My Fluxbox desktop on Fedora Core 3 Part 2

my desktop

Finally I have figured out something else I have wanted to do for MONTHS! If you look on the top-right corner you will see what looks like an embedded terminal in my desktop. The biggest reason why I’ve wanted to do this is simply because it looks really neat to have a terminal “built into” the desktop. I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet, the way people use them to run a logger in the background or other neat utilities. Besides looking really neat, it allows you to enjoy your background while using the terminal instead of covering it up. I mean, what’s the point of going through all the trouble of having such a great background when you can’t even see it? If you are into computers you are now nodding in agreement. So, how did I do this?

Well, in a word: Eterm. As I mentioned a few days ago, Linux is all about choice. There are many, many terminal emulation programs for Linux and Unix. The most often used is the xterm program. In KDE the default program is called Konsole. Finally, many people use a program called aterm. xterm is pretty vanilla and it seems to be designed simply to be a terminal and nothing else. Console is highly configureable and has transparancy capabilities, but, as far as I know, no way to hide the borders or title-bar. I haven’t used aterm so I don’t know much about it.

Eterm, on the other hand, was purposely designed to be the most highly customisable terminal emulator around. The options for customization are dizzying. There is the ability to write a configuration file to govern the appearance of each new Eterm. However, I feel that the user gains the best use out of Eterm either launching it with a specific theme or specific options. This allows the user to have many Eterms open with different display properties instead of all of them being transparent or whatever other options they choose. As an additional benefit, the creators claim that it uses less system resources than the bland xterm.

So, how can you get the effect I have? It’s actually pretty simple. First of all, get a copy of Eterm. For this you can visit www.eterm.org. Type the following into your terminal program:

Eterm -x --scrollbar=0 --buttonbar=0 --trans &

“Neat!” You might say, “But how do I move it?” That, too, was bugging me when I first did this. You can move it around by holding down alt and dragging it around with your left mouse button.

Once I figure out the logger program and other such l33t things I will then pass them on in a future post. Happy customising!

Author: Eric Mesa

To find out a little more about me, see About Me