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Commander Spleen
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Post by Commander Spleen » Sun Feb 01, 2015 15:13

What's the difference (honest question)?
As an Xfce oriented user, it makes a lot of difference to have a native version of the distro featuring it rather than having to resort to Xubuntu. MATE is also a much more enjoyable environment than Gnome 3.

Mainly the reason I left about 5 years ago was that the desktop paradigm in Ubuntu was changing far too drastically from a classic desktop environment than I could enjoy. In terms of unifying the desktop and mobile platforms they may be doing the right thing, but it just seems far too unstable and bloated on everything I've tried it on.

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Post by KeenEmpire » Sun Feb 01, 2015 15:51

MATE was actually my first choice for migrating from Unity/Gnome 3. (I loved my Ubuntu 10.04 Gnome 2 look and feel, and wanted to keep it as far as possible. This was before Gnome Classic, so the closest thing was MATE.) But something or another was broken, and I moved on to Xfce, found that I could give it the same look and feel while being more lightweight still, and never looked back.
Commander Spleen wrote: As an Xfce oriented user, it makes a lot of difference to have a native version of the distro featuring it rather than having to resort to Xubuntu.
Could you give an example?

Funny enough, and in case it makes any difference, I'm not actually an Xubuntu user; but rather an Ubuntu+Xfce user (this prompts a search of what exactly the difference is... not entirely sure). I don't remember the rationale, maybe it was to keep stuff as vanilla as possible to avoid or mitigate breakages. It's also likely that I did try XUbuntu at some point and something wasn't fully working. Could be related to what you're talking about. (I should probably start keeping a log of these things...)
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Post by Commander Spleen » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:38

I don't remember the rationale, maybe it was to keep stuff as vanilla as possible to avoid or mitigate breakages. It's also likely that I did try XUbuntu at some point and something wasn't fully working.
That's probably what it boils down to for me. I think Xubuntu was trying an awful Unity style interface the last time I tried it and it was going to be a total hack to set it up the way I wanted while Mint has things basically right out of the box. Other times it might have been driver issues on certain hardware that didn't seem to be a problem in Mint. Mint has simply been the most consistent in my experience on most of the 1GHz+ hardware I've used it on.

Then again, the only reason I was probably using Xubuntu in the past couple of years was in an attempt to get older hardware going, so Mint may have had similar problems in that instance. So my main motivation would seem to be that the default setup is fairly in line with what I would configure from scratch in antiX or Arch, without having to undo what's already there and probably break stuff. The main changes I make are selecting a different window theme and swapping out the Mint menu for the default Xfce one.

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Post by KeenEmpire » Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:37

Commander Spleen wrote:I think Xubuntu was trying an awful Unity style interface the last time I tried it and it was going to be a total hack to set it up the way I wanted while Mint has things basically right out of the box.
That's weird, but on my setups, I've found it sufficient just to copy over ~/.config/xfce4 (preferably while using some other DE in case xfce would overwrite my changes upon logging out or such shenanigans).
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Post by Commander Spleen » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:21

Hmm, perhaps. I'll have to give it another go next time I'm experimenting and see if there was something else that repelled me. Conveniently, I just picked up a copy of Linux Voice that has U/K/X/L 14.10 on its cover DVD.

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Post by MoffD » Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:45

So finally got around to reinstalling linux on my lappy, after a freak bluescreen in the middle of windows update managed to kill the partition table for both (I wish I was joking)

I decided to give Arch another go and after much head scratching, I finally have it up and running as normal. I'm enjoying it so far, but that might be due to severe Linux depravation. Biggest annoyance so far is switching to pacman from apt, but it's not as bad as I thought it would be tbh 8)
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Post by Fleexy » Wed Mar 18, 2015 15:12

That actually sounds like a bad hard drive. With NTFS, it's guaranteed that the file system will be OK no matter where power is lost. (Of course, it makes no promises about the integrity of the data in those file system entries.) I have never known Windows to do anything with the partition table without being directly told to do so by the user (e.g. in Disk Management or in the initial Windows setup).

