Paul Sutton


Grub boot menu

By default Debian using the Grub bootloader, if you want to change a few settings you can either edit the configuration files manually

There is a section in the Debian Administrators Handbook which covers Grub, and also the LILO boot loader(s).

If you are not comfortable with this then you can use a program such as grub-customizer.

apt install grub-customizer

So the first screen you see is a list of installed operating systems.


So you can fine tune which kernel or add extra parameters.

The next tab

General Settings

Allows you to customize how Grub works, you can change how long the Grub menu appears for, or hide it altogether.

You can also change how grub looks

appearance settings

Advanced tab should only be touched if you know what you are doing, here for reference anyway.


Don't forget to save your settings, however if you exit without saving then you will lose changes. This is good if you think you may have messed something up.


FreeBSD 6

Further to my previous post or probably more specifically the post before that I am sharing a little more about setting up twm.

I have been trying to find a way to share my config files here. The easiest way to this, so I thought, would be to copy the files to a removable media, this failed. So this morning I created a github repository and uploaded copies of the two files there.

So firstly there is the xinitrc file as below



# merge in defaults and keymaps

if [ -f $sysresources ]; then

    xrdb -merge $sysresources


if [ -f $sysmodmap ]; then
    xmodmap $sysmodmap

if [ -f "$userresources" ]; then
    xrdb -merge "$userresources"


if [ -f "$usermodmap" ]; then
    xmodmap "$usermodmap"

# start some nice programs

if [ -d /usr/local/etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d ] ; then
	for f in /usr/local/etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d/?*.sh ; do
		[ -x "$f" ] && . "$f"
	unset f
twm &
#xclock -geometry 50x50-1+1 &
#xterm -geometry 40x25+494-0 &
exec xterm -geometry 40x25+0+0 -name login

The end section of this tells the X11 system to load twm as the window manager, the last line creates a special xterm window that, if exited will exit the X11 system too.

Following on from this is the system.twmrc file which is sets up the twm system.

# Default twm configuration file; needs to be kept small to conserve string
# space in systems whose compilers don't handle medium-sized strings.
# Sites should tailor this file, providing any extra title buttons, menus, etc.
# that may be appropriate for their environment.  For example, if most of the
# users were accustomed to uwm, the defaults could be set up not to decorate
# any windows and to use meta-keys.

TitleFont "-adobe-helvetica-bold-r-normal--*-120-*-*-*-*-*-*"
ResizeFont "-adobe-helvetica-bold-r-normal--*-120-*-*-*-*-*-*"
MenuFont "-adobe-helvetica-bold-r-normal--*-120-*-*-*-*-*-*"
IconFont "-adobe-helvetica-bold-r-normal--*-100-*-*-*-*-*-*"
IconManagerFont "-adobe-helvetica-bold-r-normal--*-100-*-*-*"

    BorderColor "slategrey"
    DefaultBackground "rgb:2/a/9"
    DefaultForeground "gray85"
    TitleBackground "rgb:2/a/9"
    TitleForeground "gray85"
    MenuBackground "rgb:2/a/9"
    MenuForeground "white"
    MenuBorderColor "black"
    MenuTitleBackground "gray70"
    MenuTitleForeground "rgb:2/a/9"
    IconBackground "rgb:2/a/9"
    IconForeground "gray85"
    IconBorderColor "gray85"
    IconManagerBackground "rgb:2/a/9"
    IconManagerForeground "gray85"

# Define some useful functions for motion-based actions.
MoveDelta 3
Function "move-or-lower" { f.move f.deltastop f.lower }
Function "move-or-raise" { f.move f.deltastop f.raise }
Function "move-or-iconify" { f.move f.deltastop f.iconify }

# Set some useful bindings.  Sort of uwm-ish, sort of simple-button-ish
Button1 = : root : "defops"

Button1 = m : window|icon : f.function "move-or-lower"
Button2 = m : window|icon : f.iconify
#Button3 = m : window|icon : f.function "move-or-raise"
Button3 = m : window|icon : f.quit "quit application"

Button1 = : title : f.function "move-or-raise"
Button2 = : title : f.raiselower

Button1 = : icon : f.function "move-or-iconify"
Button2 = : icon : f.iconify

Button1 = : iconmgr : f.iconify
Button2 = : iconmgr : f.iconify

# And a menus with the usual things
menu "defops"
"Twm"	f.title
"Iconify"	f.iconify
"Resize"	f.resize
"Move"		f.move
"Raise"		f.raise
"Lower"		f.lower
""		f.nop
"Focus"		f.focus
"Unfocus"	f.unfocus
"Show Iconmgr"	f.showiconmgr
"Hide Iconmgr"	f.hideiconmgr
""		f.nop
"Nethack"	f.exec "exec vulture-nethack &"
"Doom"		f.exec "exec prboom &"	
#"Xterm"	f.exec "exec xterm &"
"LXTerminal"	f.exec "exec lxterminal &"
"Thunar"	f.exec "exec thunar &"

"XCalc"		f.exec "exec xcalc &"
""		f.nop
"Kill"		f.destroy
"Delete"	f.delete
""		f.nop
"Restart"	f.restart
"Exit"		f.quit

"Frame"	"=100x50+100+100"	1
"XTerm"	"=300x50+120+100"	2

It is fairly basic at the moment, but feel free to git clone from here.

I am sharing as they are more of a guide rather than something that should be just used.

#bsd, #config, #desktop, #settings, #configuration, #tool, #freebsd, #twm, #window, #icoms, #xinitrc, #system.twmrc

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FreeBSD 5

Carrying on directly from my previous post I have found a nice video tutorial to explain how to edit the .twmrc file. This can be found at:

While this is a short video, it is easy to follow and comprehensive.

#bsd, #config, #desktop, #settings, #configuration, #tool, #freebsd, #twm, #window, #icoms.

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FreeBSD 4

Carrying on from my previous post. I am now turning my attention to configuring the twm desktop [1]

twm is set as the default window manager in:-

/usr/local/etc/X11/xinit/ file : xinitrc

After finding some information on how to configure the twm desktop [2]. This document seems to be from around 1989.

I tried to find the configuration files in my local home directory structure on bsd but was unable to. However there is one


Which, I think is more of a global configuration. Given the only two users are myself and root is fine.

I used this to add a second icon manager to the desktop.

I have also found some other documentation [3] which explains how add items to the menu.

So to add menu entry to menu for vulture-nethack

edit /usr/local/share/X11/twm/system.twmrc

“Nethack” f.exec “exec vulture-nethack &”

the & is important

If you need more help you may want to ask on IRC: * #freebsd which is hosted freenode. [4] I am on IRC as zleap but also frequent a few other channels.


  1. twm Desktop
  2. An Overview of twm (Tom’s Window Manager)
  3. Customizing twm
  4. Freenode IRC

#bsd, #config, #desktop, #settings, #configuration, #tool, #freebsd, #twm, #window, #icoms.

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FreeBSD 3

Following on from my previous post which discussed changing the X11 keyboard layout. I had to also change the console layout.

This can be undertaken through editing the appropriate configuration files or with a tool called bsdconfig which needs to be run as root.

The online man page can be found here

This is a menu driven / text based interface. I can't, as yet provide a screen shot, but the man page is comprehensive enough so a screenshot isn't really needed.

To change the keyboard map you will need to find the appropriate section and make the changes.

#bsd, #config, #menu, #settings, #configuration, #tool, #freebsd, #keyboard, #layout, #gb.

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FreeBSD 2

Following on from my previous post. I have been working on fixing the keyboard mapping issue.

Again, after asking for some help on this from IRC, I was given an example configuration file to work from.


From this I have created a new X11 keyboard configuration file for the UK / GB keyboard layout. This now works, so at least pressing shift 2 gives “ and not @ which would happen on a US keyboard and was happening previously.

Now this is working, it is a little easier to play nethack as @ turns auto pickups off, which is very helpful when you don't want to pick up everything you come across.

#freebsd, #x11, #keyboard, #layout, #configuration, #irc, #nethack

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KSTARS is a Linux based astronomy package. For a free software package it has a lot of features and downloadable catalogues of stellar objects.

When you first load up the package you may want to view the constellation lines. I worked out how to do this, but am including some info below to help users change the line colour from the default light grey as it may be easier for people to see the lines.

If you click on Settings (menu) —> configure —> guides

You should get the following

constellation lines

I have checked the boxes to constellation:-

  • lines
  • boundaries.
  • names

If you then click on the colours tab at the side

constellation colours

I have set the colour to yellow. This does stand out, probably a little too much. However you can set it to the colour of your choosing or leave as the default grey.

colour picker

The end result of this is (download):

Hope this helps

#software, #astronomy, #science, #kde, #linux, #freesoftware, #setup, #configuration, #constellation, #linecolor, #boundaries, #names.

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