Plasma is here!

Happy holidays everyone!

These past two weeks have been rather slow for my online presence, because…holidays!!! But for the Antergos team, these weeks were anything but slow, with KDE Plasma now available from the Cnchi installer (>0.12.46 version).

I will surely give it a try when the customization is complete (and from what I have already seen, it will be a great DE customization), KDE feels more and more compelling from what I have been reading online and seeing in the Eye Candy group on Google+.

Let 2015 end… 2016 feels exciting for the Open Source community!!!

System consistency

I have been using Cinnamon as my primary Desktop Environment for some time now, and believe it to be the one that fits my needs the most. The only thing that puts me off sometimes, is that being GTK based, it has a lot of its’ core applications based off GNOME, which now uses client side decorations, like the following :

gedit's client side decoration

gedit’s client side decoration

But what I want is a uniform style for all the apps, which uses classic titlebar like GNOME terminal’s :

GNOME Terminal uses the classic title bar

GNOME Terminal uses the classic title bar

When I installed my new system, after tweaking some of it’s features (swappiness, vfs_cache_pressure and more) I removed some of the non essential applications (bijiben aka GNOME Notes, gnome-photos and gnome-music – plus pidgin and cmake). Now on my system are the following applications that need De-GNOMifying with their respective alternatives (?) :

CSD Apps Alternatives
gnome-disks (Disks) gParted
evince (Document Viewer) ePDFview
gedit (gedit) Leafpad
gnome-screenshot (Screenshot) ?
gnome-calculator (Calculator) ?
totem (Videos) VLC
eog (Image Viewer) Viewnior

My only “concern” is that VLC installed qt4 as a dependency. I removed baobab because everything it shows, I can also see it from the command line. Now the only two applications sporting CSD are gnome-screenshot and gnome-calculator. My / partition uses 5Gb of space for the whole OS and applications and startup finished in 2.195s (firmware) + 1.403s (loader) + 4.250s (kernel) + 1.191s (userspace) = 9.041s

There..and back again

Distrohopping sessions are over…and we are back to Antergos Cinnamon! Why is that? My distrohopping was mainly targeted to migrating to a *big* Desktop Environment like GNOME and KDE. The reason behind it was that there is a focus from developers to creating applications for these two DEs.

But GNOME has a more touch focused environment with the Activities overview and the design of its’ core applications. It feels like a DE for use on handhelds (Phones and Tablets) rather than a Keyboard and Mouse centric Interface. Because of this (I think), GNOME is not tweak-friendly, on the contrary it is made to work as provided, and the Add-ons are not enough. Non-GTK apps all fell out of place, due to the presence of the headerbar on all GNOME Apps. Plus : the drawer for non compatible apps…What THE HELL?? Who thought that was a good idea?

KDE on the other hand, is made to be tweaked with, to the point that it is overwhelming. Also it is bloated with applications… and for me, a self-proclaimed minimalist, it is an application nightmare trying to sort them out. For all my tenure on Linuxland I have been using GTK applications and Desktops so all QT apps feel a bit strange to me. Plus : KDE was so crash prone all the time I used it, it was one more reason that put me off using it.

So Cinnamon, which is in the middle between GNOME‘s simplicity and KDE‘s bloated-desktop oriented nature, feels like the perfect solution. And what better Linux distribution than an Arch based, mostly vanilla, distribution? Always up to date, every piece of software on the tip of your hands – through AUR – and easy to install.

The installation procedure with Cnchi (Antergos’s installer) was a breeze, my steps can be seen on the slideshow below :

Synapse Setup :

  • Operating System : Antergos
  • Desktop Environment : Cinnamon
  • HDD Partition :
UEFI Boot (/boot/efi) 512mb
System (/) 46gb
Storage (/home) 80gb
Swap 2gb
  • Extra Features : AUR / Bluetooth Support / Samba / LibreOffice / Firefox (over Chromium)

The installation process took roughly around 20 minutes (configuration / partitioning / package downloading). My first boot time (by the systemd-analyze command) : Startup finished in 2.055s (firmware) + 1.458s (loader) + 4.254s (kernel ) + 1.618s (userspace) = 9.387s

So we are back on our “Shire“… Let’s see how it goes this time around.