Sunday, March 26, 2017

getting tired of waiting for this to get fixed

I like KDE Plasma 5 except for one big thing: You can't have different wallpapers (and different widgets) on different virtual desktops. See:

I have Plasma 5 in openSUSE 42.2, but I'm still using plasma-desktop 4.11.x in Debian Jessie. I'm in no hurry to give up Plasma 4, mainly because of the above issue.

It seems clear that the KDE devs don't think this is important. But I can have different wallpapers for different workspaces in Xfce, and in LXDE. Why can't something similar be done for KDE Plasma 5?

I use several different desktop environments and window managers, but I've run KDE since I started out with Linux. Perhaps it's about time to move on. Like many others have expressed, I never wanted KDE's "Activities" and don't want or need that "feature" now. It's still a pretty good desktop environment, overall, but not being able to have different wallpapers on different desktops takes a lot of the fun out of it for me.

Just fix this one thing. Please.

Monday, March 20, 2017

reading kissinger

Just finished reading On China by Henry Kissinger, which was published back in 2011 and details Sino-American relations over the past 50 years or so. I quite enjoyed the book. Check out this New York Times review of it: "Henry Kissinger on China"

I'll try to get a copy of Kissinger's 2014 work, World Order (see:

do it again

Ah, "Let's Do It Again", the song by The Staple Singers that was featured in the 1975 movie of the same name... Groove to that while you read on, if you want to...

Reinstalling can be good. Sometimes ya like to do a Steely Dan and go back, Jack, do it again. A few weeks ago, I reinstalled Antergos, as I wanted to revise the partition setup on the computer where the old Antergos installation was. Going through the process again gave me a system that (I think) is a little nicer than what I had before, and gave me a little better understanding of how Antergos is put together.

I went with Openbox again, but this time decided not to add LXQt, at least for now. But as usual I added a handful of apps and packages that didn't come with the default Openbox installation, and I customized the desktop to my own tastes. Here's a "clean" shot of the desktop, showing the Accessories submenu in the Antegos Applications menu opened up:

Installing Antergos doesn't take nearly as much time and effort as installing its parent distro, Arch Linux. That's nice for folks who want to get a feel for Arch, but it seems to me that the only way to get a "real" Arch system, and to acquire a good understanding of how Arch works, is to do a "real" Arch installation. Those who have done so, I think, will have a better experience with Antergos than those who haven't.

It's important that Antergos users refer back to the Arch wiki, and that they check Arch's home page for announcements prior to pulling in package updates. (Probably wouldn't hurt to glance at Arch's Installation Guide, as well.)

Antergos uses the Arch repos, and as with Arch, repository configuration is done via the /etc/pacman.conf file. There's also an Antergos repo, which by default is listed first in pacman.conf, giving packages from the Antergos repo priority over those from the Arch repos. That's important; one should certainly take a look at man pacman, man pacman.conf, and the Arch wiki's Pacman page for more info. Also informative: The Pacman Home Page at

Take, for example, a recent announcement posted at the Arch home page: "ca-certificates-utils 20170307-1 upgrade requires manual intervention". Antergos users needed to run the commands listed in that announcement (I did), same as Arch users.

Here's a screenshot that shows, among other things, the result of the paclist antergos command, listing the packages on my system that originate from the Antergos repo:

Note the antergos-repo-priority package. I ran pacman -Qi antergos-repo-priority to see more info:

This line in particular caught my eye:

Description     : Automatically adjusts the priority of the antergos repo in pacman.conf as needed.

Not sure that I want anything happening to my system "automatically"! I'll keep an eye on things; maybe this turns out to be no big deal.

I don't know yet if I'll end up keeping Antergos; maybe I'll want to replace it with Arch. But right now it looks good enough to keep installed for the long term. As their website describes it, Antergos "provides a fully configured OS with sane defaults that you can use right away." That, for sure, can be a good thing. The underlying system is about as close to "pure" Arch as you'll get with an Arch derivative; I think that's a good thing, too.

from around the world

I currently have eight "favorite" Linux distributions either installed here on laptop hard drives or that I run from flash drives for live sessions. The places of origin of each of those distros, according to DistroWatch:

Debian - Origin: Global
Arch - Origin: Canada
openSUSE - Origin: Germany
Ubuntu - Origin: Isle of Man
Antergos - Origin: Spain
BunsenLabs - Origin: Japan
MX - Origin: Greece
GParted Live - Origin: USA

Of course, humans all around the planet use, develop, and contribute to each of those distros.

Monday, March 13, 2017

"go-to" file manager?

SpaceFM has been my go-to Linux file manager for some years now, but recently I noticed that the spacefm package has been moved from Arch's Community repo to the AUR. It seems that SpaceFM development may have ceased. I'm thinking that it might be time for me to look for another go-to file manager.

I can get along fine with just about any file manager. I can use mc (Midnight Commander), and there's always the command line. GUI File Managers like Dolphin, Thunar, Nautilus, Nemo, PCManFM, those are all nice, but I do prefer something that isn't tied in with any particular desktop environment.

Double Commander might be just what I'm looking for. I found GTK and Qt versions in the Debian and Arch repos. I wouldn't describe Double Commander as a thing of beauty, but after using it for a little while, I'm finding myself wondering why I wasn't using it all along.

Double Commander in Openbox in Antergos

A couple of articles about Double Commander, with screenshots: