Feedback about Desktop Environments

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Feedback about Desktop Environments

James Griffin-2
I need to install a Dektop Environment for my partner.

I thought about KDE or xfce, i've tried neither on OpenBSD before. Which of the 3 main main DE's (gnome, KDE, XFCE) do you feel work best on OpenBSD.

I would need things like removable media mounting from within the graphical environment, good sound support and multimedia applications.

Any advice would be helpful from those using any of these Desktop's. I thought i'd ask on this list before installing loads of packages.

Cheers, Jamie.

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Re: Feedback about Desktop Environments

Vijay Sankar
Quoting James Griffin <[hidden email]>:

> I need to install a Dektop Environment for my partner.
>
> I thought about KDE or xfce, i've tried neither on OpenBSD before.  
> Which of the 3 main main DE's (gnome, KDE, XFCE) do you feel work  
> best on OpenBSD.
>
> I would need things like removable media mounting from within the  
> graphical environment, good sound support and multimedia applications.
>
> Any advice would be helpful from those using any of these Desktop's.  
> I thought i'd ask on this list before installing loads of packages.
>
> Cheers, Jamie.
>
>

My wife and I tried various desktops but so far have ended up back  
with KDE3. FWIW, it works very well for us.

Vijay Sankar, M.Eng., P.Eng.
ForeTell Technologies Limited
[hidden email]

---------------------------------------------
This message was sent using ForeTell-POST 4.9

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Re: Feedback about Desktop Environments

Richard Toohey
In reply to this post by James Griffin-2
On 09/16/13 22:18, James Griffin wrote:
> I need to install a Dektop Environment for my partner.
>
> I thought about KDE or xfce, i've tried neither on OpenBSD before. Which of the 3 main main DE's (gnome, KDE, XFCE) do you feel work best on OpenBSD.
I'm currently on XFCE and it works for me.

Used both Gnome and KDE and found good things and bad things - from *my*
point-of-view.

I was happy with KDE 3.5.10 - but was missing the eye candy of newer
things, so tried Gnome 3.

Was really enjoying Gnome 3 but it got a bit sluggish on the hardware I
was using at the time, so headed for something more light-weight.

I've tried the more bare-bones ones like fvwm and cwm - bit too minimal
for my liking, but worth trying cwm (in base so nothing to install.)

So moved to XFCE and been happy there for a while.  Alt-Tab works,
performance is good, enough eye-candy for me.  Parole (the multi-media
app) times out on some of my DVDs, so I use mplayer for those.  Picture
viewer, GIMP for graphics, thunar file manager, Firefox & Chromium,
Thunderbird, nice console, Libreoffice, etc., etc. Does everything I
need and looks pretty enough.

It is really going to be down to personal preference and your
requirements - no real short-cut to trying all three out for a few days
and see which one works for you.
>
> I would need things like removable media mounting from within the graphical environment, good sound support and multimedia applications.
>
> Any advice would be helpful from those using any of these Desktop's. I thought i'd ask on this list before installing loads of packages.
>
> Cheers, Jamie.

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Re: Feedback about Desktop Environments

RichardET
In reply to this post by James Griffin-2
Definitely XFCE 4.10.
Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE
network.

From: James GriffinSent: Monday, September 16, 2013 6:20 AMTo:
[hidden email]: Feedback about Desktop Environments

I need to install a Dektop Environment for my partner.

I thought about KDE or xfce, i've tried neither on OpenBSD before. Which
of the 3 main main DE's (gnome, KDE, XFCE) do you feel work best on
OpenBSD.

I would need things like removable media mounting from within the
graphical environment, good sound support and multimedia applications.

Any advice would be helpful from those using any of these Desktop's. I
thought i'd ask on this list before installing loads of packages.

Cheers, Jamie.

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Re: Feedback about Desktop Environments

Eric Johnson
In reply to this post by James Griffin-2
On Mon, 16 Sep 2013, James Griffin wrote:

> I need to install a Dektop Environment for my partner.
>
> I thought about KDE or xfce, i've tried neither on OpenBSD before. Which
> of the 3 main main DE's (gnome, KDE, XFCE) do you feel work best on
> OpenBSD.
>
> I would need things like removable media mounting from within the
> graphical environment, good sound support and multimedia applications.
>
> Any advice would be helpful from those using any of these Desktop's. I
> thought i'd ask on this list before installing loads of packages.

My favorite by far is WindowMaker, but it isn't the graphical environment
you seem to want.  

I use anything else so seldom (not counting a VT-100 compatible monitor
that I use whenever possible) that I don't even have a runner up favorite.  
I do remember thinking that Ratpoison was pretty good, but I never used it
enough to form a solid opinion about it.

Eric

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Re: Feedback about Desktop Environments

Stefan Sperling-8
In reply to this post by James Griffin-2
On Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 11:18:58AM +0100, James Griffin wrote:
> I need to install a Dektop Environment for my partner.
>
> I thought about KDE or xfce, i've tried neither on OpenBSD before. Which of the 3 main main DE's (gnome, KDE, XFCE) do you feel work best on OpenBSD.

I would recommend XFCE, which I use. It runs reasonably fast on most
machines. Functionality-wise it is the simplest of the bunch but it
it is also relatively stable.

The KDE packages are outdated (KDE 3), efforts for making KDE4 packages
available are on-going. If you like KDE3 and it works for you, that's
great. But ports for the modern KDE4 are rather experimental at this stage.

Gnome requires 3D hardware accelleration which is not available on
every system. I once tried to run Gnome on an eeepc 901 with OpenBSD 5.3,
and ended up using XFCE instead because Gnome was painfully slow on that
small system and crashed often. If you want to run gnome I'd recommend
installing OpenBSD-current first, which contains many Gnome-related fixes
which are not available in 5.3 (such as much broader 3D hardware support).

> I would need things like removable media mounting from within the graphical environment, good sound support and multimedia applications.

Most of desktop-based automounting was written with Linux-only support
code that relies on technologies such as udev, which is not available
on OpenBSD.

You can use hotplugd(8) to simulate an auto-mounter for known USB disks.
This requires some scripting. See the hotplugd(8) man page for examples.
A reasonable default behaviour of such scripts is to try to mount an 'i'
partition if it exists, which is usually an MSDOS filesystem.
This will work with any desktop, as it simply causes a new filesystem
to be mounted at a known directory. Beware of permission problems if
you'd like non-root users to access files on auto-mounted disks. See
the mount_msdos(8) man page (-u, -g, and -m options).

You might want to browse the package README files for each desktop
to learn more about the quirks required to run them (these links point
to -current versions and might not apply 100% if you don't run
-current):
http://www.openbsd.org/cgi-bin/cvsweb/ports/meta/gnome/pkg/README-main?rev=1.21;content-type=text%2Fplain
http://www.openbsd.org/cgi-bin/cvsweb/ports/meta/xfce/pkg/README-main?rev=1.2;content-type=text%2Fplain
http://www.openbsd.org/cgi-bin/cvsweb/ports/x11/kde/base3/pkg/DESCR-main?rev=1.1;content-type=text%2Fplain

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Re: Feedback about Desktop Environments

Riccardo Mottola
In reply to this post by Eric Johnson
Hi,

Eric Johnson wrote:
> On Mon, 16 Sep 2013, James Griffin wrote:
>
> My favorite by far is WindowMaker, but it isn't the graphical environment
> you seem to want.
Mine too, coupled with GNUstep. SOund should work (media player).. But
we lack video and also mounting/unmonting is spotty. It should work if
you are in the correct group.

Riccardo
> I use anything else so seldom (not counting a VT-100 compatible monitor
> that I use whenever possible) that I don't even have a runner up favorite.
> I do remember thinking that Ratpoison was pretty good, but I never used it
> enough to form a solid opinion about it.
>
> Eric

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Re: Feedback about Desktop Environments

Francois Pussault-2
In reply to this post by RichardET
hi, When I install a BSD for someone I usally use xfce, it's easy to understand,
just need to add icons or menu-shortcuts for applications.

for I i use mwm ;) so it cannot be used by someone that doesn't want to learn a little
of command lines ;)

