My antiX “fu” is not strong (but is now stronger) (Solved)

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  • This topic has 37 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated Apr 11-2:35 pm by Brian Masinick.
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  • #56515
    Member
    Avatarseaken64

    My antiX “fu” is not strong enough for antiX-19 on an old computer

    I was excited to try my hand at installing antiX-19 64-bit on an old computer I found at the recycling center. I had already setup MX-19 32-bit and antiX-19 32-bit on an old Pentium 4 with 3 GB of RAM with integrated Intel video. This “new” old computer was one step above my best P4 and I wanted to use antiX as it’s main OS.

    This computer has an AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+ dual core processor. It supports 64-bit, whereas my best P4 only supports 32-bit. It had 2 GB RAM but one of the RAM chips was bad. I moved one of the chips from the P4 over to get it back to 2GB, leaving the P4 with 3GB. This Athlon system is a Dell Dimension E521 and has integrated graphics and a few PCIe slots and the 16-bit PCIe slot has a GeForce 6600 NV43 class GPU.

    I booted up a newly created LiveUSB with antiX-19.3 64-bit. It booted up good and I proceeded to partition the 250GB SATA hard drive I put in it. I created a / partition and a separate /home partition and another data partition and a swap partition, then I proceeded to install antiX-19 64-bit.

    For the most part antiX-19 installed fine and is running well on this old machine. However, I soon found out that my antiX fu is not strong. My intent for this “new” old machine was to replace my old P4 HTPC and attach it to one of my 32” LCD TV’s in my lab, where I often watch more than one sports program at a time, such as now during March Madness where I can watch four games at once. My old P4 HTPC has not been used for this for a few years and was no longer connected to a big screen.

    This “new” old machine had enough power to run Kodi and ESPN or NBC Sports, etc. I figured if my old P4 could run Kodi then this new machine could do it better. And I wanted it to be a new project focusing on using antiX. I had MX running on the old P4 and I knew I could set MX up but I wanted to use antiX since I knew it would be more of a challenge.

    I ran into three or four problems using this machine, and a couple of them have still not been resolved. My antiX fu has been revealed as weak. But thanks to the forum it is getting a little stronger with this project.

    First, I could not understand how to properly set up multiple screens in antiX. I did know that I could use arandr to set the resolutions and orientation of the screens. I had done this many times before with single screens. With a little bit of googling I was able to set the screens in my startup files. I use IceWM so I used the IceWM startup file for my xrandr statement. It works. But the login manager and the wallpapers were not set correctly.

    I could not see the login entry dialog at all. It seems it was placed somewhere in the middle of my multi monitor setup and was invisible. I could type my username and password blindly and get into my desktop. But how do I get the login screen to show? I got some help in the forum and found out I had to edit a configuration file to orient the slim login to a place where it would show up. That config file is at /usr/share/slim/themes/antiX/slim.theme. I edited the “input_panel_x” and “input_panel_y” to move the sign in box to the upper left of the screen. [Note: the actual file to edit is dependent on the choice of theme. For instance: /usr/share/slim/themes/DarkCity/slim.theme]

    Next, I could not figure out how to set two different wallpapers, each on one of the two monitors. There is a nice wallpaper tool in antiX and it works great for a single wall paper. But I wanted two wallpapers. As it turned out antiX does not support this out of the box. I had to learn how to use “feh” to set up the two wallpapers and I had to turn off any default “desktop manager” so as to not interfere with feh. Again, the forum members showed me that I had to turn off SpaceFM as the desktop manager and use only the “icewm” desktop. Once I did this I had my two separate wallpapers.

    But a side effect of running “icewm” was that ROX became the default file manager. I had to edit another config file to allow SpaceFM as my default file manager. I ended up editing the file ~/.desktop-session/desktop-defaults.conf and changed OVERRIDE_SESSION_FM= to “true”. Then I edited /usr/share/applications/antix/desktop-defaults-follow-fm.desktop and commented out the “Exec=” line and added my own “Exec=spacefm” line. I restarted the session and now when I click on the “File Manager” item I get SpaceFM.

    Before I changed to “icewm” the Conky was not fully transparent. The conky was readable but the background was from another part of the image. Once I switched to “icewm” only and was using “feh” as my wallpaper manager, the Conky was now properly transparent. Ahh, my antiX fu was improving – but still not strong.

