Archive for the ‘openbox’ Category

Desktop Nirvana

November 26, 2007

I was a little disappointed to hear the lack of love for the Openbox window manager during the most recent LinuxLinkTechShow. I’ve been happily using Openbox on top of Ubuntu for a few months now. I like it so much that I’m using it in on the Gutsy VM I have running on my XP-pro box at work too. I like it’s tweakability, it’s speed and the simplicity of it.

There is simply no quicker way to get to an application on some other desktop than middle clicking the desktop which brings up a list of applications across all desktops. Like I said, simple and fast.

But even with this success, I’m far from what you might call an ‘experienced’ Openbox user. That’s why I was so thankful for this amazingly useful post by Urukrama. It covers Openbox on Ubuntu from installation right down to customizing options. So if you’re interested in trying out Openbox, make sure you check it out.

I found this post by way of K.Mandla’s excellent Linux blog. There’s tons of good Ubuntu and Linux related stuff to be found there.

Blogged with Flock

Ubuntu Upgrade – surprising!

November 18, 2007

I’ve never had complete satisfaction with a distribution upgrade although they seem to get substantially less painful for me with each iteration.

So in the midst of vacuuming the house this morning, I decided what the hell.. I’ll do the Gutsy upgrade. I logged out of Openbox and into my old standard Beryl/Metacity setup. I did a few package upgrades that were waiting and then hit the button at the top of the upgrade manager.

Two hours later I was done and rebooting with crossed fingers. It likely would have taken substantially less time but it stopped to ask me to confirm about 4 configuration file changes (I ok’d them all) and seeing as how I was vacuuming and not sitting in front of my computer watching the install, I likely added about 15 or 20 minutes of delay to the process.

The startup into Gutsy with my previous Metacity theming went fine. I turned on some high level desktop effects just to see if it picked up on my ancient Intel 810 video card. Yep. No problem, but more on that in a second. I then checked out internet connectivity and some other bits and bobs – they all worked fine.

For the final test, I logged out of that session and back into my Openbox setup. Everything seems to work A-ok. I’m duly impressed!

A note about compiz: As an engineer I am stupified as to how smoothly Compiz effects work on my bottom rung Intel 810 card. It’s got 32MB of *shared* ram and that’s it. And yet it all works beautifully. I’ve played with MS Vista and while some things look nice, the system requirements for Aero seem out of this world.

I’m by no means much of a Compiz fanboy – I love some of the effects and find some of them very useful – but the speed, simplicity and hackability of Openbox has really stolen my attention for the moment. But man, you have to give them credit for being able to do what they do when compared to other OS’s.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Blogged with Flock

Another question about customizing XP…

September 27, 2007

Okay. So it’s almost 6 years since Windows XP first shipped. And you mean to tell me that no one has developed a free utility to customize the desktop right-click context menu?

Using Openbox has spoiled me. I thought for sure something would be out there for use on my XP machine here at work. I’d even do a registry hack. There are fixes for modifying the context menu on files and folders, but not on the desktop as far as I can tell. Please someone… tell me I’m wrong. Show me the way…

Blogged with Flock

For Gnome fans trapped in XP

September 24, 2007

For the last month or so, I’ve been running Openbox on my Ubuntu Feisty home system. I like the simplicity and speed of it. It takes a little more manual work to customize it, but then again you end up with a system that works the way you want it. It’s like taking a standard desktop environment like Gnome and removing (or hiding) all the bits that are not important to what it is you do every day. Eliminate the fluff, so to speak. I run a very sharp and slick looking Murrina-type theme on it. I don’t bounce around between a lot of different themes, but I have to say that the Murrina style themes are definitely my favourite.

Anyway, at work I’m stuck on XP-Pro. I do have Virtualbox installed to run a virtual environment that is pretty much the same as my Linux box at home (Openbox on Fiesty etc.). And for probably a year now, I’ve ran a Gnome theme in XP on my work box to at least make it a little more homey ;).

Today however, I came across WinGNOME-XP on deviantART which is a project that aims to provide various resources to allow users to experience a consistent Gnome-type desktop environment on Windows XP. I’ll sign up for that!

Of course the project is just getting organized, so there are only a couple of things available so far. One neat utility is the Tango Patcher which will replace or revise your system resources to provide icon themes based on various Linux projects (basic Tango, Tangerine, Suse Industrial Theme, Gnome 2.0 theme..). I ran it on my system and it seemed to work fine – although like any utilities of this type, it’s caveat emptor.

I also downloaded and installed the MurrinaFancyClearlooks theme which finally got my windows controls looking somewhat like my home box.

It ain’t perfect, but at least I can now be somewhat happy with the look and feel of the XP box I have to spend all day with. Here’s what it looks like now:

Blogged with Flock

Gnome Turns 10 – as does the Gnome/KDE war

August 15, 2007

So the Gnome desktop environment turns 10 today. Of course I took a look at Miguel de Icaza’s announcement post. But I found the single follow-up post to be interesting too! 😉

On Fri, 15 Aug 1997, Miguel de Icaza wrote:
> We want to develop a free and complete set of user friendly
> applications and desktop tools, similar to CDE and KDE but based
> entirely on free software:

IMHO this is a knee-jerk reaction to a nonexistent problem.

Best of luck doing this with GTK... it has a long ways to catch up
with Qt.

-Dan

Clearly not only the start of Gnome, but the start of the Gnome/KDE wars too! 🙂

Personally, I have always ran Ubuntu with Gnome, but I run KDE and GTK apps interchangably. Besides, my new found love is OpenBox anyway!!

Here are a couple of screenshots of my current desktop setup: