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#1 2012-10-10 21:06:53

#! Die Hard
From: the lower bits
Registered: 2012-01-11
Posts: 680

my personal DE & WM history

there once was a time, way back around year 2000, when i made first contact with linux.
back then we had KDE 3.x and i, coming from the evil M$ empire, was a huge fan of it.

a few years later, KDE 4.0 was coming around the corner, and i hated it, switching over to GNOME 2.
i was perfectly happy with GNOME 2 for many years, not missing KDE at all and never looked back.

then came the GNOME 3 disaster, i (guess what?) hated it, and switched over to XFCE. it has improved a lot over time and is still great, but i felt the need for speed and lightness and realized that i don't really need a full blown DE but rather a WM would be sufficient, which made me try Openbox.

having played for quite a while with Openbox and especially the tint2 panel, i was ready to try out something really different and started looking into those mysterious tiling WMs, finally getting hooked on i3wm. oh how i loved it ! (and i still do...)

but as time marches on, i wanted something even faster and lighter and stumbled upon evilwm, which i combined with dmenu and xbindkeys. i've become quite a minimalist, not only in linux but in many respects, and have thrown all the unnecessary bloat overboard. i think that's all i need these days and my system is fast as hell now. i wonder what may come next ? smile

EDIT: sorry, i've completely left out my intermezzo with JWM, pekwm and sawfish...which happened sometime after Openbox and before i3. as for the latter, tiling is great, but it doesn't really make much sense on a 12" notebook screen IMHO... wink

Last edited by xor (2012-10-12 12:43:12)



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#2 2012-10-10 21:14:10

From: inside Ed
Registered: 2011-07-25
Posts: 4,749

Re: my personal DE & WM history

Wasn't KDE 3.5 in 2004, not 2000?
Personally, KDE 3x, Gnome, DWM, Gnome, KDE 4.x, ratpoison, Openbox, scrotwm, DWM again. I don't think I'll be switching anytime soon, I usually miss my keybindings when on other WMs. If I do, it will be to KDE.

Last edited by el_koraco (2012-10-10 21:15:01)


#3 2012-10-10 21:40:00

Internal Affairs
From: North Carolina
Registered: 2009-10-18
Posts: 12,087

Re: my personal DE & WM history

Me:  Dellbuntu UNR, vanilla Gnome, XFCE, Openbox, brief affair again with XFCE (Openbox and I were "on a break"), back to Openbox.  Still with Openbox.

I'm a moderator here.  How are we doing?  Feedback is encouraged.


#4 2012-10-10 23:03:42

Bloated Gimp
From: interzone
Registered: 2012-09-15
Posts: 2,106

Re: my personal DE & WM history

Short and sweet, only 2 years:

lubuntu, gnome 2, distro-hopping, then gnome 2, then xfce, now openbox, but already interested in tiled managers, though I know I will be confused for weeks...

openbox and #! in general feels quite homely


#5 2012-10-11 01:30:32

#! Resident Bum
Registered: 2009-11-03
Posts: 3,003

Re: my personal DE & WM history

Way too many, I doubt I could even remember them all. Will just list down the significant ones.

Started using Linux out of necessity at first. Was living overseas, budget was extremely tight and Win98 install on the laptop decided to go loco (as usual) on me at a critical period. Trackball decided to kill itself as well. No Ubuntu back then. Installed Slackware and with some help from a flatmate I got Ratpoison set up. Worked brilliantly, saved my job, and generally performed without skipping a beat.

Then I moved back to Macs for a while, and still generally use OSX for much of my work-related stuff. Then decided to give Linux a go again. First with Red Hat, then Fedora, and then Ubuntu. All ran Gnome. Tried Mandrake for a while with KDE 3.x and had some excursions to Slackware, Gosalia, Debian, Suse, Gentoo, etc, but ultimately got spoiled by Ubuntu for a couple of years (working internet out-of-the-box was nice). Played with a few DE's in that time, mainly Gnome 2 and Xfce 3 & 4. tried a few window managers like dwm, fluxbox and openbox, but didn't really "get it" till I tried Crunchbang.

After Crunchbang, I stuck with openbox for a short while (witnessed by my early spammage here) and had dwm on the side. Distro-hopped a bit, trying PC-BSD with KDE 3.5 and Arch with fluxbox for significant periods, but always came back to Crunchbang. Then migrated to full-on Debian and continued running openbox for a bit. Then started experimenting with more tilers. First went back to dwm, then xmonad. Then tried awesome, went back to ratpoison for a bit (again, you can see some of those in my early scrot posts here).

