Friday, November 17, 2006

A word about my environment

I use Gentoo Linux on my desktop. I find once it's set up, (which admittedly is an absolute pig*), it's a joy to administer and if you take the time to learn how to use it properly, it teaches you a lot about problem solving.

My desktop is a customised KDE with Window Maker as the window manager. KDE uses its own window manager, Kwin, by default; to set it up to use another, you need to set up a variable KDEWM in your shell environment. KDE looks for a Bash shell profile by default, so if, like me, you use a shell other than GNU Bash (I use the Z Shell), you may find it easiest to create an otherwise empty .profile or .bash_profile with the line:

export KDEWM=/path/to/window/manager

For example, if your Window Maker is at /usr/bin/wmaker, replace /path/to/window/manager with that.

Of course if you already have a .profile or .bash_profile file, you can add the above line to the end. You can find the location of your window manager (or any other program) with the command:

$ whereis command

A lot of the things which give Linux a reputation for being difficult (compiling a program from source, editing text files, compiling your kernel) aren't actually difficult at all. But they can be tedious and time-consuming.

Excluding quoted portions copyrighted by third parties, all text in this post is copyright (c) 2006 Jeff Rollin. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.


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