Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Time Saving Linux Desktop Tips?

Cliff posted more than 8 years ago | from the a-more-comfortable-GUI-experience dept.

GUI 565

dan_polt asks: "I currently use a Linux desktop system, at work. One of the great things about the Linux desktop is that there are lots of ways to save a lot of time from useful widgets and configuration to minimize the pain of repetitive tasks. Most of my work involves web/e-Mail/SSH access, and I have a very high spec'd machine with dual-head 1600x1200 screens. What software or configuration tips might Slashdot have for me to: make better use of my time; make the most of my screen real estate; and make my use of the desktop more effective?"

cancel ×

565 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

FIRST POST (-1, Offtopic)

m3lt (933405) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126353)

FIRST POST yay

Outsource (5, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126359)

1. Give me your machine.
2. You have more free time.
3. ???
4. Profit!

Re:Outsource (0, Flamebait)

Hamilton Publius (909539) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126393)

How about install a real operating system not developed by a bunch of communist hippies?

Re:Outsource (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14126422)

Bill? Is that you?

second post (-1, Redundant)

rkv (852317) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126360)

www.theinquirer.net use gentoo. nice fast and compiled specific to ur specs

Sidebars (1)

imstanny (722685) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126369)

...I use the google desktop side bar, which minimizes conveniently in the tray. (I think they have a linux version). It keeps track of news, weather, stocks, emails, post-it notes, etc... plus instantly searching your harddrive is great.

Re:Sidebars (2, Informative)

computergeek6933 (870864) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126403)

Widgets work wonders. You'll have all the info you need spread out before your eyes.

My advice... (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126364)

Don't be posting to Slashdot and reading the trolls you will receive in response instead of working on that high-spec'd dual headed monster you got.

That'll save you a ton more time than any of the advice given here ;)

Personally, I have tried to use as much as I can via Putty (SSH+screen) and keep everything I do in one window. It cuts down on how much I have taking up my real estate and it seems to make me more productive.

Even with a 23" LCD it's nice to have everything in one place.

The one useful script (5, Funny)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126387)

#!/bin/sh
rm -f /usr/local/bin/games

Re:The one useful script (5, Funny)

jZnat (793348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126461)

I use Debian you insensitive clod! It's /usr/games and /usr/local/games

Re:The one useful script (0)

eosp (885380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126517)

I use Slackware you insensitive clod! It's /usr/games and /usr/local/games

Two 1600x1200? (4, Funny)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126365)

Try watching Star Wars and working at the same time! Wait a sec, maybe that wouldn't work...

Re:Two 1600x1200? (1)

Doppler00 (534739) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126425)

Of course it wouldn't work. One of the monitors needs to be at least 16:10 aspect ratio for the full movie experience. A 24" widescreen would do just fine. Or, if you have the desk space, a 80" DLP would work too.

Time saver (4, Funny)

dfjunior (774213) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126367)

make better use of my time

Quit f-ing around on Slashdot and get back to work!

Re:Time saver (5, Funny)

gatzke (2977) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126498)


In /etc/hosts

127.0.0.1 www.slashdot.org
127.0.0.1 .slashdot.org

Helps me at work...

Turn it off (5, Insightful)

daeley (126313) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126368)

First thing you do to increase productivity is turn off all the blinkenlight widgetry. Even if the frenetic distractions every second don't give you seizures, they'll certainly slow your mental processes down.

Then, open a web browser in one window and a terminal in the other and get to work you slacker! ;)

Linux Desktop (5, Interesting)

B Man (51992) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126372)

I use Linux mostly at work as well, I do work in a Windows-centric environment so I use VMWare to run Windows. Otherwise I would rather just use the virtual consoles, with ssh, elinks (for browsing), and rarely X. I do find X to be useful for things that I must use it for, but for the most productivity, nothing beats a console.

Re:Linux Desktop (2, Interesting)

Ramses0 (63476) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126476)

I can mostly agree with this. Untold hours of productivity when you only have a 486 laptop on the couch ssh'd into a remote machine and only basic cable (not expanded basic, you lucky ducks). Tunning full console since getting X even to come up was painfully slow (not that bad, but not that good, either. didn't help that the old laptop video card had buggy drivers).

Anyway, I broke down and got a powerbook when I couldn't do css/html development from the console without a GUI. Remarkably fat-free situation, and highly recommended that you try it sometime.

--Robert

Re:Linux Desktop (3, Insightful)

cbr2702 (750255) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126479)

I do find X to be useful for things that I must use it for, but for the most productivity, nothing beats a console.

It's quite nice to be able to have multiple terminals visible at the same time and have quick cut-and-paste. I like X a lot, mostly as a way to hold many xterms.

I do find, though, that as everyone writing for the web expects you to have a GUI browser, firefox is quicker than elinks for most things.

Re:Linux Desktop (2, Informative)

B Man (51992) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126512)

It's quite nice to be able to have multiple terminals visible at the same time and have quick cut-and-paste.

