am having a lot of fun experimenting with archlinux and learning the proper way to approach linux … the arch philosophy. so far i have had lots of fun learning various things about the way linux operates … the archwiki is a wonderful place to learn about so many things … the #archlinux irc channel on freenode is a great great place with wonderful ppl always ready to
help you and suggest the best practices to follow … while there is no need for me to write down the trivialities i m about to blog about (as they are already mentioned on the archwiki) but i will do it nonetheless as i have nothing
better to do at the moment … 😛
i m currently using openbox as a standalone window manager and am using the rxvt-unicode (urxvt) terminal program. in fact i m using the urxvt daemon (urxvtd) and simply launching the urxvt client (urxvtc) which attaches itself to the daemon. this greatly reduces memory requirement. i have a low end laptop IBM Thinkpad R51 (238MB ram/ 1.4GHz Pentium M processor) and i love to use firefox which means i must conserve as much memory as possible.
moving on to the central matter of this post now …
i had great difficulties in using urxvtc as i was used to gnome-terminal and its tabs. i was missing it greatly … so i set about searching for a tabbed terminal that was light on system resources. turns out that that urxvtc already was tab capable. there are two ways of using tabs in urxvt:
- urxvt -pe tabbed or urxvtperl
to use urxvtperl simply add the following to your ~/.Xdefaults
URxvt.perl-ext-common: default, tabbed
that is it. the only problem i m facing right now is i do not know how to bring about the changes without having to restart my session. so like a fool all i do is log out and log in again. please let me know if you have a sensible solution to
bring in to effect changes made to .Xdefaults. anyways … now when you log in and launch urxvt/urxvtc you will see the following:
to open a new tab simply hit Shift+DownArrow and to move between tabs use Shift+LeftArrow and Shift+RightArrow. this works great but looks ugly in my opinion.
instead of changing the .Xdefaults you may also launch the tabbed version like this:
urxvtc -pe tabbed
now let us have a dekko at the urxvt-tabbed version which is gtk2 based.
urxvt-tabbed is installed automatically when you install urxvt … i installed urxvt as follows
sudo pacman -S rxvt-unicode-256color
that will also install the urxvt-tabbed version.
however when i launched urxvt-tabbed i got the following error:
Can’t locate Gtk2.pm in @INC (@INC contains: /usr/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.10.1 /usr/share/perl5/site_perl/5.10.1 /usr/lib/perl5/vendor_perl /usr/share/perl5/vendor_perl /usr/share/perl5/vendor_perl /usr/lib/perl5/core_perl /usr/share/perl5/core_perl /usr/lib/perl5/current /usr/lib/perl5/site_perl/current .) at /usr/bin/urxvt-tabbed line 14.
BEGIN failed–compilation aborted at /usr/bin/urxvt-tabbed line 14.
turns out that i was missing gtk2-perl which is in the extra repo of arch so i did a
sudo pacman -S gtk2-perl
and that solved my problem with urxvt-tabbed which looks like this:
unfortunately i could not discover any keyboard shortcuts to create new tabs and move between them … 😦
so urxvtperl looks ugly but has keyboard shortcuts, urxvt-tabbed looks professional but is keyboard unfriendly … none of this really solves my problem …
so i presented my dilemma to the local gentoo guru, vivek who is taken aback and immediately retorts with:
“why do you need tabs? why don’t you use screen or tmux?”
hmmmm… this was interesting … why not indeed?
sudo pacman -S tmux
so the current set up i m using is as follows:
urxvtd -q -f in ~/.config/openbox/autostart.sh
urxvtc and then start a tmux session there
you r good to go!
the good thing about tmux over screen is that the info bar at the bottom is a great help … it also displays date and time which i was missing as i have no panels installed in openbox nor am i using conky.
p.s. i will try and arrange so that tmux automatically gets started when i launch urxvtc … but that is for later 🙂
remember that urxvt respects .Xdefaults NOT .Xresources.
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