/home - how can I recreate?...

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/home - how can I recreate?...

Postby tenfoot on Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:25 pm

This is a tale of how a simple task became a nightmare!

I have been using LMDE 201109 successfully since it was released. Prior to that I was using the previous version, again successfully.

A couple of days ago I began getting an urgent message that / was Full and that to cure the problem I should delete some files. So I deleted some of the applications I rarely use but this was obviously not enough as the message kept appearing. / is 10GB which I thought should be plenty. Indeed GParted reports that I have 5.81GB unused!

My HD is partitioned in the following order: /Boot, /, /Home, Swap.

So, I thought I would be clever and loaded up a LiveCD (in this case Gloria) and shrunk /Home by 20GB intending to expand / by the same amount. Yes, you've guessed it. Because of the way I had partitioned the HD, I could find no way to increase / by any amount.

It was then I must have lost it completely, for I formatted /Home with what was then unallocated; closed down the computer in the appropriate manner and then re-booted, fully expecting things to be 'hunky-dory'. Of course it was a disaster as I first got an error messages:

Code: Select all
Could not update ICEAuthoerity file /home/zed/.IceAuthority


followed by:

Code: Select all
There is a problem with configuration server usr/libconf2-4 gconf-sanity check-2 exited with Status 256


and then:

Code: Select all
The Panel encountered a problem while loading OAIID:Gnome_MintMenu.  Do you wish to delete the applet.  Delete and Don't delete


I have tried both and it makes no difference.

and finally:

Code: Select all
Nautilus could not create the following folders: /home/zed/.nautilus


It suggested that I create them before proceeding. However, I just get a screen with a bottom panel displaying the icon for the Desktop, the network icon, and the Time/calendar icon.

The only saving grace I have is that I did backup /Home to a removable usbHD before I became so silly :)

So, now I seek the good offices of members. Is it possible get a /home partition without doing a complete re-install, please?

EDIT: I have just read the post by DataMan regarding resizing partitions and feel even more foolish <if that is possible>. I hadn't realised that after selecting the partition and choosing Resize that I could drag the partition either to the left or right. I do wish the Menu would suggest that this could be done.
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Re: /home - how can I recreate?...

Postby viking777 on Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:07 pm

I am not really sure that I get the problem here. Ok you have formatted your home partition, but you have already backed it up, so why can't you just restore it?

I would just get a live cd and work out a way to just copy your /home backup back to where it should be.
(sorry I can't be more accurate than that but I have never actually done this myself so I don't know exactly how to do it)

Quite possible I am missing something here, but I don't know what it is so that is my suggestion for you.
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Re: /home - how can I recreate?...

Postby tenfoot on Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:51 am

I think I have possibly misled members. When I say I did a back-up of the Home directory what I actually did was copy the whole to the removable usbHDD. So, it is not a matter of just hitting a Restore option but copying back to the appropriate place.

Looking at my laptop, I see that /home is in File System, so while running from a Live DVD/CD I tried to create a folder named /home by clicking on the partition which I had formatted as /home but there was no option to do so. At that stage I was out of my depth and sort the help of Forum members.

Another problem has also arisen, in that the only LiveDVDCD which will work is that for Gloria. All the others, Helena, Julia, Katya, LMDE201109 (both Gnome and XFCE) refuse to boot. There is no error, the machine just boots into the HDD with the errors reported in my original request for help. So, even though I installed from these DVD/CDs originally they now do not load. This means, of course, that I am unable to reinstall LMDE201109.

Thankfully, I still have my old IBM T60 laptop :lol:
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Re: /home - how can I recreate?...

Postby viking777 on Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:14 am

I would love to be able to suggest some snappy way to remedy this situation, but I just can't think of one. I find it very strange that all your Cd's now refuse to boot except for Gloria. Did you use any boot parameters when you installed from the other cd's like nomodeset or acpi=off anything like that, have you tried booting in safe mode/recovery mode or whatever it is called nowadays, from the Cd's? Do you even see the grub menu when you boot from these newer Cd's? You would probably remember if you had used any of these methods before I guess, but I am just clutching at straws really.

