antiX Control Center, a small introduction

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by anticapitalista Aug 27-2:47 pm.

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  • #24244
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    Xecure
    Xecure

    The antiX Control Center is a centralized application for configuring and managing various system tools, making it easier for the user to do the many different chores required for maintenance and use of a Linux box.
    It is divided into 10 sections/tabs.

    BEWARE: Some things in this post may be incorrect. This is just an attempt of briefly introducing the great tools found inside the antiX Control Center. You must explore each tool in depth yourself to learn all that it has to offer in detail.
    If you are exploring antiX for the first time you will also profit in reading the antiX FAQ.

    Desktop

    Configuration tools related to the desktop can be found here.

    Choose Wallpaper
    The user will be able to change their wallpaper with this app. As default, the App uses the Stretch mode so that any image selected as Wallpaper is stretched to fill the hole screen.

    Set Font Size (DPI)
    Scale the font size of text displayed on the screen for better readability.
    It’s default value is 1.00 (96 dpi). It is ideal for most screens up to 1080p. Increasing it will benefit those with big resolutions and small screens, or those who prefer bigger text.
    It is recommended to try small increases of DPI, to be able to find the ideal font size for each monitor.

    Customize Look and Feel
    As it’s name implies, it is the best place to customize how the system looks like. Here, the user can modify how everything looks inside of windows (widget), the icons used by the system (Icon Theme), the shape and color of the cursor (Mouse Cursor), how the system font is displayed (Font), and other appearance options. The window decorations and panel color will not be affected by these changes, as they are handled by the Window Managers.
    If the system defaults don’t satisfy the user, they can always get new ones for themselves. They can find many Icon Themes and Mouse Cursor themes on the net, as well as “Widget themes”. It is important that these themes are GTK+ 2 compatible so that they work in antiX with the default Customize Look and Feel tool. Also, it is recommended that the Icons from the icon theme be in png format, as vectors don’t play well with some window managers like Fluxbox.

    Edit IceWM Settings
    If the user has IceWM as their main Window Manager, they will be able to access and edit all IceWM options. Clicking the option will open all configuration files for Icewm in Geany. All these configuration files can be found in the user’s home folder, particularly in ~/.icewm/. For more information on IceWM, read the IceWM antiX FAQ.

    Edit JWM Settings
    If the user has JWM as their main Window Manager, they will be able to access and edit all JWM options. Clicking the option will open all configuration files for JWM in Geany. All these configuration files can be found in the user’s home folder, particularly in ~/.jwm/. For more information on JWM, read the JWM antiX FAQ.

    Edit Fluxbox Settings
    If the user has Fluxbox as their main Window Manager, they will be able to access and edit all Fluxbox options. Clicking the option will open all configuration files for Fluxbox in Geany. All these configuration files can be found in the user’s home folder, particularly in ~/.fluxbox/. For more information on Fluxbox, read the Fluxbox antiX FAQ.

    Edit System Monitor (Conky)
    Conky is the tool present on the desktop’s top-right corner that displays information related to your system. The user can change what conky displays by selecting this option and modifying the conky file. For more information on conky, please read the Conky antiX FAQ.

    Preferred Applications
    Here, the user can choose what are the default applications their system will use. They will be able to select the preferred Terminal, Web Browser, File Manager, Email Client, Text Editor, Image Viewer, Video Player and Audio Player in one place.

    System

    Many tools related to the system’s configuration, included keyboard layout, package management, and other configurations can be found here.

    Package Installer
    The antiX Package Installer is a place to select some popular applications. The apps are organized in categories, from Audio and Browsers to Themes and Video, making it easy to find, install or remove some selected applications. The antiX kernel can also be easily updated here.

    Manage Packages
    Launches the Synaptic Package Manager. It contains an enormous collection of packages for Debian and antiX. From here, the user can easily update their system, by Reloading the package information, Making All Upgrades and Applying them. The user can also search and install selected applications available from the repositories. If the user wants to change the repositories, they can modify and select any available from the Manage APT Repositories in the Maintenance tab in this same Control Center.

    Choose Startup Services
    Enable/disable services from startup. This is for advanced users that understand what services do and at what runlevels they want them to run. Specific to the SysV init.

    Alternatives Configurator
    Recommended for intermediary to advance users. This tool will let the user choose which programs provide specific services by default. For example, which program launch URLs by default, which library are used by default for certain commands, default compilers, default decoders, etc.

    Edit Config Files
    Recommended for intermediary to advance users. It will open in Geany some important configuration files:

    • Keyboard configuration (keyboard in /etc/default/)
    • Grub configuration files (stored in /etc/grub.d/, like 00_header, 05_debian_theme, etc.)
    • Slim configuration file (slim.conf found in /etc/)
    • Repository source lists, to add/modify the repo sources (stored in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/, like antix.list, debian-stable-updates.list, debian.list, onion.list and various.list)

    Set System Keyboard Layout
    For the user to easily change their keyboard layout, and add new ones. All added Keyboard Layouts should easily be available in the system tray for changing on the fly.

    Set Date and Time
    Here the user can select their timezone so that the clock will automatically update the time.

    Network

    The most important applications related to connecting to the net and configuring the system’s network can be found here. For more information about connecting to the internet, please check the Network FAQ.

    Network Interfaces (Ceni)
    Terminal based program to access and manage different network interfaces and configure connections to them. Once connected to a network, it will ask to be closed. It does not create a user-friendly way on the desktop to display if the connection is working (only conky will display network information) nor an easy way to switch between networks, but it works well and uses few system resources. It is suggested to use a different network manager if the user doesn’t like ceni.

    Connect Wirelessly (wicd) – antiX-17
    Interface to connect to a wireless hot-spot. It is an alternative to Ceni for users to access a wireless connection. It also creates an icon on the panel’s system tray for user’s easy access, to view and change their wireless connection. No longer available on antiX 19b1, replaced by Connman.

    Wifi Connect (Connman) – antiX-19
    Interface to connect easily to a network. It is very user friendly and a great way to manage all available networks. It can create an icon on the panel’s system tray for network information and quick access to available networks and Connman configuration. It replaces wicd from antiX 17.

    Configure GPRS/UMTS
    It launches umtps-panel2, an application to manage gprs/umts/3g networks.

    ADSL/PPPOE Configuration
    It is a console based interface that helps the user configure a PPPoE (ADSL) connection.

    Configure Dial-Up
    In antiX 19b1, Dial-Up Configuration (GNOME PPP)
    Gnome PPP is a graphical frontend to wvdial. It has a very easy interface to help the user configure a dial-up connection to their provider.

    Configure WPA Supplicant
    In antiX 19b1, WPA Supplicant Configuration
    It will launch a gui for wpa_supplicant, a daemon program that runs in the background and acts as the backend component controlling the wireless connections. Before wpa_supplicant can work, the network interface must be available.

    Manage Firewall
    In antiX 19b1, Firewall Configuration
    This will launch a graphical user interface for ufw (Uncomplicated Firewall), a firewall configuration tool that will help the user configure iptables in a user-friendly way. It is locked and inactive by default, and must be unlocked to be able to perform any changes.

    Adblock
    The antiX Advert Blocker tool helps the user configure a simple set of rules to block the connection to any advertising servers present in the /etc/hosts file, making it impossible for these websites to send/collect any information to your computer. It is the simplest way to have all your browsers ad-free. It will let you choose a service, or combine services for more advert protection. To revert all changes, the user can select the option UNBLOCK in the app to clear the /etc/hosts file of blocked servers. One can also edit manually this file to add new exceptions and customize the list of blocked servers.

    • This topic was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Xecure.
    #24245
    Member
    Xecure
    Xecure
    Shares

    Configure ConnectShares
    In antiX 19b1, ConnectShares Configuration
    Helps the user connect to remote shared directories in a local network. Generally, once set up, it will not need to be reconfigured. More information in the ConnectShares FAQ.

    DisconnectShares
    Disconnects all remote share connections configured by ConnectShares Configuration.

    ShareFiles via Droopy
    In antiX 19b1, Droopy (File Sharing)
    Helps the user create a folder in their antiX system that is accessible for other systems using a network connection. For more information, read the FAQ section about Droopy.

    Session

    Set Screen Resolution (ArandR)
    Launches ArandR, a gui for XRandR, an application that helps the user change monitor configuration. The user will be able to modify the resolution of all active monitors, change their orientation, change their placement, activate/deactivate them, save the changes and load previously set monitor configurations. All changes will be reset on reboot. To avoid this, save the changes and load them on startup.

    Change Keymap for Session
    Launches LXKeymap. Modifies the keyboard layout and functionality only for the current session. Very useful for testing keyboards, and finding out how well the layout works before setting a permanent keyboard layout in the System tab found in the Control Panel Center.

    Change Slim Background
    Changes the background for the SLiM (Simple Login Manager) login screen.

