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Xubuntu 19.04: The Exhaustive Update (bluesabre.org)
103 points by mariuz 31 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 117 comments



What really sets me off with linux DE's is how poorly they handle dpi scaling on external monitors. I recently bought a 24" 2560 × 1440 monitor for my 15.6 laptop running Ubuntu Mate 18.04. This is what i went through just to make it work.

1. Plugged the hdmi, everything looks so small. 2. Mate desktop had HiDPI support but only by a scaling factor of 2. Now everything looks very large. 3. I have to manually change the fonts dpi settings. Chrome and some other apps look good but the menus, file manager and firefox are still upscaled. 4. I manually change layout.css.devPixelsPerPx in about:config to make firefox look good.

Finally, the result looks very unpolished. The menus are still largely upscaled and some apps like vlc won't even scale at all. My laptop's screen can't be used as a secondary screen because everything is upscaled, not to mention that i have to manually undo all those steps to revert everything back to "normal" for my 15.6" laptop screen. I eventually wrote some scripts with dconf to automate the proccess but it's just not good.

Does anyone have experience with external monitors and linux desktops? How does xfce or kde handle this? I tried gnome that supports fractional scaling and it's way better than mate. Now the problem is that i only have 8GB of ram and gnome shell is known to be a ram hog.


To be fair, I have the same problem with Windows 10 and the Surface Pro, MS's flagship product. The SP4 has a 13" screen and a 3200x1800 resolution, which is quite dense. Windows 10 helpfully suggests turning on the scaling to 200-300% when on the native screen to help things scale up a bit. Plug it into an external monitor, however, and that scaling is no longer tenable. I then have to adjust it back down to 100%. However, W10 then informs me that some of the applications won't re-scale themselves properly until I logout and log back in. So I'm more or less resigned to the fact that every time I disconnect my Surface from its dock, I'll have to restart the thing.


It's little UI things like this that keep me on Mac OSX. Everything just works, doesn't crash or freak out, and always looks great.

I still get my bash shell and unix experience and tooling easily as well so there is very little context switching when I jump into a linux container or remote host. There's tiny differences in some of the commands but largely a consistent experience.


Does MacOS support in between scaling factors like 150% the way Windows does? It didn't a year or two ago, and based on this[0] StackExchange answer from January 2019 it still doesn't.

[0] https://apple.stackexchange.com/a/349549


I'm in the same camp as you: client is OSX, and server is Linux through a terminal window (or drive share, or whatever sql-tool for the DB).

I love linux, but the desktop is hard to get all the little things done right. On server, Linux just kicks ass, and all the tooling is built for it.


You can set a different scale for each monitor, and it will remember it every time you connect it. Windows has improved a lot in the past few years in this regard, and I rarely notice any scaling errors anymore.

I have a Surface Pro 3 that works best at 175% scaling, and every day I connect it to a 27" 1080p monitor at 100% scaling. When dragging a window between the two, it will switch to the other scaling factor when it's halfway across. It works very well, so I'm not sure why it doesn't work for you. Maybe take another look at it?

I have also experienced the pain of trying to setup Ubuntu on my SP3, and eventually gave up and went back to Windows because it was such a nightmare. Which is weird, because I seem to remember that Ubuntu used to support non-integer scaling factors in the past.


Try Fedora. GNOME 3 has fractional scaling (you have to enable it in 29, it's out of the box in 30)

The problem then becomes, if you don't have a 200dpi display, the scaling is noticeable.. Just like if you scale the display on a non-Retina monitor on a Mac.

You shouldn't really need to scale 2560x1440 @ 25" unless you have bad eyesight. Go up to a 27 or 30" display.


The GNOME fractional scaling support is part of the 3.32 release so it should also have landed in Ubuntu 19.04. You can enable it in F29/Ubuntu 18.10 but the reason it's not enabled by default is that it doesn't quite work properly.

edit: I just installed Ubuntu 19.04 and it has GNOME 3.32 but there is no fractional scaling available in settings, in either Xorg or Wayland. The old experimental option can still be enabled but continues to make non-GTK3 apps blurry.


I just got a 4K 27inch monitor and it worked great on windows 10 125% scaling, using hdmi. Then, I actually had to use the macbook for work, and it didn't get past your step 1. There is no way to alter the sizes of things, its either 1080p on 27in or full 4k. But, I decided to try one more thing, and got the usb-c to displayport cable. Behold, it allowed me to have 1440p HiDPI scaling, which HDMI didn't. And, I thought it was an HDMI 2 cable. So, that's something to try, but probably just on Mac.


