I am trying to not be a distro hopper but there are so many different distros out there that it is hard to choose from. Everyone has their own ways of handling common tasks to the way the underlying system works in general. I have become more and more of an Arch user as the apps that I want to use are readily available where in distros such as Ubuntu, and Mint, even though the are nice operating systems, can make it hard to find what I want.
I wanted to do this post as I have started using an awesome OS on my desktop called OBRevenge. This arch based OS is created around the open box desktop environment which appears to have a lot of capabilities built in. Open box, like Mate and XFCE are light weight but still carry a lot of punch. So far, I am highly impressed with how well it works on my system. I am a big Mate fan especially between version 16 and 17 but this is nice for something different to play with.
I took a few screen shots to show some of the main points of the OBRevenge system. All in all it is like most arch releases with some nice addons. The fist screen shot shows what the main screen looks like right now. There are several wallpapers to choose from using an app called nitrogen, but I like the transitions in the one that I have chosen. I have enabled the mate desktop style as this is what I am used to seeing. You can choose from OBR Styles such as Tint2, LXPanel, XFCE4 and Mate. If the dock is not showing, you can add it from a click of a button and use preconfigured layouts.
The docky panel is pre-installed which I think is a great idea. I use a dock all the time to bring my most used apps to the desktop and docky just works and appears to be less resource intensive than some others that I have tried. The developers also integrated an awesome conky display with some shortcut keys to help with some simple everyday items.
The main desktop view:
Nitrogen Wallpaper selector:
OBRevenge has a nice OS Control Panel with some options that will help everyone. The first screen shot is for configuring the panel with such options like a Panel Switcher with will change the panel look to match something that you are used to using as well as changing wallpapers ,etc.
The second tab is for more system related settings such as display, networks and power settings.
The third tab is for software related items. Here you can manage the Mirrorlists, install software of your choice as well as download OBRevenge Wallpapers and work with Software Updates.
The last tab is used for installing things such flash, codecs, nvidia drivers and virtualbox drivers. You can also create a Live USB device from an ISO.
If you click on the System Info button at the bottom, you will be presented with the following terminal screen which will give you information about your system.
And last but not least, if you click on System Monitor, you will be presented with a nice layout of top. This has quite a bit of information to help you troubleshoot potential issues.
The overall performance is fast and efficient and works well with my Acer laptop. That says a lot. There are some things to get used to though. I am not sure if the new thumb drive that I got was having issues initially or just needed to be formatted, but it could not be seem at all. My older thumb drive was working just fine as it was already formatted. I loaded a live media, formatted the new thumbdrive and am able to see it now, but there are still some weird things happening which is non related.
There is quite a bit of room to grow within this operating system and with it being based primarily on Open Box, then it is lighter than most. I really like XFCE and Mate and this fits right in. KDE and Gnome appear to be too heavy on resources. Even though my laptop has 8 gig of ram and a quad core CPU, I am still feeling some pains with KDE and Gnome. I try them from time to time to see what has changed and to be able to keep up with the latest desktop environments.
As you can see from the small video clip that I created below, there is a lot of capability that comes with OBRevenge. I like when I right click, a new set of menus pop up with all of the applications.
One thing of interest that I found which once I get used to using it is a search bar called Albert. Albert is a keyboard launch very similar to the the MacOS Alfred. You can setup a key sequence such as CTRL – SPACE to bring up the search bar. In the search bar, you have access the applications installed on the desktop as well as search engine results. Below in the plugins tab, you can see the available options.
Albert General Tab:
Albert Plugins Tab: