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Thread: new to alternative DEs, WMs, some questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

    new to alternative DEs, WMs, some questions

    I have been having a great time with Ubuntu since 9.10 and am thankful for being saved from the wrath of Vista. However, recently my Ubuntu 10.10 is seeming a tad slower (maybe getting bloated?). Especially with Firefox. I don't like Chrome so much and would like to stick with Firefox.

    Thus, today I tried some alternative DEs or WMs (not sure about terminology). I installed Openbox, IceWM, Enlightenment. I've tried XFCE and LXDE before, but they came with their own set of apps and that's not what I really want. I'm happy with GNOME and my choice of apps. I just want maybe a faster DE/WM while keeping my apps.

    Openbox presents an empty screen and I gather I have to configure it and it looked like a lot of work. Enlightenment and IceWM did work but looked pretty archaic. I'm writing this from IceWM and Firefox is significantly faster. So I want to play around with it.

    My main question is can it (IceWM or other DEs) be prettified? Can it have edge bindings? It's menu is pretty chaotic, I'd much rather use the neatly organized GNOME menu. Can it be made to use a nice set of icons (Faenza).

    Or should I stick to GNOME and make some tweaks to make it faster?

    cheers!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

    Re: new to alternative DEs, WMs, some questions

    I'm checking out Enlightenment right now and it's looking pretty good. It's all gray and depressing but if it can be tweaked, I have a feeling this is the one. IceWM looked like Win95. Openbox required too much configuration (update: I installed, Fluxbox, looks less scary than Openbox).

    (update #2: iceWM and fluxbox are eliminated. I want E17. So my question has become, how to use E17 + GNOME? I've heard that you can replace GNOME's WM (metacity? compiz?) with E17. How is that different than just entering "enlightenment --replace"? In other words, what else than that am I supposed to do in GNOME to use E17 as the WM?)

    update #3: this unresolved thread asks the same question: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=472427
    Last edited by kokoshmusun; December 4th, 2010 at 10:34 PM.

  3. #3
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    Kubuntu

    Re: new to alternative DEs, WMs, some questions

    XFCE is based on gnome if im not mistaken.

    you can still use all the gnome apps you like with pretty much any of them.

    try using kde 3. its pretty lightweight i think.
    KDE is the best

  4. #4
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    Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

    Re: new to alternative DEs, WMs, some questions

    I found an old (2005) how-to that describes what I'm asking (how to use E17 + GNOME): http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=54476

    Sadly, the steps described in the how-to don't work on Maverick.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Re: new to alternative DEs, WMs, some questions

    i don't get what you mean by openbox installs its own applications, i'm an openbox user and i don't understand

  6. #6
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    Re: new to alternative DEs, WMs, some questions

    I don't think I said Openbox install its own apps, but I said LXDE and XFCE come with their own set of apps, like KDE and GNOME, don't they. And I do see new additions to the menu with Flux/Openbox (e.g., nano as a text editor) which I don't see in a GNOME session.

    So my solution was to stick with GNOME and COMPIZ after all, but just make some tweaks to make the system a tad faster. I did also figure out that I could install XFWM4 (XFCE's WM) and use it inside GNOME without disrupting anything. So, if I want a particularly fast response, that's what I would do. And I've also kept a Fluxbox session for those times that I want to check something real quick on the PC and shut it back down.

    E17 looked nice but it was buggy and I couldn't use it as a Compiz replacement (e.g., the e17 --replace command didn't really work as did xfwm4 --replace or fluxbox --replace).

    I have to say, I'm happiest with a tightly integrated DE, and GNOME is it. It's menus make the most sense to me. It's well organized. And since mine is not a particularly old or slow computer, I'm happiest with GNOME and COMPIZ. But it was nice learning about the other DEs first hand.

    I also wanted to try a distro that was built around one of these alternative DE/WMs. I tried Puppy linux, and I have to say it's the FASTEST OS I HAVE EVER USED. But sadly, I couldn't get a USB to boot my computer, and it doesn't support my native language's keyboard. I'm gonna have to give some PCLINUXOS versions a try. When I tried PCLinuxOS KDE, it was amazing but it was limited in terms of the apps I could install. I'd rather have the Ubuntu repos.

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