going mouseless

I’ve been using my laptop quite a bit lately. I’ve been working on my PhD dissertation and taking my laptop back-and-forth from home to school every day. I started  noticing that my wrist was really beginning to hurt. I decided to try to find a better window manager for keyboard use.

I tried a bunch and ended up using Xmonad in Gnome for a while. Xmonad is a really nice tiling window manager written in Haskell (which I don’t know). Since I normally run my two primary apps, Firefox and gnome-terminal/terminator, maximized I didn’t notice to big of a difference. However, some apps just don’t fit all that well in a tiling WM model and I’m thinking of switching back to metacity/compiz. However, I want to keep the ability to primarily use the keyboard.

So, I wonder what kind of tricks/tips you all have for running “mouseless” in Ubuntu?


13 thoughts on “going mouseless

  1. Metacity supports ctrl+alt+tab for selecting the desktop or panel and panel applets, while compiz does not I believe– so I use metacity.

  2. Do you know WinSplit? It’s a very cool Window$ app which lets move in an optimized way any app window you have on your desktop with your keyboard.

    But of course, no way you want to use this crap OS… so here are 2 ports of winsplit which works great :
    – First the “grid” Compiz plugin : http://wiki.opencompositing.org/Plugins/Grid, works like a charm, but you need compiz… i find it too heavy… But i’ve been using for a few months now, and i cannot live without it!
    – Second, i bumped into this one this week and it looks very promising even if not quite complete yet : http://www.ssokolow.com/scripts/#quicktile.py. The good thing about that one is that it is really light and portable (supposingly any wm will support it), and best of all of course is that it does not require compiz…

    – I also have a friend who has been using Awsemone for quite a while now and he seems to be very happy about it… for me it’s just too geeky! http://awesome.naquadah.org/ 🙂

    Let me know if you find any better! I’m also very mouse-hater!

  3. fluxbox can be configured via its keys file,
    bound different keys to actions like start program, maximize
    use its apps file to configure the positions and sizes of your applications

  4. Custom Metacity keybindings. You can set these up in gconf-editor. I use Crtl+Alt+Z to launch xterm for example. Much faster than navigating menus with a mouse.

  5. I tried several tiling wms (including XMonad). But then I went with OpenBox. I created keybindings to: Maximize a window, resize and move a window to the left half of the screen, the right half, the top, the bottom half, the top left quarter, the top right, bottom left, bottom right quarter.

    I also use iswitchwin to switch windows. And Gnome Do to do stuff 🙂

    I had to patch iswitchwin. And the OpenBox keybindings include pixel coordinates, so they are specific for a screen size, which is kinda uncool with laptops and external screens.

  6. Conkeror + devilspie w/ metacity + Emacs is the magic combination for me. I still like the idea of Sawfish much better, but I’ve never gotten around to getting it stable and workable. If you do most of your work in Emacs you get tiling for free no matter what WM you’re using.

  7. Thanks for the tip “ctrl+alt+tab for selecting the desktop or panel and panel applets” — this works for Ubuntu (Live Session), I am mouseless because my PS/2 mouse was not detected. Just starting to check out Ubuntu, I will address the mouse issue next….

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