NoiseTorch is a cool little Linux audio app which aims to provide noise suppression for your audio inputs. Whether it be a dog barking outside, someone turning on a hairdryer, the next door neighbour mowing his lawn or a freight train outside your kitchen window, NoiseTorch may be able to filter out those unwanted sounds. Often when I’m gaming and talking to friends, I find myself having to hit the mute button when some random loud noise from my surroundings occurs.
If like me, you’ve collected hundreds of browser bookmarks for each and every website under the sun over the years, you may find it a bit slow to search through all those bookmarks within your web browser to find what you’re looking for. The Brave browser does have a built-in bookmarks search, but what if I told you that there is a faster way to search them? Integration After having moved to using a tiling window manager from a regular desktop, I tend to do everything from launching/closing apps to moving windows around using hotkeys.
Emacs is probably my favourite “text editor” to use on Linux, as it is so extensible. However, the one thing that puts many people off using it (ignoring its complexity), is the fact that it is only single threaded, and can at times feel a little sluggish when compared to other editors like Vim. With Emacs 28.1, along with the libgccjit (Just-In-Time Compilation with GCC) library, we now have the ability to translate Emacs Lisp into machine code on demand - which will speed things up.
Adding a Compositor Those of you interested in ricing your window manager will no doubt have seen all the fancy looking desktop on r/unixporn which have a transparent/blurring effect behind app windows. This can really add a modern look to your desktop. This can be achieved by using a compositing manager. The Awesome window manager doesn’t have one built-in, so you’ll have to add one if you want window effects, like shadows, transparency and blurring.
Wallpapers When customising your desktop, the thing that stands out the most is your wallpaper. It takes up the most pixels on your screen after all, and when it comes to setting a wallpaper on Linux on a normal desktop environment, you have more than a few options. When using a window manager, however, I find these methods easier. Nitrogen If you wish to set a specific wallpaper image for each screen you have, you can use a program called “Nitrogen”.
In part three of the “Awesome Window Manager Guide”, we covered, how to add a “run launcher” for searching and loading apps, adding a “hotkey daemon” for launching your favourite apps and taking screenshots, how to create an “autostart script” which automatically launches apps when Awesome starts up. In part four, we’ll look at setting a screen resolution using xrandr Display Settings The way in which you manage your screen resolutions when using a window manager differs slightly from what you’re used to when using Xfce.
kitty Terminal Emulator One of my favourite terminal emulators on Linux has always been “Alacritty”. It’s lightweight and fast. Recently however, I’ve found myself using the “kitty” terminal a lot more. Here is a run-down of some features that I like about it. GPU Rendering kitty feels just as fast as “Alacritty” as it uses GPU offloading for rendering its windows. This means that any graphically intensive output in the terminal or actions like scrolling through terminal history will feel really smooth.
In part two of the “Awesome Window Manager Guide”, we looked at: Editing the default Awesome configuration file, setting the default terminal emulator and text editor, installing a third-party theme named awesome-copycats/powerarrow-dark performing tweaks to the theme code. Continuing in part three, we’ll look at adding a “run launcher” called “Rofi” and “hotkey daemon” called “sxhkd”. We’ll also create an “AutoStart” script, which will allow us to launch applications, scripts and systray applets when Awesome starts up.
On of many things I love about Linux, is that fact that you can change almost everything about the OS. Unlike Mac or Windows where you’re forced to use the graphical user interface which comes with the OS - Linux allows unparalleled flexibility and freedom when it comes to customization. Installing and learning how to configure a window manager is just one of the ways to experience this first hand.
Like most “Linux tinkerers” who like to customize their OS, I’ve spent a bunch of time over the last few weeks looking on in awe at all the highly customized, yet minimal “Tiling window manager” environments submitted over at r/unixporn. I wanted to get in on the action. So, after some deliberation and a bit of reading up on what a window manager would offer me, I decided to take the plunge and give one a try.