antiX Core Plus Just Enough X – a recipe

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  • This topic has 17 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated Nov 3-8:44 pm by Brian Masinick.
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  • #27581
    Moderator
    christophe

      antiX Core Plus Just Enough X – a recipe

      A step-by-step tutorial of my way of building an antiX system from a core-ISO install with just the programs I find “essential” — including the X Window System. I thought it would be good to compile a complete basic setup “recipe” in one post. (Note that many of these directions were gleaned from others on this forum.) If desired, one can use this as a guide to begin a similar project. My entire used hard disk space is 2.12 GB.

      1. Preparation:
      I chose an antiX 17.4.1 core-ISO installation (the latest core version as of this writing), because my target computer is a quite old 32-bit netbook, and I wanted to squeeze every little bit of performance out of it. After installing, I set up the WIFI through Ceni, then upgraded the software through apt-get upgrade. If you are playing with core, I assume you know how to do this. (If not, then please check out the fantastic antiX FAQs. 🙂 )

      2. Installing the software:
      The list, and the “why:”

      xserver-xorg-legacy
      # base x package for antiX

      xserver-xorg-video-intel
      # my netbook’s specific video server

      xserver-xorg-video-vesa
      # generic fall-back video server

      xserver-xorg-input-all
      # input for all mouse, keyboard, etc

      conky-legacy-all
      # I need conky to enjoy my system!

      pmount
      # mounts usb drives, etc by normal user

      jwm
      # minimalistic window manager

      file-roller
      # handles compressed archive files

      rox-filer
      # file manager & launcher panel

      xinit
      # starts X window system

      lxterminal
      # terminal for X

      geany
      # text editor

      ufw
      # firewall – set it & forget it

      gexec gksu
      # easy way to start apps as root

      lxappearance
      # change the desktop theme

      firefox-esr
      # my favorite web browser

      qpdfview
      # pdf reader for my books

      dosbox pysolfc
      # my bare-essential games

      smtube mpv
      # view you tube videos without ads

      volumeicon-alsa-legacy
      # tray icon to easily control sound volume

      blackbird-gtk-theme
      # the only theme I want, to make my system enjoyable

      mirage
      # simple image viewer, to chose icons & wallpaper

      So run the following command (with a space separating each package):
      sudo apt install xserver-xorg-legacy xserver-xorg-video-intel xserver-xorg-video-vesa xserver-xorg-input-all conky-legacy-all pmount jwm file-roller rox-filer xinit lxterminal geany ufw gexec gksu lxappearance firefox-esr qpdfview dosbox pysolfc smtube mpv blackbird-gtk-theme volumeicon-alsa-legacy mirage

      This takes about 1 GB of space.

      3. Editing the configuration (text) files, preparing the system:
      For each of these first two files, start up the nano editor as root.

      a. This gives your normal user privilages to run X:
      sudo nano /etc/X11/Xwrapper.config
      1. Add the following line at the bottom of the file:
      needs_root_rights=yes
      2. Save (Ctrl+O),then exit (Ctrl+X)

      [edit – as of antiX-23, that step is not needed.]

      b. This logs you in automatically (without any desktop manager), so bootup to your X desktop is hassle-free, light & quick:
      sudo nano /etc/inittab
      1. find this line & comment it out (put a # in front of the line):
      1:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty --noclear 38400 tty1
      2. add this line directly after it (substituting “demo” with your user name):
      1:2345:respawn:/bin/login -f demo tty1 </dev/tty1 >/dev/tty1 2>&1
      3. Save (Ctrl+O),then exit (Ctrl+X)

      For each of these last two files, start up the nano editor as your regular user.

      c. This starts X automatically at login
      nano ~/.profile
      1. at the bottom of file, add this:

      # start X if we are on tty1, and we just logged in
      if [ -z "$DISPLAY" ] && [ $(tty) == /dev/tty1 ]; then
         startx
      fi

      d. Copy the window manager configuration file to your home directory for editing:
      cp /etc/jwm/system.jwmrc ~/.jwmrc
      Edit the ~/.jwmrc file:
      nano ~/.jwmrc
      NOTE: The .jwmrc file is kind of hard to follow, but hopefully this will serve the purpose if I mention the editing highlights:

      1. Comment-out this line with the “arrows” <!-- & --> like this:

      <!-- <Include>/etc/jwm/debian-menu</Include> -->

      2. Fix the terminal launcher by changing xterm to lxterminal:
      <Program icon="terminal.png" label="Terminal">lxterminal</Program>

      3. I erased the other default launchers but added shutdown options after the logout command. I’ll use the
      ROX panel to launch my apps:

      			<Program label="Reboot">sudo reboot</Program>
      			<Program label="Poweroff">sudo poweroff</Program>

      4. Add startup commands – these start automatically with Jwm: the ROX panel to launch programs, conky
      system monitor, and the volume icon to adjust sound volume:

      		    <!-- StartupCommands -->
      			<StartupCommand>rox --top=PANEL</StartupCommand>
      			<StartupCommand>conky</StartupCommand>
      			<StartupCommand>volumeicon</StartupCommand>

      5. Backgrounds & desktops – different background for each desktop
      example:

      		<Desktops width="2" height="1">
      			<Desktop><Background type="image">/home/demo/wallpaper/black.jpg</Background> 1</Desktop>
      			<Desktop><Background type="image">/home/demo/wallpaper/blue.jpg</Background> 2</Desktop>
      		</Desktops>

      6. Save (Ctrl+O),then exit (Ctrl+X)
      [You’ll have to add your wallpaper files later; you’ll have a plain black background until you do.]

      4. Reboot the system (ctrl+alt+del) or type at the console: sudo reboot. This will bring up the system directly to your X Window Jwm desktop. Ready for tweaking.

      5. Further steps – playing with your desktop environment:
      1. Set up ROX panel — drag & drop files ending in .desktop from /usr/share/applications to the panel.

      2. Set up geany to open text files by default — in rox, right click “Set Run Action…” & drag a “.txt” file to the window that opens – or type geany in at the beginning of the bottom text field.

      3. Edit conky to display what you like to see on your desktop (use geany to edit ~/.conkyrc — remember that files starting with “.” are hidden).

      4. Make “.desktop” files (for the ROX panel) for apps that don’t already have them — copy a file ending in .desktop from /usr/share/applications to ~/.local/share/applications – & edit it with geany to make launchers for them — that is, edit & save-as gexec.desktop, pmrp.desktop, etc.

      5. To give certain folders their own distinctive icon, copy your choice of icon (& rename) to “.DirIcon” in a rox folder to change the display icon in ROX panel & rox-filer for that folder.

      6. Mount removeable devices with pmount – mounts removable drives to /media – to add your documents, media files, wallpapers, etc.
      Use terminal (or gexec.dektop from ROX panel) as your normal user:
      a. pmount /dev/sdb1 #mounts drive to /media/sdb1
      b. pumount /dev/sdb1 #unmounts drive from /media/sdb1 (& removes /media/sdb1 folder)

      7. Execute lxappearance.desktop in /usr/share/applications to use that blackbird theme. 😉

      Enjoy the adventure!

      • This topic was modified 8 months ago by christophe.
      • This topic was modified 8 months ago by christophe.
      • This topic was modified 8 months ago by christophe.

      confirmed antiX frugaler, since 2019

      #27592
      Member
      seaken64

        Thank you christophe! That will be useful. I had planned on doing more with Core this winter (when I do more lab work since I’m spending less time outside). I have some Pentium-III and Pentium-II computers I want to try this on.

        Seaken64

        #27602
        Member
        Xecure

          Thanks, christophe! I also wanted to learn how to install from antiX-core. I hope these steps are the same for antiX 19. I will try it out once the final edition launches.

          antiX Live system enthusiast.
          General Live Boot Parameters for antiX.

          #39332
          Moderator
          Brian Masinick

            That’s an excellent, detailed tutorial @christophe:

            I haven’t built an antiX Core distribution recently. The last time I did so, I created a desktop environment using a light implementation of Xfce, with just enough to suit my needs, and then I installed only the application software that I intended to use, much as you did with your jwm setup.
            Without a doubt your implementation is tighter and even more concise than my effort, but for both of them, we produced a custom effort that was EXACTLY what we wanted at the time.

            Thanks for sharing your work and for your skill in expertly sharing each specific detail!

            Just out of curiosity, what is the typical memory utilization of resources – first, at initial login time, and then, peak resource usage when you are doing the kinds of activities that you typically do?

            Great job!

            --
            Brian Masinick

            #106358
            Moderator
            Brian Masinick

              @christophe
              This is still a great resource!

              --
              Brian Masinick

              #121073
              Member
              alpage2

                @christophe – many thanks for that – I would love to do this on a couple of old netbooks, running antiX-23 core, 32-bit. Like the target machine, above, they are struggling, and in need of every ounce of help they can get. I note that the example above was on an antiX-17 system, and I imagine much has changed since then. Would you have any updated details for antiX-23?

