[Solved]LMDE Xfce based on Debian Testing

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[Solved]LMDE Xfce based on Debian Testing

Postby cwwgateway on Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:41 pm

Hi, for the past few weeks I've been working on making a Debian testing based LMDE Xfce. My end goal was to have a Debian testing base with Xfce, LMDE repos, and SolusOS repos. First I tried upgrading LMDE Xfce with UP4 to debian testing (changing the repos, etc). This broke the system all 3 times I did it (yes, you're supposed to be experienced with apt to use testing, but I decided that there should be a simpler way than trying to fix it). My next attempt was to use SolusOS Alpha 4 (Alpha 5 is out now, but when I tried Alpha 4 was the latest). It already pointed to testing so it was simple to update it and then add the linux mint repos. Because SolusOS already comes with plymouth, apps, other nice things, and it points to testing, it seems like an ideal choice, but there's the problem that it use gnome classic, not Xfce (but it would be very easy to install Xfce). The final distro I looked at was dream linux. It already runs Xfce and seems pretty polished, but I still have to add all of the repos. Theoretically I could also use pure debian testing as a base, but I refuse to use debian's installer (I can use it now that it supports WPA, but it just isn't anywhere near as good as the LMDE/SolusOS installer).

I would use this for my laptop as well as on my old gateway desktop (the specs of both of these computers are in my signature). It doesn't have to be stable (it's more of an experiment for now), and it should have either the latest or close to the latest apps.

This leads me to my questions:

1. Which distro do you think I should use to base this off of - SolusOS, LMDE, Dream Linux, or some other distro (and, if possible, why)?
2. Is there a tutorial anywhere for apt upgrades (or something that would allow me to get "more experienced" with apt)?
3. One of the supposed features of dream linux is "safe upgrades" through dist-upgrade. From what I can tell, they basically have a script that updates the machine. Is there anything particularly special about this script (as in, is it safer than doing a normal upgrade)?
4. Are there any other distros that have repos that might be worth adding?

Thanks in advance for the help. I know this technically isn't a Linux Mint specific question (although it involves LMDE), but I'm not sure where else to ask.
Last edited by cwwgateway on Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LMDE Xfce based on Debian Testing

Postby zerozero on Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:04 pm

you can use lmde but before proceed to testing delete the preferences file (etc/apt/preferences)
sorry for the short response, im on mobile.
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Re: LMDE Xfce based on Debian Testing

Postby cwwgateway on Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:10 pm

zerozero wrote:you can use lmde but before proceed to testing delete the preferences file (etc/apt/preferences)
sorry for the short response, im on mobile.

Ok, thanks, I'll try that.
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Re: LMDE Xfce based on Debian Testing

Postby zerozero on Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:07 pm

cwwgateway,
now with more time :wink:
taking a lmde-xfce from the default 201204 to testing has a couple tricks:
- the already mentioned preferences file;
- the nautilus/gnome3 dependencies;

this last one means what? if you succeed in the dist-upgrade (meaning that the repos and the aptpinning is correct) you'll get gnome-shell in this move into testing :shock:
this isn't necessarily a bad thing :lol: but isn't probably what you want.
the only effective way i found to prevent this is uninstalling all the nautilus-related pkgs (that i could) before i start messing with system; now it's a nautilus-free, testing-based xfce system (it's only a shame that it is a VB install :oops: )
to start the *hunt*
Code: Select all
dpkg --get-selections | grep nautilus
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Re: LMDE Xfce based on Debian Testing

Postby cwwgateway on Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:51 pm

zerozero wrote:cwwgateway,
now with more time :wink:
taking a lmde-xfce from the default 201204 to testing has a couple tricks:
- the already mentioned preferences file;
- the nautilus/gnome3 dependencies;

this last one means what? if you succeed in the dist-upgrade (meaning that the repos and the aptpinning is correct) you'll get gnome-shell in this move into testing :shock:
this isn't necessarily a bad thing :lol: but isn't probably what you want.
the only effective way i found to prevent this is uninstalling all the nautilus-related pkgs (that i could) before i start messing with system; now it's a nautilus-free, testing-based xfce system (it's only a shame that it is a VB install :oops: )
to start the *hunt*
Code: Select all
dpkg --get-selections | grep nautilus

Thanks, I'm trying right now.
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Re: LMDE Xfce based on Debian Testing

Postby zerozero on Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:32 pm

another valid option could be http://www.swiftlinux.org/
it's based on lmde, comes with iceWM (but xfce is only one apt away)

i never tried it but tbh looks really tempting 8)
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Re: LMDE Xfce based on Debian Testing

Postby cwwgateway on Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:44 pm

Here's my progress with the distros so far:
LMDE Xfce:
I have successfully (or at least mostly successfully) upgraded LMDE Xfce to testing. Everything works except gdm, but I replaced it with lightdm with the gtk greeter (I used the ISO that I had which was the 201204 RC, which didn't have MDM).
SolusOS:
I installed Alpha 5 (into VBox) and I'm installing Xfce now. I have to see how easy customizing Xfce from stock is.
Dream Linux:
I've at least mostly figured out what the script is, and I probably could transfer it to the distro I choose. As for a base, I have to add the repos, so I'm going to see how that turns out.
Swiftlinux:
I'm downloading the ISO now.
Thanks zerozero for all of the help.
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Re: LMDE Xfce based on Debian Testing

