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Old 08-08-2016, 07:04 PM   #1
DuhFuzz
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Streamlining stock distro/replacing desktop environment/"building" custom DE


Hello, I just installed a Debian based distro running Gnome 3 on a flash drive (full install, not live). The full install expanded to roungly 7GB vs live @ 3.2GB. Being that this is installed on flash, I'm concerned both with resource and storage use; if it were on my primary drive I could just leave well enough alone, but I noticed when going through the customizations, there was no way to even set a plain black desktop background, I really cannot see a reason for all this bloated software when I cant even simply default to black.

As such, I'm looking to streamline/reduce consumption of my limited rom drive as well as keep my resource use low. The first thing I am looking at is the desktop environment; following this graph:

https://l3net.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/cmp-all4.png

I can save roughly 3/4th my resources compared to gnome by switching to LXDE if accurate. I have used LXDE before and was comfortable with it. Yet, while attempting to install LXqt, I realised I would be required to set repos and dependencies, and I figured if this was going to be the case, I may as well look more into customizing my experience with Openbox or the like.

Further reading opened a can of worms I was not prepared for; with so many options for window management alone, application launchers, file managers, panels, docks, archive managers, task managers, power management, etc.. it's all a little over my head.

I've been reading for about 2 weeks straight, but for the most part I cannot find detailed descriptions for the specific tools in these various categories, their features, or their requirements, resources, etc

By my current experience, it would be more suited to installing one of the prebuilt DE's, but the primary reason for me to get on linux was to gain more experience so.... theres that

If you could:
1) share your experiences using various lightweight/minimalist desktop environments
2) share your experiences "building" your own desktop environments (whether lightweight/minimalist or not)
3) explain why or why I shouldnt roll my own vs installing prebuilt vs slimming down gnome 3
4) point me to threads that you would consider being <i>the</i> thread for describing/comparing the various tools needed to roll your own


preferences:
floating windows,
snapping windows (vista style)
categorized application menu/launcher,
multiple workstastions,
clock/wifi/battery/etc widgets(?) on a taskbar or easily accessed menu,
support for folders/files placed on desktop,

Last edited by DuhFuzz; 08-08-2016 at 07:06 PM.
 
Old 08-08-2016, 07:22 PM   #2
dugan
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1. Check out the /r/unixporn subreddit

2. My current preferred combination is OpenBox as the window manager, Tint2 as the system tray and taskbar, pcmanfm both handling the desktop and watching for USB disk insertions, rofi as the application launcher, and maim for screenshots (whole desktop, single window, and region-snipping).
 
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Old 08-09-2016, 04:30 AM   #3
DuhFuzz
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heres my win7 desktop, theme, work station, and a hint about the project
Click image for larger version

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Old 09-02-2016, 04:06 PM   #4
DuhFuzz
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Click image for larger version

Name:	PSX_20160902_160516.jpg
Views:	12
Size:	117.1 KB
ID:	22917

Teehee
 
Old 09-02-2016, 04:33 PM   #5
DuhFuzz
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Thanks for pointing me in the right direction =D

Click image for larger version

Name:	Screenshot from 2016-09-02 20-13-53.png
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still gotta tweak everything, but for the most part I'm happy

turned a 9gig distro into a 2.8 gig distro =p

Was having all sorts of issues related to what I believe is a broken Debian installer, wound up having to actually roll my own respin and run persistent live; gonna try to install in VM and see if I cant figure out whats going on
 
Old 09-02-2016, 05:47 PM   #6
jamison20000e
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Hi.

The best to do is start with a netinst: https://www.debian.org/CD/netinst/ ;
there's a slightly steeper learning, curve but is worth it.

Have fun!
 
Old 09-07-2016, 10:43 PM   #7
DuhFuzz
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Basically that's what I did.

Seems all Debian based distros I tried that were kernel 4.0 or above would not properly install. There would be no errors listed, install would conclude "successfully" but upon reboot, there would be no grub.

