Short essential how-to list for the complete Linux newbie

Forum Forums General Tips and Tricks Short essential how-to list for the complete Linux newbie

  • This topic has 95 replies, 38 voices, and was last updated Jun 27-1:47 pm by Robin.
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      (Note: Some of this information is for users of the default antiX desktop- IceWM, but all Menu references are common to all antiX desktops IceWM. JWM and Fluxbox)

      1- Setting up wi-fi:
      – On current antiX versions (21 and 22) when you start your system, if no cabled internet connection (or an already configured wi-fi connection) is detected, antiX’s network manager (Connman – from “CONnection MANager) automatically pops up.
      You can also, at any time, launch connman using IceWM’s system tray (near the clock there should be at least 3 square icons, that show information about your computer…
      Left click the third icon, counting from the right to the left. Connman Network Settings pops up.
      You can also start “Connman” using Menu > Control Centre > Network > Wifi… (Connman)
      – On Connman’s main window: on the “Status” Tab: by default (maybe to save power) Wi-fi should be set to “Disabled”- is it’s disabled, make sure to left click the “Powered” button (it should be green, not red).
      – Hopefully, a list of all detected Wi-fi networks pops up, available on the “Wireless” tab. Double left click the one you want to connect to and, if needed, enter it’s password (for some reason Connman calls it “Passphrase”). Click the “ok” button. [Note: if, for some reason you don’t see the “Ok” button, use the horizontal slider to “slide the window’s content, so you can see it, in the lower right of the window OR force the window to full screen, by pressing alt + F11 – a tip that should work in any window)
      – To connect to a Wi-fi network, simply left click it and then click the “Connect” button
      *TIP 1: Do need internet access in your laptop and have no wi-fi? If you have a mobile data connection on your android phone, and it’s USB cable, you can try to use that to access the Net from your laptop: your on your 3G/4G/5G phone internet connection. Connect your phone to your antiX computer, find and activate, on your phone the data sharing/ USB sharing data option and turn that on. Click Connman and check if, in the “Wired” Connections you get any indication that a USB connection is on-line. It works just like a ethernet internet connection.
      *TIP 2: You can do a similar procedure to use your Wi-fi on a computer that does not have a Wi-fi card. Access your Wi-fi network from your android device, connect it to your antiX computer using its USB cable, turn on the data sharing option on your phone and check, in connman, if a “Wired” network connection is active and, if so enjoy your Wi-fi internet!

      2- Accessing your files:
      The default File Manager (it’s called “Rox”) looks too different from what you are used to? antiX has no shortage of file managers, you can try something that looks more like a mainstream File Manager (similar to Windows File Explorer, for example) – it’s called ZZZFM (a fork, created by the fórum user Skidoo, of the previous “secondary” File Manager that older versions used to ship with- SpaceFM):
      Menu > Applications > System > ZzzFM
      Do you like ZzzFM/SpaceFM enough to always want to use it to access your files? Make it the default File Manager:
      Menu > Control Centre > Default Applications (it’s the “yellow star” icon) > Click the input field to the right of “File Manager” and select “zzzfm” from the list, Click “Apply”. From now on, when you click the File Manager icon on the toolbar or the menu, or plug in and external drive, etc, it will always launch ZzzFM/SpaceFM.
      Do you miss having Bookmarks, like “Documents”, “Downloads”, etc?
      Open ZzzFM > Go to you “Downloads” folder > SpaceFM “Bookmarks” Menu > Confirm that “Show bookmarks” is checked > Click “add bookmark”.
      A bookmark to your Downloads folder instantly appears on the left side bar.
      You can create bookmarks to any folder you want to, repeating this process. To create a bookmark to your “Home” folder, where your files are stored, navigate to “/home/”, click the folder with your username and then “add bookmark”, etc.
      Do you want to see previews of your files ( picture and video files)?
      Open ZzzFM > ZzzFM “View” Menu > Preferences > Check “Show thumbnails” > Click “Ok”

      Do you want to search for a specific file (by file name or file content)?
      Menu > Applications> Acessories > SearchMonkey

      Can I access files from my usb thumbdrive, external drive?
      Any external drive should automaticaly come up on your screen, on your default file manager. If it does not, and you are using ZzzFM file manager, open it and check if your drive is listed on the “Devices” list, on the upper left corner of the screen. If it is, left click it to access it.

