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 93 replies, 37 voices, and was last updated Jun 9-6:30 am by Robin.
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  • #93754
    Member
    Rantanplan

      Sir professor PPC 😉

      all is good :

      Thank you PPC and caprea

      Attachments:

      Vive antiX !
      Vive le Groland !

      #93757
      Moderator
      Brian Masinick

        @PPC: and @Rantanplan:

        I love the collaboration, and I particularly appreciate the recognition given to PPC as “Sir Professor”!

        I’m glad to see such recognition, and I thank @Rantanplan: for the words of recognition and @PPC: for continually contributing ideas and features worthy of professorship!

        The HOWTO list and the tools are among the many helpful additions to the community. Thank you (to you and others) who take the time to provide tools, tutorials and other ways to share the goodness of antiX – naturally giving thanks for the outstanding vision and engineering skills that anticapitalista has provided for many years!

        --
        Brian Masinick

        #93902
        Member
        Joehair

          Great guide. Can you help me out though? Can you provide a step by step guide to dual boot antix with windows 10? I installed windows 10 on my 500gb hard disk and left around 120gb for antiX. I tried to dual boot it and i got the live usb running but when i tried the custom install i couldn’t make a home partition because it said that i couldn’t make any more primary partition. I’m too afraid to just install it on a root partition without a home partition because i might mess it up. Can someone help me out here?

          #93965
          Member
          PPC

            Thanks to @Rantanplan, I found a small app that can be handy:

            Do you need to quickly generate a secure password (for example, to use on a web service, that has to include a number or a symbol)?

            pwgen to the rescue! Install it using synaptic or:

            antiX menu > Terminal

            if you have not updated you system recently, do so with

            sudo apt update

            then:
            sudo apt install pwgen

            (as always, enter your password, if asked to)

            Once the app is installed, on the terminal run pwgen with some nice settings (thanks for the example, @Robin):

            pwgen -cyns1 20 1

            Are you to lazy to copy the generated password? If xclip is installed on your system, simply run this command instead:

            pwgen -cyns1 20 1 | xclip -selection "clipboard"

            Now, all you have to do is paste the password where you need it.

            Note: always take note of any passwords you use on on-line, or off-line services!

            P.

            #94528
            Member
            PPC

              Mastering the Terminal

              First of all – the Terminal is not for hackers, or for hard core computer users. To use most Linux distributions (distros), mainly antiX, you do not need to know how to use it. The only daily task that you may need to use the Terminal, that antiX 21/22 currently has no GUI to, is installing off-line .deb files. And even so, you do not need to know anything about the terminal, except write three simple words, end up with a space, drag and drop the .deb file you want to install, press enter and enter you password, if asked to- not exacly rocket science.

              *Why use the terminal?
              The terminal is recommended when trying to solve problems because it’s a universal way, and easy to use, by the people that is giving the instructions on how to solve a problem- it works the same, no matter if you are using antiX with IceWM, JWM, Fluxbox, FT10 on top of any of those Window Managers, an Desktop Envrironment, whatever.
              It allows no room for mistakes – If I want to show you the contents of the zxy.desktop file I usually have 2 choices. I can tell you this:

              1- “Click the antiX Menu, open the File Manager, navigate to the folder called /usr/share/applications, then right click the zxy.desktop file, then choose “Open” and then Geany to see that file’s content”

              OR

              2- antiX Menu > Terminal and run this command:
              geany /usr/share/applications/zxy.desktop

              So, which one of this options is easier for me to write? Which one of this allows for less margin of error when a user is trying to interpret the instructions? Instructions to be run in the terminal are always the same, and most of the time are faster to follow, especially if you know what do to or you are copying and pasting instructions. You do not need to know what you are pasting- but you do need to trust the person that is giving you the instructions. One single command can simply wipe way your system- some very evil people used to recommend newbie users to run it when they asked for help, just for the fun of it, on other forums. Some people are just like that- they think they are smart- but they forget they also once, knew nothing and had to learn from scratch. Nuking someone’s system, just for the fun of it, teaches that person 2 things: that a command can destroy a system AND never to trust anyone on-line.

              I always recommend that if you do not know what a command does, and, specially if you do not fully trust the people giving you the instructions, check on-line what each part of the command does, and only then run it.

              But don’t be alarmed by the fact that the Terminal can be used to destroy your system. The same can be done using the menu, running the right app and clicking the right options… There’s risk in anything we do, in a society… but we need to trust each other, right?

              * What can you do in the terminal?
              Hum… pretty much anything: you can use it to copy, move or remove one or more files or folders. You can automate the creation of multiple files and folders. You can search for files. You can edit text files. You can (with some constraints) browse the web, see pictures, hear audio files, stream music, use instant messaging services, use File Managers, play some games, use a Word Processor (that can save files to .odt format, the default file format for LibreOffice, that can be also read by almost any Word Processor in existence, including MS Word), use a Spreadsheet program, create and view simple Presentations, use a Calendar, send and read E-mails…

              “But it’s ugly! And you have to type all the time! Why should I do it?” you may ask. Simple. Because, once you know how to do it, it not just works across almost every single computer using antiX, but it also works the same on a brand new computer and in a computer that’s over 30 years old. And it works fast!

              *Some conventions that the Linux Terminal uses:
              -The “prompt” (the line where you are able to write in) starts with a character, before the cursor. “$” means that you are using the terminal as a normal (non root user). If you are a root user you’ll see the “#” before the cursor.

              NOTE: when following any command, given here in the forum or in any web page, do not type the “$” or “#” in the start of the command – if it’s there, it’s to let you know that you should run the command as a regular or root user. NEVER RUN COMMANDS AS ROOT USER UNLESS OTHER WISE TOLD TO!!! It can be dangerous for your system.

              – Usually the prompt also displays the user name the symbol “@”, the name of the computer, the symbol “:” and the folder where you are. If no folder is in the prompt, then you should be in your home folder. Note that the symbol “~” stands for your home folder. It’s the same as reading or writing “/home/[user_name]”

              – Unlike in Windows, that decided to the the opposite of what was the standard, in Linux folder are separated by the “/” symbol. Do you have any doubt “/” to separate stuff is the standard? Just look at any web address.

              Example: when I say “/usr/share/applications/zxy.desktop” You can read it from right to left: it’s the zxy.desktop file, inside the “applications” folder, that is inside the “share” folder that is inside the “usr” folder.
              When read from left to write, it’s the full path that you have to “walk to” to reach your file.

