Mint + Openbox (ala Crunchbang)

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Mint + Openbox (ala Crunchbang)

Postby spider2097 on Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:58 am

As a respin, could this work?

Crunchbang runs fairly light on my netbook : without Open Office, LAMP or assorted other extras (offered by Crunchbang's "welcome" script) it's under 2Gb install & RAM usage rarely seems to reach 200Mb (just running Conky & Chromium)

Question : could changing the Crunchbang repositories for LMDE repo's, installing Mint tools, Mint Menu & Mint Update work? Does anyone know if I could get the Mint Menu to replace Openbox's right-click menu?

Not sure how "mini" this would be (as I'm not sure how heavy all the Mint stuff will work out at) but I'm hoping it still weighs in lower than the 3+Gb of an LMDE install.
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Re: Mint + Openbox (ala Crunchbang)

Postby asymmetros on Thu Jun 02, 2011 2:47 pm

Question : could changing the Crunchbang repositories for LMDE repo's, installing Mint tools, Mint Menu & Mint Update work? Does anyone know if I could get the Mint Menu to replace Openbox's right-click menu?


Ι do not think so -at least, i didn 't succed it :roll:
The best solutiun regarding Mint Menu, is to add it in Xfce-panel. That panel (and thunar) merging really nice with Openbox (stay away -at all costs! - from nautilus.

I was using Openbox as an alternate session in my LMDE. Starting usually at 80-90 mb's (with conky, tint2 or xfce-panel), clean and fast. That's my recommendation if you have some doubts regarding crunchban solution.


Now, i have installed Stable in a second, spare partition, no desktop selected during the (net)installation, pure Openbox afterwards. It's up to me if i add there some time, Mint's sources.
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Re: Mint + Openbox (ala Crunchbang)

Postby spider2097 on Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:53 pm

Thanks for that tip :)

To be honest, it's a case of trying to find a Mint to work on an old laptop so the total size of the install isn't too much of an issue - neither is the RAM usage really even though it's only got (according to Conky) 375Mb RAM available. But : the versions of Mint I try to use on that laptop stall just after the desktop loads up - whether they be Fluxbox, LXDE, XFCE, KDE or GNOME. Some don't even get to the desktop :(

Crunchbang installs nicely & gives me a neat usable desktop environment but I miss the Mint :shock: I know the strategy I outlined above wouldn't really result in a true Mint system but could be a cheeky half solution.
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Re: Mint + Openbox (ala Crunchbang)

Postby asymmetros on Thu Jun 02, 2011 4:32 pm

spider2097 wrote:Thanks for that tip :)

To be honest, it's a case of trying to find a Mint to work on an old laptop so the total size of the install isn't too much of an issue - neither is the RAM usage really even though it's only got (according to Conky) 375Mb RAM available. But : the versions of Mint I try to use on that laptop stall just after the desktop loads up - whether they be Fluxbox, LXDE, XFCE, KDE or GNOME. Some don't even get to the desktop :(

Crunchbang installs nicely & gives me a neat usable desktop environment but I miss the Mint :shock: I know the strategy I outlined above wouldn't really result in a true Mint system but could be a cheeky half solution.



I see -not sure what causes those problems. You can add of course mint packages in Crunchbang by adding the repos. Just be careful of the upgrading method if you add mintupdate: i do not know how Crunchbang deals the updates.

Just in case, there is a tutorial -how to mintify debian. It discusses 64-bit, but you can go of course with 32-bit and any fluxbox, lxde, etc...
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Re: Mint + Openbox (ala Crunchbang)

Postby nunol on Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:55 pm

spider2097 wrote:But : the versions of Mint I try to use on that laptop stall just after the desktop loads up - whether they be Fluxbox, LXDE, XFCE, KDE or GNOME. Some don't even get to the desktop :(


Have you tried to fix that? Mint XFCE is debian based just like Crunchbang, there is no reason for one to work and the other fail.
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Re: Mint + Openbox (ala Crunchbang)

Postby spider2097 on Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:05 pm

nunol wrote:
spider2097 wrote:But : the versions of Mint I try to use on that laptop stall just after the desktop loads up - whether they be Fluxbox, LXDE, XFCE, KDE or GNOME. Some don't even get to the desktop :(


Have you tried to fix that? Mint XFCE is debian based just like Crunchbang, there is no reason for one to work and the other fail.