    Here’s the outline of steps needed to set two wallpapers, one each on two monitors, and correct the Conky transparency at the same time:
    1. Switch your desktop away from “space” or “ROX” (In my case I chose “icewm”. I was using space-icewm). Space and ROX desktop managers conflict with the “feh” program that is used to set the multiple wallpapers. See below.
    2. Comment out the line in /usr/local/bin/desktop-session that invokes the “desktop-session-wallpaper” script.
    3. Run feh –bg-fill /path/to/wallpaper#1 /path/to/wallpaper#2. This will create a ~/.fehbg file.
    4. Add ~/.fehbg & to your desktop startup file. I used ~/.icewm/startup

    So, now my antiX fu is good enough to setup multiple monitors on antiX-19. But things did not go well when I tried to setup Kodi.

    When I installed Kodi 18.9 from the Debian Multimedia repo and started it up the system crashed. It completely locked up with a black screen and I had to power down. When I restarted I had to repair the file system before I could boot. I used my Live USB and scanned and repaired the file system then rebooted again into antiX-19. I purged Kodi-18.9 and reinstalled Kodi-17.6 from the default repos. Kodi 17.6 works. But I wanted to have Kodi-18.9. Time for some stronger antiX fu. I gave it a try but my antiX fu did not turn out to be strong enough.

    I am assuming that Kodi 18 may not crash if I could install the proprietary nvidia drivers for my GPU. I soon learned that antiX 19, being based on Buster, would not support the legacy nvidia driver I needed. I did some reading and found out that the drivers are supported in Stretch. So, I decided to install antiX-17.4 64-bit and try to install the legacy nvidia drivers.

    I did get the legacy nvidia drivers installed in antiX-17.4. But when I tried to install Kodi 18.9 I could not find it in any repos for antiX-17. I downloaded a .deb file for Kodi 18.5 from the MX-17 repo. After the install it only started up 17.6. I purged Kodi again and tried to install Kodi 18.5 by adding the MX-17 testrepo to my source file. But it won’t install and gives me a report that it is missing dependencies.

    As of now, I have been unsuccessful in getting Kodi 18 to work in antiX-17 or antiX-19. Kodi 17.6 is working. I am hopeful that I may yet learn how to install Kodi 18 and fix the dependencies. But for now, my antiX fu is not strong.

    seaken64

    • This topic was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by seaken64.
    • This topic was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by seaken64.
    #56527
    Moderator
    christophechristophe

    Nice essay, Seaken64!
    But take heart. It looks like you already jumped many hurdles!

    (Unfortunately, I don’t think I can help with the final one; I don’t have experience with kodi.)

    #56529
    Member
    Avatarseaken64

    Thanks christophe. Yeah, Kodi can be difficult sometimes. Maybe i’ll figure it out maybe I won’t. It doesn’t matter, it’s just for fun. At any rate I have learned a lot about this generation of computer. Previous to this machine I had only had Pentium 4’s and down to the 8088 PC. Then I had some Dual Core Pentiums and Core2Duos, many that I still use in my business (They replaced the P4’s and P-III’s). But I had never had an AMD Dual Core before. I had one single-core 32-bit AMD laptop that ran XP. This Athlon 64 X2 was Vista/Windows 7 class and is a nice tower desktop, which I prefer to laptops.

    seaken64

    #56533
    Moderator
    christophechristophe

    Interestingly, I recently dug out my last “living” non-laptop computer – an old Athlon XP, single core, 2002 vintage.

    My project is similar to yours in that it is being set up to a TV. This computer was our main computer for some years long ago. It had only 256 MB RAM, but I figured that should be enough to boot & run dosbox. On the TV. I thought that would be fun.

    Well, I also dug out some old pieces and parts left over from various dearly departed PCs. And my, my, my! I was able to reuse 3 512 MB RAM cards – replacing the one measely 256 MB card. Wow, what an upgrade. The Nvidia card in it worked with the nouveau driver, but the nvidia drivers were too old to be supported.

    I used antiX17.4.1. I’m going to try 19.3 eventually. And now with more RAM, I’ve expanded the games scope to cover nearly all my old favorites. I’ve got some issues to iron out, like sound, resolution is cut off at the screen edges. But, like you said:

    Maybe i’ll figure it out maybe I won’t. It doesn’t matter, it’s just for fun.