              Example: If your prompt looks like this:

              ppc@dhcppc1:~/cac
              $ 

              The “$” means that you are a regular (non root) user, called “ppc”, and that the computer’s name is “hcppc1” and that currently we are in the folder “cac” that is inside ppc’s home folder.

              I’m not going to explain what “folders” are. If you need someone to tell you that, probably you never really used a computer before.

              But I’m going to explain how folders work in Linux, when compared to Windows.

              On Windows, usually the main Hard drive (or SSD drive) is called “c:”. Your documents are stored in a folder that is something like this:
              C:\Users\[Your_user_name]\Documents

              On Linux we do not need to identify the drive’s name (and we refer to drives using a different convention anyway). So there is no “C:” on Linux. The main “hard drive” is just “/”. In Linux, for safety reasons, regular (non root) users can only write (alter or create) files or folders inside their own “Home folder”.
              A user’s home folder in Linux is /home/[User_name]/ And can be shorted to ~/

              Please note: “/home/” is not your home folder, strange I know, but it’s the place where the home folders for all users in your computer are stored.

              Ex: /home/ppc/ is my home folder, in this computer. /home/marcelo is Marcelo’s home folder, in this computer. Only I and someone with elevated privileges (a root user or a normal user using sudo) can change things inside my Home folder. The same applies to Marcelo’s home folder. Only he or a root user can change things inside his home folder.

              When you start a Terminal, usually you start in your own home folder.

              *Listing contents of current folder:

              Use the “dir” or “ls” (dir stands for directory and ls for list). On an antiX terminal it’s best to use the “ls” command, because it outputs a color coded result. The sky is blue. If you run simply “ls” you get an alphabetical list of everything that’s in the current folder, mixing sub-folders and files.

              Note1: you can scroll back the contents of the terminal, to see something that rolled out of the screen, handy in case you have many files listed.

              Note2: you can repeat previous commands by pressing the up arrow in your cursor keys. You can keep pressing it, going further back in the history of commands you have run on the terminal. This is particularly handy if you just want to repeat a recent command, or you messed up anything, while typing the previous command. Just press the up key and then move left and fix the command (adding or deleting what was wrong).

              If you want to view one page of information at a time, add, on the end of the command you want to run “| more”. Ex: ls |more lists one page of the folder’s content at a time. You have to press “enter” to move to the next line or “space” to move to the next page. This works for just about any command that outputs results in the terminal.

              You can also just display files that fit your criteria. Do you want to display just .txt files that exist in the current folder? Simple:

              ls *.txt

              Try to do that with a graphical File Manager… Harder, hum?

              *Running an application using the terminal:
              It’s easy. Just type it’s name and press enter.
              Ex: if I want to start Geany, all I have to do is

              geany

              and press enter.
              You don’t even need to know the full name of the command. Just type the first letters and press the “tab” key, and the Terminal will autocomplete the command, if there’s only one command that starts with the letters you typed or it will offer you some suggestions, if more than one applications start with those letters.
              Ex: type “gea” and press tab. The terminal will auto complete the command and “geany” will appear, replacing what you just types. Press enter, to run geany.

              *Opening a file from inside the current folder:
              This may sound strange, but if you want to run a file inside the folder you are in, you can’t just type it’s name. You have to precede it with “./” so the OS knows that you mean the file with that name that is inside the same folder that you currently are on.

              Ex: If I want to see the text file called lusiadas.txt, that it inside the folder where I am, I can do it using geany, like so:

              geany ./lusiadas.txt

              Note1: unlike in other OS, Linux does not need file extensions to know what file type a file is. You can basically have any file without extension. Linux will know what file type it is. Extensions are there so users know what kind of file it is. A text file does not have to end in .txt. The system will know what is the correct file to open it.

              Note2: Linux is case sensitive: this means that, if the command to run Geany is “geany”, “Geany”, gEany”, etc, won’t work. this applies to both commands and regular files. You can have, in the same folder “Lusiadas.txt” and “lusiadas.txt” they are different files.

              Note2: to access a file or folder that is inside your home folder you don’t need to type /home/[your_user_name]/ before the file name. You can shorten it to ~/

              Ex:
              geany ~/lusiadas.txt

              will open the file called “lusiadas.txt” that is in my home folder, even if there’s a different file called “lusiadas.txt” on the folder where I’m right now.

              *Reading a text file from inside the terminal
              Sometimes, you don’t need to open a text editor to read a file that’s just a couple of lines of text. The “cat” command does that for you, listing the contents of a file, right inside the terminal.

              ex:
              cat ./lusiadas.txt

              *Changing folders:
              To change the folder, use the “cd” command (it stand for “change directory”). “cd” by itself always sends you to your home folder, no matter where you are.

              Ex:
              cd /usr/share/applications

              Brings me to that folder. I can list it with “ls”. If you know the folder where you want to go, sometimes it’s faster to type the name in the terminal, specially if you autocomplete it using the “tab” key.

              Continuing our example…
              cd ./antix/

              …Moves you to the subfolder called “antix” inside the folder where you currently are.

              To move back to the folder where the sub folder is in (I mean: to move to the previous folder on the folder tree), do it with:
              cd ..

              In our example, you were in the /usr/share/applications/antix folder. After “cd..” you get to the /usr/share/applications/ folder.

              * Copying files:
              You can copy one or more files with the “cp” command. It works like this: cp [path_to_the_original_file] [full_path_to_the_place_where_you_want_the_copy_to_be]

              * Creating files:
              You can create (an empty) file with the “touch” command. It works like this: touch [full_path_to_the_place_where_you_want_the_file_to_be]

              * Creating a folder:
              You can create (an empty) folder with the “mkdir” command (it means “MaKe DIRectory”). It works like this “mkdir [full_path_to_the_place_where_you_want_the_file_to_be]”

              Note: as always “./” tells the Terminal that you mean to use the same folder as you currently are.

              Lets try out some examples:

              cd

              (to make sure that you are in your home folder)

              mkdir ./ppcsfolder1

              (this creates a folder called “ppcsfolder1” inside your home folder) In the case of mkdir it always creates the folder inside the current folder, so this also works:

              mkdir ppcsfolder1

              Lets move to that new folder. We can do it using several ways. Try this:

              cd ./ppcsfolder1

              (this tells the terminal that you want to move to the “ppcsfolder1” that is inside the current folder). Because “ppcsfolder1” is inside our home, we could also have used cd ~/ppcsfolder1. Also if you just use cd with a folder name, the Terminal assumes that you mean the subfolder that’s inside the current folder, so this also works:
              cd ppcsfolder1

              There are lots of ways of doing the same thing inside the terminal.

