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raymac46

Back to the Bloat

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raymac46
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Well I have had fun and learned a lot these past few days. I got back into programming with Fluxbox, I went naked Flux on my resource challenged Toshiba netbook, and best of all I re-discovered how cool LXQt is.

But at the end of it all I think I'll go back to the bloat.

For my way of Linux, the sophisticated Cinnamon and GNOME 3 desktops just work best. Most of my hardware has the ample processing power, memory and SSD capability to handle all the eye candy and still give snappy response. I just want to click an icon and get on with it. Some of the lighter desktops are blindingly fast, but once you get into Chrome or Firefox, what is the difference?

Add to that the fact that I share a lot of my stuff with people who are Windows users or technically challenged, and what is the point of making things simpler for me and harder for them? My wife gets flummoxed if an icon moves around on a taskbar or if a window needs resizing - can you imagine her dealing with Fluxbox? I'd be hard pressed to justify even the fancy MX Linux Flux desktop for anything I share with her.

So I'll keep Linux Mint and Cinnamon on my most powerful system, GNOME 3 Debian on the Thinkpad and probably MX Linux Xfce in the Virtual Machines I install. LXQt may be an interesting alternative. I am going to upgrade another laptop I have and it'll be powerful enough to run anything. Probably I'll install Linux Mint on it for the grandkids usage. We'll see.

I certainly respect all of you more hardcore penguins, but at the end of the day the fancier DEs work best for me and other family members.

Edited by raymac46
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Hedon James
1 hour ago, raymac46 said:

Well I have had fun and learned a lot these past few days. I got back into programming with Fluxbox, I went naked Flux on my resource challenged Toshiba netbook, and best of all I re-discovered how cool LXQt is.

But at the end of it all I think I'll go back to the bloat.

For my way of Linux, the sophisticated Cinnamon and GNOME 3 desktops just work best. Most of my hardware has the ample processing power, memory and SSD capability to handle all the eye candy and still give snappy response. I just want to click an icon and get on with it. Some of the lighter desktops are blindingly fast, but once you get into Chrome or Firefox, what is the difference?

Add to that the fact that I share a lot of my stuff with people who are Windows users or technically challenged, and what is the point of making things simpler for me and harder for them? My wife gets flummoxed if an icon moves around on a taskbar or if a window needs resizing - can you imagine her dealing with Fluxbox? I'd be hard pressed to justify even the fancy MX Linux Flux desktop for anything I share with her.

So I'll keep Linux Mint and Cinnamon on my most powerful system, GNOME 3 Debian on the Thinkpad and probably MX Linux Xfce in the Virtual Machines I install. LXQt may be an interesting alternative. I am going to upgrade another laptop I have and it'll be powerful enough to run anything. Probably I'll install Linux Mint on it for the grandkids usage. We'll see.

I certainly respect all of you more hardcore penguins, but at the end of the day the fancier DEs work best for me and other family members.

 

I respect the fact you gave it a try before making a decision!  FWIW, I'm not a fan of a truly "naked" and minimal Fluxbox session; I'm a fan of the Fluxbox BASE, which allows me to customize my desktop experience exactly how I want it, in ways that I can't duplicate with other DEs.  With that said, considering your statements above, you may have a "better" experience by installing xfwm panels (from XFCE desktop) or lxpanels (from LXDE) or lxqt-panels (from LXQT) and autostarting them in the Flux startup file.  Based on your comments, the XFCE whisker menu is widely lauded as being one of the best menus in Linux-land (although I'm not a fan); and I might recommend (based on your tastes) that you install the xfce panels, autostart them in the Flux startup file, and customize the panel(s) the way you like, including Whisker Menu and preferred icons.  If no where else, perhaps on your most resource-challenged machine(s).  FWIW...

 

Otherwise, I'm glad we both have the freedom to choose what works best for us, and we both feel like we chose the best option available, despite making completely different choices!  Kudos to you for trying something new!  Everything "favorite" in our lives was a completely different and new choice at one point in time!

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raymac46

Something to think about but I'd probably be happier with LXQt and the Flux WM on my most challenged laptop. The problem there isn't the WM or DE, it's that the machine is incapable of running a heavyweight browser. Right now I have LXQt, the Gnome Web browser running and System Monitor and the load is about 600 MB.

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V.T. Eric Layton

I wouldn't even try all that Fluxstuff and WindowMagic or whatever. I'm too lazy for that these days. My little plain-Jane Xfce works fine for me. :)

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securitybreach
8 hours ago, raymac46 said:

I certainly respect all of you more hardcore penguins, but at the end of the day the fancier DEs work best for me and other family members.

 

And that is another reason why Linux is so great,  you have the choice to use whatever you like.

 

The world would be a very boring place if we all thought alike :)

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saturnian

I think it's a good decision, raymac46. I might do something similar if it wasn't only me using my computers.

 

I think I first tried Fluxbox in Ubuntu 6.06. Then I took a look at wmii (wasn't interested at that time), and then I tried LXDE in Ubuntu 8.04. That brought in Openbox, so that's when I first started fiddling with that WM, as I recall. Later I had LXDE and Openbox in Linux Mint 5 ("Elyssa"). That was well before Cinnamon. In fact, back then, at one time or another, I also ran KDE and Xfce in Mint, as well as the default GNOME.

 

Anyway, been messing around with these things for a long time now; all of my computers have been low-spec, and I've been the only one here using them, so it's a much different situation than yours! In my case, it seemed kinda important that I become acquainted with some window managers, so that's what I did. Fell in love, I guess.

 

By the way, that word "bloat" gets tossed around quite a bit, but I don't think of things that way. If it isn't an ancient computer, it's probably gonna run any Linux DE without any problem, as far as speed, etc. And the installation will take up a lot less space on your hard drive than (cough, cough) certain other operating systems. Also it's nice having everything set up for you, having a system that ships with everything you need. I mean, on my "primary" computer, I'm using only Kubuntu. KDE Plasma makes things easy for me right out of the box. You might say  the same about Cinnamon.

 

 

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sunrat
1 hour ago, saturnian said:

By the way, that word "bloat" gets tossed around quite a bit, but I don't think of things that way.

 

All those tossers are annoying. I hate it when people start talking about "bloat" because their DE uses 500MB on their computer with 16GB RAM.

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securitybreach
10 minutes ago, sunrat said:

 

All those tossers are annoying. I hate it when people start talking about "bloat" because their DE uses 500MB on their computer with 16GB RAM.

 

Well that would depend on the person. Some people like to run lightweight environments as they would rather not use up their resources on the environment and give more to their applications.. Some people (like myself) prefer to run lightweight and terminal apps even when they have lots of resources. I would use the same environment/apps no matter how powerful my system is.

 

 

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raymac46

It really is amazing what you can do with these window managers. I followed HJ's suggestion with Flux and you can just add in the xfce4 panel and whisker menu without any difficulty - except maybe I borked my Network Manager (oopsie!) Also LXQt runs great using the XFCE window manager.

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Hedon James
10 hours ago, securitybreach said:

 

Well that would depend on the person. Some people like to run lightweight environments as they would rather not use up their resources on the environment and give more to their applications.. Some people (like myself) prefer to run lightweight and terminal apps even when they have lots of resources. I would use the same environment/apps no matter how powerful my system is.

 

 

 

I am one of those folks who strives to run as lightweight of a DE as possible, saving my resources for processing power rather than graphical display rendering.  The trick is to find the right balance between lightweight and desired aesthetics/behavior.  All terminal, no GUI would be the lightest environment possible, but not very practical for me.  KDE, Gnome, Cinnamon, and Unity (RIP) are probably the cadillacs of GUI display, but just too resource intensive for my tastes.

