antiX Core Plus Just Enough X – a recipe

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  • This topic has 3 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated Jul 24-11:38 am by masinick.
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    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:”

    # base x package for antiX

    # my netbook’s specific video server

    # generic fall-back video server

    # input for all mouse, keyboard, etc

    # I need conky to enjoy my system!

    # mounts usb drives, etc by normal user

    # minimalistic window manager

    # handles compressed archive files

    # file manager & launcher panel

    # starts X window system

    # terminal for X

    # text editor

    # firewall – set it & forget it

    gexec gksu
    # easy way to start apps as root

    # change the desktop theme

    # my favorite web browser

    # pdf reader for my books

    dosbox pysolfc
    # my bare-essential games

    smtube mpv
    # view you tube videos without ads

    # tray icon to easily control sound volume

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

    # 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:
    2. Save (Ctrl+O),then exit (Ctrl+X)

    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
    nano ~/.profile
    1. at the bottom of file, add a new line with this command:
    2. Save (Ctrl+O),then exit (Ctrl+X)
    (NOTE: doing this does not allow for loging into a different virtual terminal without running X if you use ctl+alt+Fx, unless you first comment-out this addition.)

    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>

    5. Backgrounds & desktops – different background for each desktop

    		<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>

    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 12 months ago by christophe.
    • This topic was modified 12 months ago by christophe.
    • This topic was modified 12 months ago by christophe. Reason: added code notations

    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.



    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.


    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

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