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Old 07-18-2010, 08:45 AM   #1
McCordRM
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Is X11 the only option?


I'm curious if the X system is the only option for Linux?

What I'm aiming for is a desktop with just a dockbar to navigate with.
Avant, docky, etc. I'm looking for various ways to accomplish this. I know I can go with Gnome and just get rid of it's task bars... that's one option. But then I still end up with X11, Gnome AND the dock program.
 
Old 07-18-2010, 09:02 AM   #2
Hidden Windshield
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All X11 does is allow multiple programs to share a single desktop. So to answer your question, yes, you need X if you want any kind of graphical interface.

The actual appearance of windows, the presence or absence of task bars, etc. are all controlled by the window manager and desktop environment. If you don't like Gnome or KDE, google around until you find one that suits your needs, and install it. Then you can uninstall whatever came with your distro, if you need the space.
 
Old 07-18-2010, 12:52 PM   #3
dugan
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No, X is not the only option, but believe me the alternatives are not better.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Directfb

Quote:
Originally Posted by McCordRM View Post
What I'm aiming for is a desktop with just a dockbar to navigate with.
http://www.icewm.org/

Or you could use Xfce and remove one of its two panels, which is what I did for a while:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...screenshot.png

Last edited by dugan; 07-18-2010 at 12:59 PM.
 
Old 07-18-2010, 10:10 PM   #4
blither
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You should use fvwm2 as your window manager that will let you do whatever you want
 
Old 07-18-2010, 10:39 PM   #5
Hidden Windshield
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dugan View Post
No, X is not the only option, but believe me the alternatives are not better.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Directfb
Never saw that before.

You learn something new every day.
 
Old 07-19-2010, 12:12 AM   #6
McCordRM
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Interesting stuff.
The problem I had run into was that my Google skills were failing me.
Everything I found required X to be installed. This wasn't a problem for
Ubuntu distros, for example, but I couldn't get it to work under Arch
to save my life. I tried SO many installs, taking advice from various forums
and info I found online. I finally gave up. If I go back to an Nvidia card
I may try again, but for now I'm done with the Arch Linux and X team.
 
Old 07-19-2010, 08:15 AM   #7
MTK358
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X does not require GNOME or anything.

It just lets programs allocate rectangles to the screen and draw in them. That's all. It doesn't say anythin about how they should be arranged or even that they should be a desktop with a taskbar.

Also, what was wrong with Arch, exactly? I might be able to help.
 
Old 07-19-2010, 10:18 AM   #8
dugan
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I recommend making a post in an appropriate forum (possibly Hardware) asking for help getting X working. Just specify which video card you have.

If you actually want an X-less system, then I recommend using GNU Screen as your task switcher. This is one of the more efficient tutorials:

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2004/3/9/16838/14935

Last edited by dugan; 07-19-2010 at 10:23 AM.
 
Old 07-19-2010, 12:24 PM   #9
DavidMcCann
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It sounds like you just don't want a full desktop environment like Gnome. A really simple window manager is Openbox. You can then add a panel of your choice: I liked fbpanel.
 
Old 07-19-2010, 12:33 PM   #10
MTK358
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tint2 is nice, also.
 
Old 07-19-2010, 02:39 PM   #11
rjcooks
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X is a portable, network-transparent window system(GUI). Version 11(X11) is the latest version. Only god knows if|when there might be a v12( but X11R7.6 is due this year ). XFree and Xorg are the collection of programs that implement X11 for computing systems(not limited to *nix).

Linux OS does not give a hoot whether X is installed. Many would say that Linux OS is not even designed for X and that X is the afterthought for implementing various desktop environments. I agree.

X is the only fully implemented windowing system for Linux. So, yea, if you want the GUI to just work, that's it.

XFree | Xorg are not the only way to get there. There are commercial versions. E.g., Xi ( http://www.xig.com/ ). ( I'm not sure if the others survived ...) You can look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X_Windo...mpetitors_to_X

Using the framebuffer, DirectFB(as mentioned), DRI framebuffer or curses(ncurces) interface are ways to get around installing X but I have never seen a "desktop" that uses any of them. The "gpm" can provide the mouse so there's no reason it cannot be done(other than being limited and butt-ugly, ).
Midnight Commander, with (gpm supplied) mouse, is the closest thing I know of a desktop that does not require X however many UNIX users would also say that you can load emacs and "never need to leave it" so it functions somewhat like a desktop. The combination of those with GNU "screen"(previously mentioned) might get you what you want. ...

However, NO programs that are GUI bound(need X) will run. Every "GUI" program would have to have the X requirement removed and hooks placed to use fb or something else. I seriously doubt that will never happen - too much work for too little benefit.

The Window Maker DE uses a dockbar(gallery). It emulates the look and feel of the NeXTSTEP graphical user interface. It has been around for ages ... at least ten years. Their goal is "the de-facto minimalist yet extremely functional window manager" for *nix(RE: Wikipedia).
It might be sufficient ...

HTH...


PS AfterStep is another NeXTSTEP-like GUI DE.

Last edited by rjcooks; 07-19-2010 at 02:47 PM. Reason: PS
 
Old 07-19-2010, 09:35 PM   #12
teckk
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Give fluxbox a try.
http://fluxbox.org/
 
Old 07-20-2010, 12:22 AM   #13
McCordRM
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Well, I found the problem with getting X to run on my system. I think.
By that, I mean I got it running. So when I installed XFCE4, it worked.
The only thing I changed- and something that wasn't showing up in the Log
file as having caused the problem- was that I turned off my IDE interface
in the BIOS. Ta-daa... no more black screen of death. Beats the hell out of
me why that fixed it.

Anyhow, so I went with XFCE and it looked like crap. Maybe I didn't have good
fonts installed or something, but it really looked bad. I may just have to go
with Gnome and be done with it.

3D acceleration is going to be a problem, too... I like like to game.
 
Old 07-20-2010, 03:16 PM   #14
Shadow_7
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Back in the day plan9 was a contender. But relative to the alternates, very primitive. I use IceWM as pretty much every pixel on the screen is customizable (as it should be). And it's pretty light weight so it doesn't take that long to load up and start working. X can be a bear to get situated for odd systems. It either works or it doesn't. You don't need it to do a lot of things in linux, but the gui apps tend to be a bit more feature rich and prettier.

You could probably benefit from trying a few distros out and see which work and how they differ from the ones that don't in terms of /boot/config and /etc/X11/xorg.conf. Relative to lsmod and /var/log/Xorg.0.log. A bit primitive but sometimes that's the only way to get from A to B. BITD knoppix helped solve a lot of peoples problems with relation to mostly correct configurations. That could be borrowed for other distros.
 
  


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