              See the prompt? It should show you that you are in “~/ppcsfolder1”

              Lets create a file here:
              touch ./lusiadas.txt

              You can make sure you created it by listing the folder’s contents with “ls”.

              Do you want to edit that file using geany? You can do it, like I showed in the previous example:

              geany ./lusiadas.txt

              If you are editing the file, type “abc” inside it and save it. Close geany.

              Do you want to take a look inside the file, directly from the terminal?

              cat ./lusiadas.txt

              Is the file too big? Better read it page by page, piping it through the “more” command:
              cat ./lusiadas.txt |more

              * Creating sub-folders
              You can create a subfolder just like you create folders.

              mkdir January

              Will create a folder called January inside the current folder.
              Until now you may be scratching your head, thinking how using the terminal is faster than using a Graphical File Manager, right?

              Lets say that you want to create folder to store files that you use, for every month of the year (for storing receipts, etc). It would take you lots of time, creating one folder at a time, in your FM. On the terminal? You can do it with a single line, because you can create as many folders as you like using the same mkdir command:

              mkdir January February March April May June July August September October November December

              You can check if you created the folders, running the “ls” command.

              Do you see now, how the terminal can simply be faster, sometimes, than using a Graphical User Interface (GUI)?

              Let’s move inside “January”‘s folder:
              cd January

              Let’s create a few files:
              touch 1.txt 2.txt 3.txt

              Just like the mkdir, the “touch” command allows you to create more than one thing at the same time. Once again, try doing that using a GUI… It takes a lot more time.

              Lets try to copy a file from January to February:
              cp 1.txt ../February/

              This copies the file called “1.txt” in from the current folder to the folder called “February” that is on the same main folder as the current folder is.
              It’s simpler than typing this, that does exactly the same thing, to the file called “2.txt” that is in the current folder:

              cp ./2.txt ~/ppcsfolder1/February/

              You can examine the contents of this folders using a File Manager, while you are running the command in the Terminal.

              If you want to move a file from one folder to another you can use the “mv” command:

              mv ./3.txt ~/ppcsfolder1/February/

              *Deleting a file
              You can delete files with the “rm” command (it stands for ReMove), like so “rm [file_you_want_to_delete_inside_the_current_folder]” or “del [full_path_to_the_file_you_want_to_delete]

              Make sure that you still are in the “January” folder and delete the “2.txt” file:
              rm 2.txt

              *Deleting a folder
              You can delete folders with the same “rm” command, it works for files and folders, but you have to use it with a “flag” (an option that sends instructions to a command, usually, if a flag is one letter only, it’s preceded by the “-” sign. If it’s a word, it’s preceded by two dashes, not just one. also, if flags are just one letter, sometimes you can group several of those letters together, after a “-“).
              We can use a flag to tell rm to delete a folder like so: “rm -rf [name_of_folder]” (-r flag stands for “Remove Folder recursively” and the -f flag stands for “Force, never ask”, mixing both flags- yes, you can do that- you get “-rf” ). To make sure that you do not delete a folder by mistake, you do have to specify you mean the folder. This ensures that, if you have, in the same folder a subfolder and a file with the same name, you have different ways to delete the file and the folder.

              Let’s test it. Make sure that you are inside the “January” folder and then set back to the main “ppcsfolder1”. You can do it with this command:

              cd ..

              The prompt should tell you that you currently are in “~/ppcsfolder1”
              Let’s delete “December”

              rm -rf December

              You can check running the ls command. December is gone 🙂

              You now know you to move around your folders, run commands, open files and create files, folders and copy files and move files, and delete files and folder, using the Terminal.

              *Renaming a file or a folder
              If you are just learning about the Terminal, this will probably blow your mind. On Linux, you rename files or folders by moving them to a new name. Yes. Weird, right?

              Continuing our example, to test this, lets make sure that we are in the January folder

              cd ~/ppcsfolder1/January

              If you run “ls” you can make sure that the “1.txt” file is still there. Lets rename it to “a.txt”:

              mv 1.txt a.txt

              (when moving, even if you don’t use ./ before the file name, the command assumes you are moving (or in this case renaming) the file with that name in the current folder.

              * Finding a file
              There are several ways to find files in the terminal. One way if using the “locate” command.
              To find all text documents on your computer:
              locate *.txt

              Of course, that if there are too many files, you can pipe the result to the more command:

              locate *.txt |more

              Do you want to find a text file that you are sure includes the word “love” somewhere in it’s title?

              locate *love*.txt
              … and you’ll find love 🙂

              *Using files with spaces inside their name:
              To use a file that includes spaces in it’s name, you have to place it inside simple or double quotes
              Ex: os lusiadas.txt
              To refer to this file you’ll have to type “os lusiadas.txt”
              Why is that?
              Because the terminal assumes that regular files do not have spaces, and that everything after a space is a new command.

              Ex of what you should not do:
              cat os lusiadas.txt

              Will try to read the first thing until the first space: in our case “os”. The Terminal assumes you mean to say “cat os”

              Ex of what you should do:
              cat "os lusiadas.txt"
              (please note that due to the way the forum works, I had to use double quotes, single quotes do not appear correctly)

              *Using elevated privileges- the sudo command:
              If you want to run any command that only someone with administration rights/privileges can, you have to precede the command with the word “sudo”, and enter your root password, if asked to (the Terminal remember the password you timed for a few minutes, to save you the trouble of repeating it all the time).

              *If you want to run several commands on the same “command”
              To run several commands at the same time separate them with “&”
              To run several commands, one after the other, start with the first command, then the second one, etc, separate them with “&&”

              *Updating your Linux using the terminal:
              antiX is a distro based in Debian, this means that it uses the same way to manage packages (files that install applications or stuff applications or the system needs to run, for example, like fonts, drivers, etc). Debian’s and antiX’s package manager is “apt
              Since using apt to change your system (and updating it does change it), it can’t be run by regular (non root) users, so you have the precede the command with “sudo”
              Also since apt can perform several tasks, you’ll have to say what you want apt to do (it’s a kind of “flag”, without – or –, just words).

              Example:
              Updating the list of packages available in the repository (the list of everything you can install using apt). NOTE: YOU HAVE TO RUN THIS COMMAND to be able to install anything that’s in the repository, this means that even if you want to install a .deb that you have in your hard drive, and it requires some dependencies that are not in your system, that .deb file won’t install if you have no list of available packages in your system…

              sudo apt update

              Wait until the procedure finishes. You know when a command is finished when you see the prompt again.

