Category Archives:

xf86-video-intel-2.6.3 and xorg-server-1.6.1 … a big fail

xf86-video-intel-2.6.3 — why do you cause so many problems? Ever since the transition from slow console switching (3 – 5 secs) to fast kernel mode switching (<< 1 sec) you insist on crashing when I kill Perhaps it's just me — perhaps I'm one of the unfortunate few that cannot have a perfect working system. NO, I do not want to compile without KMS nor do I want to switch to the legacy intel video driver. *sigh*

I will find a fix but I'm afraid that the solution will be a recompile.

Before you ask, xf86-video-intel-2.7.1 doesn't work at all, so I'll need to wait for a more stable release.

Changing the default X11 Cursor

Very trivial.

Unpack your cursor package to ~/.icons/.

The directory structure should be:


Create a symbolic link between ~/.icons/default and the theme_name and restart X.

ln -s ~/.icons/theme_name ~/.icons/default

If you have any issues, remove the symbolic link:

rm ~/.icons/default

create a ~/.icons/default directory

mkdir ~/.icons/default

and insert the following file (index.theme) into the ~/.icons/default directory:

touch ~/.icons/default/index.theme
vi ~/.icons/default/index.theme
   1 [Icon Theme]
   2 Inherit=theme_name

Done; easy.

Using xbindkeys to manage media buttons

More often that not, a keyboard will have extra functionality keys that you can bind to different operations.  Xbindkeys makes it easier to make each key perform a specific task.

First, run “xbindkeys -k” to determine the code for a key.  For example:

"Scheme Command"
m:0x0 + c:160

Then change the “Scheme Command” section to the command that you want to run when the key is pressed.   For example:

"amixer set Master 5%+"
m:0x0 + c:176

Place your newly created command in ~/.xbindkeysrc and add xbindkeys to your ~/.xinitrc.


An interesting discussion on the freedeskop mailing list revealed that setting MigrationHeuristic to “greedy” in the /etc/X11/xorg.conf may speed up Firefox when using the Intel (intel) drivers.
Read the discussion at

Automatically logout after X is killed

Simply alias startx to ‘exec startx’.  For added convience, place it in /etc/bashrc, /etc/zshrc, or /etc/profile.  Note, that if you run ‘startx 2>&1 | tee startx.log’, this trick will fail.

Changing The Default X Cursor

Although it took me ages to find out how to change the default X cursor the solution is simple.

1. Install the icon/cursor theme using your default package manager (or extract it to /usr/share/icons)

2. List the contents of your /usr/share/icons directory

~ %  ls /usr/share/icons [truncated output]

Chameleon-Anthracite-Large/    Chameleon-Anthracite-Small/ 
HighContrastLargePrint/         LowContrastLargePrint/  gnome/

3. Copy the name of the cursor theme you want (in this case Chameleon-Anthracite-Large)

4. Add the name of theme to ~/.icons/default/index.theme

~ %  vim ~/.icons/default/index.theme
1 [Icon Theme]
2 Inherits=Chameleon-Anthracite-Large

5. Restart the X server

Note: The number next to “[Icon Theme]” and “Inherits” is part of the Vim display (use :set nonumber to get rid of it).  Do not add it to the file.