Archive for the ‘Gnome’ Category.

Flash on the Nexus

I was put off at first for a long time by trying to get a flash player running on the Gnome build. I eventually stumbled on this thread and found out about Gnash. A simple apt-get install gnash was all that was needed on my build to install it.

Adobe now report:

Sadly, the Nexus went chunky under the load from albinoblacksheep and almost crashed like it did last time. I managed to save the Android by killing the VNC server from the ADB shell. It took a couple of minutes of sitting and thinking to recover but after that the UI was as normal and the VNC server came back up quickly. This is the best I have from that run:

Guessing that the load came from the double whammy of both the JavaScript and the Flash I turned to a lighter weight old favourite:

It worked perfectly, without the sound of course.

Pure awesome


For anyone playing along at home, my xstartup currently reads:

gnome-wm &
gnome-panel &
gnome-settings-daemon &
nautilus --no-default-window &
gnome-volume-manager &

Keyboard hack

It’s not pretty, but it works.

The bug seems to be with the way that Gnome interfaces with the VNC server. There are a lot of different suggestions over the net to fix it. I have found one that works for me, but I will be trying the vnc4server one at some point.

Hugues Fournier posted a reply to Scrambled Keys in feisty ubuntu desktop which saves a working good keymap and then runs it in the Gnome session.

To do this you need to VNC in to your LXDE environment and run the command:

xmodmap -pke -display :1 > ~/ ( if your VNC display is :1 )

Then create a shell script in your filesystem containing:

cat ~/ | xmodmap -

and chmod u+x it.

This is where I differ from Hughes’ instructions. You need to run this script while within the Gnome environment. For now, I have managed to use mouse control to edit the Menu. You can browse to the script and then enter anything as a name (you can tidy this later). Run the script from the menu and test. I will be looking at ways to auto-boot it later.

Baby steps 2

Getting closer.

My xstartup now reads:

gnome-session &
gnome-settings-daemon &
[ -x /etc/vnc/xstartup ] && exec /etc/vnc/xstartup
[ -r $HOME/.Xresources ] && xrdb $HOME/.Xresources
vncconfig -iconic &

Background image still missing and keyboard mapping still screwed. It produces this:

Baby steps – the beginnings of Gnome on Android

So, this is what it’s really about. As well as what I mentioned you need earlier, the full list is:

  • Nexus One (or other fast Android device)
  • Root
  • microSD card of 2GB or bigger with enough space on the ext2 partition for a lot of stuff – as a guide I have a 1.5GB partition with only 350MB free
  • Apps2SD or a read/write filesystem and knowledge of mount

If you don’t understand any of the points above, please don’t consider following anything else.

Once you can root shell in via ADB you can get the Ubuntu build and LXDE running with Paolo Sammicheli’s wonderful blog posts. This build worked well on the G1 and I was able to run Fennec at a crawl with it. Getting the Nexus made me want more and I am aiming for Gnome.

Haven’t got there yet, but I’m on the way. After getting Paolo’s build working, you will need to install the following packages:

apt-get update
apt-get install gnome x-window-system-core xserver-xorg gnome-desktop-environment twm


I think there is some redundancy in that list. Beware the package ubuntu-desktop, it’s a 500MB behemoth that includes Open Office and scanner software and such. I know I’m pushing the Nexus, but I doubt I’ll be scanning on it any time soon.

To work on the phone, I am using an ADB shell session over the USB and VNC over a wireless link. For this sort of work you need a keyboard and mouse, using the on-board VNC client to talk to localhost is pretty much unthinkable.

Imthiaz Blog posted a Gnome VNC guide, including the sample xstartup settings:

# Uncomment the following two lines for normal desktop:
# exec /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc
gnome-session &
[ -x /etc/vnc/xstartup ] && exec /etc/vnc/xstartup
[ -r $HOME/.Xresources ] && xrdb $HOME/.Xresources
xsetroot -solid grey
vncconfig -iconic &
# xterm -geometry 80x24+10+10 -ls -title "$VNCDESKTOP Desktop" &
twm &

Boot your VNC server and log in in the normal way. I thought I had failed several times, as all I was getting was the X11 blank screen:

Finally, when I left it long enough I started to get elements appear, though it is obvious I still have a problem with a window manager:

I also seem to have a massive problem with keyboard mapping too. Those issues for another day..