ezyang’s blog

the arc of software bends towards understanding

Ubuntu Utopic upgrade (Xmonad)

I finally got around to upgrading to Utopic. A year ago I reported that gnome-settings-daemon no longer provided keygrabbing support. This was eventually reverted for Trusty, which kept everyone's media keys.

I'm sorry to report that in Ubuntu Utopic, the legacy keygrabber is no more:

revno: 4015 [merge]
author: William Hua <william.hua@canonical.com>
committer: Tarmac
branch nick: trunk
timestamp: Tue 2014-02-18 18:22:53 +0000
  Revert the legacy key grabber. Fixes: https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/1226962.

It appears that the Unity team has forked gnome-settings-daemon into unity-settings-daemon (actually this fork happened in Trusty), and as of Utopic gnome-settings-daemon and gnome-control-center have been gutted in favor of unity-settings-daemon and unity-control-center. Which puts us back in the same situation as a year ago.

I don't currently have a solution for this (pretty big) problem. However, I have solutions for some minor issues which did pop up on the upgrade:

  • If your mouse cursor is invisible, try running gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.cursor active false
  • If you don't like that the GTK file dialog doesn't sort folders first anymore, try running gsettings set org.gtk.Settings.FileChooser sort-directories-first true. (Hat tip)
  • And to reiterate, replace calls to gnome-settings-daemon with unity-settings-daemon, and use unity-control-panel to do general configuration.

5 Responses to “Ubuntu Utopic upgrade (Xmonad)”

  1. Robin says:

    Running unity-settings-daemon rather than gnome-settings-daemon lets me have play/pause again, but not volume controls. Any ideas on that, or is it just part of this same problem?

  2. Robin: Yes, it’s the same problem (though I’m surprised play/pause works: what media player are you using?)

    My interim solution has been to use xbindkeys, with this RC:

    #Volume Up
    "pactl set-sink-volume 0 -- +5%"
        m:0x10 + c:123
        Mod2 + XF86AudioRaiseVolume 
    #Volume Down
    "pactl set-sink-volume 0 -- -5%"
        m:0x10 + c:122
        Mod2 + XF86AudioLowerVolume 
    "pactl set-sink-mute 0 toggle"
        m:0x10 + c:121
        Mod2 + XF86AudioMute 
    #Lock Screen
    "gnome-screensaver-command -l"
        m:0x10 + c:160
        Mod2 + XF86ScreenSaver 
    "dbus-send --system --print-reply --dest="org.freedesktop.UPower" /org/freedesktop/UPower org.freedesktop.UPower.Suspend"
        m:0x10 + c:150
        Mod2 + XF86Sleep 

    One downside is you don’t get any sound splash saying what the new volume is, nor do you get that nice little “pop” sound which gives you a cue of how soft/loud you are.

  3. Robin says:

    I use nuvola as my music player, so far as I know it just uses the normal media key interface.

    I did the same thing with xbindkeys for my volume.

  4. Robin: Some media players manually implement global hotkeys (VLC and foobar fall in this category), which makes them work even without using any sort of dbus stuff. I guess nuvola is also in that category.

  5. bewest says:

    I also found a problem with the gnomeRegister function.

    The new syntax for dbus-send changed, which also puts us back where we were a year ago again.

    I found it simplest to ditch gnomeConfig altogether, only keeping the layoutHook from desktopCOnfig, and then use the following bash script using startHook with execScriptHook “startup” >> setWMName “LG3D”.

    dbus-send –session –print-reply –dest=org.gnome.SessionManager /org/gnome/SessionManager org.gnome.SessionManager.RegisterClient string:xmonad.desktop string:$DESKTOP_AUTO_START_ID

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