Show Discussion - August 24, 2019

Thanks again to @Schyken for putting together such a great summary!

Well hey there! This week’s BDLL stream went absolutely fantastically! We were fortunate enough to have Ken Gilmer, the Regolith dev on the show tonight! We also had a chat about the PineBook, PinePhone, PineTab, and a whole bunch of other stuff! You can watch that here!

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The distro challenge continues this week! Regolith Linux, an i3-centric experience on an Ubuntu base that can be installed via PPA or ISO!

Regolith Linux Homepage

Regolith Linux LiveCD (ISO) Download

Regolith Linux PPA Installation Commands
sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:kgilmer/regolith-stable
sudo apt install regolith-desktop
More info on the homepage.

( Thread On BDL Discourse
Regolith Linux - August 17 to August 31

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You’re encouraged to give Regolith a try at your convenience and just let us know how it goes! There’s no obligation to do so, but if you do, we encourage you to join us next week on the stream! If you can’t be on camera, you can certainly join voice-only or stick around in the YouTube chat!

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@BigDaddyLinux has also requested that everyone put together a list of your top 3-5 podcasts for discussion on next week’s show, August 31st.

Was a good challenge

As I said in another thread, I am giving Regolith a miss, because in reality (to me anyway) the main feature of it is really the i3 WM. That doesn’t fit my (current) needs and I suspect won’t for the vast (or large anyway) part of the current Linux user audience.

I can see a use for i3 (and thus potentially Regolith) with more advanced and/or technical users who already spend a lot of their time on the command line. Years ago as a developer who needed to le logged into 2 or 3 different servers, the development server editing (with vi), compiling code, moving files from server to server (or my local desktop workstation) with ftp it would have been a good fit.

A sys-admin looking after a farm of servers would be another natural fit for a tiling WM. I don’t know these days if SAs have graphical tools to do all that, I’m years out of date and was never a SA.

There are probably other audiences that I haven’t/can’t think of but I think the majority of users are better suited to a GUI desktop and only occasionally need to drop to the command line and the various dropdown terminals would work well, just a key-press away.

Having said all that, I guess it’s only right that BDLL looks at i3 (Regolith) and other tilers for those that may not know about them and could benefit from them, and so the BDLL “crew” are aware of them. In that regard it was interesting listening to the discussion, even if I didn’t have anything to say in chat.

I hope the above doesn’t come across as too negative, I’m just expressing my personal views and, as is often the case, I may be out of step with the rest of the human race.


I think there are other reasons one may use a tiling windows manager, beyond simply being a developer or sysadmin. That being said, it does require a particular workflow. Other DEs can do some of the things I mention below, like opening certain programs in certain workspaces, but tiling can help things be a bit more organized.

To me, it’s a little akin to the latest versions of Gnome. It doesn’t really want you to minimize things, but rather switch workspaces for different apps.

i3 to me is a similar idea. But it’s ideal for those that have very specific use cases for their pc. If someone can have 90% of what they normally do laid out in the various workspaces and have everything they need run at start up, it could be a very useful setup for them. Imagine someone who does a lot of website work. One workspace could be their text editor, or ide, another could have Firefox, another could have Chrome, another could have their file manager, Another workspace could have documentation they often use, or notes, or who knows what. That’s 5 workspaces. They could have spotify or a music app in another workspace and still have 4 workspaces left to configure. And depending on their screen real estate they could tile the stuff however it made the most sense in those workspaces.

Obviously, i3 isn’t an ideal setup for everyone, and it’s a big paradigm shift from the normal floating window setup most are used to. It may not be something one wants to use all the time. But it could be quite useful when doing specific tasks, like maybe you’re working on a research paper or something. Maybe you use one DE for everyday use, then log out and swap over for some specific tasks that can be best accomplished that way.

To give something that may be a bit more in some of our group’s wheelhouse, imagine you do youtube videos. You may have youtube in one workspace, terminal in another, your recording software in another, your project you’re recording in another, then have a workspace setup for your editor too. It just streamlines a lot of things if you’re one to use the multiple workspaces.

I am wanting to try it out simply to see if it works for me. I personally know I need to get more used to the multiple workspaces aspect of most DEs anyways, as I’ve been on Windows so long. By the time I’m done at the end of the day on my work pc, I have 20 windows open, it’d actually be awesome if I had control over what opened where but can’t in windows 10. I think ultimately, I’ll decide I like the workspaces aspect, but not as much on the tiling aspect.

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I’ve used virtual desktops that way for years, usually 4. The 1st is my browser (because it’s what I use most). The 2nd could be a file manager and/or editor (Featherpad or Pluma). The 3rd usually has K Sudoku or KPatience for when I need a little break. The 4th is my spare. The scrollwheel moves me between Desktops.

That’s just my way, I’m used to it and I tend to run full screen on my laptops (I dont have Zeb grade monitors) and hate working “letterbox” sized windows.

I’ll do me, you all can do you - we’ll all be happy

After quitting on regolith early in the challenge. I am actually revisiting it. My experience is a bit better because I am a little more open minded and using it as the dev sort of imagines it instead of the same old way I usually use it… May write on it more later.

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Please do. I’d like to hear your thoughts on revisiting it.

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@BigDaddyLinux has also requested that everyone put together a list of your top 3-5 podcasts for discussion on next week’s show, August 31st.