Archive for the ‘XFCE’ Category

Once I was out of High School and College, I was glad to get way from peer pressure.  I was glad my choice of shoes, pants and shirt was not the subject of other’s conversations.  I was never part of the privileged or influential few.  I was rather part of the unimportant masses.  Those judged by others and marginalized by many.  I thought that was over, but I recently realized that once again I was chasing after something that, in the end, really didn’t matter.  What was I chasing?  The latest version of a software package.

I have been running Manjaro Linux for the last year and a half.  I like the distro and it has run well for that time.  My only gripe was about the sound.  For me, it was always not quite right.  I had trouble keeping my speakers running, but my headset jack seemed to work all the time without a problem.  I wanted a non-Ubuntu, rolling release distribution.  Updating every year or so was just ridiculous and I really am not crazy about the direction that the Ubuntu people are going.  I use the XFCE desktop and I has been running great.  I slowly realized I didn’t need most of the updates that were being incorporated into my install every couple of weeks.  It was then I realized I didn’t need a bleeding edge version of my software packages.  I also didn’t need a rolling release.  I also realize using a long term release candidate was ok.  After some looking around and evaluating, I have settled on Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE).  I have always liked Cinnamon as well.  Now I know I have been waiting for  LXQt, but I also am not ready to use the version that is out there now.  So I backed up what I wanted to back up and went ahead and Gparted my drive to prepare for re-installation from a USB 3.0 image.

So far I have loved my new install.  I am setup for dual boot.  I am going to get a version of LXQt installed to see what it looks like.  Not sure if it will be Siduction or Manjaro with LXQt.  I don’t need bleeding edge versions, or a super small memory footprint.  I just need something to run this old Toshiba Laptop and be able to do the few things I do with a laptop.

I have stepped away from peer pressure once again and it feels good.



Argh! How to fix Linux?

Posted: June 2, 2013 in GNU, Linux, Ubuntu, XFCE
Tags: , ,

Well, my time with Fedora 18 was not good.  I couldn’t leave well enough alone and tried to unload the Cinnamon desktop.  If you remember, I had loaded MATE, Cinnamon, and KDE on top of my XFCE Fedora.  I tried to remove CINNAMON.  I really try to like Cinnamon, but it just doesn’t make it for me.  Well, that hosed my install.  I could still enter the desktop with startx.  My install dropped me into Linux, which is the command line.  I had to manually enter the X windows environment.  Since I liked KDE and wanted to explore more, I got the KDE spin.  I kept getting the same error when entering KDE.  Strike One.   Then Dolphin kept crashing and ran TERRIBLE.  Strike Two.  I tried to load the rpm from Midori’s site so I could get 0.5.0.  The system would load the rpm built for Fedora.  Strike Three.  You’re out.  (American baseball reference.)

During this time I also realized I didn’t use any of KDE’s customization.  You see, I am a minimalist at heart.  At least, when I comes to my computer environment.  KDE doesn’t deserve the bashing it gets, but I personally don’t want to use a desktop environment that has a bunch of gadgets.  I like a clean desktop.  I also want stability and reliability.  I don’t want errors.  I am tired of distros that are not polished.  I am tired of the fragmentation of Linux with 300+ distros.  Linux will NEVER be a popular desktop because of all the fragmentation.  Some say choice.  I say fragmentation.  Choice I understand.  Making a distro just because I want this app, or group of apps loaded when I install isn’t a reason for a distro.

Just because Linux is free doesn’t mean I want a sloppy distro with errors.  I want a polished, professional looking and acting distro!  Is that too much to ask.  I am also tired of the distribution elitism.  This distro is for newbs, or this distro is for advanced users.  Just because I don’t want to spend a couple of hours installing and configuring my Linux experience, doesn’t mean I am less of a computer user.  I want to spend my time learning how to write Java code and small engine repair.  Tracking down an error in a package and finding out why my touchpad isn’t working out of the box really frustrates me.

My final rant is with Ubuntu leaving the spirit of Linux and remaking Linux into a private distro.

I want Linux to be Linux.

I am now running #! (crunchbang).  It uses Openbox as a desktop and Wheezy Debian at its base.  It is stable and my laptop’s touchpad works without editing the conf file.  I am loving my experience so far.

After running GNU/Linux for a little while a user will no doubt want to get to know the guts of GNU/Linux.  One of the first steps is to enable your file manager to see the hidden folders and files.  For Thunar, it is to click on View and then Show Hidden Files.  You will notice there are file and folders that start with a period.  It is these folders and files that are a big  key to how GNU/Linux works for you.  They are, or contain, config files.  GNU/Linux uses config files to set how programs, and processes work.  Users of Microsoft’s OS are probably thinking, “That is a really ancient way of doing things.  Microsoft uses the registry.”  Well, the registry is just one large file that is encrypted.  It also holds some hidden areas, something you won’t find in GNU/Linux.  Everything in GNU/Linux is available for the user to see and modify, sometimes at your own risk. (Side note: If you haven’t ruined your install of GNU/Linux, then you haven’t explored it enough!  lol.  I know I have done it a few times.)

Config files are a really simple way to set program information. Most config files are small text files which are easily and quickly read by almost every programming language.  That is why GNU/Linux uses them.  It is a simple way for the OS and users to use.  Some config files you probably will explore are these .bashrc, .config/xfce4/terminal/terminalrc, and many others.  Don’t be afraid to open them with your favorite editor.  As long as you don’t save it you will be ok.  If you want to do some customization just do a search on the config file and you will find a site that will discuss how to edit it.  Remember, GNU/Linux is open and you can find some documentation on every file.  One last thing, check each program in question, many of them have a preferences area that will set all of the settings you find in a config file.  The .bashrc is a file I edit because it controls your Terminal session.  If you get into Linux, you will definitely get used to the Terminal.

When working within the terminal environment, there will be times you want to edit a file.  I found that nano is an EXCELLENT program to use.  It is easy to use and pretty powerful.  The homepage is here:   Nano is usually installed on most distributions, or it can be loaded easily from  your distro’s install program.  It has a file browser to find where to save a file.  To save your work just use CTRL O.  Most of the commands are combos of CTRL and a key.  It even has options to have color highlighting for files, which helps seeing command words and the like.  This link shows how to get the config file up and running.  Again, read the site.  All the information is there.  Nano makes editing files and such easy.  When making BASH scrips, I will use nano.

For those who love to customize XFCE with themes, icons, cursors and wallpapers, I found settings that will help make it easy.  Now, I found all this from the XFCE site.  It is easy to setup what you need in your home area.  With these folders, you will just drop in what you want and the system programs will find the new theme elements.  To setup custom wallpapers you make a the following path in your home folder:  .local/share/xfce4/backdrops  All of your custom wallpapers will be dropped here.  I can’t remember which folders I created, but just how deep you can go and create what is not there.  If I remember correctly, I had to create the xfce4 and backdrops folders.  Anything you put in there will be automatically picked up by the appropriate tools.  Additional themes will be dropped in a folder by the name of:  .themes .  Cursors and icons are dropped in a folder named   .icons .  These config folders really help with adding new themes.  I used the site to get new themes.  Just untar or unzip with the archive manager the downloads and drop them in the appropriate folders.