:: [heads] some notes and questions ab…
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Author: Miroslav Rovis
To: heads
Subject: [heads] some notes and questions about heads usage and developement
I've used Heads a lot lately. I've (so far) only used it from virtual
machine in pure Qemu.

I used versions 0.1 and now 0.2. (I'll also try and see if I can find
time and install from source, but... not too much hope that I will do so
very soon...)

I'd like to post a few notes, I hope it may be useful to others as well.

Awesome I believe is great, but I wasn't (yet, and time is not
abundantly in supply to me) able to get some equivalent of simple
keyboard shortcuts that I use in plain Openbox in my Gentoo
I'm most at home in Gentoo, which I was using for quite a few years
before using Debian. I left Debian some two-three years ago because of
systemDestruction. I also use Refracta and pure Devuan sometimes from
VMs as well, but I have very high standards for OS installation:
installation must be in Air-Gapped, from a local mirror with
PGP-verifiable sources/packages; Verifiability is there in Gentoo for, I
think more than a decade --and they actually half-abandoned it by
pulling users over to Github and installing via git; via rsync it is
still present, daily snapshots are verifiable-- and I did get the
verifiability on Debian which some time around my Air-Gapped installing
of Debian started PGP-signing the complete weekly testing repos... I
will only be installing Devuan/its' derivatives in such or similar
verifiable way for a more permanent use.

So, I was saying how I wasn't able to get [in Awsome] some equivalent of
simple keyboard shortcuts that I use in plain Openbox in my Gentoo.

I don't even use any special shortcuts, but those that are delivered
with simply installing of Openbox
I installed it probably some three or four years ago, I don't know if
those shortcuts have changed in the meantime for the stock installing of
It's just simple stuff like Alt-Tab to (visually) list (in the middle of
the screen) the windows that are opened in the session, and, at that
visual listing, select the one window that I want to work on next (I
always open at least a dozen windows, be it terminals, browser windows
or some other program windows)... I couldn't get it in Awesome (perhaps
because it is in Virtual Machine?) to use the keyboard to select
windows. And I don't like having to use mouse to select windows, which
is all that is left for me for selecting windows to work in, in Heads'

What is the solution to that? I tried a few guides for Awesome, none
offered anything that I can afford time to master. Some of the guides
would take me days to understand, the time that I don't have...


Super+Enter open the terminal
Super+p show the menubar
Super+r run prompt

Super I guess is the Windows key, on very simple keyboards (the only
ones that I would ever willingly regularly use, I despise, say, those
with buttons to even get your computer to go to sleep or, even greater
idiocy, shut it down), but that Super key just doesn't work here, and I
don't know if I'm alone in that.

Again, that could be because I run Heads in VM, but what is the solution
then, to get Awesome to be useful in a VM, under Qemu, in a simple
Openbox desktop? (I'm asking here; but I guess Qemu ML is another place
to ask ;-) as well.)

I was courious to know if git clone'ing remains anonymous in Heads?
Simple as that. Say, from github (not endorsing them, but just citing an

I'm way to slow for any development, although some of my programs (on
github, because I haven't known better yet, https://github.com/miroR) are
limitedly useful, and I do sometimes file a useful bug here and there,
and even, very rarely, a simple patch...

But I was thinking, wouldn't gnunet and secushell be the best way to go
for sustainable, even strong, anonimity? And, I bet they will be growing
really large, with time, for user numbers so necessary for anonimity?

I know it's a Tor question, but since I'm asking other questions here:
why do I mostly get "Not recommended", and in the caption when mousing
over the two words just cited, recently I most often get "This relay is
running a software version that is not recommended by the directory
authorities". How serious is that? I usually just try and get another
circuit, but it won't happen from the graphical interface in the
browser, no way. I have to shut down the Tor browser, and restart it
from the visible Awesome desktop background (or the button at the top
left), i.e. from the launcher menu.

Will there be a way some day, to anonymously converse about Heads? I'm
sure it will, but anything planned yet? ...Just courious.

I don't like some of the programs which are Debian legacy, and which
have been kind of robbed off from their rightful maintainers/creators
("kind of" because nobody disputes it was done legally). I'm talking
about wodim (forked and renamed from cdrecord) and I'm talking about
libav (a poor quality fork of FFmpeg). I just don't want them. cdrecord
is ever more rarely used nowadays, but FFmpeg I'd like to have from
deb-multimedia.org ... And remain anonymous.

Again: from deb-multimedia.org... And remain anonymous. Do they have an
onion? No? If not, then what's the way to get some of their packages and
still remain anonymous? Possible at all? (And of course, another place
where to ask about it is deb-multimedia.org mailing list, and I likely
will, afterwards.)

"Anonymous" above of course means I'm now testing it, thinking about it.
I know that now that I wrote about it here, it can't really any more be
the case. But I hope I'm talking for others here as well. And they then
might be able to, after we solve this, use FFmpeg or other of those
mentioned programs, and remain anonymous about it...

There is no simple solution to this, I know! It's really lots of things
are different btwn the once Debain's official multimedia repo, now
offered in Devuan, and the deb-multimedia repo... And if they won't
offer an onion in a foreseeable futurre, will Devuan right the wrongs
done (as I, and many other perceive it; but I don't claim any shadow of
authority in proclaiming it) to those developers/maintainers and include
packages mentioned above? Along with, if there are such, correct and
label non-free programs in deb-multimedia, without diminishing the great
offer of deb-multimedia (apologies if my language is not fully to the
point, no time to elaborate)? (A question for Dng mailing list, will ask
there if I find time; fits here though: the concrete itch is Ffmpeg in
Heads install.)

And last but most important, I know that to ask some of the questions
above, I should have installed from Heads repo... But don't blame me for
that, because I would have done it, if I could have. Reason: I'm no so
advanced to move so fast... ;-)

I have spent quite a few hours studying inside-heads.pdf, Guidelines for
a heads developer. Nope, not quick at all would the work be in Gentoo.
Right at the start of work there would be, it's in:
<editor> ./build-system/README.md
additional dependencies
live-boot-initramfs-tools gcc-6-plugin-dev

Those appear to me to be Devuan specific programs, and while I would
very much like to try and build Heads in Gentoo, I don't know if I can
dedicate the time needed (I reckon my slowliness would take days, and
with some luck, before there would be any results; days of dedicated
work; that's my expectation, didn't look into those programs, but even
the installation of Debian/Devuan packages on Gentoo, while they say
--they being seasoned developers-- is easy, I haven't yet played with

Heads is just the right idea. Gnewsense used to be libre software, but
with the NSA Linux (oh, I meant SELinux). C'mon! This is the perfect,
long awaited righting of that ...idiocy (in the view of many, and
finally those voices are getting louder even in, where they should have
long ago been very loud, privacy distro developers' circles).

Also, extremely pleasing to my feelings about what I (hope to once)
build and install, is that Heads development is PGP-signed every commit!
So it qualifies for my working with it and installing of it! The main
developer stands by his work without repudiation, and such developers
are trusted here! (See also the note about Air-Gap, and installing from
local mirrors further above. Heads qualifies in full here!)

If only I were able to work faster...

Miroslav Rovis
Zagreb, Croatia