antiX plus desktop-environment.

Forum Forums antiX-development Development antiX plus desktop-environment.

  • This topic has 96 replies, 18 voices, and was last updated Jul 13-12:05 pm by Brian Masinick.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 96 total)
  • Author
  • #37529
    Forum Admin

    Just to get some feedback.

    If you were to add a desktop-environment to antiX, which would you choose and why?
    If antiX were to ship a separate iso built with only one desktop-environment, which would you choose and why?

    Suggested desktop-environments in random order.

    1. cinnamon
    2. KDE Plasma
    3. Gnome
    4. Budgie
    5. LXQT
    6. XFCE
    7. MATE
    8. enlightenment (if considered a desktop environment
    9. LXDE
    10. Trinity
    11. Other

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

    antiX with runit - leaner and meaner.


    Introductory comment:
    I am more than OK with what antiX already offers.
    I usually stick with fluxbox (even when installing other systems, such a Devuan, Debian and/or *buntu) because of running a low-spec HW/PC and I got used to the settings that I can simply copy across systems with minimal need for modifications.

    Regarding the original questions:
    If I have to choose…
    Not quite experienced with lot of the others except for LXDE, XFCE, LXQT, KDE and Gnome (in order of my preferences).
    I expect that including the full-suite of applications will significantly increase the installation CD size.
    I would suggest/prefer
    A) 6) XFCE,
    B) 11) Other OR 8) enlightenment; something light/middle-weight that will be Wayland ready in the (rather) near future.

    Comments at the individual desktops based on my experience:
    2) KDE plasma: too heavy -> could be used in combination with ‘openbox-kde-session’ which is a lighter “alternative”
    3) Gnome: too heavy, too
    6) XFCE: I have found this one a good choice.
    9) LXDE is doomed to become obsolete in favor of LXQT


    I spend more time in antiX fluxbox than any DE. Installing one is very easy, so I think people should not need a specific DE edition. But I will play the game.

    If you were to add a desktop-environment to antiX, which would you choose and why?

    General opinion: something gtk based (no qt), for better integration with already working antiX programs. Something that is still developed (lxde has lost the main developers and I don’t know how long it will last as an active DE), so that when people encounter problems with the DE they can go to the developers to report bugs and not expect us to fix them (it is also easier to blame problems on the DE hehehehe). Something that will keep being init friendly (I suspect Debian will not keep this promise for long for big names like Gnome-desktop). Also, not XFCE, as MX already has that.
    Personal experience: Going against most things above, my best experience has been with kde-plasma on antiX core. It is a bit heavy (as in increasing the linuxfs size), but it runs as well as xfce, and has given me few problems. The bad thing is that every few months (not on stable, fortunately) they change how many things work or where to find many controls, so it gets frustrating. Also, I don’t like KDE wallet or akonadi.

    If antiX were to ship a separate iso built with only one desktop-environment, which would you choose and why?

    Personal opinion: If the idea is an antiX testing/unstable with DE edition for new/modern pcs, something on the edge like gnome, kde-plasma or lxqt, for people who love to live in an arch-like crazy system but have the advantage of being able to run everything from USB, remastering every week, and simply deleting the persistent files when things break and they haven’t lost much. The problem is that this goes against the “mean and lean” slogan, so this opinion has no weight. Just words in the wind.
    I would (if I suddenly got fed up of WMs), move to an antiX (stable) KDE edition.

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by Xecure. Reason: delete line

    akonadi was said to be safe to remove, see this tips.
    This inspired me to suggest ‘openbox-kde-session’.


    Thanks, @sybok, for the suggestions. I tried to live with akonadi, kontact and kmail for some time, but some things got annoying, so all of them went away. What I didn’t know is that I could easily replace kwin with openbox. I will have to test out how much can performance improve with kde/openbox.
    Most of the time, I am on fluxbox on my live-core system, but on a more powerful machine and multiple monitors, I tend to switch to kde-plasma.

