We are going too look at a pretty useful command in Linux/Unix: xrandr

The xrandr command, which is expanded as Xrandr – X Resize, Rotate and Reflection , is useful in the following ways :

  • Specifies the connection to the X server.
  • Specifies which screen.
  • Specifies the screen.
  • Specifies the rotations or reflections possible of the screen.
  • Specifies the current rotations and reflection of the screen.
  • Specifies the server timestamp.
  • Specifies the timestamp when the screen was last (re)configured.
  • Specifies the screen configuration being used.
  • Specifies the array of sizes supported.
  • Specifies the refresh rate in Hz.

Now what do we do with this … something thats really useful ?

Mr.Girish says how  it can be put into an interesting use. His tips (in his own words) at the ILUG-C mailing list  is as follows :

$ xrandr

Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 1024 x 768, maximum 1600 x 1600
VGA connected 1024×768+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
312mm x 234mm
1024×768       85.0*+   84.9     85.0*    75.1     75.0     70.1     60.0
1600×1024      60.0
1280×1024      59.9     60.0
1440×900       60.2
1280×960       60.0
1280×800       60.0
1152×864       75.0
1280×768       60.0
1152×768       54.8
832×624        74.6
800×600        84.9     85.1     72.2     75.0     60.3     56.2
640×480        85.0     84.6     75.0     72.8     75.0     60.0     59.9
720×400        85.0     70.1
640×400        85.1
640×350        85.1

My screen is running at 85 Hz per second refresh rate and I am at a
resolution of 1024×768.

My eyes are very important since I work on the computer day in day
out(never at nights) and I have been doing this for more than 11 years now.


It is due to UNIX!

I always set very good refresh rates and I set a dark background and
pleasing colors.
My eyes never get sore.

If we go to villages in the train, we find that whenever we see paddy
fields with lush green color, our heart leaps and a whiff of pleasure courses through our heart.

Green is very pleasing to the eyes. That is the reason it is very important for Mohemmedans.

I always use xterm with green foreground and black backgrounds.

Please read the man page of xrandr. It is too powerful for your imagination. 🙂

$ xrandr -o left

$ xrandr -o right

$ xrandr -o inverted

$ xrandr -o normal

Try all this. It is great fun!

$ xrandr -s 1024×768

will set the 1024×768 pixels mode. You set the refresh rate with the -r switch.

In my case I can get the 1280×1024 mode, but then the refresh rate is very poor.So I switched back.

For higher modes you get lower refresh rates since there are
limitations in the graphics memory of the graphics card.

Of course you guys must be knowing the Alt Ctrl + and Alt Ctrl –
keystrokes for switching between modes. And you can kill X by Alt Ctrl Backspace. If you are running a display manager this will only restart X.

Remember xrandr is a X extension. You should have it loaded for all
this to work. In general all my tips may necessitate installation of some package.You have to take care of that.

Since there is no universal way to install packages and you cannot
install all packages from source I will leave that out. You have to figure out.

If you are using Debian, of course things are very simple. 😉

you contact Mr.Girish at girishvenkatachalam@gmail.com

Playing .mp4 files in Linux


Now this is a problem which i was facing for a long time in both Ubuntu and Mandriva. I wasnt able to play .mp4 format files . Now i have a solution and  i am sharing it with you. I stumbled upon this simple solution in http://ubuntuforums.org and the solution was posted by Fabián Rodríguez , whom i appreciate for his different thinking . Now to the solution…

Just convert the .mp4 file into a .ogv file and you will be able to play it in any video player in Linux. 🙂

The conversion can be done by installing ffmpeg2theora and using the following syntax in Terminal.

$ ffmpeg2theora  filename.mp4

the output is a clone of filename.mp4 but with a .ogv extension (say filename.ogv). That video file is playable in a ll video players.

It took me 3 mins (approx) for converting a 18MB .mp4 video file and the video/audio quality didnt get affected in any way.

Importing Windows fonts in Mandriva

This post would be helpful for those having a dual boot of Windows and Mandriva.

Pre-requisites : your Windows partitions have to be mounted and this could well be done easily thru’ the Mandriva Control Center.

Now you can easily import Windows fonts in Mandriva . Mandriva Control Center to the rescue !!!

Just open the Mandriva Control Center (System->Administration->Configure your Computer).

You would be prompted to enter your root password.Enter it.

In the Control center,choose the “System” and in that you would see an option called “Manage,add and remove fonts ,import Windows fonts“. Click on it.Mandriva Linux Control Center 2009

In the dialog box that opens you could find a button labelled “Get Windows Fonts” .

All you have to do is to click on that button and Mandriva would take care of the rest 🙂 Now you can use Windows fonts in all Mandriva applications that allow you to choose the fonts. Cheers !

Installing JRE in Mandriva

source : http://www.java.com


Download Linux RPM (self-extracting file) from HERE or HERE . filesize is 19.38 MB.

After you download it follow these instructions:

1. At the terminal: Type:

2. Enter the root password.

3. Change to the directory in which you want to install. Type:
cd <dir name>
For example, to install the software in the /usr/java/ directory, Type:
cd /usr/java

Note about root access: To install Java in a system-wide location such as/usr/local, you must login as the root user to gain the necessary permissions. If you do not have root access, install Java in your home directory or a subdirectory for which you have write permissions.

4. Change the permission of the file you downloaded to be executable. Type:
chmod a+x jre-6u<version>-linux-i586-rpm.bin

5. Start the installation process. Type:

This displays a binary license agreement. Read through the agreement. Press the spacebar to display the next page. At the end, enter yes to proceed with the installation.

6. The installation file creates jre-6u<version>-linux-i586.rpm file in the current directory.

7. Run the RPM command at the terminal to install the packages. Type:
rpm -iv jre-6u<version>-linux-i586.rpm

8. Java is installed in jre1.6.0_<version> sub-directory under the current directory. In this case, Java is installed in the /usr/java/jre1.6.0_<version> directory. Verify that the jre1.6.0_<version> sub-directory is listed under the current directory. Type:

your output would resemble the one below .

The installation is now complete. Go to the Enable and Configure section.

Mandriva’s simplicity over Ubuntu

I have been using Ubuntu for quite a few years and do admire its simplicity .Still a lot of simple operations neccessiate googling to find out the appropriate device file  to be edited.And  i wonder ,Ubuntu has been recommended for newbies !!!

Now to Mandriva .Ever since i installed Mandriva 2009 i seemed to like it … some inner feeling even before i began to use it.And as i began to use it , i felt that this is the right kind of OS for newbies who migrate to Linux from Windows. It saves time by integrating most of the controls to the Mandriva control center so that developers could  concentrate on the bigger picture.
A typical example i could point out is the case when i installed a software which i mistook for a Mandriva theme.What it did was to change my boot screen (dual boot selection Windows or Mandriva), replacing it with light colored fonts.I tried to find the appropriate file(a default reflex behaviour i was infected with when i was a ubuntuoer) to replace the default screen. On googling i found that this could be done easily by just selecting the required boot screen under the bootoption in Mandriva Control Center.Simply stating , Mandriva is the right kind of Linux distro for newbies in Linux . I would be grateful if someone comes up with a nice guide for Mandriva similar to “Ubuntu Kung Fu” .

Mandriva Control Center