    #56541
    Member
    AvatarRobin

    Some hints for use of antiX on single core processors (I have an athlon XP with 1,6 GHz and 2GB RAM, nvidia graphics card):
    Don’t rely on the default or automatic settings the preinstalled programs are set to:

    1.) Nvidia-settings: OpenGL Settings–>image settings: set to “Performance” instead of “Quality”
    GPU0 Powermizer: set mode to “maximum performance” (you won’t see any difference in screen resolution or sharpness on standard monitors, the standard settings are good for superfine highres screens, at cost of performance on week systems)

    2.) Firefox: blocks System (between 10 Seconds and 10 Minutes) completely, if you use the default settings in section “Performance”, the “recommended Performance settings”. These don’t work. For single core Processors (in particular when providing SSE1 only) e.g. Athlon XP, you have to set the “maximum amount of content-processes” to “1” only which will speed up your system.
    2a.) set “browser.tabs.allowTabDetach false” in “about:config”. This prevents firefox from an annoying delay in processing mouse-klicks.

    3.) Mirage: blocks system completely and indefinite by preloading images. You have to deactivate the setting “preload of images” in the tab “Navigation” for single core processors. This will cost some seconds for every image when viewing it before it is displayed, but your system will not get affected any longer.

    This will render antiX 17 and also 19 to be fast and fluent working even on this class of processors, given your cpu has enough core speed, sufficient RAM (e.g. 2 GB), and a dedicated gpu graphics card (saving the cpu from doing the job of a gpu).

    Please feel free to add your findings in concern of necessary change of default settings to this listing.

    P.S.: nouveau driver works only on the first look fine (if it works at all), but crashes system randomly, does not function after wake-up from suspend, does not allow fine tuning like the performance or vibrance settings from original nvidia driver to make your system fast and fluent running.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Robin.
    #56565
    Member
    Avatarseaken64

    My antiX fu is now stronger! I got Kodi 18.5 installed and it works without crashing. tony37 on the MX forum pointed out that I needed to have BOTH the normal “repo” and the “testrepo” lines added to my sources list. I had only the testrepo enabled. Once I also enabled the normal repo for MX-17 I was successful in installing Kodi 18.5 from the MX testrepo.

    I was not sure if Kodi 18.5 would still crash or not. But it did not crash and is now up and running on that old box. So, in review, to get Kodi 18 working I had to use antiX-17 and install the legacy nvidia drivers, then add the MX-17 repo and testrepo repositories to my sources list and update and then install Kodi. After installing Kodi18.5 I disabled the MX-17 repositories.

    Next I am going to try and get antiX-19 working with the legacy nvidia driver and try to get Kodi 18.9 running. I’m feeling more confident again. But we’ll see how strong is my antiX fu!

    seaken64

    #56566
    Member
    Avatarseaken64

    Thanks for the tips Robin. I solve the problem with Firefox by not using it. I use SeaMonkey and PaleMoon. And this is the first time I have used the legacy nvidia drivers.

    seaken64

    #56567
    Forum Admin
    rokytnjirokytnji

    Might think of looking into hypnotix instead of kodi. takes a little more work though. Back in the day. I used Miro.

    http://www.getmiro.com/index1.php

    Cuz it worked on low spec gear.

    Edit: Miro will be in your package installer also.

    2nd edit. Did a search on MX forum for hypnotix. I guess being a Mint linux app. It has not hit the forum yet. No return on search results.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by rokytnji.
    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by rokytnji.

    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

    #56571
    Member
    Avatarseaken64

    Thanks roky. I will take a closer look at Miro. But that website link does not render well in my browser (Chrome).

    I am using Kodi because I mostly use my Cable TV subscription for watching sports on TV. Kodi has add-ons similar to what you get with Roku where you can login with your Cable TV authentication and then use the remote control from your chair. I can watch ESPN or YES on the side screens from across the room.

    I’ll check out those other packages as you suggest. Maybe they will work similarly.

    seaken64

    #56574
    Member
    Avatarseaken64

    From what I can tell Hypnotix is about watching free IPTV. And it is not developed enough to use from the couch with a remote.

    Miro is a more general player but again not as developed as Kodi to make it easy to select a channel or content from a remote from across the room.

    This is an advantage of using Kodi. Kodi is built to use a ten-foot user interface, and will even use my Media Center remote once I get it launched on screen. It is frustrating sometimes trying to follow the moving target with Kodi. But once it is installed it is like having a Roku or Firestick on an old linux box that has been tossed away as useless. Of course Roku or Firestick is easier and in some cases better. But Kodi is a great manager of an existing media collection and with the right addon it is a good source for streaming. And I can set the resolution of the stream very easily. On an old Pentium 4, or this Athlon 64 X2 dual core, I can set the stream to 720p or 540p and play it on a 32″ TV monitor and the results are fine from across the room. It’s not modern Ultra High Def or 4K. That can be done of course, like it can on Roku or Firestick. But with Kodi I can still play standard def or 720p. That’s a big deal on old computers with limited resources.

