[SOLVED] Antixcore + OPENBOX gives a blank screen after lightdm login …

Forum Forums General Software [SOLVED] Antixcore + OPENBOX gives a blank screen after lightdm login …

  • This topic has 32 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated Feb 17-11:50 pm by mikey777.
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  • #32513
    Member
    Avatarmikey777

    I thought I’d try the Openbox WM and compare it to LXDE.
    So, I set up a fresh install of antiX-386-core, and installed
    Openbox instead of LXDE. However, after logging in with username
    and password with Lightdm, the netbook booted to a blank (grey)
    screen with just the mouse icon showing in the middle of the
    display, nothing else.

    The above suggests that some additional dependencies are needed
    for Openbox to function properly.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction ?
    Many thanks.

    • This topic was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by mikey777.
    #32551
    Member
    christophechristophe

    I’ve never used openbox, but I think you right-click on the desktop to get a root menu. Then, you should be able to get to a terminal or other program to configure the desktop. Search the internet for “linux openbox”. You’ve started your openbox adventure — have fun! (And tell us how it goes. I’m interested.) 🙂

    #32639
    Member
    Avatarmikey777

    I’ve never used openbox, but I think you right-click on the desktop to get a root menu.
    … And tell us how it goes. I’m interested

    Many thanks Christophe, and apologies for not getting back to you sooner.
    First, many thanks for your reply and interest in Openbox. You were absolutely correct with your advice: all I had to do was right-click anywhere on the desktop and then the root menu appeared. I’ve got so used to using to clicking on a static menu button or a ‘panel’ icon for different desktops, that the ‘floating’ root menu of Openbox was somewhat unexpected. I don’t feel so comfortable with this floating menu so I think I’ll return to LXDE (my favourite) and JWM (2nd choice).

    Some details for you …
    1. Idle RAM activity for two different kernels:
    a) 4.4.212: htop=85MB; top=69.6MB
    b) 4.9.200: htop=92MB; top=73.7MB

    2. Left-clicking on options in the open root menu:
    htop wouldn’t launch from the root menu gui (top does launch), with this notification: Failed to execute child process “evte” (no such file or directory) – instead I had to launch it directly from the terminal
    – same problem with ObConf, but it doesn’t launch from terminal – terminal output is bash: ObConf: command not found
    Reconfigure is unresponsive when clicked
    – other menu items seem to work

    Let me know if you want any details on JWM and I’ll post these too.
    Screenshot of my system below (attachment)

    Cheers
    Mike

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by mikey777.
    Attachments:
    #32653
    Moderator
    masinickmasinick

    <
    … You were absolutely correct with your advice: all I had to do was right-click anywhere on the desktop and then the root menu appeared. I’ve got so used to using to clicking on a static menu button or a ‘panel’ icon for different desktops, that the ‘floating’ root menu of Openbox was somewhat unexpected. I don’t feel so comfortable with this floating menu so I think I’ll return to LXDE (my favourite) and JWM (2nd choice).

    Some details for you …
    1. Idle RAM activity for two different kernels:
    a) 4.4.212: htop=85MB; top=69.6MB
    b) 4.9.200: htop=92MB; top=73.7MB

    2. Left-clicking on options in the open root menu:
    htop wouldn’t launch from the root menu gui (top does launch), with this notification: Failed to execute child process “evte” (no such file or directory) – instead I had to launch it directly from the terminal
    – same problem with ObConf, but it doesn’t launch from terminal – terminal output is bash: ObConf: command not found
    Reconfigure is unresponsive when clicked
    – other menu items seem to work

    Let me know if you want any details on JWM and I’ll post these too.
    Screenshot of my system below (attachment)

    Cheers
    Mike

    Quite a few years ago I did some unofficial memory usage studies that included IceWM, JWM, Openbox, Fluxbox, and maybe one or two other window managers, probably fvwm and Blackbox.

    With very few other activities running, just a terminal and a resource program such as top or htop, I took resource consumption values running on antiX and maybe a few other distributions at that time. The kernel and the core tools even on light, efficient systems consume 25-35 MB more resources than they did back then; I was able to use a very minimal system with just a terminal and use under 70 MB. I recall that IceWM and Fluxbox were consuming 58-60 MB with very little else running. But even using Xfce or LXDE in those days could sometimes contain memory resources under 200 MB as long as not much else was running. Web browsers are notorious resource consumers, but that’s what most of us use these days.

    Also several of the classic window managers from the past liberally use middle button and right button clicks; IceWM is one of the few that uses a left button click and that was one reason I advocated keeping fluxbox, the original default window manager, but adding IceWM and making it the default. Veterans usually find what they want, but sometimes it is challenging for first time users to figure out features on some of the old window managers – a few of which date back to UNIX software and early Linux software from decades ago (usability was not always the top priority in those days).

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by masinick.

    Brian Masinick

    #32665
    Member
    christophechristophe

    Hey Mikey777,

    I kept thinking about your experiment with openbox… and last night I started one, too. I use frugal installs on all my antiX systems — I especially find this method handy for the core-builds, in case I need to scrap them if I don’t like the outcome. 😉

    I checked around on the internet first, and found that obconf is a separate package to configure it. Also, it has no panel built-in, but the package “tint2” is a common one people use.

    I thought I’d try it without the panel (to try something different), but using the ROX panel, which I use all the time, anyway to launch apps. And using the keyboard shortcut (alt-tab) to cycle the open apps. My laptop touchpad cycles the desktops if scrolling on the empty desktop.

    Otherwise, I used the typical programs I use on my other antiX-core builds. I quite like it. 🙂

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by christophe.
    #32676
    Member
    Avatarmikey777

    but sometimes it is challenging for first time users to figure out features on some of the old window managers

    You’re absolutely right there – it took quite a while for me to figure out how to configure JWM, though finally got something that I was quite pleased with,
    i.e. usable combined with and very low resource consumption. However, I didn’t have the energy to figure out FVWM. Though FWWM-Crystal is more usable out-of-the-box
    it had too much stuff but for the gains I’d get wasn’t sure if the time needed to invest in it was worth it.

    At the end of the day I’ve already got an antix19.1core+LXDE – it gives me a full desktop Debian system on a singlecore intel atom netbook, is very stable, and all the apps I need and only consumes around 103MB idle RAM (htop) – that’s really hard to beat. I will get less RAM usage with JWM (<70MB), but I don’t have the advantages of a full desktop.

    I take your point about resource-hungry browsers. I’ve found that the only browser which will give a satisfactory browsing experience, on the single-core atom netbook, is falkon. It will also give a good viewing experience when live-streaming youtube, but you have to turn the setting down to 360p.

    Thankyou again for your reply Brian – I do enjoy reading your posts.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by mikey777.
    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by mikey777.
    #32678
    Member
    Avatarmikey777

    @Christophe
    Thanks for your reply, and I’m really interested to see your own investigations with Openbox.
    I might try the ‘tint2’ or ‘rox’ panel you mentioned, and see how that looks.

    The screenshot looks very smart. Is this from a guest virtualbox setup of Openbox?
    I’m curious to know with the vertical panel of icons (on the right-side of the screenshot) is
    your panel for Openbox, or is just the panel of your host setup (if you used virtualbox)?

    Looking forward to continuing our discussions & experimentation.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by mikey777.
    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by mikey777.
    #32682
    Member
    AvatarPPC

    @mikey777- Hi! I experimented a lot with the 3 window managers that come with antiX full version, and even tested a openbox distro.
    The tests were done on a 1 gig of RAM atom netbook with about the same CPU speed as yours- I like to use antiX 64 bits for increased compatibility with software. I realized that the default IceWM and also Fluxbox, without desktop icons or any other non essential software (like the language keyboard selector, the copy/paste manager thingie, and even Volumeicon) uses about 100 meg of idle RAM – since I hardly use desktop icons and have a toolbar icon for “yad-volume” (that does not stay RAM resident), I lose no functionality, and have almost 800Mb of free RAM to put to productive use.

