Make Linux Desktop Great Again

Still About Graphic Design Applications

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I already wrote about the bigwigs but I haven't went in depth to the others packages I installed and now I would like to take some time to briefly described some of them.

But first a couple of considerations, event though almost all the GNU Graphic applications aren't polished like the proprietary ones you can integrate them with a lot of utilities (mostly by command lines) that can assist you to do almost everything is achievable with others proprietary applications. Most of the time you realize that having this tools separated by the main programs make your work faster when you need to work on bulk files at once. As I am the habit to say: there is a lot of raw power under the hood! You need only to learn how to use it.

It is a mixed-mode that is fascinating and funny, surely different, but usable. Many Desktop Environments allow to create custom actions that you can recall with your mouse and you can also create custom command on the terminal to make some repetitive operation faster. Sometimes you can even find GUI for these utilities which is pretty useful as well.


Show Desktop

#GNOME was started in 1999, and twenty years later (today is Sunday, July 28 2019), the best it has been able to achieve is to get rid of the show desktop button or function.

Of course, the brilliant idea behind Gnome3 was: if I eliminate the desktop area I don't need the show the desktop icons either, as well as minimize and maximize the windows. As a matter of fact the main philosophy behind Gnome3 is fixing things simply deleting everything is not conforming with their plans, as I said: BRILLIANT.

However as I told in others post the Gnome approach is fine for whom works for activities (whatever it is actually means) rather than for tasks, the way the old Gnome 2.x used to work before the introduction of Gnome-Shell. Which is the result?


The mysterious case of Tracker...

Some of days ago I found a post on #Diaspora with this article:

And I am suddenly remembered about Tracker; It was by Gnome 2.6 that I don't uninstall an indexer on my computer... At that time there was an epic challenge between #Tracker and #Beagle to decide which was the crappiest, I suppose that Tracker won.

BeagleBeagle was made in Mono...

But I had totally forgot about them, as a matter of fact #Xfce4 on #Debian is distributed totally unbloated (not sure about #Xubuntu) so you don't to worry about that.


Post Installation: Graphic Design Applications!

GNU Graphic Software

To begin I want make it clear:

With all the advanced tools available as freeware or with paid subscription, making Desktop Publishing or Digital Graphic with GNU/Linux is a total act of masochism!

I mean in future probably will be there only opensource applications that will be available through paid subscription because this is the trend, hence it is not going change anything for you, but now there are few applications really not very polished like the closed counter part but this doesn't mean that aren't powerful, but are pretty rough hence difficult to use.

More than ten years all the famous and well known applications weren't so easy to use as today, those were somehow are as today the most famous gnu graphics applications. At that time we used to call these application professionals today we watch at the gnu alternatives and we say not-user-friendly.


Digging into the Gno-Menu extension

Never mind, I found that Arc Menu is pretty decent, and overall working, to use!

Unfortunately this extension doesn't work on Gnome 3.32.2.

Maybe I need some lacking libraries, let me check it out!

I launched the command gnome-shell --replace from the terminal to see this output.


About the Gnome-shell extensions

Gnome-shell extensions

As a matter of fact the default setup of Gnome3 (G3) is totally poor, it fits very few cases especially the ones that make less use of the mouse, for all the others ones that need to use heavily the mouse and many applications at the same time the default setup is unhandy. Hence you have to tweak the default behavior, which is essentially a guilty plea, to make it working as any other desktop environment (DE).

Let me get more in depth. When you change a paradigm, like G3 did, you have to do it accordingly with the whole elements that are included, but if you change just the base elements these will friction against the ones you didn't change, and nothing will work properly. You can see G3 like a new generation of asphalt that is not suitable for standard wheels, only few cars will drive safely on it while the all the others ones will crash. As you can see you shouldn't change a main asset without changing all the others that depends on it: this eventually will broken something! As a matter of fact Gnome-Shell is not handy if you want to use your computer differently by the G3 philosophy.


Post installation (Part One)

System76 Serval Laptop“System76 Serval Laptop”

There are a tons of things to do now, and I have to accustom myself to the transition from a Rolling Distro to a Release Distro, with a Desktop Environment totally new for me. However the first thing is to enable the SWAP.


Welcome Back to Home POP!_OS

I confirm the procedure I tested several times on a Virtual Machine got totally fine on the real hardware (a Clevo rebranded System76 laptop) and now POP!_OS is really installed on my laptop.

There you are POP!There you are POP!

Only for the sake of the chronicle when I bought it POP! hadn't came out yet so mine was shipped with Ubuntu, I removed the latter for Debian but you know (at least I hope it) the history...


Tuning the encryption!


I have achieved my goal! However I am not still pretty sure about the goodness of the encryption. From my point of view it creates more problems respect the ones it should be solve. If you have a disk failure you may not be able to decrypt that disk, even having a LVM partition spread on several disks may lead to the same problem and if those are also encrypted the risk is even higher.

Today, as a matter of fact, the Solid State Disk (SSD) are lesser prone to get broken as the old spin Hard Drive (HD) and probably this kind of risk is really low respect before; I don't store sensible information on my computers and the risk to get my hardware stolen is presumably lower than get a damaging disk. I believe that my personal data are more on risk while my computer is on internet, if for some reason there is a 0 Day Attack on Linux my data will be grasped whether I have or not my disks encrypted.


Never give up – “Final Round”

And eventually I was able to achieve it, I extended my root partition across two disks encrypted through LVM!

The process was a total pain in the heck just because, so far I saw, the Elementary Installer (POP!_OS 19.04) has a bug that makes impossible to unlock two disks or two partitions during the advance setup, hence you have to do everything manually.

The main issue is the following one: after you added the second disk and extended the root partition you have also to add the new disk on the crypttab file in order to unlock it at boot time; unfortunately you can't do that simply restarting the OS because it won't unlock the second disk, hence you have to go in live mode and CHROOT your system to activate your changes.