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Old 03-24-2020, 03:07 PM   #1
JWJones
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Slackware for the WM and noX user


As I mentioned in this post on the Slackware screenshots thread, I wanted to start a thread for those Slackware users such as myself who would rather use a window manager only, or perhaps even no Xorg, to share various tips and tricks for usage.

Although it is generally recommended that users do a full installation of Slackware, I haven't done so for many years. At the very least, I always omit KDE from the packages installed, but usually quite a few others as well. I usually default to using Xfce, although I am not really a big fan of it, either. Fortunately, Slackware has a virtual cornucopia of tools for X and no X, outside of KDE and Xfce. It's just a matter of learning about and using these tools, and discovering others that may be available via Slackbuilds or elsewhere.

So, yesterday I did a fresh Slackware installation on my ThinkPad T61, and decided to only install fluxbox, Windowmaker, and blackbox. Honestly, I will probably never use blackbox, so I will probably uninstall it eventually. My favorite WMs are fluxbox, Windowmaker, and icewm (which is not included with Slackware, but is available at SlackBuilds). I have also used some tiling WMs quite a bit in the past, such as dwm and spectrwm, but I eventually tire of tilers and go back to stackers.

My current efforts will focus on fluxbox. One of the first things I wanted was to find a good power management solution for laptop usage, which would give me a battery indicator on the panel, and also allow for features such as suspending/locking when the lid was closed. I didn't really want to use the xfce4-powermanager, but a solution independent of any desktop environment

What I found was the awesome powerkit, which was originally created for Slackware. The Slackbuild is available here.
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Old 03-24-2020, 05:38 PM   #2
Tonus
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Slackware for the WM and noX user

Great tool! Didn't know it.
I instead had a few scripts to do that could be used from the "bar" (actually i3-blocks since I use i3-gaps as wm).
I've be happy to share what I have when I 'll be back at the computer!
 
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Old 03-24-2020, 07:21 PM   #3
JWJones
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The next item on my list was a good file manager, since I'm not using Dolphin or Thunar. Midnight Commander is excellent and included with Slackware, but sometimes I just want a good GUI file manager, too.

Fortunately, there are lots of good options out there, such as roxfm, spacefm, and pcmanfm.

But my favorite is xfe. Although it requires the fox-toolkit as a dependency, it is worth it (it's a quick compile). It is a fast and full-featured file manager with lots of options.

As a bonus with xfe, you get the xfw text editor, and the xfi image viewer. All three are lightweight and fast.
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Old 03-24-2020, 07:35 PM   #4
Gerard Lally
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I'd like to see jwm and icewm in Slackware.
 
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Old 03-24-2020, 07:43 PM   #5
JWJones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerard Lally View Post
I'd like to see jwm and icewm in Slackware.
Both jwm and icewm are available as SlackBuilds. The icewm SlackBuild is v.1.5.5, whereas it was just updated to 1.6.5 last week.

As an aside, the Slackware-based Absolute Linux uses icewm.

Last edited by JWJones; 03-24-2020 at 07:45 PM.
 
Old 03-25-2020, 05:23 AM   #6
fatmac
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I'd like to see a version of Slack that only had a WM, web browser, & just the absolute minimum of extras that you are suggesting.

The mainline Slack distro installs too much in general, that is why I had used Salix before.

I only want installed what is absolutely necessary to do basic internet, media, & general house keeping, (anything else could be installed once up & running, depending on needs).
 
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Old 03-25-2020, 05:51 AM   #7
ctrondheim
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JWJones:
Thanks for posting about powerkit. Looks great and I could use it.
A question: you do not mention fvwm. I use it for nostalgia reasons on older laptops :-)
What's your assessment of it?
 
