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Old 03-14-2007, 04:34 PM   #1
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Prettiest Interface?

Hey, in a complete u-turn from a previous post, whats the prettiest distribution/gui/xserver or whatever. I really don't know what i'm on about being a complete linux retard. What i want is the prettiest looking PC possible. Oh and dual monitor support is fairly important so i don't know if beryl would be a good idea (yes i did a wee bit of googling before posting).

Any thoughts?

(oh i have a x1900xt if that might cause driver issues)


Old 03-14-2007, 05:45 PM   #2
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Depends on what you consider "pretty" I f you think Vista is "pretty", head on over to , but I have no idea about dual monitors. Good luck! Oh, and they are either called graphical interfaces or window managers.
Old 03-14-2007, 05:59 PM   #3
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oh so graphical interfaces and window managers are the same thing? see i wasnt sure if one ran inside/ontop of the other.

Linux is so damn complicated compared to windows, but then i spose i have a 14 year experience headstart with windows.
Old 03-14-2007, 06:33 PM   #4
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Enlightenment is also a nice desktop but I think you need Solaris for it
Old 03-14-2007, 06:34 PM   #5
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Enlightenment has afew dependencies, but can be installed on any UNIX-variant as long as it satisfies them.
Old 03-14-2007, 08:27 PM   #6
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If you have used DOS and Windows 3.1, then you can understand how Linux's GUI works. If you have not used both DOS and Windows 3.1, understanding Linux's GUI is harder.

Linux by default uses bash (Bourne Again Shell) to handle its command environment. The X Window System (aka X11) handles graphical user interface. Desktop and window managers in Linux provides you different ways or flavor to control the window decoration and operation of the graphical user interface environment. It is easier to understand this as layers. The first layer is CLI (command line interface) or bash. The second layer is GUI or X Window System. Last is either a desktop or window manager.

Go to to pick your flavor.

In Linux you are going to hear a lot of dependency this and dependency that. Dependencies are a real pain. I suggest backing up your installation before upgrading or installing programs. Be careful where you get your dependencies. I prefer Gentoo because programs comes all at one source. If you do not want to mess with Linux and its dependencies, use FreeBSD.

Using a pretty GUI always will provide you a sloooow computer. It is best to create a clean and light-weight interface because this provide the most speed of the computer. Your best bet is to use a distribution that has Beryl as a choice for a window manager. If you do not have nVidia graphics card, forget Beryl because you are going to pull your hair out try to get hardware 3D acceleration working.
Old 03-17-2007, 09:34 PM   #7
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ok i waited, got the brand spanking new 64-bit release of sabayon 3.3 and installed away. after figuring out how to stop the installer bugging out on me and a few restarts i finally got it installed. I also googled around a bit and figure out how to use xrandr to change resolution to a readable 1600x1200. unfortunately i can't work out how to force the refresh above 60, as none of the xrandr listed modes are above 60hz, which is plain silly considering at lower (1024x768) res's my monitor can do 120hz. silly linux.

Oh and also i can't install beryl. i do the emerge -u beryl. but it sits there for about a couple of minutes calculating dependencies and then i get bored of watching a /-\| spin around for ages doing nothing. Then i ctrl-c the terminal and go back to fiddling about with acceleration manager constantly losing my settings.

ARRGHGHGHG Linux = headache

any help at all? including which painkillers are compatible with linux headaches and which arent?

Old 03-17-2007, 11:25 PM   #8
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Install Beryl on Sabayon? Sabayon already has Beryl, I can't remember as I only played with it for a few days, but try typing in a terminal:
That may not be correct so I suggest typing beryl and hitting TAB a few times to see what comes up. On the Desktop you should have a Beryl Settings icon, if not it'll be in you K-menu, also you need to have desktop acceleration enabled.
As for the headaches, the only cure is to keep trying till you figure it out. Obviously, LQ members are more than happy to help you out when you get stuck.
Old 03-18-2007, 05:02 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by sixleaf
i get bored of watching a /-\| spin around for ages doing nothing.
A quick comparison:

/var/lib/portage/world size...

My Gentoo system: 558 bytes
Default Sabayon: 24k

Likewise, my USE flags cover 1-1 1/2 lines in a standard 25x80 char display. Sabayon's default covered (I believe) nearly a dozen lines...

My observation:

Gentoo is great because you can configure the system to meet YOUR needs. If you don't need Samba (picking on a random project...not stating any dislike for Samba in particular), then you don't have to have it ANYWHERE on your system.

Sabayon introduces a lot of the "dependency hell" that has been alluded to throughout this thread because it's set up like just about any other precompiled Linux project in includes support for EVERYTHING, whether you want it or not.

I've built pretty Beryl interfaces by hand in Gentoo and installed precompiled ones with Sabayon. I'm still using Gentoo because I actually spend more time ripping crap out of Sabayon than the time I save by installing Sabayon (vs. Gentoo) in the first me an "efficiency nut" or's true.

Running "emerge -p beryl" on my system returns a package list in under 2 seconds, just for comparison.
Old 03-18-2007, 07:48 AM   #10
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ok i'm still 110% baffled with extra whipped topping of confuddledness. Someone pointed me to here but i can't make head nor tail of it. It needs translating from linux-english to english-english

:'( all i want was to get 3d acceleration up and running on my system. Sabayon seems to hate me as much as any other distrib. Beryl is built in already, but whenever i run beryl-manager it refuses to actually use beryl as window manager for some reason.

I'm getting very close to beating my computer to death with a broken bottle. Either that or microwaving the 10 discs i've burned of various linux distributions.


EDIT: Oh i've downloaded a gentoo install disc but the only one i could find that wasn't "minimal" was for 64bit. would this make getting ati/beryl working more impossible or just the regular level of impossibility i'm experiencing now? Should i stick to 32bit distros?

Last edited by sixleaf; 03-18-2007 at 07:49 AM.
Old 03-18-2007, 08:16 AM   #11
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If you just want Beryl any Linux distro should do.
However, I found it easy to install on Debian Etch and Ubuntu Edgy Eft (unsuccessful on Feisty so far).
I use Beryl+AIXGL on an ATI card.

I also wanted to try out Sabayon, but the Live-DVD doesn't boot correctly on my PC.
OpenSUSE 10.2 comes with XGL+Compiz by default, but it's slower than Beryl, at least on my PC.

Last edited by [KIA]aze; 03-18-2007 at 08:17 AM.
Old 03-18-2007, 10:02 AM   #12
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ahh i've calmed down somewhat from before. got xgl+beryl running on sabayon finally, but the refresh is still locked at 60 no matter what i do. xgl is slow, you're right.

Ahh well, this calls for more playing around and hitting things. whats debian etch and which was the absolute easiest to install on? cos really the easier the better with me.

Old 03-18-2007, 12:35 PM   #13
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Nope i'm stuck again, i have absolutely no idea how to force refresh rate. is there some simple little program or can you modify a file or something cos it doesnt seem to pick up that both my card + monitor can do a higher refresh :'(
Old 03-18-2007, 12:57 PM   #14
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First of all, a little disclaimer:
How easy Beryl is to install depends more on the hardware than the distro you choose I think.

I have an ATI Radeon IGP 345M with 64MB shared memory.
From what I've heard, if you have an nVidia card, everything is easier...
Here's a list of hardware reported to work with XGL:
There is also AIXGL instead of XGL, but I don't know exactly what the difference between both is except that XGL seems slower.


Now for which one is easier to install:
Since I found an installation script for Debian, I would say Debian.
However, installing it on Ubuntu Edgy was also easy by following the instructions given on the beryl wiki.
So on both it was rather easy if you already have some Linux experience.
But Ubuntu is known for being more user-friendly (and "pretty" ^^) than Debian, which is more oriented to experienced users.

So the choice is yours. (or you can install both like I did)


How I installed them:

1)On Ubuntu Edgy:
I followed the instructions here:
Install Beryl on Ubuntu Edgy with AIGLX

2)On Debian Etch:
I used the script found here:
Go down the page a little bit to get the script for the latest 0.2.0 release of Beryl.
After running the script, you'll still have to edit the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. The script automatically creates a backup of it, so if X crashes, just replace it with the backup copy.
The script can also do this for you since it offers an uninstall option.
It also tells you how to edit xorg.conf.
Here's more about it:

There is also a program called "hakix" which offers a GUI for installation.

More help here if needed:

3)On any other distro:


Debian Etch is the current "testing version" of Debian, which means that its the beta version of the next Debian release.
More info about the Debian versions here:

You can download Debian Etch here:

(architecture is usually i386/i686, but if you have sabayon, you can find out yours by typing "uname -a" in a console)

For Ubuntu, there are also different versions.
The stable one is currently Edgy Eft.
The next release will be Feisty Fawn.

Testing versions are usually quite stable, however like I said, I have been unable to install Beryl under Feisty Fawn so far, while it worked almost flawlessly under Edgy Eft.

You can get ubuntu at


I hope you succeed and have fun with Beryl.
Old 03-18-2007, 01:00 PM   #15
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Nope i'm stuck again, i have absolutely no idea how to force refresh rate. is there some simple little program or can you modify a file or something cos it doesnt seem to pick up that both my card + monitor can do a higher refresh :'(
search for xorg setup files. I think one of those should hold the key.

I don't know linux very well hopefully this helps


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