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Using ratpoison with nm-applet in Ubuntu

Below is a howto on using the Gnome nm-applet with ratpoison on a Ubuntu-box.

The window manager Ratpoison provides a very efficient workplace. The Gnome nm-applet is a cool tool to effortless configure wired and wireless network connections.

Ratpoison

ratpoison is our favorite window manager. It requires very little resources, is easy to learn (key bindings similar to GNU screen) and is extremely fast. Usually all windows are opened to full screen so practically every pixel from the screen is used for content.

Gnome nm-applet

The Gnome nm-applet is a cool tool to effortless configure wired and wireless network connections. No hassle with wpa_supplicant and wpa_action required, configuration of your wireless network connection is done in a breeze.

Inspiration

The How to get Network Manager working with ratpoison-page from Axel Stefan Beckert inspired me to get a simular setup on a Ubuntu-64 box.

Preparations

Change the default policy context in both /etc/dbus-1/system.d/NetworkManager.conf and /etc/dbus-1/system.d/nm-applet.conf so it says "allow" instead of "deny". See NetworkManager page on Ubuntu documentation

Check you have dbus-launcher and trayer installed

apt-get install dbus-x11 trayer

xinitrc

Edit your .xinitrc like below this:

( sleep 1; \
  trayer --align right --edge bottom --distance 0 \
         --expand true \
         --transparent true --alpha 128 --tint 0 \
         --SetDockType true --SetPartialStrut true & 
  nm-applet & ) &

exec /usr/bin/dbus-launch --exit-with-session ratpoison

ratpoisonrc

Put the following lines in your .ratpoisonrc:

unmanage panel
set padding 0 0 0 26

This makes some room for the nm-applet at the bottom of your screen.

startx

If your system starts gdm, kdm or xdm, make ik stop doing that (replace the S in /etc/rc2.d/S30gdm with a K, like

mv /etc/rc2.d/S30gdm /etc/rc2.d/K30gdm

Now, to test things you could kill your gdm/kdm/xdm session or use the windows-method (reboot). When you are logged in the console, type "startx". Wait a little, then your nm-applet should start working.

Clock

As a bonus, start osd_clock:

 osd_clock -f $quot;-*-lucidatypewriter-medium-*-*-*-17-*-*-*-*-*-*-*$quot;

Now that you have some unused screen real-estate, you can make this usefull by reminding you of the time.

Thanx to Axel for showing this handy app.

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