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:01 AM   #8
ctrondheim
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fatmac:
I agree with you that mainline Slack distro installs too much. After an install I have a script which removes many packages and replaces pulseaudio with alsa and similar things like that. On that other hand Slackware is the only Linux distro that works for all sorts of purposes 'out of the box' I've always loved Slackware for that.
Recently I've been built an LFS system (8.3) now I'm working on the 9.1 release precicely for the reason
you give: to do basic internet and media streaming. I'm starting to really like the LFS way. I appreciate that they have a systemd and non-systemd approach.
 
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:41 AM   #9
hazel
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I use fluxbox as my wm and I don't use a file manager at all. I have long preferred coreutils for file management. It's faster, especially for large directories.

I also think that a full Slackware install is too much of a good thing. I remember that when I started with Slackware, a lot of old slackers disapproved of my insistence that I would only install what I actually needed. That wouldn't work, they said, for a new user. But it worked very well for me, and I managed to chase down and install all the dependencies I needed, except for one python library-binding that someone had to help me identify.
 
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:55 AM   #10
JWJones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctrondheim View Post
A question: you do not mention fvwm. I use it for nostalgia reasons on older laptops :-) What's your assessment of it?
I appreciate it for what it is, but I don't have the patience to configure it into something I would want to use. But I do love the cool things I have seen others do with it, particularly Austrumi (which is based on Slackware).
 
Old 03-25-2020, 07:06 AM   #11
JWJones
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Here's a nice Windowmaker How-To, focused on Slackware:

https://github.com/linuxcsuf/linuxcs...ow-Maker-Howto
 
Old 03-25-2020, 07:24 AM   #12
ctrondheim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWJones View Post
I appreciate it for what it is, but I don't have the patience to configure it into something I would want to use. But I do love the cool things I have seen others do with it, particularly Austrumi (which is based on Slackware).
Austrumi - impressive.
Well since this is a thread about 'no X'... the reason I use fvwm is because I like minimalist things. It allows me to have a setup where I have nothing showing on the desktop. Everything is accessed via the keyboard or mouse buttons. No tool/icon bar. No icons for running programs - these are accessed via
<alt-tab> for example. If I posted a pix of my desktop all you'd see is a background. However absolutely everything is quickly accessible via mouse-triggered menues and or keystrokes.

On the other hand I really like the UI that kali-linux-2020.1b-live-amd64 uses, especially their program selection/launcher...check it out
 
Old 03-25-2020, 07:36 AM   #13
JWJones
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Austrumi - impressive.
Well since this is a thread about 'no X'... the reason I use fvwm is because I like minimalist things. It allows me to have a setup where I have nothing showing on the desktop. Everything is accessed via the keyboard or mouse buttons. No tool/icon bar. No icons for running programs - these are accessed via <alt-tab> for example. If I posted a pix of my desktop all you'd see is a background. However absolutely everything is quickly accessible via mouse-triggered menues and or keystrokes.

On the other hand I really like the UI that kali-linux-2020.1b-live-amd64 uses, especially their program selection/launcher...check it out
I like a clean desktop, too, and prefer to use the keyboard as much as possible, with hotkeys set to launch various applications, regardless of WM or DE used. One of the things I appreciate about Gnome 3 is that they break the whole "desktop" metaphor, everything is clean and consistent, and keyboard-driven.

It looks like the latest Kali is using the Whisker Menu for XFCE. Very nice. The Brisk Menu for MATE is similar.
 
Old 03-25-2020, 07:46 AM   #14
hazel
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I like both a taskbar and an button bar. The button bar I use is one I wrote myself called barbarella. I like to dedicate each of my four desktops to a different use (for example no.2 is internet), so I've taken advantage of the fluxbox facility for naming desktops rather than numbering them. Each has a different button bar depending on its use.
 
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Old 03-25-2020, 08:35 AM   #15
JWJones
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I like both a taskbar and an button bar. The button bar I use is one I wrote myself called barbarella. I like to dedicate each of my four desktops to a different use (for example no.2 is internet), so I've taken advantage of the fluxbox facility for naming desktops rather than numbering them. Each has a different button bar depending on its use.
That sounds like a great setup. Have you ever posted a screenshot of this?
 
  


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