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Migrating from kde to openbox

Introduction

When I started using Linux, the 7CD SUSE 7.1 distro I purchased recommended KDE1 - but proposed KDE2 beta as an option. After 6 months of following recommendantions, I went beta - and stayed on KDE for the last 20 years or so...
It has been a bliss, and KDE is a marvelous desktop manager!

Why Migrating?

Openbox?

So I decided to try OpenBox, and stuck with it with love at first sight: perfectly functionnal without extra fluff!
While searching for config tips, I stumbled upon Vermaden's FreeBSD Desktop series - it inspired me a lot and I recommend you read that series post too, as this post is kind of an addon to his!
The challenge was to implement the 1% of functionality of KDE that I really got used to:

FreeBSD OpenBox Desktop

This is a screenshot of my desktop while making this page. While the 4 screens are 27" and physically have the same size, the two top ones being only FHD seem smaller in the screenshot, for a total resolution of 5120x2520.


Changes of habits

With these few changes, I am not really missing KDE anymore, as it probably covers 99% of my daily use.
One tiny, but significant change of habits, is that by having minimalisic desktop, I can focus better on what I am doing.
One other similar change, is that the simplicity of the desktop drives my creativity - as everything it now is mainly keyboard driven, it inspires me to code little shortuts! Yesterday I did a tiny scipt I called rv - that launches a random video from my video folder, it goes like:

# requires mpv shuffle
viddir="/home/jupiter/Video/"
cd "$viddir" && mpv $(shuffle -p 1 $(ls -f))

Those small scripts have been uploaded on my tinyscripts git repository


Conclusion

While this transition is still in progress, I feel it is a positive change - as it drives my creativity and gives me a feeling that this is closer to the "Unix" way of using small, well written components to build the system we would like to see. Not only does my system works, but I understand how: this is exciting!
I am undecided for one thing... is using less software making me a better user - or is it because I am becoming a better user, that having less software feels better?
Less is more...


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