I'm not sure why neither Mint XFCE nor LMDE Gnome work on the laptop given that Crunchbang works very nicely on it. With most of the Mint Editions, they boot up, get to the desktop & then just hang. With no system monitor running at the time, I can't tell what's going on with CPU load or RAM use. At the risk of being lazy, I had made the assumption it was something to do with the desktop environment. As I type, I'm having a small success using a live USB of Katya so perhaps my thoughts of it being due to the DE are incorrect.

Hardware : Toshiba Satellite A30 laptop
CPU : Intel Pentium 4
RAM : 375Mb

I might have a play-around with remastersys to see if I can get a live USB of LMDE/XFCE working that way.
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Re: Mint + Openbox (ala Crunchbang)

Postby nunol on Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:15 pm

With only 375MB of RAM you need to have a SWAP partition installed and activated before installing Mint XFCE. With Mint 11 you just need the SWAP partition as it will activate automatically.

If you run Mint 11 with the boot option "only-ubiquity" it may install without a SWAP partition but you have to make one.
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Re: Mint + Openbox (ala Crunchbang)

Postby spider2097 on Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:12 am

Thanks nunol :)

I'll have a look at those again then. I had thought about something along those lines, but the live CD/DVD would hang before getting to install options :? I'd still be looking to strip back to an Openbox environment, but that should steer me in the right direction :D
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Re: Mint + Openbox (ala Crunchbang)

Postby lmintnewb on Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:25 am

Don't doubt nunol knows of which he speaks ( well types )

Just adding an opinion though. Why go with a heavy weight Mint on it ... When they make lighter stuff that would get along better ? Sure one of their main releases can be drastically slimmed down and tweaked 2,000 ways. Only a thought, but the right Mint for the job ? Why even deal with that ? Ya can have ya Mint n eat it too. :D

Only it'll be a lite Mint ... errrr .. a low calorie mint ? Still probably have to use the patented nunol swap assisted install. Which is friggin brilliant !!! Can't believe linux can do that sorta thing ... More like what it cannot do with a comp it seems.

(edit n over posting, but what else is new with me ? sheesh. )

Sounds like summin ya might do on a testing partition. A hybrid mix, crunchbang, originally buntu .. now debian. Mint +buntu ... buntu based on Debian. lol ... who knows what you'll get. Wouldn't seem practical for everyday use though. Lotta dinking and tweaking and messing around to get something ya want. Still just another opinion, but too much trouble n headaches. Mint makes light stuff it seems.

also 375ram is an odd number. What's eating the rest ... integrated video card ? Can you adjust bios to free some of it up ? More over posting ... nevermind.
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Re: Mint + Openbox (ala Crunchbang)

Postby nunol on Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:16 am

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Re: Mint + Openbox (ala Crunchbang)

Postby spider2097 on Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:45 pm

Thanks once again nunol :D

Brief history of the laptop : it was my dad's originally, running WinXP. All was good. Then a cable broadband installer guy (when fitting the cable/broadband/TV system) plugged the broadband directly into the laptop. Half the HDD "disappeared". It still sort of worked for a few days before giving up entirely. My dad tried getting it repaired but any repair wouldn't last for long. It's been gathering dust for a couple of years & recently my dad was just going to junk it. :shock: I figured it may still have some use and so took it off his hands. As a small workaround until I have some proper time to take it apart & have a look at the innards, I've been running it with a 16Gb USB flash stick as it's main storage device. The original documentation has long since disappeared so I'm not sure what the deal is with the strange amount of RAM, the 375Mb I mentioned is the amount that Conky tells me is available.

Now the strange bit : the internal HDD does not show up in the BIOS but during the boot process the machine tries talking to it (which slows the boot process down quite a lot). As I say, I haven't had time to get into the innards of the machine yet but I suspect there may be loose power connectors or something wrong with the jumper configuration. Looking at the chassis, it looks as though it may have taken a tumble at some stage so that has probably had a negative effect on it too :lol:

lmintnewb : Yes there are already Mint's available that are lighter on resources - although, I wasn't aware of the Openbox tutorial that nunol provided the link to - I just wanted to go a bit lighter. Well, that combined with the fact I don't really like LXDE, Fluxbox or XFCE - especially having seen what Crunchbang does with Openbox. nunol's advice & links will help a lot :)
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Re: Mint + Openbox (ala Crunchbang)

Postby mchype on Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:51 am

I don't know if you are having issues with this, but sometimes with Toshiba Laptops they try to start linux whether a live cd or not, but it tries to start and hangs at something like: "kernel_thread_helper_#######x#####"

I managed to fix this on my own laptop, but its a newer one :P anyways, here is a tutorial i wrote for how to get past the ACPI=OFF boot options. and if you have hyperthreading what my tut allows is hyperthreading. if you dont, then you could take out the "acpi=ht" bit

