TrueOS + Lumina Desktop Environment user experience overview Part 1

Your enjoyment of TrueOS and the default Lumina desktop environment is largely dependent on your experience with FreeBSD, and your tolerance for different work environments. Windows and macOS users will find the experience jarring especially when it comes to performing tasks they are accustomed to doing in a certain way. Even Linux users might find TrueOS uncomfortable, though veteran Linux users who had used early Mandriva, Knoppix, and Debian releases will be more open-minded.

If you stick to the command line interface, you will notice differences between TrueOS with Lumina and FreeBSD 11. If you work primarily on the desktop, then Lumina has a few traits similar to Enlightenment (E17) or a standalone IceWM install.

Aesthetics and customization

Users who like making minute changes to their desktop environment will definitely start work on changing Lumina's appearance. Even serious users who don't generally change icon and window defaults will probably end up making changes. As always, it's a matter of taste and preference.

For the most part, the desktop settings can easily be changed directly, but you can go one step further by editing the text configuration files using the Theme Editor.

Performance and graphics

The default Lumina desktop environment has a low overhead, but on my Zotac ZBOX Nano with an Intel Celeron, Intel HD chip, and 8 GB of RAM, there were brief pixel artifacts and shadowing when I dragged windows and applications. Moreover, observant users will probably notice a brief lag when performing tasks - it's hard to tell whether it's due more to FreeBSD or TrueOS Lumina.

Note: I run FreeBSD 11 with either Xfce or MATE on modest hardware and work mostly on the terminal for tasks, so performance is hard to assess and making comparisons would be inaccurate. Linux distributions on the same hardware, however, shrug off all tasks I perform daily with no impact on desktop user experience.

According to the System Monitor Lumina Plugin, basic tasks such as running Firefox, Chromium, and file managers never really pushes TrueOS. Basic photo editing, taking screen captures, and transferring files to my NAS only trigger a slight bump, though playback of media using VLC registered a considerable amount of resources.

Continued in TrueOS + Lumina Desktop Environment User Experience Part 2


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