How to: Make antiX 23 look almost like MacOS

Forum Forums General Tips and Tricks How to: Make antiX 23 look almost like MacOS

  • This topic has 4 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated Sep 21-10:22 am by PPC.
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  • #117122
    Member
    PPC

      I long ago did a post on this, that had some engagement from antiX users: https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/make-antix-look-like-macos/.
      Since I’ve noticed that there are some new antiX users that are using Mac hardware, over the week-end I made a small tutorial on how to make antiX look a bit more familiar to those users. This tutorial can also be used by anyone that likes to change the default look of antiX, or to get ready to use a Mac (for work, etc).

      NOTE:
      This tutorial expects users to be running antiX 23, using the zzz-icewm (the default desktop).

      1- Launch Package Installer (you can do so from the toolbar) and use it to install Tint2 (it’s available under “Docks”)
      2- Download the tint2 config file that is attached to this post (macdocky.tint2rc.tar). Uncompress it and make sure that file (the .tint2rc uncompressed one) is placed in your home folder (under /home/user_name )
      3- antiX Menu > Control Centre > “System” Tab > IceWM Control Centre > Select the option to place the toolbar on the top of the screen
      4- Don’t close IceWM Control Centre yet: Click the option to Manage IceWM Startup > click the option to add a command and add this command:
      tint2 -c ~/macdocky.tint2rc &
      And now you can close IceWM Control Centre

      5- Download the “cupertino” links from here: http://www.box-look.org/p/2012987
      6- Uncompress those files.
      7- Make sure that the folder /home/user_name/.icewm/themes exits
      8- Copy, to that folder, the “Cupertino” and “Cupertino_Dark” subfolders (notice that I’m talking about the folders that start with capital letters, not the initial folders) that were uncompressed inside the compressed files you downloaded
      9- antiX Menu > Settings > Themes > Select either Cupertino or Cupertino_Dark as your theme, from the available list.
      10- To make sure the volume icon is completely visible, right click it > Preferences > select a “Icon Theme”, that is easy to see.
      11- Log off and back on.
      12- If you want to have video composing effects for the session: antiX Menu > Applications > Accessories > and Enable “Visual Effects”

      Enjoy

      Edit: I used tint2 toolbar as a dock because, although it’s not the one that more resembles MacOS dock, it’s very light and it’s the one that works best with IceWM.
      It’s already configured to have rounded corners, if it starts after the compositor is running.
      Note that it does not have “smart quicklaunchers” – you have quicklaunchers on the left side, a separator, and then the icons of open windows. You can live preview those windows by hovering the mouse pointers on those window icons.
      Right clicking a running icon on the dock kills that window.
      You can configure the dock, mainly add/remove quicklaunchers by clicking the “Panel Manager” icon. To Manage quicklauncher, on the second window that pops up, click the “Launcher” tab. Make all the changes you want, then click “Apply” and then close both “tint2 panel” windows. It a bit of a convoluted GUI, but not that hard to get used to to manage the icons.

      Edit2: If you really, really like having a fruit as your “menu” icon, on the “Cupertino” theme (the light one), you can borrow the image from a theme that comes out of the box with antiX (icenoire).

      To replace the original “Cupertino” theme menu’s image file with a fruit:
      antiX menu > Terminal >

      cp /usr/share/icewm/themes/icenoir-3.3-Medium/taskbar/icewm.xpm /home/demo/.icewm/themes/Cupertino/taskbar/start.xpm

      and restart IceWM (or log off and log back on).

      Most of my notes from my previous post on the subject still apply, to help Mac users transition to antiX, but some stuff got easier:
      To use a visual task switcher, similar to Exposé, click on the icon on the IceWM toolbar that simbolyses four windows of different sizes. That will launch skippy-xd, that will feel very familiar.

      The “dock” configuration file is set up so it’s second icon, that you can use to search and launch applications launches app-select. In case you want a more familiar application to use as app-launcher, you can install one, but remember, antix is not MacOS, you won’t get an universal menu on IceWM toolbar, etc. All the changes this tutorial shows how to implement is just to it’s easier to use antiX in a more familiar way (similar default theme; toolbar on the top of the screen, a dock on the bottom- with some apps equivalent to what you had in MacOs, window icons on the left, etc). There are several apps that you can install in antiX that are very similar to what you get in MacOS, please explore the world of Linux OpenSource Apps!