Try using gpm and you can do a quick cut-and-paste. Just hold the mouse left button down and highlight text to copy, then just click the middle mouse button (or both left and right or the scroll on a scroll mouse) to paste.

Re:Linux Desktop (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14126526)

multiple terminals visible at the same time

The utility screen will let you split your terminal space between an arbitrary number of applications (and each one recognizes that it has its own tty).

quick cut-and-paste

Once again, screen has you covered, and will allow you to transport text between hosted applications; it even provides a spiffy vi-like interface for selection, and freezes the program output (no, it doesn't suspend) while you're doing this.

Obvious troll (-1, Troll)

zegebbers (751020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126379)

install windows!

Re:Obvious troll (1)

netkid91 (915818) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126491)

Wow Tux lovers as mods...I don't know if that's good or bad, but considering this IS /. it doesn't suprise me, but honestly the parent shouldn't have gotten modded troll, and to improve his post; install Windows, but in VMWare, that would make the Tux lovers happier(including me). But a REAL way to increase productivity using Linux, Evolution + Firefox + Gnome, everything a Linux user at work should need, minus OpenOffice, forgot that.

The /. effect (3, Insightful)

richdun (672214) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126381)

Get Slashdot to space the posts 10 hours apart. That'll increase geek-productivity worldwide in no time.

Re:The /. effect (1)

SeanMon (929653) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126429)

Could /.'s servers handle the combined bandwith-demand of 20 million nerds accessing the site all at once?

10 hours and 26 minutes? (2, Insightful)

bl1st3r (464353) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126382)

I realize this is offtopic, but I do believe it needs to be said.

There were 10 hours and 26 minutes between front page posts. And people wonder why we're bleeding users to other sites? It's the BS editors. The BS dupes. The BS factual errors. Seriously, wtf are we paying Slashdot for? If you're buying a subscription, what are you getting? What are the advertisements on the page doing for us? Where does this money go?

I've always left ads on Slashdot because I 'support' the culture, but this is the final straw. Until this shit is fixed, I'm non-existant. This is my last post.

Fuck slashdot. (This is not a troll. This is a serious rant of someone who wanted to spend Sunday afternoon catching up on tech news.)

Re:10 hours and 26 minutes? (5, Funny)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126409)

See, Taco! I told you if you started filtering dupes, people would find a way to complain!

Back to the drawing board...

Re:10 hours and 26 minutes? (4, Interesting)

Lifewish (724999) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126415)

Of the four or so high-content-rate sites I frequent, none of them had anything happening in the last 10 hours. Would you prefer that Slashdot lower their content standards even further? Is that even possible?

Re:10 hours and 26 minutes? (5, Insightful)

bradbeattie (908320) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126527)

I've mentioned it before and I'll mention it again. I think we could use moderated stories. You could browse at +5 stories to cut out the crap or at 0: fark style. Moderate a story -1: dupe or +1: headline. Any reasons not to implement this?

Re:10 hours and 26 minutes? (2, Funny)

Orrin Bloquy (898571) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126417)

You're just mad because you aren't reading the cool stuff at TotalSlashdot.org.

Slashdot Alternatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14126420)

I just come here for the comments. What other sites have the volume (if not quality, har har) of public comments posted to Slashdot?

Re:10 hours and 26 minutes? (4, Interesting)

Karma Farmer (595141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126432)

There were 10 hours and 26 minutes between front page posts.

Given a choice between a few articles of high quality and many articles of low quality, I'd take fewer articles.

Of course, that's a false choice, in two senses. First, there's no correlation between the number of articles and the quantity of articles. Second, it's not a choice Slashdot offers.

Re:10 hours and 26 minutes? (2, Insightful)

Karma Farmer (595141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126444)

Oops... actually, there's a very strong correleation between the number of articles and the quantity of articles. However, there's no correlation between the quality of articles and the quantity of articles.

Re:10 hours and 26 minutes? (5, Interesting)

daviddennis (10926) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126436)

Well, it is Thanksgiving weekend. Most people are out doing stuff with their physical world friends.

Some of the ads are actually useful. My business partner's going to get a gift from ThinkGeek (better not say what it is here since he might be watching!) And it looks like I'll be using ServerBeach for my next venture. So I wouldn't give up on ads, and as you say I like supporting Slashdot.

As for your substantiative criticisms, are we really bleeding users? I certainly haven't noticed any lack of comments. In fact, it might not be so bad if we did. It sure was nice when I could actually read every comment on the articles that interested me. Now I'm lucky if I can finish the first page of ten!

Digg is so different from Slashdot in my experience that I don't see them as competitors. I visited there, didn't see what the fuss was about, and came back here.

That being said, to me it's always been about the comments, and the rich experience they bring us here. For example, I've wanted to learn about on-demand water heaters for some time, and all someone had to do was post an article about some bogus new on-demand technology, and whammo! I found out pretty much everything a person could conceivably want to know about them.

The moderation system is clever, and really works, and that seems to be the main value added that Slashdot's founders have created. Other than that, it's been being in the right place at the right time and having the right idea.

