Archives for category: X

I have succesfully installed LXDE – Linux X11 Desktop Environment. I have updated the packages in the repo’s from source, and I am now looking at a 45.62 MB ram usage upon startup!

Update: Ram usage after firing up: 39.98 MB ram usage!


From Ubuntu to Debian

My main goal was to use the Ubuntu minimal install as a base/core for the install, but after several attempts and hiccup due to a somewhat unreliable Hardy Heron, I went for Debian Lenny. Ubuntu is based upon Debian, so I don’t think I will loose anything significant.

I started with Debian Etch rc3 network installation cd. This allowed me to only install the base of Debian. I did this by booting with expertgui to get full control. This allows me to choose between su and sudo – the latter being preferred.

Etch to Lenny

I then update my /etc/apt/sources.list and changed Etch to Lenny (stable to testing), and then:

$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

You may also upgrade to Sid (unstable) if you like. Now I added the debian repo from lxde.sf.net and installed lxde. Gdm is now added as default – fair enough, though I may change this to Slim. Xarchiver, GPicView and Leafpad are also added.

The Basics

I installed Conky, and compiled updates from latest source (using auto-apt and checkinstall where feasible + dependencies: gtk+2 dev, gettext gnu, pkg-config) ; lxappearance, lxtask. LXtask is based on Xfce4-taskmanager. It is lightweight and gives you some information regarding the running tasks.

I then installed Iceweasel (Firefox), Abiword, Gnumeric, Xchat which caused a long list of added dependencies and installation candidates. It was quite late when I did this yesterday, so I accepted without much thought. I may have to recheck if all of them are necessary.


The result

I now run Debian Lenny with LXDE at a staggering 39.98 MB ram usage upon startup! This is very satisfying! The boot-time is also very fast, despite of GDM as a Login manager. Maybe it’s faster than I initially thought.

However, I believe I have a lot of installed packages I really don’t need. Disk usage is as high as 1.59 GiB. Not a big problem though.

I will have to change my myUbuntu page and iBuntu page to something more fitting – maybe LEX!

The most usefull post: howto configure ‘xterm’.

A beautifull, lightweight, highly customizable X-system monitor – Conky. Works on my Xfce and LXDE Xubuntu install.

Add to Start-up Applications “$ conky -d”, which in Xubuntu will be located here: ~/.config/autostart/conky.desktop

[Desktop Entry]
Encoding=UTF-8
Version=0.9.4
Type=Application
Name=Conky Monitor
Comment=System Monitor
Exec=conky -d
StartupNotify=false
Terminal=false
Hidden=false

My ~/.conkyrc (borrowed mostly from a post on ubuntuforums.org): :

background yes
use_xft yes
xftfont HandelGotD:size=9
xftalpha 0.5
update_interval 1.0
total_run_times 0
own_window yes
own_window_type normal
own_window_transparent yes
own_window_hints undecorated,below,sticky,skip_taskbar,skip_pager
double_buffer yes
minimum_size 200 5
maximum_width 200
draw_shades no
draw_outline no
draw_borders no
draw_graph_borders no
default_color white
default_shade_color red
default_outline_color green
alignment top_right
gap_x 12
gap_y 48
no_buffers yes
uppercase no
cpu_avg_samples 2
override_utf8_locale no

TEXT
$sysname $kernel on $machine

Uptime $alignr $uptime
Load $alignr $loadavg

Hostname $alignr $nodename
eth0 $alignr ${addr eth0}

Inbound $alignr ${downspeed eth0} kb/s
${downspeedgraph eth0}
Outbound $alignr ${upspeed eth0} kb/s
${upspeedgraph eth0}

$processes processes ($running_processes running)

CPU $alignr ${cpu cpu0}%
${cpubar cpu0}

MEM $alignc $mem / $memmax $alignr $memperc%
$membar

swap $alignc $swap / $swapmax $alignr $swapperc%
${swapbar}

/ $alignc ${fs_used /} / ${fs_size /} $alignr ${fs_free_perc /}%
${fs_bar /}

/home $alignc ${fs_used /home} / ${fs_size /home} $alignr ${fs_free_perc /home}%
${fs_bar /home}

I am sold – there is no way I am going back! The LXDE is just amazing!

LXDE is a full desktop environment with OpenBox as window-manager. And believe me – it’s fast! My first run was under Xubuntu 8.04 on a Dell Latitude P4 1.8GHz 1GB ram. It handles Gnome, KDE, Xfce pretty well with its respective wm’s. Openbox is known to be fast, and with a minimalistic DE, I believe my choice is made!

Update:

LXDE is now in the official Debian repository. Just apt-get LXDE!

Also, a new wiki is on the horizon – http://wiki.lxde.org and http://forum.lxde.org.

I had to try – and it worked perfectly! I got tired of the Xubuntu-usplash loader – then I found this:

http://u-fingerprint.sourceforge.net/

Works like a charm – nice to look at too 🙂 Need to edit your grub file – at your own risk! I installed the startupmanager as a workaround. There I am able to change the screen-resolution. The usplash-theme-chooser did not work properly, so followed the instruction in the readme-file in the fingerprint-download tar.gz.

For the startupmanager:

$ sudo apt-get install startupmanager

For the usplash fingerprint download:

$ wget https://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=187765&package_id=219345&release_id=482324

Extract and read the README-file for instructions.

A couple of distros have recently caught my attention.

  • Wolvix – a LiveDistro run from cd or usbflash
  • OzOs – ubuntu-based distro using the e17 wm/de

I will make a test run of these in VirtualBox under my current Ubuntu 8.04 beta.

Wolvix

This surprised me! A slackware based LiveDistro which comes in two version; cub – the smallest of the two designed to fit into a 256MB USB-stick, hunter – the full version for a 256MB USB-stick.

It comes with Xfce as default, with Fluxbox as an altenativ window manager – with a very nice wolvix-theme. Fluxbox WM is the fastest – it keeps on amazing me!

This is really an alternativ for a LiveDistro – if one needs to have Linux with oneself at all times. More on: wolvix.org

OzOn

Comes with E17 Enlightment WM, which is very nice! Lots of eye-candy. The install cd did not work properly for me. I had to install manually install a command-line-interface (cli) with the ubuntu alternative livecd, and then install the correct packages. I was then up and running!

I have doubts this is will work on old hardware. I will need to try. Otherwise, it is highly customizable, which you need to be doing! More on CafeLinux.org

On an old machine with few resources, you really should consider fluxbuntu. This “ubuntu”-distro is really fast with the fluxbox windowmanager.

If the X does not fit your needs, you should try Xfce if Gnome (or KDE) runs slowly on your computer. It has a whole lot of nice feature without using up the computer’s resources.