I ran into a similar problem with an older 30" 1080 Viewsonic TV/monitor which featured both HDMI and DVI inputs. I wanted to hook my Intel Nuc to it which was running Linux mint 18-something. The Nuc has VGA and HDMI so I naturally hook it to the TV using an HDMI cable. For some reason, the desktop resolution of 1920x1080 was somehow being scaled larger than the screen cutting off the edges. No amount of playing with the TV scaling settings would get the damn picture to fit on the screen.

I didn't know if it was Linux, the TV or the Nuc. So I spent the next two hours trying to figure it out to no avail. About to give up, I then had what I thought was a dumb idea, hook it to the TV using an HDMI-DVI cable. It worked. the 1920x1080 desktop filled the screen as it should. The only thing I can think of is the HDMI port is only setup to look for TV video profiles. The DVI port expects a PC so it can figure out the signal and get the picture right.


That's common behaviour for a TV signal called "overscan". As you thought, it seems to be disabled if it knows a computer is connected. You can sometimes disable it in TV menus and most HTPC software has something to resize the UI to cope.


Unity has fractional scaling for many years now that I never had a single problem with - no blur, nothing like that. I've used it on multiple monitors from 12 to 27 inch, resolutions ranging from 1920x1080 to 4K. Gnome is a massive disappointment in this regard - feels like a serious downgrade. I'm still using Unity on Ubuntu 18.04 and waiting for a DE that will at least have a matching feature set, but it looks like it's gonna be a long wait.


Try Plasma/KDE


I did, but to me personally it wasn't nearly as polished as Unity and I also didn't like the absence of that unified UI look across all the base apps that Unity has. I also like the global menu and abundance of themes that exist for Unity/Gnome.


KDE has the global menu as an option, and you can get a pretty unified UI with it too.


Unfortunatey, in my experience Gnome is simply by far the most "modern" DE regarding this kind of features, basically the only one able to compete with Windows and macOS (For example, the touchpad behaves like I would expect in 2019). I haven't used KDE in a while so I have no idea about their Wayland situation (at this point, I simply refuse to mess with Xorg config files, so it's Wayland or nothing for me, at least on laptops). I really don't want to be a Gnome evangelist, but it's really the only option for some kind of features


My experience is the same. I mostly use macOS on the desktop, so I am used to Lo/HiDPI screens to work together. On my Linux workstation, I tried several desktop environments, but GNOME on Wayland was the only environment to nail it 6-12 months ago (there may be improvements in other desktops now). HiDPI worked with Wayland and X11 applications and I could just use both screens with different DPIs, drag windows between them without oddities, etc.

It's a shame that they nailed this, but decided to remove menus, desktop icons, system tray icons, etc. GNOME could have been a great competitor to macOS and Windows, if they actually talked to real-world users. I wish that they had an UX steward like Sun Microsystems back in the days.


Yes, GNOME is horrible. So many hacks to get it usable. It's as if they designed it for a tablet or something.


It seems like they're just completely discarding the desktop metaphor like Windows 8 did. Everything in Gnome discourages you from using multiple windows, and there isn't even a desktop anymore without running hacky plugins.

I do like things like window snapping, and miss it in MacOS, but the actual desktop experience is so much better in MacOS than pretty much anything else.


Did you encounter any issues with Wayland? I've heard that it's not production-ready and that's why ubuntu decided to go with Xorg in 18.04.


Fedora has had Wayland as the default since Fedora 25 (2016). In my experience, it has been stable since Fedora 26/27. I am not sure what the situation is now, but Wayland pretty much excluded NVIDIA. The proprietary drivers did not have support and Nouveau is buggy [1]. In my experience, it works great with both AMD (amdgpu) and Intel GPUs.

[1] The developers are doing great work, but it is a uphill battle without support from NVIDIA.


Fortunately, Nvidia has finally decided to get their act together. They contributed the wayland backend for KWin/KDE that got merged just last week.

If I am not wrong gnome 3.32 also has the nvidia wayland backend


KDE and GNOME both have sort-of-working EGLStreams backends. XWayland remains completely broken on EGLStreams so it's not very useful considering how many applications still lack native Wayland support.


