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 in the “Home” folder, 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 initial trepidation 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.
Screen Tearing on NVIDIA One of the most annoying things that has bugged me for years while using an NVIDIA graphics card with Linux is the screen tearing which happens while gaming or watching videos. You can see if your current setup suffers from this by viewing the example video below in full screen. If you see breaks in the black lines while they are scrolling, then you have screen tearing too.
The WebP format, which is developed by Google is becoming ever more popular on the net these days. With many popular websites and web browsers adopting it. WebP offers a modern image format that “provides superior and lossy compression for images on the web”. Having played with the file format myself, I can confirm that using WebP can dramatically reduce the file size of images, while keeping almost the same level of detail as a source image as in the “PNG” format.
Below is a list of my favourite Linux and technology related YouTube channels. This isn’t an exhaustive list of all the content I watch. Simply, a list of the ones I personally frequent on a regular basis. Hopefully this will be a good introduction for those curious about the Linux and the technology community. If you have any favourites of your own, and you’d like me to list them below, email me, and I’ll check them out and add them to the list.