Improved font rendering in lightweight desktop environments

When using lightweight desktop environments or window managers without desktop environments, sometimes font rendering does not look as good as in GNOME or KDE.

It is possible to improve font rendering by creating the file ~/.fonts.conf and inserting the following content.

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd">
       <match target="font" >
              <edit mode="assign" name="rgba" >
       <match target="font" >
              <edit mode="assign" name="hinting">
       <match target="font" >
               <edit mode="assign" name="hintstyle">

The degree of subpixel hinting can be configured by using either hintslight, hintmedium or hintfull for the last parameter.


Tuesday, March 13th, 2012 Linux No Comments

Dell Latitude E6510 with Ubuntu 10.04


  • Press F4 in the install menu and then escape. Add nouveau.modeset=0 after the — on the kernel param line.

Booting first time after installation

  • Before GRUB pops up, keep pressing shift. Once you see GRUB, choose the kernel you want to boot from and then press e. Find the line that says quiet splash and add nouveau.modeset=0 at the end of the line.

Fixing up the nvidia driver

  • Once you booted for the first time, type the following to fix up your nvidia driver:

sudo apt-get --purge remove xserver-xorg-video-nouveau

sudo apt-get install nvidia-current

Fixing up the touchpad

  • Enable the backports repository in synaptic
  • Download the newest 2.6.35 kernel
  • Then do the following:

cd /tmp/
sudo apt-get build-dep --no-install-recommends linux-image-$(uname -r)
apt-get source linux-image-$(uname -r)
cd linux-2.6.35/src/drivers/input/mouse/patch -p0 < /tmp/patch-dell-e6510
make -C /lib/modules/`uname -r`/build M=`pwd` psmouse.ko
sudo rmmod psmouse
sudo cp psmouse.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/input/mouse/
sudo modprobe psmouse


Friday, March 4th, 2011 Linux, Ubuntu 10.10 1 Comment

Subversion diff and patch

Store the (versioned!!) local changes of your working tree to a file localchanges.diff in your home directory:

svn diff > ~/localchanges.diff

Restore the changes back to your tree:

patch -p0 -i ~/localchanges.diff

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 Linux, Versioning No Comments

Changing boot order Windows/Linux in GRUB2

By default, the installation provides a GRUB 2 that is configured to first probe for Linux OSs and then only for other OSs. A simple yet quite robust way of changing the order to Windows first and then Linux is the following:

Open a terminal and issue the following commands:

cd /etc/grub.d

sudo mv 30_os-prober 09_os-prober

sudo update-grub2

These commands will make sure thatr the os-prober script (which probes for other OSs, such as Windows) is executed before the script that probes for Linux OSs when automatically building the grub.cfg file.

Monday, January 10th, 2011 Linux, Ubuntu 10.10 No Comments

Adding and removing kernel modules to/from boot time

I know, this is a simple one, but I easily keep forgetting:

To (quickly and easily) blacklist modules from loading, edit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist, add a line similar to:

blacklist myModule

To add modules to startup, edit /etc/modules. Just add the name of the module on a new line.

Sunday, December 5th, 2010 Linux No Comments