Changing Desktop Environments?
#1
Hey all,

I am a bit new to Linux, (been usin it for about a year and a half). I just got my Pinephone, and I'm really happy with it! I like Mobian a lot, and don't want to switch from it, however I really do not like how the homescreen on Phosh looks. I always prefer to have a very clean homescreen with no icons. From my understandin, there's no way to do that with Phosh, unless I learn how to program my own app drawer... I'm currently learnin Python but it will be a long while before I will have the skill to do that. I really liked how the homescreen looked on Plasma Mobile. From what I'm seein on Mobian's Wiki page, it looks like switchin desktop environments to Plasma is currently broken. 

Recently I saw this, https://www.itsfoss.net/cutie-shell-new-...-and-more/ and was wonderin if there's a way to do Mobian +Cutie. It looks cool, and while I don't have a whole lot of programmin know how I don't mind usin the terminal and learnin things. 

I was also wonderin (this might be a dumb question... sorry) if you switch desktop environments, do you also have to switch apps? For example I really like Chatty and have it currently all set up. Would I have to change over to a different chat app that ships with cutie? Or is that not somethin that gets changed when you switch desktop environments. 

Really appreciate any replies!
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#2
It used to be possible in Phosh, until the guys at the Purism team decided it was "unnecessary" and removed the ability to close the app drawer with no way to re-enable it.
https://source.puri.sm/Librem5/phosh/-/issues/261
Notice the last comment (which I wrote) suggesting to make this optional rather than mandatory 11 months ago, despite that 1 thumbs up, there still seems to be no willingness to actually do so.

Never heard of Cutie, but while reading the article you linked, I noticed there's a link going here → https://cutie-shell.org/
Instructions can be spotted at the "Automatic installation (wayland-egl pinephone)" part.

Despite my clear criticism against Phosh on many aspects, I still use it as the main DE, but it's not because I believe it's the best DE out there, but rather because it's the least bad DE.
But I'll give Cutie a try, thanks for the tip.
母語は日本語ですが、英語も喋れます(ry
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#3
(01-08-2022, 01:00 PM)Ferriah Wrote: Hey all,

I am a bit new to Linux, (been usin it for about a year and a half). I just got my Pinephone, and I'm really happy with it! I like Mobian a lot, and don't want to switch from it, however I really do not like how the homescreen on Phosh looks.
...

It is possible to build your own Mobian with whatever DE you prefer, e.g. here for openbox, lxde etc.
  • ROCKPro64 v2.1 2GB, 16Gb eMMC for rootfs, SX8200Pro 512GB NVMe for /home, HDMI video & sound, Bluetooth keyboard & mouse. Arch (5.16 kernel, Openbox desktop) for general purpose daily PC.
  • PinePhone Pro Explorer Edittion, Tow-boot on SPI, Arch/phosh on eMMC
  • PinePhone BraveHeart now v1.2b 3/32Gb, daily driver: Tow-boot with Arch/Phosh on eMMC
  Reply
#4
(01-08-2022, 09:07 PM)ryo Wrote: It used to be possible in Phosh, until the guys at the Purism team decided it was "unnecessary" and removed the ability to close the app drawer with no way to re-enable it.
https://source.puri.sm/Librem5/phosh/-/issues/261
Notice the last comment (which I wrote) suggesting to make this optional rather than mandatory 11 months ago, despite that 1 thumbs up, there still seems to be no willingness to actually do so.

Never heard of Cutie, but while reading the article you linked, I noticed there's a link going here → https://cutie-shell.org/
Instructions can be spotted at the "Automatic installation (wayland-egl pinephone)" part.

Despite my clear criticism against Phosh on many aspects, I still use it as the main DE, but it's not because I believe it's the best DE out there, but rather because it's the least bad DE.
But I'll give Cutie a try, thanks for the tip.

It's too bad that they removed that, it looks like they really want it to look a certain way. I think the suggestion you made was really good, even just havin that as an option would be nice. Thanks for pointin out that link, I'll have to give that a try! Yeah, Phosh and Mobian seem pretty stable, that's why I went with them initially. A lot of people that I've shown my phone to say that the home screen doesn't look bad at all, which surprises me. I guess I just prefer a more modern look.

