Hello, my name is Winny and welcome to my honest review of Sway, a i3wm compatible Wayland compositor. Its primary appeal is a compositor experience that is easy to install, and familiar to i3 users. For my usage, it is one of the few compositors flexible enough to deploy on older hardware. Startup Sway does require a bit of effort and time to get it in a usable state from the stock configuration.
Recently I have begun migrating my workstation and laptop from Gentoo to NixOS. There are a great deal of tradeoffs between the two operating systems. Before going into the details, consider where I’m coming from and why I moved away from Gentoo below. Why was I running Gentoo on workstations?? This is my heuristic for a good operating system: The Distro must provide facility to modify system packages and maintain their modifications in sync with the upstream distro.
Figure 1: Behold! Emacs 27! When upgrading to Emacs 27 there were quite a few weird things I had to address. My Emacs is installed via Gentoo Portage. The USE flags I have set (to enable/disable features at build time) essentially configure my Emacs to be like Lucid Emacs builds. Here’s the USE flags: Xaw3d acl alsa athena cairo dbus dynamic-loading gif gmp gui imagemagick inotify jpeg lcms libxml2 png source ssl svg threads tiff toolkit-scroll-bars xft xpm zlib -aqua -games -gconf -gfile -gpm -gsettings -gtk -gzip-el -harfbuzz -json -kerberos -livecd -m17n-lib -mailutils -motif -selinux -sound -systemd -wide-int -xwidgets Make note that cairo support is enabled.
Zathura]] is a fantastic PDF viewer. It also supports Postscript, DjVu, and Comicbook archive. In particular it supports using mupdf for the backend, so it’s rather fast (unlike poppler, used by evince and friends). Here is a screenshot of Zathura: Figure 1: screenshot of zathura Now that I’ve introduced Zathura. I want to talk about a problem I had recently. I wanted to print a document a couple weeks ago, but found whenever I issued a :print command in Zathura, the program would crash.
During these interesting times, I figure it would be a good idea to describe how I’ve been keeping myself busy, bugs I’ve fixed, and some of the daily tasks/routines that keep my day structured. For context: I moved house on the weekend of March 21st, which is a couple weeks before the Covid-19 fiasco became a front-and-center concern for my geographical region. I am finishing my undergrad in computer science — this is my last semester.
Most of my workstations & laptops require a passphrase typed in to open the encrypted root filesystem. So my steps to booting are as follows: Power on machine Wait for FDE passphrase prompt Type in FDE passphrase Wait for boot to complete and automatic XFCE session to start Since I need to know when the computer is ready to accept the passphrase, it is important the framebuffer is usable during the early part of the boot.
On my Gentoo desktops, I use Emacs Daemon via sys-emacs/emacs-daemon1 to ensure an Emacs instance is ready to go and always available from boot. This is done via creating a symbolic link like /etc/init.d/emacs.winston to /etc/init.d/emacs which will start Emacs for the given user. See the package README for more details. A shortcoming of this setup is XDG_RUNTIME_DIR2 is not set, as this is set by my Desktop Session - maybe LightDM or consolekit set this?