Posts Tagged 'desktop'

Using LXDE or PCManFM? Desktop vanished?

Some changes in the most recent version may have caused your desktop icons and wallpaper to vanish. As the author notes here this is down to major changes going on behind the scenes.

To get get your desktop back, you need to run “pcmanfm –desktop”. To configure the settings which used to be in the Edit->Preferences menu, right-click on the desktop area and select Properties.

If you use openbox or similar, you’ll need to tick the option in there which causes the window manager’s menu to appear when the desktop is clicked. That then hides the pcmanfm desktop config! Luckily there’s an answer to that. Add an option to your WM menu (e.g. Openbox’s rc.xml) with an entry that calls “pcmanfm –desktop-pref”. This will allow you to edit the settings again.

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My desktop

Having switched from KDE to GNOME about 6 months ago, I got to like GNOME a lot but found some aspects of Metacity annoying.  I quite liked compiz-fusion but found that I tended to turn most effects off so was not really making good use of it.  I decided to try out openbox with GNOME and really liked it.

Following some of the great info online, I was seduced by the idea of trying a pure openbox session, and that is what I’m still running.

Why all the changes you might ask?  Well, having used Linux full-time for a year and a bit and having mainly stuck with the same bunch of things, I wanted to really take time to look around and see what was out there.  Also, it’s all about learning new (old?) ways of doing things, new skills, and getting a deeper understanding of the free software universe that I’m coming really to adore.

The other reason is that my feelings have changed about two aspects of Linux that scare new users sometimes, especially Windows refugees.  The first is that there are hundreds of choices to be had, and that is a good thing not a bad thing.  To those used to the idea that there is one OS, one Word Processes, and to whom the idea of mixing and matching panels, window managers, etc is alien, this can be vertigo-inducing.  But now, I’m like a kid in a sweet shop.  All these amazing things to try!  So much freedom to tweak and mix!  The second is that I am losing the need to have the comfort blanket of Windows-UI metaphors around.  KDE is great and I do like it, and I’m looking forward to KDE 4.1.  GNOME is great too – clean and simple and well-integrated.  But when I used to see things like Fluxbox, ICEWM, or apps like MUTT, vim, and others I used to run screaming thinking “ugly! dated! complicated!”  Now, I’m willing to try anything and find the appeal of these light, fast, customisable tools growing all the time,

So I’m currently running openbox, xcompmgr, nitrogen, wbar, pypanel, conky and gdesklets.  I’ve finally purged all KDE apps and libs from my system and am trying to live without my last few favourites (amarok, k3b, TaskJuggler, KTorrent, digikam).  I am using transset to modify window transparency with the mouse-wheel.

I’m really finding this combination awesome and a joy to work with at the moment.  That’s not to say I won’t start tweaking again soon!