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Pringle 05-17-2013 05:19 PM

Absolutely Nothing on Linux
I have an idea for my laptop and I would like some advice on how to do it.

I would like to create a desktop environment in linux that boots up into a blank screen which is actually my desktop background. I can ctrl alt T to bring up a terminal and then bring up any other software I need. For example eclipse or netbeans.

I also would like no configuration to take place during boot up except what is absolutely necessary for me to bring up that terminal and type sudo apt-get install program so therefore I would need networking to connect me to my wifi.

What can I do to make this possible? I would build my own distro like this if I knew where to start or alter an existing similar distro.

What if I install ubuntu and took out the things I don't want?

JWJones 05-17-2013 05:36 PM


Originally Posted by pringle (Post 4953347)
...bring up that terminal and type sudo apt-get install program...

So it looks like you are looking for a Debian-based solution? You could build something like this starting with a minimal Debian installation base.

Pringle 05-17-2013 05:42 PM


Originally Posted by JWJones (Post 4953358)
So it looks like you are looking for a Debian-based solution?

Yeah, I got enough rpm in my cpu

JWJones 05-17-2013 05:53 PM


Originally Posted by pringle (Post 4953361)
Yeah, I got enough rpm in my cpu

I hear that. I stay away from that stuff, myself.

odiseo77 05-17-2013 06:46 PM

For a minimal environment, you can install Openbox or Fluxbox. I haven't used them thoroughly, but they're highly customizable and allow you to launch programs with a right click or a combination of keys. Here's a screenshot of Openbox, if you're interested.

frankbell 05-17-2013 10:23 PM

Have you looked at tiling window managers such as Awesome or i3?

A tiling WM sounds remarkably like what you describe.

If you want truly bare-bones, there's TWM.

evo2 05-17-2013 10:56 PM


there is no need for a "new distro" here. A simple way to achieve this would be to configure whatever *dm you use to auto log you in, and configure your window manager (or desktop environment if that is what you use) to have no panels/docks etc, and finally, assign a keybinding for opening a terminal. This is almost exactly how I have my laptops setup.


Randicus Draco Albus 05-18-2013 02:36 AM

To expand on odiseo77's suggestion, a default Openbox has a completely blank screen. Clicking the right mouse button brings up a menu to open applications and, like all other GUIs I am familiar with, the roller or middle button switches desktops.

Some distros, like Debian and Slackware, will let you install a base system without a GUI, which would allow you to customise your system any way you want. If you decide to try Debian, please get out of the sudo habit.

bloody 05-18-2013 09:47 AM

Yeah, Openbox is like "Desktop from scratch". Black screen, simple mouse pointer. You choose the rest to install, i.e., desktop background image display program ... panel ... mouse pointer theme configuration program ... audio volume control knob program ... and so on. Freedom..

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