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Old 05-02-2008, 06:10 AM   #1
andrew.46
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kde or xfce better for slackware laptop?


Hi,

I am a happy xfce user with slackware 12 but I was wondering if it is really the most suitable desktop for a laptop? I have been running this laptop with Gnome for a while now (different distro) and the battery monitor, wifi manager etc make life very very easy, easier I suspect than xfce would ever manage.

I am starting to think that I may very well use xfce for my desktop and kde for my laptop but I would be interested in thoughts from others.

Andrew
 
Old 05-02-2008, 06:31 AM   #2
Simon Bridge
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Quote:
I may very well use xfce for my desktop and kde
Or you could have kde as the desktop for your laptop, but you cannot have a laptop on your desktop... unless it has a lot of flat space on top.

The answer to your question is "Yes".

There are lots of monitoring tools for all DTEs. Don't sweat it.
 
Old 05-02-2008, 06:32 AM   #3
pixellany
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I have been struggling with setting up a laptop--vacillating between Slackware and Arch---and between KDE and XFCE. Once I settle on the laptop config, I will put the same setup on the main desktop machine (3 users)

What stops me with Xfce is that the "switch user" functionality is not as good as on KDE.

At the moment, I'm leaning towards Arch + Kdemod**. It seems to be almost as fast as anything else I have tried. More to the point, it is fast enough.

I don't like ANY of the GUI wireless tools---I'm writing my own script using the Arch netcfg and net-profiles tools.

**KDE optimized for Arch.
 
Old 05-02-2008, 06:35 AM   #4
redgoblin
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It may not be the answer you're looking for, but it's really a matter of what ever you feel happy with.

KDE eats up a few more resources than XFCE, leaving less memory, disk space and clock cycles for what ever applications you want to run. But then if you have plenty of resources that's not really a problem.

Try using some of those KDE applications under XFCE for a mixed desktop. As I recall XFCE will launch and dock all those system try applets without a problem. That way you can have the best of both worlds.

Last edited by redgoblin; 05-02-2008 at 06:36 AM. Reason: Spelling
 
Old 05-02-2008, 07:57 AM   #5
andrew.46
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Mind you if I have had a trawl trough the man pages and for a minimal desktop the battery state works well enough with:
Code:
andrew@skamandros:~$ cat /proc/acpi/battery/BAT*/{alarm,info,state}
alarm:                   510 mAh
present:                 no
present:                 yes
design capacity:         5100 mAh
last full capacity:      5100 mAh
battery technology:      rechargeable
design voltage:          11100 mV
design capacity warning: 510 mAh
design capacity low:     154 mAh
capacity granularity 1:  51 mAh
capacity granularity 2:  51 mAh
model number:            DELL HD9417
serial number:           1060
battery type:            LION
OEM info:                Panasonic
present:                 no
present:                 yes
capacity state:          ok
charging state:          discharging
present rate:            1224 mA
remaining capacity:      4324 mAh
present voltage:         11872 mV
present:                 no
and certainly iwlist picks up most of the information I am after from a wireless network:

Code:
andrew@skamandros:~$ sudo iwlist wlan0 scan
wlan0     Scan completed :
          Cell 01 - Address: 00:14:7F:8B:B2:DD
                    ESSID:"SpeedTouch688ADB"
                    Mode:Master
                    Channel:1
                    Frequency:2.412 GHz (Channel 1)
                    Quality=85/100  Signal level=-48 dBm  Noise level=-73 dBm
                    Encryption key:on
                    Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s
                              24 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s; 6 Mb/s; 9 Mb/s
                              12 Mb/s; 48 Mb/s
                    Extra:tsf=00000090bb957600
Hmmmmm...... xfce may yet live on this laptop, plus I have had a look at slackbuilds.org and seen xfce4-battery-plugin and xfce4-wavelan-plugin which probably manipulate the commands above anyway.

Andrew

Last edited by andrew.46; 05-02-2008 at 08:00 AM.
 
Old 05-02-2008, 08:18 AM   #6
andrew.46
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So, I guess I can use my favourite xfce and either use a handful of commands or hook them all up into conky.