    And I use Kodi the way it was intended. Not to pirate content. But to view what I already own or have paid for thru my cable subscription or some other subscription. It’s great for March Madness or MLB or NBA playoffs, or the PGA. I can have three or four games on at once if I want. Sometimes it’s like a sports bar in here!

    seasken64

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by seaken64.
    #56590
    Member
    Avatarseaken64

    Next I am going to try and get antiX-19 working with the legacy nvidia driver and try to get Kodi 18.9 running. I’m feeling more confident again. But we’ll see how strong is my antiX fu!

    seaken64

    Success! I was able to get the legacy 304xx nvidia drivers installed on antiX-19.3 and then I installed Kodi 18.9. I got some help from tony37 on the MX forum. He showed me how to use the apt preferences file to install the needed files from the Stretch repo. It was not very hard as long as I followed the instructions.

    Here’s the link to that MX thread:
    https://forum.mxlinux.org/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=63757

    My antiX fu is a little stronger now but not as strong as tony37 or most of the other experts on these forums.

    Thanks again for everyone’s help.

    seaken64

    #56598
    Moderator
    christophechristophe

    My antiX fu is a little stronger now

    Hey Hey! Great to hear (read) it!

    I finished up my project, too. antiX 19 running well on it.

    I fiddled with the TV settings to get a nice, full screen without anything cut off.

    The sound – I was cranking up everything in the alsa mixer, then trying every line-out setting. Eventually, something worked! I remembred people on this forum saying to do (something like I did), to get sound working, ever since I started visiting.

    Super Tux & Extreme Tux Racer (oh, also Swell-Foop) don’t work — I figure openGL version is too old. But the most important ones: Doom (Crispy-Doom Port), DOSBox, PCSXR (Playstation 1 emu), pysolfc (Solitaire), ScummVM, and I think 1 or 2 more ARE working. So I call it a success.

    And, with a usb wifi dongle, I’ve got links2 (about all this thing will do well, internet-wise) and pmrp running, on-demand.

    antiX-fu is strong, I’d say! I think you’d agree!

    This is my antiX-fu formula (AND YOU CAN TRUST ME, I’M A MODERATOR): 90% JUST-SHOWING-UP + 10% SEARCHING INTERNET & FORUM = SUCCESS.

    (When I say “showing up,” I mean, just keep trying. Don’t give up.)

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    (Obvioiusly you won’t ALWAYS win. But more often than not. 😉 )

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by christophe.
    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by christophe.
    #56604
    Member
    Avatarseaken64

    So true, don’t give up. Eventually things start to relate to other things you’ve already learned and things start to click.

    I had an issue with a P-III a couple of years ago where I could not get it to work in anything but safe mode video. I came across a solution a year later, mostly from reading and asking questions here. I learned about boot codes then. Now I’m learning about apt preferences and how to configure slim and feh.

    AND YOU CAN TRUST ME, I’M A MODERATOR

    No argument here. You’ve been a big help and an inspiration. It’s fun to see others playing with some of the older equipment we have laying around.

    If anybody is in NY State, from the Capital District to NYC, around the Hudson Valley, and wants an old desktop computer just give me a shout.

    seaken64

    #56628
    Member
    AvatarRobin

    Hi seaken64,
    it’s great news you have managed to install the legacy nvidia 304 driver in antiX 19.3. Since I have done this also, following the instructions found in the nvidia 6800 /6600 thread, and encountered some problems afterwards, I have some questions:

    1.) Can you flawlessly start spacefm and the other programs I mentioned? Or do you see the same error instead, concerning the missing libvdpau.so.1 file?

    2.) Did you apply the patches needed to make nvidia driver work in antiX 19? (If not, does it work anyway?)

    3.) Could you please be so kind and describe exactly which steps you did in which order exactly, to succeed? (I’m still struggling with the missing libvdpau.so.1, and meanwhile thinking about restarting the process from scratch following the method you deployed this time instead.

    P.S.: Just for my curiosity since I’m not a native speaker, I have no Idea what you mean by saying “stong fu / weak fu“. Seems to be kind of idiomatic expression, even dictionaries don’t know it.

    #56939
    Member
    AvatarRobin

    Additional question:
    4.) Do you have Xorg 19 or 20 after applying your way of installing the nvidia 304 driver? The way described in the nvidia 6800/6600 thread mentioned above leads to version 19 only, so it would be of some interest to me whether you have or somebody else has got version 20 instead.
    Many thanks!

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Robin.
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