Lightweight Desktop Environment with Menu Search and App Pin
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Lightweight Desktop Environment with Menu Search and App Pin
Why is it that most (if not all) lightweight desktop environments don't have these two modern features, at least by default? Sure they were introduced by Windows and OS X, but that doesn't mean only heavy desktop environments should have the new features while lightweight ones stick to the traditional interface (which I hate conforming to).
The thing is, I have a netbook that runs fine, but is of course on the slow side with Windows or Ubuntu. I tried Unity 2D and LLVMpipe, but it's still slow. So laggy that why shouldn't I just use the Windows 7 Starter that comes with it? I'm pretty sure KDE wouldn't be much better, but maybe I should try it out.
I'm looking for a lightweight Linux distro that comes with at least menu search. It shouldn't be that hard to find, right?
Gonna try out Linux Mint MATE tomorrow. It appears to be close to what I'm looking for, except without (easy) app pinning. By app pins I mean Windows 7, OS X, and Ubuntu style where the icon gets an indicator instead of a new icon appearing in the taskbar.
Have you thought about the fact that maybe the features you would like to have are not very lightweight and hence including them by default would go against the paradigm those environments
are looking to hold?
That being said I would take a gander at one of the distros with an XFCE environment as they often have more features than say fluxbox or openbox by default
The menu search thing kind of sounds like what 'dmenu' does, but some folks find dmenu a little too minimal. I use it in combination with dwm window-manager and I don't think you can get a lighter desktop environment. There's no reason why you couldn't use it with another WM however.
Because the OP is also looking for things like app-pinning I suspect my environment might be a little too lightweight though. dmenu + WindowMaker might do the job however.
@grail: How are they not lightweight? Menu search only conveniently filters your installed applications and app pinning shouldn't take up any noticeable resources. I think environment developers are just catering to people with old computers looking for traditional interfaces. Yes, I've looked at XFCE, but there doesn't seem what I'm looking for.
@TobiSGD: Does AWN behave like Windows 7, Mac OS X, and Ubuntu? Meaning the pinned icon doesn't just launch the application, but also manages it (minimize, change focus, etc.) By menu search I meant the start menu or whatever Linux users call it.
@GazL: I'll take a look at dmenu and WindowMaker, but they look quite daunting. I might get what I'm looking for, but very likely will also find it lacking in user-friendliness.
Lastly, I'm looking for an Ubuntu-based distro for (easy) hardware compatibility and home encryption.
@TobiSGD: Does AWN behave like Windows 7, Mac OS X, and Ubuntu? Meaning the pinned icon doesn't just launch the application, but also manages it (minimize, change focus, etc.)
Don't know about Ubuntu or OS X, I don't use them, but Windows 7 behaves pretty much like AWN (AWN is the older one).
About dmenu, I don't use it, but my favorite WM (i3) has an in-built function that is quite similar (only that it also reads .desktop files, so that it knows about the names you will see in the menus and the names of the actual application binary), but I can't see how it can not be user-friendly, just type in a part of the name, if necessary use the cursor keys to choose what you want to launch and press the Enter key.
WindoeMaker is actually quite easy to use, and it provides the dock features you're looking for. I believe it is also in the Ubuntu repos and so should be relatively easy to install and try out. 'dmenu' is just a tool and its usefulness really depends on your ability to wield it. It can be made to do what you want, but unless you're fairly comfortable with shell scripting it's probably going to be challenging to setup.
About dmenu, I don't use it, but my favorite WM (i3) has an in-built function that is quite similar (only that it also reads .desktop files, so that it knows about the names you will see in the menus and the names of the actual application binary),
I wasn't aware that i3 had implemented a dmenu-like feature. Interesting.
By default dmenu comes with a script that just allows you to chose one of the entries in /usr/bin which I don't find particularly useful. It shouldn't be particularly hard to write an alternative that parses the *.desktop files, but I just have mine read the contents of ~/.dmenurc which I maintain manually (kind of like a favourites menu).
What I do like about dmenu is that if you get imaginative you can do some really useful things.
e.g. here's an example I have bound to a hot-key that I use for quick access to my CD Album collection.
Distribution: OpenSUSE 13.2 64bit-Gnome on ASUS U52F
I dont know if you already solved the problem but for what I heard Bodhi Linux gives you a really light weight desktop with lots of tools, You said that you want a Ubuntu base so Bodhi should fit the bill with that requirement.
it's really lightweight (it starts in "no time": I've not noticed a startup time change with it on auto-start), and have few dependencies to install (in my setup, was a 777KB download - my setup: Fedora 17 LXDE on Acer Aspire One 110L)