, Tech Crunch Tags: ,

Understanding Memory usage in GNOME

July 2, 2008 Leave a comment
This article was first written in January 2004 for
the BeezNest technical website (

This has been originally written by Miguel de Icaza (the famous GNOME hacker and creator of Ximian). This was retrieved from:

People usually look at the memory sizes for the processes and misinterpret the information. This is a common mistake.

When talking about memory usage and the reports you get from the operating system, you need to keep in mind the following terms and what they mean:


This is the address space seen by the process. If the process maps 65 megs of memory, the address space of the process will be reported as 65 megs of memory. Even if only 100k of memory are actually used. This bit of information is not usually very useful and this is what most people believe is the actual memory usage of a program: it is not.


This is the “Resident Set Size”. This is the amount of memory actually resident on memory. This is a better computation of what is actually loaded in memory. This does not include any piece of code that have been “swapped out”. So, for example, if you have a program that uses 100k of memory and the operating system discards or swaps 40k of memory, the RSS will be 60k. The RSS includes both the memory which is unique to this process and the memory shared with other processes. In most modern Unix systems, a large part of this accounts for the memory used by shared libraries. So it usually includes the ammount of memory that is used by other processes for the code that is shared: The libc is usually taken into account. GNOME uses many shared libraries (this makes the applications share more memory).


This is the amount of memory from the RSS that is shared with other applications.

So, the actual memory used uniquely by an application is RSS – SHARE. If two programs use library “A”, then the process would also be “responsible” for A/2 of the memory, but there are many variations (which pieces of the library each program uses) that make this computation hard.

A good approximation is thus “RSS – SHARE”.

The file manager in GNOME for example uses the following libraries:

CORBA libraries: => /opt/gnome/lib/ (0x40007000) =>/opt/gnome/lib/ (0x40011000) => /opt/gnome/lib/ (0x4001a000) => /opt/gnome/lib/ (0x4007c000) => /opt/gnome/lib/

GNOME graphical libraries: => /opt/gnome/lib/ => /opt/gnome/lib/ => /opt/gnome/lib/

Session management libraries: => /usr/X11R6/lib/ (0x4016a000) => /usr/X11R6/lib/ (0x40173000)

GTK libraries: => /usr/local/lib/ (0x40188000) => /usr/local/lib/ (0x402a3000)

Glib libraries: => /usr/local/lib/ => /usr/local/lib/

X11 libraries: => /usr/X11R6/lib/ (0x402d9000) => /usr/X11R6/lib/ (0x402e7000)

GNOME libraries: => /usr/lib/ (0x404a4000) => /opt/gnome/lib/ (0x403a3000) => /opt/gnome/lib/ => /lib/ (0x403bb000)

Standard Unix libraries: => /lib/ (0x403ea000) => /lib/ (0x4038a000) => /lib/ (0x403ff000)

/lib/ => /lib/ (0x2aaaa000)

File manager libraries: => /lib/ (0x403ed000) => /lib/ (0x403fd000)

So, even if it does not use all of the code, the “SIZE” will reflect the maximal size the program would be using if it used all of those libraries.

The more libraries we use the bigger the SIZE goes, even if this does not reflect the actual memory usage.

Categories: English, Tech Crunch Tags: ,

GNOME 2.x Desktop

June 30, 2008 Leave a comment

Our preferred free desktop for X (the X Window System) is the GNOME Desktop.

There are actually a lot of reasons to prefer it over others [1]. Most of them are summarized here: GNOME in a nutshell and So, why GNOME?

Ours are mainly because we feel it is faster and looks a lot prettier than any other, and most major free softwares are already or are getting more integrated with GNOME in a near future (ex.: Galeon, GAIM, …).

It is currently available in version 2.x [2]: GNOME Desktop 2.14.

It is also particularly well integrated and up-to-date into .

Some screenshots: GNOME 2.14 and GNOME 2.8 Screenshots and GNOME 2.6 Screenshots and GNOME 2.4 Screenshots.

[1] like KDE

[2] currently 2.14 as of this article

This article was first written in November 2003 for
the BeezNest technical website (
Categories: English, OSS Solutions Tags:

HOWTO Automatically clean thumbnails generated by Nautilus

June 18, 2006 Leave a comment
This article is incomplete and was first written in June 2006
for the BeezNest technical website (

To automatically clean the thumbnails generated by Nautilus, and who never get cleaned by GNOME itself and can really fast occupy a large part of your disk space, I setup a cronjob like this in /etc/cron.d/clean-gnome-thumbnails on my Debian:

# Clean GNOME thumbnails files
# Every day, at 22h.
0 22    * * *   root    find /home/*/.thumbnails/ -type f -atime +90 -exec rm {} \;

This cronjob would remove thumbnails older than 90 days from homes of all users on my machine every day at 10PM.

Categories: English, Tech Crunch Tags: ,

GNOME Configuration Tools

November 24, 2005 Leave a comment
This article was first written in November 2005 for the BeezNest technical
website (

GAP, alias the GNOME Advanced Preferences.

Pessulus, a lockdown editor for GNOME.

COG alias the Configurator for GNOME, a program for editing advanced GNOME settings in an easy way.

Sabayon, a system administration tool to manage GNOME desktop settings.

Java Desktop System Configuration Manager, a centralized management of configuration settings for Java Desktop System deployments.

Setting the default printer under GNOME

June 9, 2004 Leave a comment
This article was first written in June 2004 for the BeezNest technical
website (

To change the default printer when using GNOME, it is pretty easy, provided that you use CUPS and gnome-cups-manager.

Go into the “Applications” menu, then “Desktop Preferences”, and “System Tools” and click on “Printing”.

There, you have a list of all preconfigured printers on the system. Right-click on the one you want by default and click on the “Make Default” menu entry. If this one is greyed and you cannot click on it, it means it is already the default.

Now, any application should print on this printer by default, unless otherwise told.

Categories: English, Tech Crunch Tags: ,
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