Re: 2 questions

1. My cons.saver is owned by root:

/usr/local/lib/mc/bin $ ls -l
total 48
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root        40565 Jul 20 00:31 cons.saver*

but I still get no option for shorter panels in Options/Layout. What may be wrong?

It should be suid root.  Use "chmod +s" to make cons.saver suid root.

Did that, but still have no new options in Layout, be it as root or as a user...

No.  Support for X libraries is limited to reading keyboard modifiers
(Shift, Alt, Ctrl), and even that is disabled by default, because if mc is
linked against shared libX11, in won't work without libX11, which may be
an unreasonable requirement for some users.

Please give me a pointer as to where in the source to look for enabling X linking. I may try to implement a 
primitive X clipboard copying myself, as I really need it a lot. Any suggestions are welcome.

In case you don't know (sorry if you do), you can read mc FAQ, question
3.2.  But that's not really an interaction between mc and X - the text is
tranferred between terminal and X clipboard, and mc is just ignored.

This is lame, I want to be able to do this from keyboard...

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