              Now that you have updated the list of available packages, you can upgrade you system, and install the latest versions of the packages that you have installed in your computer (for example, this ensures that you have the latest version of firefox-esr, geany, zzzfm, etc)

              sudo apt upgrade

              Note that every time you want to run something that only the root user can do, you ALWAYS have to use sudo, even if the commands are in the same line:

              sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

              Will first check for updates, then after that is finished, upgrade your system

              * Installing a .deb package that you have on your hard drive:

              sudo apt install [full_path_to_the_package.deb]

              Don’t forget if the package is called xyz.deb and it’s in your current folder, you can install it with:

              sudo apt install ./xyz.deb

              If that file is inside your home folder, you can use:

              sudo apt install ~/xyz.deb

              *Finding and installing a package from the repositories

              IMPORTANT: To find and install anything from the repository, don’t forget that you have to have run, at least once the “sudo apt update” command!!!

              To find anything you want in the repositories (repos) that list all available packages to install in antiX: apt search [what_you_want_to_find]

              Ex:
              apt search vlc
              … will search if VLC (media player) can be installed in your computer. You’ll get many hit’s because there are packages for the app itself, data files, plugins, and other apps that refer “vlc” in their description.
              Please note that you do not need to use sudo, because you are not changing your system, just “browsing the store”.
              The first word, in green is the package’s name, the name that you have to install if you want that app. Unlike in a usual modern GUI App Store, you’ll have to ignore binary files, language files and plug-ins (if you don’t need translations or plugins, I mean) and find the package you need, in order to install the app. In our case, it’s not that hard. It’s the “vlc” package.
              NOTE: package names do not usually have capital letters, even if the app they install has capital letters (like VLC)

              Installing an app from the repository: once you know the name of the app’s package, it’s easy: “sudo apt [name_of_the_package]
              In our example:

              sudo apt install vlc
              Now you need to use sudo, because you’ll be making changes to your system. If asked to, of course you have to enter your password.

              *Do you want to uninstall an application?

              First you need to know that’s the app’s package (you can search for it, like in the previous example). If you know the name of the package, it’s simple: sudo apt purge [name_of_the_packahe_to_be_removed_from_your_system]

              Ex: If you have VLC installed on your system and you want to “uninstall” it:
              sudo apt purge vlc

              *Getting information on your system- the inxi command
              If you ask for help here in the forum, you probably should give some info about your devide. The inxi command does just that.
              Use it with the recommended flags, and add the results to your post, so folks here know how to help you.

              Tip:
              You can save the output of most command to a file adding, to the end of the comand this ” > [path_to_the_file_that_stores_the_result_of_the_command]”

              Example:
              inxi > ~/myfile.txt

              will not display the result of the command, but save it directly to a file called “myfile.txt” in your home folder.
              You can read that file with:
              cat ~/myfile.txt

              *Need help?

              Using the terminal is only a matter of learning the commands you need, and the options you need to use with those commands. You already know the basics.
              Usually you can type the name of the command followed by -h or [two dashes] help to read it’s help file. Many commands have manuals: use the “man” command followed by the name of the command whose manual you want to read (you can quit the manual by pressing “q”).
              Ex: To read “ls”‘s manual:

              man ls

              *What are “scripts”?
              A Bash script is an executable (text) file that has one or more commands inside it. It’s a way to automate what you want to do. You can create a simple script, for example, to install several applications, via something like this: sudo apt install app1 app2 app3 app4, etc… You can create a script that creates several folders, or backup several folders or folders to a certain folder, etc. There’s no end to what you can do. Countless “apps” included in antiX are just very complex bash scripts… Terminal commands allow you to automate what you want to do, saving you effort on the long run.

              Final note: you can usually drag and drop files to the terminal, and they appear right where the cursor is. You can also select anything from the terminal and copy it, pasting where you want it to be, saving you the trouble of having to write down what you see in the screen. On Roxterm, the default Terminal in antiX, you can copy and paste by clicking the right mouse button and select what you want to do.
              Ex: you can search for a text file using “locate”, use your mouse to select and copy that result and then open it, by typing geany, a space, and pasting the file name and pressing enter.
              You can adapt that to run any kind of file with the program that runs it… And don’t forget you can always run previous commands using the up arrow key, and “tab” autocompletes.
              You can run several commands, one after another, by copying several lines of text of commands and pasting them to the terminal (see the next example)
              Also, I’ve not yet told you that, but if you have been paying attention and reading between the lines, you know this: you do not have to be in the same directory where you want to perform changes.
              Ex: you can be in your home folder and read a file that is somewhere else:

               cd
               cat /usr/share/applications/rox-filer.desktop

              Will let you read the contents of rox-filer’s .desktop file without having to be in the same folder as that file. Now… Can you do that using a GUI File Manager?
              You can create, run, copy, move, rename and delete files and folders without moving to the folder where they are. That is one of the reasons the Terminal is so powerful.

              Not that hard, right?

              That’s basically it. You now know your way around the Terminal, and you have the tools to learn about any command that comes your way.

              P.

              • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by PPC.
              • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by PPC.
              • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by PPC.
              #95003
              Member
              PPC

                This is the second (and for now) last installment of Mastering the Terminal:

                * What are Permissions
                From my previous post, was probably already guessed that is a way that the OS uses to find out if you can read, write or execute certain files – to do that to files (like system files) that belong the the root user, you have to either be the “root” user or a normal user with elevated previleges (i.e using the prefix “sudo” and entering, if asked to, the root password).
                How does the OS know if you can or can’t access or run a certain file? Because each file and folder always have their permitions stored, letting the system know if you can read, write, rename, delete or execute a file or folder.
                You can change the file permission of any file or folder, as long as you have the right to do so – this means that normal users can only change permissions of files and folders that belong to them and “root” users can change any file they want to (that’s why running the system in “root” mode can be dangerous).

                [Note: Windows security was so flawed, back when I used it, because everything basically ran in “root” mode- if you got a virus, it affected any system file it wanted because it could do so. I think that things improved a little bit on that regard, but I’ve not used that OS in a serious way for a dozen years now.]

                You can change file permissions in your file manager or in the terminal. Example, if you downloaded an Appimage and want to run it, you have to change that file’s permissions so it’s marked as executable, or the system won’t let you run it (it’s a security feature, forcing you to always make sure you really want to run something that may be- or not- dangerous. It’s like the system is asking you “Are you really sure you want to always be able to run this app? This kinds of files may be a virus, or spyware!”

                Once you mark one or more files as executable, you won’t ever need to do it again, on that Linux installation – the system remembers the permission you gave that file forever.