    As for browsing- in 64 bits- try ungoogled-chromium it is very light on RAM, also lightning fast!

    If you want to view YouTube videos, in any resolution up to fullHD, use MPV (it has to be correctly configured) either directly or via SMtube (that’s essentially a Youtube player application, without publicity)

    #32695
    Member
    Avatarseaken64

    At the end of the day I’ve already got an antix19.1core+LXDE – it gives me a full desktop Debian system on a singlecore intel atom netbook, is very stable, and all the apps I need and only consumes around 103MB idle RAM (htop) – that’s really hard to beat. I will get less RAM usage with JWM (<70MB), but I don’t have the advantages of a full desktop.

    I’ve been following this with interest. But it seems you guys have machines with significantly more RAM available than I get with some of my old computers. I have between 256MB and 512MB of ram available on many of my antiX installs.

    I am curious what “the advantages of a full desktop” means. I have been using the three window managers (IceWM, Fluxbox, JWM) and have been fairly pleased with the results. What am I missing by not using one of the lightweight Desktop Environments, such as LXDE?

    Seaken64

    #32701
    Moderator
    masinickmasinick

    At the end of the day I’ve already got an antix19.1core+LXDE – it gives me a full desktop Debian system on a singlecore intel atom netbook, is very stable, and all the apps I need and only consumes around 103MB idle RAM (htop) – that’s really hard to beat. I will get less RAM usage with JWM (<70MB), but I don’t have the advantages of a full desktop.

    I’ve been following this with interest. But it seems you guys have machines with significantly more RAM available than I get with some of my old computers. I have between 256MB and 512MB of ram available on many of my antiX installs.

    I am curious what “the advantages of a full desktop” means. I have been using the three window managers (IceWM, Fluxbox, JWM) and have been fairly pleased with the results. What am I missing by not using one of the lightweight Desktop Environments, such as LXDE?

    Seaken64

    In my opinion the things that you “gain” by using a desktop environment do not justify their overhead on a really old computer.

    Basically you do get some consistency at drag n drop capability between applications, if it’s REALLY a “desktop environment”.

    Brian Masinick

    #32708
    Member
    Avataranimusdominus

    I am curious what “the advantages of a full desktop” means.

    Depends on the desktop we are talking about …. for example lxde and kde dont offer the same advantages

    What am I missing by not using one of the lightweight Desktop Environments, such as LXDE?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LXDE

    In the above link check the part ”Software components of LXDE”

    I dont think antix is missing/lackin sth in comparison with lxde

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by animusdominus.
    #32715
    Member
    christophechristophe

    @Christophe
    Thanks for your reply, and I’m really interested to see your own investigations with Openbox.
    I might try the ‘tint2’ or ‘rox’ panel you mentioned, and see how that looks.

    The screenshot looks very smart. Is this from a guest virtualbox setup of Openbox?
    I’m curious to know with the vertical panel of icons (on the right-side of the screenshot) is
    your panel for Openbox, or is just the panel of your host setup (if you used virtualbox)?

    Looking forward to continuing our discussions & experimentation.

    Thanks. This is a frugal install on my “last” 32-bit laptop (I retired a few older models recently). No virtualbox. That panel is the ROX panel running on Openbox. It only has launchers, no pager, etc (– incidentally, if anyone knows how to add a pager or other widgets to Rox panel, please tell me!!). I used lxappearance & blackgird-gtk-theme, and obconf to use a dark theme. I’m using feh to change the wallpaper every 60 seconds (cycling through a set of darker-colored wallpapers).

    If you have rox-filer installed, the command to launch the panel is
    rox --right=PANEL
    Of course, you could use top, left, or bottom for the position, instead.

    I use the ROX panel on the full or base antiX, as well as my core-builds. I just like it, I guess. (And it’s built-into the rox filer, which I’ve grown to like.)

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by christophe.
    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by christophe. Reason: obconf not opconf
    #32720
    Member
    Avatarseaken64

    I am curious what “the advantages of a full desktop” means.

