Don’t Ask Why. Ask, Why Not?

Somehow, I’ve become the kind of person who installs WindowMaker on my Linux Mint install. Not for any good reason. I did it because I could, just to see what would happen, just to see if it would work.

Linux Mint 21.1 WindowMaker edition

It does.

WindowMaker is a window manager based on the NextStep computers and their operating system of the early 90s. (NextStep would evolve into MacOS after Steve Jobs returned to Apple.) I used a Next machine a few times at the University of Richmond; there was a lab of them in the basement of Jepson Hall.

Why the Debian wallpaper? When I fired WindowMaker up, it had a Debian wallpaper. I found this wallpaper in my Mint install — specifically, it can be found at /usr/share/desktop-base/spacefun-theme/wallpaper/contents/images — and decided I’d stay with the Debian theme.

It’s not exactly intuitive — or, at least, from a 2020s UI perspective — and some things are a little weird. Adding Vivaldi (which is that Netscape icon in the dock) to the dock required adding a different program to the dock, then changing what the launcher in the dock opened. To take screenshots, I did the same thing, adding a program to the dock, then changing the program called to scrot, a Linux command-line screenshot tool. I could add Mint’s Network Manager app to the dock so I could connect to my wifi and to the work VPN, but then it wouldn’t run, and that required some editing of the launcher as well.

Yes, I can connect to the work VPN. In Linux Mint, using a now obscure throwback 90s window manager.

Linux Mint 21.1 WindowMaker Edition, with a remote desktop client open

Why? Because I can.

Because it’s cool.

Except to write an email in Outlook, I didn’t use this for any work today. All of the major work I logged on my clipboard, that I did in Windows 10.

But maybe one day soon, I’ll use WindowMaker as my portal to the working world.


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