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Lumina is a lightweight, XDG-compliant, BSD-licensed desktop environment designed specifically for PC-BSD® and FreeBSD. It is based on the QT toolkit and the Fluxbox window manager. It features an alternate approach to the user's traditional "Desktop" folder, treating it as all the files and applications that the user wants to have instant access to, and sorting them for easy use into a couple of buttons on the toolbar instead of cluttering up the display. Lumina also features excellent multi-monitor support, allowing the user to theme and use each screen individually without a lot of extra overhead.

NOTE: While Lumina is functional, it is currently an alpha release and is not ready for use on production-level systems. It is still going through a high number of modifications and does not yet have all the configuration utilities or options expected for a complete desktop environment. Expect things to change on a regular basis. It is possible that changes will reset customized settings, although this should be rare.

Figure 6.9a shows a screenshot of Lumina on a 10.0.2 system with the "Applications" menu open.

Figure 6.9a: Lumina Desktop

If you right-click the desktop and select "Desktop Settings" → "Desktop", click the username in the top bar and select "Desktop Settings" → "Desktop", or type lumina-config from an xterm, the screen shown in Figure 6.9b will open.

Figure 6.9b: Desktop Settings Configuration

The "Background" tab can be used to add or remove the desktop background, to use a single image or to rotate images, and to set the time for rotated images.

The "Panels" tab is shown in Figure 6.9c.

Figure 6.9c: Configuring Panels

The currently loaded top panel items are listed. To reorder an item, highlight it and use the arrows to place it to the desired position on the panel. To add an item to the panel, click the "+" button and select an item from the menu. To remove an item from the panel, highlight it and click the "-" button.

The "Appearance" tab can be used to set the color of the panel, its height in pixels, and whether it appears at the top or bottom of the desktop.

The "Menu" tab is shown in Figure 6.9d.

Figure 6.9c: Configuring the Menu

This configuration screen can be used to change the default terminal application and to add, remove, or reorder items in the main menu.

If you make any changes to the desktop configuration, click "Save Changes" to save them.

As you open applications, they will be added to the panel and can be minimized or maximized from the panel. The star icon contains the shortcuts usually seen in the desktop: AppCafe, PC-BSD Control Panel, and the PC-BSD Handbook. The black square icon next to it is used to access workspaces.

To open a file, shortcut, or URL from the command line, use lumina-open followed by the full path to the file/shortcut or the URL. This utility will look for an appropriate application to use to open the specified file. If it is unsure of the utility to use, it will open the application chooser window so you can select the application to use, and optionally set it as the default application for this file type.

While Login Manager will automatically display Lumina in the desktop menu on a PC-BSD® system, FreeBSD users can add "Lumina-DE" as the name of the binary in their .xtartx, .xinitrc, or similar startup file.

To launch applications or commands on startup, put the commands in ~/.lumina/startapps, one per line. Avoid special characters like quotes.


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