I find myself in a bit of a quandary. On my desk are two machines. One is a MacBook. It's very nice. The keyboard and the touchpad are delightful. It is the best Mac I have owned, and I've owed more than a few. But, this is not about the Mac.
On the other side of the desk is the Linux box, the latest in a succession of Linux machines beginning in the mid 1990's.
I like Crunchbang and the Crunchbang community. I like Debian. I was running Statler, the backport version. That replaced a stock Squeeze setup. At the moment, though, I'm running Ubuntu 12.04 with KDE. (Not Kubuntu, just Ubuntu with KDE.) It's very nice, very smooth, and, so far, fast and reliable. (It's on a 16-gig machine with an i7-2600k , an Nvidia card, and a grotesque excess of drive space.)
And I barely use any of it. I open a terminal or two, listen to streaming radio via some homebrew scripting, read, write in vi, check mail, browse, yada, yada. Also, every so often, a bit of photo work.
Obviously, I don't need something like KDE for that. Or Gnome. But, I'm not keen on Openbox. I don't like the "right click on the desktop for the menu" thing. I'd rather have the menu spring from a task bar, like KDE. (Or, Gnome 2, but I've always thought those gray menus hanging down from the top of the screen looked amateurish.
I've tried Gnome 3.4 on a Testing install. I could live with it. But, I don't really want to and most of it would be wasted on me.
I've also played with WM's like xmonad and awesome. Too minimal for me.
So, thinking ahead to Waldorf, what WM/environment could I use that's not as minimal as xmonad/awesome, a lot lighter than KDE/Gnome, and avoids my issue with Openbox??
Obviously, not one of life's important decisions, but I'd appreciate any suggestions.
Personally I'd say Xfce but you said you don't like the right-click menu, but that's OK because Xfce also has a popup menu; but you said you don't like the menus hanging down from the top, but that's OK because Xfce menus can be dragged and dropped to the bottom of the screen; but you said you didn't like gray, but that's OK because Xfce has a variety of themes.
Seriously, it meets many if not all your specify especially that part about being not too big and not too small -- you can add just the desktop and terminal along with the xorg files and your browser of choice and from there the customization begins, or not. I have a fully functioning system, no office or video apps, on approximately 2.66 GB running smoothly on my ASUS 1015PEM and its 250 GB hard drive. Is the space wasted or waiting for me to do something else with it?
My first tought was the same as dubois. Xfce will do what you want, but then again so will Openbox if you want to change some things. If you take a look at LXDE you will see that it's just Openbox configured like a more traditional desktop.
I recently experimented with a Debian netinstal using Openbox with Nautilus and set it up so it looked and acted like a traditional Gnome desktop. It was pretty easy to do and used much less ram than using Gnome itself. Some info on that kind of setup here. http://openbox.org/wiki/Help:GNOME/Openbox
Tip: "apt-get --no-install-recommends name-of-package" will install things like Nautilus without dragging in most of Gnome.
Last edited by Anaconda (2012-05-23 01:18:13)
"Theory and practice sometimes clash. And when that happens, theory loses. Every single time." Linus Torvalds
Right clicking on the desktop isn't the only method of pulling up a menu in openbox either. You could run XFCE panel in openbox, or any other number of panels like adeskbar, fbpanel, pypanel, fbpanel, etc. Or you can just set up a hotkey in rc.xml to pull up the menu instead of using the dreaded right click! You could also probably set one of those tint2 launchers to pop up the openbox menu in a manner that is similar to gnome.
The Gnome netinstall can be turned into just about anything I reckon. JonC, you'll get more than enough answers to help you decide what to do -- please post back with your decision. It ought to be a good one.
Ok. I installed Awesome on Ubuntu and played with it a bit. Liked it more than previously. Then, I found a good newbie's tutorial at the Awesome site: http://awesome.naquadah.org/wiki/My_first_awesome.
So, I plugged in my clickety-clacking PS/2 keyboard and installed Waldorf and then Awesome. We'll see how it goes. A large part of the rationale is to use something that is so different from OS X that my fingers won't get confused moving between machines. A tiling window manager with keyboard commands is a long way from AppleLand.
The Waldorf install was uneventful and Waldorf seems very solid already, so gracias, Corenominal. My graphics card is an Nvidia 550Ti that does not like nouveau. Kernels in the 3.2/3.3 series will lock up very early in the boot, at the "Waiting for /udev.... point". Chanting "nouveau.noaccel=1 nomodeset" enabled the boot after the install, I installed the Nvidia drivers right away and all is well in that regard. My $99 HP printer took some time before it agreed to work, as usual. Now, the thing will sit there for months before I have a reason to use it. Typical printer.
Last edited by JonC (2012-05-23 17:01:10)
XFCE4 hands down. Make a 2 panel setup with Menu and Launchers, the xfce4-dictionary applet, the weather applet, workspace switcher Orage applet and volume icon all in the south panel; and the window list on the north panel. Or any other setup
I was about to recommend XFCE, but then I read your post about Awesome. Pretty big step, but may well be worth it in the end. Like you say, the contrast between the Mac OS and Awesome is definitely great enough to remove any sense of confusion, and based on what you use the system for, Awesome seems a sensible choice as long as you're willing to put some effort in to getting up to speed. Also, you don't need to use the mouse, so bonus there.
I guess the best advice is to try a few and see what you like, provided you have time.
"It's a pity she won't live... But then who does?" - Gaff.