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Post by MoffD » Wed Mar 18, 2015 15:37

That just makes me more confused... As far as I can tell the disk is fine, and SMART isn't reporting anything. I wonder what it was then :confused I guess some extra tests won't hurt

Thankfully I was able to use fsck to fix it and got Windows and most of my linux files back, but the Linux partition had some system files that were recovered to lost+found, and I didn't feel like putting them back.
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Post by Keening_Product » Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:41

Good on you for going so well so far with Arch. I can't even keep Fedora from breaking (hence my subsequent retreat to Ubuntu before I discovered OpenSUSE was the best distro ever created) and certainly couldn't even set up Arch properly, let alone change package managers. Props.
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Post by KeenEmpire » Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:50

Arch has been surprisingly low-maintenance so far. Maybe I got lucky with my entrance time; just a few months ago they were instructing all sorts of manual interventions.

The only annoying part was messing with a few dependencies. xmonad-contrib apparently had unspecified dependency haskell-old-time, and there was some kind of dependency hell that required reinstalling neovim.

I'm using XMonad on a more or less permanent basis now; automatic moving/resizing of windows has spoiled me. I still have to get into the good habits of tagging windows/navigating by program rather than brute-force navigation, but I think I can get the hang of it.
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Post by Keening_Product » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:14

Ah, I used i3 for a month once. Was good, but the programs I was using simply weren't built for it and as a result the tiling was more of a hindrance than anything useful.
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Post by MoffD » Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:51

Speaking of tiling window managers, some friends have convinced me to give awesome a go. We'll see how well this works ;)
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Post by KeenEmpire » Sun Apr 12, 2015 16:52

Keening_Product wrote:Ah, I used i3 for a month once. Was good, but the programs I was using simply weren't built for it and as a result the tiling was more of a hindrance than anything useful.
I just tend to put space hogs or those programs that lack consistency between sizes on their own workspace. Even for those, however, it still works very well for secondary side-by-side programs that I temporarily start up, possibly promote to master if they need that extra space, then shut down, reclaiming all the space - I don't have to worry about anything except the logical actions.

@MoffD Good luck! Unfortunately I don't know much about awesome. I can say that, even if the full tiled desktop ends up being too much, as it did whenever I tried, I still ended up quite happy with my halfway approach of using it as xfce window manager.
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Post by VikingBoyBilly » Mon Apr 13, 2015 0:03

Oh, I see what you did there with the thread title.

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Post by candyjack » Thu Apr 23, 2015 13:34

With my current workflow, I use tiling window managers less and less. I used to be a huge fan of them, to the point of refusing to use any floating WMs whatsoever (I actually initially switched to GNU/Linux because of the wide choice of window managers), but here are some issues with almost all tiling WMs:
  • There is no alt-tab switching. This is an absolute necessity to me, as all other ways to window switching tend to be overly complex. It's the only way I know of to quickly way to switch between the most recent couple of windows, without any setup.
  • Windows can't be minimized. Instead, you have to spread them all out among virtual desktops / tags / whatever you want to call them, and get perturbed as all your desktops soon become cluttered.
  • Panels and dialogs tend to get treated as regular windows. Oftentimes, if you want to have something as simple as a clock that's always present, or a system tray, you'll have to spend a lot of time on configuration.
  • Many cannot (fully) be controlled with the mouse alone (which is annoying if you're like me and you use one hand to eat).
  • They are buggy as hell. Given, almost all GNU/Linux WMs are buggy, but tiling WMs are so especially.
  • It's just a lot of fiddling in general. I've been switching back and forth between WMs for years now, I've tried almost all of them, including obscure stuff like clfswm and yeahwm, and I'm still not satisfied.
Not all tiling WMs suffer from all of the above problems, but they all do from at least one. If you're coming from a floating WM, the most accessible WMs are awesome and bluetile, which do most things right but, unfortunately, are both rather buggy (especially awesome). I've used notion for a long time, which is perfect in almost all aspects, but there seem to be memory leaks, at least in my experience. I might have misassessed, though. Some WMs that are sanely coded include i3, herbstluftwm, and ratpoison, but from here on you're giving up mouse control, the ability to minimize and proper alt-tab functionality, and you'll spend a lot of time on configuration (especially if you choose ratpoison). A lot of getting used to, in other words.

One last WM which I can recommend: goomwwm. It's very straightforward, requires minimal configuration, and has all the features you're used to like alt-tab, minimizing windows, mouse control, and I believe it's compatible with panels like lxpanel as well. I can't comment on how buggy it is because I haven't used it too much, but judging from the programmer's earlier work on Musca, it's probably alright. Do note that you have to build it from source unless you're using Arch, though.
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