Window Managers Archive

System76 and Pop!_OS to build GNOME-based desktop environment

We’re providing a honed desktop user experience in Pop!_OS through our GNOME-based desktop environment: COSMIC. It’s a refined solution that makes the desktop easier to use, yet more powerful and efficient for our users through customization. The new designs are developed from extensive testing and user feedback since the Pop!_OS 20.04 release, and are currently being further refined in their testing phase. As we finalize these new designs, read on for some preliminary info on a few of the major changes COSMIC brings to Pop!_OS. With some users deeply unsatisfied with GNOME 40, it makes sense for System76 to make this move now. One of the most basic changes in COSMIC compared to regular GNOME is that it will come with a dock – one of the most popular GNOME extensions. The fact you have to go into a special overview mode just to deal with running applications has always been a headscratcher to me and many others, and if System76 can do a good job listening to community input, this could be a real winner.

IceWM 2.0.0 released

IceWM, the venerable window manager, has finally seen a new release – IceWM 2.0.0. It seems development has been taken over by a new team. Today looks like a fine day to turn a page of history and do some long overdue system upgrades. To begin, here is IceWM 2.0.0. We have two major changes:We remove support for the old and obsolete _WIN_PROTOCOL properties.We add support for the Imlib2 image rendering engine as an alternative for the gdk-pixbuf-xlib rendering engine. The Imlib2 image rendering engine is now the default, but this can be set at configure time. IceWM’s website has more information.

Trinity Desktop Environment R14.0.9 released

This release comes with new styles providing better look and feel (Baghira, Domino, Ia Ora), new widgets (KoolDock and TastyMenu), new utilities (KXMLEditor, Mathemagics, Qalculate) and new applications (Codeine, TDEDocker, TDEPacman). It also adds support for Xine 1.2.10, improves compatibility with PulseAudio, fixes various bugs, adds support for brightness control from keyboard and integrates CVE-2020-17507 to prevent buffer overflow in XBM parsers. I both want and do not want to run the Trinity Desktop Environment. It harkens back to simpler times, but I’m not entirely sure that’s what people actually want.

Enlightenment 0.24.2 released

Even without the Samsung OSG support these days, the Enlightenment project continues making nice progress. Enlightenment DR 0.24.2 was released today and with it comes several fixes, much faster thumbnail loading for pager, fixed the preloading of icons, various BSD fixes, and a variety of other fixes. Enlightenment keeps on trucking.

Enlightenment 0.24 alpha released

Enlightenment 0.24 Alpha 1 is shipping with an improved screenshot module, support for external monitor backlight/brightness controls, an improved restart experience, a smoother start-up thanks to using an I/O pre-fetch thread, switching over to BlueZ 5 for Bluetooth, and various other changes. Enlightenment was never a massively popular piece of software, but it seems that it has really fallen by the wayside recently. I vividly remember how 15-20 years ago, Enlightement was what you loaded up if you wanted to show off what desktop Linux could do

Trinity Desktop Environment R14.0.8 released

The Trinity Desktop Environment, a fork of the KDE 3.x series, celebrates its tenth anniversary with a new maintenance release. R14.0.8 is the eighth maintenance release of the R14.0 series, and is built on and improves the previous R14.0.7 version.. Maintenance releases are intended to promptly bring bug fixes to users, while preserving overall stability through the avoidance of both major new features and major codebase re-factoring. Packages are available for Debian and Ubuntu.

LXQt 0.15 released

Friday marked the release of LXQt 0.15, the first big update to this lightweight Qt5-based desktop environment since January 2019. There comes a fair number of improvements with this desktop that was born out of the LXDE and Razor-qt initiatives. I feel like LXQt is to KDE as MATE/Cinnamon/XFCE are to GNOME 3. It’s good to have options.

NEXTSPACE: a NeXTSTEP-like desktop environment for Linux

NEXTSPACE is a desktop environment that brings a NeXTSTEP look and feel to Linux. I try to keep the user experience as close as possible to the original NeXT’s OS. It is developed according to the “OpenStep User Interface Guidelines“. I want to create a fast, elegant, reliable, and easy to use desktop environment with maximum attention to user experience (usability) and visual maturity. In the future I would like to see it as a platform where applications will be running with a taste of NeXT’s OS. Core applications such as Login, Workspace, and Preferences are the base for future application development and examples of style and application integration methods. NEXTSPACE is not just a set of applications loosely integrated to each other. It is a core OS with frameworks, mouse cursors, fonts, colors, animations, and everything I think will help users to be effective and happy. KDE, GNOME, Xfce, and later MATE and Cinnamon have sucked up so much of the Linux desktop space that there’s very little room left for anything else. You’re either mainly a Qt desktop, or mainly a GTK+ desktop, and anything that isn’t based on either of those toolkits will either waste time recreating lots of wheels, or accept that half – or more – of your applications are Qt or GTK+-based, at which point the temptation to run one of the aforementioned desktop environments becomes quite strong. This project, while very welcome and having my full support and attention, will have a very hard time, but that’s not going to deter me from being hopeful against all odds. Reading through the documentation and descriptions, it does seem the developers have the right attitude. They’re not claiming to take on the other players – they just want to make something that appeals to and works for them.