      Can I access files stored on the cloud?
      – use the file storage web interface or;
      – install any available interface (“Dropbox” and “Mega” can be installed from Package Manager). There are, at the present time, no official interfaces to “Google Drive” or Microsoft Cloud (AKA “Onedrive”) for Linux, but you can install “Open Drive” from Package Manager- that allows access to those services).
      – WARNING – THIS PROCEDURE IS RELATIVELY COMPLEX: you can also setup “Google Drive” to be accessed from your File Manager just like it was an external drive.
      I created a script that allows antiX users to access cloud service drives ( like Google Drive, Ms OneDrive, etc) using rclone. You can get it by installing the package “ft10-transformation”.
      You can also manually get the a version of the script here:
      Save the antiX version of the script to your computer. On your File Manager right click the file and make it “executable” (using ZzzFM/SpaceFM: select the file and press CTRL + P. In the permission window, check the “Executable” field, then click the “ok” button.

      When you have “access_cloud” installed, before being able to access your cloud drive, First, you have to configure your account (Google Drive can be automatically configured) then just click the name of the account and it’s contents open in your default File Manager. Please note that all other Cloud Drives have to be manually set up, using a menu driven by numbered choices, from a terminal window…

      3- Do you want to update your system?

      IMPORTANT: by default antiX does not automatically update it self (like most Operating Systems). You have to check for updates and install them!
      Menu > antiX > antiX Updater > enter your password if asked to > wait to see if there are any updates, if there are a black window with white letters pops up, listing all available updates – just press the “enter” key (yes, in the keyboard) and the update starts. A warning will pop up when the process is finished- Click its button and you are done.
      If you installed and enabled the automatic update checker (it’s not installed by default in current antiX versions because it uses system resources), just click it’s icon on the tray next to the clock
      Menu > Terminal and type this commands (or copy and paste them in the terminal):
      sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

      sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade

      Enter your password if asked to, and wait for the update process to finish.

      4- Do you want to install an application?

      There are so many ways to install stuff in Linux in general and antiX in particular! Read this antiX forum thread:
      Quick start: Press the “Shopping Bag” icon on the toolbar, right next to the “Menu” button, to open “Package Manager” (or Menu > Control Centre > “System” tab > “Package Manager”)

      Search for what you want to install. A black terminal window pops up during the install process. If it asks you to confirm something, just press the “enter” key to accept the default answer (ex: yes, I want to install all available updates- NB on some very rare occasions, like when updating GRUB or installing Drivers, you may need to answer questions, like choosing where to install Grub, etc.- be very careful selecting the correct option!- I think that you use “tab” to highlight your selection- please do check this!), and wait for the installation to finish.

      Note: this is only to install essential software or very used applications: web browsers (Google Chrome, Chromium, Firefox, Tor Browser), Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail client, Java, Wine, Steam, the most recent LibreOffice and GIMP versions, VLC media player, etc.
      If you want access to ALL available (Debian and antiX) applications, run “Synaptic package manager” (Menu > Control Centre > “System” tab > “Synaptic Package Manager” > enter your password if asked to > select what you want to install)

      In case you want to remove any application from your system, Synaptic is also the graphical way (GUI) to do that– WARNING: as in any system, be very careful when deleting apps- delete only apps that you installed, and, except if you know what you are doing: DO NOT TRY TO REMOVE ANTIX DEFAULT APPLICATIONS– you may “brick your system” – unlike in other OS, you can do exactly what you want, remove anything, there are no “sacred corporate apps”- this also means that you can remove stuff that you should not remove, if you want to have a fully working system!

      5- Can you install Ubuntu repositories, PPA’s, Snap files or other Ubuntu specific software?
      Sure, it’s a free world. Install Ubuntu or any of it’s countless derivative OS’s.
      Install .deb files meant for others OS’s on antiX at your own risk, because you can harm your system.


      • This topic was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by Brian Masinick.
      • This topic was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by Brian Masinick.
      • This topic was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by Brian Masinick. Reason: Reverted to previous title

        Fantastic guide, PPC.

        If you could add ROX filer info for the same thing (thumbnails, etc), I think we could pin this so people can see it and I can easily find it to redirect new users.

        Great work! Very helpful.

        antiX Live system enthusiast.
        General Live Boot Parameters for antiX.

        Brian Masinick

          Fantastic guide, PPC.

          If you could add ROX filer info for the same thing (thumbnails, etc), I think we could pin this so people can see it and I can easily find it to redirect new users.

          Great work! Very helpful.

          +1 – I agree; great work!

          Brian Masinick


            Just so we have all the “essential” tips in the same place, I paste here some more, adapted from

            6 – Adding application’s icons to your (tool)bar (If you are using the default Icewm antiX desktop) :
            Menu > antiX > Icewm Toolbar Icon Manager > Click the “Add icon” button > select the .desktop file of the application you want to have on your toolbar > Click the “Ok” button and the icon instantly appears on your toolbar.
            [If you don’t want to add another icon, you can close the Toolbar Icon Manager.]

