It wasn’t so long ago that picking a desktop environment for your GNU/Linux system was a Coke/Pepsi/RC experience. In recent years, though, we’ve seen an explosion of projects promoting new and interesting options for your graphical environment. Having failed to find a good showcase for the various options, I thought I’d put together a blog post giving a quick summary and some visuals for each option.
Following on the heels of my google search hotkey in awesome, I decided to tackle expanding the functionality of the run prompt. Awesome’s run prompt, by default, is basically a command-launcher; it chokes on any input that doesn’t represent an executable file.
I wanted it to behave more like the run prompt in other desktops, so that typing in a URL would open the URL in an appropriate application.
With help from Alexander Yakushev on the awesome mailing list, I managed to figure it out….
For years I’ve been a die-hard KDE fan; while I’ll admit to temporarily jumping ship during the tumultuous 4.0 through 4.2 release cycles, and routinely trying out other desktop environments just to see how they schoon, I’ve pretty much stuck with my pal Konqi since back around 3.4.
For my desktop, especially at work, KDE still runs the show. But KDE doesn’t seem to enjoy running properly on my laptop, and frankly does a better job of getting in the way of my workflow than accelerating it. After some time with XFCE, LXDE, Openbox, and even IceWM, I think I finally found what I’ve been looking for in a desktop environment: Awesome.