                Basic file permissions (in the order they are listed in the terminal):
                “r” stands for “read” permission – allowing you to access or read that file/folder but not change it
                “w” stands for “write” permission – allowing you to read and change that file/folder
                “x” stands for “eXecute” permission – if the file is a binary executable file or a script, this allows you to run it
                “-” means that there is no permission (if the first character of the permission is -, you have no “read” permition,if it’s the seconds, you have no write permitison. if it’s the third, you have no permission to execute the file.

                * How to list file permissions:
                ls -l

                This lists the file type, the permissions of the files (The permissions are displayed 3 times, for the user, for the group that the owner belongs to and for “other”), the owner of the file, the group of the owner of that file, the date of the file’s creation and the file’s name.

                Note: You can represent permissions using numbers (the “octal notation”), but I won’t get into that detail here.

                Changing permission on the terminal- the “chmod” command (change mode):

                chmod [permissions] [file]

                or in a more detailed way:

                chmod u=[letters_of_permissions], g=[letters_of_permissions], o=[letters_of_permissions] [file]

                This will set permissions for a file for the current user ( “u”), the current user’s group (“g”) and all other users (“o”)

                Example: lets move to your user’s home folder, create a file, check out it’s permissions and then change them:

                cd
                touch ppcsexamplefile.txt
                ls  -l ppcsexamplefile.txt

                The result should similar to this:
                -rw-r--r-- 1 ppc ppc 0 dez 5 15:38 ppcsexamplefile.txt

                How to interpret this:
                – ignore the first “-”
                – the “rw-” that come after that are the permissions for that file, under the current user (ppc). I can read that file, write to it (change it) but not run it, if it has a script inside it.
                – “r–” means the group that I belong to can only read this file, but not write to it or run it
                – the last “r–” means that all other users that do not belong to my group can only read this file, but not write to it or run it

                -In my case “ppc ppc” means I’m the user ppc (the first word), and that I belong to the group of users called also ppc (the second word)

                -then you have the date of creation of the file (month, day, hours and minutes) and then the file’s name.

                You can make the file executable, adding the “execute” permission like so:

                chmod +x ppcsexamplefile.txt

                To check the result of this command, you can run:

                ls -l ppcsexamplefile.txt

                Now you see that you added the “x” permission, for that file, for your user, your group of users and any Other users (that’s why you get the 3 “x”)

                This means that you can now place a script inside this file and run it. But it’s better to undo that change, and remove executable permissions:

                chmod -x ppcsexamplefile.txt

                * Making an appimage file executable:

                chmode a+x [appImage_file.Appimage]

                Personal note: I always use zzzfm File Manager to change permissions before I run an Appimage or a script. Sometimes, using a GUI is indeed faster.

                * Writing something in the screen or to a file- the echo command:
                The echo command is very used, but it took a while for me to grasp it’s usefulness. why do we need a command that writes something on the screen?

                Ex:
                echo "Hello World"

                just makes «Hello World» appear on screen.

                You can change lines, inside that text, using the -e flag and using “\n” in the place, inside your text, where you want the new line to be inserted.

                Ex:

                echo -e "Hello \nWorld"

                Will show:

                  Hello
                   World

                At first I though- “well, if I wanted that, I would just type that text straight into the terminal. when I began using the terminal more and more and then I started trying to automate things with, first, strings of commands I copied and pasted and then saving them as scripts and running those scripts, I understood that the “echo” command is perfect to display warnings that something is about to happen or that it just happened.

                You can update you system you system using several ways. One is this:

                sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade

                But if you never used the terminal or ran this commands, they may look scary. So you can display a mini-help text before you run the command and then a warning when it’s finished. It’s easy:

                echo -e "\n \n You are about to check for updates for your system.\n First the computer will update it's database to try to find if there are newer versions of the packages and apps you have installed available. If there are, you'll see a message telling you how many packages can be updated, then the computer will try to upgrade your system to those new versions.\n If asked for a password, please, enter your 'root' password and press enter.\n If asked something, you can just press the 'enter key' to accept the default answer, usually 'yes'.\n IMPORTANT: Do not close this window until instructed it's safe to do so.\n" && sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade && echo -e "\n \n The update procedure is finished. You can now safely close this window.\n"

                NOTE: Be careful using exclamation signs in echo commands with the -e flag, Linux may expect a command and may spit out an error.

                You now have a tiny script that anyone that never even used the terminal can run, and know exaclty what’s happening, as long as hey can read and follow instructions so simple a 8 years old could do them.

                * Using echo to enter text inside a file, directly from the terminal, without opening it:

                This is where the Terminal shows it’s power. Let’s say that you want to type “Hello world” inside our ppcsexamplefile.txt

                One way to do it is launching Geany text editor, opening the file, entering the text and then save it.
                But, as in just about anything, you can automate that, using the terminal (or a script):

                echo "Hello World" > ~/ppcsexamplefile.txt

                You can see the contents of the file by opening it with Geany or, more simply using the cat command:

                cat ~/ppcsexamplefile.txt

                Fast, isn’t it?

                echo “[some_text]” > [your_text_file] makes sure that the ENTIRE CONTENTS of your file will be the text inside the echo command.

                If you just want to add text (append) to the END of your file, you have to use “>>” instead of a single “>”

                Ex:
                echo "Hello again World" >> ~/ppcsexamplefile.txt

                “Ok. Nice trick” you may say. Why will I ever want to insert lines of text to a file from the terminal, if I can do it using a much better looking way, a GUI text editor?”

                You are right, of course. But what if you wanted to change a config file and add a new setting to it, example, making the xyz add start automatically every time you start your system? On the forum the instructions would be something like:
                antiX meu > Control Centre > Icewm… > “Startup” Tab > On the very last line insert “xyz &” > Save the changes you just made to the file. xyz will automatically start the very next time you start antiX

                The procedure takes too long and has many steps. Now the instructions to do exactly the same thing using the terminal [DO NOT RUN THIS COMMAND! AND IF YOU ADAPT THIS COMMAND FOR YOU USE, DON’T FORGET TO USE “>>” OR YOU WILL ERASE THE ENTIRE CONTENTS OF THE FILE! ] would be:

                echo “xyz &” >>~/.icewm/startup

                Do you see the difference? Using the Terminal sometimes is faster and eliminates any chance of making mistakes

                Lets say you want to make the exact same change, adding xyz to the startup file of 12 or so computers in your office. How long do you think running a simple command instead of using the GUI to edit a config file will take? And, oh, yeah, you can save this command as the file “automatically_start_xyz.sh”, save it to a pen-drive, or a shared folder, make it executable and run it inside every single one of those computers.

