My switch to XFCE

I switched to xfce. Yes, I really did, after more than 6 years on i3.

Here's why.

Right now, I'm writing this very blog post in gvim in a xterm on xfce4-12. Why did I leave i3? Well... I love i3, I really do. It is the perfect tool for beeing productive with a lot of terminals.

Although, I have noticed that I use tmux more and more lately. Having a terminal multiplexer at hand means you don't have many terminals anymore.

So I thought: Switch away from i3?

I thought about switching to a framebuffer terminal, moving away from X11 entirely. I could have used elinks, tmux, mutt, newsbeuter, rtv, rangern, of course vim and so on... but only on a framebuffer terminal.

But that wouldn't work well with multi-monitor setups. I thought about KDE5, a lot actually. But KDE is too heavy for me.

So what is a good alternative to KDE, leightweight, has nice performance but also looks nice? Yes, XFCE!

And so far, I really love it!

The only problem I have is, of course, syncing of configurations via git. It seems that XFCE writes state information to the configuration files as well, which is unfortunate. What I will do: Not track the configurations except maybe the keyboard bindings. I hope that'll do.

So I have a nice-looking desktop environment now, which has nice keybindings for doing all the things I did with i3 as well – speaking of tiling. I configured the XFCE desktop to do basic tiling like i3, yes. That gives me the same productivity I had with i3 before. One thing I couldn't figure out by now is how to switch the focused monitor with a keybinding. That might not be possible at all, which would be unfortunate, though I guess I can live with that.

A nice side effect of my new setup: People I work with don't think “What a hell of a nerd” anymore. Not that I care about what other people think, but this way they might get the impression that Linux on the Desktop rocks – and I guess this is a nice thing to have, isn't it?

tags: #software #linux #desktop #life