Razor-qt Desktop Review on openSUSE 12.1: Fast and Functional. Better than LXDE? Part 1

Razor-qt is a lightweight desktop that is getting some attention due to being an alternative to the maligned Gnome 3 and Unity.  Razor-qt works best on top of a KDE4-based distribution such as openSUSE 12.1 due to its underlying qt-based structure.  However, unlike KDE4, Razor-qt greatly reduces running daemons and is almost cruelly frugal in its approach.  Due to Linux distribution differences, any user would be hard-pressed to compare Razor-qt with current lightweight favorite, LXDE.

KDE4 vs. Razor-qt on an Asus EEEPC 1000H

I installed Razor-qt on a first-generation netbook running openSUSE 12.1 and the differences in loading times was nothing short of outstanding.  In an informal test, Razor-qt loaded much, much faster than KDE4.

Benchmark machine:Asus EEEPC1000H 2GB RAM Intel Atom CPU270
Toshiba 5500 RPM 150 GB HDD

Desktop
Workspace

Optimization

Bootup

Shutdown

KDE4

Minor optimization,
notifications, minimal system tray

1 minute 4.9 seconds

14.6 seconds

KDE4

Startup optimization, Nepomuk
disabled

1 minute 0.7 seconds

13.2 seconds

Razor-qt

None

37.5
seconds

10
seconds


Customizations on Razor-qt

Users who love customizing every corner of their desktop should stick to KDE4.  Razor-qt matches LXDE in its approach to customizations.  There's very little a user can change other than the desktop wallpaper and icons.  Users who get bored easily will be visiting OpenBox Manager often to change the appearance of windows and menus.

The very capable Openbox Configuration Manager is found under Accessories.

Razor-qt's simple menu is reminiscent of KDE's old menu with cramped text and small icons.  For openSUSE users, Razor places a specific menu for Yast contents.  Razor settings are also found  from its own hiearchy.

Yast2 modules are allocated its own menu tree.

Razor settings can be accessed from the menu.

Razor-qt offers four managers to customize the desktop and it really isn't much compared to the robust settings of KDE - which is the beauty of the setup.
  • Razor Mouse Configuration - to change the mouse cursor theme
  • Razor Appearance - change the icon set
  • Razor Desktop Configuration - wallpaper, menu file, and icon activation
  • Razor Session Configurator - change default applications, startup items, modules, and environment properties
Razor-qt Desktop Review on openSUSE 12.1: Fast and Functional.  Better than LXDE? Part 2



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