I have been using Ubuntu (technically, more later) for the past month on an MSI VR320 K2 laptop. I have three desktop environments and one window manager installed – Gnome, KDE, Xfce, and Enlightenment (which comes as default desktop for gOS).
I first installed Ubuntu, and I experienced two problems with the default environment – GNOME. One was that nagging ad infinitum drum sounds; I had to mute the sound to get rid of it. One solution offered somewhere was to include the Gutsy backport repository and do an update, but Synaptic and apt-get always report that the repository is empty.
Second, the WiFi. I connected the laptop to a WiFi area secured by WPA. So I entered the passphrase and it connected fine on the first try. I just couldn’t connect again afterwards.
Then I tried installing gOS, which is just basically Ubuntu with another window manager. I liked the UI, but the network manager I did not. So i reverted to Ubuntu.
Anyway, as stated earlier, I had installed 3 environments and 1 window manager. Currently I am using Enlightenment with the default gOS theme. I was able to recreate the dock, but with several gadgets installed. I have 3 shelves on the desktop. On top contains an iBox (if you minimize a window, its icon is placed in this gadget). At the middle right is the iClock gadget. And the shelf below contains an iBar (gOS’ dock), the Pager (desktop pager), and temperature, battery, and CPU monitors.
This setup works for me, since the desktop is easy to the eyes, looks great, and is not cluttered. And I can play music without the nagging sound that I always get when I use GNOME.
I was also able to install GNOME PPP. This means I can use my 3G phone as modem, which is nice. I don’t have to use Windows just to browse the Web when I’m home. I haven’t tested the WiFi yet, but will do so when I get the chance.
I will post more impressions next time. Suffice to say that I like my Enlightenment setup now.
I will try to use KDE and Xfce in the next weeks, and will post my impressions soon. Will save GNOME for last, as I intend to savor Desktop and Rotate Cube effects. Take that, Windows!
And oh, don’t forget – unless you are very sure, do not press Shift+Backspace.
Shelf – technically, a container where you can place gadgets
Gadget – a piece of software that can convey information (like a battery meter) and contain several icons (iBar and iBox)
Synaptic – the graphical package manager for GNOME
Repository – a central location where you can find packages
Packages – applications that you can install