> ----------------------------------------
> From: <[hidden email]>
> Sent: Mon Sep 16 12:41:04 CEST 2013
> To: James Griffin <[hidden email]>, <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: Feedback about Desktop Environments
>
>
> Definitely XFCE 4.10.
> Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE
> network.
>
> From: James GriffinSent: Monday, September 16, 2013 6:20 AMTo:
> [hidden email]: Feedback about Desktop Environments
>
> I need to install a Dektop Environment for my partner.
>
> I thought about KDE or xfce, i've tried neither on OpenBSD before. Which
> of the 3 main main DE's (gnome, KDE, XFCE) do you feel work best on
> OpenBSD.
>
> I would need things like removable media mounting from within the
> graphical environment, good sound support and multimedia applications.
>
> Any advice would be helpful from those using any of these Desktop's. I
> thought i'd ask on this list before installing loads of packages.
>
> Cheers, Jamie.
>


Cordialement
Francois Pussault
3701 - 8 rue Marcel Pagnol
31100 Toulouse 
France 
+33 6 17 230 820   +33 5 34 365 269
[hidden email]

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Re: Feedback about Desktop Environments

Luca Ferrari
My favourite desktop is KDE, but I have to admit it has some concepts
that can scary a new user, like the management of desktop icons and
folders. Therefore KDE 3 is better than 4 for this kind of users, but
I would not suggest to use such an old version. I'm not a gnome fan,
even if I've seen a lot of friends of mine succesfully using it.
Therefore I would suggest gnome or xfce if the user is not a computer
sxpert, or KDE 4 for a "normal" user.

Luca

On Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 1:35 PM, Francois Pussault
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> hi, When I install a BSD for someone I usally use xfce, it's easy to understand,
> just need to add icons or menu-shortcuts for applications.
>
> for I i use mwm ;) so it cannot be used by someone that doesn't want to learn a little
> of command lines ;)
>
>> ----------------------------------------
>> From: <[hidden email]>
>> Sent: Mon Sep 16 12:41:04 CEST 2013
>> To: James Griffin <[hidden email]>, <[hidden email]>
>> Subject: Re: Feedback about Desktop Environments
>>
>>
>> Definitely XFCE 4.10.
>> Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE
>> network.
>>
>> From: James GriffinSent: Monday, September 16, 2013 6:20 AMTo:
>> [hidden email]: Feedback about Desktop Environments
>>
>> I need to install a Dektop Environment for my partner.
>>
>> I thought about KDE or xfce, i've tried neither on OpenBSD before. Which
>> of the 3 main main DE's (gnome, KDE, XFCE) do you feel work best on
>> OpenBSD.
>>
>> I would need things like removable media mounting from within the
>> graphical environment, good sound support and multimedia applications.
>>
>> Any advice would be helpful from those using any of these Desktop's. I
>> thought i'd ask on this list before installing loads of packages.
>>
>> Cheers, Jamie.
>>
>
>
> Cordialement
> Francois Pussault
> 3701 - 8 rue Marcel Pagnol
> 31100 Toulouse
> France
> +33 6 17 230 820   +33 5 34 365 269
> [hidden email]

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Re: Feedback about Desktop Environments

James Griffin-2
* Luca Ferrari <[hidden email]> [2013-09-16 14:05:12 +0200]:

> My favourite desktop is KDE, but I have to admit it has some concepts
> that can scary a new user, like the management of desktop icons and
> folders. Therefore KDE 3 is better than 4 for this kind of users, but
> I would not suggest to use such an old version. I'm not a gnome fan,
> even if I've seen a lot of friends of mine succesfully using it.
> Therefore I would suggest gnome or xfce if the user is not a computer
> sxpert, or KDE 4 for a "normal" user.
>
> Luca

Personally, I'm an long time fvwm user. My partner wouldn't know where to start nor care to learn how to use that. Which is why I need to install a DE. Years ago I did use KDE3 and liked it but changed because I did not like KDE4.

Does KDE3 work  well on OpenBSD? Things like k3b and similar apps that come with it or, is XFCE more likely to have better support for graphical apps to play CD/DVD's, burning media, music, stuff like that. That is what my partner will want to use. I can do the configuration, where necessary, but don't want to be constantly hassled into showing how to use stuff. So it needs to be idiot proof lol ;-)

Gnome 3 is not something I'll give too much consideration too.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

cheers, Jamie.

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Re: Feedback about Desktop Environments

Marc Espie-2
In reply to this post by Richard Toohey
On Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 10:39:58PM +1200, Richard Toohey wrote:
> Was really enjoying Gnome 3 but it got a bit sluggish on the
> hardware I was using at the time, so headed for something more
> light-weight.

As a lot of you probably know, there's been a big jump in gfx
in current, both for Intel and ATI cards, thanks to the awesome
kms work by jsg, kettenis, and others (and many thanks to
the sponsor as well!)

As far as desktop goes, the experience went from sluggish
to modern (as in "wow, my gfx is fast").

All the more incentive to get people running current and
testing shitz :)

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Re: Feedback about Desktop Environments

Jes-6
In reply to this post by James Griffin-2
Hi all:

I use during so long time KDE3. Nowdays I prefer xfce4. Gnome3 is a bit
ugly for me. I prefer WMs that integrate the file browser and other tools.
Because of this I don't use WindowMaker or FVWM or Enlightenment.... If I'd
only had to code I'll use vim and some minimalistic wm.

In my experience, KDE3, Gnome3 and XFCE4 are good choices for general use.

Not related with the desktop choice but with the performance... In OpenBSD,
all versions, I note performance decrease (not smooth mouse movement or web
page scrolling) when the machine is doing any heavy reading/writing task or
cpu compsuming (for example a rsync or zip/unzip a big file). Has anyone
else experienced a similar behaviour?

Jes



On Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 2:21 PM, James Griffin <[hidden email]>wrote:

> * Luca Ferrari <[hidden email]> [2013-09-16 14:05:12 +0200]:
>
> > My favourite desktop is KDE, but I have to admit it has some concepts
> > that can scary a new user, like the management of desktop icons and
> > folders. Therefore KDE 3 is better than 4 for this kind of users, but
> > I would not suggest to use such an old version. I'm not a gnome fan,
> > even if I've seen a lot of friends of mine succesfully using it.
> > Therefore I would suggest gnome or xfce if the user is not a computer
> > sxpert, or KDE 4 for a "normal" user.
> >
> > Luca
>
> Personally, I'm an long time fvwm user. My partner wouldn't know where to
> start nor care to learn how to use that. Which is why I need to install a
> DE. Years ago I did use KDE3 and liked it but changed because I did not
> like KDE4.
>
> Does KDE3 work  well on OpenBSD? Things like k3b and similar apps that
> come with it or, is XFCE more likely to have better support for graphical
> apps to play CD/DVD's, burning media, music, stuff like that. That is what
> my partner will want to use. I can do the configuration, where necessary,
> but don't want to be constantly hassled into showing how to use stuff. So
> it needs to be idiot proof lol ;-)
>
> Gnome 3 is not something I'll give too much consideration too.
>
> Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
>
> cheers, Jamie.

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Re: Feedback about Desktop Environments

Riccardo Mottola
Hi,

> Hi all:
>
> I use during so long time KDE3. Nowdays I prefer xfce4. Gnome3 is a bit
> ugly for me. I prefer WMs that integrate the file browser and other tools.
> Because of this I don't use WindowMaker or FVWM or Enlightenment.... If I'd
> only had to code I'll use vim and some minimalistic wm.
>
> In my experience, KDE3, Gnome3 and XFCE4 are good choices for general use.
>
> Not related with the desktop choice but with the performance... In OpenBSD,
> all versions, I note performance decrease (not smooth mouse movement or web
> page scrolling) when the machine is doing any heavy reading/writing task or
> cpu compsuming (for example a rsync or zip/unzip a big file). Has anyone
> else experienced a similar behaviour?
>
I use Windowmaker + GNUstep and I do experience this. More than in
Windowmaker, in GNUstep itself, e.g. opening of the menus, or selecting
a directory in GWorkspace. I have a slower machine so it is quite
noticeable. I too experience too much a slow-down. Download something
through FTP, update cvs.. and the itnerface becomes sluggish.
But it might be the limited PC architecture.

