It’s Still PCLinuxOS – But Xfce!

My exploration of KDE is over on PCLinuxOS. To be fair, the KDE-miniME installation disk is a minimal KDE intended for “advanced users,” but I explored for a week and found a few things far too resource hungry by the time I had it configured the way I like. It sure was visually pleasing and easy (easy but not simple – for a KDE newbie like me anyway) to use, but it did become slower with the added stuff I liked. I’m all pure Xfce now on PCLinuxOS, and it increased my speed as well as the simplicity I became accustomed to in Xubuntu.

Green is my favorite color, so I chose a simple green digital wallpaper. The icon set is Faenza (downloaded from PCLOS’s repositories along with the task-xfce4 and task-xfce4-plugins metapackages). Enable composting, make the panel invisible to show only the icons, add my favorite li’l Xfce goodies. It looks as good as Docky in my opinion, it it’s super-simple for a simple sidekick.

Now About Linux…

A conversation in one of the Linux forums I read was started by an Ubuntu user who expressed frustration at the problems he has had getting Ubuntu to work on his computer. Someone suggested that he buy a computer with Ubuntu pre-installed, that way all those bugs are worked out. Yeah, great solution – for about 6 months. Maybe three to five years if he gets one of their long-term-support versions and doesn’t mind doing without the newest versions of software.

Suddenly this rolling-release idea is a little less terrifying for me.I can’t blame anyone for being skittish about rolling release Linux, especially the all-or-nothing approach used by PCLinuxOS. But long-time users swear by it, and this distro enjoys fierce user loyalty that gives further credibility to its reliability. They have a testing team that does very thorough work, and when they do find a problem, they address it in the repositories very quickly. Stuff breaking after updating is the single greatest fear that I used to have about rolling release distros, but I’m feeling brave and school hasn’t started yet, so if I break anything there’s time to fix it in time for school.

 

 

My Salix Screenshots

Hi readers!

I had a little time today after a glorious Resurrection Day worship service and a casual supper with family, to throw on a few new desktop wallpapers and take a few screenshots to show off my new SalixOS operating system. Very basic and very simple, it’s surprising that a computer dunce like me can use – <gasp!> Slackware of all things! But SalixOS makes Slackware easy for (kinda sorta) inexperienced users taking their first steps out of the spoon-feeding, one-size-fits-all Linux distro I have used for the past two years. I never have toyed with Docky or Conky yet, but those are probably next on my list. Not that I’m unhappy with the good ol’ Xfce panel with the goodies I’ve always enjoyed. But screenshots of Docky and Conky look so geeky and cool that it might be fun, when time permits, to mess around with them. I’ve got a lot of reading to do first though! And it’s a good idea, when you’re experimenting, to keep a written record of everything you do and what happened when you did. I’ll add the new toys to my “Linux journal.”

So here’s the first shot – just the desktop with nothing open. This is what greets me about 20 seconds after power-up:

My old Xubu desktop actually used a different window manager called Compiz. It made open windows appear translucent when I was working in another. Okay, so it looked cool, but SalixOS has a sensible “one application per task” approach to their mixture. So since this is an Xfce desktop, it just uses the Xfce window manager (Xfcewm). I could enable some cool effects I suppose, but the whole reason I’ve switched from Xubuntu was to regain the speed and simplicity that was being lost with every new update. Until recently, Xubuntu was aimed at “older, modest hardware.” That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. I think that, with the arrival of Unity and Canonical’s departure from the Gnome desktop, that Xubuntu serves more as an alternative to Unity rather than as a distro intended for modest machines with lesser resources. For that there’s Lubuntu now, and I’ve read that it fits the bill nicely. So here’s my desktop with a few apps open: The terminal, the pdf viewer, and Thunar, the default file manager which is kind of growing on me as I get used to it.

Oh, did you spot that Diaspora document in my Downloads folder? I was thinkin’ ’bout getting back on that social network again. It offers some cool new features like formatting posts and comments (try that in Facebook – maybe someday, if you pay extra for that) and using #hashtags instead of joining groups to read stuff that interests you. But that’s a whole ‘nother post for some other day. Today I’m showing off my sexy speedy SalixOS desktop! On the right, there, is the SalixOS Startup Guide opened up for me to learn about the terminal. It’s quite different in Slackware from the Debian/Ubuntu apt-get sudo and all that. Not any more complicated so far, just different. All I’ve really done so far in the terminal is look around a bit, and use it to gain root access to Thunar so I could move some files around “as root.” There’s much more there to explore, but not without my journal and a lot more reading first.

I am still absolutely delighted with SalixOS. Midori hasn’t crashed even once, despite having multiple windows open and video streaming. It’s much faster and more responsive than Xubuntu was, and no daily flood of major updates to scare the heck out of me. This old computer is nearly 10 years old, and with SalixOS on it, I think it could go another 10 years with none of the slowdowns and crashes and freezes and such that frustrated me my last several months as a Xubu user.

Thanks for reading!