            7.- Adding application’s icons to the desktop:
            If you are using the Default antiX desktop (or any other managed by Rox): Menu > Run > type (without the quotes) “rox /usr/share/applications” > “Ok” button > Drag and drop, from the windows that pops open, the icons you want to have on your desktop. Double right click the icons to rename them (you can safely delete the “.desktop” extension)

            8.- Changing desktop background:
            Menu > Control Centre > “Desktop” Tab > choose Desktop Image

            9.- Turning the desktop’s resource monitor (Conky) on/ off:
            Menu > Conky on/off

            10.- Automatically starting an application after booting:
            Menu > Run > type (without the quotes) “add-start” > “Add” tab > type the app you want to start at boot > press the “add” button
            TIP: if you don’t know the command to start the app you want to add to your start up, it’s a relatively easy process:
            Menu > Aplications > System > app select
            Search for the application you want. Do you see line, under your app that starts with “Exec:”? The rest of that line is the command you need to run your app! (Sadly you can’t copy and paste it, you have to manually enter it in the “add-start” application…)

            11.- Do you want system notifications (Ex: pop ups on your screen that let you know when you got e-mail, etc?
            antiX does not provide that out of the box, but it’s easy to solve:
            Run Package manager and install “Dunst”, that provides that (by default notifications come up on the right upper corner of the screen)

            Newbies, I know this day and age people don’t like reading, but believe me, searching the Forum is usually the fastest way possible to solve any problem, learn to do something. Voluntaries spend a lot of time and resources to create How-tos and answer user’s questions, when most of those questions was already answered before!
            We (more experienced users, and the Dev team) are aware that antiX may not be as user friendly as some other Operating Systems you may be used to, but it is, for the most part, very easy to use for the more common stuff you want to do, things are just done a bit differently (it’s the same when you use a system different from what you are used to Windows 10 is different from Windows 7, Windows is different from MacOS, an android phone is different from an IOS phone, etc)!
            If you want to do something more than simply clicking icons for applications that come installed out of the box, please take some minutes and take a look at all Control Centre entries, and also at Menu > Applications > antiX ; Menu > Applications > Preferences ; Menu > Applications > System

            and then, if you still can’t figure things out, search the forum… then, if you still found no way of solving your problem, DO POST your question here!
            It can take some 30- 45 minutes to do what I say here, but that’s probably faster than waiting for someone to answer your queries!


            • This reply was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by PPC.

              One more “advanced” tip:

              12.- Do you want a “taskswitcher”, a way to switch windows that shows previews of all non minized windows?
              You can have it, but it takes a little bit of work:
              Menu > Terminal
              sudo apt install skippy-xd
              [ enter your password if asked to]
              Menu > Control Centre > Edit… ICeWM > “Toolbar” tab >
              and, right after the line that says “### Commonly used applications” [or anywhere else you want to put the icon] paste this line:
              prog "Task switcher" /usr/share/icons/papirus-antix/48x48/actions/dialog-rows-and-columns.png skippy-xd
              Save the text file you just edited (press CTRL + S )
              Menu > Logout right arrow > Restart Icewm
              You now have an icon that, when clicked, lets you preview in real time, all non minimized windows (minimized ones are represented by the app’s icon) – Just like you have in Windows 10, MacOS, Android, etc…
              [Note: itś a tiny program, that takes almost no resources, and it’s the single “eye candy” I have on my system, because it does make antiX just look like any other modern Operating System, and it’s really usefull, if you have many open windows]



                Thank you PPC. Very helpful guides.



                  A video I just discovered today for people really new to antiX and linux. Shows the most basic stuff, but enough for a starter who uses the machine for basic stuff.

                  antiX Live system enthusiast.
                  General Live Boot Parameters for antiX.