      An example of how modular Linux is:
      if you want to have an app launcher similar to what you get in MacOS, install Rofi. You can do so via Package Installer, from the “Enabled Repositories” tab, from Synaptic Package manager or via the terminal, running this command:
      sudo apt install rofi

      Rofi is not just an app launcher, but it can be used like one. you can test a few of it’s configurations, from the terminal:
      rofi -show drun -show-icons -drun-display-format: name,generic,exec,categories,comment -theme /usr/share/rofi/themes/iggy.rasi

      Is probably the one that comes out of the box that is more similar to MacOs’s app launcher.

      For a more simple one, with smaller icons, more similar to Windows 11 menu, you can try running:
      rofi -show drun -show-icons -drun-display-format: name,generic,exec,categories,comment -theme /usr/share/rofi/themes/arthur.rasi

      Rofi is very light and fast. If you want an heavier, but familiar option to search for and launch apps, you can try ulauncher. Download form http://github.com/Ulauncher/Ulauncher/releases/download/5.15.3/ulauncher_5.15.3_all.deb and install it. You can use Tint2 configuration Manager GUI to place ulauncher’s on the dock.
      Launch ulauncher, type the name of the app you want to launch (or use it as a calculator, etc).

      Another powerful (but resource hungry) app launcher is Cerebro. You can download it’s .deb package over from http://www.cerebroapp.com/

      P.

      • This topic was modified 10 months ago by PPC.
      • This topic was modified 10 months ago by PPC.
      • This topic was modified 10 months ago by PPC.
      #117170
      Member
      PPC

        Last night I played a bit more with this project.
        I seems that dockbarx is more feature rich and easier to pin icons to than tint2, but it’s not officially available for Debian/antiX. The way I worked around this (to avoid having to compile from source) was downloading the 2 required .deb packages… from an Ubuntu PPA. I did that on an antiX-23 Live, without presistence, so if that messes up my system, all I have to do is reboot and it will be back to it’s initial pristine state, so download and install at your own risk!

        http://launchpad.net/~xuzhen666/+archive/ubuntu/dockbarx/+files/dockbarx-common_1.0~beta2+git20230704-1~ppa1_all.deb
        http://launchpad.net/~xuzhen666/+archive/ubuntu/dockbarx/+files/dockbarx-dockx_1.0~beta2+git20230704-1~ppa1_all.deb

        Install first the “common” package then the “docx” package. Select Position= “bottom”; Behaviour= “dogde active window”; Layer= “above other windows”
        This will place the dock on the bottom, on the middle and “intelihide” it. This means that you will see the dock unless an active window is covering it (in that case, the dock hides and to see it you’ll have to move the mouse pointer to the edge of the bottom of the screen).
        To “pin” icons on the dock simply launch the app you want and right click it’s icon on the dock and select the second option, that pins it to the dock. that’s all!

        You can manually start docx by running this command:
        dockx
        That’s exactly the same command that you have to add to IceWM startup file, instead of adding the tint2 command, like you did in Step 4 of my initial post.
        The dock will, by default appear on the middle left of the screen, showing icons of any running windows. To configure it so it works in a more familiar way:
        -Right click it’s corner, in the space right above the first icon > Preferences
        in the “Dock” tab, select Position – Bottom; Behaviour – Dodge windows; Layer – Below other windows

        As default icons I would add: Zzzfm; app-select; firefox-esr (or any other browser you want); geany (as text editor), Celulloid (as media player); OpenOffice Writer (as Word Processor); Control Centre; Docx configuration; Exit Session; Trash (and any other icon you want).
        With all this additions you probably can make normal use of antiX without ever needing to use antiX Menu (you can use app-select as app launcher- if you are using Mac hardware, it’s probably fast enough to open app-select almost instantly).

        The RAM ram usage, with the compositor enabled (for transparencies and fade-in/fade-out effects) is little over 300Mb. It’s a few dozens MB less if you use Tint2 as dock (it’s lighter, but not as “mac” like as Dockx).

        P.

