Scripts for Laptops
using FvwmPerl

These FvwmPerl scripts use PerlTk's ProgressBar widget to display battery charge level, screen backlight brightness level, & audio volume level. At the top of each script are instructions how implement them. They are kinda rough & I will be putting updates here as I improve them. But hey, they work for me.

Uses these files
Updates every 10 minutes or via the "Refresh" menu command described in the file's comments.
Works on my Toshiba Satellite A135-S4427 laptop & my Acer Aspire One AO751H netbook.

Uses these files:
Works on my Acer Aspire One AO751H netbook.
	Remove the ".blue" to use it.

Uses Keith Packard's xbacklight command.
Works on my Toshiba Satellite A135-S4427 laptop.
	Remove the ".reina" to use it.

Uses ALSA's amixer command to control Master Playback Volume.
Works on my Toshiba Satellite A135-S4427 laptop & my Acer Aspire One AO751H netbook.


Requirements: If you didn't assimulate & synthesize the information presented above, realize that FVWM, FvwmPerl, Perl, PerlTk, are required. PerlTk is not included in any of the Linux distributions I've used, so download it from & install it. Note my current version of Tk (Tk-804.031) includes Tk::ProgressBar; a prior version of Tk did not.

Prior to using these modules, execute them from a command line and note any error messages, which might be something like

  Battery information is not accessible...exiting.
  Brightness information is not accessible...exiting.
  /usr/bin/xbacklight not executable...exiting.
  /usr/bin/amixer not available...exiting.
will require resolution before they will operate properly.

I added the following line

  +  "Refresh All" SendToModule /home/bgeer/bin/Fvwm* refresh
to a FVWM menu and a simple click causes them all to refresh.

Ok, I'm a diehard C programmer. I haven't imbibed the kool-aid that is C++. If you don't like the looks of my Perl code, well, tough - you got what you paid for.


My core-duo laptop & single-core atom netbook are not exactly state of the art faster-than-greased-lightning computers. I used Ubuntu for a few years, but such heavy environments require so much resource that they felt more & more sluggish with each new release. I use Slackware & FVWM on the desktops I build & they feel very responsive. So I booted my laptop & netbook from a Slackware flash drive & they felt a lot more responsive.

So I installed Slackware on them. Wow! They feel a lot faster. Feel. They may not be faster, but they feel that way.

The downside is Slackware doesn't necessarily cater to all the fancy features of laptop/netbook computers. I pretty much don't care about some of the fancy features, but I do like having an indicator of battery condition, convenient audio volume control, & lowering screen brightness helps battery life. Since Xorg pretty much recognizes hotkeys, I felt challenged to bind them to useful little programs to accomplish their intended purpose.

Hence these programs. As noted, they have some rough spots; i.e., no automated installer & not all errors handled sensibly. I hope to improve on them & will post updates here if/when I continue work on them.

Robert Geer <>
Last modified: Tue Mar 3 19:18:24 MST 2009