    My experience with DEs doesn’t last long, so your DE suggestions have more weight. When I get too frustrated on a DE, I tend to stop using it and spend my time on something else (my experience with gnome is very much that, but I get annoyed way faster). That is the reason I like living in stable and don’t distro hop/test as much as others.


    If you were to add a desktop-environment to antiX, which would you choose and why?
    If antiX were to ship a separate iso built with only one desktop-environment, which would you choose and why?

    Although I want to rely on far more experienced participants in suggesting the best desktop I just want to mention I have been using Fluxbox and IceWM, with heavily customized themes to make them visually acceptable, and I am pretty much happy with them after modifications.
    However if antiX team is looking to further enhance desktop then I have general criteria for consideration:
    – Although current desktops are functionally sufficient IMHO, satisfactory visual presentation of them requires heavy (and not easy) customization of themes, toolbars, fonts, etc. Fonts are still difficult and low resolution, although huge improvement in fonts has been accomplished while moving from antiX 17 to antiX 19. In the new desktop it is important that fonts are crisp and high quality, such as seen in Cinnamon or Gnome. Also aesthetics of windows should be matching those in such desktops.
    – User friendly handling of network infrastructure and hardware is important, such as better handling of SMB shares, printers, bluetooth, etc.
    – While selecting new desktop be conservative on memory requirements they often entail, perhaps due to multitude of various useless stuff they tend to include. E.g. while Cinnamon has visually presentable desktop, why does it have to use so much memory, comparing to IceWM?
    – To me such heavy in resource waste desktops as KDE or Gnome are not acceptable. Unless they are made efficient. I read an article, where the author claimed that nowadays KDE is more efficient than XFCE at every point in the article, but looking at benchmark results in that article they were clearly contradicting these claims… Regarding Gnome derivatives, such as Cinnamon I do not think they need to be so resource wasteful. Such as Intel’s Clear Linux does use Gnome by default but memory utilization is kept rather low nonetheless, such as 515M running nothing… With FF or Chrome running, this raises to 700’s initially, before further tabs are opened.
    My summary:
    Myself not being a fan of any particular desktop, what matters is functionality, aesthetics, user friendliness and infrastructure support. But particularly not being wasteful in resources.
    Just MHO….

    Forum Admin

    Can’t believe I am saying this.
    As I am KDE dyslexic since version 3.

    KDE Plasma

    Reason? Touchscreens. Another reason. Mepis users from back in the day would be intrigued to give us a go.

    There. I said it. 😉

    Sometimes I drive a crooked road to get my mind straight.
    Not all who Wander are Lost.
    I'm not outa place. I'm from outer space.

    Linux Registered User # 475019
    How to Search for AntiX solutions to your problems


    A) 6) XFCE (well, I’m used to it, from my MX linux days, and it makes sense to use all the costumization MX aldready worked on- MX’s XFCE does look muck nicer than the default XFCE- but using a horizontal toolbar, please!)
    B) 11) Other (Moksha, a enlightenment derivative, used by Bohdi linux- looks slick and uses very little resources – take a look at it, it looks like a modern DE but uses almost as little resources as IceWM)


    Forum Admin

    Here’s my thinking.

    antiX MATE (stable/buster).


    1. From what I gather there is no Debian MATE distro (we don’t include Ubuntu and its derivatives such as Mint).
    2. The ‘aim’ is to include the very basics for MATE plus antiX apps like package manager, live system etc.
    Then users can build up. No ‘light’ apps included either. Let user decide.

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by anticapitalista. Reason: added info

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

    antiX with runit - leaner and meaner.


    I pretty much only use fluxbox in antiX but have at times used JWM and Icewm. I am happy with fluxbox.

    As far as adding a new DE……..

