How I Use elementary os (Applications and Tweaks)In my last post, I described my journey of moving off of OpenSUSE Tumbleweed and installing elementary os. This week, I want to describe the apps I have installed and use and what modifications I’ve made to make the workflow fit just a little better to my muscle memory.
The first thing I did was poke around a bit and see what the default set of apps installed from the iso had to offer. I got
In XFCE, the desktop has a setting for randomly changing the wallpaper from a specified folder of images. Over the years, I have collected a set of wallpaper images I like and I like to have them change regularly. Pantheon does not have this feature built in, but I installed Variety, “an open-source wallpaper changer for Linux.” Variety can pull images from various online sources and your local filesystem to create wallpaper slide shows which change the background on your specified schedule.
In addition to XFCE, I have used the i3 window manager quite extensively. My time in i3 has really broken me of my ‘mouse addiction’ and I am used to using the keyboard to do most things on my system. The default key combination to launch a terminal window on i3 is
Super+Enterso the first thing I do on a new desktop in find the keyboard shortcut control panel and add that combination. On elementary, pressing
Super+Spaceopens the applications menu. This menu provides search to launch applications but again, due to my time spent with i3, I am used to using
dmenuto launch apps.
dmenuis available in the default repos and I set it’s keyboard shortcut as
Super+d. (Actually, I use
j4-dmenu-desktopfrom the repos. Google is your friend here.). My one big complaint is that elementary has done away with app indicators in the Wingpanel. I have read their explanation of this and I get where they’re coming from. However, I still use applications like
Nextcloudwhich rely on a panel indicator to access their settings and to monitor syncing. In addition, I do not like the stock sound settings / control panel. I am used to
pavucontrolwhich provides many levels of control over which interface does what. The
Sound Settingsin elementary os leave much to be desired on that front.
However, much more than that, I haven’t changed elementary very much. I have populated my dock with many apps and I have enjoyed the experience. But, it’s time to move on. Time to scratch that distro-hopper itch. It took me a while to decide, but I am going to revisit Gnome shell. I haven’t used it in several years and I want to see what the hype is all about. I have decided to try Pop_OS! from System76. I hope you will check back later to see how it goes!