Status Update: September 2021

Published on: September 30, 2021 | Reading Time: 4 min | Last Modified : September 30, 2021

status-update
2021

This month went by too fast. I was mostly busy with work stuff. I really didn't have much time for anything else. I am still figuring out Rails. I have some of React covered but if you ask me I'd say I have a lot more to learn. So I am spending a good amount of time there. I also did a bunch of packages this month. After all this, I did manage to sneak in some quality hacker time which is the highlight of this month. The theme of this month is:

My return to the rabbit hole.

Sometime ago I decided that I should stop chasing minimalism and perfection when it came to my setup. I installed from a weekly build live CD of Debian testing with Gnome and started living as simple man. From time to time I used to get frustrated wit gnome and start missing my window managers and terminal applications. When this happened I simply spin up a make-shift i3/sway/bspwm setup based on my old config files and lived in them for a while. towards mid September I striated to grow more and more annoyed of my setup. As someone who contributes to Debian I understand that the main intend here is to provide a system that just works and sometimes that's exactly what I want too. I started to get restless as I read about Alpine, Open BSD, Artix etc. until finally last week I gave in and downloaded a non-live CD of Debian testing and installed minimal system similar to what you'd get after a typical Archlinux install. This system after cold boot used about 150 MB memory and had negligible CPU usage. At this point my question was regarding what approach I was to take moving forward. After much contemplation I decided to choose software that was inline with my taste and needs and I made some interesting choices.

Enter Suckless

Dynamic Window Manager (DWM)

When I really thought about it DWM really had the things I wanted, I just needed to add a few. Basically that's what happened. I added gaps and another patch called pertag. I changed the MOD key to super key and that was about it. I had a functioning window manager. I reused the status script, audio and brightness stuff from my previous window managers. It was easier than I taught. I guess my minimalist attitude sort of compliments the whole thing. I thought I'd be frustrated with all the compiling but it wasn't. The compile time is negligible and every time it compiled cleanly I got a hit of dopamine. I like the default color and hacker aesthetic, so that works too. Bluetooth is weird but bluetooth has always been weird. Someone fix bluetooth. Build something new even.

ST

I've been using st for a while now even with other window managers. It's still a great window manager. I had to add a few features that didn't come by default like proper scrolling, clipboard, text aligning ISO14755 etc. The whole process was really fun and the end result, very satisfying.

I also ended up going with other suckless tools to got with it. I used dmenu for launching programs and slock for lock screen. These two I used as it is without any patches.

Other software

Rest remained the same for the most part. Firefox the default browser. PCManFM as file manager. I also replaces sudo with doas, on which I'll be writing another post. Emacs for most other things. Went with thunderbird for mail until I can figure reading mail on Emacs properly. I should write about Emacs some time soon.

In conclusion

At this end of all this I had a system that used about 280MB RAM. Pretty darn good. Also very satisfying. Of course this all changes when you open Firefox.

In conclusion I wrote some C and did a bunch of Git-fu. I want to keep adding stuff to this. In the mean time I want to install a DE just in case for that rainy day. Think maybe XFCE or KDE Plasma. But that's for later. I have all the essentials down with DWM. Now all I need are non-essential features.

Links to my builds of DWM and St: