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Lightweight Linux – A Look at Fbpanel.

As I’ve been working on my desktop, I’ve been steadiy decreasing my use of Gnome applications. Gnome is still a lighter-weight desktop, heck I’m using it on a 300MHz laptop, but some items are less responsive than I’d like.

I’ve wrote before about replacing Gnome’s Nautilus file-browser with XFCE’s Thunar and about a Gnome Terminal Replacement. I’ve thought about going to a full fluxbox setup but am pretty picky about the ergonomics and fung-shui-ness of my desktop which Gnome is particularly good at.

Fbpanel is a basic lightweight panel. I decided to try fbpanel not because I didn’t like or had inherant disastisfaction with Gnome panel but because of my dissatisfaction with the Gnome Menu Bar.

Lightweight Linux - A Look at Fbpanel

Fbpanel does have a configure control panel but some parts will still need to be put in by hand:

cp /usr/share/fbpanel/default ~/.fbpanel/

And edit to taste.

Fbpanel has support for launchers, hiding applications, notification area, and it’s own menu. To replace gnome-panel with fbpanel gnome-session will need to release gnome-panel, and notification apps will need to be restarted.

gnome-session-remove gnome-panel && fbpanel && zim && nm-applet --sm-disable

Putting this in the ~/.xinitrc should do the job to have Gnome start this way.

Fbpanel is really well written (in C nonetheless) and responds that way. In fact, gnome-panel was written on fbpanel. Memory footprints though aren’t dramatically different with gnome-panel using 5.3MB and fbpanel 4.9. The really beautiful part of fbpanel is its menu which perfectly responsive and by far the best I’ve seen of any Linux menu yet.

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<3's linux

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