otter-browser / GUI arch linux installs

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

I have installed Arch the Real Way as a virtual before and was impressed with the speed, pacman package manager, and the excellent documentation.

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.

Manjaro

I installed Manjaro using my usual testing setup (512MB RAM, 12MB video, 8GB hd, 1 CPU). I chose the Xfce flavor over KDE for lightness (and 400MB less on the download).

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.

Archbang

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:

  1. performance
  2. rolling release
  3. the automatic build system (ABS)
  4. the Arch user repository (AUR)

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.

Otter browser

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:

 

2015-11-10-105125_1021x767_scrot

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.

 

Antergos

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.

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