drwright: GNOME-native typing breaks in GNOME 3

July 11, 2011 – 11:48 am

One of the things I immediately noticed about GNOME 3 is that the keyboard break feature, more about formerly a default option in GNOME 2′s normal Keyboard Preferences setting dialog, sales has been removed. For RSI-aware geeks like myself, condom that is a big sadface. Fortunately, it’s easy to re-enable, but exactly how to do it is a bit obscure, so I’m documenting for posterity.

There are plenty of Linux-native typing break software packages, but if you want GNOME-integrated typing breaks, the relevant piece of software is called drwright, and that link points you right to the most recent source (as of July 2011; if it’s much later, check the parent directory to see if there are any later versions). It’s packaged in most major distros, including Fedora, so a simple sudo yum install drwright will do the trick.

Once you install it, typing breaks are configurable via the System Settings menu (throw your mouse into the top left hot-corner, then type “system” to find the menu).

You’ll see a new Typing Break option.

If you click on that, you’re back to the old familiar Typing Break dialog.

That’s it – modularity for the win.

(Thanks to Sebastian for digging back through his history for the proper package name; I initially thought typing breaks were Gone Forever from GNOME 3 and was about to evaluate a slew of non-GNOME options.)

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  1. 8 Responses to “drwright: GNOME-native typing breaks in GNOME 3”

  2. Unfortunately for you, Gnome 3.2 (or perhaps later) will remove the APIs that allow adding external control center panel:
    http://mail.gnome.org/archives/desktop-devel-list/2011-May/msg00089.html

    Unless the Gnome control center since changed their mind, I must admit I haven’t checked since then.

    By bochecha on Jul 12, 2011

  3. I am extremely disappointed with Gnome 3. I like the look. I can even appreciate the new paradigm in the UI. But who the heck do these Gnome devs think they are? Not being able to tweak the top bar is absolutely brain dead. An entire bar across the top of the screen and all I am allowed to do with it is a hot spot, one task icon, the clock (now missing the built in calendar) and a few icons to the right. One of which is assistive technologies which I have NEVER used.

    So I switched to XFCE. It light weight, VERY customizable, and does *almost* everything I want. Most importantly, it puts ME back in charge of my environment.

    By Gary on Jul 31, 2011

  4. Thank you very much! This works for me in 11.10.

    sudo apt-get install alien
    sudo alien -c drwright-3.2.2-1.fc17.i686.rpm
    sudo dpkg -i drwright_3.2.2-2_i386.deb

    Welcome, my love typing-monitor! I waited for you a whole month!

    By okolikon on Nov 29, 2011

  5. Dear Mel,
    I am using Mint 13, Cinnamon desktop. I tried “sudo apt-get install drwright” but was told
    “E: Unable to locate package drwright”

    If drwright is not available for Mint 13 Cinnamon, would you or anybody else have any recommendation for any program that will force me to rest my hands and eyeballs regularly by temporarily locking me out of my computer?

    By Mangue on Oct 16, 2012

  6. Mangue, the default version of Mint uses GNOME as a desktop manager, so you should be able to install drwright.

    Go to https://live.gnome.org/drwright and try using the Ubuntu package. If that doesn’t work, install from source. Someone on the Mint forums or IRC channel should be able to walk you through things if you need help.

    By Mel on Oct 16, 2012

  7. Mel, thanks for your reply.

    Are you sure when you say “the default version of Mint uses GNOME as a desktop manager”? I don’t think there is _a_ default version of Mint. And the most popular versions of Mint 13 use other desktop managers: MATE and Cinnamon.

    Anyway, I did this in terminal:
    “sudo add-apt-repository ppa:drwright/stable ”
    I then got
    “[sudo] password for mangue:
    You are about to add the following PPA to your system:
    drwright packagers:
    http://git.gnome.org/browse/drwright
    http://live.gnome.org/drwright

    Patched for unity and set default to disabled.
    After you install it, log out / log in.
    You can find it in gnome-control-center (aka “System settings”).

    https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/860776
    More info: https://launchpad.net/~drwright/+archive/stable
    Press [ENTER] to continue or ctrl-c to cancel adding it”

    I don’t know whether I should continue, because it says it’s patched for unity, and I’m not using unity.

    By Mangue on Oct 16, 2012

  8. I don’t think I can help you with that, since I’m running Fedora instead of Mint and haven’t a single idea whether “patched for Unity” will make a difference here. Try installing from source, or asking someone in a Mint forum whether you can install things that have been patched for Unity.

    By Mel on Oct 16, 2012

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    about blogging. thanks. blogwordo:)

    By dorthy law on Dec 8, 2017

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