I don't know if you still have the iso's for LMDE (or if you want to download them again), but one course of action that is worth trying when you can't get a Cd to boot is to burn the iso to a USB key and boot from that instead. You would need to use 'Unetbootin' on another machine to do this of course (unetbootin is in the package manager these days, or if you can't find it google it). This method assumes that your laptop is capable of booting from USB though (although if it isn't there is a way around that problem as well). If you choose to do that you may also need to change the bios boot order to make sure that USB is before the hard disk drive.

Sorry, but that is the best I have got on this right now.
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Re: /home - how can I recreate?...

Postby Arran on Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:18 am

May I suggest you download the newest iso for LM12 and try this as Live-DVD? I think there is no sense to reinstall LMDE 201109 any longer, you might run into a day long updating orgy with all the amendments. My method does not imply to install Lisa, just to need it as a valuable tool to copy back your /home.

I did a similar thing on my computer: By accident I deleted LMDE KDE. Then I decided to install LM12 KDE and wait until their Highnesses, the developer(s) have the grace to publish after month of unfulfilled promesses a new LMDE, hopefully KDE first, as by now more users would like to use KDE than anything like Gnome or its different forks.
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Re: /home - how can I recreate?...

Postby viking777 on Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:32 am

I had another look at this problem and wondered why you couldn't create a new /home folder, it seems such a simple task, but having tried it I can see your problem, it is a permissions nightmare. I managed to find a way to do it (maybe not the best way) but if you are rash enough to want to try it I present it here for your amusement :lol:

There is one thing to remember. Because I can't be bothered to write out /home/yourusername a hundred times, yourusername from now on is 'bob' - because it is easy to type. Obviously you will have to change EVERY instance of 'bob' to your real username if you want to try this out. But I have to say I will be 100% amazed if you manage to make this work. The other thing to remember is that I tried it with a Mint12 live dvd not a Gloria one as I haven't got one, there may be differences introduced because of that, no use asking me to try and sort them out as I don't have a Gloria disc to do it with. So here goes:

1) Boot from live cd click the 'computer' icon on the desktop, when Nautilus opens look for your LMDE install under 'devices' and click to open it. I hope it opens or the rest of this is a waste of time!

2) In the Nautilus menu click on Go>Location. This will change the address bar to something sensible instead of that awful breadcrumb crap (although in Gloria's day maybe breadcrumb trails hadn't been invented, I can't remember, if you get a proper address bar with a real address in it you don't need this step).

3) Highlight the location with your mouse, right click and copy the address.

4) Now go to the main menu and find an open a terminal. When open type the following

Code: Select all
sudo su


and press enter. No password should be required to do this.

5) In the terminal type:

Code: Select all
chroot


then paste the address you copied from nautilus so it looks something like this:

Code: Select all
chroot /media/xxxxxxxxx


Where xxxxx will be just a string of letters and numbers. Press enter.

6) Type

Code: Select all
mkdir /home/bob


Hopefully you now have somewhere to put your backup files.

7) Plug in your backup drive and it should appear in Nautilus devices section again, click to display its contents.

8 ) Go back to the terminal and in its menu click File>Open Tab. In the tab that opens up type
Code: Select all
gksudo nautilus


9) You will now have a root instance of Nautilus open and it should show both your backup device and your LMDE device under 'devices'. Highlight the backup device then press F3, this will open a new panel alongside the existing one. Click in this panel to give it focus and then in the 'devices' section click on your LMDE install and navigate to /home/bob. Now go back to the left panel, highlight the entire contents of your backup and copy and paste it to the right hand panel. When that is done close down the root instance of Nautilus and go back to your terminal. You have finished with the second tab so close that down as well.

10) In the remaining panel type the following:

Code: Select all
chown -R bob:bob /home/bob


11) Tap Ctl/D two or three times to exit the terminal, then reboot and look on in amazement when your computer still fails to boot :lol:

I tried :)

If Nautilus wasn't so awful it would be a lot easier than that.
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Re: /home - how can I recreate?...