Postby zerozero on Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:41 am

no probs 8)
- in lmde, gdm3 is kinda broken when you go to testing because debian-system-adjustments is looking for paths that are not there anymore since the update of gtk2-engines and the removal of mint-artwork-* (eventually this will be fixed with UP5 or not :o since the new isos have now mdm)

- after you mention it i went to look at dreamlinux: that script intrigued me :?: probably will have to have a closer look.
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Re: LMDE Xfce based on Debian Testing

Postby jjaythomas on Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:40 pm

Just to add 2cents worth...

I use Swift Linux (to a Leaner LMDEish with XFCE) but remember 32 bit only.
(never tried farther (to Debian testing system) thou you won't have nautilus or most 'Gnome" apps conflicts)

P.S. works really good on old TC1100 tablet, that for some reason only will install with I486 but I can then run a 686 Kernel. :roll:

J.Jay

Edit anyone know how to get XFCE 4.10 on LMDE [bwithout compiling[/b] (not may killer features compared to 4.8, but the app-finder looks to have many possibilities)
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Re: LMDE Xfce based on Debian Testing

Postby cwwgateway on Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:51 pm

jjaythomas wrote:Just to add 2cents worth...

I use Swift Linux (to a Leaner LMDEish with XFCE) but remember 32 bit only.
(never tried farther (to Debian testing system) thou you won't have nautilus or most 'Gnome" apps conflicts)

P.S. works really good on old TC1100 tablet, that for some reason only will install with I486 but I can then run a 686 Kernel. :roll:

J.Jay

Edit anyone know how to get XFCE 4.10 on LMDE [bwithout compiling[/b] (not may killer features compared to 4.8, but the app-finder looks to have many possibilities)

So far with Swift Linux I've succesfully upgraded to testing and I've installed Xfce. Now I'm customizing Xfce. As for getting Xfce 4.10, you have to add the experimental repo and do some apt pinning, but I don't know the specific steps.
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Re: LMDE Xfce based on Debian Testing

Postby jjaythomas on Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:28 pm

Very happy for you...

This was a good time to do install (till 'Swift updates ISO), becaces its based 201109 (Upack2) it still will update/jump to using Upack4 (when next Upack 5 ???) Generally a rolling?Semi rolling has more troble updating the farther away the 'ISO snapshot is from Current (Its iff LMDE (Upack Version will alway allow a easy upgrade to 'straight testing'

I would think the Mint LMDE forum will stay cordial and help (I would Allway state LMDE upgraded from 'Swift Linux base (or something similier 8) But by default bay need to ask at 'Swift's forum (about phatches/wizard's (that by-the-way the update breaks :( ) But you won't get the Arch stock answer (when polite) "go to their forum your not a stock Arch install".

P.S. I may not have a LMDE (or Swift) install during freeze (I need something to play with :mrgreen:
But I will try answering general XFCE (and LMDE) questions here if can.
(Swift forum pretty sparce still)

J.Jay
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Re: LMDE Xfce based on Debian Testing

Postby cwwgateway on Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:32 pm

Here's my findings so far:
Xfce:
Xfce is actually pretty easy to customize from scratch, and I absolutely love the Orta theme.
Swift Linux:
This distro updates nicely to UP4 (I've always been extremely pleased with the smooth transition from UP to UP compared to updating testing), and it upgraded nicely again to Testing. I installed xfce4, orta, and some apps. So far its very nice, and I find that it uses 20 MB less RAM than LMDE Xfce. Right now I'm leaning towards this as my base.
LMDE Xfce:
Basically it works - it upgraded to testing well and it... works.
Dream Linux:
Besides the updating script-thing I don't see too much that this distro can offer that's better than swift linux

Now I have to try adding repos from Linux Mint and SolusOS to all of these distros and seeing what happens.
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Re: LMDE Xfce based on Debian Testing

Postby cwwgateway on Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:40 pm

At this point I'm basically done. I've chosen Swift Linux, I added the SolusOS repo to get new packages, and I have Xfce and LightDM running very nicely. I'd highly recommend using swift linux as a base for things - I've so far done Xfce on Testing (which I'll be using as my main distro), KDE on Testing, and Xfce on Unstable. Every time it upgraded nicely. Thanks zerozero and jjaythomas for the help.
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Re: [Solved]LMDE Xfce based on Debian Testing

Postby ukbrian on Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:33 pm

I decided to give Swift a spin and I installed Xfce but have no idea how to run it, any help would be much appreciated please.
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Re: [Solved]LMDE Xfce based on Debian Testing

Postby cwwgateway on Sat Jul 07, 2012 2:52 pm

ukbrian wrote:I decided to give Swift a spin and I installed Xfce but have no idea how to run it, any help would be much appreciated please.

