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Old 12-17-2009, 06:30 PM   #1
walterbyrd
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Opinions on lightweight desktops: icewm, jwm, lxde, etc.


I am now using LXDE, I used to use IceWM.

The problem I am having with lxde is: I can not seem to configure it. The documentation is inadequate, as is the community. The thing I like about lxde is, I can put icons on the desktop, without jumping through hoops.

IceWM was something of pain to configure, but it was doable, the documentation was there, the config files made sense. In lxde, the icewm config files are still there, but they don't seem to do anything.

I have not JWM, I would like to know what people think of it, or any other lightweight desktop.
 
Old 12-17-2009, 06:51 PM   #2
Elv13
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LXDE is not a desktop environment, its just a bunch of tools. You can configure the windows manager by looking at openbox documentation, the icon in PCManFM doc and so on.

My personal favorite is Awesome Windows Manager. It take some time to get used to it, but you never go back. Configuration is well documented but take some time to learn. It is probably the most flexible desktop environment available as the interface code itself is part of the config file.
 
Old 12-17-2009, 07:03 PM   #3
linus72
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I would invite you to try e17-svn
Very nice, very configurable too

On my PC it comes up using 65MB ram sitting still with GDM and other stuff running
Fluxbox next lightest for me at abotu 90+M

which Debian are you using?

As far as LXDE its really pretty simple so please explain exactly what issue your having with LXDE??
 
Old 12-17-2009, 07:39 PM   #4
mark_alfred
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I use fluxbox. In the slit I set up wmdrawer to give myself something akin to a start button, along with wmdate and volume.app. I had used idesk for desktop icons, but with wmdrawer, I found this to be unnecessary. I set up a key binding for fbrun with the F3 key, to have a quick way to run applications. I gave myself a "show desktop" functionality via putting "None F12 :ShowDesktop" in the keys file (meaning, when F12 was pressed, it would minimise all the programs.) This set up is nice and minimal, and it works for me. I am curious about lxde, though, and may try it.
 
Old 12-17-2009, 08:07 PM   #5
craigevil
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LXDE is pretty simple. What is there to configure other than the theme, icons, wallpaper,fonts, and what items to put on the panel.

Openbox Configuration Manager and Appearance are the two main configuration tools. LxSession to config what apps to start when lxde starts. Pcmanfm has settings to manage the desktop wallpaper. Keyboard and Mouse can do some of the kb/mouse settings.

The lxde forums covers a lot of questions> http://forum.lxde.org/ Granted the wiki doesn't really cover much.

While not debian specific the Arch wiki goes into detail with quite a few things about lxde. http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/LXDE
 
Old 12-17-2009, 08:20 PM   #6
~sHyLoCk~
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elv13 View Post
LXDE is not a desktop environment, its just a bunch of tools. You can configure the windows manager by looking at openbox documentation, the icon in PCManFM doc and so on.
Well what is a desktop environment anyway? Take KDE for an example: Kwin is window manager and then there are Kpanels, kmenu,plasma,etc. It's a collection of well organized tools that make a Desktop Environment. LXDE is a Desktop Environment as well.

Quote:
The "Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment" is an extremely fast-performing and energy-saving desktop environment.
Source
 
Old 12-18-2009, 12:57 AM   #7
mark_alfred
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I just tried lxde, and quite like it. One thing I can't figure out is how to get my .xinitrc file to recognise it. I don't use gdm. Instead I use startx, with an .xinitrc file, along with gxmessage, that provides me with the option to choose which desktop I'd like to boot into. However, I can't get it to recognise lxde as an option. I added the line "lxde /usr/bin/lxsession" in the session choices, which should work. But it doesn't. Anyone know how I can get this working?
 
Old 12-18-2009, 01:03 AM   #8
~sHyLoCk~
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark_alfred View Post
I just tried lxde, and quite like it. One thing I can't figure out is how to get my .xinitrc file to recognise it. I don't use gdm. Instead I use startx, with an .xinitrc file, along with gxmessage, that provides me with the option to choose which desktop I'd like to boot into. However, I can't get it to recognise lxde as an option. I added the line "lxde /usr/bin/lxsession" in the session choices, which should work. But it doesn't. Anyone know how I can get this working?
Code:
exec ck-launch-session startlxde
 
Old 12-18-2009, 10:25 AM   #9
craigevil
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No display manager, use startx

Run the following command with root access:

update-alternatives --config x-session-manager

Then choose startlxde. The next time you run startx, LXDE will be started.
http://wiki.lxde.org/en/Debian
 
Old 12-18-2009, 01:48 PM   #10
mark_alfred
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigevil View Post
Then choose startlxde. The next time you run startx, LXDE will be started.
http://wiki.lxde.org/en/Debian
I actually don't want it to be my default, or to be THE desktop that is automatically gone into. I'm only hoping to have it acknowledged as a choice when the gxmessage pops up. Normally, when I install a desktop and/or window management system (IE, ion3, ratpoison, fluxbox, wmii, etc), all of these will appear as options I can choose when I enter the command "startx". A box comes up, with fluxbox highlighted as the default choice, but there are other buttons allowing me to choose ratpoison or wmii if I so desire. For some reason, this has not happened with lxde.