Was just about getting to grips with xmonad (though I still had openbox and dwm as mainstays) when Daisuke_Aramaki showed off his scrotwm (now spectrwm) scrots. Was a bit of a pain to build on Linux early on, simply because it was made for OpenBSD, but got it working (again thanks to Daisuke) via a lorder script. Then it got better Linux support. Been using it ever since. End

Last edited by gutterslob (2012-10-11 19:28:27)

Point & Squirt


#6 2012-10-11 01:48:38

#! Die Hard
From: USA
Registered: 2011-03-03
Posts: 1,235

Re: my personal DE & WM history

Originally KDE - whatever version came with Redhat 6. Then switched to Fvwm and Fluxbox with Redhat 7. Tried Gnome, Xfce, Blackbox, and Openbox for short periods, but always came back to Fvwm or Fluxbox. Like gutterslob, stated messing around with tilers when I saw Daisuke's scrotwm and Cwm setups and settled on Dwm - around the time I switched to Debian Lenny. Been using Fvwm, Fluxbox, or Dwm ever since.

Last edited by PackRat (2012-10-11 01:49:17)

"It does not require many words to speak the truth." - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce tribe


#7 2012-10-11 10:38:00

#! Junkie
Registered: 2011-09-06
Posts: 497

Re: my personal DE & WM history

Started with SuSE and KDE (3.something, I think). IceWM and TWM were also on that box, as I recall, and I eventually started using IceWM. My brother had Ubuntu on his laptop at that point, and so I got some experience with Gnome (in the compatibility layer, I think), which I disliked, and LXDE, which I was indifferent to. Moved to #! w. Xfce, as aforementioned brother had mentioned how impossible to use OB was. Moved to OB, later put Debian on with Gnome 2, which I still disliked, and moved to xmonad on Debian (after a brief stint of TWM when I had carelessly uninstalled Gnome w/o having any other WMs on there). From there, I explored loads of WMs, so I'll hit the highlights briefly:
On Debian: DWM, i3 (became my main WM for a while), awesome (superseded it *very* briefly), scrotwm, evilwm.
On #!: OB, Fluxbox, Pekwm, jwm (disliked), looked at wmii v. briefly, flirted with ratpoison.
Back on Debian: fvwm, larswm.
Currently running OB and spectrwm on #!.
Oh, and I have also experimented with E17, but I didn't much like it.


#8 2012-10-11 13:06:14

#! Junkie
Registered: 2009-02-28
Posts: 460

Re: my personal DE & WM history

GNOME 2 - Fluxbox - OpenBOX - echinus - subtle - XFCE - i3wm.

Been stuck with i3wm ever since, due to it just being pretty much all I need and ever since their last couple updates they pretty much offer a complete solution. The other part is I have become lazy when it comes to Dist or DE/WM hoping.


#9 2012-10-11 13:53:43

#! CrunchBanger
From: Capital of Culture
Registered: 2010-11-11
Posts: 170

Re: my personal DE & WM history

Started with KDE 1 and stayed with KDE till today. lol

I also used and tested some others, like fvwm and Gnome in the early days.

Today I use openbox on my Notebook and KDE on my desktop.
But I also play with some other enviroments like PekWM and i3.

In the near future (probably next week) I am going to give fvwm another shot.



#10 2012-10-11 18:54:59

#! Red Menace
Registered: 2012-06-15
Posts: 1,142

Re: my personal DE & WM history

kde something (red hat )> gnome2 (ubuntu, mint) > ob (#!)


#11 2012-10-12 19:15:08

From: Misourri, USA
Registered: 2012-08-21
Posts: 21

Re: my personal DE & WM history

Well, I started with Gnome, experimented with Xfce, experimented with IceWM, went back to Gnome, and remained a fan untill 3 ..... Then I came to #! full time. Played with Openbox for awhile, Decided to try Xfce, went back to Openbox, and finally settled on LXDE.

My current install has Openbox, Xfce, and LXDE as options, but I find I use the LXDE most, so I will probably stick there.

I like pcfileman much better than thunar, basically. I also like leafpad/mousepad better than geany for a basic text editor, although geany is better for coding.

I kind of like having a desktop, but I also miss the "right click" menu of Openbox. Ideally, I would like to combine them both. Eventually, I will sort it out, I think.

