Gnome and OpenBox, my new Linux desktop
I have been quite annoyed recently by the sluggishness of Ubuntu Gnome desktop, even on a laptop with AMD duo-core CPU and 2GB RAM, and after trying to cut down to the bare minimum of applications for my daily works. That’s certainly not a top of the line machine, but surely not an antique either. So I decided to go “shopping around” for something lighter. After installing and trying out Fluxbox, LXDE, E17, XFCE, WindowMaker, OpenBox, etc, none of them works as nicely as Gnome.
I have to say that I had used those desktops/WMs on and off before, and I had even used some of them (WindowMaker, Fluxbox, E) as my main desktop for quite a while too. But that was when life was simpler, I used Linux only for programming, English was all I needed and there was no need for different input methods, no need to work with any productivity software, and I had more time to spend hacking, etc. But in the last few years, Linux has been the main, and almost only, desktop for me, so I had configured my Gnome desktop to my liking and had been productive in my daily works. And I don’t feel like hacking around that much any more.
After going back to those lighter desktops/WMs, there are always some quirks that annoyed me. I miss all the Gnome niceties. And there are always some Gnome-based applications that I can’t get around, the major one is Evolution. As much as I hate when it crashes (and it does quite often), it is still the best integrated productivity application on Linux.
Then I noticed a Gnome/OpenBox option. Initially, I thought, I was trying to get away from Gnome’s sluggishness, why choose Gnome again? But heck, let’s try it anyway.
Surprise, surprise!!! It has all the niceties of Gnome desktop, and it’s fast. Who’d have thunk of that? I feel like rejuvenated again.
Everything looks good. However, there’s still something not quite right though. The hard disk seems to be spinning all the time, and the average load is quite high (at 2.34). That also makes the CPU fan spinning to cool down the heat, and that’s noisy.
I’ll check what is going on later. For now, I need my desktop to be more responsive, and that’s all I care.