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Old 09-10-2012, 09:49 AM   #1
punchy71
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Which distros have no X or G.U.I. by default?


It's been a long time since I tried Debian, Slackware or Red Hat or any of it's clones (I use Ubuntu now days). I was wondering if these distros still to this day after you install them will boot to a blinking cursor only (no "X" with a G.U.I. Desktop Environment). I know that Debian *used* to be that way and I think Slackware too. And from what I've read I think Arch might also. You install the base system (or core system), then install "X", and then layer your own Desktop Environment on top of "X". I'm not sure about Red Hat or any of it's clones though. I never really got into them. Also; I need a refresher about what "X" is, I forgot. If I remember it correctly, I think it is something that just alows you to "layer on" your own choice of a graphical desktop envorionment. What about Tiling Window Managers,do they need "X" also?
 
Old 09-10-2012, 10:03 AM   #2
snowpine
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Most distros (including Debian, Slackware, Red Hat, and Ubuntu) have the option to install X/GUI by default or not, depending on your needs.
 
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:10 AM   #3
guyonearth
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You would have to find a version that is the minimal or net install for whatever distro. Almost all of them are going to install a desktop of some type and some software packages, otherwise the system would not be very useful for most people.
 
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:15 AM   #4
Didier Spaier
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Slackware by default will boot at run level 3, that is to say in console mode (black screen with a bash prompt). Then if after login you type "startx" this will start X and on top of X a windows manager or desktop of a kind you will have chosen with the "xwmconfig" command. At time of writing offered choices are: kde, xfce, fluxbox, blackbox, wmaker, fvwm2, twm.

If you prefer you can set up Slackware so that it starts at run level 4. Then at startup you will be directly offered to choose the WM or DE you want to use when you log in, IOW for that session.

X is really a software layer than can handle input devices (keyboards, mouse,... ) and video devices. The aforementioned windows managers or desktop environments communicate with the hardware through X and the kernel itself (kernel modules included). Tiling Windows Managers need X as well to work.

Last edited by Didier Spaier; 09-10-2012 at 10:37 AM.
 
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:25 AM   #5
colorpurple21859
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Arch and Gentoo start out with just basic system, no Xorg not desktop and have to build from there.
 
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:29 AM   #6
szboardstretcher
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Anything redhat based you can type 'linux text' in the boot params, and it will go through text mode anaconda, from where you can choose to install no gui.
 
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:16 AM   #7
onebuck
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Member Response

Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by guyonearth View Post
You would have to find a version that is the minimal or net install for whatever distro. Almost all of them are going to install a desktop of some type and some software packages, otherwise the system would not be very useful for most people.
Slackware is not a minimal system unless you choose to install as such. You do not need X, DE or Wm to run Slackware. Desktop GUI insulates the user from the OS. If that suits your needs then you can choose to install X, DE or WM to meet those needs. You can install Slackware from a ISO DVD, network install via local tree or remotely. User choices!

Some users are very comfortable running from console.
Please do not paint a picture with a broad brush.
 
Old 09-10-2012, 11:28 AM   #8
273
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As I remember a "server" install of Debian using the expert installer will leave you with a command-line only install. However, if you then simpky install a meta-package like gnome-desktop it will install GDM (or equivalent) and boot to the graphical login. This can be disabled or you can work around it by only installing the components of the DE you choose individuallly.
 
Old 09-10-2012, 01:04 PM   #9
TobiSGD
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Debian will install a DE by default, unless you choose not to. The same is true for Slackware,in fact (as Didier Spaier pointed already out), it will install several DEs/WMs (and even then, some users, like me, are not happy with it and have to install another WM/DE). The last time I installed a Red Hat distribution was RH 7.3 (not RHEL) or something from that time, so I can't say.
But nowadays having a DE/WM by default is pretty much standard, even on very specialized or small distros, like Tinycore, Slitaz or Backtrack. There are only very few distros that come without X by default, the only ones that come to my mind are Arch, ttylinux, Gentoo, LFS (but LFS has not really anything by default) and may be some of the other source based distros.
But I would think that is one of the main advantages of Linux, those users that want to do anything via GUI can choose an appropriate distro, those familiar and used to CLI can choose a system that is better tailored to their needs, and of course anything between (i3, zsh, vim, ranger and Firefox with Pentadactyl are a perfect combination for me, for example).

Last edited by TobiSGD; 09-10-2012 at 01:06 PM.
 
Old 09-10-2012, 01:47 PM   #10
EDDY1
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Debian & Ubuntu uses tasksel
Debian asks you what you want to install, you can just select base install or server env..
Ubuntu mini.iso also asks what you want to install & gives option dor no DE or you can choose any of the ubuntu's.
Arch does a minimal install unless you put DE.
There are quite a few others.
 
Old 09-10-2012, 02:07 PM   #11
TroN-0074
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FreeBSD doesnt install any graphical interface by default. It is not a Linux base but is pretty good Operating System, just like any GNU/Linux distro
 
Old 09-10-2012, 02:09 PM   #12
business_kid
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Tomsrtbt comes with no X - floppy disk or El Torito install.
Most people want to work in X. I like not doing so. So I boot to runlevel 3 (multi-user) and run startx from there.

X is a server. Stuff interacts with that - window managers, programs, etc. It's time you downloaded a live cd. A GUI isn;t the worst thing, you know.
 
Old 09-10-2012, 05:55 PM   #13
wpeckham
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Lots of options

As they mention above, nearly any general distribution can be installed this way. It is a matter of choice, not generally the default.

For those that default to termial only:
The original PUPPY had a version that had no GUI I believe, but I am not sure. (Like puppy, but not a big user.)
MicroCore (from the same site as TinyCore) is non-gui, small, and FAST!
There are several special purpose tools (firewall or router distributions) that work this way, but they do not lend themselves to other purpose easily. PUPPY and Micro are really made to be general purpose, with or without XWindows.

I am sure that there are others, but unless you have some specific purpose in mind beyond what you have mentioned, those recommendations made to date should suffice.

Get back to us and let us know what fun you are having!
 
  


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