After installing Arch Linux I wanted to set up a desktop environment. I first installed Xfce because it’s what I’d been using in Xubuntu. Xfce is relatively lightweight and I like using it. (It was also interesting to note the differences between standard Xfce and Xubuntu).

This was the first time I’d ever installed a desktop environment using individual packages. I learned some unexpected things from this. Who would have guessed that additional software is needed to support the trash can? 🙂

Unfortunately, at the time I installed Xfce it had a bug that was really annoying to me (although I suspect it’s been fixed since then). I use keyboard shortcuts a lot and Xfce introduced a bug where it was no longer possible to have a shortcut contain both the Shift key and another modifier key. As a result, I started evaluating alternative desktop environments.

I tried Fluxbox (after reading some glowing recommendations) but I didn’t care for it. That got me thinking about another desktop that I used and liked in the past: IceWM. IceWM is a window manager, not a full desktop environment, but I tried it, liked it, and plan to keep using it.

IceWM is really lightweight, even more so than Xfce. It’s also fairly customizable, although changes are done by editing text files rather than by using GUI programs. For the most part, the default settings are sensible, but I still ended up making a lot of customizations.

I know that IceWM is not for everyone but I like it. I’ll be writing additional posts regarding things I’ve done to improve my IceWM experience.

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Posted in Arch Linux

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