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Linux Starter Guide | Desktops

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Howdy. This thread is focused on the Window Manager experience in Linux. In my case, I am using Ubuntu and rolling it with Xfce as my window manager / desktop environment. I am on Ubuntu 14.03 x64.


Square One:

Installing XFCE, you may notice the defaults will have dark on black console. To resolve this quickly, you can make a New Profile from the File menu of Terminal. Pick colors of your chosing so you can read the text displayed.



Xfce will likely have no file icons if you do not have gnome installed. Settings | Appearence will let you pick different a different style, as the default is Gnome. As you may have guessed, you can also install Gnome to resolve the missing icons. This will also show the category icons in your Applications Menu, upon picking a theme that is valid. I was tipped off to changing my Style options thanks to this thread.


Workspaces in Linux are really nice. Multiple desktop environments that Microsoft Windows users have to runs 3rd party applications to get similar functionality. Being able to drag across displays and workspaces is really helpful. I recommend trying this out and seeing the bonus of this window management / application juggling system. You can thank me, when you are doing less minimzing of applications, to get things done.


Since most all distros come with or have Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) support, you can login to Windows machines and do your work with proprietary applications. Also an option is installing WINE. This layer will let your run .exe files under your Linux environment and break past the 'windows limitation' barrier. In my case, I like leaving a Windows device available, for others who may need to access said tools and desktops. Also a good consideration if you need to train people who only work in microsoft environments, so you have choices and I am done rambling about those options.


As I noted before, depending on what you are migrating from a MS Windows to Linux setup, you should be able to manually or find a tool for exporting your data. Cross platform applications help smooth this out, so Mozilla products are handy for your web and email needs. Choose what works for you and go with that. No sense in fighting over or trying to force a person into another platform, unless there is some benefit that they identify with.


The line of this thread, is semi-easily getting a functional desktop environment that allows you to do everything you need to do. You can tweak and optimize the layout later. My intents here, are getting more people running a stable and robust desktop, that does not keep a person thinking 'only microsoft or apple' can do this. If anything, the open source community, is driving the corporate communities to enhance. So why not get in on the ground level?

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