That's not "getting their act together". That would be supporting GBM instead of pushing their EGLStreams thing.


What is the point of sharing your modern experience, then admitting that you haven't used the largest competing system "in a while"?


> I simply refuse to mess with Xorg config files

Messing with Xorg config files is something you do not have to do since Xorg was forked from XFree86, especially when it comes to monitors. Personally the only time i had to do that was to force 1:1 mapping for mouse (ie. disable mouse acceleration), but that is not monitor stuff.


KDE is a bit better with high resolution displays, try it with a live Kubuntu image and see if it works for your setup.


Yeah with KDE i have no problems. I plug my laptop into a tv regularly, it auto connects and scales properly and gives me the option of mirroring or extending the screen from any side to the tv. I didn't have to configure anything.


Yes I went through this exact thing recently. I tried Gnome, then XFCE, then i3.

I settled with i3 reacting to my connecting/disconnecting my laptop from my monitor, but even then the resolutions never looked correct.

I ended up selling my Lenovo Carbon x6 and bought a macbook pro. I was so bitter about the experience, but on the other hand I'm no longer worrying about things that should just work.

/rant


Never had this problem with KDE. New KDE actually seems to work OK without killing off the file system indexer.


I'm currently using XFCE on 3x4k monitors on a desktop. You can control almost everything with the DPI setting in Settings > Appearance > Fonts and use the Display menu to adjust your screen resolution. (The font sizes do reflect correctly into Firefox, though - no tweaks needed there at all. One thing that I've noticed is that you have to completely quit or close some apps before the new DPI settings are used.)

I also frequently connect my XFCE laptop (only 1920x1080 native) running a totally different distribution to a 4K TV.

This requires a visit to the Appearance menu (as above) every time I plug/unplug in order to adjust font sizes. (Or, I could just run the 4k at 1080p, but either way it needs an adjustment.) This doesn't actually bother me, since it's just one step and I could script it if I did it all the time.

As far as using your laptop screen as a second screen, I've never really cared for that as a way to work anyway because of the size disparity (my 4k monitors/tv's are all much, much bigger than my little 13" laptop), but you could play with the resolution on each -- but you're right; the DPI settings in XFCE are for the whole desktop (and all apps, including Firefox), not per screen.


I would strongly advise not to rely on your DE and use xrandr instead, either via CLI or the graphical arandr tool. xrandr can scale to whatever you want.


The train has already gone but the whole "HiDPI scaling" is such a sad solution to the problem. Were the existing DPI APIs really such a dead end? They could have been extended to support on the fly DPI changes. The web "px" debacle is part of the same culture, I guess.


I have the same issue with Mate (which I love otherwise). I've settled for manually setting the font dpi when I switch from external monitor to my laptop screen. It's not ideal, but I couldn't find a way around it.

I'm using Compiz, fwiw.


The way to get the best results with gnome is to not scale the screen: keep it 100% (unscaled) then use gnome tweak tool to increase the font size to your liking.

Works great no matter what monitor I plug it into using an X1 Carbon with the hidpi screen.


That does not help my setup with 3 screens of different DPI, which works perfectly on Windows.


The thing I am yet to achieve is getting a configuration for my laptop that works fine both on the laptop screen and on one or several connected external displays.

No problem with KDE Plasma, but when running a tiling WM without a DE...


You can and should have a separate, optimal configuration for each monitor. This is pretty easy with xrandr, and it's DE-agnostic


I guess this is the way to go. Quite annoying as I am switching between different screen setups/resolutions/physical layouts frequently.


xrandr is your friend


Whaoo I can't wait!

Where does Xubuntu and Kubuntu stand, install-base-wise, compared to the default Ubuntu? And other distros, for that matter?

I'm one of many people who left Ubuntu as soon as they started doing their big UI changes. I went to Xubuntu.

But I have no bigger idea of which distro is hot anymore; once I settled on Xubuntu, I haven't really been shopping around for alternatives.


I've been on Xubuntu since the Unity move too, so there's at least 2 of us :) I've dabbled, but never found a good reason to use anything different, simplicity and stability are all I care about.


Same here. XFCE is highly configurable, stable, and has a small memory footprint, which you notice if you're doing any processor-intensive or memory-intensive work. There are also plenty of easy-to-install themes that look quite nice.

