Linux

Dason

Ambassador to the humans
#1
Any other Linux users out there? What's your preferred distro? What is your desktop environment / window manager of choice?

I got started using Ubuntu with the gnome desktop environment. I've tried quite a few different distros though including: Fedora, Arch, Debian, Puppy Linux, **** Small, and Linux Mint.

My favorites out of the bunch would have to be Ubuntu and Arch. Ubuntu is just nice and easy to work with. Arch was a different beast to deal with but was a lot of fun once you got used to it and the rolling release model is pretty interesting.

As far as desktop environments I typically go with gnome but LXDE is pretty nice and it's what I use for my work computer because the processor isn't very new so it can't handle too much. I've tried out KDE and XFCE but I've never really cared much for them. I've also tried some pretty minimalistic setups using nothing but wmii with arch. That was interesting and using a stacking window manager takes a while to get used to but can really increase productivity once you get used to it. I also tried i3 but I didn't like the keybindings as much.

Oh well. What are your favorites? Any favorite programs that you can't live without?
 

vinux

Dark Knight
#2
preferred distro --- Ubuntu

Prior to that I was using Redhat and Suse. I found ubuntu is easy to handle the updates/installation/use/... etc

XFCE is very good if your PC is < i3 processor. It is faster.. sometime i use this environment. Some of the kde application I use it, but don't use kde desktop.

I have created lot of shortcuts and activated compiz at advance level.

few pgms I use everyday: epathy(messenger), thunderbird ( i found better than evolution), firefox( sometime I use chrome and sea monkey) .... etc
 
#3
preferred distro: PCLINUXOS (nicknamed 'the distro hopper stopper') with KDE on my desktop and LXDE on my laptop. Its also a rolling release, which is a factor I really like. Additionally the community is great!

I don't care too much about the choice between Gnome or KDE as its relatively simple to have your cake and eat it in both environments (I run many GNOME applications in KDE and vice versa its also possible).

Apps I cant work without:

LXDE and XFCE on the other hand are just great when all you want is speed.

Any favorite programs that you can't live without?
I use evolution as its a complete packages e.g. with calendar and to do list.
gedit; R plugin and VIM mode on.
keepnote
Yakuake (is there any better console?)
Gimp
Clementine (who needs buggy AMAROK when you've got her)

and you?
 

Dason

Ambassador to the humans
#4
I should mention that my main laptop currently dual-boots Ubuntu 10.04 (I tried upgrading to 10.10 but I had a bunch of problems... it just wasn't worth it) and Arch. I boot into Ubuntu when I want to just play around a little and maybe get some work done. I boot into Arch when I actually want to get work done.

I don't care too much about the choice between Gnome or KDE as its relatively simple to have your cake and eat it in both environments (I run many GNOME applications in KDE and vice versa its also possible).
This is true but I typically don't like to have both if I don't need too. They're both rather... bloated. So if I can avoid having both on my system I prefer that.

LXDE and XFCE on the other hand are just great when all you want is speed.
I definitely agree. I prefer LXDE over XFCE but they're both really nice if you want an actual desktop environment but you want to keep it light.

The applications I can't live without:
Emacs - Have I mentioned that I like emacs before? ... ... ... Ok yeah, I really like emacs. I admit it's a bit bloated (do we really need an email client, a psychiatrist, video games, file manager, etc, all in our document editor?! ... no but it is pretty awesome). Although I really probably wouldn't use emacs if it weren't for ESS and Auctex. ESS is my editor for R scripts and I love it. Add in that you can write your own functions to change how emacs operates and you customize everything to your liking and it's pretty nice. Auctex is just a really nice LaTeX mode for emacs that adds some awesome features.

VIM - Who would've thunk an emacs user would also love VIM? I'll admit that emacs is a little slow to load sometimes and if you want to make a quick change to a file I can't think of anything faster/better to use than VIM.

R - while not a linux specific program (neither is emacs) R just feels a lot more natural running in a linux environment to me. I don't think I need to mention how much I use R and how awesome it is.

rdesktop - I need to log into the university servers quite a bit and rdesktop is my program of choice for that.

Chrome - I use to be a firefox user but it's too slow for me. Chrome is really nice and with the extensions you can get it's comparable to firefox. I use A LOT of different computers/servers so the fact that Chrome has xmarks to sync my bookmarks is really nice. I know there is 'Chrome sync' or something like that but some of the university servers don't have chrome and it would be a hassle to get them to put chrome on there but Xmarks is available for chrome and firefox so that helps out a lot.

