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Category Archives: Command-Line Tips

Shawn Powers of Linux Journal recently posted a video about using the Alt-key to move large windows around on netbooks (here’s a link to the video). Shawn also mentions that it doesn’t work by default with Compiz. Essentially, Compiz doesn’t allow you to move a window above the top panel. To fix this, simply use the command below.

gconftool-2 --set /apps/compiz/plugins/move/allscreens/options/constrain_y --type bool 0


Irssi is a really simple command-line IRC client.  To install it, use apt-get or yum.  There is no configuration required.  Simply run irssi -c (server) -n (nickname) and once it connects to the server, type /channel and enter the channel you want to chat on.  When you want to disconnect, use /disconnect and when you want to quit, use /exit.

Why You Should Use It

There are many reasons for using irssi, but simplicity and the lack of a GUI are the two main ones.  The lack of GUI really helps if you are on an older machine or if want to use it remotely using SSH.  It also doesn’t get in your way because it doesn’t have all of the options that other IRC clients do.

This little command saved me a ton of time and searching back in Ubuntu 8.04 when I needed to know what wireless card I had.  I found out by running the command:

lspci|grep -i “wireless”

What It Does

The lspci command shows you your computer’s hardware interfaces (SATA controllers, wireless cards, etc.).  The standard output it gives you can be a little hard to read, so I piped it to grep.  The grep command allows you to search through a file or a program’s output for a line with a string in it that you specify.  The -i option tells grep to ignore case.  The string at the end finishes the command by telling grep what to look for in lspci‘s output.  So, the full command runs lspci, sends the output to grep, which searches through the output to find the string “wireless”, regardless of case.

Why It’s Useful

This command is amazingly useful, especially in Arch Linux.  Arch doesn’t give you a GUI by default and you need to install X with the right drivers.  If you replace “wireless” with “VGA”, you’ll know what you need.