I don't see what any other DE gives me other than glossy animations that I don't even want.


I have been trying mx linux the last two weeks or so. It is similar to Xubuntu, based on Debian Stable (which was a plus for me) with a polished XFCE desktop. So far I like it, especially some of the tools they have developed on top of Debian.


I've used Xubuntu for years as a weekend OS for side projects. It seems to work well.


After Unity forced me to shop around, I jumped from Ubuntu all the way to devuan after trying debian, and elementaryos. Both debian and elementaryos had significant system stability issues because of systemd. For instance, logind would wig out.

I very nearly switched to a BSD, but the learning curve was a bit too high (I like apt).


Package admin in OpenBSD is really simple, if you want to give it a try sometime:

pkg_info -Q <search_term> # find a package

pkg_info <package> # show package description

pkg_add <package> # add a package

pkg_delete <package> # delete a package

That's all the basics you need on a fresh install.


I'm not sure whether Xubuntu includes KDE's stuff or people here confused between Xubuntu and Kubuntu?


This thread is baffling. Most of the comment replies are about KDE, for which Kubuntu (with a "K") is a completely separate spin.

The XFCE-based Xubuntu spin includes nothing of KDE by default, and neither KDE or Kubuntu are mentioned in the linked article at all. Call me cynical, I just don't think most people clicked the link or even took a close enough look at the title here.


Alternative: People know exactly what they're talking about. Kubuntu is just an interesting, related topic and a valid comparison.


Yeah, this is weird, I guess some people mistake X for K.


There are no KDE apps or libraries in Xubuntu. I'm pretty sure that I would have noticed in the 10 years of using Xubuntu and updating it with Synaptic.


Technically, that's not correct: Xubuntu is just an ubuntu package (https://packages.ubuntu.com/disco/xubuntu-desktop). You can install any other Ubuntu (Debian) packages.


No mention of having fixed screen tearing in videos.

I'm a longtime Xubuntu user because it just gets out of my way and is rock solid, but the apparently unfixable screen tearing makes me weep.

Seemingly Manjaro XFCE edition[1] solves the screen tearing by using a different compositor[2].

[1] https://manjaro.org/download/xfce/ [2] https://www.jupiterbroadcasting.com/130616/the-xfce-surprise...


I was struck by something reading this article: almost none of the applications have names that express their function. If you haven't used it, what does Thunar do? Parole? GIMP? Gigolo, Garcon, or Ristretto? I don't see what's wrong with a name that has something to say about what your program does.


If you havent used it, what does Google do? Facebook? Uber?

Not trying to be snarky, but its good to have a unique, memorable name. Personally, GNOME just calling their text editor "Text Editor" is annoying, since I have more than one text editor installed.


Xubuntu lists the apps by name then function. For example "Thunar File Manager" and "Parole Media Player".


I think it is useful for projects to have a searchable unique names. Also, I think the desktop files for those programs also include a generic name describing program's function that an application launcher can decide to show instead.

For example, my KDE application menu refers to applications using these generic description ("Web Browser" instead of Firefox, "Music Player" instead of Spotify).


Agreed on the ability to search for programs, add to that the difficulty in creating a meaningful name that won't confuse at least some users and doesn't step on trademarks or other project names. Even popular software titles have naming issues, with brand recognition being the main distinguishing factor that helps people figure out what the software does:

- Excel, says absolutely nothing about what the product does.

- PowerPoint is only tangentially related to what the product does.

- Internet Explorer vs. Windows Explorer confuses many users.

To avoid singling out just Microsoft, look at Apple:

- Numbers basically depends upon people associating spreadsheets with any form of quantitative analysis.

- Keynote is only tangentially related to what the product does.

- Safari says absolutely nothing about what the program does.

Contrast that to the brilliantly named GIMP: GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is clearly a program for enhancing photographs of gnu's! Okay, maybe it's not so brilliant. Yet it does demonstrate that naming is hard even when the name states what the program is.


You're not alone. My boss was trying to research some Python stuff. Bottle, Celery..."who came up with these terms!"


"File Explorer (Thunar)" has been the best name formatting I've seen in a default Linux desktop.


Descriptive names are taken.


> Xfce Quick Launcher Plugin has been removed from the Debian and Ubuntu archives due to it no longer being supported.

Its the fastest option to quickly load scripts, and its convinient to have it always on the taskbar for frequently launched stuff. Whats the rationale for removing it?