MATE 1.24 released

After about a year of development, the MATE Desktop team have finally released MATE 1.24. A big thank you to all contributors who helped to make this happen. This release contains plenty of new features, bug-fixes, and general improvements. That’s an impressive list. I prefer Cinnamon and GNOME 3 (after lots of tweaking!) over MATE, but I’m glad MATE exists as a no-nonsense, relatively conservative continuation of GNOME 2.

Trinity Desktop Environment R14.0.7 released

The Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE) development team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of the new TDE R14.0.7 release. TDE is a complete software desktop environment designed for Unix-like operating systems, intended for computer users preferring a traditional desktop model, and is free/libre software. TDA is a fork of the last KDE 3.x release, and looks the part. If you’ re looking for a maintained KDE 3 desktop – Trinity’s your jam. This particular release is a maintenance release, so don’t expect massive changes.

Announcing Wio: a clone of Plan 9’s Rio for Wayland

In short, Wio is a Wayland compositor based on wlroots which has a similar look and feel to Plan 9’s Rio desktop. It works by running each application in its own nested Wayland compositor, based on Cage – yet another wlroots-based Wayland compositor. I used Cage in last week’s RDP article, but here’s another cool use-case for it. The behavior this allows for (each window taking over its parent’s window, rather than spawning a new window) has been something I wanted to demonstrate on Wayland for a very long time. This is a good demonstration of how Wayland’s fundamentally different and conservative design allows for some interesting use-cases which aren’t possible at all on X11. It’s a very different approach to windowing than most of us are used to, but I find it strangely appealing.

MATE 1.20 released

The theme for this release has been stabilising the MATE Desktop by replacing deprecated code and modernising large sections of the code base. We’ve also improved our window manager (Marco) and added support for HiDPI. Along the way we’ve fixed hundreds of bugs. Squished ‘em dead!

GNOME 2 is, in my view, one of the best desktop environments ever created, and surely the best desktop environment ever made on Linux. It was consistent, reasonably fast, had a lot of great, high-quality themes, stayed out of your way, and struck a decent balance between configurability and ease of use. Ever since GNOME 2, I've been sorely disappointed with the Linux desktop environments.

MATE is a godsend.

The next generation of the lightweight desktop environment

LXQt is the Qt port and the upcoming version of LXDE, the Lightweight Desktop Environment. It is the product of the merge between the LXDE-Qt and the Razor-qt projects: A lightweight, modular, blazing-fast and user-friendly desktop environment.

LXQt 0.7.0 brings you a fast and stable desktop environment, already usable in production desktop machines. It will not get in your way. It will not hang or slow down your system. It is focused on being a Classic Desktop with a modern Look & Feel. Already available on most mainstream distributions and with partial FreeBSD support.

This is exactly what I've been wanting in this department: a straightforward, no-nonsense Qt desktop environment that doesn't shove touch nonsense in my face and, doesn't try to impose upon me a very specific way of working, and doesn't try to be everything to all people at all times.

LXDE and Razor-QT to merge

"In the longer term, most Razor-qt components will fully be integrated into the LXDE-Qt and both teams will focus on the same project. Looking further ahead, the GTK version of LXDE will be dropped and all efforts will be focused on the Qt port. We, the main developers and administrators of the projects, will try to figure out where we align and where we have differences to grind out."

Flipping the bird: Enlightenment 0.17 released

In the final years of my high school career, more concerned with going out and drinking three times a week than with actually doing anything meaningful at my supposedly posh gymnasium, I rediscovered my love for computing - a love lost during the onset of aforementioned going out and drinking. Realising I would hit university soon, I saved up 2000 guilders, ordered the parts for a brand-new computer, and thanks to this then state-of-the-art computer, old flames were rekindled. Since this pun is burning a hole in my pocket - it was an enlightening experience.

Seeking Enlightenment

"Enlightenment is one of the oldest open source desktop projects in existence. With E17, the developers are gearing up to their latest release, an occasion that has been a long time in the making. The word is that the team will make some announcements at the EFL Developer Day taking place as part of Linuxcon Europe on 5 November. With a release likely being close at hand, The H spoke to project leader Carsten 'Rasterman' Haitzler about how the desktop environment has been progressing and what the goals are for the project."