After using Alpine a little, one problem may become apparent.
Its shortcut for selecting a file, for example to attach it, is
C-t. But that's Ratpoison's escape key combination! In fact,
Ratpoison has a solution for such conflicts, referred to somewhat
cryptically in the shortcut list as meta:
C-t to the application in the active window.
However, this does not work in the terminal, which does not recognize
the character if it receives it in this form.
Everything in Ratpoison is configurable, and the
combination itself is no exception. A temporary solution is to reassign
the binding using Ratpoison's command input feature.
conjures up an input line at the top right of the screen. This can be
used for passing instructions to Ratpoison. For instance, one way of
opening an application in a new console is:
C-t :exec xterm -e alpine
which starts the program we just installed. The colon command can be used to pass a number of instructions to Ratpoison; see
for a full list together with shortcuts where they have been
defined. In fact, there is a shortcut for
exec. Just type
C-t ! [application]
C-t C-! opens it in a console.
To change the
C-t default, do:
Super_L, which is the so-called "Windows key" to the left of the
keyboard. As well as resolving the conflict with Alpine, this
has the great benefit of being just one keystroke. Some functions may
not work correctly, in particular, the very useful
to go back to where you just were, and performance varies from one
keyboard to another, so it's worth experimenting. Another possibility
is the "Menu" key. To return to the default:
C-t :escape C-t
To make such a change permanent, edit ~/.ratpoisonrc. If you
are using Ratpoison, you can open the file now (with GVim or
Vim) and tile it horizontally with the window where you are reading
this guide (
C-t Shift-s). Let's go through some items in
# .ratpoisonrc banish % !! there is no such application in the repositories set border 0 set barpadding 0 0 set font terminus set winfmt %n%s%a bind W exec rpallwin bind r exec ~/.ratmenu/main.sh bind F1 exec rpws move1 bind F2 exec rpws move2 bind F3 exec rpws move3 bind F4 exec rpws move4 bind F5 exec rpws move5 bind F11 exec rpws moveprev bind F12 exec rpws movenext bind v exec vimprobable2 # set default background %this will need updating exec feh --bg-scale /usr/share/xfce4/backdrops/StairWay.png # create 5 workspaces and create aliases (run: rpws help) exec rpws init 5 -k
banish sends the mouse pointer to bottom right (incidentally, you may wish to install unclutter, which makes it fade out altogether after a few seconds of stillness; place the line
in your ~/.xinitrc to run it automatically when X is
started). We've seen all but one of the custom keybindings in the
"bind" statements. To change the wallpaper, point to a different image.
The final item sets up workspaces, which we'll look at next - including
Before editing the file, create a backup copy in case anything goes
wrong. To change the
C-t default, simply add a line:
We've seen many of the custom keybindings in the "bind" statements.
The final item, together with the bindings to function keys, sets up
workspaces; we'll look at these next - including