                If it helps – here are the hardware details of one – and the other is very similar:

                System:
                Kernel: 5.10.188-antix.1-486-smp arch: i686 bits: 32 compiler: gcc v: 13.2.0 Console: tty 1
                Distro: antiX-23-runit_386-core Arditi del Popolo 26 August 2023 base: Debian GNU/Linux 12
                (bookworm)
                Machine:
                Type: Laptop System: Acer product: AOD260 v: V1.01 serial: <superuser required>
                Mobo: Acer model: AOD260 v: V1.01 serial: <superuser required> BIOS: Acer v: 1.01
                date: 04/28/2010
                Battery:
                ID-1: BAT0 charge: 48.5 Wh (100.0%) condition: 48.5/48.8 Wh (99.3%) volts: 10.7 min: 11.1
                model: SANYO AL10B31 status: full
                CPU:
                Info: single core model: Intel Atom N450 bits: 64 type: MT arch: Bonnell rev: A cache:
                L1: 56 KiB L2: 512 KiB
                Speed (MHz): avg: 998 min/max: 1000/1666 cores: 1: 998 2: 998 bogomips: 6650
                Flags: ht lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 ssse3
                Graphics:
                Device-1: Intel Atom Processor D4xx/D5xx/N4xx/N5xx Integrated Graphics
                vendor: Acer Incorporated ALI driver: i915 v: kernel arch: PowerVR SGX535 bus-ID: 00:02.0
                Device-2: Chicony 1.3M Webcam type: USB driver: uvcvideo bus-ID: 1-4:4
                Display: server: No display server data found. Headless machine? tty: 128×37 resolution:
                1: 1024×600 2: 1024×768
                API: N/A Message: No display API data available in console. Headless machine?
                Audio:
                Device-1: Intel NM10/ICH7 Family High Definition Audio vendor: Acer Incorporated ALI
                driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus-ID: 00:1b.0
                Sound API: ALSA v: k5.10.188-antix.1-486-smp running: yes
                Network:
                Device-1: Qualcomm Atheros AR8132 Fast Ethernet vendor: Acer Incorporated ALI driver: atl1c
                v: kernel port: 4000 bus-ID: 01:00.0
                IF: eth0 state: down mac: <filter>
                Device-2: Ralink MT7601U Wireless Adapter type: USB driver: mt7601u bus-ID: 1-3:3
                IF: wlan0 state: up mac: <filter>
                Drives:
                Local Storage: total: 149.05 GiB used: 1.92 GiB (1.3%)
                ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Samsung model: HM160HI size: 149.05 GiB
                Partition:
                ID-1: / size: 143.56 GiB used: 1.92 GiB (1.3%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda1
                Swap:
                ID-1: swap-1 type: partition size: 2.12 GiB used: 0 KiB (0.0%) dev: /dev/sda2
                Sensors:
                Src: /sys System Temperatures: cpu: 48.0 C mobo: N/A
                Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A
                Info:
                Processes: 85 Uptime: 14m Memory: 987 MiB used: 166.6 MiB (16.9%) Init: runit runlevel: 2
                Compilers: gcc: 12.2.0 Packages: 522 Shell: Bash v: 5.2.15 inxi: 3.3.25

                #121088
                Moderator
                Brian Masinick

                  Sadly we have not seen @christophe recently, and we definitely also miss the presence of @Xecure as well.
                  Both have been significant contributors in forum support and coding ideas and suggestions.

                  I hope we see one or both of them in the future, the sooner the better – your contributions
                  are valuable and your wisdom and expertise missed!

                  --
                  Brian Masinick

                  #121101
                  Moderator
                  christophe

                    The report of my disappearance has been greatly exaggerated. 🙂

                    Regarding antiX-23, @anticapitalista wrote recently that we no longer need to edit the /etc/X11/Xwrapper.config file. He wrote that X no longer requires root rights, and he recommends that we run X that way (without the following line added):

                    a. This gives your normal user privileges to run X:
                    sudo nano /etc/X11/Xwrapper.config
                    1. Add the following line at the bottom of the file:
                    needs_root_rights=yes

                    Also in antiX-23, I’ve noticed that the package conky-legacy-all would not install, but conky-legacy-std WILL install, and works exactly the same as the other used to do.

                    And, as a matter of personal preference, I now install roxterm-gtk2 as my terminal emulator, in place of lxterminal,

                    • This reply was modified 8 months ago by christophe.

                    confirmed antiX frugaler, since 2019

                    #121106
                    Member
                    techore

                      Thank you for sharing christophe.