    Set Grub Boot Image (jpg only)
    Changes the background present in grub on boot.

    Set Auto-Login
    Giving the username and password to this application will configure your system to auto-login, skipping the SliM screen after bootup. Very useful if there is only one user and to speed up login time.

    Password Prompt (su/sudo)
    If the user is annoyed that, every time they are asked for a password, the password prompt grabs the hole screen (for example, making it impossible to use an on-screen keyboard), they can change this behavior with this program. They can also change the Authentication mode (su or sudo) with this application.

    Set Screen Blanking
    If the user wants to control how much time the computer must be inactive before the screen goes blank, they can achieve this with this app.

    User Desktop-Session
    Selecting this option will launch Geany and open the desktop session related configuration files stored in ~/.desktop-session/ folder:

    • Configure automount behavior (automount.conf stores the selected changes from the gui Configure Automounting in the Disks tab inside the Control Center).
    • Wallpaper configuration (wallpaper-list.conf and wallpaper.conf store the changes applied by the Choose Wallpaper app found in the Desktop tab inside the Control Center).
    • Mouse configuration (mouse.conf stores the mouse behavior the user has configured in the gui application Configure Mouse found inside the Control Center’s Hardware tab).
    • Desktop session loading options (desktop-session.conf stores options related to the desktop session loading, like the startup delay, number of checks to see if the window manager has loaded correctly, notification and startup sounds, and many other options, some which can be changed from other apps).
    • What loads on startup (apart from the startup files for the different window managers, there is also this startup file that can be used to choose different commands and programs that will always launch on startup no matter what window manager is selected).
    Live

    This tab and the different options will only be available if the user is running antiX in a live environment. When antiX is installed, this tab is inaccessible.

    Configure Live Persistence
    The user can set how the changes must be saved when using persistence on their USB device. All options are explained (Automatic saves on shutdown, Semi will ask before saving, Manual will require the user to save changes manually, etc.).
    The program will always ask if you want to exit the program before permanently leaving closing the Configuration program.

    Set Up Live Persistence
    If the user want to create a persistence file or manage all live-USB related files and folders, this is the application to use. The user can create a Root or Home Persistence File, resize them, change the Persistence Device or the Persistence Path, delete old persistence or remastered files, etc. One of the most important options here is the Exploration Menu, which will load in a new File manager window the path to the persistence device or to the specific folder where the persistence files are stored.
    For more information about Persistence, please read the Persistence FAQ.
    The program will always ask if you want to exit the program before permanently leaving closing the Configuration program.

    Live-USB Kernel Updater
    When a user wants to update the antiX linux kernel to a newer one on the live USB with persistence (or even downgrade the kernel for better compatibility for older computer), they first need to download and install it, then Remaster the running live-USB system, and then use the Live-USB Kernel Updater. It will launch a CLI program that will guide the user through the process of updating the kernel for the live USB device. Once rebooted, the live-USB will start up with the updated kernel.

    Edit Exclude Files
    Clicking this option will launch Geany and open various configuration files stored in /usr/local/share/excludes/ that manage different directories to be excluded for different process related to persistence (persistence-save-exclude.list and static-root-delete.list), remastering (live-remaster-exclude.list) and snapshot building (iso-snapshot-exclude.list). All paths included in these configuration files will be excluded (including all files they contain) from the previous related saving processes.

    Edit Bootloader Menu
    It will open the important configuration files related to the live-USB bootloader in Geany. The user will be able to edit grub.cfg file to manage grub configuration and syslinux.cfg to change the main bootloader menu on a LiveUSB.
    Only accessible from live-USB system (non dd).

    Remaster-Customize Live
    This application will remaster the live-USB antiX system with all the changes performed in the current live session or with the changes in a specific already saved persistence file. If enough space is available in the live Media, this will create a new linuxfs file beside the old linuxfs(.old) file that managed the hole live-USB system (so it is a non-destructive process). For more information, please read the entry about Live Remastering in the Remaster section of the antiX FAQ.
    Only accessible from live-USB system (non dd).

    Disks

    All related Disk and device mounting and partitioning can be managed from this tab. Also, burning Live USB from an ISO and synchronizing directories (even with other partitions) can be done from here.

    Install antiX Linux
    Application to install antiX to your system.
    Only available if antiX is not installed (if running on a live environment).

    Configure Automounting
    In antiX 19b1, Configure Automount
    Gives the user control over how antiX handles automounting devices. It can even override the Spacefm automount settings. It will not limit the user in manual mounting. The configuration file for automounting can be found in ~/.desktop-session/automount.conf

    Mount Connected Devices
    Helps the user mount and unmount devices in /media/ without the need of the terminal. List will display all available devices so the user knows if they are detected and what is “their path”. The user can also change the name of the mounting point manually.

    Create Live-USB
    In antiX 19b1, Live USB Maker (gui)
    With this application the user will be able to “burn” an ISO linux system to a USB device. It should be able to create live-USB from any Debian based linux installer ISO on a separate blank USB device. It also gives the user the possibility to burn a snapshot of an installed antiX system so that they can be kept as a live system or as a copy for backup.

    Image a Partition
    Launches a CLI program that can transform any partition to a new image file or restore a partition from a previously created image file. Very useful for backup and restoring, not only antiX systems but broken or faulty machines with other distros or data.

    Synchronize Directories
    Launches Grsync, a gui for rsync, that helps the user to copy or sync files and folders in the same machine. It is very useful for keeping incremental backups of an important folder on different partitions in a computer, for easy backups on a removable media, for mirroring files in different folders in the same system so that all changes in one file also take place in its synchronized mirror, etc.

    Partition a Drive
    Launches Gparted, a very usefull tool for managing partitions. It can delete, create, merge and format partitions from different devices connected to the antiX system, and much more.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Xecure.
    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Xecure.
    #24246
    Member
    Xecure
    Xecure
    Hardware

    The user will be able to view the relevant Information of the hardware detected on their system. They will also be able to manage and configure Audio, Mouse and Printers.

    PC Information
    It will launch a simple interface where the user can select the information for certain devices that the system is able to detect, from the PCI and USB devices, Audio and Graphic devices to Partition and Network information. The user double clicks the desired option and clicks OK to display information for that option/device. What it really does is execute a command to retrieve the desired information and gives the option to save it as a text file, while displaying the information about the selected device/tool. As the commands used are also specified, the user can learn a lot from this app that can help them troubleshoot hardware and device problems in the future.

    Configure Mouse
    In antiX 19b1, Mouse Configuration
    With this application the user will be able to change mouse sensitivity and behavior. The cursor size can also be set with this program. Changes will take effect for the current session and will be reset on Reboot. To make changes permanent, the user must “Enable mouse configuration on startup” option in this app.
    Some mouse changes may only take place after Restarting Session or after Reboot, like the Mouse Cursor size change.

    Setup Printer
    In antiX 19b1, Print Settings
    This application is an interface to use CUPS that helps connecting and setting up printers on linux. If the printer is not detected, some specific driver or firmware for your printer may be needed. Try Help > Troubleshooting before gathering information on the net for your specific printing machine.

    Set Default Sound Card
    In antiX 19b1, Sound Card Chooser
    If the machine where antiX is installed has more than one sound card, use this tool to select the default device for audio output.

    Test Sound
    When clicking this tool, it will perform a test three times for each speaker. The user should be able to hear a voice coming out of their speakers. If they cannot hear anything: first, check that the speakers are ON and connected; second, check they have the correct default sound card selected in Set Default Sound Card program; third, check that they have not muted their system; fourth, increase the system’s volume in case it is too low before performing the test again (for example, using the Adjust Mixer tool). If nothing works, they will have to check for problems with their driver and/or audio device.

    Adjust Mixer
    Launches a terminal based app to help adjust some sound and volume settings for the AlsaMixer audio controller.

    Alsamixer Equalizer
    Helps the user adjust the levels for different sound frequencies (audio equalization) in a terminal based app.

    Drivers

    Nvidia Driver Installer
    Helps the user find and install Nvidia related drivers. Needs root privileges.

    MS Windows Wireless Drivers
    In antiX 19b1, Windows Wireless Drivers
    Some wireless devices may not be detected by the antiX system and may be installed using Windows’ drivers. If the user has those drivers at hand, they may be able to install them using this program. May not work with all devices. It requires NDISwrapper package to work.

    Install Restricted Codecs
    In antiX 19b1, Codecs Installer
    Some Video and Audio files may require proprietary codecs to be properly viewed and displayed on linux. They user may try installing them through this program if they have problems with said files.

    Maintenance

    Create Snapshot (ISO)
    In antiX 19b1, ISO Snapshot
    With this tool the user can create a bootable image of their working system, be it of their installed system or their Persistent live-USB system. The ISO created using this tool can be kept as a backup, burned to a DVD, used to install the exact system configuration (with apps and home configuration) to a different computer or to be “burned” to a USB device creating a custom live environment with all their desire apps and configuration out of the box (using the Create Live-USB tool found in Control Center > Disks).