 

My former "sweet spot" was LXDE, which hovered around 200MB of RAM usage from cold boot.  LXQt is a little heavier for me, hovering around 300MB of RAM from cold boot; around 500MB of RAM from cold boot including several applications that I prefer to autostart.  At first I was disappointed with this increase, as it seemingly lessened my reasons for choosing LXDE over all others.  But in the grand scheme of things, all DEs seem to be experiencing "RAM creep" (except for KDE(!), which seems to be getting fine-tuned into the 350-400MB range, last time I checked).  LXQt is still one of the lowest resource usage DEs available, and when put into context, LXQt's usage of 300MB+/- of my 16GB RAM is actually an improvement over my former LXDE's usage of 200MB+/- of my 8GB RAM system.

 

I think Ray is correct in his observation that today's DEs are more resource intensive, in absolute terms; but are still more efficient, in relative terms, on today's machines.  With that said, use what suits ya!

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raymac46

I agree that "bloat" is rather pejorative and "lightweight" is relative, Although Josh runs an ultralightweight system, it's on powerful hardware and mostly because he is a CLI and keyboard sort of person. He maxes out things like the browser.

I certainly support going lightweight on my old netbook, but when you have a quad core, 16 GB of RAM and an SSD it is only a matter of personal choice.

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securitybreach

Agreed with both of you :thumbsup:

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raymac46

If I review my collection of machines in the raymac computer museum, sadly the only one that I could say is exclusively used by me is that ugly old netbook. Nobody else would put up with its performance.

So it's my testbed for Arch,  light DEs, WMs, systemd tweaks, and so on. If I screw it up no big deal.

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raymac46

Now that I have recovered from my Network Manager glitch, I have decided to go with LXQt and the Xfce window manager on the netbook. That seems to give the best combination of light weight, easy configuration, and smooth performance. It's no speed demon but it seems OK. The lighter weight browsers like Midori and GNOME Web aren't too bad. It's good enough to keep around I guess.

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V.T. Eric Layton

HUzz4Fl.jpg

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securitybreach

You forgot tiling environments..

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abarbarian
1 hour ago, V.T. Eric Layton said:

HUzz4Fl.jpg

 

You forgot Window maker.

 

https://img.itch.zone/aW1hZ2UyL2phbS8zNjczLzU1NDI1My5qcGc=/original/3UKfkk.jpg

 

😜

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V.T. Eric Layton
1 hour ago, abarbarian said:

You forgot Window maker.

 

That was included in the "et al." above.

 

Et al. comes from the Latin phrase meaning “and others.” It is usually styled with a period, but you will occasionally see et al as well. *

 

*from Merriam-Webster online

 

===

 

1 hour ago, securitybreach said:

You forgot tiling environment..

 

Don't even know what that is... easy for me to forget. ;)

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abarbarian
14 hours ago, V.T. Eric Layton said:

That was included in the "et al." above.

 

Ah thanks for the clarification I thought et and al were two minimalist DE's that I had not heard of. I do object to Window Maker being grouped with other types of DE/WM's as Window Maker is obviously in a class of its own.

 

😜

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raymac46
Quote

Also it's nice having everything set up for you, having a system that ships with everything you need. 

I have to emphasize that Linux Mint and Cinnamon are not my DE of choice. That would be GNOME and Debian I guess. However, I have to be unselfish and come up with a standard O/S for both users of my hardware and for other folks who might want to try Linux for the first time. Over the years I have found that Linux Mint satisfies both requirements better than anything else. The grandkids move seamlessly from their dad's Windows laptop to Linux Mint. Better still, my wife doesn't have any problems with it.

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Hedon James
24 minutes ago, raymac46 said:

I have to emphasize that Linux Mint and Cinnamon are not my DE of choice. That would be GNOME and Debian I guess. However, I have to be unselfish and come up with a standard O/S for both users of my hardware and for other folks who might want to try Linux for the first time. Over the years I have found that Linux Mint satisfies both requirements better than anything else. The grandkids move seamlessly from their dad's Windows laptop to Linux Mint. Better still, my wife doesn't have any problems with it.