Postby tenfoot on Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:00 pm

viking777 wrote:I had another look at this problem and wondered why you couldn't create a new /home folder, it seems such a simple task, but having tried it I can see your problem, it is a permissions nightmare. I managed to find a way to do it (maybe not the best way) but if you are rash enough to want to try it I present it here for your amusement :lol:


I thank you for the interest you are showing in helping me to overcome a problem of my own making :-) Have followed your instructions and report, as follows:

There is one thing to remember. Because I can't be bothered to write out /home/yourusername a hundred times, yourusername from now on is 'bob' - because it is easy to type. Obviously you will have to change EVERY instance of 'bob' to your real username if you want to try this out. But I have to say I will be 100% amazed if you manage to make this work. The other thing to remember is that I tried it with a Mint12 live dvd not a Gloria one as I haven't got one, there may be differences introduced because of that, no use asking me to try and sort them out as I don't have a Gloria disc to do it with. So here goes:


Provisos certainly understood.

Boot from live cd click the 'computer' icon on the desktop, when Nautilus opens look for your LMDE install under 'devices' and click to open it. I hope it opens or the rest of this is a waste of time!

2) In the Nautilus menu click on Go>Location. This will change the address bar to something sensible instead of that awful breadcrumb crap (although in Gloria's day maybe breadcrumb trails hadn't been invented, I can't remember, if you get a proper address bar with a real address in it you don't need this step).

3) Highlight the location with your mouse, right click and copy the address.

4) Now go to the main menu and find an open a terminal. When open type the following

Code: Select all
sudo su


and press enter. No password should be required to do this.

5) In the terminal type:

Code: Select all
chroot


All "tickete-boo" up to here and I'm beginning to feel very positive :)

then paste the address you copied from nautilus so it looks something like this:

Code: Select all
chroot /media/xxxxxxxxx


Where xxxxx will be just a string of letters and numbers. Press enter.


Ah! here's where it all "turned to custard". The partition containing LMDE is named /media/disk-2 but when I enter
mint # mint chroot /media/disk-2 into the terminal, I get:

Code: Select all
]mint mint # chroot /media/disk-2
chroot: cannot run command `/bin/bash': Exec format error[/code

So, I thought I'd be clever and enter the UUID but entering this into the terminal returns

[code]mint mint # chroot /media/6f2fd1bb-66df-4cfb-a489-0f2da100b19e
chroot: cannot change root directory to /media/6f2fd1bb-66df-4cfb-a489-0f2da100b19e: No such file or directory



So, I've entered into a period of depression again :(

If you can suggest why it failed at that point, I'd be delighted.
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Re: /home - how can I recreate?...

Postby viking777 on Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:26 am

There are three possible causes for that, first that you have damaged your lmde install in some way such that it can no longer see /bin/bash, second that when you were using lmde you changed your login shell to something other than bash like fish or dash or csh (unlikely I guess) and third that the live cd that you are using is a different architecture to the lmde installation. In other words the lmde install is 64 bit and the live cd is 32 bit.

There is no solution to the first case except to reinstall. Arran is right in some respects, LMDE iso's have not been updated for some time now and are a complete pain to install from scratch there are so many updates one of them is bound to baulk the system. A new version of Mint might be a better bet until such times as the LMDE iso is rebuilt. As for KDE, I would take that with a pinch of salt, some people like it some don't, just make up your own mind which camp you fall into.

The second case can be remedied with the command:

Code: Select all
chroot /media/disk-2  /bin/csh


Assuming you changed your login shell on LMDE to csh.

The third case is remedied by getting a live cd with the same architecture as the installed version, since none of your more recent cd's will work that might be a problem for you unless you choose the 'unetbootin' route.

I have to say though that even if we overcome this problem I am almost certain some other one would rear up to bite us.
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Re: /home - how can I recreate?...

Postby tenfoot on Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:18 am

viking777 wrote:There are three possible causes for that, first that you have damaged your lmde install in some way such that it can no longer see /bin/bash, second that when you were using lmde you changed your login shell to something other than bash like fish or dash or csh (unlikely I guess) and third that the live cd that you are using is a different architecture to the lmde installation. In other words the lmde install is 64 bit and the live cd is 32 bit.