                But this is a dumb command, a dumb “robot”, if you will. all this command does is adding a line. If the line already exists, it will still add that line, so the computer starts xyz over and over again, if you run the command multiple times on a computer. If you want to create a smarter command, a smarter script, you have to learn more advanced tools, that make bash a kind of “programing language”:
                You may have to learn to use “variables”, “if and then”, “loops” and commands that automatically parse text, to find out if a certain string of text already exists in a file (like “grep”).

                *IMPORTANT NOTE: If you want to use scripts that are available in github, gitlab, etc, don’t simply use your web browser to save those files! They will be include text/web related info, and will not run! To save and use those scripts: open a text file in you computer, using a text editor (ex: geany), and copy and paste the contents of those scripts. Save the file (using the “.sh” extension is not required, but is advisable) and make it executable (you can do so using your File Manager, no need to use the terminal if you don’t want to. If using zzzfm: right click the file > Proprieties > Permissions > Make sure that all the boxes in the “Execute” column are checked > click the “ok” button ).

                If you only want to grasp the basic of the terminal, you need not to read further. That’s it. There are lots of simple commands that you can learn, line “date” (that displays the current date), sleep [number_of_seconds] (that makes the terminal wait X seconds before proceeding to do something) and so on.
                antiX includes, out of the box, some powerful command line applications, like htop (to see the system resources), ytfzf (to search through youtube videos and stream them using mpv video player), you can install the latest versions of wordgrinder (a cli word processor that can import and export .odt files, the same text document that LibreOffice uses by default), mutt (an e-mail client that works on the terminal), etc.

                ——–

                * More advanced tips for bash scripts:

                My advice? If you are interested in writing scripts? Keep it as simple as you can. Use variables. And use a lot of comments.
                In scripts, anything after “#” will be considered a comment and ignored. Make lots of comments, when trying to write a script, then later, you’ll know what each part of the script does, it’s handy, if you, like me, have bad memory.

                Also, when creating a script, you have to always identify the shell that the script will run, on the very first line. So, your bash script should start with a line similar to this:

                #!/bin/bash

                …after that insert another line, starting with “#” describing what the script does, so later you, or other users, don’t have to read trough it to know what it does, what version it is, etc.

                NEVER FORGET: if you wrote a script, change it’s permissions, so it’s executable.

                Continuing our previous example- lets say you want to add a line to a config file, but only if that line doesn’t already exist…

                * Checking if a file contains a string of text- the “grep” command:

                This is a powerful command, but it’s easy to use. The basic syntax is grep [flags_like_-q] [word_you_want_to_know_exists_in_the_file] [file_that_will_be_checked]

                Using our ~/ppcsexamplefile.txt. Let’s check if it contains any line with the word “again”, and if so, display that line:

                grep again ~/ppcsexamplefile.txt

                If you followed the previous examples, this command will find a line that contains that word and show us the line “Hello again World”. This does not look hard, but imagine that you are working with a huge text file, with thousands of lines and want to find lines with a particular text… Now this would be handy, right?

                * “If then” – this makes the computer to take action only when a certain condition is met. How to use it:

                if [condition_to_be_met]; then
                [action_to_be_performed]
                fi

                The “fi” at the end closes the loop, don’t ever forget to use it. You can, of course, “nest” if statements inside one another, making the computer’s behavior be very complex.

                Lets try to automate results for checking if a text does not exist inside a file, and if it does not, only then add it to the file. We will combine if with grep:

                  if grep -q  again  ~/ppcsexamplefile.txt; then
                     echo "The word 'again' does exists in ~/ppcsexamplefile.txt."
                  fi  

                this runs the grep command and analyses if it has any output (the -q flag is to make it “quiet”, and do not show results on the terminal). And then warn you if the condition is met (i.e if the command inside the if statement did output any result)

                “If” statements can be more useful if they also tell the computer what to do if the condition is not met. For that, you can use the “else”. Example:

                     if grep -q  again  ~/ppcsexamplefile.txt; then
                        echo "The word 'again' does exist in ~/ppcsexamplefile.txt."
                      else
                        echo "The word 'again' was not found inside ~/ppcsexamplefile.txt."
                     fi  

                How does this help you? Simple. Imagine this file is a config file, and you want to make sure that, if does not already containg “xyz &”, then it’s added. Let’s adapt the example:

                     if grep -q  "xyz &"  ~/ppcsexamplefile.txt; then
                        echo "A line containing xyz &  already exists in ~/ppcsexamplefile.txt, no need to add it again"
                      else
                        echo "A line containing xyz & does not exist in ~/ppcsexamplefile.txt, adding it"
                         echo "xyz &" >>~/ppcsexamplefile.txt
                     fi  

                Now you see this script is smarter. run it once and it detects that the text does not exit inside the file, and makes the necessary changes. After that, if you run it again, you get a warning, telling you that the line you want to add already exists inside the file.
                Now you can adapt this as you will, to make sure that a config file always includes a certain line inside it, on it’s end. And usually the last options are the ones that are used (ex: if a config file has a line saying “toolbar=off” and later a line saying “toolbar=on”, the system will read this as meaning that the toolbar should be on)

                * Variables

                Imagine variables as drawers you can use to put anything inside it, no matter how large the thing is. Then, after that, when you want to use that thing, you only need to refer to the drawer (variable) where you stored it.
                Example: Lets say your name is “Dom Afonso Henriques” (the first king of Portugal) and you need a script to display that name several times. Instead of keep typing that name, you can store it in a variable and then call that variable.

                How to use variables: [variable_name]=[contents_stored_inside_the_variable]
                To then refer to that variable, use $[variable_name]

                ex:

                king="Dom Afonso Henriques"

                Say than now you want to see the king’s name on-screen:

                echo $king

                Simple, right?

                You can use variables inside “normal” text:

                echo "The first king of Portugal was $king. He had a very heavy sword."

                Let’s adapt our previous example to use variables, with a tiny change, and I’ll also let you know about system variables. You should not ever create variables with spaces (because it makes it harder to refer to them and can lead to problems, use _ instead of spaces) and you should never user variables with CAPITAL LETTERS. Those are reserved for system variables.
                To save time, while using commands, or scripts, Linux already has some useful info on some variables:
                try this:
                echo "My user name is $USER, so my home folder is $HOME"

                since some commands have problems using “~” to refer to your home, let’s use the $HOME variable instead of “~”, to avoid problems.

                    command="xyz &"
                    file="$HOME/ppcsexamplefile.txt"
                         if grep -q  "$command"  $file; then
                        echo "A line containing $command  already exists in $file, no need to add it again"
                      else
                        echo "A line containing $command does not exist in $file, adding it"
                         echo "$command" >>$file
                     fi

                Using variables saves you the trouble of typing the same thing over and over, and also reduces the chance of you making a typo.
                Also, variables make it easy for you to change a script. In our case, we can make sure that a different line of text exists, simply by changing the variable “$command” and running the script again. To you want the script to check the contents of a different file? simply change $file’s variable content to point to the file you want and rerun the script.