As long as there's a good and active user community here, I'm still loyal to it. The founders aren't the most literate bunch in the world, and they make all kinds of silly mistakes, but this place seems to work and generate interesting stuff, and for that I'm happy.

D

Re:10 hours and 26 minutes? (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126505)

I'm going to ignore the other blatant shill comments, but this one I can't ignore:

As long as there's a good and active user community here, I'm still loyal to it. The founders aren't the most literate bunch in the world, and they make all kinds of silly mistakes, but this place seems to work and generate interesting stuff, and for that I'm happy.

Mistakes generate interesting stuff? What? Trolls, "insightful" comments, and +5 Funny's about duplicates and suggestions on how the "editors" could find duplicates on their own site (including using the scrollwheel to go down two articles)?

Give me a break. You are an "old-school" user, you should remember the days when Slashdot wasn't a pile of suckass shit. Where they didn't seem to be 7 days, 7 months, and 7 duplicates behind the rest of the technews sites.

I'm unimpressed with most of the comments these days. People don't take the time to do a simple search so that they can have the opportunity to be FP or post some unintelligent bullshit under another high rated post for them to get their Karma shots.

Blah.

Slashdot has been sucking bad and the "editors" just don't give a fuck. Hopefully that 10.25 hour break was them having a sit down meeting to discuss their serious breakdowns recently.

I have little faith.

Re:10 hours and 26 minutes? (1)

jshare (6557) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126534)

Just a passing comment about ServerBeach.

They block certain ports (hundreds, not just a few) from your server, and refuse to tell you which ones.

E.g. you can't run a bittorrent tracker on the default port, because they block it.

I would never use them again.

Also, Managed.Com is total ass (most recently, 12+ hours of downtime, due to some random network problem), so don't use them. If anybody knows a good non-managed server host, I'd love to hear about it.

Re:10 hours and 26 minutes? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14126541)

As for your substantiative criticisms, are we really bleeding users?

Yes. Six to twelve months ago, there were a few news stories about the Slashdot effect losing its power, and since then, the traffic analyses a few companies do have shown Slashdot to be receiving less traffic. To add my own anecdote, I've noticed a number of the smarter users who used to contribute here no longer do, and I've certainly been coming less often.

The type of users that are staying is of crucial importance. I've noticed the same thing happen to quite a few Usenet newsgroups. A bunch of newbies come in and annoy people, the signal:noise ratio goes down, the regular contributers/experts leave, and a year later, the place is full of newbie noise and no real answers.

Slashdot can survive pretty much anything, except for one thing: losing the smart contributors. In the past year or so, I've noticed the quality of comments declining rapidly, and if this continues as it has been, I fully expect Slashdot to be a complete joke a year from now.

Re:10 hours and 26 minutes? (0, Flamebait)

fatboy (6851) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126473)

I've always left ads on Slashdot because I 'support' the culture, but this is the final straw.

Culture? Hahaha, you make me laugh. Hahahaha! It's almost as funny as the tards that were bitching that /. was not balanced with their coverage of Windows about 5 years ago. Or how about the ones before that, they felt betrayed because Taco "sold out" to Andover. Hahahaha!

Re:10 hours and 26 minutes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14126492)

>There were 10 hours and 26 minutes between front page posts.

Man, you need a life badly!

1600x1200? (1)

Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126383)

Unless those 1600x1200 screens are giant (most aren't, I think my 17" monitor here can go that far), your text becomes tiny. Put one of them into console mode instead of graphics and keep your SSH session on there, then use X11 forwarding if you need apps on the other screen.

Re:1600x1200? (1)

Wizarth (785742) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126475)

In my experience, fonts in Linux are in points, not pixels, unless its because I properly measured my monitor for my xorg.conf file.

WTF (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14126384)

Now I see why I switched to digg.

gentoo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14126385)

gentoo with xorg, openbox, and torsmo.

btw: tangent pager ftw!

Don't worry...... be happy. (1, Redundant)

wangotango (711037) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126390)

Just run Windows and remain as clueless with 90% of the others.

Big one (0, Troll)

NineNine (235196) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126391)

Insert Windows CD. Reboot.

Re:Big one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14126458)

Inquiring minds want to know:
  1. Do you actually make money from your "regularly post mindless, controversial drivel to Slashdot to promote porn site" business model?
  2. If 1) is true, how do you not feel like a weasel all the time?

Corrections (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14126392)

One of the great things about the Linux desktop is that there are lots of ways to

save a lot of time from useful widgets
spend a lot of time installing useless widgets

and configuration to minimize the pain of repetitive tasks.
and obsecure configurations to maximize the pain of maintaining a complex computer system.

Switch to MacOS X (-1, Troll)

AsmCoder8088 (745645) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126395)

I personally prefer OS X for such things... The widgets are nice too. As far as Linux is concerned, you can always create cron files to do your work for you. You should know how to do this since you are a Linux pro anyway.

www.basicreations.com Signed: AsmCoder8088

Term Productivity (3, Informative)

digitaltraveller (167469) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126396)

GNU Screen [gnu.org] is a featured packed window manager that multiplexes a physical terminal between several processes. You can detach from remote screen sessions and the program will continue to run. You can then re-attach later; an essential feature if you use ssh alot.

