Thursday, December 26, 2013

Razor-qt, a sharp looking desktop

In searching the web for the newest in Linux tech, I came across Razor-qt, a desktop environment for Linux.

It's hard to win me over. I have been a  ardent fan of XFCE for a very long time, and still will be for a long time to come I believe.

I have to say that Razor is the first desktop environment that actually stands nearly toe to toe with XFCE, in my opinion.

What makes an excellent desktop environment?

For me their are a few key features I want above the rest.

Number one is functional. It has to have the ability to do everything I want it to do without going to the terminal/cli. All the setting should be graphical in nature.

Razor fulfills this.

A very close number 2 is speed. One of the reasons XFCE wins out with me is because they handle requirement number one with grace while still being very very fast.

Razor is not as flushed out on desktop settings as XFCE, but it makes up for it by being as fast as XFCE, I dare say even a hair faster.

Number 3 is where Razor shines. After function and speed, I do care somewhat about form.

Razor is quite beautiful to me. I belief Razor has XFCE beat in the looks department.

Here are 2 screen shots from my desktop to give you a taste of how it looks:

Here's what the Razor-qt team has to say about their project:

"Razor-qt is an advanced, easy-to-use, and fast desktop environment based on Qt technologies. It has been tailored for users who value simplicity, speed, and an intuitive interface. Unlike most desktop environments, Razor-qt also works fine with weak machines.
While still a new project, Razor-qt already contains the key DE components:

Application launcher
Settings center
You can use either all of them or part of them. Razor-qt works with various WMs, most of Razor developers use Openbox. But it's no problem to take any modern WM from fwwm2 to kwin (yes, KDE without Plasma Desktop is possible too).
Razor-qt is a new open-source project and you can help us improve it. We welcome your bug reports and suggestions; you are free to translate all into your own language, create more attractive graphics, anything."

To install Razor in Ubuntu, I had to follow these simple steps in the terminal/cli:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:razor-qt

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install razorqt

For more information on other platforms, check out

When installing Razor-qt in Xubuntu 12.04, I was prompted with the question of what window manager to use with Razor. Since XFCE was already installed, I use XFCE's window manager, xfwm.

I have had no problems with using xfwm. I did need to use lxappearance to get the icons in thunar to look right. Other than that, everything went fairly smooth. (And I don't think that is a xfwm issue..)

I am torn. I am still the skeptic waiting to find something that doesn't sit quite right for me, sending me back to the open arms of XFCE.

If I had to choose between XFCE and Razor, for now it would still be XFCE. Most likely because I know XFCE well enough to feel comfortable with it.

But in all fairness, Razor is still in beta stages. Also, I want to point out that Razor is definitely my 2nd choice, and just barely at that.

If the choice was between Razor and LXDE, Razor would win in a land slide.

Since we all have differences of opinion, and cherish different things, I suggest you try Razor for yourself. It takes only minutes or seconds to download, and I think you will be pleasantly surprised by Razor.

Here are some more screenshots thanks to that will give you a more rounded out feel of what Razor can do:

Razor-qt 0.5. Default theme.

Razor-qt 0.3. Abut dialog. Green theme.

And some more screens thanks to Google's Image search:

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