As far as I know, I have done nothing to damage my LMDE istall, so it's probably the third option. The LiveCd of Gloria is indeed 32bit.

There is no solution to the first case except to reinstall. Arran is right in some respects, LMDE iso's have not been updated for some time now and are a complete pain to install from scratch there are so many updates one of them is bound to baulk the system. A new version of Mint might be a better bet until such times as the LMDE iso is rebuilt. As for KDE, I would take that with a pinch of salt, some people like it some don't, just make up your own mind which camp you fall into.


I accept that but my computer will not boot from any of my CD/DVD ISOs - none of them :(

The second case can be remedied with the command:

Code: Select all
chroot /media/disk-2  /bin/csh


Assuming you changed your login shell on LMDE to csh.


Nope, I didn't do that. For my limited use the default is suitable.

The third case is remedied by getting a live cd with the same architecture as the installed version, since none of your more recent cd's will work that might be a problem for you unless you choose the 'unetbootin' route.


I'll try the 'unetbootin' option and report back.

I have to say though that even if we overcome this problem I am almost certain some other one would rear up to bite us.


Yes, I agree. There are many gremlins out there, just waiting for my next move. :lol:

I have thought of installing another CD/DVD writer to see if that would cure the inability to boot from the many iso CDs and DVDs I have - every version of Mint from Cassandra to Lisa, plus PCLinuxOS, PinguyOS, Peppermint, etc ad nauseum. However, when I insert these CD/DVDs I can read the contents and surely if there was something wrong I wouldn't be able to do so. What is different about Gloria that it boots correctly? I'm getting too long in the tooth for these problems :cry:
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Re: /home - how can I recreate?...

Postby viking777 on Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:05 am

You are not the only one with this kind of problem, have you seen my post here:

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=94719

I also had a problem with Mint 11, I couldn't use it at all because it booted straight into Ubuntu :shock:

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=77596&start=0

Everybody thought I was mad at the time but recently I saw this post as well:

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=95527&start=0

So I was as sane as that person anyway :lol:
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Re: /home - how can I recreate?...

Postby Arran on Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:55 am

tenfoot wrote:I accept that but my computer will not boot from any of my CD/DVD ISOs - none of them


Just to make sure: have you set in BIOS to boot first from your DVD-player?
Sorry for this basic question, but I experienced this fault more than once.
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Re: /home - how can I recreate?...

Postby viking777 on Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:11 am

Just to make sure: have you set in BIOS to boot first from your DVD-player?
Sorry for this basic question, but I experienced this fault more than once.


He must have it set correctly Arran since he can boot from a Gloria CD.
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Re: /home - how can I recreate?...

Postby tenfoot on Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:43 pm

Again, thanks for your prompt reply. It is some solace to me that you and others have had similar problems :)

In the posts you referred me to, someone mentioned it was as if there was a delay in the system startup which led to a timeout for booting from the CD. So I decided to have a look at SetUp: firstly to check if any delay was mentioned and, if so, whether it could be altered, and to change the order of Boot to USB (Removable drive), then CDROM, then HDD but found that I could not Tab to the Boot option. F1 worked to get me a General Help screen but F10 didn't work to Close and Save. I tried every combination of keys I could think of without success.

So, what now? I'm getting so uptight about this I'm likely to throw the computer in the rubbish and just rely on my laptop :(
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Re: /home - how can I recreate?...

Postby DrHu on Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:59 pm

tenfoot wrote:So, what now? I'm getting so uptight about this I'm likely to throw the computer in the rubbish and just rely on my laptop

You created the problem by creating a new /home , which was in uallocated space, and shrinking your normal /home by 20GB
    As anyone will tell you, trying to fix something that is messy or damaged is much harder than simply starting over, that is a reinstall
    A reinstall would have been the first thing I would have suggested, since your system apart from the two /home directories seemed more messed up than that..
    --and you did say you had already provided yourself with a backup
Now about how big should your install be; the answer is (and it isn't being trite) is to be big enough for what you want to do
  • Installing lots of applications takes more space
  • OS updates (newer kernels etc) takes more space
  • Continually adding removing parts of the system (system services or utilities or applications) takes more space
NO matter how small an installation is for the basic OS + its default applications, you will run out of space if you don't plan for the extra space needed by the above list: you will be operating within the limits of your resources, whatever they are..

