I don’t know where I heard about the Otter browser project but I wanted to try it out.
There is no 64bit linux binary available on their site or in the Debian stable depositories. I tried to build it from source but got dependency weirdness I couldn’t google my way out of. During my reading I noticed folks saying there was an Arch linux AUR package for it. This would be neat if I ran arch. So…..
Arch with GUI installer
That was an experiment which I’ve since deleted. I knew there were some graphical installers for Arch that resulted in an X desktop so I tried them.
It was good install experience but ran surprisingly slow. Arch variant running slow? WTF? I cranked up the RAM to 1024MB and tried again. Helped some but still not acceptable. I wandered through the configs and disabled compositing. Didn’t even know that Xfce even had compositing to turn off. It did make a big difference.
Then I read that Manjaro runs its own depository instead of pulling from Arch’s. Wat. I understand what theyr’e trying to do but it seems to me a very big hammer for a simple problem: just don’t update Arch incessantly and you get the same effect without a custom depository.
I was interested in this distro because I ran Crunchbang as my default OS for a couple of years and really liked it. Since this arch derivative was said to be a Crunchbang approach to Arch I gave it a shot.
It’s light and fast like !#. It looks simple and good.
The UI is a thin layer on top of arch so any config changes need to be hand-rolled. I get it, that’s the arch way. But I find it a little annoying. What I want from Arch is: I don’t require the full Arch hair shirt to get those.
[Update: I installed MATE on the Archbang virtual and it helped with configuration]
Example: resolution change required some randr and ~/.config/openbox/autostart action. Not difficult but it seems that would be an obvious thing to config from the GUI.
BTW, I’d never heard of dmenu before this. Seems like a lightweight way to get Gnome3/Unity-style app searching.
I don’t think Archbang is for me but I used it to try building Otter.
I installed base-devel and pulled down the otter-browser AUR package using the git url. Ran makepkg and it built fine. Installed with pacman and it installed but would not start correctly. Hmmm. I deleted the otter-browser package.
Next I tried the otter-browser-git AUR package. The -git versions pull directly from the project’s git repo while the normal version (as above) are generally stable releases. Built and installed again and this time it launched:
I think this will be an interesting browser to check up on every few months. It’s still very early (slow, several features and configs are stubs) but shows promise.
I chose the 461MB net install image because I was still smarting from the 1.6/2.0GB Manjaro images.
The install interface was clean and effective. No trick questions that I can remember. I picked MATE from one of the options since I have relatively little experience with it. Works fine and MATE doesn’t suck. Still a bit of a strange paradigm for me but I will keep playing with it.
The only glitch was virtualbox-related. I couldn’t change the resolution until I got the guest additions cranked up. Took me a while because I missed the LTS kernel version that was right there in the wiki article… durrr.
I will probably delete my Manjaro and Archbang virtuals and use Antergos for my arch needs going forward.