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newbiesforever 04-23-2012 04:32 PM

reviewing antiX
I must say that antiX is the best "light" distro I have tried. It's the only one I know that strikes any good balance between small size and ease of use.
Having used Linux as my only daily operating system for about four years, I find myself in a slightly awkward position: I know a little too much to be a newbie (for instance, I ignore *buntu distros because I find some of their design principles patronizing for being too dumbed-down), but I am still too limited in understanding for expert distros, and when I try to heavily modify any newbie distros (which I keep trying to do), I often break the system without knowing how to fix the problems I create. These habits of mine might be illuminating:
I normally like and use MEPIS, but:
  • In connecting to my wireless network, I replaced NetworkManager with Wicd, which is smaller but just as easy and does not need a KDE frontend (KNetworkManager).
  • Very recently, I finally found out how why I could never establish a manual network connection in the MEPIS Network Assistant, so I no longer have to use Wicd either. (There were two problems. When entering your WPA-personal network passphrase, it won't work unless you put quotation marks around it; and both NetworkManager and KNetworkManager must be shut down, because they start by default and they both interfere with a manual network connection.
  • I don't like KDE 4 and refuse to use it, so I keep installing Trinity and persist in trying to make it work perfectly with MEPIS 11. (Sorry, I've tried various alternatives already, and keep coming back to Trinity.)
  • I've had less than satisfactory results in using MEPIS 11 and Trinity. MEPIS 11 was already slow with KDE 4, and is even slower with Trinity. Owing to that lack of expertise I discussed earlier, I can't determine why.
Every other lightweight modification that I've examined (or, in this case, a distro that was originally a MEPIS modification but is now independent) has a design feature that poses a problem for someone like me who is neither a newbie nor a very advanced user. The newbie distros are bloated with large, memory-hogging programs (such as KDE and Libreoffice), but their lightweight versions (or independent light distros that are not meant to resemble a larger distro) simply go to the opposite extreme by using programs that are smaller but very difficult to figure out. The best example I know is DamnSmallLinux: I tried it, but gave up after an hour or so because I wasn't prepared to cope with Fluxbox. I examined the Debian Live versions a few months ago, but found that either they are too large and bloated (the KDE version), or they are too difficult for me (the Standard version--it includes only a console, and I don't know how to connect to my network without a GUI). Why don't I try the XFCE version? That one works, but I don't really want XFCE.)

Antix includes Wicd; that's probably how I discovered Wicd as a simpler alternative to Networkmanager. So I'm settled in that respect. (It includes a lot of other software involved in connecting to a network or monitoring a network--Ceni, Rutilt, Wpagui, etc; I don't need any of those, but didn't mind deleting them.)

AntiX is better than MEPIS for installing an alternative desktop manager, because if you don't want any of antiX's smaller desktop managers (it includes IceWM, Fluxbox, and at least one other) are much easier to remove and replace with KDE Trinity. IceWM, the default desktop manager, is a great choice,because it's easier to use than the others but smaller than XFCE, KDE or GNOME. (I wonder why the Debian Live designers didn't make a version that uses IceWM. They should, because it fits a certain niche perfectly--smaller than XFCE but easier than using a console.)

I feel neutral about antiX using the Testing repositories instead of Squeeze, which MEPIS uses. Testing is fine with me, but except for Pidgin's Squeeze dependencies having a certain bug that prevents Pidgin from running (which the testing versions have fixed), I didn't need bleeding-edge software.

Sudo is not the same in antiX as in MEPIS or other distros; Anticapitalista explained to me in that root access works differently in antiX, needing sudo for GUI applications and sux for command line apps. The old way worked for me, and I'm sorry antX is different in this, but I can live with it.

I noticed that, by accident or by design (who can know?), Anticapitalista left marxist propaganda in antiX by bookmarking marxist websites in the browser. I deleted them immediately after discovering them; nice try. Fortunately, that doesn't reflect on how good a distro antiX is.

I wanted to keep MEPIS, because I like some of its special software--the MEPIS Network Assistant and the MEPIS User Assistant--but because I won't use KDE 4 and KDE Trinity works so poorly in MEPIS, I think I will make antiX my distro of choice.

rokytnji 04-23-2012 06:56 PM


System:    Host: antiX1 Kernel: 3.3.3-antix.1-486-smp i686 (32 bit)
          Desktop: IceWM 1.3.7 Distro: antiX-M8.5-686-update 27 July 2010
Machine:  System: ASUSTeK product: 701SD version: 0303
          Mobo: ASUSTeK model: 701SD version: x.xx Bios: American Megatrends version: 0303 date: 07/23/2008
CPU:      Single core Intel Celeron M (-UP-) cache: 512 KB flags: (nx sse sse2) clocked at 897.779 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Intel Mobile 915GM/GMS/910GML Express Graphics Controller
          X.Org: 1.11.4 driver: intel Resolution: 800x480@60.0hz
          GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel 915GM x86/MMX/SSE2 GLX Version: 1.4 Mesa 7.11.2
Audio:    Card: Intel 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) High Definition Audio Controller driver: snd_hda_intel
          Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture ver: 1.0.24
Network:  Card-1: Realtek RTL8187SE Wireless LAN Controller driver: r8180
          IF: wlan0 state: up mac: <filter>
          Card-2: Atheros AR8121/AR8113/AR8114 Gigabit or Fast Ethernet driver: ATL1E
          IF: eth0 state: down mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 8.1GB (-) 1: /dev/sda ASUS 8.1GB
Partition: ID: / size: 7.4G used: 3.9G (56%) fs: ext2
Sensors:  System Temperatures: cpu: 59.0C mobo: N/A
          Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: 1570
Info:      Processes: 86 Uptime: 8 min Memory: 307.6/1000.8MB Client: Shell inxi: 1.7.33

Core, Base and Full Isos of AntiX 12 coming soon with the kernel I posted.

rokytnji 04-23-2012 09:42 PM


System:    Host: Biker Kernel: 3.3.3-antix.1-486-smp i686 (32 bit)
          Desktop: LXDE (Openbox 3.5.0) Distro: antiX-core-686-a1 20 June 2010
Machine:  System: Intel product: Montara Family of Chipsets
          Mobo: Phoenix model: RT786EX version: 41118 Bios: Phoenix version: MGM-ALL1.86C.1009.D.0604271130 date: 04/27/06
CPU:      Single core Intel Pentium M (-UP-) cache: 2048 KB flags: (sse sse2) clocked at 1594.844 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Intel 82852/855GM Integrated Graphics Device X.Org: 1.11.4 driver: intel Resolution: 1024x768@60.0hz
          GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel 852GM/855GM x86/MMX/SSE2 GLX Version: 1.3 Mesa 7.11.2
Audio:    Card: Intel 82801DB/DBL/DBM (ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) AC'97 Audio Controller driver: snd_intel8x0
          Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture ver: 1.0.24
Network:  Card-1: Atheros AR5212/AR5213 Wireless Network Adapter driver: ath5k
          IF: wlan0 state: up mac: <filter>
          Card-2: Realtek RTL-8139/8139C/8139C+ driver: 8139too
          IF: eth1 state: down mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 30.0GB (19.6% used) 1: /dev/sda IC25N030ATCS04 30.0GB
Partition: ID: / size: 17G used: 4.9G (30%) fs: ext3 ID: swap-1 size: 0.58GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap
Sensors:  System Temperatures: cpu: 41.0C mobo: N/A
          Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 95 Uptime: 3 min Memory: 68.7/492.6MB Client: Shell inxi: 1.7.33

Police Laptop.

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