Kushal Das: Desktop environments in my computer


I started my Linux journey with Gnome, as it was the default desktop
environment in RHL. I took some time to find out about KDE. I guess I found out
accidentally during re-installation. It used to be fun to have a desktop that
looks different, behaves differently than the normal. During the earlier years
in college while I was trying to find out more about Linux, using KDE marked me
as a Linux expert. I was powered with the right syntax of mount command to
mount the windows partitions and the xmms-mp3 rpm. I spent most of my time in
the terminal.

Initial KDE days for me

I started my FOSS contribution as a KDE translator, and it was also my primary
desktop environment. Though I have to admit, I had never heard the word “DE or
desktop environment” till 2005. Slowly, I started learning about the various
differences, and also the history behind KDE and Gnome. I also felt that the
KDE UI looked more polished. But I had one major issue. Sometimes by mistake, I
used to change something in the UI, wrong click or wrong drag and drop. I never
managed to recover from those stupid mistakes. There was no way for me to go
back to the default look and feel without deleting the whole configuration. You
may find this really stupid, but my desktop usage knowledge was limited (and
still is so), due to the usage of terminal based applications. Not sure about
the exact date, but sometime during 2010, I became a full-time Gnome user. Not
being able to mess around with my settings actually helped me in this case.

The days of Gnome

There aren’t many things to write about my usage of Gnome. I kept using
whatever came through as default Fedora Gnome theme. As I spend a lot of time
in terminals, it was never a big deal. I was not sure if I liked Gnome Shell,
but I kept using it. Meanwhile, I tried LXDE/XFCE for a few days but went back
to the default Fedora UI of Gnome every time. This was the story till the
beginning of June 2016.

Introduction of i3wm

After PyCon 2016, I had another two-day meet in Raleigh, Fedora Cloud FAD. Adam
Miller was my roommate during the four-day stay there. As he sat beside me in
the meeting, I saw his desktop looked different. When asked, Adam gave a small
demo on i3wm. Later that night, he pointed me to his
dotfiles, and I started my journey
with a tiling window manager for the first time. I have made a few minor
changes to the configuration over time. I also use a .Xmodmap file to make
sure that my configuration stays sane even with my Kinesis Advantage keyboard.

The power of using the keyboard for most of the tasks is what pulled me towards
i3wm. It is always faster than moving my hand to the trackball mouse I use. I
currently use a few different applications on different workspaces. I kept
opening the same application in the same workspace every time. It, hence became
muscle memory for me to switch to any application as required. Till now, except
a few conference projectors, I never had to move to Gnome for anything else.
The RAM usage is also very low as expected.

Though a few of my friends told me i3wm is difficult, I had a complete
different reaction when I demoed this to Anwesha. She
liked it immediately and started using it as her primary desktop. She finds it
much easier for her to move between workspaces while working. I know she
already demoed it to many others in conferences. 🙂

The thing which stayed same over the years is my usage of terminal. Learning
about many more command line tools made my terminal having more tabs, and more
number of tmux sessions in the servers.


Source From: fedoraplanet.org.
Original article title: Kushal Das: Desktop environments in my computer.
This full article can be read at: Kushal Das: Desktop environments in my computer.

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