                    The default File Manager (it’s called “Rox”) looks too different from what you are used to?

                    dunno why
                    folks prefer icon
                    mode in a file

                    As a reminder, the “wordwrapped filenames aka icon mode” of rox-filer is just the as-shipped default configuration.
                    With a quick visit to the rox Options gui, you can set “details view” as the default view mode displayed at each rox-filer launch
                    (and, on-demand, can still toggle iconView when browsing a directory containing imagefiles)


                      pls also add how to take screenshots in Antix
                      it will be very useful


                        pls also add how to take screenshots in Antix
                        it will be very useful

                        There’s really no need, because it is not one of the many things in which antiX is different from most distros, but here it is, also another short but usefull tip, that I think I never shared here…

                        13- Taking a screenshot of your screen:

                        If you are using the default Icewm desktop. just like in most Operating Systems, press the “Print Screen” key, on your physical keyboard.
                        If you can’t do that, or if you are using a desktop that does not have that particular keybinding, you can find the applications that takes screenshots in:
                        Menu > Graphics > Screenshot OR
                        Menu > App-select > and search for “screenshot”…

                        14- How to always have “Num Lock” On, when you turn on your computer:
                        Menu > Run > type, without quotation marks: “add-start” > type, without quotation marks: “numlockx &”


                        • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by PPC.

                          13- Taking a screenshot of your screen:

                          If you are using the default Icewm desktop. just like in ……… > and search for “screenshot”…


                          thanks a lot


                            Better late than never:

                            15 -How to make antiX’s default window manager (rox-filer) look more “mainstream”:
                            -Launch rox file manager > right click any empty space inside it’s window > click “Options” >
                            * If you don’t want the window to resize to fit only the current folder’s contents: In the first tab, check the first option (“Never automatically resize”)
                            * if you don’t want to launch files with a single click: uncheck ” Single-click navigation”
                            * If you want to see folders listed first, then files: check “Directories come first (for sort by name)”
                            * If you want to see previews of image files on their icons: Click the “thumbnails” tab, to the left and make sure the first option is checked ( “Show image thumbnails”).

                            Most of the more common changes to the way rox displays files/folders can be made from the bar on the top of it’s main window:
                            *Go to the home folder – Click the second icon, that looks like a little home.
                            * You can add/access/manage favorites: click the third icon on rox’s bar.
                            *Change the order in which the files/folder are displayed: click the icon with three vertical dots on the left side and a down arrow on the right side (this changes between display in alfabetical ordern / chronological order, etc… and in normal or reverse order)
                            You can select directly how to display files/folders by:
                            right click empty space inside rox’s window > view > and select how to display information (you have to check a field to use reverse order- for example- newer files first)
                            *To change icon size: click the “plus” icon



                              Great job, PPC!

                              Great for newbies & hard-headed old users, too

                              One more question?
                              Hopefully I didn’t overlook the answer. :}

                              How to only use 1 desktop in WindowList? And then how to remove the WindowList changer from the Task bar?

                              I know that I’ve found it in the old style config but haven’t stumbled across it in 19.3 which is one of the best antiX versions I have used. Currently running on one of the earlier, smaller, 32bit models of EeePC with the 30GB “flash drive”. Wiped WinXP and installed antiX-19.3. Which is amazingly fast on this little box for it’s age & hardware. Added a 128 SD card and an external USB HHD.

                              These tips should be easily accessible/findable on the opening screen for all. I imagine they are already there and I just didn’t look hard enough. :)

                              I remember reading anticapitalista’s comments in the sidux forum when he was beginning the creation of antiX. I used MX since its first release. Unfortunately, left my Thinkpad behind in Venezuela in Oct-2019.

                              Happy to be here. Love both MX & antiX and Ice WM.

                              ASUSTeK 900 EeePC; RAM: 1.96 GiB;
                              antiX19.3; 4.9.235-antix.1-486-smp;
                              HDD: Super Talent STT 30.08 GiB
                              +SD & External HDD.


                                Hi Richard,If you are talking about the Workspaces-buttons in taskbar
                                go to
                                control-centre > icewm-settings
                                In geany go to the tab preferences

                                Look for (it should be line 311)

                                # Show workspace switching buttons on task bar
                                TaskBarShowWorkspaces=1 # 0/1

                                change it to

                                # Show workspace switching buttons on task bar
                                TaskBarShowWorkspaces=0 # 0/1i

                                Close and save

                                Brian Masinick

                                  Regarding “! Desktop”, if that means one workspace, you can edit the variable:

                                  WorkspaceNames=” Web “, ” Mail “, ” Term “, ” Edit ”

                                  In your .icewm/preferences file.

                                  In my local entry, it is in line 882 of the preferences file, and I created four named workspaces. If you want one workspace,
                                  you could make the entry:

                                  WorkspaceNames=” Workspace ”
                                  WorkspaceNames=” 1 ”
                                  or whatever you prefer.

                                  To get to the IceWM preferences (and other characteristics easily, Menu –> Control Centre –> Desktop –> Edit IceWM Settings
                                  You can then edit any of the IceWM configuration files, including the Preferences.

                                  Brian Masinick

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