Latest Tilda

I did post some time ago about the disappearance of Tilda from Fedora. At the time this was due to the lack of upstream support and the fact that development had stalled. Since then development has again started and Tilda is being improved. While it is not (yet?) available for Fedora it is a simple procedure to add it. The following link covers compiling and installing it. I tested it in Korora 20 Xfce and it worked fine and I have the latest Tilda running now.

/kernel_reloaded/ » compile latest tilda and enjoy solarized terminal.

Xfce’s Drop Down Terminal

Screenshot - 011213 - 16:53:01As a followup to yesterday’s post on Tilda there is an alternative for Xfce users. The current Xfce terminal has a drop down option. However it is not obvious to most users.

It is a hidden option which is standard for Xfce4-Terminal. To access it you need to start the terminal with the command ‘xfce4-terminal –drop-down’. The man page gives more details and suggests you bind that command to a keyboard shortcut. That way you can press the key to open the terminal and pressing it again will hide but not close the terminal. This means there is no need to add it to your sessions or Autostart. The first time the key is pressed will launch and open it. Further presses will reveal or hide it.

I would suggest binding it to F12. To do this right click on the desktop, select Applications – Settings – Keyboard. Select the Application Shortcuts tab,  click on the Add button, type in the command as above. Click OK and it will open another window asking for the key, press your chosen key(s) and the window will close. Test the shortcut, the terminal should open as a drop down.

In the Edit menu (or right click in the terminal) there is a Preferences option with a new DropDown tab. Make your choices here for size, location etc. If you turn off the menu bar you can access the preferences and new tab etc. options with a right click. The Dropdown preference screen also has an option for Opacity this applies to the whole terminal including the text. The Opacity option on the Appearance tab only affects the background. The Duration option controls the speed of the animation as the terminal drops down and ascends.

There is an option for a panel indicator too, it will appear in the notification area. Clicking on the panel icon will open the terminal. Right clicking gives access to the Preferences and an option to close the terminal.

This is a great option for Xfce users wanting the convenience of a drop down terminal and may remove the need for Tilda in future versions.

RIP Tilda, Long Live Tilda

UPDATE: Since I wrote this there has been some progress, although Tilda still isn’t available from the Fedora repos there has been some development work done on it. There is a new maintainer so go here for the latest details. You will need to build from source to have Tilda in current versions of Fedora or Korora but hopefully a new packager will emerge.

As many who have read this blog will know I’m a fan of drop down (aka quake style) terminals. I use Yakuake in KDE but in Xfce I’ve been using Tilda. I prefer its minimal style and features to the other options.

However when I installed Korora 19 I discovered that Tilda has been dropped from Fedora’s repos for 19 as it isn’t being currently maintained. In cases like this you have the choice of finding an alternative or building it yourself from source.

I found there is another way of installing Tilda in Korora or Fedora 19. Please note that this isn’t a procedure I would recommend for most packages but it works for Tilda. I ran Fedup on one of my systems but did a clean installation on another. Initially I didn’t notice the Tilda hadn’t been updated by fedup as it was still working. Only after I installed on the other system was the lack of Tilda noticed. I realised that packages from the older version still worked. So that was how I got it working in 19.

First we need a rpm file to install. That’s easy as I found the version for 18 works in 19. One way to obtain rpms is with RPM Search. I’ve used it before to back date when updates break something and yum history hasn’t worked. Go to here for a 64 bit file or here for an i686 one.

Now, as root, change to the directory where the downloaded file resides and run ‘yum localinstall packagename’, obviously replace packagename with the name of the file you downloaded. Yum will handle the dependency and install Tilda for you.

Problem solved, you now have Tilda in Korora or Fedora 19. Hopefully someone will step up and package it again in future version but as development has been slow I guess that’s not likely. See Tilda on github for details on the current state of development.

Fedora 16

Fedora 16 was released earlier this week and I decided to update one of my systems to it. Regular readers will know I usually run Kororaa, a Fedora remix. But I decided it is more than I need on my netbook. I wanted a simple light system with few options. I decided to go for F16 Xfce spin this time. Xfce has come a long way since I first saw it a few years ago. It is now at version 4.8 and is quite a well featured desktop. It has enough to be useful and look good but is still light on resources, at least compared to KDE and Gnome.

Installation was easy. I had previously partitioned my hard drive with a separate home partition and I kept it, saving the hassle of restoring all my data. I had backed up though, just in case.

The one problem I found was that I need to add an extra option to the boot line. Without ‘i8042.nomux=1’ I don’t have a working touchpad. F16 uses Grub2 so I had to learn how to edit the command line. I found a few references to editing /etc/default/grub and then running ‘grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg’. Both commands need to be run as root. That solved that problem.

The only other problems aren’t related to Xfce. First, I love drop terminals especially on netbooks. In KDE I use yakuake but to install that would pull in most of KDE. I had previously tried tilda on F15 and although basic it worked well. In F16 it crashes with a segfault. A bug report has been floating around for a couple of months. I will look at alternatives, maybe Guake. Any other suggestions?

The other small problem is turning on tap to click. Xfce doesn’t have a touchpad configuration gui so I looked for further information. I found a couple that required editing xorg config files. But each time I tried it X wouldn’t load. Further investigation is required.

Xfce has configuration options for much of the look and operation of the desktop. It even has it’s own compositor which gives basic desktop effects. I like setting inactive windows to be transparent as it makes seeing what is in focus so much easier. Xfce handles this well. It doesn’t have the fancy options of Kwin or Compiz but they aren’t really necessary. One new thing in 4.8 is the option to make the panels transparent  without affecting the icons etc. on the panel. With the compositor turned on there is an option to adjust Alpha on the Appearance tab of the Panel settings.

Fedora 16 is the first Fedora to use the 3.* kernel without it using an alias. In F15 the 3.0 kernel identifies itself as 2.6.40 so as not break parts of the system. F16 doesn’t need this.

Overall the update to F16 is good. Kororaa has promised a 16 beta soon so I am looking forward to that.