Did you update from update pack 2 to update pack 4 yet? Basically you have to change the session from IceWM to Xfce. When updating it should have reverted to the default lightdm (although you might have had to replace a config file), which has an option to change the session. If it hasn't changed, then you'll have to edit the config file. I'll have to figure out how later, so I'll get back to you.
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Re: [Solved]LMDE Xfce based on Debian Testing

Postby jjaythomas on Sat Jul 07, 2012 7:19 pm

For a 'Swift' LMDE...

1. Install "Swift"
2. Update will update toe mint-debiain-updater. Then must run 2nd time to update from Upack2 to UPack 4 (You now have essentially a icewm based LMDE system now).
3. I reboot here (I'm paranoid :lol: )
4. I install 'MDM' using synaptic (will ask "use what DM as default) or can play with cofig file (swift has no session change option in their lightdm)
5.reboot again (so using 'MDM'
6. totally uninstall 'lightdm
7. install the meta package(s)... xfce4 and optionally xfce4-goodies
8. Reboot and at login select a xfce session (will ask if want to make default)
9. change 'MDM' if want auto login ect.
10. Enjoy

J.Jay

P.S. note the swift logout 'wizard' no longer works after update (pick logout-then restart or shutdown from login screen) will work in xfce and MDM login screen.
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Re: [Solved]LMDE Xfce based on Debian Testing

Postby ukbrian on Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:38 pm

Thanks for the help.
What I'm doing is trying to get a smaller size for qt4-fsarchiver restore CD.

I didn't do the updates as they increase the size quite a lot so I just installed MDM and Xfce4 and rebooted successfully into Xfce and that saved about 40 MB of compressed space compared to what I did have.

The only problem I now have is that I can't mount any partitions in Gigolo, it's a permissions thing I think
Any more help appreciated.
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Re: [Solved]LMDE Xfce based on Debian Testing

Postby cwwgateway on Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:24 pm

I can't help with Gigolo, but for future reference (for anybody else and for myself) here's how I do Swift Linux Testing/Sid with various DEs (my process varies a little bit):
1. Install Swift Linux
2. open the terminal and enter
Code: Select all
gksu geany /etc/apt/sources.list

3. Remove the two non linux mint entries (they were for opera and virtual box IIRC)
4. Run this to update (this is from the aptosid/siduction manual - you don't have to do it this way but this is how I update and it has worked).
Code: Select all
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade -d

5. The above command only downloaded the updates, it didn't install them. To install them log out and press ctrl+alt+f1. login either as root or as with your username. If you don't log in as root, add "sudo" to the beginning of the following commands. Type:
Code: Select all
init 3

then
Code: Select all
apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade

wait for this to finish (this will take a while). If it asks you to leave or replace a config file, replace it by typing "i"
finally, once these are done type:
Code: Select all
init 5 && exit

Press ctrl+alt+f7 to get back to the login screen
6. Login and launch a terminal.
7. Enter the following into the terminal:
Code: Select all
gksu geany /etc/apt/sources.list

8. Delete the contents of the file and replace with (you can keep or remove the # in front of the second line):
Code: Select all
deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian/ testing main contrib non-free
#deb-src http://ftp.debian.org/debian/ testing main contrib non-free

If you want to also use the security updates repo add (again, the # in front of the second line is optional):
Code: Select all
deb http://security.debian.org wheezy/updates main contrib non-free
#deb-src http://security.debian.org wheezy/updates main contrib non-free

Or, if you want to use Debian unstable (sid) enter (instead of the above 4 repos, and again the # is optional):
Code: Select all
deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ unstable main contrib non-free
#deb-src http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ unstable main contrib non-free

9. Save the file.
10. In the terminal type
Code: Select all
gksu geany /etc/apt/sources.list.d/linuxmint.list

10. This file will be blank. Add the following line to the file:
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deb http://packages.linuxmint.com/ debian main upstream import

11. Save the file and go back to the terminal.
12. Type:
Code: Select all
gksu geany /etc/apt/sources.list.d/multimedia.list

13. This file will also be blank. Add the following to the file if you are going to use debian testing:
Code: Select all
deb http://www.deb-multimedia.org testing main non-free

If you are using debian unstable, instead of the above repo add the following to the file:
Code: Select all
deb http://www.deb-multimedia.org sid main non-free

14. Enter into the terminal
Code: Select all
gksu geany /etc/apt/preferences

15. Delete the contents of this file, save it, and return to the terminal
16. To update to testing/unstable, repeat steps 4 and 5.
17. Add the desktop you want:
  • For xfce install xfce4 and you could also install xfce4-goodies
  • For lxde install lxde
  • For kde install kde-std or kde-full (you might also have to install kdm desperately)
  • For gnome-shell install gnome-shell and gnome-session, and you could install gnome (which I think is gnome+stuff like gdm3)
I realize this is very long, but hopefully it makes sense and helps some people.
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