Here it is: http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/420

hope this helps you any :)
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Re: Mint + Openbox (ala Crunchbang)

Postby nunol on Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:59 pm

PCLinuxOs does some very nice Magazine articles about WM's and DE's (E17, LXDE, etc) and the last one is about Openbox: http://www.pclosmag.com/pdf/2011-07.pdf
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Re: Mint + Openbox (ala Crunchbang)

Postby spider2097 on Sat Jul 09, 2011 6:27 pm

Thanks for that link nunol :) With the recent announcement of the new update method to be used in LMDE, I've decided to put this on a temporary hold - although I am still trying out a few things in order to get it set up how I want. I don't just want something that looks & acts like Crunchbang but with a Mint theme - it needs to scream Mint at me :lol: The main part of that is having Mint Menu & the Mint tools. I've been looking into Conky a bit and I think it may be possible to use Conky as a launcher for those which may negate the need for the Openbox menu altogether..... Except, that may end up reminding me of Unity/Gnome-Shell which I'm trying to get away from :?: :lol:
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Re: Mint + Openbox (ala Crunchbang)

Postby spider2097 on Sun Jul 10, 2011 6:16 pm

Apologies to forum mods if this seems like a slightly irrelevant post, but I think I need to post my set of aims as they've changed slightly since I started this thread.

One of the main reasons for this project is the apparent direction of the Gnome project and Ubuntu Unity project. Admittedly, I'm not able to see into the future and I've no reason to believe that Mint will necessarily follow either of those in terms of their GUI. I can see why each has it's supporters but neither are something I want to use - this is just my personal preference.

Although I quite like KDE, that DE is a bit too busy for my tiny netbook screen and may not play well on the laptop I mentioned above. I'm not too much a fan of standard Xfce, LXDE or Fluxbox set-ups but again that's just my personal preference and doesn't have much to do with those DE's in themselves.

I'm also a little concerned by the increase in HDD space required for installing the Main editions of Mint - Isadora & Julia lived quite happily on my netbook with it's 4Gb SSD, yet I couldn't even install Katya due to it's minimum requirement of 4.7Gb HDD space. Katya now resides very happily on my desktop PC (although I suspect she begrudgingly shares that with Windows 7 :lol: )

The recent announcement of new LMDE & LMDX respins incorporating a new Mint Debian Update Manager has caused me to hold back slightly, but only until they are released. It gives me a nice time frame to work with. My plan is to start with one of these editions & strip back to a solely Openbox GUI but incorporate Mint Menu & all the Mint tools - ideally replacing Openbox's right-click menu with Mint Menu. The links nunol provided and the advice from asymmetros - not forgetting to mention the encouragement from lmintnewb - have been very helpful so far :) I'm testing things out via a USB install at the moment and had limited success but I feel I'm getting closer to something approaching what I feel will be "just right". Of course, that's "just right" for me and others may not think so :lol: I'm keeping a note of exactly what I'm doing & will try to remember to post a version (of the notes) that (hopefully) doesn't break anything in case other people would like to try this. :)
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Re: Mint + Openbox (ala Crunchbang)

Postby nunol on Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:52 pm

The DVD version of Mint 11 doesn't fit in 4GB but the CD version is smaller and may fit! You can then tune Mint 11 by removing services and packages you don't use.

When you install Mint 10 LXDE it installs a minimal Openbox session and the standard Mint LXDE, at login you can choose the LXDE or the Openbox session.
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Re: Mint + Openbox (ala Crunchbang)

Postby jeffreyC on Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:21 pm

As another idea the next Mint Fluxbox is going to be Debian based, much lighter, and Kendall is now working on it.
He had to get the LXDE release done first
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Re: Mint + Openbox (ala Crunchbang)

Postby nunol on Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:57 pm

jeffreyC wrote:As another idea the next Mint Fluxbox is going to be Debian based, much lighter, and Kendall is now working on it.
He had to get the LXDE release done first


I hope so! I also hope it's a i486 version because I have a few PM without pae support...

Mint Fluxbox should be much lighter than Mint 10 LXDE. With the network-manager I can get Mint 10 LXDE from about 85MB to 51MB and without the network-manager and in Openbox mode I can get to around 34-35MB. Crunchbang before tuning is at about 62MB with the network-manager. My Debian testing 2.6.39-2-486 Openbox i486 with tint2 and network-manager is at about 38MB of RAM with a terminal opened. While I didn't make a Debian testing Fluxbox edition I expect it to take only a few more MB than the Openbox one.
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