                I won’t say this is simple, but rocket science it’s not. I suck at math, but I do love logic, and scripts are as logical as Spock. If they do not work it’s because you are not giving the correct instructions.
                The hard part is the syntax. A comma, a double quote instead of a simple quote, tiny things like that can ruin a perfectly good script.

                *Variables that are the result of the output of a command: [variable_name]=$([command_whose_output_you_want_to_use])

                Variables can store almost anything: text, numbers even the result of a command. Lets try this out, and learn about the “wc” command too:

                wc $HOME/ppcsexamplefile.txt

                This tells you the number of lines, words and characters the file has.

                Do you want a cleaner result, showing you only the number of line and the name of the file? Use wc with the -l flag:

                wc -l $HOME/ppcsexamplefile.txt

                Do you want to keep just the number of lines, and cut out the file name?
                We have several ways to do that. Remember that we can output the result of a command to a file using “>” (or, of course “>>”)? We can also input something to a command using the reverse sign: “<“. In wc’s case, when inputting a file to a command, the name of that file is not displayed in the output, so this gives you only the number of lines in the file:

                wc -l < $HOME/ppcsexamplefile.txt

                Let’s store the out put of that command in a variable, and use that variable in a sentence:

                  nrlines=$(wc -l < $HOME/ppcsexamplefile.txt) 
                  echo "This file has $nrlines lines."

                * Using commands to parse text “awk” and “cut”
                awk can be quite complex to use, but let pipe any command through it and, for example, see only the word nr X, that matters to you.

                Using a previous example, to get only the first “word”, the nr “1” word (the number of lines) from the wc command:

                wc -l $HOME/ppcsexamplefile.txt | awk {'print$1'}

                Note1: There is another way to get info from an output, the “cut” command. One way to use it is: cut -d ‘[divider_of_fields]’ -f [the_field_number_you_want_to_see_the_contents]

                in our example:

                wc -l $HOME/ppcsexamplefile.txt |cut -d ' ' -f 1

                Shows only the first “field” (thing) that is displayed, using a space as a divider between fields.

                Do you want to see a more complex way to use the “cut” command?
                You can use it to check the value of a field inside a config file (oh, yeah, and, if you know how to do it, change that value)…
                Do you want to know how many virtual work spaces you have configured in Icewm and their names?
                cat $HOME/.icewm/preferences|grep WorkspaceNames

                Now you can use the cut command to show only the relevant info, not the name of the variable in the config file:

                  echo "You have this desktop(s) available under IceWM:"
                  cat $HOME/.icewm/preferences|grep WorkspaceNames|cut -d = -f 2

                Note1: since the output of that command includes quotation marks, it’s a bit tougher to use that output in a variable, since variables with multiple words need to be inside quotation marks themselves… Hum… It’s not all roses, in bash scripts! But, if you dig long enough, you’ll there’s a way to do almost anything!

                Note2: you can even replace words inside a text file, from the Terminal, using the “sed” command.

                If you are serious into scripting, it would be nice to use a search engine and look for “bash sed”…

                *General tip: If you write very long lines of code, you can split them with the “\”, press enter and continue the commands in the next line. When reading the script, Linux will interpret every line separated by that symbol as a single line.

                *GUI Tips: while using scripts: I wrote some simple GUI’s for antiX. They all rely on the yad command. Yad displays GUI windows that can be used for many tasks, like a pop up window that displays a warning, a file selection window, to enter data, to show buttons that launch different scripts, etc. I learned the basics of using yad for the express porpoise of creating GUI’s for antix. Once you know the basics of scripting, you can start learning about yad, to produce simple (or even very complex) GUI’s for your scripts. a nice starting point is here: http://smokey01.com/yad/

                *Examples of what you can do using not so complex scripts:

                – If you use a laptop and sometimes you connect it to an external monitor, you can make a script that checks if an external monitor is plugged in and, if so, turn off your internal screen and use only the external one. Place that script in your startup file and, voilá, every time you start your session, the computer automagicaly uses only the external screen!

                – You can create a list of every package you installed in your system, and use it to automate the installation of all those packages on a brand new system, without having to do it manually.
                this is the script I use in my netbook- it may vary from device to device:

                #!/bin/sh
                #script to turn off internal display and use only the external VGA monitor
                detect_external_vga=$(xrandr --listmonitors | grep 'VGA1' | awk {'print$4'})
                if [ -n "$detect_external_vga" ]; then
                xrandr --output LVDS1 --off --output VGA1 --mode 1440x900 --pos 0x0 --rotate normal
                fi

                – You can edit config files, so any system you use has the same settings, without having to change the config files manually or copying them manually, etc.- I do that in my ft10-transformation package

                – You can automate almost anything you can do using a GUI, making it an automatic procedure.

                – Did you know that, currently, the GUI that allows you to set time and date is a bash script, that uses yad for it’s interface? The same applies to “antiX Updater”, IceWM’s Toolbar Icon Manager (that allows to add/remove/move toolbar icons, using a GUI)… So, you probably have been using scripts, even if you don’t know it.
                Tip: are you curious to see the contents of a script and check out how it works?
                The “whereis” command helps you find where the executable file for a certain command is. If you are curious about how “antiX Updater” works, you can do this. I know the command to run it is “yad-updater”. If I want to know where the command is, so I can check it out, I could do this:

                whereis yad-updater

                The answer will be something like this:

                yad-updater: /usr/local/bin/yad-updater

                … this means that the command yad-updater is stored in /usr/local/bin/yad-updater

                …so you can read it quickly by doing this: highlight the path of the file with your mouse, right click it, select “copy” and then type geany (don’t forget to always add a space after a command) and right click and paste the path to the file. Press enter. There you go, using a mix of the terminal and the GUI, you now can see how that script works… It uses variables, “if then”, the “touch” command, yad, and something I didn’t explain “Do – done” loops. Yeah… I sometimes have problems with “do”… scripting can get quite complex.

