Mint Fluxbox??

Questions about the project and the distribution - obviously no support questions here please
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shane
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Mint Fluxbox??

Post by shane »

hi all!

Lately I've been toying around trying to build a functional and easy Fluxbox installation from a base Ubuntu CLI installation. The reason I'm doing this is after Merlwiz79 released the XFCE edition of Mint, I'm simply loving how lean and fast my computer has become :twisted: So the next level would be to move to something like Fluxbox!

Fluxbox is really snappy but since it is only a WM, one would have to go about installing GUI tools for configrations etc (unless of course you'd rather go CLI) Well so the best set of config tools I could think of was mintConfig! which I have since installed and it seems to be working OK.

So this leads me to ask the question... would anybody be interested in a Linux Mint Fluxbox edition? I would be willing to help or maybe even take charge of it... I would need a lot of help of course, since I've never done anything like this before :) It could be like an ultra lean edition of Mint... just thinking aloud :)
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Post by shane »

thanks for your reply and interest!

I also thought of building on Fluxbuntu... I went to their site and noticed the current release is based on Dapper and their next release will be based on Gutsy. So waiting for the Gutsy release is not a bad idea.

Being a Mintified version, my main objective would be to include all the GUI configuration tools available with other DEs. Have you used Fluxbuntu? If so are these tools available? This would, i'm sure, make it easier for new users. I'm kind of lost when it comes to finding some of these tools in the repos... as I don't know their package names.

Another thing I would like to see is a better menu system than the default Fluxbox menu. Something more akin to Merlwiz's XFCE menu would be fine. And this is where I'm struggling a bit. Most of the guides out there involve manually updating the menu by running 'update-menus' or some script. It would be nice to have the menu updated automatically when new applications are installed. I think mintMenu does this by running a script when (and only when) an application has been installed.

I think I'll try out Fluxbuntu to get a general idea of our base :)
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Post by merlwiz79 »

@iainrj The screenshots of TinyFlux looks great.
Downloading it right now to take a better look.
The only problem is your link to the site is broken.
So here is the fixed one.
http://pcfluxboxos.wikidot.com

Update:
I tried the livecd and it a nice distro for rpm.
I have always break any distro that is rpm based.(It's been a long time since I used 1 though)
I just don't know anything about Fluxbox and couldn't find a way to change the window manager theme.
I also installed Firefox since it's what I always use.
It looked nice, ran great and wish I had room to install it.
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Post by shane »

@iainrj

PCFluxboxOS looks great! the menu you have there is exactly what I was thinking of. I think its perfect! About you working on a Mint Fluxbox edition... the more the merrier... especially if you've had some experience in the field... unlike someone like me. :)

@cvludmiloff

I was leaning more towards GTK2 apps... mainly because the main Mint release is with GNOME. But KDE4 might get me thinking...

@merlwiz79

glad you showed up here... since you're the one who got me into the light and fast craze with Mint XFCE :P

@all

so what do you guys think? should we wait for Fluxbuntu Gutsy as BlahBlah_X suggested or get cracking and have some sort of a Celena release?

cheers!
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Post by exploder »

iainrj, I have seen and tried your work, it is very good. I was playing around with fluxbox also. I had a minty version of fluxbox set up on my system. The menu was the most difficult thing, especially in a Ubuntu based system.

The biggest problem is that fluxbox has trouble creating the menu because there is no real root in Ubuntu. The problems can be overcome but it requires a lot of patience.

I liked the way you organized the menu in your project. I had my menu organized nearly the same.

I removed all of the icons in my version because I could not come up with a complete set.