Riccardo

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Re: Feedback about Desktop Environments

James Griffin-2
In reply to this post by Jes-6
* Jes <[hidden email]> [2013-09-16 14:43:48 +0200]:

> Hi all:
>
> I use during so long time KDE3. Nowdays I prefer xfce4. Gnome3 is a bit
> ugly for me. I prefer WMs that integrate the file browser and other tools.
> Because of this I don't use WindowMaker or FVWM or Enlightenment.... If I'd
> only had to code I'll use vim and some minimalistic wm.
 
Thanks for your input. I agree, having a file browser would make life simpler for average users. For me, though, the best file browser on UNIX systems is the shell (ksh).

> In my experience, KDE3, Gnome3 and XFCE4 are good choices for general use.
 
For my partner, i'm inclined towards KDE or xfce. I think xfce is not so "bloated" (a term I have often seen/read to be associated with KDE).

> Not related with the desktop choice but with the performance... In OpenBSD,
> all versions, I note performance decrease (not smooth mouse movement or web
> page scrolling) when the machine is doing any heavy reading/writing task or
> cpu compsuming (for example a rsync or zip/unzip a big file). Has anyone
> else experienced a similar behaviour?
>
> Jes
 
This is what you've observed with KDE, then?

Cheers, Jamie.

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Re: Feedback about Desktop Environments

Stuart Henderson
In reply to this post by Stefan Sperling-8
On 2013-09-16, Stefan Sperling <[hidden email]> wrote:
> You can use hotplugd(8) to simulate an auto-mounter for known USB disks.

hotplug-diskmount (in packages) saves a bit of time writing a script for this.
Or there's amd(8) of course...

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Re: Feedback about Desktop Environments

Marc Espie-2
On Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 03:18:28PM +0000, Stuart Henderson wrote:
> On 2013-09-16, Stefan Sperling <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > You can use hotplugd(8) to simulate an auto-mounter for known USB disks.
>
> hotplug-diskmount (in packages) saves a bit of time writing a script for this.
> Or there's amd(8) of course...

No, don't use amd. Every time somebody uses amd, a kitten die
(and we get that much farther away from being able to modernize
NFS).

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Re: Feedback about Desktop Environments

Jes-6
In reply to this post by James Griffin-2
On 16/09/13 15:25, James Griffin wrote:

> * Jes <[hidden email]> [2013-09-16 14:43:48 +0200]:
>
>> Hi all:
>>
>> I use during so long time KDE3. Nowdays I prefer xfce4. Gnome3 is a bit
>> ugly for me. I prefer WMs that integrate the file browser and other tools.
>> Because of this I don't use WindowMaker or FVWM or Enlightenment.... If I'd
>> only had to code I'll use vim and some minimalistic wm.
>
> Thanks for your input. I agree, having a file browser would make life simpler for average users. For me, though, the best file browser on UNIX systems is the shell (ksh).
>
>> In my experience, KDE3, Gnome3 and XFCE4 are good choices for general use.
>
> For my partner, i'm inclined towards KDE or xfce. I think xfce is not so "bloated" (a term I have often seen/read to be associated with KDE).
>
>> Not related with the desktop choice but with the performance... In OpenBSD,
>> all versions, I note performance decrease (not smooth mouse movement or web
>> page scrolling) when the machine is doing any heavy reading/writing task or
>> cpu compsuming (for example a rsync or zip/unzip a big file). Has anyone
>> else experienced a similar behaviour?
>>
>> Jes
>
> This is what you've observed with KDE, then?
>
> Cheers, Jamie.
>
>

I've observed that behaviour in KDE, GNOME3 and XFCE4. Always when a lot
of readings/writings are taking place in the disk, or for example, when
the CPU load is high though in a only core. My machine is not very old;
it's a thinkpad T410 with 4 cores and 8MB RAM (amd64). If only one core
is on high CPU I experienced a not so smooth scrolling in firefox, or
the mouse pointer jumps from one place to another one when moving. I
didn't experience this in linux or freebsd... And it ocurrs in 4.9,
5.0... and 5.4 current.

Back to the desktop environments... KDE includes some tools for
administration (users, permisions, etc.). Konqueror file browser is a
bit old and has some bug (for example moving files, cut/paste) but it
works well in general. If you want to more integrated desktop with its
file editor, file browser, clipboard tool, display tool (for screen
resize), burn cds, etc. KDE is a good candidate.