    Depends on the desktop we are talking about …. for example lxde and kde dont offer the same advantages

    And what are those advantages? Look and Feel? Pre-installed file manager and web browser? CD writer? Matching icons? I guess I don’t understand how a DE is advantageous for me. I have everything I need in IceWm or Fluxbox. Is the advantage the “theme”? That everything looks integrated?

    I do get why someone might prefer one themed environment over another. I do get why one will prefer one file manager over another. Sometimes we just feel more comfortable in a particular environment, under a familiar paradigm. But if the theme and environment prevent my computer from using a particular browser, or file manager, then I have to make a decision, right? Form or function? I always choose the function.

    I’m enjoying the topic and the discussion of trying new combinations of WM and DE’s. I intend to experiment with these options on some of my more powerful machines or in a VM. I am not against the idea of DE. But I am pretty impressed with antiX OOTB and it seems to be a pretty fine desktop environment to me. Even though technically it does not use a formal DE, like LXDE or XFCE.

    Seaken64

    #32723
    Member
    Avatarmikey777

    I am curious what “the advantages of a full desktop” means.
    Seaken64

    When I said that, one of the things I was thinking of, when generally comparing DEs vs WMs, was that desktop environments usually come ready to work straight out-of-the-box, with minimal configuration needed to get them fully working (apart from things like wifi and printers/scanners setup).

    Just to give you one example: with DEs the menus come with the icons already installed alongside the application names, whereas with WMs one needs to do a bit of digging into the file system to configure this. As I’m not an advanced linux-user, this involves time online researching how to do this and sometimes the documentation (if it exists) isn’t always easy to find. Also panel icons need to be configured, e.g. volume icon & wifi/ethernet icons (that’s if you want these) as they are absent by default in the three WMs I looked at (Openbox, Jwm, Fvwm), though I’ve found that just adding these two icons to the startup command will use up another 30-40MB of idle RAM activity (though if you have say 2GB RAM installed this is not really an issue).

    Another example is wallpapers. These are really easy to install in DEs, using the gui – less straightforward in WMs. At the end of the day the DEs are easier to use as the gui is well-developped. With WMs, one is more dependent on the use of terminal – this is a disadvantage for those who are not advanced linux-users.

    On the other hand, the bare-bones nature of WMs is it’s strength when using them on really old hardware, and masinick alluded to this when he said “In my opinion the things that you “gain” by using a desktop environment do not justify their overhead on a really old computer.” I don’t have any really old computers: my interest here is keeping things as light as possible, without too much extra work, on a low-powered single-core Intel Atom netbook (Samsung N145P, made in 2011) to minimize CPU temperature/activity and RAM activity, in an effort to prolong the battery-discharge time. On reflection, it would be really interesting to gather data on battery use, comparing DEs and WMs, though at the moment I don’t have the time to do this.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by mikey777.
    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by mikey777.
    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by mikey777.
    #32734
    Member
    Avatarmikey777

    As for browsing- in 64 bits- try ungoogled-chromium it is very light on RAM, also lightning fast!

    Thanyou PPC for the browser tip!
    I’m always on the lookout for lightweight browsers, though I’m pretty happy with falkon (formerly qupzilla). I’ve never heard of ungoogled-chrome, but now you’ve mentioned it I’ll definitely take a look 🙂

    If you want to view YouTube videos, in any resolution up to fullHD, use MPV (it has to be correctly configured) either directly or via SMtube (that’s essentially a Youtube player application, without publicity)

    .
    Yes I use mpv routinely for downloaded BBC TV programmes (using get_iplayer) and also playing music albums on our other laptops (mainly core 2 duo). On the single-core intel atom netbook (Samsung N145p) the highest quality of video that plays without problems is 25fps/2500 bitrate (which is fine), but for live-streaming youtube videos I can’t go higher than 480p (I usually use 360p), which is again fine. When you said HD quality was possible for playing youtube through mpv (I didn’t know this was possible), were you referring specifically to single-core intel atom netbooks?

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