>removed [...] due to it no longer being supported


Thats an excuse to not update code. The plugin is extremely useful.


Anyone know when xfce screensaver will make it in? I'd upgrade for that!


Did they go back to the roots and made it more lightweight again?


not sure if kde can be considered as having ever been lightweight. as far as I remember it was always one of the most heavy DE's around.

edit: I'm rate-limted[x] from commenting for defending myself against people calling me a brown-nosed European and white supremacist so I can't really reply below to @Crinus:

here reply inline:

oh I didn't know about v1, I think the first version I used was kde2 and that was the heaviest option you could install back then (iirc).

fwiw my comparison to i3 above isn't really fair. one is just a WM the other is a full-blown DE.

[x] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19633128


Kubuntu => KDE

Xubuntu => xfce


Can linux-desktop stand more fragmentation?


Xubuntu has existed for at least 8 years not. Possibly much longer.


Since 2006[0]. I remember looking for a small user-friendly distro in 2008/9 that would fit my college-issued laptop's OEM emergency partition (5-ish GB). That partition was never used, as reimaging was the solution to almost every problem, yet they never bothered to delete it from the official images.

In the time and machines since, I've kept using Xubuntu.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xubuntu


I used Xubuntu for many years, but somehow having my own Linux machine became less and less important, even as a developer.

Now I just have Windows 10 and macOS Mojave.

For Linux stuff, I spin up a Cloud9 EC2 instance.


And? This is somehow solves fragmentation problem?


KDE1 was very fast and lightweight, i used it back when it was new via Caldera OpenLinux on a PMMX with 32MB RAM and i was very impressed not only with how fast it was but with how much stuff the CD came with (although that was largely due to the excellent - and unreplicated - work of the people behind COL)- and proceeded to do what every self respecting teenage nerd that learned about Linux does: install it on every friend and relative's computer, permission optional of course :-P

No really, KDE1 was very fast - try COL 2.3 CD from archive.org[1] and put it in PCem or 86box with an emulated Pentium MMX at 166MHz and 32MB of RAM and see it for yourself.

Later versions bulged and bloated and i do not think it ever felt as lightweight, but at least version 3 was rock solid. Of course this meant that KDE4 had to be rewritten from scratch and become a bloated buggy mess, as is tradition on the Linux desktop (also see GNOME 3 and i'm going to be very disappointed if XFCE doesn't become slower and bloated after it fully switches to GTK 3).

[1] https://archive.org/details/OpenLinux2.3CD


You forgot Enlightenment. Back to later 90's/early 2000's was the most heavier thanks to the quantity of FXs(Without using GPUs or composition...) that it had.


E17 had a compositor and hardware rendering before Xorg/XFree86 had (making it smoother and using the GPU instead of CPU). Its just that it was in an eternal state of beta.


What is lightweight? This is actually a complex question. Back in the day KDE has the largest in memory footprint when you first started up, but once you launched a realistic set of apps: suddenly KDE (using only KDE apps) has by far the smallest memory footprint.


My personal arbitrary definition is something that is usable without noticeable lag on a Raspberry Pi 1.


Excellent job! These little patches here and there make a big difference. I'm super grateful for your work (if you're reading this thread :))


was the clipboard bug when copying high resolution pictures resolved?


Do you know the launchpad bug for this one?



I switch from Xubuntu to Fedora/Cinnamon.

I really like fedora and Cinnamon is kind what I imagine XFCE would be if they rebuilt it from scratch.

It's nice to have choices that fit my workflow though.


I've been using Kubuntu since 18.04. The performance has been good i.e. much better than Ubuntu w/ Gnome, and most things are relatively painless/intuitive to setup when needed.

KDE has some decent themes as well to get it to look a little more polished than the default theme.


This really came with kde5. I get why they started using the name "plasma desktop". It's almost completely different thing from kde4. Whatever options / expectations people had after kde4 and earlier, they just shouldn't apply.


AFAIK they call it Plasma (just Plasma, not Plasma Desktop) because that is now the name for what was previously called KDE and KDE now is the name of the community and project that acts as an umbrella for various other projects, including Plasma but also applications such as Krita, KDevelop, Amarok, etc. The desktop environment isn't officially called KDE anymore, it is Plasma.


Does this mean that Kubuntu will become Pubuntu at some point?

