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There are some generic pre-defined widgets available: module is deprecated.

It turns out that having XMonad on OS X is a reasonably well documented practice.

Nevertheless, there are still differences in my case that I feel like to write down.

It makes it easier to apply the same color theme to other applications. The gmail checker is a simple hand written ruby script. I don’t think the default terminal emulators that come with Gnome, KDE offer the same room for customizability as urxvt. Here is my config for urxvt Be it Vim or Emacs, you can easily apply a color theme for it. Just follow the instructions and install the appropriate color theme for your text editor.

Obviously only Linux or BSD gives you this much freedom to customize your desktop. If you use all-in-one distros like Ubuntu, you would have the extra work of stripping out the desktop environment. I chose XMonad because of the way it handles windows on multi monitors. I have control over which application should appear on which screen. XMonad allows you to configure apps to automatically go to designated workspaces.

If at all possible, use one of these pre-built packages. We'll now walk through the complete list of toolchain dependencies.

See the main page for distributions that distribute xmonad binaries. To build xmonad, you need the GHC Haskell compiler installed.

For example, I can show a movie on my second monitor while switching workspaces only on the laptop screen. OS X, Windows, Gnome, KDE treats both screens as a single workspace. But I had to manually move apps from screen to screen and do a lot of Alt-Tab window cycling. You get the added advantage of knowing exactly where which app is.