Monday, 18 June 2007

I love Beryl (True)

What is it about Linux? Perhaps because of the collaborative nature of the Linux community, because of the strict rules on how things are done necessitated by its collaborative nature, nobody wants to shout about anything, even when they have something to shout about. Fedora 7 is taken to be a "bleeding edge" distro. So why isn't beryl installed by default, or at least why isn't there an option to install it?

What's beryl? Beryl is an OpenGL accelerated desktop that gives you all the features you've heard about from Windows Vista: "glass" toolbars; 3-D Windows transformations; Windows "thumbnails." What's more, because it's based on OpenGL, you do not need 256Mb of dedicated Video RAM to get it to work. Beryl works beautifully on my old Toshiba laptop.

Now I have read articles where is beryl is discussed in dismissive tones as "eye-candy." Anyone who takes that position is betraying a profound ignorance of the computer market. As I have discussed elsewhere, the "wow" in Microsoft's multi-million dollar marketing campaign for Windows Vista is precisely this "eye-candy." Beryl blows it away.

So install it! On Fedora 7 it's right there. Just go to "Add/Remove Software" and install beryl-gnome - the "meta-package" to install all beryl components. Once you are happy that everything is running, you will want to get beryl to start automatically. Just type gnome-session-properties in a terminal window and add the Beryl Manager to Startup Programs. The default install location is /usr/bin/beryl-manager.

This being Linux, you can now spend many happy hours running the Beryl Setting Manager to configure all the different options with all their different parameters. Absolutely brilliant!

No comments: