Look on the Brightside

So I was at work today and using the new iMac that we recently received. It has our company’s new software installed on it (Z4).Being the geek that I am, I decided to look around at OS X to see if I really liked it and to see how it compares to GNOME. Needles to say, it’s pretty snazzy. In a lot of ways it’s similar to GNOME, but in EVEN MORE ways it’s not. There also happen to be some things that I really like about OS X that I wish my computer could do. I’m not saying that these things are not possible; I’m just saying that I don’t have them…yet. Look at the ‘Brightside’ (keep that in mind).

As I was playing with the iMac, I decided that this thing just HAD to have my favorite screensaver on it, Helios. Setting it up was a breeze, but that’s not why I’m writing today. I noticed an interesting piece of functionality that I really wanted to have. Hot Corners.

Hot Corners give the ability to initiate screen saving or power saving functions by simply moving the mouse to one of the four corners of your screen. For example, I setup Hot Corners so that when I put the mouse at the bottom right corner of the screen, it will start the screen saver.

I started Google searching for a program that provides similar functionality for Ubuntu & GNOME. That’s when I stumbled upon Brightside (see, there it is again). Brightside provides virtually the same functionality that Hot Corners does, plus the ability to switch screens by moving the mouse to the side of the screen. Brightside doesn’t seem to have been worked on since Dapper was around, however it still works perfectly. There are some install issues though, simple fixes for them too.

Here’s how to get brightside running…

sudo apt-get install brightside

This is where you will encounter two issues:

  • Brightside’s properties configuration will not automatically be added to System > Preferences. So you will have to add this yourself.

  • Brightside will not automatically start when you login. So you will have to add the program to System > Preferences > Startup Applications.

Once you’ve done all of this, you’ll be able to go to System > Preferences > Screen Actions and setup your ‘Hot Corners.’Enjoy!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Nice blog you have!
    Question: don’t you use Compiz’ “Cube”? With Compiz you can assign screen sides for several interesting tasks, incl. screensavers. Amongst others I use the Compiz functionality to get an overview of all workspaces (like in Gnome 3 shell) and see all active things on one workspace.
    Keep it going!


  2. Hi John

    Actually, I do use Compiz-Fusion. I’m surprised that a simple (at least I thought it was simple) Google search did not produce any results with Compiz-Fusion as an option. Which feature does the task? I did a quick look through and couldn’t find the obvious solution.



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