Brool brool (n.) : a low roar; a deep murmur or humming

The Joy Of X

 |  coding

Sometimes, something works so well and so invisibly that is just makes you kind of chortle with glee whenever you use it.

My Gentoo box has become my primary workstation — nowadays, I am using my Windows box only for games and iTunes. Each has a separate monitor, so I can see what is going on with either box, but using switching between the two computers is, perhaps, a little inconvenient, resulting in scenarios like:

Them (on Windows box): Oh, my god, a man in a black coat just broke into my house! What do I do?
Me: (hits key to speak)
Me: (realize I’m on the Gentoo box)
Me: (does Fn+ScrLck twice, hit ‘2’, hit key to speak again)
Them: Nooooo………….. (silence)
Me: You there?

Okay, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but it sure wasn’t good.

So I took to running TightVNC on the Windows box, which had a number of downsides. What I really wanted, I realized, was something that would just send the events over to the other box without bothering with transferring the screen back.

I was all set to write this until I remembered the first law of Linux:

First Law of Linux: If you’ve thought of a utility, someone has already written it.

Gentoo Corollary: Gentoo will have an emerge for it nine times out of ten, too.

So some searching turned up x2vnc, a fiendishly clever little utility. It pipes X events to a VNC server when the mouse moves off the edge of the screen. What this means is I have my Gentoo box running… and I move the mouse to the right, onto my second screen… and I’m controlling my Windows box, seamlessly.

Yes, this blog entry has no deep political discussion, no hilarious diatribe, no technologically sophisticated exposition. Just something that works exactly how it should.


Comments are moderated whenever I remember that I have a blog.

There are no comments on this article.

Add a comment