31dec11
RAZOR-QT, DESKTOP ENVIRONMENT, DE, EXTIX, LINUX






Intro to Razor-QT (tested with ExTiX in a virtual machine)


Some notes:

As I installed ExTiX into a virtual machine I won't judge responsiveness. This cannot be correctly estimated when an operating system is run in a virtual environment. I don't have any doubt though that any system with Razor would be quite snappy.

Second. This is not a how to. I just wanted to see for myself whether I like this new DE or not. As I didn't read a terribly lot about Razor it is also an experiment on how user friendly Razor-QT is.

I am not absolutely sure whether ExTiX is the best option to test Razor-QT. It seems to me it could have been done a better job with the integration of Razor. The screenshots on Razor-QT's homepage look much better in any case. Closer to KDE. So I think with some tuning concerning theme integration a better look might be achievable.

The main reason I installed ExTiX (and didn't just use the live-CD) is to be able to install Openbox. You can try Razor-Qt without that. Just use Metacity which comes with Gnome Shell (default in ExTiX) anyway. But as the developers seem to be using
mainly Openbox and as I am a big fan of that window manager I wanted to test Razor with that.

A further note to ExTiX. It is not recommended for production machines but rather for testing purposes. When I installed it ExTiX didn't create a new user but just carried over the CD-live-session users 'live' and 'root' (including passwords: 'live' and 'user' respectively).

Here we go.

First, if you want to use Razor-Qt, you have to log out of the Gnome Shell session:

log out of gnome shell session

Choose your desktop environment (left-click on the cog wheel):

light de with drop down


Type in the password (live) for user live:

password live for user live


Here you can see a little glitch in the wallpaper I couldn't overcome except by choosing a new wallpaper (there are yet no options to zoom or scale a wallpaper - at least I haven't found them in the GUI):

no way to zoom or resize desktop background


New wallpaper. Better:

better


Edit desktop. This is the desktop's right-click-menu.

As you can see there's no entry for creating folders. So the folder-view-widget is exactly what its name suggests - you can view the folders which are on the desktop but you can't create or delete folders directly. This is can only be done with the file manager which opens if you left-click a folder on the desktop:

drop down menu


Very similar to KDE you now can add or remove widgets:

similar to kde


At the moment there are only 3 widgets/plugins:

clock | folder view | text on screen


Remove plugin (aka desktop widget) - (Configure Plugin did nothing except open the file manager).:




Resize folder-view widget:

folder view
  




It seems desktop shortcuts are not yet supported:

desktop shortcuts not supported


Further settings:

menu screenshot


Razor Desktop Configurator - Basic Settings:


Razor Desktop Configurator - Menu Configuration. Don't know what can be done here.



Razor Desktop Configurator - Background:



Razor Session Configuration - Basic Settings (application switcher provides an alternative to the window-manager's (Gnome's Metacity or Openbox) application switcher (Alt+Tab)):



Razor Session Configuration - Default Applications :


Razor Session Configuration - Autostart:



Razor Session Configuration - Environment:


Panel config (right click) - Task Manager :



Panel task manager config:



Close app (Firefox) from panel:



That's all I have for now.

There are not too many possibilities to configure and adapt Razor to your liking. Some flaws are there too. But its in early development and most things expected from a DE can be achieved.

All in all Razor-Qt seems usable and promising and I am thrilled to see a new project rising. For a long time I have thought it would be nice to have a stripped down KDE. Might be Razor-qt is gonna make that wish come true.

It is in any case an easy way to enable desktop icons for Openbox if this is the reason that kept you away from it.

It won't go onto my working machine though as I am perfectly content with Openbox as a stand-alone window manager and cannot see right now why I should need Razor-Qt. I am more flexible with Openbox + tint2 and can shape my system exactly to my liking.

At the moment if it was for desktop icons only (which I don't miss) I'd rather go for Lxde which is more mature and feature rich. Razor-Qt is a strong contestant though and I can see it's future as a DE which is light on resources for users or distros that prefer Qt-apps . (By the way. You can use Razor-Qt with Kwin (the KDE window manager) too! That means without Plasma!)

I'm looking forward to what Razor's gonna be in some time!