GNOME or Fluxbox?

I currently have two window managers installed on my computer: GNOME (which is the default with Ubuntu) and Fluxbox. I installed Fluxbox because I found GNOME to be just a little bit too heavy on the features, and I quite fancied the idea of starting with something really lightweight and then just finding ways to add the particular features which I needed.

I’ve been using Fluxbox as my default window manager for about a week, with some success. I’ve managed to resolve a good number of my gripes, but a few things still are outstanding.

  • Samba – I haven’t yet tried connecting to one of the shared folders on the other computers in the house, but GNOME makes this insanely easy. We shall see.
  • Delete – The graphical file manager for Fluxbox is called Rox, and is quite sleek. However, I’m having difficulty getting used to it for a number of reasons, the biggest of which is that if you highlight a file and hit the “Delete” key on the keyboard, it does nothing. Ctrl+X is the shortcut for deletion, and I can’t figure out how to change this. Yet.
  • Trash – On a related note, Rox doesn’t have a Trash folder. There is, I believe, a plugin available to do this, but I consider this to be something that can reasonably be expected to be in the base package.
  • Toolbar – My GNOME toolbar contains a nifty little workspace pager, and a system monitor that shows small histograms of recent CPU usage, memory usage and network usage. Again, I haven’t found equivalents in Fluxbox yet.
  • GAIM – Minor one: I’m not receiving sounds from GAIM in Fluxbox, which means I can’t tell when someone has IMed me, unless I keep the conversation window in view. Which defeats the whole virtual desktop idea.
  • Shutdown – the main menu doesn’t have a shutdown option – just an “Exit” option, which takes you back to the login screen, where you can shutdown. I think that this is reasonably easy to add (something along these lines with a little bit of this), but again, it’s surprising how much you take these kinds of things for granted in more polished window managers.
  • Bluetooth – GNOME is pretty slick when it comes to transferring photos from my phone to the computer. Haven’t looked into this on Fluxbox much, but it isn’t leaping out at me.
  • XMMS – A very scratchy itch, this one. When I right click on XMMS in the taskbar and move it to another workspace, the playlist window stays behind, and there’s no way to send it along without closing XMMS, switching to the destination workspace, and opening XMMS from there.

That’s the entire contents of my list.

I’ve got config fatigue now, and so I’ve set GNOME as my default again for a little while. When the time feels right, I shall go back and see if I can strike some of these items off the list. Rest assured that as and when I nail them, I’ll leave an update here.