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kamagurka
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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 2:35 pm    Post subject: The Guide to aterm Spiffyness(tm) Reply with quote

The Guide to aterm Spiffyness(tm)

This version of the howto is not mantained anymore
if you want to read the updated version, go here. suggestions, ideas and questions can still go in this thread.

1. Introduction

One of the things one does before installing gentoo or any linux is looking at screenshots. One of the things i looked most forward to while installing linux were the cool terminal windows featured in many of these screenshots, and one of my first questions when i joined this community was "how do i make it like so?". I have noticed that, especially lately, the number of people asking the same question in the forum has increased; therefore i shall try and create a single url answer to these people, so we don't have to explain everything over and over again.
my explanation shall, however, be somewhat limited in that i will only be covering my own setup (i.e. aterm + fluxbox), as i have not the experience nor the inclination to explain other terminals or WMs. most of my tips should still work independently from WM or DE.


2. That's not an xterm it isn't

a common misconception of newer users is that what they see in those screenshots is a modified xterm. xterm however is merely a fallback, and you need to emerge a better terminal to enjoy spiffyness(tm). terminals that can be considered in this case are
IMHO, aterm is the animal of choice here. it is full featured and extremely sleek and fast. the only feature it lacks that i know of is anti-aliased fonts (gnome-terminal has them, i'm told, as does konsole). basically, you can do very similar things with eterm, but eterm really uses more resources. 'sides, aterm somehow feels much nicer. anyways, it is a matter of taste after all, and i'm sure there are a couple of reasons why people use other terms. i'm not bashing any of them. however, i am rather biased. if you feel you still need to choose the right terminal, look around the forums for more information. should you then choose to use aterm, come back here and read on.
soo, let's get started:
Code:
emerge x11-terms/aterm



3. What you probably want

...is a C/Pable line or config to make your aterm "look like that". no dice here, buddy. or maybe i'll post it further down, but i'd really prefer for you to try and learn how to do it yourself, and maybe find out some stuff you did not even know was there but might really like. soooo:
Code:
man aterm


4. What to do with the stuff from the manpage

when reading the manpage, you will see a lot of short options to be put in the commandline when calling aterm and will be all excited to use them, right then and there. this is really great and all, and you should use them copiously when experimenting to find out what you want your aterm to look like. however, they are no good for calling aterm always. there are a lot of people who have a gargantuan entry in their fluxbox-menu file to call aterm. this has the drawback that your aterm will look very plain should you ever call it from somewhere else. so: use the commandline options only for experimenting or when you want an aterm to look differently from the default.
what you should pay attention to is the "resource". the resources can be put in the file ~/.Xdefaults. this file is read every time you start aterm, and controls the way the default aterm looks like (i guess it can control other stuff, too, but...meh).
example:
let's say you want your foreground text to be white and your background to be black. the commandline for that would be
Code:
aterm -fg white -bg black
so you can check out what it looks like. if you dig that so much that you want it always enabled, do like so: look in the manpage for the resource of the options you have used (they are in bold print), in this case foreground and background. then add them to the already discussed ~/.Xdefaults like so:
Code:
Aterm*foreground: white
Aterm*background: black

again generally:
Code:
Aterm*$RESOURCE: $VALUE
(btw, for the options that you have to specify with a +/- the $VALUE is true or false)
now you're equipped to make your very own setup; but if you're too lazy to do that or want something to start with, see...


5. ...how i did it

basically this is my .Xdefaults file; its not as big as others you might see, but it makes my aterm look like i like it:
Code:
Aterm*scrollBar: false
Aterm*transparent: true
Aterm*background: black
Aterm*foreground: white
Aterm*shading: 60
Aterm*fading: 55
Aterm*loginShell: true
Aterm*saveLines: 5000
Aterm*font: -artwiz-smoothansi-*-*-*-*-13-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
most of these are more or less self explanatory, but i'll clarify some because i'm just that nice:
  • scrollBar: this obviously turns the scrollbar off; if, however, you simply cannot live without a scrollbar, but think the default scrollbar looks ugly (which it does), try turning it transparent. looks pretty nice.
    Code:
    Aterm*transpscrollbar: true
    the command line option is +trsb.
  • fading: this makes the terminal go darker when inactive. looks really spiffy, but don't set it too high or it will become unreadable as soon as you click anything else.
  • loginShell: this makes aterm read your loginscript (for example .bashrc and .bashprofile); without this the prompt defaults to this:
    Code:
    bash-2.05b$
    and with it it shows the name of the currently logged in user and the machine you are logged into. its also in color. i understand you can modify this rather heavily, but i'll learn about that when i have some more time.

  • saveLines: if you don't like using less and want to be able to scroll back through gargantous amounts of text, here you can define the number of lines that are retained in memory. if you just want it from time to time, use
    Code:
    aterm -sl $NUMBER

  • font: to find out what to put here use
    Code:
    xfontsel
    and select names and values from the various pulldowns until you like what you see. then hit select and middleclick anywhere to deposit that hellish string of asterisks and fontnames.



6. But i still want...

two typically required features for spiffyness(tm) are rounded corners and no window decorations. i will explain here how i did it, but it is very fluxbox specific; so if you don't use fluxbox you should probably go somewhere else ;)
  • rounded corners: this has actually very little to do with aterm and everything with the style you currently use; look here or here for some fluxbox theme goodness. my personally favourite theme with rounded corners is quasi-operational, check it out.
    "but i REALLY like my current theme...'cept i want rounded corners in my windows!", you say? very well; this, too, can be done: simply add to your current styles file (located in ~/.fluxbox/styles/). don't worry, its just a rather plain textfile.
    Code:
    window.roundCorners:      TopLeft TopRight BottomLeft BottomRight
    BEWARE: this will apply to ALL your windows, not just to aterm; consider whether you want this.
  • window decorations: if you want to remove window decorations you have to map a keycombination to "remove window decorations". to try whether it is perhaps enabled by default, hit Alt+D; if the decorations disappear, cool. otherwise, keep reading.
    to map this action to alt + D, add this line to your ~/.fluxbox/keys file:
    Code:
    Mod1 D :ToggleDecor
    works with all windows, btw. if you want to know more, read something about keymapping in fluxbox here. if you want aterm to always come up without decorations, right click on its title in the taskbar and select "remember->decorations". there you go.
    if you don't care about enabling toggling of window decorations and just want your aterm to be without decorations, you can also cut out the middleman and add
    Code:
    [app] (aterm)
    [Deco] {NONE}
    [end]
    to your ~/.fluxbox/apps file. this entry is the same entry that would be created by clicking "remember->decorations", but this way you don't have to bother with keymapping.
    NOTE: to move a window without decorations simply use ALT+ left mouse click. to resize it, use ALT + right mouse button. i like fluxbox.


7. what it might look like now

basically, it might look somewhat like mine. the left aterm is a loginshell (note the colored prompt) with decorations, whereas the other one isn't a loginshell (note the boring and plain bashprompt). you can also see the effect of the fading resource: the inactive aterm is a bit darker (especially useful if you have multiple aterms without decorations). any more questions?

8. "dude, you forgot..."

well, i'm done for now, but i hereby invite you cordially to tell me of any corrections or additions you might think of; if i find them valid i'll add them and also give you m4d pr0pz(tm).


9. thanks to

hammerhai, ZothOmmog, jonnii, mvr_rennes, stahlsau, clockwise, niord, Maedhros
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Last edited by kamagurka on Thu Jun 24, 2004 7:00 pm; edited 12 times in total
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hammerhai
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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Code:
hammerhai root # emerge -p aterm

These are the packages that I would merge, in order:

Calculating dependencies

!!! The short ebuild name "aterm" is ambiguous.  Please specify
!!! one of the following fully-qualified ebuild names instead:

    dev-libs/aterm
    x11-terms/aterm

You should change "emerge aterm" to "emerge x11-terms/aterm" :wink:
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ZothOmmog
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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
window decorations: if you want to remove window decorations you have to map a keycombination to "remove window decorations". to try whether it is perhaps enabled by default, hit Alt+D; if the decorations disappear, cool. otherwise, keep reading.
to map this action to alt + D, add this line to your ~/.fluxbox/keys file:
Code:
Mod1 D :ToggleDecor
works with all windows, btw. if you want to know more, read something about keymapping in fluxbox here. if you want aterm to always come up without decorations, right click on its title in the taskbar and select "remember->decorations". there you go.


Or, if you'd like them more permanent:

Code:
[app] (aterm)
[Deco] {NONE}
[end]


Add that to ~/.fluxbox/apps
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kamagurka
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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ZothOmmog wrote:
Quote:
window decorations: if you want to remove window decorations you have to map a keycombination to "remove window decorations". to try whether it is perhaps enabled by default, hit Alt+D; if the decorations disappear, cool. otherwise, keep reading.
to map this action to alt + D, add this line to your ~/.fluxbox/keys file:
Code:
Mod1 D :ToggleDecor
works with all windows, btw. if you want to know more, read something about keymapping in fluxbox here. if you want aterm to always come up without decorations, right click on its title in the taskbar and select "remember->decorations". there you go.


Or, if you'd like them more permanent:

Code:
[app] (aterm)
[Deco] {NONE}
[end]


Add that to ~/.fluxbox/apps


while your method is in no way more permanent than mine, it IS quicker. added.
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jonnii
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

this thread needs more pictures of your terminal window.
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andrewy
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't stand the the scrollbar that aterm uses, any way to replace it with a better looking one?
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etnoy
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't use a scrollbar at all. I don't remember the command switch, but there is an option to disable it completley. Use CTRL-PgUp + CTRL-PgDown to scroll instead. Nice and clean :)
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mvr_rennes
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a note... in Fluxbox you _can_ resize a window without decoration, by holding ALT, pressing the right mouse buton on the window and dragging.
With ALT+LMB, you can move the window around...
Cheers,
M
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i use a transparent scrollbar, so it looks good ;-)
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 10:30 am    Post subject: aterm with and without decorations Reply with quote

How can I set some of the aterm windows to start with decorations and others without?

Just for clarity, I know how to do this manually (with the fluxbox decoration toggle action). I want a script to open them in this fashion.

Thanks
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Code:
Aterm*loginShell: true

this means that when the terminal starts up, it runs your login scripts* - hence you get all the spiffyness(tm) from your customised shell prompt as well.

* such as .bashrc and .bash_profile
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mvr_rennes wrote:
Just a note... in Fluxbox you _can_ resize a window without decoration, by holding ALT, pressing the right mouse buton on the window and dragging.
With ALT+LMB, you can move the window around...
Cheers,
M

dude, i knew about alt+lmb, but the resizing bit is new to me... i used to toggle the decorations, resize, retoggle. thanks!. btw, added.

cableguy wrote:
How can I set some of the aterm windows to start with decorations and others without?

frankly, i would like to know, too. i think it can't be done, as fluxbox doesnt tell the instances of aterm apart at all. however, if you (or anyone else, for that matter) finds a way, i will be heavily thrilled and, of course, include it here.

clockwise wrote:
Code:
Aterm*loginShell: true

this means that when the terminal starts up, it runs your login scripts* - hence you get all the spiffyness(tm) from your customised shell prompt as well.

* such as .bashrc and .bash_profile

thanks for the clarification. added.
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kamagurka
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

andrewy wrote:
I can't stand the the scrollbar that aterm uses, any way to replace it with a better looking one?

a transparent one looks pretty nice. added it to the howto above (thanks to stahlsau for the suggestion).
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kamagurka
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jonnii wrote:
this thread needs more pictures of your terminal window.


there you go. although its just one picture (with two terminal windows in it, though).
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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you meant:

emerge x11-terms/aterm

You forgot the hyphen.
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

andrewy wrote:
I can't stand the the scrollbar that aterm uses, any way to replace it with a better looking one?

