The Linux BricsCAD pages #4

Part 4: Tuning Linux

Optimizing your Linux CAD environment. A proper work space means increased speed and optimized working pleasure…


All related parts: 1: Introduction 2: Linux base install 3: More user software 4: Tuning Linux 5: Tuning your software 6: Getting BricsCAD working 7: Publishing your drawings


Position taskbar

I think Microsoft did a good job putting it down. Every movement of your head up is a burden on your neck vertebrae. So you may consider and act:

RMB Panel > Panel Prefs > unlock
RMB move (on handle, edge)
RMB Panel > Panel Prefs > lock

Status notifier

The status bar, the most right panel with indicators…

RMB > Panel > Add New Items > Action Buttons, Keyboard Layouts, Screenshot, Show Desktop, Workspace Switcher > Add button > ...

Ordering icons: RMB > Move

Keyboard layouts

Now that you have a panel entry for keyboard layouts, configuration is needed. This depends on where you live. I have an “English (US)” layout and want to add an “English US international with dead keys” layout. For switching I want to use the keys left-ctrl+left-shift.

Menu > Settings > Keyboard > Tab Layout > [] Use system defaults > Add, "English (US, int., with dead keys)" > OK > Change layout option: Left Ctrl + Left Shift > Compose key: Right Win > Close

Tick tock

Optionally change time area Clock:

RMB > Properties: format field > %A,%d-%m-%Y, %T


Compton is a compositor. Do we need it? If you notice “tearing”, just give it a try by doing “apt install compton”. But before doing so, you may want to go to:

Menu > Settings > Window Manager Tweaks > Tab Compositor

Font DPI settings

Menu > Settings > Appearance > Tab Fonts > DPI

Have some windows open and play with settings. For example, my 40″ 4k screen is set to 130 dpi. BricsCAD deals reasonably good with it.


Really? Okay, just a bit then, before we discuss things like “ugly”.

Active window themes

A coloured window title bar shows what window has focus. Out of the box, only “Kokodi” and “Moheli” offer that. See:

Menu > Settings > Window Manager > Tab Style


Play around… If you want less fancy, more functionality, contrast:

Menu > Settings > Appearance > Tab Style > Raleigh

Icons… Very personal but functionality is important too. For example, I work often with LibreOffice master documents and “Humanity” has different icons for .odm files.

Menu > Settings > Appearance > Tab Icons > Humanity


Personal Package Archives. Not discussed here in detail. If you run into trouble with a checked and secure package from the official distributions, and there are ppa’s, you can consider using them, effective giving access to the ppa maintainer but solving your problem.


SMB Linux client example

  • Everything as root.
  • Install:
    apt install cifs-utils
  • Obtain the IP number of the server with the name of the share.
    For example,, sharename is “projects” in this example.
  • Create a local directory /data/servername/sharename, for example
    mkdir -p /data/projects
  • Change the rights of sharename to 2770 and owner and group to username. For example
    cd /data/
    chown JanJansen:JanJansen projects/
    chmod 2770 projects/
  • Add the following line to /etc/fstab:
    nano /etc/fstab
    Then, add this line at bottom:
    // /data/projects cifs uid = 1000,gid = 1000,credentials=/etc/samba/user,noexec 0 0
    then ctrl-s and ctrl-x.
  • Put data in file /etc/samba/user:
    nano /etc/samba/user
    add this
    username = JanJansen
    password = yap@ssword

    then ctrl-s and ctrl-x.


Where Samba is based on SMB technology, reverse engineered Windows server stuff, NFS is for Unix networks.

If you don’t need SMB, go for NFS. There are times we go “off grid”. Packed with a data copy we work in a far away country without internet and our (NedCAD) workstations utilize only NFS where one Linux workstation exports the data copy to other Linux clients. Back home, we rsync everything to the main server.

Interesting for military and all other kinds of off grid operations too, but that is outside the scope of this post. If you want to implement it, read for example this post.


Screen Locker

Several things you may want to check, for example “Screen Locker”:

Menu > Settings > Session and Startup > ...

Dual monitor support

Running into trouble with dual monitor configs, example with two Full HD monitors? Create an executable .sh shell script file, you can add a link to it in “Session and Startup” and or create a launcher (RMB panel). It can contain something like this, tune to your needs, don’t just copy:

xrandr --output VGA-0 --mode 1920x1080 --pos 1920x0 --rotate normal --output DVI-0 --off --output HDMI-0 --mode 1920x1080 --pos 0x0 --rotate normal

These kind of scripts come in handy when you change monitor layouts often, laptop with additional monitor and beamer for example.


Continue with part 5: Tuning your software

The Linux BricsCAD pages #4
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