drwright – A typing break application for Gnome and Unity on Ubuntu 12.04

Having worked on computers for years, I learned to appreciate typing break applications that remind me regularly of focussing my eyes on something else than the screen in front of me. Moreover, giving the hands a break from typing is a recommended prevention from Repetitive strain injuries (RSI). As break remainders popping up dialogs turned out to be ineffective for me, I soon started to use applications blocking the entire screen for a certain amount of time. This post shortly describes how to install such a typing break application for Gnome 3 and Unity on Ubuntu 12.04.

On Gnome 2, a native typing break plugin included in gnome’s core did a wonderful job. This plugin did not make it into gnome 3, and I have used good old xwrits as a replacement for nearly a year now. With Ubuntu 12.04, I was having another look around: I have used workrave  before on Windows, and as it still does not support locking the entire screen, workrave is not an option. The more I was excited to learn about drwright. This is the original Gnome 2 typing break plugin that is now continued as actively developed and separate component for Gnome 3 and Unity.

Drwright is not included in the main Ubuntu distribution but is availble through a PPA.
I shortly repeat the installation steps here to install and configure drwright.

Add the PPA’s package source to your sources list:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:drwright/stable

(This step requires root privileges, so enter your superuser password when asked to do so)

Update your system’s list of available packages:

sudo aptitude update

Install drwright

sudo aptitude install drwright

Log out and log back into gnome to finally find a new icon in the Personal section of your gnome system settings (Applications -> System Settings) called Typing Break.

And in case you ever need back screen access during a typing break, change to the console (ctrl alt F1), login and kill the drwright process,

sudo killall /usr/lib/drwright/drwright/gnome-typing-monitor.
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3 thoughts on “drwright – A typing break application for Gnome and Unity on Ubuntu 12.04

  1. Simon

    If the “add-apt-repository” command is not found, install for Ubuntu prior to 12.10 the package “python-software-properties” (sudo aptitude install python-software-properties). Starting with Ubtuntu 12.10, install “software-properties-common” (sudo aptitude install software-properties-common).

    Reply
  2. Simon

    Moreover, for Ubtunut 12.10 you need to manually replace entries about “quantal” by “precise” in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/drwright-stable-quantal.list, as the ppa has not been updated for quantal

    Reply
  3. hannenzhannenz

    I wish there was a way to get drwright running in elementary OS (built on ubuntu 12.04 but will not work due to elementary OS has another window manager)

    Reply

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