It's weird seeing a KDE product without a single K in its name.


I was an avid Kubuntu user in the KDE 3.X days over a decade ago. Some significant changes were made to the project poisoning the well for me, personally, since then. Still kind of curios: would the current KDE offer anything to a i3wm user?


You can run both in parallel, I wrote about it a while ago - https://f5n.org/blog/2018/i3-kde5-plasma/ - and actually drafted a post about whether I'm happy with that choice (TLDR: very happy, but not sure I need KDE at all).


I'm in a similar boat, I used to use Xubuntu extensively, but have been on Kubuntu for the last while. KDE _feels_ light, and the metrics in System Monitor agree. So while the new Xubuntu release has piqued my interest, I'm not sure I actually need it any more. Today's KDE seems to fit right into the pocket of relatively light and relatively featureful.


last time I used kde was in 2002. I loved especially kmail and konqueror. Though I have eventually been turned off by the dependency hell of big DE's (not unique to kde and probably only an issue if you compile the DE yourself, ... though also annoying if you have 100+ base-packages/dependencies pulled in just because you want 1 tool).

after moving to i3 I find it hard to look back. the level of customization I can do with a tiling WM (also dwm, xmonad etc) is just insane. Makes more sense to me since most of the tools I use are lightweight, e.g. suckless (surf), a complete process tree after login now consists of:

  ?─┬─?───i3-wrapper───i3
  ├─sh───xautolock
  ├─sh───unclutter
  ├─sh───dunst───2*[{dunst}]
  ├─sh───i3bar───sh───python───{python}
  ├─sh───x-terminal-emul─┬─3*[bash]
  │                      ├─bash───pstree
  │                      └─6*[{x-terminal-emul}]
  └─systemd─┬─at-spi-bus-laun─┬─dbus-daemon
            │                 └─3*[{at-spi-bus-laun}]
            ├─at-spi2-registr───2*[{at-spi2-registr}]
            ├─dbus-daemon
            ├─dconf-service───2*[{dconf-service}]
            ├─dirmngr
            ├─gconfd-2
            ├─gvfs-udisks2-vo───2*[{gvfs-udisks2-vo}]
            ├─gvfsd─┬─gvfsd-trash───2*[{gvfsd-trash}]
            │       └─2*[{gvfsd}]
            ├─gvfsd-metadata───2*[{gvfsd-metadata}]
            ├─pulseaudio───2*[{pulseaudio}]
            └─tracker-store───4*[{tracker-store}]


  $> sudo smem -c pss -t | tail -1
    606032 
^^^^ as commenter below pointed out this includes processes from other users. the correct figure is

  smem -c pss -t | tail -1
    220678 
Use compton if you need some bells+whistles (transparency). If you want to get rid of X.org and use Wayland[0] just use sway[1] instead as drop-in replacement for i3.

[0] The real story behind Wayland and X: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWQh_DmDLKQ

[1] https://swaywm.org/


Is that 600MB of used RAM? Why is it so much? I've seen KDE environments use less than 400MB and when i use Window Maker i get something around 250MB or so.

(all of them are ridiculous sizes considering something like Windows NT 4 needs 16MB of RAM for the entire system and applications to run while providing a ton of functionality out of the box, but still even relatively your setup looks to use a lot of memory)


Well I had working KDE 1 on a machine with 16MiB, and you can setup a working X11 + FVWM with 4MiB of RAM. Obviously using older versions of Linux kernel and userland.

More ridiculous could be a full GUI OS on a machine witch less RAM, like an Amiga 1000/500 or a early Macs.


I'm talking about the current versions, not old stuff, i also had KDE 1 working on a 32MB machine.

I do not expect current versions to be easy to run even in 32MB (although i've heard - but didn't verify - that Xorg can be configured and built from source to use as little as 600KB) but i'm curious where those hundreds of MBs go even for something like Xorg + Window Maker.


fvwm is current stuff, being the default window manager in OpenBSD.


oops, my bad. notice the mistake I made with sudo so this includes all the other things currently running. Limited to my current user the correct value would be:

  smem -c pss -t | tail -1
    220678

EDIT: reply inline to @Crinus because rate limitation:

no this is only current user because hidepid on proc in fstab

  proc    /proc    proc    defaults,hidepid=2     0     0


Still, isn't it the entire system's load?


