If a default choice is set, which desktop environment the Pyra OS should have ?

If a default choice is set, which desktop environment the Pyra should have ?


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PCXT

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I'm not sure about methodology of these measurements. Author launched DE in a separate X instance, so we have no idea was there a shared memory omitted for e.g. libraries?

Recently I tried to get a total memory usage of Debian with different DEs, so I used 32-bit VirtualBox, installed Stretch with different default DE settings, launched file manager window and terminal with htop reporting memory (without buffers). I think that in most Linux workflows there is at least one file manager window and sometimes a terminal. Results are:
No desktop: 22MB
LXDE: 130MB
MATE:139MB
XFCE: 143MB
Cinnamon: 312MB
GNOME: 387MB
KDE: 397MB.
However, they are for 32-bit Intel. For ARM architecture it may be different. For non-default configuration it will be different. It depends on many factors.
From my experience: I don't have any memory problems on 512MB, 768MB or 1GB machines with LXDE, on 1GB if the screen is large I can run well MATE too. My primary notebook has 2GB and I use TDE which takes around 200MB in similar test conditions, but it's only my personal necrophilia :).
 

rygD

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Necrophilia aside, I appreciate you sharing this with us. Those numbers, and your input and testing, tell me that I should be fine most of the time with my personal favorite, and I don't need to go with whatever lightweight default it ships with. This wasn't all that important to me, coming from the Pandora, so it is like an extra bonus.
 

benoitb

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My primary notebook has 2GB and I use TDE which takes around 200MB in similar test conditions, but it's only my personal necrophilia :).
I really, really, loved the last versions of KDE 3 when it was fast, polished and not buggy anymore. How usable is it with today's software ?

From memory, it is my best experience of a computer UI. Nothing before it was better and, sadly, nothing after it either...
 

spud42

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@spud42 I'm using the mate default dark setting on my Omap5 uEVM board, I like it a little better than the slick red.
cheers, yes i like the dark default theme too. i found on the theme selection window there is a link to go online to get more themes. takes you to mate-desktop.org/themes/ i then picked GTK3 themes this takes you to gnome-look.org/browse/cat/135 . on the left menu there is a icon themes link... well there are a huge number of icon sets but nothing in the first 49 pages i looked at last night looks anything like the ones in askarus's post.
 

PCXT

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I really, really, loved the last versions of KDE 3 when it was fast, polished and not buggy anymore. How usable is it with today's software ?
I'm using TDE with Jessie, as there is no official release for Stretch yet. I don't see many problems with running software from Debian repos in TDE. The biggest problem is drag and drop incompatibility in some WxWidgets-based applications, e.g. I'm using a bit downgraded version of FileZilla. Although TDE is made around Qt 3, I can still have Qt 5.5 to program using it.
It's definitely better in file-oriented workflows than GTK, in which you have to click through a whole directory structure or look in docs what set of keys you have to press in which place on disk to get location path entry in file open/save dialog.

However, I think that TDE, with its UI design philosophy to be as compact as possible, would not be handy with very small screens.
 

rygD

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It may not be great on a small screen. I will try it out and see, and if it works well I won't be surprised if I stick with it. I have no clue why I haven't given it a chance before. I had heard of it, but never tried it (and it has direct lineage from when KDE pulled me in, so I don't really know which I would prefer at this point).
 

benoitb

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However, I think that TDE, with its UI design philosophy to be as compact as possible, would not be handy with very small screens.
Good point, maybe my excellent memory of KDE3 is linked to the fact that I was using it on a IBM X31: 12 inches 1024*768 where every pixel mattered.
Thanks for the feedback, I think I'll still give it a go on the Pyra.
 

PCXT

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Good point, maybe my excellent memory of KDE3 is linked to the fact that I was using it on a IBM X31: 12 inches 1024*768 where every pixel mattered.
Thanks for the feedback, I think I'll still give it a go on the Pyra.
It's not about resolution, it's about cursor.
My settings for TDE are really compact, even more compact than defaults. The smallest menu bar, small fonts, small buttons, minimum space around toolbars (I think leaving this modern "air" around glyphs or buttons is awful, it looks like one of these beginner's projects in which toolbars were composed by placing buttons by hand)... And this is in full HD resolution in one computer, and 3200x1200 (dual 4:3) in another. It works well because cursor can be precisely positioned over things needed.
In a small screen to spot a cursor you have to make it larger, and even with default cursor it will be harder to quickly point to geometrically small things. IMHO this is the main problem. So for netbook I went with LXDE.
 

levi

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I've just brought up a new archlinux server, and I thought I'd try i3 on it. Works well, and so far it seems easier to get around than I ever found tmux to be for the console (but I'll still need to remember that for when I ssh in to it). It's crashed once on my, although at that time I was stress testing the CPU with a quickly knocked up python factorial finder running 16 times in parallel, and trying to open a multi-megabyte file in vim at the same time (I hadn't checked the size before opening it) - I guess it ran out of memory, as this machine is an old Core1 Pentium and a big (for the time) 2GB of RAM, and I haven't get configured any swap yet, but it seized such that the mouse pointer even stopped moving, the crashed rather obscurely by the next time I checked the machine after a couple of hours.