        • This reply was modified 10 months ago by PPC.
        #117173
        Member
        madibi

          @PPC
          Many thx for your tutorials.
          As you know I am a fan of the Maclook, even on a pc :-)

          your contribution to antiX is always of great quality
          m

          #117175
          Member
          PPC

            @madibi – Many thanks… I thought you would like these tips!

            I’m not a fan of window buttons on the left side, but, using docX does feel great – with some small User Interface improvements that IceWM can’t provide (in exchange for a few dozens of Mb of RAM).
            The nice part of having people coming from MacOS using antiX this way is that they get not only a very similar experience to what they are used to, but also us the very same default antiX configurations (zzz-icewm) in all that matters (this tutorial basically shows how to put the toolbar on top; install and use IceWM themes; install and configure tint2 or DocX as toolbars)… they get the best of both worlds (using just a bit of extra resources, that usually are not signficant on Mac hardware).
            This can also be used for not Mac users – any one can use the part they like from these tips. I’ve never been a Mac user, but yesterday and this launch hour I can say I almost got used to the dock (I don’t even register the toolbar on the top part of the screen).

            EDIT:
            I forgot – albert (available at http://software.opensuse.org/download.html?project=home:manuelschneid3r&package=albert) is a great replacement for spotlight, but it requires a bit of configuration on it’s GUI. For example, I add to, in it’s Settings window, in the “Plugins” Tab to enable: Applications; Calculator; Clipboard; Docs; Files; WebSearch.
            Once you have “Files” checked, click it and make sure to select your home folder, an in “MIME types” check everything on that column, click also “advanced” and select also “text/plain” and anything else you want.
            This will allow you to use albert to: launch apps, or find documents almost instantly.
            Don’t forget to, on the “General” tab to select an Hotkey – Please notice that CTRL + Space is already taken (on IceWM’s “Keys” configuration file) and launches app-select (antiX’s default app launcher, that does a great job finding, launching apps, and managing their launchers, but does not search for files or perform web searches)
            Of course that the more apps you have running on the background (like docks, file/app launchers) the more system resources are used. If you have enough system resources, feel free to setup your system with all the conveniences you love. The beauty of Linux in general and antiX in particular is how customizable it is. You can add or remove features to get a more “Fully featured” OS or a “Lighter” OS.

            Edit2: I attached a screenshot of antiX running with the Compositor enabled, Cupertino_Dark icewm theme, Dockx dock, Albert launcher AND Firefox running – it’s an overkill of “eye candy” and extra apps, yet it is still running well below 1Gb of RAM (heavy for antiX standards, light as feather when compared to most OSes, specially those that look that good)…

            P.

            • This reply was modified 10 months ago by PPC.
            • This reply was modified 10 months ago by PPC.
            • This reply was modified 10 months ago by PPC.
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            #117373
            Member
            PPC

              I new I had forgoten something: as a Launchpad replacement, you can use Rofi, as previously stated, or install and use jgmenu. jgmenu is available in the repository (you can install via the terminal with sudo apt install jgmenu , for example).
              To set a more MacOS style of menu: select the col2 thems, by running this command on the Terminal:
              jgmenu_run init --theme=col2

              You can launch jgmenu by running jgmenu_run

              You can even edit the size of the jgmenu’s window, by manually editing the file $HOME/.config/jgmenu/jgmenurc (ex: run the command geany $HOME/.config/jgmenu/jgmenurc)
              And edit the values to that you want. Example:
              menu_width = 800
              menu_height_min = 800
              menu_height_max = 800

              You can also edit the number of columns. Example:
              columns = 3

              And even the transparency of the window (the last number on the color_menu_bg line referes to it’s opacity. to set it to just 96% opacity):
              color_menu_bg = #2B303B 95

              Feel free to play with the settings until you get jgmenu looking exacly the way you want.

              Note: You can place jgmenu’s .desktop file in tint2 toolbar (using tint2confi GUI), if that’s what you are using as dock.

              Edit: jgmenu has a “bug” that does not allow it to show certain .desktop files (ex: the Exit Session icon won’t appear on the icon list).

              • This reply was modified 10 months ago by PPC.
              • This reply was modified 10 months ago by PPC.
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