 

You make perfect sense.  And with that said, I might suggest that you are onto something with the combination of LXQt, using xfwm4, on a Debian base.  LXQt is VERY malleable....mine resembles Unity, but I also have "alternative panels" configured for resemblance to Windows, Gnome, and OSX.  And changing the appearance is as simple as copying the "alternative panel" file and overwriting the main panel file.  Log out/log in or reboot and....tada, there it is.

 

IMO, you could move the needle on your compromise solution a little closer to your personal preferences, with little or no effect on your other users experience.  FWIW...

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securitybreach
22 hours ago, V.T. Eric Layton said:

 

Don't even know what that is... easy for me to forget. ;)

 

i3wm, Bspwm, herbstluftwm, AwesomeWM, XMonaD, etc.


12 Best Tiling Window Managers for Linux

 

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raymac46

lxqtdeb.jpg

 

Quote

IMO, you could move the needle on your compromise solution a little closer to your personal preferences, with little or no effect on your other users experience. 

  •  

Absolutely correct HJ as here is LXQt with XFWM in Debian. Close enough to the Cinnamon look and feel for web browsing at least.

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V.T. Eric Layton
9 hours ago, abarbarian said:

I do object to Window Maker being grouped with other types of DE/WM's as Window Maker is obviously in a class of its own.

 

OK, then. Your objection has been noted.

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Hedon James
18 hours ago, raymac46 said:

lxqtdeb.jpg

 

Absolutely correct HJ as here is LXQt with XFWM in Debian. Close enough to the Cinnamon look and feel for web browsing at least.

 

EXACTLY!  Very Nice!  For those who don't know the difference, no need to point it out! 

 

I would only make 2 comments, if they're useful to you...

- depending on your users, I would consider moving the workspace selector away from the menu and browser icons; if your users are anything like my users, I can foresee a scenario where someone accidentally misses the menu click, or the chromium click, and switches desktops....FREAKING OUT the user who believes the computer did something nefarious to their current session.  Sometimes, I'll reduce the workspaces to 1, like traditional windows, to absolutely guarantee that doesn't happen to an unsuspecting user; most folks don't miss a feature they've never seen or experienced before.  If your users are better than mine, no worries, carry on!

- if you like, you can change the icon on the menu by right clicking on the menu applet and selecting a different /path/to/image.jpg.  I never like the LXDE "swallow" and the LXQt "swan" isn't much better, IMO.  Some of the more popular replacements include the 3x3 or 4x4 "dots" icon that looks like a die, or distro icons, such as the Ubuntu circle, the Debian Fibonacci, the Arch "A", etc...  Or maybe you REALLY want them to feel at home and replace it with a MS Windows menu icon?!  LOL!

 

But that looks nice!  Very familiar-looking to a Windows or Mint user!

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raymac46

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll try them out. I don't think I want to go to one workspace though. I use the machines too. 😇

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raymac46

OK here's my modified desktop with the Debian start button and moved the workspaces over to the right.

 

lxqtscreen.jpg

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securitybreach
2 hours ago, Hedon James said:

 

Sometimes, I'll reduce the workspaces to 1, like traditional windows, to absolutely guarantee that doesn't happen to an unsuspecting user; most folks don't miss a feature they've never seen or experienced before.  If your users are better than mine, no worries, carry on!

 

Actually Windows got multiple workspaces years ago. I believe Windows 10 comes with 2 enabled out of the box. I use 4 workspaces on my windows 10 machine at  work though.

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securitybreach
39 minutes ago, raymac46 said:

OK here's my modified desktop with the Debian start button and moved the workspaces over to the right.

 

lxqtscreen.jpg

 

 

Looks great Raymac :thumbup

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raymac46

The Debian logo looks dark in the photo but it "glows" nicely when you hover the mouse over it.

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