With all it’s faults I still like Unity Desktop

I’ve always preferred Unity desktop’s HUD and Lens over GNOME’s Activities. In all likelihood I’ll keep both desktop environments installed after Bionic Beaver is released later this week.

GNOME has a better workflow but I never liked the amount of vertical space wasted between the top bar and window below.

Unity’s Lens are largely useless, so perhaps I’ll drop both for a more traditional approach.

Lubuntu minimal with i3wm had been my primary desktop since December so its the strongest contender.

I may hop to other flavors like Budgie, XFCE or MATE.

Peppermint is another option although it won’t be based on 18.04 for a few months.

Testing i3wm in Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

Testing i3wm in Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

I merely installed i3 and some of my favorite settings from my previous i3 setup. The only thing to note is the additional RAM usage at about 1GB in here vs my previous Lubuntu minimal 16.04 setup. I presume much of the RAM is reserved for the additional functionality at the Kernel level vs Lubuntu which is far more lightweight.

However, this does appear crisper and just as snappy.

PureOS – First Impressions Gallery

Today I poked around in PureOS a GNU/Linux distribution recently endorsed by the Free Software Foundation. So far I’m very impressed in what I can do with minimal effort. For starters, I had no problems creating a local installation of WordPress. (A necessity¬† and a test in my line of work as a web developer.) It was actually pretty simple. Being based on Debian made it easy. I just swapped MariaDB out for the usual MySQL.

It’s nice to know that PureOS is another option. The best way to describe this experience is Debian + GNOME minus proprietary blobs. If I had to fine one complaint it would be that Firefox is stuck on ESR rather than the current version. However, when you’re running Free Software that’s a small price to pay for software freedom. Chromium is also available in the repository.

Creating a simple Pomodoro timer for i3

A terminal based Pomodoro coountdown doesn’t appear to exist but can be created simply in i3’s config file.

It requires the following packages to enable “notify-send” which is a simple gtk popup notification.

  • libnotify-bin
  • libnotify4

# Pomodoro start and end notifications
bindsym $mod+Control+p exec notify-send --icon=gtk-info Pomodoro "Focus for 25 minutes" && sleep 2500 && notify-send --icon=gtk-info Pomodoro "Take a 5 minute break"

This quick notification will dismiss itself in a few seconds, if you blink you may miss it.

As an alternative I’m also considering adding my bash command to lock the system and force that me to at least put in my password to continue.

Debian Stretch Desktop Update

I’m giving my Debian Stretch drive a little attention and running updates.¬† It’s home is a 1TB 7400 RPM hard drive and serves as home to my personal and server backups as well as this machine’s Steam library.

Currently I’m running Peppermint 8 on my main SSD drive and Ubuntu 16.04.3 running i3 on my testing drive.

Side note Bryan & Matt answer my cliche question on The Lunduke Show (YouTube).

Lastly, if we lived in the dystopian future of 2037 where only only one Linux distribution survived I hope it would be Debian. (see 7:13 of the video above)