I really like Midori as a web browser but my problem is that a lot of pages won't load with Midori. It's really fast! but I can't view my email or log onto most of the things I actually need. So I rarely ever use it...

Pidgin - My messenger of choice. I don't use it that much anymore but I definitely prefer it to empathy.

git - It's how I do source control. I'm no git master but I do love it.

gcc - Being able to compile the programs you wrote is nice...

Console - Whichever console is supplied with the environment I'm using. There are some that I like more than others but I'm not really a power user when it comes to the command line (although don't be confused... I love the command line) so it doesn't matter too much to me right now.

Dropbox - I. Love. Dropbox. Like I said I use quite a few different computers and it's really nice to have something to sync my files.

Mines - (GNUs version of minesweeper)... good lord have I wasted a lot of time sweeping for mines...

I haven't really found a music player I really like yet. Amarok is alright but it has its own share of problems and I don't like to install kde programs because GOOD LORD LOOK AT THE DEPENDENCIES... I might as well just install KDE and get it over with. I should look into Clementine... haven't heard of it until now.

Now a lot of these aren't linux specific and I realize that but they are pretty awesome so I felt the need to mention them.
 

vinux

Dark Knight
#6
Thanks Dason & TheEcologist.

>I am using Emacs ESS now ( after 2 attempts.. Now I am comfortable using ESS)

>yakuake: Nice console ( I was searching for something like this)

= I was using UbuntuOne just to save my files.. Now I am synchronized my Desktop and Laptop files ( This is alternative for DropBox)

<I use Kile for Tex pgms. I didn't find Emacs friendly (not impressed by AUCTeX ). Especially I need long build like Latex dvips ps2pdf .. etc.

>Clementine is nice i liked it.

>I play PokerTH( now I can dominate Computer Utility function),

>I like GIMP, also installed picasa

>vlc & smplayer for videos
 

vinux

Dark Knight
#7
Hi Ecologist,
How did you setup the VI r plugin. I followed the step in the following link.
http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=2628
But i didn't get the icons in GVIm. I also tried the deb in this link. not getting the icon in GVIM. highlighting is working when i open .R file. Not sure how to run R commands in VI mode.

I recently bought a netbook for my linux experiments. N450. Installed Ubuntu Remix 10.04.
---------------------------------------
Apart from this I tried Arch linux. It was not succesful. I will try arch in my desktop.
I tried MeeGo linux. This is like downgrading netbook to mobile phone/tablets.
 

Dason

Ambassador to the humans
#8
What wasn't successful with Arch? I know on one of my computers it was a real pain to Xorg running but I've always like Arch. That being said doing things in Ubuntu tends to be a little bit easier because somebody has probably done it and packaged it up nicely for you already and there isn't as much of a learning curve to get things working.
 

vinux

Dark Knight
#9
In the beginning itself the installation got hanged. didn't tried again. Initially i thought hardware mismatch, ARCH is not for netbook. But i read that ARCH is a good choice for netbook users.

I agree,Ubuntu users will not learn more about linux. But the support for ubuntu/ubuntu based linux are too good.
 

Link

Ninja say what!?!
#10
I've only used Ubuntu so far, but really like it a lot. I love the increase in productivity. Some programs I've found useful are:
- Kupfer: Allows you to start any program, webpage, directory, anything from the keyboard. Great for ppl who want minimal use of their mouse.
- Ubuntu one: Being a cheap and poor student, I use this in addition to dropbox. 2G + 2G = more room to store!
- Unison: I dual boot between Windows 7 and Ubuntu. This program synchronizes files between my Ubuntu One folder and a directory for Windows
- GKrellM: Great resource manager. Allows me to see how much I'm pushing my computer when crunching numbers in R (PS. A GREAT command for parallel computing in R is "Parallel()")
- Dockbarx: Makes your panel look more like the Windows 7 panel
- Wine: Allows you to use Windows programs in Linux (i.e. SAS, STATA, Office 2007)
- Compiz: Great window manager that adds lots of cool effects to your workspaces, windows, etc

Something I'd like to mention though is the plausibility into blending features from both OS's into one. I've come to like so many features from both OS's that I went ahead and blended them together. Examples of windows features integrated into Linux:
- DockbarX is a copy of Windows 7's ability to group similar programs together into the same icons
- Windows 7 has Aerosnap, which allows you to drag windows to the sides of the screen causing them to "snap" to half the screen. This is neat cause you can snap two windows to each half of the screen very easily to multitask. Even better, you can do it easily by pressing the windows key and left (or right). I found commands that will do this same effect for me in Linux (using compiz). EVEN BETTER, I customized it to be more of a 55-45 ratio rather than a 50-50 ratio.
- I love how I can press the Windows button, just type a program in, and press enter. Kupfer does the same thing for me in Linux, but even better. I can set timers, assign shortcut keys to customized commands, do multiple things simultaneously, etc, etc, etc. Even with this though, I love how I can press the windows key to open the start menu. So I customized my "Applications -- Places -- System" menu in my panel to be a linux "Start" menu and can press the windows key to open it.
- I don't care for the min or max button in the linux windows. Nor do I like having the "close" button on the left for linux and on the right for windows. So I went ahead and got rid of the min, max, and moved the "close" command to the top right instead.

Examples of features I integrated into Windows:
- I love the multiple workspace features in Linux. It's even nicer having the cube animation when I switch workspaces (using the cube plugin in Compiz). Dexpot does this exact thing for me in Windows.
- Expose in Mac and Linux is also very nice. It takes all the windows you currently have open on the workspace and shrinks them all and arranges them so that they all are showing on the screen for you to choose from. Switcher does this in Windows.
- I really like gedit for programming. Emacs and Vim are so highly rated and I thought I would have gotten into them. I guess because of the prior SAS and STATA programming I did and continue to do, I just prefer the straight up method. I've set a lot of plugins that make it very nice to use with R. However, I still prefer Notepad++ in windows though. The main thing that just amazes me is it's ability to automatically highlight all repetitions of ANY word or phrase I highlight. Gedit does this, but only if I "search" for the phrase or word. Also, it's ability to assign any command inside it to shortcut keys is nice.

Having cloned the features I like in each OS so well, I am currently of the view that both OS's are great and indifferent to which I prefer. They each have their pro's and con's. My one wish though is that the "multicore" R package would work for the 64-bit Windows OS.
 
#11
- I really like gedit for programming. Emacs and Vim are so highly rated and I thought I would have gotten into them. I guess because of the prior SAS and STATA programming I did and continue to do, I just prefer the straight up method. I've set a lot of plugins that make it very nice to use with R. However, I still prefer Notepad++ in windows though. The main thing that just amazes me is it's ability to automatically highlight all repetitions of ANY word or phrase I highlight. Gedit does this, but only if I "search" for the phrase or word. Also, it's ability to assign any command inside it to shortcut keys is nice.
Hi Link,

Go to this page download the plugin, extract the contents into the gedit plugins folder (or just follow instructions) then enable the plugin within gedit. Now you have smart highlighting in gedit!

Maybe this is something for you? A Vim video tutorial.

I don't use wine anymore, as my system is very powerful now I usually just start windows as a virtual machine in seamless mode - one of my desktops is then "windows 7" and I can still use all the programs my peers use without any hassle.

[ I know run gnome desktop on a i7 2630 QM, 8GB DDR3, Geforce GTX 460 - or 128 CUDA enabled GPU processors :cool: ]
 

Link

Ninja say what!?!
#14
Ecologist. I seem to be having a problem with the plugin. I've tried multiple methods of installing the Smart highlighting plugin...and it'll show up in the list of plugins for gedit. Everytime I click on it though, the plugin "grays" out as if it's telling me that the plugin won't work for me. Any ideas on how to overcome this?

EDIT: Nvm...figured out that the install.sh file just wasn't working correctly. Managed to get to correct files in and it's working like a charm!
 
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#15
Hi Link,

I'm glad you figured it out! Really there is nothing windows has that Linux cant do as well if not better (this is especially true for coding - sadly its less true for gaming).

Cheers,
 

Dason

Ambassador to the humans
#16
Don't forget Netflix instant play... Linux doesn't have that and probably won't for quite a long time (if ever) :(
 
#17
Don't forget Netflix instant play... Linux doesn't have that and probably won't for quite a long time (if ever) :(
Yep, also when your peers use MS word and you want to collaborate things will get messed up if you try to use OpenOffice. You can then try to convince them (basically your field) to 'switch to latex' but its so much more easy just to run a virtual box!

Or if you are in one of those fields that accepts latex, just sit back, relax and be happy!
 

Dason

Ambassador to the humans
#18
Yeah. I guess I have the luxury of LaTeX. I've had that luxury for long enough that I don't know what I'd do if I had to write mathy stuff in Word.
 

vinux

Dark Knight
#19
Yeah. I guess I have the luxury of LaTeX. I've had that luxury for long enough that I don't know what I'd do if I had to write mathy stuff in Word.
Office 2010 support Latex commands. :)

I use Avant Window Navigator ( better than docky) & and Gnome Do ( similar to Kupfer).

Also use Gretl for my econometric analysis.