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Making Windows Sane to use

Whether you have to use Windows for work, or are still running Windows for games, if you have any form of income and work in IT you probably have to use Windows. Windows is generally known as a Bad Thing, but it’s often not an individual’s choice. As such, I present to you, a guide to making Windows Sane

My environment

I did this on my main home desktop:

It runs Windows 7 and for this guide I used a copy of VMWare Workstation.

1. Materials
2. Setup

First, install your hypervisor. You’ll want to get your linux virtual machine(s) installing. The rest of this can be done while you wait.

Get VcXsrv and PuTTY installed. Generate your keys. Ideally get pageant running at login (by placing a shortcut in the Startup directory of your start menu).

If you have a box to test X11 forwarding on, do so now.

Once your virtual machine(s) are done with the base install, you’ll want to install:

At this point it would probably be wise to reboot both the virtual machine and the host machine, because knowing Windows it might even prevent future errors.

Also look into getting the virtual machine(s) running at boot so you don’t have to manually start them

3. Usage

Determine the IP address of your virtual machine(s). Create a session for each. Under Connection/SSH, put xfce4-panel in the Remote Command box. Enable X11 forwarding under Connection/SSH/X11.

Unless you already put your key in it’ll ask you for your password when you log in. After you enter it, there’ll be some GTK warnings but it’s fine. The panel should ask you about initial setup. Don’t use the default, just make a single panel somewhere out of the way, make it autohide, and stick some launchers.

For some odd reason, Windows doesn’t provide EWMH so you can’t use the window buttons/menu but just about all of the other panel widgets should work.

4. Enjoy a semi-sane environment

Some possible things you may want to look into:

By Izaya

Tags: tech software bad-software windows

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