But provided it doesn't do that too often in normal use, it seems a reasonable case for a small screen DE/wm. The status bar is kind of small by default though, even on my 21" screen.
 
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ClockworkCoder

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i've never had i3 crash on me, but i don't do anything weird with it...

the status bar fontsize can be changed.
https://askubuntu.com/questions/385076/how-to-change-font-size-using-i3-wm

i kinda like it being small so that i have to focus to look at it, rather than it taking up precious screen real estate...
I've never had it crash either, and I now use it full time on my home and work laptops (Manjaro, and ugh, Mint respectively).

Actually, more specifically, I use i3gaps on Manjaro. It's more configurable, but probably not so useful on a Pyra where gaps are wasteful of screen estate.

You can change absolutely everything, which is what I love most. I've tried 3 different status bars so far and it's so easy to write your own blocks (components) for it, let alone change the fonts (i.e. fontawesome), colours, etc.

There are lots of ideas (Linux 'ricing') on unixporn (Reddit).
 
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___

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@levi I can recommend polybar as a replacement for i3bar/i3status. it's fun to configure and very powerful, even lets you define clickable areas and make them show stdout of some tool or pop up a zenity menu etc.
 

ible

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not being able to click on various things in the i3statusbar was annoying to me at first (e.g. for calendar), but for widgets like Dropbox, nm-applet, etc., it works fine. will check out polybar, though.
 

sqff

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I don't understand why anyone would suggest to even consider i3. It's tiling. Why would you want to subdivide a really small screen into even smaller rectangles. XFCE is a really bad choice as well. It doesn't mattet that it is small in memory. The whole idea is that it's a traditional desktop, which is bad for small displays. The whole notion of a bar with an application launcher button and tree-like menus doesn't work well with a small screen or stylus for that matter. The only DE that makes an effort in that regard is Gnome3. It presents applications to launch on the whole screen and works well with landscape layouts of smaller size and high resolution. I'd disqualify everything that doesn't harmonize with small screens and xfce is probably the worst offender here. I don't use Gnome3 on my laptop (KDE), but my laptop has a huge screen and it works out well while it is painfully obvious that it would suck on a tiny screen. So, even as a KDE guy I would not even think about anything but Gnome3. I use XFCE as well, on my really old laptop. I know its benefits and its massive drawbacks...so.. no to that one. There might be something better than G3, but it's not a traditional DE for sure, it has to be something new.
 

TrashyMG

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@sqff

XFCE4 has been the default on the Pandora for sometime without issues, MATE is currently default on the beta version of "PyraOS" although that could change, both manage fairly well with the 720p screen... Pyra OS is just Debian Stretch with an added Pyra specific Debian repository, so feel free and install what you want.
 
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levi

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The fact it's tiling means you don't need to waste screen estate with window icons. But yeah, I don't think anyone's seriously suggesting i3 as a wm for beginners, or especially for ex-windows users. It's a shame that minimenu is looking unlikely to be ported to pyra, but maybe gnome3 will fit that gap for people wanting something uncomplicated - I'm not familiar with it at present outside of a few youtube videos. On the Pandora I'm happy with a nested menu, as I'm mostly a keyboard warror still, but it's true that it's stretching the paradigm to its limits given the number of apps I have in my games->Arcade or games->Action.
 

sqff

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@sqff

XFCE4 has been the default on the Pandora for sometime without issues, MATE is currently default on the beta version of "PyraOS" although that could change, both manage fairly well with the 720p screen... Pyra OS is just Debian Stretch with an added Pyra specific Debian repository, so feel free and install what you want.
I know that it is and was the default. I would also say that XFCE and MATE both are pretty neat; it's great that there are no issues. That is really a strong point in favour of liking xfce and mate. But, a blind man can see that they are not meant for a physically small screen. The resolution is not the size of the screen. If you HDMI pandora's screen to a tv, at pandora's or pyra's native resolution, it will be fine, great even. But straining your eyes with tiny bars and trees is just painful. I shouldn't be all up in arms about this, but people's acceptance of xfce on a phone sized screen genuinly scares me. I am really glad that I can choose something else. Looking forward to the whole thing!

Merry Christmas btw :D
[doublepost=1514158591,1514157721][/doublepost]
It's a shame that minimenu is looking unlikely to be ported to pyra
Yeah... minimenu is really awesome.
._.
 

Silent-Hunter

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i3 doesn't force you to subdivide the screen, you can place windows directly atop one another and shuffle through them using the switch window key combinations. Which IMO would be perfect for the small screen.
 

levi

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Can you? Is there a keyboard incantation that does that, or does it require configuration?

The only way I can think to do that is with workspaces, having one window taking the full screen space (less the status bar and window title) per workspace thus them being nearly fullscreen.

If I full screen a window with mod+F then if I use the switch window keys then it pops out of fullscreen and returns to its previously spawned window, so I guess that isn't part of the solution.
 
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