Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Window Managers again, GRUB, and so long and thanks for all the help

It's not really often that I lump so much into a post, but it seems to be becoming a habit. Sorry to anyone that bothers.

Anyway, it's that time again, when I ramble about my ancient laptop.

Some time ago, I made a post talking about various Window Managers. This was under Ubuntu, however, not Fedora.
Under Fedora, GNOME/Metacity works relatively well, and I enjoy the customizability I get from it, but as time has gone past, it's started to cause trouble. Firefox, for example, has begun to inexplicably lock up randomly. This is distressing, because Chromium doesn't work, much to my annoyance, and the only other web browser I have available that I can put up with is Galeon, which is no substitute in my books.
So, I turned once again to an old curiosity of mine, and launched Openbox once more.
Well, that's not entirely accurate - Blackbox and Fluxbox also got a look in, but since I've yet to figure out how to the NetworkManager to work correctly in either, and WICD isn't available to Fedora 12 users, I left them behind.
Openbox, in comparison, is incredibly spartan. There's no panel, unlike Flux and Black. Instead, it's all done through the right-click menu on the desktop.
Unfortunatly, I'm in the habit of using a panel, so I'm trying fbpanel, which despite it's lack of customizability to it's GNOME and XFCE counterparts, is quite impressive, and I'm starting to like. If I could get it to launch itself when I launch an Openbox session, that'd be perfect.
This has got me thinking about Crunchbang Linux, as it uses Openbox, but more on that later.

Now, for GRUB.
The Grand unified Bootloader, and it's younger cousin, GRUB2, are from my point of view, quite impressive little things. It leaves a lot to be understood, however, as dad wants to put Linux Mint on his laptop. Now, Mint Gloria is based on Ubuntu Jaunty, which has no GRUB2 - and I may be wrong, but GRUB doesn't support Windows 7 correctly. GRUB2 I also have no understanding of.
So I'm left being forced to get him to put off using it until I can understand how exactly to manage it.
In ordinary circumstances, I'd simply go to the LQ website, but recently, I've been having a few negative responses there, so I'm letting things cool off before I go back.

Lastly, Fedora. Oh, Fedora.
It made such a good impression, but I'm afraid I have to say goodbye already.
Ubuntu Karmic, as you'll know, has left a very bitter taste for me, which is why I left it. Fedora 12 replaced it, in an attempt to get a little more usability out of my laptop, but with some of the issues I've had, not to mention the somewhat... snobbish community, I'm forced to leave it.
For Slackware.
Now, as I mentioned earlier, Crunchbang has recently appealed to me because it too is based on Ubuntu, which is like an old friend to me, and it uses Openbox, which is my new favourite session. I'm wary about using it though, because I don't like Karmic, and I don't want to use something based on it, at least not until the so called Service Pack for Karmic comes out next year. Also, I'm already uneasy about going back to Ubuntu and it's derivatives because inevitably, I'd have to upgrade, and that once again means Karmic. Karmic, Karmic, Karmic. I don't like it, and I'm sorry to say that unless it picks up, I never will, and that will be the end of Ubuntu in my house, but for anyone else who might use it.
Slackware has been suggested to me before, but until recently, I didn't quite understand the lettering system that explains the software packs. Now, I have a better understanding, and know - I think - what I need.
The problem remains however that I need to understand how to make GRUB - Fedora's GRUB, that is - boot the installer, which is from the LiveCD, but running on a HD partition. Essentially the same way I installed Fedora, except from the LiveCD, and on a HD partition... unlike Fedora, which was actually installed direct from the internet (A novel idea, and quite an interesting one, too).

For now, Openbox/Fedora 12 is managing, despite problems still finding there way in to bother me. But as soon as I've decided on either Crunchbang or Slackware, and I know how to do it, I'm changing once more.

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