Transparency in terminal (urxvt) in i3wm is achievable without compton. It's also the kind of transparency that doesn't make image previews in ranger transparent, too.


What is the point? Sometimes you need software that relies on KDE and there is no alternative for it.


If you run an application that needs the KDE (or GNOME) libs and you focus on it (e.g. an IDE, a browser, a document viewer, etc) then it doesn't matter that it uses the KDE/GNOME libs since you can consider them as part of the program itself and they'll be gone once you close the program (still take disk space but that isn't much of an issue outside of VMs).

Auxiliary stuff you leave at the background (e.g. an IM or music player) tend to have multiple applications and you can always find an alternative.

There are exceptions of course but they can be limited in general.

And chances are you want to avoid the latter stuff for the former stuff, it isn't like RAM exists to be unused (even for file caching). In other words, if i run a heavy program as a primary task then there is even more of a reason to want auxiliary programs to be lightweight so that this program will have more resources for itself.

(Also as an extra bonus, sometimes as a programmer i want the primary programs - IDE - to be lightweight themselves since i want the resources to be available for the program i am working on)


yes your mileage may vary. haven't been in a situation where KDE or Gnome had something which I couldn't get done cheaper:

just an idea of what happens if I were to install konqueror on a non-kde system:

  sudo apt-get install konqueror
  Reading package lists... Done
  Building dependency tree       
  Reading state information... Done
  The following additional packages will be installed:
    baloo-kf5 catdoc dolphin kactivities-bin kactivitymanagerd
    keditbookmarks kfind kimageformat-plugins kinit kio
    kio-extras kio-extras-data kpackagelauncherqml
    kpackagetool5 kwayland-data kwayland-integration
    libdbusmenu-qt5-2 libdolphinvcs5 libfam0 libhfstospell10
    libkf5activities5 libkf5archive5 libkf5attica5
    libkf5auth-data libkf5auth5 libkf5baloo5 libkf5balooengine5
    libkf5baloowidgets-bin libkf5baloowidgets5
    libkf5bookmarks-data libkf5bookmarks5 libkf5codecs-data
    libkf5codecs5 libkf5completion-data libkf5completion5
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    libkf5coreaddons5 libkf5crash5 libkf5dbusaddons-bin
    libkf5dbusaddons-data libkf5dbusaddons5
    libkf5declarative-data libkf5declarative5 libkf5dnssd-data
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    libkf5filemetadata-data libkf5filemetadata3
    libkf5globalaccel-bin libkf5globalaccel-data
    libkf5globalaccel5 libkf5globalaccelprivate5
    libkf5guiaddons5 libkf5i18n-data libkf5i18n5
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    libkf5kdelibs4support5-bin libkf5khtml-bin libkf5khtml-data
    libkf5khtml5 libkf5kiocore5 libkf5kiofilewidgets5
    libkf5kiogui5 libkf5kiontlm5 libkf5kiowidgets5
    libkf5kirigami2-5 libkf5konq6 libkf5newstuff-data
    libkf5newstuff5 libkf5newstuffcore5
    libkf5notifications-data libkf5notifications5
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    libkf5windowsystem-data libkf5windowsystem5
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    qml-module-qtqml-models2 qml-module-qtquick-controls2
    qml-module-qtquick-templates2 qtwayland5 sonnet-plugins
  Suggested packages:
    tk | wish dolphin-plugins konq-plugins fam voikko-fi
    phonon4qt5-backend-gstreamer hspell
  The following NEW packages will be installed:
    baloo-kf5 catdoc dolphin kactivities-bin kactivitymanagerd
    keditbookmarks kfind kimageformat-plugins kinit kio
    kio-extras kio-extras-data konqueror kpackagelauncherqml
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    libkf5kdelibs4support-data libkf5kdelibs4support5
    libkf5kdelibs4support5-bin libkf5khtml-bin libkf5khtml-data
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    libkf5kiogui5 libkf5kiontlm5 libkf5kiowidgets5
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    libkf5parts-plugins libkf5parts5 libkf5pty-data libkf5pty5
    libkf5quickaddons5 libkf5service-bin libkf5service-data
    libkf5service5 libkf5solid5 libkf5solid5-data
    libkf5sonnet5-data libkf5sonnetcore5 libkf5sonnetui5
    libkf5textwidgets-data libkf5textwidgets5 libkf5wallet-bin
    libkf5wallet-data libkf5wallet5 libkf5waylandclient5
    libkf5widgetsaddons-data libkf5widgetsaddons5
    libkf5windowsystem-data libkf5windowsystem5
    libkf5xmlgui-bin libkf5xmlgui-data libkf5xmlgui5
    libkwalletbackend5-5 libminizip1 libphonon4qt5-4
    libpolkit-qt5-1-1 libpoppler-qt5-1 libqt5quickcontrols2-5
    libqt5quicktemplates2-5 libqt5script5 libqt5texttospeech5
    libqt5waylandclient5 libqt5waylandcompositor5
    libqt5webengine-data libqt5webenginecore5
    libqt5webenginewidgets5 libre2-5 libssh-4 libvoikko1
    phonon4qt5 phonon4qt5-backend-vlc
    qml-module-org-kde-kirigami2 qml-module-org-kde-newstuff
    qml-module-qtqml-models2 qml-module-qtquick-controls2
    qml-module-qtquick-templates2 qtwayland5 sonnet-plugins
  0 upgraded, 147 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
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This example is kind of unfair for two reasons:

1. Konqueror is basically the Swiss army knife of KDE. No wonder it pulls in everything and the kitchen sink.

2. You present an intimidatingly large package list to make your point, but that list is that long 'because KDE Frameworks (formerly known as kdelibs) is now deliberately packaged in a lot of tiny pieces to reduce the amount of libraries that an average application needs to pull in.


I always saw these tons of little packages as a bad idea as they make package management (from the user's perspective) harder, they do not really provide any space benefit (code is small), if anything they make loading slower (i wrote a benchmark some time ago and a binary linked against a single dynamic library with tons of exports was faster to load than a binary linked against several dynamic libraries with fewer exports - but overall the same number of imports) and AFAIK the OS wont keep the entire library in memory anyway if it isn't needed (if anything the extra housework needed to all the libraries are probably a net negative). And of course these intimidating lists.

And in practice applications do not use one or two of them, they use several of them and those libraries bring in several others, etc like spaghetti (so you have Konsole relying on Phonon as mentioned in another reply).


Well you can try the same with konsole. On my XFCE system it wants to install 71 packages, including stuff that a terminal emulator probably doesn't need like phonon. To be fair, this could also be due to Debian's packaging and it may well be possible to have a leaner konsole package.


The Phonon dependency probably comes via libknotify.


Krita?... Mypaint isn't that good.

Edit. Or KCachegrind, okteta


XFCE is great but OSTree really is the future. I don't see any reason for still using the dinosaur Ubuntu in a world where one can have Fedora Silverblue.


What does OSTree have to do with XFCE?

OSTree: https://ostree.readthedocs.io/en/latest/manual/introduction/ -> The underlying architecture might be summarized as "git for operating system binaries"

vs

XFCE: https://www.xfce.org/ -> Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment for UNIX-like operating systems. It aims to be fast and low on system resources, while still being visually appealing and user friendly.

Also that Silverblue thing, assuming it's this site: https://silverblue.fedoraproject.org/ doesn't really do a good job at explaining what it is...


The charitable reading is that they meant 'Xubuntu'. They probably argue that Xubuntu is nice, but not the future because it does not do atomic upgrades with rollbacks.

(I largely agree that OSTree-based systems are better, but Ubuntu is so popular that it is unlikely that Silverblue replaces it soon. By the way, Silverblue fans should look at Nix ;).)


As someone without any knowledge of OSTree or Fedora Silverblue, can you go into more detail?


Isn't ostree for upgrades? Its not a DE like XFCE right?


Thank you for pointing out an interesting project.

Ubuntu has the full force of upstream Debian behind it, while Centos/Fedora has Red Hat upstream, which just got bought by Oracle. Is anyone in the Centos/Fedora ecosystem concerned about the sale? What happens if management simply quits making public RH streams available? What if the lawyers come out as usual?


Hasn't Red Hat been bought by IBM?


Yes, you're right. I misrecalled. Thanks.


I'm prefer Fedora 'cause better stability & great contact with developers. Xfce with their "WinXP forever" style can be popular only inside old people communities and greedy enterprise desktops.


>Xfce with their "WinXP forever" style can be popular only inside old people communities

Little funny for me as I'm running Xubuntu with the XP desktop background (bliss). I'm not exactly old though.




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