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Old 08-07-2005, 05:53 AM   #1
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: Israel
Distribution: Debian 3.1 Sarge, Ubuntu Breezy
Posts: 223

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Creating desktop environment without Gnome/KDE


I've heard last time may things about running linux on old PC...

It is definitely possible but user that is familiar to Win98/95 that runs on very low amount of memory (95 on 4-8MB, 98 on 32MB) is familiar with following:

1. Desktop you can put the files on it
2. Good file manager - with file associations
3. Good "start" menu
4. Quicklunch (not sure if it is in 98/95 but definitely in normal system)
5. Clocks - some monitors...
6. Icons, icons, icons... Not only menus.

If you install Gnome or KDE - you definitely get all these goodies - even much more that do not exist in Windows...

But all this stuff requires at least 96-128MB of memory...
There are lightweight environments... But all they lack lots of different goodies...

XFCE - no icons on desktop, file manager (ok maybe someone likes one), some more menus
IceWM - Nice but no icons on desktop... No file manager
fluxbox - clean desktop

But - I've seen in DSL there are icons on desktop, there is not bad emelfm (even it looks little ugly with GTK1) but very functional...

So lets start... I want to create desktop environment of all these goodies I mentioned before and - to be build over lightweight programs like fluxbox, IceWM. emelfm (no GTK2 or QT apps that require heavy libraries in memory)

Where do I start... How do I configure all these goodies to work together...

1. Fluxbox/IceWM or what ever
2. Lunchers - like docking bar or quickluck or whatever...
3. emelfm with all application associations (or other good file manager?)
4. clocks and other stuff that works
5. Menu (by default in fluxbox only... xterm )
6. Icons/Files on desktop (what program provides it?)

It should work on very limited resources...

Old 08-07-2005, 07:45 AM   #2
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Registered: Jan 2001
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Who says XFce can't have icons?

And for file manager, pick your favorite and install it..
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 08-07-2005, 08:01 AM   #3
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Arkansas
Distribution: Crux, PCLinuxOS
Posts: 31

Rep: Reputation: 15
idesk or rox can add icons to pretty much any window manager. Vector linux offers this option with all their lightweight window managers. Early versions of Vector should run well on that system (vector 2.0 is excellent, imo).

You may also check out Deli linux. It uses the 2.2 kernel and is designed specifically for older machines.

I have an old Compaq Presario 1247 that originally had 27M RAM (upgraded to 94M) 400MHZ AMD K6 processor and 3Gig harddrive. Deli ran very well, as did older versions of vector and slackware. Damn small worked reasonbly well.

Some advice:

If you're willing to spend a very little, you can probably find a used RAM upgrade for next to nothing on Ebay (I got 60M for $0.15).

With the upgrade, I now run Vector 5.1 STD on this old beast and it runs very well. Your choice, though.

Last edited by vredfreak; 08-07-2005 at 10:35 AM.


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