    MX already offers and does a good job of supporting XFCE so I don’t think it makes much sense to add it to antiX since it would be a duplication in a sense. Like others I remember Mepis with KDE 3.5 so Trinity which is based on KDE 3.5 is appealing. But I don’t think it’s well supported and is used (or was) by only 2 distros both of which I had trouble getting to work correctly. I have a feeling Trinity would turn out to be a headache for the devs……….and I am for less headaches rather than more so I don’t think it would be a good addition.

    Two choices I think would make sense:

    Mate- the old gnome 2.2 which is still being developed and supported, very familiar, well liked, and maybe is in practice lighter than XFCE now

    KDE plasma- I agree with Roky on this- old Mepis users would be interested, my understanding is it is much lighter now and when you add all the must have options to XFCE, KDE isn’t really heavier and may actually have better performance. So I think it would be a good candidate.

    Neither of these would be good for really old hardware of course. But 1st generation i core processors are now a decade old and generally came with 4 gigs of ram. Plus with the current crop of browsers and their high cpu and high memory loads it makes less difference how heavy your DE is. The cpu/memory loads of the browser swamp the relatively small differences between DEs in the current state of affairs.

    I also remember on the old forum long ago someone (SamK maybe?) mentioned that antiX really looked to target 5 to 8 year old hardware. I think as time passed we targeted older and older hardware. Now we target 10-15 year old hardware. I don’t think this is bad. I like many of you am trying to hold on to hardware longer and longer but there are limits and I think the browser sets the current limits for most users rather than the WM or DE as it did in the old days.

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by mroot.

    I’d recommend LXQt. LXQt is light and in keeping with the antiX focus of being designed to work well on less robust hardware platforms. It is, also, Qt based thereby providing an easy transistion to KDE and in active development (so people here can have an impact on its development). The lead for LXQt used to be (may still be) the lead for siduction, as well.


    fwiw there are no Debian desktops which really feature emphasize LXQt. Here’s the distrowatch list showing Debian based distros offering.

    1. SparkyLinux (26)
    SparkyLinux is a lightweight, fast and simple Linux distribution designed for both old and new computers featuring customised Enlightenment and LXDE desktops. It has been built on the “testing” branch of Debian GNU/Linux.

    2. Lubuntu (27)
    Lubuntu is a variant of Ubuntu that uses the LXQt desktop environment. (Versions prior to 18.10 shipped with the LXDE desktop.) It includes essential applications and services for daily use, including office suite, PDF reader, image editor and multimedia players. A distribution available for both 32-bit and 64-bit computers, Lubuntu is intended to be user-friendly, lightweight and energy efficient.

    3. Devuan GNU+Linux (38)
    Devuan GNU+Linux is a Linux distribution forked from Debian in 2015. The project’s primary goal is to provide a variant of Debian without the complexities and dependencies of systemd, an init system and services manager originally developed by Red Hat and later adopted by most other Linux distributions. Devuan’s initial beta release was made available in April 2016, together with an upgrade path from Debian 7.0 “Wheezy” and a possibility to switch to Devuan from Debian 8.0 “Jessie”. The distribution adopted Xfce as its default desktop.

    4. ExTiX (58)
    ExTiX is a desktop Linux distribution and live DVD based on Ubuntu, offering a choice of alternative desktop environments.

    5. Emmabuntüs (69)
    Emmabuntüs is a desktop Linux distribution with editions based Xubuntu and Debian’s Stable branch. It strives to be beginner-friendly and reasonably light on resources so that it can be used on older computers. It also includes many modern features, such as large number of pre-configured programs for everyday use, dockbar for launching applications, easy installation of non-free software and media codecs, and quick setup through automated scripts. The distribution supports English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish languages.

    6. Rescatux (131)
    Rescatux is a Debian-based GNU/Linux live distribution that includes a graphical wizard for rescuing broken GNU/Linux installations. The available rescue options include restoring the GRUB bootloader after a Windows installation, Linux and Windows password resets, and Linux file system checks.

    7. Debian Edu/Skolelinux (142)
    Debian Edu/Skolelinux is the Debian-edu’s Debian Pure Blend distribution. It is aiming to provide an out-of-the-box localised environment tailored for schools and universities. The out-of-the-box environment comes with 75 applications aimed at schools, as well as 17 network services pre-configured for a school environment. The simple, three-question installation requires minimal technical knowledge. Skolelinux is Debian, which means, among other things, that there are no license costs or worries, and that upgrade and maintenance of the software can be done over the Internet with the power of Debian’s apt-get. The core goals of Skolelinux are localisation and ease of system administration.

    8. BigLinux (197)
    BigLinux is a Brazilian Linux distribution localised into Brazilian Portuguese. It is was originally based on Kubuntu, but starting from 2017 the distribution has been re-born based on deepin. It offers two desktop environments – Cinnamon and Deepin.

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by manyroads.

    Pax vobiscum,
    Mark Rabideau -
    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken
    dwm ~Reg. Linux User #449130
    20 Jan 2021 ~ "End of an Error"

    Brian MasinickBrian Masinick

    For old KDE 3 lovers (last MEPIS) the Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE) is worth a look.

    It uses a classic style like the old days of KDE, so if you like that it’s worth a look. People who prefer the latest and greatest thing will not like it unless they must reduce resources.

    TDE and LXQT are different approaches to moderate desktop environment systems.

    Brian Masinick


    MATE (future release) plans to port to GTK3 and add Wayland support (and fully support ‘systemd-logind’).
    Not sure if the upcoming change will mean more work for antiX if MATE is adopted [by antiX] and whether the MATE will not stagnate in other respects when focusing on this undertaking.

    Anyway, glad to read that they plan to include Wayland support!

    Good news is that they have increased support for ‘elogind’ (see 1.24 release information), something they will hopefully continue with despite planning to provide full support for ‘systemd-logind’.

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by sybok.

    LXQT and KDE-plasma are qt based, and all antiX apps are gtk based, so to keep a consistent look it is better to remain on a gtk system.
    Also, KDE is everywhere (antiX DE edition would be “another one”), while lxqt is the main DE for sparky, which “competes” with antiX for low resource computers.
    sparky also has a MATE edition, but nobody really uses it (it is not main).
    There is no other live-USB aimed distro (not counting kali or parrot, as they are for penetration and security) using MATE, so this could also be a plus.

    It has been years since I touched MATE, so I will have to check it out.

    About GTK3 integration, this was already done in Mate 1.20 (current stable/buster version), so only wayland is missing, but I hope they don’t force it like with gnome3 (installing gdm3 uses wayland as default, and that breaks my system; now I know you can change the gdm config so wayland=false, but I don’t like them forcing the change without asking).

    Good news is that they have increased support for ‘elogind’ (see 1.24 release information), something they will hopefully continue with despite planning to provide full support for ‘systemd-logind’.

    That is good in case Debian decides init plurality isn’t worth it.


    The way I look at it is that certain distros concentrate on one particular DE and attempt to maximize it
    For example;
    Gnome=Ubuntu(i.e. unity)
    Enlightenment=Bohdi or Elive
    LXDE(becoming obsolete)=LXLE+ some others

    I use Antix because, for me, it is probably the best implementation of Icewm with its improvements and scripts and everything else that makes it an efficient operating system coupled with debian and non systemd.
    I have never really seen the advantage to a whole desktop environment and prefer the concept such as in xfce and lxde that all the parts can be used independently, more in line with an expanded wm. Keep the idea that “everything is a file” rather than a windows type environment that needs all its own components.MX linux covers the DE niche
    I really don’t like anything heavier than xfce, but just my preference,regardless of the computer used.
    Even mate and trinity though light, still need to use things like their own panels… ect
    Icewm has soo much untapped potential after a bit of tweaking.
    Antix or (anti)-x to me says do something different
    Any DE would need to be lite and flexible and I am not seeing any worth the loss.
    Lumina looks interesting but haven’t tried it.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 96 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.