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-   -   Lightweight WM / Desktop ??? (

24jedi 12-05-2004 05:41 PM

Lightweight WM / Desktop ???

I need some help with either a WM or Desktop...honestly, I am still trying to understand the differences.

Anyway, I installed FreeBSD 4.10-stable onto a
- P2/350
- 64 meg of RAM
- 32meg TNT2 Graphics
- 4Gb HD
- 10/100 NIC

This is a learning experience. KDE 3.x is too slow. I am looking for a lightweight WM / Desktop. I could care less about games or graphics. I am looking into *nix from a purely networking/support not play.

Although there is nothing wrong with playing, I just thought this would be important to explaing the criteria for what I plan to be doing.

One last thing, upon getting some support, how do I go about un-installing KDE (or atleast changing it). I am new to *nix.



ror 12-05-2004 05:44 PM

try fluxbox

sandboy6184 12-05-2004 05:46 PM


mrcheeks 12-05-2004 06:02 PM

I highly recommend FVWM (
- fast
- very configurable
- can emulate other windows managers

-X- 12-05-2004 09:07 PM

Fluxbox is a-ok, and WindowMaker is another good choice. The 350 is ok, but if you crank up some thing heavy like mozilla, with 64meg... swap is going to get a good workout.

Remove KDE;
cd /var/db/pkg
# pkg_delete -r kde*
if you don't need Qt
# pkg_delete -r qt*
then check for dependencies and fix any problems.
# pkgdb -F

man pkg_delete
man pkgdb

24jedi 12-05-2004 10:59 PM

-X- Thanks, worked like a champ

Everyone else...much appreciated.

Now if I could only get my mouse to start working again. :(

hemmelig 12-06-2004 08:11 AM

Try evilwm. It's fast, small and minimalistic.

chort 12-06-2004 03:08 PM

I use Blackbox, but that's no longer maintained. Fluxbox is pretty similar. It's what most serious FreeBSD users that I know use.

frob23 12-06-2004 04:43 PM

I currently use xfce... but I might give fluxbox a whirl. Could be fun.

24jedi 12-06-2004 09:32 PM

Thanks again.

I tried fvwm...a little too thin for my current level of experience.
I loaded fluxbox...and I like it.

I think this is where my in-experience might be showing.

KDE, Gnome and some others are window managers AND desktops...right
where fluxbox and fvwm are just window managers.

If this is correct, how do I get to some happy medium where on a menu I can select "system tools" or "control panel" to open up a window with icons for accessing system applets.

Again, I really don't want to go the route of bloat-ware, but a little conveinence would be nice until I can learn the *nix command line a little better.

Is there such a thing as a "thin" desktop port that really has just system tools ?

Thanks again.

-X- 12-07-2004 01:49 AM

This may be something you're looking for.
A little info on WM and desktops. When you get down to a WM, you give up on KDE, gnome type of control panel with icons. Xfce is a Desktop, but may be light enough for what you need. IIRC, has some type of control panel for some things. Once you start using and get use to the command line verse the control panel, the control panel will seem to restrictive. Anyway, something there for anyone's needs.

Dead Parrot 12-07-2004 03:34 AM

WindowMaker is quite newbie-friendly while still being lightweight and fast. You can drag appicons with mouse to dock them so that you'll have "icons" for quickstarting apps. WindowMaker also has a GUI tool called WPrefs where you can easily set many windowmanager features, such as menus, fonts and keyboard shortcuts.


how do I get to some happy medium where on a menu I can select "system tools" or "control panel" to open up a window with icons for accessing system applets.
You should realize that *BSDs (and most Linux distros) are designed to be "admin-friendly" rather than "user-friendly", which means that they are easy and simple for experienced users but difficult and cryptic for clueless beginners. The sooner you'll learn the basics, such as doing system administration tasks via the command line, the sooner you'll notice that you don't actually need the "control panel" type of GUI tools.

I'd suggest that you start a new thread at this forum every time you meet a problem you wish to solve by clicking a control panel icon. I'm sure that the kind people here will give you helpful advices for solving your problems or, at least, they will point you to the appropriate sections in the FreeBSD Handbook and other documentation. You'll also soon learn to seek information using Google and the search engine at this forum (to view if someone else has already asked the same question).

You may also find the articles behind this link useful:

24jedi 12-07-2004 08:53 AM

X, Dead Parrot,..

Again thanks. I will follow your advice. Google, search and reading are my past times. I do try to reasearch first before posting.

As for the cmd line, this is where I am headed. My background is primarily windows, and while I personally have nothing negative to say about the product, I recognize it's time to flex my brain.

Thanks again for your advice. I plan on being an active poster.

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