Sunday, August 2, 2009

Some customization for LXDE

After using LXDE for a while, I've run into a couple of minor issues, so I've done some additional customization.

First, I had a problem with lxpanel. While it is easy to configure, it wouldn't always show the right icons for minimized windows. It was fine for some applications, but not for Java apps. Both jEdit and Eclipse would be displayed with some off-the-wall icons. I have no idea where those icons came from. I spent quite a bit of time scattering icons around per the Desktop Entry Specification and the Icon Theme Specification, but I never did figure out how to get the right icons to be displayed.

The second problem was the terminal. It was working fine, but for some reason, it started using some random directory as the starting working directory. It was always a directory I'd done something in recently, but I couldn't figure out how to change it or where it was keeping the setting for the working directory.

The fix for the first problem was to switch back to fbpanel instead of lxpanel. lxpanel is only slightly more difficult to configure over lxpanel. I created a .fbpanel directory in my home folder, then copied the default configuration from /etc/fbpanel to this new directory. As far as configuration goes, it's just a text file, so I opened it in jEdit and proceeded to edit:
  • I commented out the Emacs section since I don't use Emacs.
  • I changed the clock from 'dclock' to 'tclock' since it's easier to read. Actually, I commented out the section for dclock and added a new one for tclock like this:
    Plugin {
    type = tclock
  • In the launchbar section, I replaced the Rox filemanager with pcmanfm.
  • Also in the launchbar section, I added "--working-directory=/home/danson" to the line about x-terminal-emulator. This didn't fix the second problem by itself.
The fix for the second problem was to run "sudo update-alternatives --config x-terminal-emulator" and choose "lxterminal". Now the terminal always opens in my home directory, which is what I want.

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