Hope Cutie works out well for you!
  Reply
#5
(01-09-2022, 06:26 AM)dukla2000 Wrote:
(01-08-2022, 01:00 PM)Ferriah Wrote: Hey all,

I am a bit new to Linux, (been usin it for about a year and a half). I just got my Pinephone, and I'm really happy with it! I like Mobian a lot, and don't want to switch from it, however I really do not like how the homescreen on Phosh looks.
...

It is possible to build your own Mobian with whatever DE you prefer, e.g. here for openbox, lxde etc.

Thanks for lettin me know that, I'll have to give that a try! Is it hard to make your own DE?
  Reply
#6
(01-09-2022, 11:41 AM)Ferriah Wrote: ...
Thanks for lettin me know that, I'll have to give that a try! Is it hard to make your own DE?

I have built my own Mobian with Openbox using those Debos scripts and it was reasonably easy. (My only problem is Debos only runs on x64 so playing with it at home where my desktop is a RockPro64 is not possible.)

HOWEVER - what is rapidly clear are the challenges swapping from mouse-driven to finger-driven and I have yet to find enough time to see if I can get to daily driver with Openbox say. And for sure this highlights the mega-challenges of writing your own - not sure if that is what you meant "... make your own ..." but my skills barely stretch to using some old DE already out there, and not to modifying one or writing a new one from scratch!
  • ROCKPro64 v2.1 2GB, 16Gb eMMC for rootfs, SX8200Pro 512GB NVMe for /home, HDMI video & sound, Bluetooth keyboard & mouse. Arch (5.16 kernel, Openbox desktop) for general purpose daily PC.
  • PinePhone Pro Explorer Edittion, Tow-boot on SPI, Arch/phosh on eMMC
  • PinePhone BraveHeart now v1.2b 3/32Gb, daily driver: Tow-boot with Arch/Phosh on eMMC
  Reply
#7
If anyone finds another DE useful, please keep us all posted.
I used Gnome Shell for a bit. Some things were better and some things were worse, but it was certainly usable. Mainly because I couldn't figure out how to get an indicator for the modem, I ended up going back to Phosh though.
I know some people use Xfce, but don't know if they actually use any phone features.
It would be great to hear any success stories with other DE's.
  Reply
#8
(01-11-2022, 12:36 PM)moodroid Wrote: If anyone finds another DE useful, please keep us all posted.
I used Gnome Shell for a bit. Some things were better and some things were worse, but it was certainly usable. Mainly because I couldn't figure out how to get an indicator for the modem, I ended up going back to Phosh though.
I know some people use Xfce, but don't know if they actually use any phone features.
It would be great to hear any success stories with other DE's.

My biggest worry with every DE that's not designed for phones is whether the power button will actually work.
On screen keyboard too, but at least you'd expect it to not be there by default.

For example, it works in SXMO (which is made for PinePhone), but it's mapped to do all sorts of different things.
In MATE (which never had phones in mind) on the other hand, the power button doesn't do anything at all, your only way to turn off the screen is to power off the device entirely.
母語は日本語ですが、英語も喋れます(ry
  Reply
#9
(01-11-2022, 12:36 PM)moodroid Wrote: I know some people use Xfce, but don't know if they actually use any phone features.

Yep, I'm using Gnome Calls successfully with XFCE though I had to compile it myself along with all the dependencies. I run eg25manager manually at the moment when I want to make a call and I don't even have audio routing set up. I just run a script to unmute all the ALSA channels for the call.

I get SMS with Pidgin.

So it can certainly be made to work, but it won't have the easy to use polish of something like Phosh.
  Reply
#10
(01-08-2022, 09:07 PM)ryo Wrote: Despite my clear criticism against Phosh on many aspects, I still use it as the main DE, but it's not because I believe it's the best DE out there, but rather because it's the least bad DE.

I feel like this is where most people are. Most people much prefer the look and feel of both Lomiri or Plasma Mobile but Phosh is more stable so it wins out. I've been daily driving it since September and I know I couldn't possibly do that with Plasma Mobile but man, do I wish I could. Phosh has plenty of design decisions that I can't stand and they don't seem to care much what the community thinks. The moment Plasma Mobile is stable enough I will be jumping on board and leaving Phosh behind forever.
  Reply


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