Your work is very good and your PCLinux version is one of the very best examples of how a fluxbox based system should be. I was very impressed with your work!
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Post by merlwiz79 »

shane wrote:@all

so what do you guys think? should we wait for Fluxbuntu Gutsy as BlahBlah_X suggested or get cracking and have some sort of a Celena release?
Gutsy is coming soon. https://wiki.ubuntu.com/GutsyReleaseSchedule
This time could be used for you to make some test livecds, so you know what you need to do for the beta release.
Also it can be used for you to test the apps you think of having installed by default.
It took me along time for the 1st XFCE CE BETA, because I had to figure everything out and had no base to start from.
I started with Cassandra Gnome and had to strip everything Gnome that wasn't being used out.
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Post by merlwiz79 »

iainrj wrote:merlwiz79 - what do you use to create the final ISO? In PCLOS I used mklivecd with a little script. I notice that isn't in the Mint repos, but genisoimage is. I have never used that and wondered if you could provide some advice on this?
I use Reconstructor with a script Clem made to update the filesystem.manifest-desktop to remove things not to be installed.
It's easy to use I just click on the terminal in Reconstructor and us sudo apt-get install to install anything.
If I need to edit a file I use gksu nautilus and open the file and edit it.
I also have deborphan install and use it to locate anything installed that's no needed any more.
After I am done installing packages I use apt-get autoclean and apt-get clean to delete the cached files.
http://reconstructor.aperantis.com/inde ... elect&id=5
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Post by exploder »

Just a thought. Since the system would be stripped down to the bare minimum you could install the 2.6.22-12 kernel that Gutsy is using. The kernel could be updated when Gutsy is released.

I am using the 2.6.22-12 kernel without issues. Gutsy is so close to being released I do not think much will change now.

Well, this is just a suggestion.
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Post by shane »

3 cheers for iainrj! thanks for being the person with some know-how to pick up on this idea :)

i think merlwiz did a really good job in striking a balance between lightweight apps and functionality. so my opinion is influenced by Mint XFCE... anyway here are my preferred apps.

-MintConfig tools, MintInstall, MintDisk, etc...
-Browser: Firefox - because its open source, addons and Opera doesn't have all that much of an advantage when it comes to RAM usage
-Editor: Mousepad
-File Manager: Thunar - if we can get it to handle auto-mounting of CD/DVD, that would be great... also network browsing could be better with Thunar... but i guess we can't dump that on your head :D
-Terminal or the XFCE Terminal
-Synaptic

-Audio player: this is a tough one as nothing equals Amarok in my eyes... but among the GTK apps there's Exaile and Listen Media Player which I like
-Video: VLC... if the VLC firefox plugin works well then we can even drop mplayer
-Office apps: I think when Mint XFCE was being put together, Abiword and Gnumeric were first choice but and functionality offered by OpenOffice led merlwiz to go with OO... and I would like to see OO in Mint Flux. There wasn't that much of a size increase either...
-Pidgin, XChat
-PDF viewer: Evince
-Archiver: Fileroller
-CD burning: again nothing comes close to k3b but I'll settle for Brasero
-Photo Manager: F-spot... its a bit heavy but its amazing
-the GIMP
-search tool: Catfish
-Murrine GTK themes.... it has become something of a Mint standard and its awesome!
-I will look for a good Fluxbox theme...
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Post by shane »

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Post by shane »

i love the murrine themes mint gnome and xfce use... and luckily there's a murrina for fluxbox on box-look

http://www.box-look.org/content/show.ph ... tent=66480

i guess we'll see what the others like as well... :)
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Post by merlwiz79 »

Looks like fluxbuntu just took a break.
http://fluxbuntu.org/
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Post by shane »

i think it'll be better if we go the stripped down Mint GNOME as iainrj suggested... might be easier too...

I installed Celena on a test partition, installed Fluxbox, ran the update-menus command and I still don't get any menu in Fluxbox.... just the menu title 'Fluxbox'...
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Post by shane »

seems like fluxbuntu is not fading out after all!... and it looks sweet :)

http://fluxbuntu.org/
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Post by shane »

hi. sorry iainrj for being late in replying.

i have never done anything close to rolling up a distro like this but i would be willing to take up the challenge. I am installing Mint XFCE on a virtual machine as i write this. could you please send me your Fluxbox menu so I can use it as a starting point in setting this up. or you could post it here.

also any advice on removing non essential parts of Mint XFCE or XFCE in general would be much appreciated. Also what other packages would you recommend with Fluxbox to give a complete user experience.

thanks.
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Post by shane »

hi again,

i've got a problem. Thunar and Fluxbox don't seem to be playing well together. at the moment in the fluxbox menu I have only added xfterm4 (the XFCE terminal) and when i start Thunar from there my keyboard and mouse buttons stop working and CPU usage goes to 100%. This is not the first time I have encountered this behavior. It happened once when I tried to build a system starting with an Ubuntu CLI installation.

