Configuring Thinkpad W540 Touchpad (Clickpad) – Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic)

The default settings on Ubuntu did not work well with me. Here’s what I’ve did to configure according to my taste.

Create a file 52-synaptics.conf  in /usr/share/X11/xorg.d directory . The configuration files in this directory are processed in alphabetical order. Therefore, prefixing the file with 52 ensures that the default settings in 50-synaptics.conf file are overruled.

You need to restart the display manager with the following command  sudo lightdm restart .

Additionally, the “disable touchpad while typing” option in the mouse settings didn’t work. To fix,

  1. Make sure the option “disable touchpad while typing” is unchecked. Otherwise touchpad might not work correctly.
  2. Add the following command to the startup applications.  syndaemon -i 1 -R -d -K

Fixing Firefox’s Backspace Behavior in Linux

If you are coming from Windows background, you might have hard time adapting to how Firefox behaves under Linux. Basically Firefox does not go back to the previous page when the backspace key is pressed.

After making a thorough search on the web, I came to the conclusion that this is indeed an intended behavior and have some philosophical roots. To make long short, the proponents of this behavior state that backspace key is intended to be used when correcting a mistake. And since going back to a page is not result of an error but simply part of surfing the web it should “not” use backspace for this.

Although I can appreciate the logic behind it, I’m against challenging well-established habits that have no practical implications just to be logically sound.

Here’s how to bend Firefox to respect your old habit.

  1. Type about:config to the address bar.
  2. Start typing “browse” to locate the entry browser.backspace_action
  3. Double-click on the “value” column to change it 0 (it is set as 2 by default)
  4. Done!

Updating from KDE 4.11 to Latest KDE Version for OpenSuse 13.1

OpenSuse 13.1 ships with KDE 4.11 which was not working fine with me. I needed openconnect for VPN access to my institution however, the openconnect NetworkManager plugin was not working properly.

As soon as I installed the plugin along with the openconnect base package, the NetworkManager widget started not showing any connections etc. Plus, I was not able to use the openconnect plugin anyway as it didn’t allow me to type in the VPN server I’d like to connect to.

When I tested openconnect from the terminal, it was working perfectly. Therefore I decided that the problem might be in KDE.

So I decided to upgrade the factory shipped KDE 4.11 to the latest version (4.13 as of now). Below are the instructions I’ve followed.

  1. Add repositories for KDE SC and Extras Packages. The following repositories are from OpenSuse and they point to the latest version of KDE available.
  2. Update the system to use updates from the newly installed repositories. Using --from limits zypper to use updates only from the specified repositories.
  3. Reboot the system to reflect all the changes made.

Starting and Stopping manually installed MySQL Automatically on OpenSUSE 13.1

To install mysql as a service, run the following commands from the support-files directory in the installation. In my case /usr/local/mysql/support-files

Then, you can simply start mysql with the following command.

$ sudo /etc/init.d/mysql start

openSUSE Tweaks & Configuration

This is a list of changes  I usually make after a fresh OpenSuse installation.

Changes in System

Install Oracle Java. Instructions are here.

Changes in KDE

Add Windows style keyboard shortcut Meta + D to Show Desktop 

Global Keyboard Shortcuts -> Kwin -> Show Desktop

Lock screen with  Meta + L 

Global Keyboard Shortcuts -> The KDE Session Manager -> Lock Session

Disable Background Services

Configure Desktop – > Desktop Search -> Uncheck Enable Nepomuk Semantic Desktop

Software Management -> Uninstall Akonadi

Akonadi and Nemopuk consume a lot of resources and result in significant lags in the user interface even in top machines. I never experienced applications opening slowly after disabling these two services. Credit to here.