The file looks like this:

Code:
#!/bin/sh -x

# ~/.xinitrc
# Han Boetes (han mijncomputer nl)

# Obvious, isn't it?  First collumn for the name, second for the
# binary You can put the word default before your prefered default
# session.
sessions="
default	fluxbox		/usr/bin/startfluxbox
#	Gnome		/usr/bin/gnome-session
#	KDE		/usr/bin/startkde
#	icewm		/usr/bin/icewm
#	windowmaker	/usr/bin/wmaker
#	fvwm2		/usr/bin/fvwm2
#	ion		/usr/bin/ion3
#	xfce		/usr/bin/startxfce4
#	e17		/usr/bin/enlightenment
	ratpoison	/usr/bin/ratpoison
#	pekwm		/usr/bin/pekwm
#	sawfish		/usr/bin/sawfish
#	tinywm		/usr/local/bin/starttinywm
#	ede		/usr/bin/startede
	wmii		/usr/bin/wmii
#	aterm		/usr/local/bin/Aterm

"

# Here you can add your own settings.
#export LC_ALL=nl_NL

# I mark commented out the following two lines
#export PATH=/bin:/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/local/sbin:/usr/X11R6/bin
#export DISPLAY=:0.0

# No more settings after this:
# -------------------------------------

if type gxmessage > /dev/null 2>&1 ; then
    message=gxmessage
else
    message=xmessage
fi

maxsession=99
counter=0
unset gxmessage_options sessionlist

set -- $(echo $sessions)
while [ $# -ge 2 ]; do
    if [ $1 = default ]; then
        shift
        default=$1
    fi
    if type $2 > /dev/null 2>&1; then
        counter=$(($counter+1))
        gxmessage_options="$gxmessage_options$1:$counter,"
        sessionlist="$sessionlist $2"
    fi
    shift 2
done

# delete trailing comma
gxmessage_options=${gxmessage_options%,}

if [ -z "$gxmessage_options" ]; then
    $message -nearmouse "No sessions found. Running failsafe-session." &
    exec xterm
fi

$message -nearmouse "Which windowmanager do you want to run?" -buttons $gxmessage_options -default $default
returncode=$?

counter=0
for i in $sessionlist; do
    counter=$(($counter+1))
    if [ $counter -eq $returncode ]; then
        exec $i
    fi
done
As I mentioned previously, I did manually add an lxde choice to the file above (not currently shown above -- it was "lxde /usr/bin/lxsession"), but it is not recognised. However, I can boot into lxde when I enter the command "startx /usr/bin/lxsession" at the beginning, which over-rides the xinitrc file, but I can't seem to get lxde as a choice from the xinitrc file, which is what I'm hoping to do.

PS, if I'm misinterpreting your responses, and in fact you've given me the exact answer that will fix my problem, then my apologies. I still don't see how to apply either of the aforementioned suggestions to what I'm hoping to achieve. I did try the update-alternatives command, but it didn't change things (though I've not rebooted -- I simply tested this by exiting fluxbox (and xwindows), and then re-entering the startx command at boot, but I still got the gxmessage with the three options, those being "fluxbox", "ratpoison", and "wmii", but the option of "lxde" was not present.

Last edited by mark_alfred; 12-18-2009 at 01:51 PM.
 
Old 12-18-2009, 01:52 PM   #11
sugar2k
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OpenBox

I use OpenBox with Crunchbang Linux on my Dell Mini 9 and it's very fast. Got a nice Conky file built and a proper green terminal and good2go..
 
Old 12-18-2009, 02:40 PM   #12
mark_alfred
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got xinitrc working for lxde

Okay, I did get my .xinitrc file to recognise the lxde option. It seems that calling it "lxde" did not work. But, when I changed the session name to "lxsession" from "lxde", it then worked:
Code:
sessions="
default	fluxbox		/usr/bin/startfluxbox
	ratpoison	/usr/bin/ratpoison
	wmii		/usr/bin/wmii
	lxsession	/usr/bin/lxsession
"
So, I can now choose from the above four after issuing the "startx" command.

One curious thing about the installation of lxde is that it pulls in both awesome and openbox as dependencies (at least on my Debian machine it did), meaning I could set up those options as well if I were to choose. Strange.
 
Old 12-18-2009, 06:41 PM   #13
Shadow_7
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I just use icewm.

exec icewm-session

No unused realestate (my pet peave with gnome and such with TWO toolbars, or KDE with a double wide). IceWM also has the option of a net meter and cpu meter in the taskbar. Quite useful to see in an instant that my dialup connection got weird, or I have some runaway browser plugin making my fans work too hard. Or just trying to play an HD video that my system simply cannot do in realtime. Just too many useful things without having to deal with someone elses artwork, or other uglies. IceWM has pretty much every pixel in an easy to customize configuration.
 
  


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