So It seems I am now an LXQt user. Not sure how long this will last, but so far I'm having fun using a minimalist Desktop Environment that packs all the features I need.
My personal history with desktop managers in Linux/BSD is rather convoluted, every 6 months or so I end up switching (or switching back) DEs in search of a better one. Some invariants remain though
- I prefer KDE over GNOME - mostly because I want the power features of KDE to the over-simplification of GNOME. KDE is my default go-back-to DE when I get tired of whatever I am using (or I just pick up a minimalistic one e.g. i3/fluxbox).
- I like tilled window managers, but no need to be too radical about it - KWin can do a bit of tilling (for windows moves) but it is not enough
- i3 has one thing that no one else has - it is the best in terms of usability of multiple desktops+screens (which is why it is incompatible with other WMs/pagers)
- KDE/Plasma has been slightly disappointing in the 4.X release, not because of the paradigm shift, but because it is a lot less stable than 3.X.
- GNOME/Unity are just not for me, I don't fit into their usability choices.
I tried LXDE before and liked it, but the problem with lightweight desktop environments these days is that they need a lot of work before they become usable:
- xrandr support
- X11 hints and lots of freedesktop specs
- NetworkManager (nm-applet seems to be the only choice)
- Decent notification support
LXQt caught my eye some months ago because they were porting to Qt, but more importantly they merged efforts with the guys from Razor-Qt.
On a side note, I am actually able to run i3 as the window manager for LXQt (check the end for a LXQt panel bug), which ended up being great because I get the best of both worlds. A minimalistic DE with all the features I need, and I great window manager.
The not so good bits
I ran into weird a issue with the LXQt XRandr support, where one of my screens would not turn on. I can't be sure if it was a bug or a result of some conflict with KRandr.
The volume control panel plugin came configured for pulseaudio and pavucontrol - since I don't use pulseaudio I've disabled the plugin and just use kmix instead.
The desktop wallpaper (and icons) are managed by pcmanfm, for some reason it was using my Downloads folder for the desktop. I think this can be changed in the settings file, but I've disabled it completely (through the Autostart options). I wish this was more straightforward though.
I ran into some crashes with i3. Pressing Alt+F1 (LXQt panel menu) crashes i3, and the i3 crash handler is unresponsive. This seems to be an i3 bug. But it looks fixed in i3 4.8.
xdg-su falls back to the default xterm based password popup. This seems to be a problem with either OpenSUSE, or xdg-utils.