Re:Term Productivity (2, Interesting)

wahgnube (557787) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126456)

Yes, I can attest to the coolness of Screen because I use it almost all the time. Also, to augment what the parent mentioned, the detaching remote screens isn't just a bonus, it's almost a necessity on a flaky coffee shop wireless connection.

My biggest problem is I almost always use Emacs as well. Does anybody know how to prevent Screen from capturing the C-a keystrokes when in programs like Emacs?

I find it extremely annoying and it often ends up doing something I don't want. Even if it is nothing serious, I'm distracted for a few seconds.

Somebody, anybody, please?

Re:Term Productivity (1)

prog-guru (129751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126495)

Does anybody know how to prevent Screen from capturing the C-a keystrokes when in programs like Emacs?

Do ctrl^A A to send ctrl^A to your app. I do wish they chose a different default sequence, I'm sure it can be changed, but why use the same default as every other program?

If you're like me, you'll find yourself forgetting the ctrl^A trick in screen once in a while, and doing it outside screen once in a while too :/

Re:Term Productivity (1)

daeley (126313) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126509)

My biggest problem is I almost always use Emacs as well. Does anybody know how to prevent Screen from capturing the C-a keystrokes when in programs like Emacs?

Do a man screen and read about flow-control.

Konsole (1, Informative)

gatzke (2977) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126514)


I keep a konsole window open with 5-10 shells open. shift-left shift-right to swith between.

Stay logged in on multiple machines and it is easy to swap between.

Mount remote filesystems in KDE via ssh (5, Informative)

gtoomey (528943) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126397)

You can mount a remote filesystem in KDE without using NFS, ftp, rsync, Samba etc

Just enter in Konqueror
fish://user@yourdomain.com
(yes that is fish) and you will be asked for your ssh password.
Your remote files appear in Konqueror & you can then copy/paste etc to your local filesystem.

Re:Mount remote filesystems in KDE via ssh (1)

Obliquitous Cowherd (689384) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126470)

That's really cool...makes me happy to have KDE installed, even if I never use it as a desktop.

Re:Mount remote filesystems in KDE via ssh (5, Informative)

Yrrebnarg (629526) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126539)

You missed the real power-feature here. Try using fish (or ftp or even http) while you're attaching something in kmail or editing a file with kate, or even koffice. Now try doing a drag-and-drop into a konsole...now try it with a URL. Now try it while in a ssh -X session. Or maybe man:screen or info:glibc as a URL in konqueror. One last trick is KDE's alt-f2 dialog. It does integer arithmetic and opens URLs. KDE really is cool if you use it, but nobody here in the USA ever seems to give it a chance.

And for the flamebait part, why is kde so unloved here in the USA?

Wot a Dorothy Dixer (0, Offtopic)

femto (459605) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126398)

Translate into English [wikipedia.org]

Quicksilver (3, Interesting)

bennyp (809286) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126400)

QS is a great app for OS X. One of it's many functions is as a launcher.
Say I want to start inkscape. I press apple-space,i,n,k. by that point, qs has figured out that i want inkscape and has displayed it's icon, then i press enter and inkscape launches.

or say i want Jack Johnson's phone number. I press apple-space,j,c,k,j,n,s,n. his contact icon pops up, i press the left arrow and his phone number is highlighted, then i press enter and the number fills the screen on a transparent window.

it saves me a whack of time, and i'd love to see a free program with this functionality
http://quicksilver.blacktree.com/ [blacktree.com]

Re:Quicksilver (5, Funny)

m()p3s (888808) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126438)

I press apple-space,j,c,k,j,n,s,n.

sounds pretty good but typing all of those commas would just frustrate me.

What has always worked for me. (1, Redundant)

suso (153703) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126418)

3x3 virtual desktops with a web browser in the middle one. Of course, I think what you end up doing should depend on what you are trying to do with your computer. For me, I do a lot of system administration so I tend to use a lot of terminals. I got used to using a 160x60 sized terminal for my suso.org screen session (which runs things like mutt, etc.). I think gkrellm makes good use of space and I like it for controlling the volume. Figure out what programs you use the most and put them in the panel (gnome, kde, xfce or whatever). Don't put everything in the panel or on the desktop, it will just make common icons harder to find. And use tabs for web browsing of course. Its all good.

I think making good use of virtual desktops is a must. And you can't use too many. I think a lot of people get turned off by programs like the Gimp because they don't use virtual desktops properly and think too much about the way things work in Windows and Mac OS X. Its different here.

On the matter of dual head displays (1)

suso (153703) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126471)

I should follow up about the dual head thing. I have a dual head setup at work and I find that one monitor ends up being used for the most part and I just end up bleeding windows into the other monitor and leaving them there. Maybe its just that I'm not used to having dual monitors or something. So what I end up doing is putting the main monitor directly in front of me and the supplimental monitor off to the right. Then I put my email client (I use thunderbird at work) on the supplimental screen.

The only thing where I find dual monitors to be really useful is for running Qemu or VMWare in one screen and some terminals or other programs in the other. Also, its really nice if you need to run a 3D program like Blender. Especially since Blender's interface is so customizeable I ended up putting a quad TFR Camera view on one screen and free roaming view on the other.

Just approach it differently. (3, Insightful)

linuxpyro (680927) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126419)

What window manager/desktop environment are you using? In general, I would say make use of what you already have. Assuming you use FireFox, make liberal use of the tabs function; I prefer about five per window on my 1280x1024 single screen system, so you could probably do more without the tabs becoming too small. Also, when SSHing or doing general terminal work, use a terminal with tabs. The Gnome terminal will do this, but multi-aterm is less of a resource hog. (For some reason I can't seem to copy and paste into multi-aterm, something I can do in the Gnome term. If there's a way around this I would be interested; the copy and pasting is helpful.) I know this is not much, but I usually find that making more efficient use of your environment is more something to sit and think about a bit. It's better to try to work with what you have than to go and install a bunch of applications that may or may not help.

Easy... (2, Funny)

colonslashslash (762464) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126421)

make better use of my time; make the most of my screen real estate; and make my use of the desktop more effective?"

Hardcore nudity on the left monitor, Slashdot front page auto-refreshing on the right. What more could a geek at work ask for?

Oh wait.. for work you say? Well, how liberal is your boss?

SuperKaramba (2, Informative)

deReuter (673930) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126423)

Just install superkaramba, works like konfabulator with widgets and stuff. http://www.superkaramba.com/ [superkaramba.com]

Kinda Hard for Your "Work" (1)

MoThugz (560556) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126426)

Most of my work involves web/e-Mail/SSH access, and I have a very high spec'd machine with dual-head 1600x1200 screens.


For one thing, according to the "work" you do, most of the things there require interactive user input.

For another, all of the things you've stated as example, doesn't really require much desktop real estate. ie. For web browsing, almost all modern browsers have tabbed browsing nowadays; e-Mail, most modern email apps (GUI or command line) supports multiple mailboxes anyway; SSH, many have mentioned screen before my post.

Like I said, your examples don't really require much screen estate. Other than web browsing, the other activities you're performing can to an extent be automated. ie. Email: use filters and/or auto-responders and/or forwarders; SSH: shell scripts are your friends.

If you provide specific examples of your day-to-day work, then maybe us Slashdotters can help you more.

Bind everything to a key combination (5, Informative)

elconde (779753) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126427)

Bind everything! Use the spare windows key to bind every application that you use regularly.

http://hocwp.free.fr/xbindkeys/xbindkeys.html [hocwp.free.fr]

Some good ones from my .xbindkeysrc:

"xmms --stop" Mod4 + Up

"xmms --play-pause" Mod4 + Down

"xmms --fwd" Mod4 + Right

"xmms --rew" Mod4 + Left

"emacs" Mod4 + e

"firefox" Mod4 + m

"oocalc ~/aspreadsheet.sxc" Mod4 + c

Re:Bind everything to a key combination (2, Interesting)

Mr. Spontaneous (784926) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126472)

I agree with parent. Honestly, I'd just stick to one monitor for what you do. I'd put email on one desktop, shell on another, and so on, then assign hotkeys to switch between desktops. (window + 1 would bring up the shell, + 2 brings up email, etc.)

A lot of time is lost when you switch between keyboard and mouse.

And, other than a popup notifier for email, try and avoid widgets. You should try and keep your workspace as simple as possible.

Re:Bind everything to a key combination (2, Interesting)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126507)

I use GNOME's Keyboard Shortcuts. The media keys are picked up by either XMMS or totem, depending on which I have open.

Use a small windowmanager (1)

Myrkur (621981) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126431)

Use something like fluxbox or any of the other *box windowmanagers. No bloat, No blinkenlighten, No distractions. Make keyboard shortcuts for everything you use frequently. Terminal, Browser, Maximize, Close, etc. Learn to appreciate workspaces, if you're adept at switching between them you won't need multiple screens.

Depends (4, Insightful)

miyako (632510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126434)

Setting up an efficient workspace depends a lot on what exactly you do most of the time and how you prefer to work.
Keeping in mind that these tips might not be at all applicable to you, here are a few things I've found that help me to be more efficient.
When doing software development, I like to keep code open in one window and documentation open in another. This is much more useful if your working with an unfamiliar language or API.
When I'm doing web design or coding in PHP I like to keep code open in one window and a web browser open in the other for testing.
Avoid keeping email or IM clients open at all times one one monitor. Even if you are in regular communication with co-workers having these things open all the time is a great distraction.
Choose a good Desktop Environment. While I like KDE for regular non-work stuff, I find that I'm often a lot more productive using WindowMaker, not really sure why this is though to be honest.

Workspaces (1)

Compholio (770966) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126435)

Get accustomed to the "Workspace Switcher" and then make some hotkeys to switch between workspaces (I use CTRL+ALT+). If you have a beefy machine it's as if you have 2,4,6,+ monitors rather than just one.

A few things you're bound to figure out over time (3, Insightful)

b0r1s (170449) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126440)

1) Don't be afraid to use newer versions of software, but don't try upgrading when you have deadlines pending. Switching from things like XTerm to more modern terminals (Gnome terminal, KDE's term app, whatever) will benefit you in the long run, but there's always quirks that will pop up, especially if the change requires installation or upgrading libraries. Be willing to try new software, but don't be too anxious.

2) Just like your desk, find out what needs to be where by trying new things. I find that email needs to be full-screen on a second monitor, and 'everything else' belongs on my l arger primary. I keep a few SSH terms open in virtual desktops so that I can have an open console when the poop hits the fan, but they're out of the way the rest of the time.

3) Use rsync or tar to backup your home directory frequently, because when you need to restore, you'll be glad you did. Most programming conventions in Linux make this much easier than in (say) Windows, as you don't have to worry about app config stored in weird places (registry), but you still need to be anal about backups.

4) Turn off the silly services to save CPU and Memory. 'chkconfig' in many modern distros (primarily redhat-based) will show you what's going to start at boot - turn off telnet, ftp (if you can use sftp), and the nfs daemons if you won't be serving NFS. Defaults suck, spend a few minutes tweaking these things and it'll help you much in the future.

5) Learn your favorite window manager well. If it's Gnome, or KDE, or whatever, learn it. Those of us who have been using Windows for a decade know the ins-and-outs of the Explorer interface, and it really saves us time - learning their equivalents in Linux will also save you time.

Virtual Desktops (2, Interesting)

dorkygeek (898295) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126441)

Group your running applications by tasks (i.e. browsing, email, development, etc.), and assign each of these tasks a virtual desktop (by remembering on which virtual desktop you grouped these applications). Then switching between different task domains becomes extremely fast, because you just have to click on the correct desktop in the virtual desktop app, and you have all apps you need to complete the task at hand instantly.

This is ways faster than switching between single applications or having them all on one single desktop, and having to dig your way through tons of windows to find the rigt program.

Oh, and use the session manager to save the session before you log-out, so the next time you log-in, you have all the apps you need already running, and on the same virtual desktops as before.

Wrong question (5, Insightful)

Mac Degger (576336) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126446)

The question you should ask is why the hell your company is giving you a "very high spec'd machine with dual-head 1600x1200 screens." if your work only "involves web/e-Mail/SSH access".

Really; is your company's IT department stupid? Is your company run by dot-com-bubble-wanna-be's who want to repeat the past? When your tasks are so system-resource-undemanding, why did they pay for that machine for you? You could do your work on a 486! Literally!

Re:Wrong question (2, Funny)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126533)

The question you should ask is why the hell your company is giving you a "very high spec'd machine with dual-head 1600x1200 screens." if your work only "involves web/e-Mail/SSH access".

My guess is this is just a fantasy question designed to press the buttons for Slashdot, with as much relation to the submitter's real life as a "Letter to Penthouse"; i.e. techno-porn wish fulfilment. "If you had a Lamborghini/a million dollars/a longer dick/..."

Very Simple (1)

Limburgher (523006) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126451)

1. Use WindowMaker. 2. Do everything in xterms, no actual x apps. Mutt, Lynx, you get the idea. MySQL command-line client for DB work. 3. Spend Sunday reading /., since nothing new will be posted, and you'll actually have to work. ;)

Re:Very Simple (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126508)

1. Use WindowMaker.

My suggestion was going to be "Buy a Mac!", but that's the second-best idea...

Switch... (0, Flamebait)

CodePyro (627236) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126457)

You want to save time on Linux Desktop... Switch to Windows XP...and save your self from hardware incompatibility issues...among other things...

"Let He Who Is Without Sin Cast The First Stone"

/me ducks

Personal Tips (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14126463)

I am faily new to linux, but maybe these will help...

I do everything on my Ubuntu laptop so and hibernate instead of logout... so I get lots of "personal" clutter in my "business" windows. Most flavors of Linux have 4 desktop spaces I believe. I use the desktops to sort these things. I usually have two for business stuff, the third for personal stuff, and the 4th as a "scratch" area. Aside from switching back and forth between business desktops both with IDE, shell, etc, it seems to save a lot of time.

I am not sure if it is a GNOME feature or what, but being able to easily customize panels is really handy. One of the premade panel tools you can add is the "sticky notes" which seem to save me a lot of time. Normally, I make lots of "to do" type lists and keep them in unsaved buffers in my IDE. If I let my battery die or restart without thinking, they are gone. The sticky notes thing just seems to help a lot.

I use IM for work. On windows, Trillian seemed to be very space and time efficiant. GAIM doesn't seem to be a good replacement. So... no help there.

Also, I waste lots of time getting my wireless running after switching locations (which I do a lot it seems). If that were more streamlined, I believe I would save a lot of time.

Just a thought.

Less is more (1)

tahpot (237053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126467)

As always, less is more (except for terminals). Have no desktop icons or fancy buttons, save the space for the applications that are open. A right-hand click on your desktop should give you access to your favourite apps across various categories (internet,programming,multimedia etc).

I typically have 5 desktops that I mouse scroll between each with one major application always open. The first three are firefox for web surfing, firefox for gmail, thunderbird for other email and then that leaves two for the task at hand (typically an editor and some terminals for programming)

Having a widescreen laptop is most useful for having normal applications open (like firefox/openoffice) on the left 2/3rds of the screen and terminals/irc/etc. open in smaller windows down the right hand side. This allows me to focus on the task at hand, but quickly perform other tasks as required.

Re:Less is more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14126535)

Nonsense. You can page up with the arrow keys with less.

two monitors? (1)

tlynch001 (917597) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126468)

I do all my web/e-Mail/SSH crap in a black and white terminal, and I LIKE IT!

a couple of little things (2, Informative)

carcosa30 (235579) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126480)

alias su="xterm -fg white -bg darkred -e su" so when you su, you get a new xterm in colors to remind you that that xterm is root.

Use fluxbox. The tabs mean that you can stack up things like xterms.

If you run gnome panel, you can put drawers on it. The drawers can contain swallowed apps, such as xterms running top, tail syslog, watch processes, etc. So you can pop open a monitor drawer and xterms running text monitors emerge.

Check into 3ddesk. It's an applet that maps your desktops onto a 3d cylinder that can be rotated with the mousewheel for desktop switching. Much more useful than it sounds. The visual preview and positional awareness that it gives make it possible to use many more desktops than you ordinarily could without them becoming useless clutter like they can with traditional pagers.

I don't know why you're concerned about maximizing real estate with a dual-head display. I get by just fine with a 19 inch display.

That said, there are some technologies emerging that will allow you to use x11 functionality to use a laptop or additional workstation as a second (or third) screen controlled by the same desktop. Check into x2vnc.

Automation (4, Informative)

zorander (85178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126483)

Learn ruby/perl/python/something and automate *everything* the each time you find yourself repeating a task that could be easily parametrized. Most of this is an attitude thing. If repetitive tasks don't annoy you, then you're not going to be able to eliminate them from your life. It will never seem worth the effort.

Also, get a decent window manager like ion [cs.tut.fi] and learn its shortcuts. Developing more than a passing knowledge of Ion and Vim has doubled my productivity when debugging code. Ion makes one monitor feel like two, so I can imagine that on two it would be pretty damn good.

Don't minimize. (2, Interesting)

jonadab (583620) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126486)

If you're like I used to be, you waste half to two-thirds of a second hundreds of times every day on minimizing and restoring windows. Less than a second each time sounds like nothing, but it can easily add up to half an hour or so every single shift.

Got icons on the desktop? Replace them with panel launchers. Use drawers if you have to; it's still faster to get to a launcher in a drawer than an icon on the desktop, and you aren't left with all your other windows minimized afterward. Keep the launchers you use with any frequency directly on the panel. I like to run one panel along the left side of the screen dedicated mostly to launchers (I do also keep a memory/swap/cpu meter there), and then keep the task list in another panel on the bottom edge of the screen, where I also keep a clock applet; many people would keep a new-mail-notification applet there.

Many window managers will also let you configure global keyboard shortcuts for launching certain applications and other common activities, such as maximizing or lowering the current window. I happen to use sawfish, but I'm sure many other window managers also provide this functionality.

Second thing, take your phone off the hook. Okay, maybe not. It *would* save a lot of time, though.

high spec'd, huh? (1)

gadzook33 (740455) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126487)

Man, SSH must really fly on that thing. Here's what you do: find a software developer who actually needs a high spec'd machine and trade him straight up for his Dell Attitude 6900. In my day (about a year ago) we called what you're using now a dumb terminal.

I found that KDE increased my productivity. (1, Interesting)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126488)

I found that using KDE vastly increased my productivity.

I used to use Enlightenment and a mix of Mozilla, XFMail, OpenOffice, and a variety of other random programs. But then I took a week and learned how to effectively use KDE. It's very well integrated, and that level of integration pays off. Once you learn how one application works, the others become quite intuitive.

I also found it to be far more responsive, too. Konqueror flies like a bullet, and KMail is quite swift. The best part is that KDE keeps getting better. Every new release brings substantial improvements. And those are improvements and innovations upon what is already extremely usable! The great keep getting better, it would seem.

Get into a few habits (2, Interesting)

ignoramus (544216) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126497)

I've found that, once you've covered the very basics:
  • learning to touch type;
  • learning to get the most out of command line;
  • mastering favorite shell features (expansions, for loops, etc.);
  • learning to use screen.