Gnome3 is more modern than KDE, if it fits your needs in terms of
functionality and you like its appearance then probably it works in a
better way than KDE.

If you need something simply, but functional, with a small application
tools for thinks like file browser, image viewer, simple edition,
clipboard management, folders in desktop, panels for quick launch, etc.
XFCE would be a good option.

Maybe it's a question of install the three and test them.

For coding or administration only, probably wms like ratpoison, xmonad,
and so would be the right election, in terms or reduced CPU and memory
consumption.


BR

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Re: Feedback about Desktop Environments

Marc Espie-2
On Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 06:49:37PM +0200, Jes wrote:

> On 16/09/13 15:25, James Griffin wrote:
> >* Jes <[hidden email]> [2013-09-16 14:43:48 +0200]:
> >
> >>Hi all:
> >>
> >>I use during so long time KDE3. Nowdays I prefer xfce4. Gnome3 is a bit
> >>ugly for me. I prefer WMs that integrate the file browser and other tools.
> >>Because of this I don't use WindowMaker or FVWM or Enlightenment.... If I'd
> >>only had to code I'll use vim and some minimalistic wm.
> >
> >Thanks for your input. I agree, having a file browser would make life simpler for average users. For me, though, the best file browser on UNIX systems is the shell (ksh).
> >
> >>In my experience, KDE3, Gnome3 and XFCE4 are good choices for general use.
> >
> >For my partner, i'm inclined towards KDE or xfce. I think xfce is not so "bloated" (a term I have often seen/read to be associated with KDE).
> >
> >>Not related with the desktop choice but with the performance... In OpenBSD,
> >>all versions, I note performance decrease (not smooth mouse movement or web
> >>page scrolling) when the machine is doing any heavy reading/writing task or
> >>cpu compsuming (for example a rsync or zip/unzip a big file). Has anyone
> >>else experienced a similar behaviour?
> >>
> >>Jes
> >
> >This is what you've observed with KDE, then?
> >
> >Cheers, Jamie.
> >
> >
>
> I've observed that behaviour in KDE, GNOME3 and XFCE4. Always when a
> lot of readings/writings are taking place in the disk, or for
> example, when the CPU load is high though in a only core. My machine
> is not very old; it's a thinkpad T410 with 4 cores and 8MB RAM
> (amd64). If only one core is on high CPU I experienced a not so
> smooth scrolling in firefox, or the mouse pointer jumps from one
> place to another one when moving. I didn't experience this in linux
> or freebsd... And it ocurrs in 4.9, 5.0... and 5.4 current.

Yes, there's something deeply fucked up somewhere in our
scheduler/disk-handling/whatever. The issue is known.

It appears it is complicated to fix properly without replacing
it by a lot of other problems, some of which pertain to keeping
relatively old archs in working condition, or so I'm told.

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Re: Feedback about Desktop Environments

Raimo Niskanen-7
In reply to this post by Marc Espie-2
On Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 06:15:50PM +0200, Marc Espie wrote:

> On Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 03:18:28PM +0000, Stuart Henderson wrote:
> > On 2013-09-16, Stefan Sperling <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > You can use hotplugd(8) to simulate an auto-mounter for known USB disks.
> >
> > hotplug-diskmount (in packages) saves a bit of time writing a script for this.
> > Or there's amd(8) of course...
>
> No, don't use amd. Every time somebody uses amd, a kitten die
> (and we get that much farther away from being able to modernize
> NFS).

Can you recommend an alternative automounter for network mounts?

--

/ Raimo Niskanen, Erlang/OTP, Ericsson AB

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Re: Feedback about Desktop Environments

David Coppa
In reply to this post by Stuart Henderson
On Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 5:18 PM, Stuart Henderson <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 2013-09-16, Stefan Sperling <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> You can use hotplugd(8) to simulate an auto-mounter for known USB disks.
>
> hotplug-diskmount (in packages) saves a bit of time writing a script for this.

And there's also this[1], for even better integration.

[1] http://www.bsdua.org/tray-app.html#eject

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