                      I love hearing/seeing how others are setting up their customize antiX installations. Besides, I may see something genius and be inspired.

                      #121139
                      Moderator
                      Brian Masinick

                        The report of my disappearance has been greatly exaggerated. 🙂

                        Regarding antiX-23, @anticapitalista wrote recently that we no longer need to edit the /etc/X11/Xwrapper.config file. He wrote that X no longer requires root rights, and he recommends that we run X that way (without the following line added):

                        a. This gives your normal user privileges to run X:
                        sudo nano /etc/X11/Xwrapper.config
                        1. Add the following line at the bottom of the file:
                        needs_root_rights=yes

                        Also in antiX-23, I’ve noticed that the package conky-legacy-all would not install, but conky-legacy-std WILL install, and works exactly the same as the other used to do.

                        And, as a matter of personal preference, I now install roxterm-gtk2 as my terminal emulator, in place of lxterminal,

                        GREAT to see you back posting; I always appreciate your comments and suggestions; in fact, I just took note of your guide to building a system from antiX Core. I wrote a guide that was similar to that a LONG time ago; yours is more current. I was thinking about putting such a system together on one of my systems this weekend.

                        Thanks for bringing it back to mind…

                        --
                        Brian Masinick

                        #121165
                        Member
                        Karo

                          Nice that @alpage2 has brought out this thread again, because it had escaped me until now.
                          Until now, I had shied away from a core installation to tackle although I had it in mind.
                          Many thanks to @Christoph for sharing this tutorial.

                          Since english is not my native language and my knowledge is too poor to represent complex things I use a translator.
                          These are known not to be perfect. If you translate one of my posts from german to english into other languages, the result will be worse and worse. Therefore, I post in both english and german, so that non english speaking users can have the german text translated directly into their language.

                          #121169
                          Moderator
                          Brian Masinick

                            I’m in the process of downloading antiX 23 Core runit x64 on my Dell Inspiron 5558.
                            I’ll try the @christophe procedure and see if anything else has changed since the antiX 17.4.1 image;
                            noted what you just mentioned, so I’ll try to include those; if something BREAKS I’ll double-check
                            my commands and compare them to your suggestions and your latest updates.

                            I’m also going to see if I can locate my really old version; I seem to recall building an antiX Core
                            image that is very similar to what MX Linux Xfce looks like today, so I definitely don’t want to make
                            an image like that; I may experiment and try a few of my own “twists”, which is exactly what Core is
                            all about – we each get to make our own creations from the Core system.

                            Thanks for your efforts. Hopefully I’ll come up with a useful version myself; if so I *may* share
                            too; if I don’t, it’ll mean I ended up doing something very similar to yours; I’ll only write if
                            I have any interesting differences to share.

                            --
                            Brian Masinick

                            #121174
                            Member
                            alpage2

                              Many thanks to all above – and not least to @christophe for the adjustments. I’m excited to see the interest that this has stirred. I’ll hold off from mine to see if there are any further suggestions emerging over the next few days.

                              On one of the netbooks, I have installed the epy ebook reader, together with the python environment that it needs, and is now my preferred reader for downloaded .epub and .mobi ebooks.

                              #121176
                              Moderator
                              Brian Masinick

                                I have antiX 23 Core runit X64 installed and running. I’m now configuring it on my Dell similar to the way @christophe suggested. I’m seeing many packages automatically configured and installed so I’ll see if I can specify fewer things explicitly and still have a usable GUI configuration. I already have to Core system with my network so that’s huge. I’ll definitely be able to customize it from this point!

                                --
                                Brian Masinick

                                #121184
                                Moderator
                                Brian Masinick

                                  Many thanks to all above – and not least to @christophe for the adjustments. I’m excited to see the interest that this has stirred. I’ll hold off from mine to see if there are any further suggestions emerging over the next few days.

                                  On one of the netbooks, I have installed the epy ebook reader, together with the python environment that it needs, and is now my preferred reader for downloaded .epub and .mobi ebooks.

                                  Give it a try, it’s looking good. You get the 5.10.188 antiX kernel by default. As long as that works you should have no problems. New systems need newer kernels and that’s why I have not put Core on my HP-14 but it’s fine with the Dell Inspiron 5558.

                                  Note the one or two changes from @christophe. What he updated today I have verified and it’s working fine.

                                  --
                                  Brian Masinick

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