Has anybody else faced similar problems? Is there some process Thunar looks for that should be running?
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Post by shane »

thanks for the reply. i sent a PM with my email address.

Instead of struggling with Thunar I installed PCManFM. its super light but doesnt have as much functionality (eg. 1 click mounting of CD/DVD drives). So after a few hours of messing around with Fluxbox I decided to try Thunar again and this time things seemed to working fine and have been since.

Its coming along pretty nicely. What I have right now is Mint XFCE with Fluxbox added on top of that. I'll have to weed out unnecessary packages later. I briefly read the message you PM-ed me. Didn't quite understand everything but its late and i'm tired. Will cross that bridge when I reach it... However, one thing bothers me. I am making changes to a bunch of configuration files. They will all get to the final iso right? Especially the ones I am changing in the /home/user-name folder... (like default GTK theme settings and the like)

I came across this thread for the menu.. I am reading it... http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=371144

I will post a screenshot after doing something substantial with the menu.

@merlwiz: have you started working on a Celena XFCE release? If I am going to end up removing a whole lot of the XFCE stuff I'm thinking I might as well start with Celena rather than Cassandra even if it means starting from GNOME. I may seek your help if the need arises... if I may that is :D
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Post by merlwiz79 »

shane wrote:However, one thing bothers me. I am making changes to a bunch of configuration files. They will all get to the final iso right? Especially the ones I am changing in the /home/user-name folder... (like default GTK theme settings and the like)

@merlwiz: have you started working on a Celena XFCE release? If I am going to end up removing a whole lot of the XFCE stuff I'm thinking I might as well start with Celena rather than Cassandra even if it means starting from GNOME. I may seek your help if the need arises... if I may that is :D
No the changes you make will not be in the ISO.(the Home folder is made after login of LiveCD)
You have to change the default configuration files for that.
I have finished Celena XFCE CE Beta but didn't release it because Gusty will be out soon.
By the time everyone beta tested it, it would be time to start Daryna.
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Post by shane »

merlwiz79 wrote: No the changes you make will not be in the ISO.(the Home folder is made after login of LiveCD)
You have to change the default configuration files for that.
I have finished Celena XFCE CE Beta but didn't release it because Gusty will be out soon.
By the time everyone beta tested it, it would be time to start Daryna.
i hope you mean just the changes in /home/user-name won't be in the LiveCD.

Yes, I agree with you. Guty is too close to have Celena release (for a Fluxbox version too) However, I will continue working on this to get a feel for the whole process.

There is a reconstructor GUI here http://reconstructor.aperantis.com/inde ... e&Itemid=1 did you use this? I have installed it and tried to run it but it asks for the Ubuntu Live CD and trying to use the Mint XFCE gives errors as there is no isolinux folder. Could you please direct me to the guide or tutorial you used for reconstructor.
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Post by merlwiz79 »

shane wrote: i hope you mean just the changes in /home/user-name won't be in the LiveCD.

Yes, I agree with you. Guty is too close to have Celena release (for a Fluxbox version too) However, I will continue working on this to get a feel for the whole process.

There is a reconstructor GUI here http://reconstructor.aperantis.com/inde ... e&Itemid=1 did you use this? I have installed it and tried to run it but it asks for the Ubuntu Live CD and trying to use the Mint XFCE gives errors as there is no isolinux folder. Could you please direct me to the guide or tutorial you used for reconstructor.
Yes only the changes in the /home/USERNAME/ won't be on the ISO.
I use Reconstructor to make the Livecd.
Weird I use the .iso file and make my work directory the Projects folder.
Are you using it in Gnome?
I am not sure if it runs in anything else.
The isolinux folder should be in the remaster folder.
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