Tag Archives: code

Gnome terminal embedded into desktop.

This is the last part of the Ubuntu desktop customizing, in this post I will cover embedding gnome terminal into your desktop and the simple autostart script for all of those features.

Before we start: Make sure you have CCSM (if you have not had one you can get it with sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager).

First important thing is to set up a new gnome terminal profile. To do so start terminal and select Edit->Profiles menu item. In the profile selection window select New and set a few key options:

(this screenshot can be your guide)

You must choose an unique name for your terminal window – I have chosen gnome_terminal and make sure to select option to keep the title unmodified. Second option to change is to remove the scroll bar completely – you will still be able to scroll the window with PgUp/PgDown keys.
After saving changes and selecting this profile for the current terminal leave it open and see, if everything is ok.

Now it’s time for some compiz fun!
Start CCSM and go to Window decoration setting and in the decoration_match input insert the following value:


Now go to Place windows and input the following settings as in the following screenshot:

The last rule to configure is in the Window rules tab. Similarily to the first option you ahve to fill it with the following value:


Note lack of ! sign

After all of this poking around close CCSM and take a look at your gnome terminal you set up at the beginning – from now on it should be sticking to the background with no window decoration at all!

Finally you have to correct the terminal position and start everything at system startup. For this task I wrote very short script:

sleep 5
conky -c ~/conky/right
conky -c ~/conky/left
gnome-terminal --window-with-profile=desktop_terminal --geometry=110x40+95+20

Probably you will have to correct geometry parameter few times (took me quite a long time) before it will work for you. Save the script in your home directory and run at startup!

If you did everything as I wrote for you, you will get a nice desktop in no time. Now include own window selector (my preference is cairo dock) and you’re done.

Last note about why I have chosen Compiz and not Devil’s Pie for this task – the Devil’s Pie have some problems with disappearing terminal when you hit “show desktop” button, after trial end error I have forgot about it and made everything with compiz in much less time.
If you have any problem or want to point me out that I have forgotten about anything – let me know in the comments!

Conky setup with custom gauges, twitter and wlan status.

This is a follow-up of previous posts about conky and a summary.
Full source of the conky setup can be downloaded from here.

The full twitter script can be found in the previous post and along other important files in the archive.

The directory structure I am using is the following:

     |- left
     |- right
     |- /scripts
         |- twit.py
         |- conky_lunatico.lua

It’s a simple structure using two conky instances for both sides of the screen with separate configuration files.
The most important bits of the left part are the following:

maximum_width 270
own_window yes
own_window_type override
own_window_transparent yes
own_window_hints undecorate,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager,below
border_inner_margin 0
border_outer_margin 0
alignment top_left
//to set up the window properly and
${color1}${execi 60 python ~/conky/scripts/twit.py | fold -w45}

to include the twitter script.

Configuration of the right side has the following key items:

minimum_size 180 500
maximum_width 180
own_window yes
own_window_type override
own_window_transparent yes
own_window_hints undecorate,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager,below
border_inner_margin 0
border_outer_margin 0
alignment tr
//as previously - setting up the window on the top-right side of the screen and
lua_load ~/conky/scripts/conky_lunatico.lua
lua_draw_hook_post main

To display the nice looking graphs.

And that’s pretty much of it!
For the graph position you will have to edit conky_lunatico.lua script to change values or change the data you are trying to display (I’m showing 7 separate graphs for each value, probably you will want to remove second WLAN graph from the script and config or change the name of your wireless adapter, it’s up to you.

To see it in action simply run conky -c ~/conky/right && conky -c ~/conky/left. For the how-to run this no your system startup and the last post of the overall desktop setup please take a look at the next post explaining Compiz and terminal setup.

Compiling conky with xmms2, lua and basic features support.

This is a second post about configuring my conky setup, yesterday I have posted a script displaying latest tweets from your Twitter account, today I will continue this topic today.

This machine is running Ubuntu 11.10 with Gnome classic desktop, compiz enabled and cairo dock installed.

In next posts I will describe how to create a setup like this:

For this setup I decided I will need the following features:

  • xmms2
  • wlan
  • lua with cairo

These features will be useful in later stages:

  • curl
  • RSS
  • weather

In my case I had few packages missing which were cairo-dock-dev, libiw-dev, libiw-dev and libtolua++5.1-dev.

After making sure you have all the libraries to compile conky you can download conky source, untar it into a temporary directory and run the following command:

./configure --prefix=/opt/conky --enable-xmms2 --disable-mpd --enable-nvidia --enable-weather-metar --enable-curl --enable-rss --enable-wlan --enable-lua --enable-lua-cairo --enable-lua-imlib2

A list of all features you can enable during compilation you can find issuing ./configure –help.

In case of any errors you should download missing package which name you will find in the error message.

