I’ve been heard of razor-qt for awhile and decided to take it a ride during this boring saturday afternoon. Razor-qt is a DE (desktop environment) that is written with qt and known for it’s lightweight, open source and of course, free.

I’m using Fedora 16 and according to the download page at razor-qt website, the binary package is available meaning that I do not need to build the whole DE from scratch, which is a good news :D. Here’s how I install it in my Fedora 16

Open up the terminal and type:

cd /etc/yum.repos.d

sudo wget http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/X11:/QtDesktop/Fedora_16/X11:QtDesktop.repo

sudo yum install -y razor-qt

After the packages has been installed, I logout from KDE and choose razor-qt from session menu of the login screen. It prompts me for choosing either razor-qt(Kwin) or razor-qt(openbox) after I login. I decided to go for kwin backend.

Here are the default desktop screenshots. You can press Alt-F1 to bring out the application menu as well as right click on the desktop. I found it’s simple and easy to use but for a regular KDE user like me, I found that it’s abit oversimplified/incomplete compared to KDE. But the lightweight properties for this DE makes it a better choice for KDE if you prefer performance over fancy desktop customization.

The screenshots above shows razor desktop edit mode. As you can observe, currently the desktop plugin is quite limited (only 3 available) . Hope that more will come :). You can drag and drop those plugin but one fallback is you can’t resize those plugin (if anybody knows how to resize it, please tell me :().

There’s another problem with the icon view desktop plugin, I have a few shortcuts in my desktop folder but it just won’t show up in the icon view. Put away the bad side of it, the icon view is instance, meaning that the when I created a folder in desktop folder, the folder will show up immediately on the icon view without refreshing. Good job!

The panels of razor-qt is simple and great. You can move it to any side of your screen but you can’t resize it. The feature I love the most for the task manager of the panel in razor-qt is it has icon view, text view and combine icon and text view, and you can even set the maximum width of task manager element. It is a great feature and I’m sure many users will love it too. Great work.

You can also add some plugins to the panel like show desktop, mount/unmount device and etc. All the plugins works great except for the Quicklaunch button plugin, where I fail to find a way to configure it. 🙁

The settings application for razor-qt is simple ( a little bit over-simple makes me feel like it’s incomplete). All the basic things could be set like mouse theme and etc but just lack of some detail settings like 2 fingers tapping (touchpad) behaviour and etc.

Another fallback of razor-qt is the lack of volume control and screen brightness control feature (at least I couldn’t control both those properties with keyboard shortcut). It will be great if these features is integrated in the following release.

Overall, I feel that razor-qt is a good DE, it’s not great but it’s quite impressive consider it’s quite young but quite mature already! For me, it’s still an incomplete DE as lack of some DE customization and desktop plugin settings. But overall, I think it’s a must try DE and it’s a must have if you like KDE and looking for something more lightweight and faster 🙂

P/S: As suggested by knp in the comment below, I can now add item to Quicklaunch by drag and drop and resize the height and width of the panel. Resizing the desktop plugin also works but the border is very thin and the resizing cursor didn’t show up when you mouseover the border, but it works! My bad for not finding it out. Now everything works great except the volume and brightness adjustment using keyboard shortcut 🙂