The main trick is to keep your thoughts focused by getting into a few habits. I also use a dual head system but with 8 different workspaces setup in the workspace switcher (so a total of 16 virtual screens). In order to get the most out of this system, I actually use the switcher's facility for naming the workspaces and change them from the usual 1,2,3..8 to something meaningful. When I work on a new project, I rename the workspaces if necessary and then, for instance, always open the libraryXYZ project in my IDE in the correctly named space.

If you use Gnome Terminal, learn to use the Profiles facility and color code or at least name different terminal windows/tabs. You can even associate custom commands to run, rather than the shell (for instance, one of my profiles launches something like "ssh -C -L3128:localhost:3128 -L10025:localhost:25 -L... remotebox" to tunnel important activity through SSH so all I need is double click an icon). Pretty much every terminal app has facilities for doing this. Create Profiles for repetitive tasks and use shortcuts on your desktop to activate them.

You might also consider reserving blocks of time in which to shutdown gaim, your email client and phone.

HTH

I found this link helpful... (0, Offtopic)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126501)

Here we go...http://kegel.com/linux/comfort/ [kegel.com] , but was surprised to read that OpenOffice2.0 takes 5 minutes to save a 12MB file. This to me is unacceptable.

good news... (0, Troll)

b17bmbr (608864) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126503)

I have a very high spec'd machine

you'll be able to run OpenOffice.org and get work done before you have to clock out.

few tricks... (2, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126504)

Nothing profound here, but...
I have a Gnome desktop, dual-display, but with a laptop, so I keep all my controls on one desktop. I have a window list on the bottom, with just the windows, desktop switcher, show-desktop button. On top, I have the application menus and such, shortcuts to terminals that I often use (quick-launch ssh sessions and such), and the nifty toys (volume meter, screenshot, et cetera). On the left side, I have this little panel on auto-hide, so that if I can mouse over it I can see all my shiny CPU/network/etc usage meters, and a few obscure but useful shortcuts.

A Quake Like Console : Yakuake (2, Informative)

unixmaster (573907) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126511)

Try Yakuake [yakuake.uv.ro] . Its a Quake like console for KDE. The best thing it can be hidden/shown with one key ( F12 default) so it doesn't steal your screen estate and can be enabled instantly when you need it.

Two by 1200x1600? (1)

Sly Mongoose (15286) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126513)

I tried that once. The machine was called 'zaphod'.

My recommendation would be to buy another monitor and go triple-headed.

I've been very happy with 'triphod' for the last three years..... ;-)

Increase productivity (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14126518)

I found that I could get an extra five hours work a day out of our Linux engineers by making the following change to their workstations.

echo " 207.46.250.119 slashdot.org" >> /etc/hosts

Three Words... (5, Funny)

wernst (536414) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126525)

Install Microsoft Windows.

linux time saving tip! (0)

digitallysick (922589) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126528)

how about instead of every linux program being named blah_01-.52a_file.whatever maybe they could just name it Blah.tgz? gets to be a pain in the command line having to type out every detail

Make one big Beefy Man-Sized Desktop (1)

Chris Bradshaw (933608) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126530)

If it's spec'd like you say, then I'd use xinerama (or the like) and cook up one huge desktop, i.e., 3200x2400...

1. Use very small fonts (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14126531)

By using smaller fonts, you'll be able to fit more text on screen, thus saving you valuable screen real-estate.

Also consider using KDE's "Mac like" menus feature. This will save you time, as it makes the menus easier to hit, but it will also save you more screen real estate.

Finally, don't use KDE or GNOME, instead use the crudest WM you can find coupled with a bunch of XTerms. As true hackers know, only the command line is your true path to the force that is Unix-like computing. Trust your instincts, learn how "find" and "grep" work (remember, your final test will be when you build your own find and grep commands.)

Some simple things (4, Insightful)

lheal (86013) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126536)

  1. Set up Ssh to allow you in to your usual haunts without a password.
  2. Settle on a window manager, and stick with it until it's not supported any more, and then stick with it some more (until it's just not available). Just pick one, and over time you'll learn all of its little time-savers and other gimmicks.
  3. Learn a scripting language such as perl, bash, or python, depending on what it is you usually want to automate. If you do much sysadmin work, you may need several languages.
  4. Keep your files organized in whatever way allows you to find things without searching for them. Get in the habit of storing things in the place where it will be easiest for you to find them. Make your web browser ask you where to put things, and then force yourself to put them in the right place when saving them.
  5. Keep your current work files backed up where you can get to them without relying on someone (even yourself) to change a tape. Since Linux lacks a Recycle Bin, the wrong mv, rm, or tar command can mean hours of finger-drumming waiting for a restore. (Pet peave: why doesn't unlink(2) move stuff to a filesystem-wide deleted area?)

WIMP is dead. (1)

thre5her (223254) | more than 8 years ago | (#14126537)

Want to make the most of your screen real estate? Try using a tiling window manager, such as ion [cs.tut.fi] or (my favorite) wmii [wmii.de] . If you're an emacs fanatic, try ratpoison [sourceforge.net] ; the keybindings are similar. You'll never resize again.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?