The bios often has a boot order choice key, quite often F8
--you then select the boot device from the list given, hard drive, cd or usb
    You have to use the cursor (arrow keys) to move around the selections..

Check your bios data, it appears on the screen at the bottom left and is a number sequence, it may also appear at the start of the boot sequence, and you can usually hit the pause key or esc key to stop it running so that you can see the name of the BIOS and its versions
    An internet search will give you any hot keys or other data you need to deal with that BIOS's content and functions..
But, in you case, if you have the data backed up already, I would simply reinstall the OS and its defaults , then add your specific applications choices; however as soon as I had made those selections I would image (clone ) your hard drive, so that you have a good install running with the applications you chose


Bios boot selection choices, some..
http://en.kioskea.net/faq/648-boot-devi ... t-sequence
http://www.laptop-repair.info/select_boot_drive.html

Diagnostic boots disks..
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/index.html
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Re: /home - how can I recreate?...

Postby tenfoot on Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:44 am

DrHu wrote:
tenfoot
So, what now? I'm getting so uptight about this I'm likely to throw the computer in the rubbish and just rely on my laptop


You created the problem by creating a new /home , which was in uallocated space, and shrinking your normal /home by 20GB


I am quite aware of that. I admit I wan't thinking clearly and the purpose of my first post was to find out whether there was a way to overcome the problem I had created. If you look at the Edit to that first post you will see that I was not aware that I could drag a partition to LEFT or RIGHT. The gParted menu for Move/Resize only mentions doing so to the LEFT and it was doing that, without really thinking through the consequences, which lead to the other steps I took subsequently to create the problem.

<snip>

--and you did say you had already provided yourself with a backup


and I explained myself a little more clearly in my second post that I hadn't done the usual backup but had "copied" the contents of /home to an external usbHDD.

Now about how big should your install be; the answer is (and it isn't being trite) is to be big enough for what you want to do


I am aware of the points you raise regarding the partition sizes but also aware that it is possible to move/resize a partition. I would hazard a guess that many Forum members have done this without a problem.

The bios often has a boot order choice key, quite often F8
--you then select the boot device from the list given, hard drive, cd or usb
[list]You have to use the cursor (arrow keys) to move around the selections..


Thank you for that tip. F8 worked in my case but using the Tab key, up and down arrow keys to make changes, had no effect. The only key which worked was F4 to Exit. I thought it might be a keyboard problem but as I tried in with two wireless keyboards and two usb keyboards in turn, with the same result, I rather think my BIOS could be corrupted.

I would welcome your comment on that.

<snip

I would simply reinstall the OS and its defaults, then add your specific applications choices; however as soon as I had made those selections I would image (clone ) your hard drive, so that you have a good install running with the applications you chose


I don't mean to sound offensive but have you read my posts? I cannot boot from any CD/DVD I have other than a CD for LinuxMint, Gloria. Why only that version works I have no idea. In the past I have installed from all the other CD/DVD I have burned images to. These include every version of LinuxMint from Gloria to Lisa, including all versions of LMDE and the x32 and x64 or each versions as they have been released. I can read the contents of the CD/DVDs but my computer will only boot from the CD containing Gloria.
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Re: /home - how can I recreate?...

Postby viking777 on Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:45 am

Last time you replied to one of my posts you wrote this:

'll try the 'unetbootin' option and report back.


So?
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Re: /home - how can I recreate?...

Postby tenfoot on Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:59 pm

viking777 wrote:Last time you replied to one of my posts you wrote this:

'll try the 'unetbootin' option and report back.


So?


I tried. Honest! As reported in my post of 14 March, although I could get into the Set Up menu, the Tab key and cursor arrow keys would not work to allow me to highlight the appropriate option. At first I thought it was a fault with my keyboard and tried several others, with the same negative result.

Taking the advice of DrHu, I hit F8 on boot and got a Boot Modification menu but again the Tab key and cursor arrow keys would not work to allow me to make any alterations. I suggested that the BIOS could be corrupted and sought Dr Hu's comments on this.

I am not a tech guru so perhaps you can tell me Is the BIOS chip on the Mother Board?

In the meantime, I have resurrected another computer, which was given to me, and will try to install a more modern version of LinuxMint on it. My first two atempts to install Kayla and Lisa resulted in my monitor showing shimmering vertical lines against the default background :(
tenfoot
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Re: /home - how can I recreate?...

Postby tenfoot on Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:48 pm

This is an update on what has happened since I last put fingers to keys.

I downloaded MintLXDE and have successfully installed it. Why it was successful when every attempt to install numerous other versions of LinuxMint and other distributions from a CD/DVD were not successful, I have no idea. But I now have a working Desktop computer and can close down the laptop.

MintLXDE is certainly different but I have my important programs running: KMyMoney, Firefox, gLabels, gNote, LibreOffice, Osmo, etc. And also my email client Gemini - although I have to run this from a terminal as, despite reading the "sticky" on how to configure LXDE, I still haven't managed to create a gui launcher for it. And I find the LXDE Panel completely foreign :oops:

However, it will suffice until I decide whether to wait for LinuxMint 13 and abandon LMDE - boo hoo! - or reinstall that application and go through the laborious process of updating. If there is a respin of LMDE on the horizon, the decision would be easy. LMDE all the way :)

As my BIO seems to be playing "silly devils', inasmuch as I cannt make any modificatins to it, and I obviously have a problem with the DVD/CD drive and my computer is about 6 years old, I've decided to upgrade the motherboard, processor and DVD/CD drive. I did think of putting in a new HDD but as this is working O.K. I'll pass on that option.
tenfoot
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Re: /home - how can I recreate?...

Postby GregE on Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:45 am

I was just browsing around the LMDE forums and skimmed your adventures. Bit late to butt in now, but for what it is worth ....

Now you have a working system you could add Xfce if you wanted to. Just open Synaptic and search on Xfce, or just open a term and sudo apt-get install xfce4

Then next time you log in you will have two choices for desktop. Xfce does not take up much disk space.

I have always found LXDE a bit restricting, but it does run well on older hardware. Xfce, to me, is a lot more useful and with 4.8 from Wheezy menu editing is a snap with Alacarte.

And a tip for future reference. The command sudo apt-get clean will empty the apt cache of all the deb files from everything you have installed or updated. So when / is full this command can give you back some space so you have room to manoeuvre.

Cheers
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Re: /home - how can I recreate?...

Postby tenfoot on Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:29 am

GregE wrote:I was just browsing around the LMDE forums and skimmed your adventures. Bit late to butt in now, but for what it is worth ....


'tis never too late for good suggestions.

Now you have a working system you could add Xfce if you wanted to. Just open Synaptic and search on Xfce, or just open a term and sudo apt-get install xfce4


Took the terminal route and it installed perfectly.

Then next time you log in you will have two choices for desktop. Xfce does not take up much disk space.


Unfortunately it didn't give me a choice on reboot. Possibly this is because I chose to log in automatically. And I'm darned if I can find a way in LXDE to reverse it so that a password is necessary. Any tips will be appreciated.

I have always found LXDE a bit restricting, but it does run well on older hardware. Xfce, to me, is a lot more useful and with 4.8 from Wheezy menu editing is a snap with Alacarte.


Yes, I find LXDE very restrictive. That could be because of my inexperience with it. Simple things, like repositioning icons on the bottom panel seem impossible :(

And a tip for future reference. The command sudo apt-get clean will empty the apt cache of all the deb files from everything you have installed or updated. So when / is full this command can give you back some space so you have room to manoeuvre.


Thanks for that. I've entered it into my Linux Tips in gNote - a program I find very useful.
tenfoot
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There's so much bad in the best of us
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