Seems like LXDE does a little better with automounting various drives and partitions too. That did not seem to be a strong point of Thunar.

As far as memory usages, I cant tell as how LXDE uses more than Openbox, they appear to be about the same. Xfce did have a bigger footprint.

Last edited by s33ker (2012-10-12 19:16:45)

It's hard to remember your main objective was to drain the swamp, when you are up to you ass in alligators.


#12 2012-10-15 16:41:54

#! CrunchBanger
From: ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha
Registered: 2012-03-15
Posts: 128

Re: my personal DE & WM history

Started with Gnome 2, then moved to Gnome 3 for my main computer (Debian Wheezy). I've also run Ubuntu's Unity, Enlightenment, Openbox, LXDE, XFCE, and a CLI system with Emacs. smile
Currently moving, which means all my computers are packed up except the netbook which runs #! Waldorf. Love it. offers 15 GB free cloud storage plus 5 GB extra for both of us when you use my my referral link. smile


#13 2012-10-15 19:59:55

#! Junkie
Registered: 2012-03-10
Posts: 254

Re: my personal DE & WM history

Main DE/WM went something like Gnome2 -> KDE4 -> XFCE4 -> Openbox -> FVWM -> Gnome3 -> FVWM -> Unity -> FVWM
Tried a few others somewhat seriously on the side: E16, E17, wmii, Fluxbox, Awesome, LXDE, clfswm, Sawfish.

I actually liked Sawfish and Fluxbox, but went back to FVWM because it's easiest to tweak to my tastes - configuration syntax is open-ended but idiot-readable. The only things I'm missing are tabbed window management that doesn't suck, and awesome-style tags instead of the more limited workspace model.

Last edited by Iranon (2012-10-15 20:03:31)

LEGO won't be ready for the average user until it comes pre-assembled, in a single  unified look, and glued together so it doesn't come apart.


#14 2012-10-15 20:30:38

#! Junkie
Registered: 2012-05-04
Posts: 369

Re: my personal DE & WM history

Slackware {fluxbox}
#! {openbox, xfce, DWM!}
Slackware {xfce now, openbox and DWM to come soon}


#15 2012-10-16 02:56:41

From: Florida
Registered: 2012-10-04
Posts: 12

Re: my personal DE & WM history

Red Hat 7 | Gnome and KDE 2.X (Used both to decide which one I liked better and I picked KDE)
Slackware 9 | KDE 3.X
Fedora Core 12 | KDE 4.x and Gnome 2.x (Used Gnome 2 for a nano second)
Ubuntu 10.04 | KDE 4.x
Ubuntu Netbook Edition | XFCE
#! | openbox (Found it by accident and installed it on my netbook)
openSuse 12.1 | KDE 4.X
#! | openbox (Did a lot of distro hopping just to find out I didn't want all of the glam of DE anymore. I said, "F*** it," and installed #! as my main distro.)

"Rorschach's Journal, October 16th, 1985. 42nd Street: Women's breasts draped across every billboard, every display, littering the sidewalk. Was offered Swedish love and French love...but not American love. American love; like Coke in green glass bottles... they don't make it anymore." -Watchmen


#16 2012-10-16 10:11:56

#! Junkie
Registered: 2011-09-06
Posts: 497

Re: my personal DE & WM history

Since my last post, I have put blackbox on my beaten-up old laptop. Tis quite nice, but I dislike keybindings requiring a different program. Over on the new laptop, the latest development is adding euclid-wm for tiling, which so far I like very much. Not too sure about the limit of ten new keybindings, but I can work within that so it's fine.


#17 2012-10-16 15:51:23

#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2011-09-28
Posts: 108

Re: my personal DE & WM history

I started hearing about windows when I was 16, at 2005. But never used it. Then managed to install ubuntu, wich had gnome2. But got tired of it soon and reinstalled windows (ah, the videogames...¬¬).

After that, I got somehow a Macbook,  but then I started to want to change some system-things, but I couldn't.

Once I saw that OS-X was kind of a golden jail for me at that moment, I changed my Macbook for an Acer aspire 5920 and installed Backtrack 5(I used gnome, since I didn't really liked kde much).

But then (oh god why!) I found crunchbang (openbox) and I loved it. After seeing that cool tiling wm scrots, and realized that tiling WM are better for my purposes, I decided to give awesome-WM a try.

After seing Deisuke_Arakami's great scrotwm scrots (and gutterslob's wink ), I fell in love with scrotwm.

After that, it came easy:

Arch Linux - Scrotwm
FreeBSD - Scrotwm
OpenBSD - Scrotwm

I don't think I'll ever change my WM, at most,  I might eventually try ratpoison or i3

If I might use any stacking WM, it will be rio, from plan9. If I get something to run it ><

Last edited by Athos (2012-10-16 16:40:49)


#18 2012-10-18 15:22:31

#! Junkie
Registered: 2011-09-06
Posts: 497

Re: my personal DE & WM history

You can run rio on Linux. It's packaged as 9wm and is in the Debian repos.


#19 2012-10-18 15:26:21

Window Mangler
Registered: 2012-05-23
Posts: 1,752

Re: my personal DE & WM history

joek wrote:

Since my last post, I have put blackbox on my beaten-up old laptop. Tis quite nice, but I dislike keybindings requiring a different program. Over on the new laptop, the latest development is adding euclid-wm for tiling, which so far I like very much. Not too sure about the limit of ten new keybindings, but I can work within that so it's fine.

You should be able to add more keybinds to Euclid-WM with xbindkeys (I know you dislike using another program for adding keybinds, but it's small...)

Last edited by pidsley (2012-10-18 15:27:02)


#20 2012-10-27 10:05:19

Registered: 2012-08-05
Posts: 36

Re: my personal DE & WM history

I have tried  a lot of different wm and de over the years. Don't remember them all. Started with Debian and KDE 2.x and now I have Debian wheezy and LXDE.

I'll never forget that night, the night Jesus Christ made the blackness white<underoath>


#21 2012-10-27 10:57:05

#! Junkie
From: the Nightosphere
Registered: 2011-06-24
Posts: 472

Re: my personal DE & WM history

Gnome2 -> Unity (very briefly) -> Gnome3 -> Openbox -> Awesome -> scrotwm -> herbstluftwm -> ratpoison -> herbstluftwm -> dwm -> ratpoison -> dwm
Also tried a bunch of other wms: evilwm, sithwm, musca, stumpwm, wmii, monsterwm, dminiwm.... But those never lasted more than 2 days

“From each according to his faculties; to each according to his needs”
Look at the code. Look at the silly code!


#22 2012-10-27 15:40:59

#! Junkie
Registered: 2011-09-06
Posts: 497

Re: my personal DE & WM history

pidsley wrote:
joek wrote:

Since my last post, I have put blackbox on my beaten-up old laptop. Tis quite nice, but I dislike keybindings requiring a different program. Over on the new laptop, the latest development is adding euclid-wm for tiling, which so far I like very much. Not too sure about the limit of ten new keybindings, but I can work within that so it's fine.

You should be able to add more keybinds to Euclid-WM with xbindkeys (I know you dislike using another program for adding keybinds, but it's small...)

Oh, I realise that, and it's not like I'd need to bind more than ten extra keys to a well-designed tiler. I'm just not sure why this limit exists? Is it a coding thing?


#23 2012-10-27 16:03:43

#! Die Hard
From: New England
Registered: 2011-11-28
Posts: 930

Re: my personal DE & WM history

Yes a walk down memory lane..
While I have tried (for one day) many many DEs I really only used the ones listed below for any extended periods.

Began with SlackWare95 in 1995 using twm which was a bit clunky and updated to FVWM which I used until I downloaded KDE 1 in 1999 onto about 4 3.5 diskettes.. heh..
While using Slackware through 1999 I experimented with WGS Linux, Debian, FreeBsd, RedHat and Caldera.
Can't remember each exactly but Caldera had something called Looking Glass
Redhat had Gnome
Debian I seem to remember having a FVWM

Once I began with KDE in 1999 I used it almost exclusively.. I hated KDE 2 and did drift away until 3
Then about 2009 began looking around again and have used mostly Xfce4 as I felt KDE 4 to be too heavy.
  Now a combination of Xfce4...OpenBox.. Fluxbox

Edit: Anyhow most are Very Good. Anyone who takes the time to dev a WM gets my Respect..Good Job All.

I should list the DEs in the Distros in my signature..
#!CrunchBang .... Xfce4 & OpenBox
Wheezy.................Xfce4 & OpenBox
Slackware..............Xfce4 & KDE& FluxBox
Siduction/Sid.........Xfce4 & FluxBox

Last edited by sqlpython (2012-10-27 16:21:39)

OHCG #!, Jessie,, Siduction-13.1,  Slackware 14,  Bridge,, Sabayon 13.4,


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