    System Backup
    Launches luckyBackup in super user mode. This application is used to create backups of the users folders, be them system folders or home folders. Very easy to configure and set up.

    Network Troubleshooting
    In antiX 19b1, Network Assistant
    This program contains various tools to assist the user troubleshoot their network problems. It provides information about the network’s status (device used, external and internal IP address, active interface), Linux and/or Windows drivers used, and some simple Net diagnostic tools (Ping and Traceroute).

    Manage APT Repositories
    In antiX 19b1, Repo Manager
    With this tool, the user can manage their antiX and Debian repos. They will be able to select a different antiX source repo between many mirrors in different countries, or let the program select the fastest one for them. antiX, by default, uses a modified list of the official Debian repos, set to the current Debian stable version, but it allows the user to change the Debian source version to testing and even unstable (sid). Upgrading to a different Debian version is considered irreversible, so the user must know what they are doing and that they may encounter problems in their system after the change.
    All APT source lists can be manually modified using the Edit Config Files button found in the System tag inside the Control Center. These source lists are hosted in the /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ folder.

    Boot Repair
    With this program the user can Reinstall, Repair, Backup or Restore their GRUB configuration, which may help them repair their boot process if they ever have trouble booting into their antiX system.

    Menu Editor
    For any of the default antiX Window Managers, the user can customize the Applications menu and Personal menu using this program. They can manually Show or Hide programs in the Applications menu from the list of installed programs in their system displayed by this app. They can also customize their Personal menu by adding or removing new entries, giving them a customized name, selecting a customized icon and even creating their own launch parameters for apps not in the list. It is the easy way to adding items to their menu without touching the menu configuration files. Also, all modifications to any of these menus will take effect on all default Window Managers.

    User Manager
    Only available on installed, frugal and persistent systems.
    Clicking this will launch a very important program that contains many tools. The antiX User Manager provides system administrators with powers to Add and remove users and groups and change their privileges.

    • Administration will help the user manage all User Accounts (creating and removing users, modifying passwords for each user, deleting the old user’s home folder).
    • Options provides a simple way to manage Autologin for each user account and restore their default group memberships (in case something went wrong in the Group Membership configuration).
    • Copy/Sync can aid the user copy folders, even the entire home folder, between different users. Can also enable to sync folders so that configuration changes applied by one user will take place also for other users. Very convenient after creating new users, as the app and graphical configuration can easily be replicated, reducing the amount of work for the system administrator.
    • Add/Remove Groups provides and easy and user friendly way to add and remove groups.
    • Group Membership helps the user select the different groups. Groups have access to specific folders and files, so disabling a group membership for a user will make it impossible for them to modify or even access anything related to the group. Assigning wrong group membership can break your system, so beware. In case this happens, Restoring Default Group memberships can be done in the Options tab previously described and may fix the problem.
    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Xecure.
    #24251
    Member
    Xecure
    Xecure

    Please forgive my bad orthography and grammar.
    This time of year is the busiest for me, so I tried working on this on my few moments of free time.
    Hopefully the new users can find this post and get something useful out of it.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Xecure. Reason: Deleting sugestions
    #26428
    Member
    Spartak77
    Spartak77

    Good job!
    In the Faqs of antiX 17, there is an entry about the antiX Control Center, but in practice nothing is argued.
    It’s a shame because antiX is a minimal distro and generally this type of distro is not easy to manage for a non advanced user. Instead, one of the features of antiX is that although it consumes few resources, it is easy to use. One of the reasons for this ease is the presence of the antiX Control Center which is a key feature of this distribution.
    For this reason it is important that this topic is dealt with properly in the Faqs.
    I hope that your work will be included in the official antiX Faqs. I see unfortunately that no one has answered your thread so maybe it is not considered useful for documentation.
    In all cases I’ll put your work inside the Italian version of the antiX Faq.
    Thank you.

    #26430
    Member
    Avatar
    DaveW

    Xecure,
    Although I’ve been using Antix 17 for awhile, I had not explored all of the C.C. features. Your description is very helpful. I even bookmarked the page for future reference.
    Thank you!

    #26432
    Forum Admin
    anticapitalista
    anticapitalista

    When i get time, this (and Spartak77’s additions and Italian FAQ) will all be included for antiX-19 release.
    Thanks.

    Philosophers have interpreted the world in many ways; the point is to change it.

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