I hacked around in grub.conf and was able to get grub loaded, and able to load linuz and initrd, would attempt to boot but hang and then freeze at what I can only guess was some missing/incorrect hardware module or config file. Messed around further and was able to prod some more info out of the boot text but I followed those trails to no avail

I tried several drives with several distros but nothing would work.

4.4 generic Ubuntu had no issues and it's from there that I was able to compile my own live-boot netinst version of the 4.6 kernel but it had the same install problems

And believe me I tried all sorts of things and documented everything in distro's forums

Nothin

Last edited by DuhFuzz; 09-08-2016 at 08:08 AM.
 
Old 09-08-2016, 05:34 AM   #8
jamison20000e
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Assuming all backups are in place and\or you can reinstall microcoughed-losedough$ I'd suggest dual boot.

They did ask you to install GRUB towards the end of installs and listed your "VM-drive or manual" so you picked MBR on VM-d (or something like that,) right?

Because the GRUB folder will be there even if you did not install it.
 
Old 09-08-2016, 07:51 AM   #9
DuhFuzz
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i set up my partitions on an empty secondary drive as

/boot
/

installed grub to the same secondary drive

the same way ive always done it, the same way i did it with ubuntu16 trying to resolve the issue

the funny thing is, it installed fine the first time... but only the first time, i changed nothing on subsequent installs. it didnt matter which drive i used, or what my partitions were set as

i was sure to write zeros across the full drives as well just in case there were some remnants


all distros based on:
debian jessie, kernels 4.0 and 4.6- had the same issue
wheezy- no issues
ubuntu16, kernel 4.4 generic- no issues

Last edited by DuhFuzz; 09-08-2016 at 08:07 AM.
 
Old 09-08-2016, 07:59 AM   #10
DuhFuzz
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sorry i mixed that up a bit:

jessie w/ kernels 4.0-4.6
ubuntu w/ 4.4 generic
 
Old 09-08-2016, 02:31 PM   #11
snowpine
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A little bit outdated, but still a very good guide to barebones Ubuntu: http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/minimal
 
Old 09-09-2016, 11:25 AM   #12
DuhFuzz
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i was looking at antiX; if what im understanding is correct, its like a linux-from-scratch from a live boot

http://download.tuxfamily.org/antix/...FAQ/index.html
 
Old 09-09-2016, 12:52 PM   #13
DavidMcCann
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AntiX is Debian Stable! If you like a minimal desktop, you'll like it. It uses Icewm, which was the first GUI I ever used. For a range of GUIs, see
http://xwinman.org/
https://renewablepcs.wordpress.com/a...gnome-or-xfce/

Of the full desktops, Gnome is one of the most feature-rich (or bloated, according to opinion). Mate (try Mint) is more manageable and Xfce (try antiX MX) is the most business-like. (Yes, LXDE is light, but it's a beast to configure).

For a simple window manager, antiX is the best for a beginner. The other WMs can be more trouble or come in distros that are less suited to the beginner.
 
Old 09-10-2016, 12:07 AM   #14
DuhFuzz
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that second link is the one that made me want to check out e17 or moksha, but i was unable to get them loaded for some reason. i will, in all honestly, probably be going through all of this again and again =p

i was a little nervous about trying this with the system i want, but i think ill be more comfortable messing with antiX, just learn everything then incorporate it all

just found: http://crunchbang.org/forums/viewtopic.php?id=18273 should keep me busy reading a while
 
Old 09-12-2016, 10:36 PM   #15
DuhFuzz
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dang, had the same installation issues with current antix-core based on jessie stable in virtualbox =(

im looking for a version based on wheezy but cant find a magnet or mirror anywhere

found some MX but im only really interested in core

i wonder what the issue is... its the same with every jessie based distro ive tried

might be moving to arch /shrug

99.999999999% of my experience over the last 15 years has been debian, with the remainder being centOS; this is kind of disappointing

theres only one thing left i can think to try and that didnt work before so i dont really expect it to work this time =)
 
  


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