When everything goes right you will see the following output:

 * X11:
  X11 support:      yes
  XDamage support:  yes
  XDBE support:     yes
  Xft support:      yes
  ARGB support      yes
 * Music detection:
  Audacious:        no
  BMPx:             no
  MPD:              no
  MOC:              yes
  XMMS2:            yes
 * General:
  math:             yes
  hddtemp:          yes
  portmon:          yes
  RSS:              yes
  Curl:             yes
    METAR:          yes
    XOAP:           no
  wireless:         yes
  IBM:              no
  nvidia:           yes
  eve-online:       no
  config-output:    yes
  Imlib2:           yes
  ALSA mixer:       no
  apcupsd:          yes
  I/O stats:        yes
  ncurses:          yes
 * Lua (yes) bindings:
  Cairo:            yes
  Imlib2:           yes

This means you are almost done. Now do sudo make && sudo make install to install conky and try it typing conky in terminal.

In the next posts I will focus on conky scripts I used and how to embed gnome terminal in your desktop, stay tuned!

Latest tweets in your conky setup.

After getting a clean Ubuntu installation I decided to make few tweaks including a custom conky script which included a Twitter feed.

I made a quick research I found out the easiest solution using RSS feed is outdated so I have had to find the other way – and I did here.
As you can read there the only requirement is python-twitter package (and ofcourse python itself).

I have updated the code as it went obsolete when Twitter staff decided to complicate their API even more.

To make this script work you need a few of things:

1. Twitter account (duh)

2. Create Twitter application

3. Receive access tokens

After you will receive all required tokens you have to put them in marked place in the code below.

Original author: Travis Moore (@travist120) from http://travist120.wordpress.com/
Updated by: Peter Kasperski (peter@kasperskiweb.pl) from http://kasperskiweb.pl
    This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
    it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
    the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
    (at your option) any later version.
    This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
    but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
    GNU General Public License for more details.
    You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
    along with this program.  If not, see 
import os
import string
import twitter
#set your API access details here.
consumer_key='CONSUMER KEY'
consumer_secret='CONSUMER SECRET'
access_token = 'ACCESS TOKEN'
access_token_secret = 'ACCESS TOKEN SECRET'
#how many tweets you want displayed at a time
twitterSize = 9;
#do not edit beyond this line.
api = twitter.Api(consumer_key, consumer_secret, access_token, access_token_secret)
status = api.GetFriendsTimeline()
i = 0
for s in status:
	i = i+1
	print s.user.name.encode("utf-8"), "(@"+s.user.screen_name.encode("utf-8")+"):"
	print s.text.encode("utf-8")
	if i == twitterSize:

The easy way to include it in your conky script is the following:

${execi 60 python ~/conky/scripts/twit.py | fold -w45}

If you will get any error try to run the script alone and make sure you have all required python libraries installed.


Today I’ve encountered a very strange error which was quite similar to Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_PAAMAYIM_NEKUDOTAYIM in….
At the first look I thought it’s a joke from the second programmer I’ve been working with but I was wrong.

This error is addressing to Scope Resolution Operator (::).
The problem is that this error can happen in quite unpredictable places – like in my example:

	$mediumlimit = " AND (Media=0 OR Media=2)";
} else {
	$mediumlimit = " AND (Media=0 OR Media=1)";

Line if(defined(IPHONE)){ was throwing an error.
When I’ve added quotes around IPHONE constant name the error was gone!

Sometimes error messages can cause headache when they are weird and completely not related to actual code – god bless google for letting me fix it in no time!

UTF-8 filenames under Windows / PHP

If you read this, probably you have problems with files with names containing unicode characters.

My scenario was simple:

  1. User uploads own file with unicode characters (ex. my_unicode_ąść.jpg)
  2. PHP handles the upload and moves uploaded file to a directory on your server and creates a database record with original filename(ex. my_unicode_ąść.jpg)
  3. Because lack of unicode support in PHP filename is saved with wrong encoding (multibyte string is split into one-byte characters, which in case of unicode multibyte encoding renders wrong, ex. my_unicode_ść.jpg)
  4. Any future call using database stored name fails because two names are different.

To get rid of this problem I have used PHP UTF8 library.

It is as simple as that:


From now on, before working with filename, first we change any unicode character to it’s closest ASCII version.

We have to do this and patiently wait for PHP6 release, which promises native UFT-8 support.

Drop huge amount of emails under linux

Last days I’ve run into an issue with customers email server. It was running very slowly so I’ve had to take a look at it.
Problem was caused by cron jobs sending error emails – 2 errors every 10 minutes.. since ’09..
This caused over 138,000(!) unwanted emails. I didn’t want to spend months at webmail deleting ~30 emails at once so I’ve quickly jump to shell and run rm *. I was quite suprised (I’m a linux noob) that it caused an Argument list too long error. find command ended up with the exactly same error message.

I thought I would try the workaround – bash script.

[~/mail]# nano remove.all
for file in ./cur/*
rm $file
echo removed $file
[~/mail]# chmod +x remove.all
[~/mail]# ./remove.all

After about 20 minutes script has ended and it worked as it supposed to. Hooray!

I know there should be much easier way like drop whole directory instead, point of this way is to try out bash loops.