Code:
emerge gnome-terminal

better font support, too! ;)
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andrewy
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

heh, that's what I'm using now.
If only it were faster..
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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I came up with a lame-o way to make the terminal's change color 'randomly'

I placed this in my toolbar as the command when opening a terminal
It just runs this and the second determines the color. Cuz I liked how the author of the aterm website had different colors.


Code:

#!/bin/bash
n=$(date +%s)
let "n %= 7"
echo $n
if [ "$n" = "0" ]; then
  aterm -tint red&
fi
if [ "$n" = "1" ]; then
  aterm -tint green&
fi
if [ "$n" = "2" ]; then
  aterm -tint blue&
fi
if [ "$n" = "3" ]; then
  aterm -tint white&
fi
if [ "$n" = "4" ]; then
  aterm -tint yellow&
fi
if [ "$n" = "5" ]; then
  aterm -tint magenta&
fi
if [ "$n" = "6" ]; then
  aterm -tint cyan&
fi



I don't know. I thought it was fun. I took out black cuz I liked the transparent. And that didn't fix it.


If anyone tries this...let me know if you have a problem with the aterm loading for awhile.

Or since this is blazingly amateur, maybe you guys could show me how to fix it up?


Thanks
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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, it's pretty, but it's not smooth at all while I move the terminal window around. Aterm's fault or X's?
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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hanzotutu wrote:
Ok, it's pretty, but it's not smooth at all while I move the terminal window around. Aterm's fault or X's?


what about when you move other windows around?
if i had to guess i'd say that's most likely the wm's fault. if you're using fluxbox you can turn off opaque window moving so you only see the outline of the window when moving it. that is not as purty, but boy is it speedy.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2004 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moving rxvt around is quite smooth. I turned off "Display content of windows when moving". It's ok now. Thanks for this tip.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2004 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi everyone,

the beast here :D

Quote:

#!/bin/bash
n=$(date +%s)
let "n %= 7"
echo $n
if [ "$n" = "0" ]; then
aterm -tint red&
fi
if [ "$n" = "1" ]; then
aterm -tint green&
fi
if [ "$n" = "2" ]; then
aterm -tint blue&
fi
if [ "$n" = "3" ]; then
aterm -tint white&
fi
if [ "$n" = "4" ]; then
aterm -tint yellow&
fi
if [ "$n" = "5" ]; then
aterm -tint magenta&
fi
if [ "$n" = "6" ]; then
aterm -tint cyan&
fi


now where do I place this script in? .bashrc ? I did that, and you will see something very amazing, yet very pretty... it spawns like around 20 or 30 colorful aterm shells all over my dual monitors.. 8O 8O, yes it's pretty.. but.. :roll: where do I place it in? .xinitrc or...

EDIT: eh, silly me of putting that in the .bashrc :lol: , try it and see the endless colorful tinted aterm poping up :D, note to self, never do that one again 8O[/b]


Last edited by beastmaster on Thu Jun 03, 2004 8:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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rodericj
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am running kde. I would always push the terminal button on my toolbar in order to get a terminal (makes sense). What I did was add a different button and had the command be something like
Code:

/home/rod/scripts/randomshell.sh


Everytime I hit that lil' button, it would open up my randomly colored aterm.

putting it in your .bashrc will make it open everytime a terminal opens that runs the login scripts. So it becomes just an endless loop of terminals opening up(cuz each terminal runs your .bashrc when it opens). Get it?

Let me know how it works after that though.

Holla
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

that was quick :o

ok, i will try it again
i'm using gnome by the way
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

not really related,
for some reason my shell's login user name dissapeared..
now I only have
Code:

bash-2.05b$


it was supposed to show my user name and host name :?
didn't change anything in the .bashrc either, I took off the script codes, and put it in a seperate place, that one works now though. I assume it has something to do with my silliness placing that script codes in the .bashrc :?
and for aterm's .Xdefaults, I have set this Aterm*scrollBar: true, it had scroll bar a while ago, now it doesn't...
now I'm trying to get those fixed, any idea? [/code]
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