Much ado about scripting, Linux & Eclipse: card subject to change


Conky - a light-weight system monitor

A few months ago I discovered AntiX, a MEPIS variant, and as a result also discovered Conky, which comes preinstalled with the fluxbox window manager.

Tonight I hacked up a quick add-on for displaying your current IP address(es) in Conky. Add this to your .conkyrc file:

${color red}${exec /sbin/ifconfig | grep -v "" | grep "inet addr:" | perl -pe "s/.+inet addr:([\d\.]+) .+/\1/"}${color white}

Here's a screenshot, and the complete .conkyrc file.


There's a lot more you can do with Conky. Here's a few screenshots, the config settings reference guide, and their main page at sourceforge, including install instructions.


Dual-Monitor X.Org Configuration In Under 10 Minutes

If the above title shocks you, you're not alone. I'm still reeling from the fact that I was able to get a dual-monitor xorg.conf with almost no effort. Here's the steps:

  1. Check your ATI hardware specs.
    lspci | grep VGA
    01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc M56GL [Mobility FireGL V5200]
  2. Download the latest proprietary ATI Radeon driver from
  3. Quickly scan the documentation.
  4. Install the driver.
    chmod +x
  5. Configure X.Org. In my case, I have my external 1600x1200 monitor to the right of my 1400x1050 Thinkpad T60p. Of course, in "stretch" mode, both screens must be at the same resolution.
    aticonfig --dtop=horizontal --overlay-on=1 --mode2=1600x1200 \
        --resolution=0,1600x1200,1400x1050,1280x1024,1024x768 \
  6. Restart X (I just hit CTRL-ALT-BkSp). If that breaks things, there's always CTRL-ALT-F1 to get back to a console.
  7. Change wallpaper from Centered to Tiled Maxpect so it's not stretched across both screens.
  8. Note the new K Menu entry for ATI Catalyst Control Center.
Thank you, AMD!

Kernel Panic!

Yesterday a very nasty linux security hole was uncovered & shortly thereafter, fixed.

Tonight I attempted to upgrade my home systems and discovered that my desktop is immune (Kubuntu 6.06LTS, kernel 2.6.15-27-686 SMP i686) as this bug only manifests with kernel 2.6.17 or later.

My laptop (AntiX 7.0, 2.6.22-1-mepis-smp i686) decided to kernel panic when I upgraded to 2.6.22-3-686 & restarted. But that upgrade was pointless anyway, as the only Debian fix yet available is kernel 2.6.18 for Debian 4.0 (Etch).

So, switching to the Ubuntu repository, I found the fix I need. Here's a list of the kernel upgrades by *ubuntu version/name:

  • 6.10 (Edgy): 2.6.17-12
  • 7.04 (Feisty): 2.6.20-16
  • 7.10 (Gutsy): 2.6.22-14

If you're like me and your AntiX/MEPIS/Debian/Kubuntu hybrid doesn't already have packages for these fixes, you can add these repositories to your /etc/apt/sources.list by hand:

# Ubuntu Security Updates
deb gutsy-security main restricted universe multiverse
deb-src gutsy-security main restricted universe multiverse

However, if your system is anything like mine, it won't even bother to kernel panic on restart -- instead, you'll get a dead system with the caps lock light blinking on & off. Yes, that's definitely more secure than before. :(