Andrew
 
Old 05-02-2008, 08:26 AM   #7
matiasar
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Hi Andrew,

My modest opinion, as Redgoblin said, the final decision depends on how you feel and how much hardware resources your laptop has.
Personally I have an old laptop Compaq Armada in which I use Debian (recently moved to etch). That box is a Pentium III with only 96 kb RAM. So I can not use KDE confortably with it. I had used Fluxbox and now I use XFCE.
I use Conky, with some bash and perl scripts to metter battery level, ramaining battery time, processor temperature, weather reports, etc. You can stick a lot of stuff in your desktop with Conky.
If you are interested in, I could look for the perl script to monitor battery. I took it from "damn small linux" site.

Regards,
Matías
 
Old 05-02-2008, 08:34 AM   #8
Lufbery
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Why not use both?

At least since Slackware 11, the default installation has both KDE and XFCE (as well as a few others) and you can switch between them with ease. If you boot to a console, just type "startx" (without the quotes) to start KDE and "startxfce4" (again without the quotes) to start XFCE.

All of the installed applications will run in both environments.

I've got an older IBM A22M Thinkpad. It's a Pentium III 1 GHz with 500 MB of Ram. I don't have any complaints of performance with KDE or XFCE on Slackware 12 on my laptop.

As an aside: I guess performance is relative, but I don't understand the computer press when it talks about computers two to three times as powerful as mine being suitable for only word processing, e-mail, and other light tasks. I've done GIS work and Photoshop (and the GIMP) image editing with very large files without problems using Pentium III computers. I did have a few tasks really stretch the limits of my computing power -- like editing a 70 MB raster image -- but Pentium 4 with a GB of Ram would have easily handled it.

My point? Don't worry about Linux and/or KDE sucking system resources. If my old computers can handle it, anything built since about 2000 can handle it.

As for switching users, you can run two users' X sessions at the same time -- or have two X sessions for the same user running at the same time. With one session running, switch to another virtual terminal (hit CTRL, ALT, and F2, for instance) and log in as yourself or another user. Then type "startx -- :1" (without the quotes) to start an X session on the next available X terminal (usually accessed with the F8 key).

That way, you get to the first session by hitting CTRL ALT and F7, and the second session by hitting CTRL ATL and F8. My wife and I do this all the time. We're both logged in at the same time and can quickly switch between the two session to check e-mails or look stuff up on the web. I've had some pretty hefty things running on my session while my wife was using hers, and it did not noticeably affect performance.

Regards,

-Drew
 
Old 05-02-2008, 08:50 AM   #9
andrew.46
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Thankd for your reply:

Quote:
Originally Posted by matiasar View Post
Hi Andrew,

My modest opinion, as Redgoblin said, the final decision depends on how you feel and how much hardware resources your laptop has.
To tell the truth the laptop has enough power to run kde but I have only run kde once and at that time I was a little overwhelmed with the menus :-)

Quote:
Personally I have an old laptop Compaq Armada in which I use Debian (recently moved to etch). That box is a Pentium III with only 96 kb RAM. So I can not use KDE confortably with it. I had used Fluxbox and now I use XFCE.
I use Conky, with some bash and perl scripts to metter battery level, ramaining battery time, processor temperature, weather reports, etc. You can stick a lot of stuff in your desktop with Conky.
I have not used conky before but I like what I have seen online and I suspect that I will at least initially return to my old friend xfce and spend some time exploring comky.

Quote:
If you are interested in, I could look for the perl script to monitor battery. I took it from "damn small linux" site.
I would appreciate this immensely. I searched google for the script but found nothing.

Andrew
 
Old 05-02-2008, 09:26 AM   #10
2Gnu
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I've been running XFCE4 on my laptop for over two years. The battery and wireless taskbar plugins work fine. I maintain a full GNOME, KDE and XFCE4 install for the applications, and launch what I need from XCFE4 as was suggested above. Fast, light but as feature-rich as I want to make it.
 
  


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