new user with a few questions

Please post all general support questions for LXDE here.
babag
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:35 am

new user with a few questions

Post by babag »

1. how do i make icons i place on the desktop appear only once? i use four monitors for video/audio editing and when i place a desktop icon it appears on all four monitors rather than only in the place i drop it.

2. how can i size my desktop icons? they seem really big to me. i can change the desktop font size and that does seem to affect the size of the icons but not enough.

i've been having nothing but trouble in trying to make a switch to linux as my primary machine for working and lxde seems to be the most promising thing i've found. i've tried xfce and kde and a whole lot of others and they all have annoying problems. xfce (and most of the others) won't let me put the icons on the monitor i want. i can only do that by placing them onto panels and placing the panels. i can place the panels where i want but not the icons. horrible inconsistency. maddening. might be ok but i've got over fifty panels doing it this way and it makes adding or deleting icons really cumbersome.

kde was much better but is much heavier than xfce so i was going with xfce. after some time i decided to check in on kde to see if it was maybe ok despite the weight of the system. to my surprise i find that it seems to hate multiple monitors and hangs at the login screen with nothing but a mouse cursor on screen. key commands don't do anything.

now i've discovered lxde which seems to hold out hope for both weight and configurability. awesome.

thanks,
babag

seppalta
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Re: new user with a few questions

Post by seppalta »

It seems to me you should go with a desktop that isn't so forceful in what it requires of the user. I recommend just going with an openbox-pcmanfm set-up. Then you can configure your desktop your way. See http://lxlinux.com/ for guidance. In particular, you can use idesk to position icons by coordinates. So your complete grid is available and they will always appear at their coordinates.

babag
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:35 am

Re: new user with a few questions

Post by babag »

sounds complicated but i will look into it. surprises me that something that works out of the box on mac or windows has been so hard to get to work in linux. this sounds like it's potentially a lot of configuring, something i had to do to get xfce to barely sort of do what i wanted. was hoping for something that would let me get right to work rather than having to become some kind of desktop engineer just to get my icons where i want them. in the other oses that seems to be an os feature. here it seems not to be the case. thanks for the link. i hope i can understand it.

babag

seppalta
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Re: new user with a few questions

Post by seppalta »

Quite often something that appears to be difficult at the start becomes the easiest way with familiarity. To learn about idesk, you do not have to read the complete link that I referenced. Just read the 2 or 3 paragraphs related to idesk. You do have to put idesk and pcmanfm --desktop-off in place of pcmanfm --desktop in your autostart file, as indicated in the reference.

babag
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:35 am

Re: new user with a few questions

Post by babag »

thanks again for this. i am looking into it but it still seems like a lot of work that i'll likely forget some critical part of a year down the road when an update screws something up and i need to reset things.

i did figure out one thing thanks to your suggestions. in the lubuntu/lxde desktop i was able to change the desktop icon size through pcmanfm. the prefs allowed me to set icon sizes for the fm and when i did so the desktop icons also changed size. got icons sized more to my liking now. and maybe that provides a clue to something else. it seems that pcmanfm is tied to the desktop. might there be a setting somewhere that would stop creating four icons every time i want to put one on the desktop. if i could get that solved this de would be just about perfect for me.

thanks again,
babag

babag
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:35 am

Re: new user with a few questions

Post by babag »

so... i've been playing with seppalta's suggested openbox/idesk solution and it does seem interesting, if incredibly time consuming (for me).

i've had some trouble with getting icons associated with a given desktop icon script. i put a path into the script but the desktop icon doesn't show up. seems like it doesn't like some icons and does others. it DOES solve the issue of creating four icons on the four displays when i only wanted one. that's a big step.

so, here's a question, how do i change the icon's font size and color? on my desktop, the default cyan/green looks terrible and is WAY too big. how do i change that? i see the setting to set the icon size, though, it doesn't seem to do anything. icons are always too big. maybe i need to make smaller icons? again, too much work. first things first, though. anyone got ideas on changing the font size and color?

thanks,
babag

seppalta
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Re: new user with a few questions

Post by seppalta »

i put a path into the script but the desktop icon doesn't show up. i see the setting to set the icon size, though, it doesn't seem to do anything.

Each icon (desktop launcher) is associated with a .lnk file in ~/.idesktop. You have to use your text editor to make these. They will faithfully make the icon of your choice the size you stipulate and place it in the position you stipulate, provided you have put idesk in charge of your desktop and removed pcmanfm from that task. I suspect that you have failed to do the latter. You need to stipulate this change in the autostart file controlling your operating system. If you are using a full lxde system, there are several autostart files. The one that controls all aspects of your system is probably /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE/autostart. If you just have an openbox-pcmanfm system, the the relevant autostart file is ~/.config/openbox/autostart.

In the relevant autostart file, enter idesk and pcmanfm --desktop-off in the correct format for that autostart file (get format from other entries). Also, if pcmanfm --desktop is in the autostart file, delete it or disengage it.

babag
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:35 am

Re: new user with a few questions

Post by babag »

thanks, seppalta. the desktop icons weren't responding to the size parameters until i found the ideskrc file. i'd wanted to change the default font, its size and color. once i did so, the icon size started to respond to the size parameters in the lnk files. odd but i'm not arguing with it. on to looking at menus now.

thanks again,
babag

babag
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:35 am

Re: new user with a few questions

Post by babag »

hmm. here's a question i didn't anticipate. i just realized that the desktop icons i'm placing with idesk are 'always on top,' meaning that, if i open a document full screen on the display that has the icons, the document has icons peppered all over it. how do i tell icons to go to the back?

thanks,
babag

seppalta
Posts: 449
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:09 am
Location: USA
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Re: new user with a few questions

Post by seppalta »

You should have a hidden configuration file in your home directory for idesk: ~/ideskrc. If you don't, sample idesk files should be in /usr/share/idesk/default.lnk, or just copy the one at http://idesk.sourceforge.net/html/usage.htmll. In .ideskrc, change transparency: 100 to transparency: 0. I cannot test this, because I don't use desktop icons, but I think that will put your windows on top.

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