My First Beryl Experience

November 24, 2006

With the recent Novell/Microsoft debacle, I decided to change my laptop Linux distro from SuSE to Ubuntu Edgy Eft. I thought I would spend a little time getting to know Beryl and XGL a little better (which is awesome, by the way), and hopefully kill a little time between now and new video games...

I thought the transition would take a little while since the last attempt resulted in trying to edit config files to get the effects to work. I have an old laptop—a Dell Latitude C840 with an NVidia Geforce4 440 Go—so I didn't have hopes of being able to run Beryl with success. I was, however, proven wrong. XGL has come a LONG way in its installation since that first first internet video from Novell (of all people) sparked my interest. (I guess this means I'm psuedo-boycotting Novell since I still am using some of their stuff.)

It did take a while to hack my Gnome session into submission however. Normally, I am a KDE guy; and I like the customability of KDE. Gnome seems to still attempt to treat the absolute lowest common denomenator when it comes to usability. It seems like a paradox, they dumb down the interfaces so there is less confusion, but to whip it into submission, you have to hack your box like a Linux guru. You can't even personalize the screensaver without "hacking" the configuration files, as the author of gnome-screensaver left out the "Preferences" option. (I know you can install xscreensaver to get them back, but I don't mind a little "hacking" now and then.)

I did get Ubuntu customized and smooth running with all the Beryl goodness and a nice little app called Kiba-Dock (I am also a Mac guy, so I like my dock)

Edit: December 02, 2006
I have posted screenshots for those interested. click on the thumbs below for a hi-res image.

Beryl and Ubuntu Screenshot 1
Beryl and Edgy Screenshot 1

Beryl and Ubuntu Screenshot 2
Beryl and Edgy Screenshot 2