General desktop questions

Chris Tyler chris at
Tue Aug 24 03:13:00 UTC 2010

On Mon, 2010-08-23 at 21:47 -0400, Alex wrote:
> - How can I change the highlighting of text using the mouse in a
> Terminal to automatically copy without having to right-click then
> Copy, and paste automatically by clicking the right-mouse button,
> similar to how putty works?

Almost all X applications handle fast-paste, a simple yet gloriously
useful feature:
(1) Select the text using the primary (usually left) mouse button. This
makes it the "primary selection" (which is separate from the clipboard).
(2) Paste the primary selection by pressing the middle mouse button at
the destination. If you have a scroll-wheel mouse, press the scroll
wheel in; if you have a 2-button mouse, press both buttons at the same
time (may not be configured for all hardware).

Note that this is not limited to pasting in text -- for example, most
browsers accept fast-paste of URLs anywhere on the page that's not a
link or input field, in which case they will open the URL.

> - How can I create the ability for a normal user from within GNOME to
> either be prompted once for the root password for administrative
> tasks, or be able to start X11 as a normal user, yet have the ability
> to perform root administrative functions like mount devices or create
> new printer shares?

You don't want a normal user to be able to do 'root administrative
functions' -- that road leads to grief and malware.

However, see 'man pam_timestamp' for information on adjusting the
administrative authentication timeout.


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