                Final tip for creating scripts (with basic GUI’s and that open a terminal window, when needed):
                Learning this was an eye opener and very usefull – let’s say you want to run a script that requires some terminal input/ouput (like, say, installing a package or updating your system), you may need to open a terminal so the user can see what is being done and answer any question the terminal asks…

                If the terminal command requires elevated privileges (sudo) then you can use antix’s GUI way to elevate privileges: “gksu”, instead of sudo, in your script:

                ex:gksu "apt update"

                A small trick I use is running gksu on a phantom command, so that the user only sees what I want on the GUI, and not the ugly “apt update” command, and then, since the user already has elevated privileges, because of entering the root password in the gksu window, the script can do it’s job with the “sudo” command.

                Force the system for forget any root password you just entered with this command: sudo -k
                and run:

                 gksu "System updates Checker"
                 sudo apt update

                Better looking, hum?

                Now say that you want the user to just click the script from the file manager, without the need for opening the terminal (and get the terminal to open automaticaly when required, reducing the need to interact with it):

                You can run any command you need in the new Terminal window (meaning you can start the script from anywhere- a file manager, from the menu, etc) like this:

                x-terminal-emulator -T “[Title_of_the_terminal_window]” -e /bin/bash -c “[command(s)_that_the_script_as_to_run]

                As soon as what’s done inside the terminal is finished, that Terminal window, that opened automatically, also closes automatically. This means that, if you use that window to run a command that takes a fraction of a second to run, all you’ll see is a Terminal window, flashing open and then instantly closing, in the same second. This should be used only in cases where the command that the script is running needs input from the user or the user should be able to read information that is displayed in the terminal. If you want the user to have some feedback, that all went well, you can use a simple yad window to convey that information.

                Example of a simple GUI to update the system (this is based in the first generation of the antiX Updater script):

                  gksu "System updater"
                   x-terminal-emulator -T "System Updater" -e /bin/bash -c "sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade -V && sleep 0.1 && yad --center --width=250 --text-align=center  --text="Finished" --button='OK':1 --title=$'System updater'"

                I call this kinds of scripts, that reduce the need for the user to interact with the terminal, “semi-GUI”- the user sees the terminal, but does not have to run any commands. I think they are a nice middle ground between using the Terminal only and using a fully GUI application (that is, to me, considerably more complex to write)

                This is the sum of a nice chunk of some 6 years learning the Terminal and scripting, and I hope someone finds this useful… I sure wished I had a “crash course” like this when I came to Debian based distros, antiX in particular…

                P.

                • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by PPC.
                • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by PPC.
                • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by PPC.
                #107769
                Member
                PPC

                  ( I just noticed that this info was not included on this “sticky thread”, not in a single concise way, and it should be, to help newbies understand a bit more about antiX and better adjust to it )

                  *antiX “Desktops”- Introduction:

                  Most modern Linux Distributions come with what’s called a Desktop Environment (D.E.). It’s basically the interface the Operating System (O.S.) offers the user: it displays the windows and renders it’s content (i.e. includes a Window Manager), it manages the menu, the toolbar, the wallpaper image, the desktop icons, the application finder (that may or not be included in the menu), eventually the application store (to install/ remove applications), graphics compositor, default keybindings, notifications, etc.
                  Linux has many D.E.’s like Gnome, KDE, Xfce.
                  Some OSes, like antiX do not waste system resources running a D.E., but rather user a Window Manager to display the windows decorations, toolbar and menu.
                  antiX comes with a Window Manager. In fact, the 3 floating window managers: icewm (the default), fluxbox and jwm (this is to provide users with the best choice for them, they are free to choose the desktop, not locked to a single desktop, like in most OSes).
                  The rest of what usually is done by a D.E., antiX replaces with customized applications, it has it’s own apps to chose and render the wallpaper, it has it’s own application finder, it has it’s own way to manage the toolbar and menu entries, etc… In fact the end result is something that really, really most people can’t distinguish from a D.E., because the antiX Development Team created and/or included GUI’s to perform almost all the tasks D.E.’s usually do, while using the least amount of system resources possible.
                  Since most users coming from Windows want to have desktop icons, antiX implemented a way to also have that: it uses one of the two available graphical file managers to render desktop icons. When Desktop icons are being managed by rox-filer, the Desktop’s name starts with “rox-“, when it’s being run by spacefm or zzzfm (that was forked from spacefm, and is more modern while using less system resources), the Desktop0s name starts with “space-” or “zzz-“.
                  Using desktop icons on antiX means that a tiny bit of RAM is always being used because the icons you see on the desktop are kind of being run on a transparent, undecorated window of the file manager, even if you don’t have the file manager open.
                  Note: you can, of course, have one file manager displaying the desktop icons and use another file manager to manage your files… The only downside of that is that you are wasting RAM, having 2 different file managers running at the same time.

                  *What are antiX “Desktops”:

                  antiX calls “Desktop” to each of it’s Window Managers ( icewm, fluxbox and jwm) and also to the mix of file manager used to render desktop icons and the Window Manager used to display the toolbar, menu and window decorations. So we have this “Desktops”:

                  -IceWM – antiX uses IceWM Window Manager to render the toolbar, menu and window decorations, no desktop icons are displayed. The default file manager is the one indicated in Preferred apps (that you can change freely from Control Centre)
                  -Fluxbox – antiX uses Fluxbox Window Manager to render the toolbar, menu and window decorations, no desktop icons are displayed. The default file manager is the one indicated in Preferred apps (that you can change freely from Control Centre)
                  -JWM – antiX uses JWM Window Manager to render the toolbar, menu and window decorations, no desktop icons are displayed. The default file manager is the one indicated in Preferred apps (that you can change freely from Control Centre)

                  -Rox-IceWM – uses the WM manager contained in the name, running Rox-filer to render desktop icons. By default Rox-filer is the default File Manager (that you can change freely from Control Centre). Rox-filer uses slightly lesse system resources than zzzfm.
                  -Rox-Fluxbox – “”
                  -Rox-JWM – “”

                  -ZZZ-IceWM – uses the WM Manager contained in the name, running ZzzFM to render desktop icons. By default ZzzFM is the default File Manager (that you can change freely from Control Centre). ZzzFM uses slightly more system resources than rox-filer.
                  -ZZZ-Fluxbox- “”
                  -ZZZ-JWM- “”

                  -Min-IceWM – “Min” stands for “Minimal”. This “desktop” is meant to be used only to detect problems in your system, and uses the Window Manager contained in the name, but disables the startup file that loads some default apps that usually are loaded every time antiX starts: ex: volumeicon (the volume indicator that’s on the system tray), the language indicator icon, Connman connection manager (to check for wireless networks) but also the script that loads the wallpaper image and the file manager that displays the desktop icons (so you don’t have any of that stuff running, which saves resources). The File Manager this “Desktop” uses is the one chosen is “default/preferred apps” (that you can change freely from Control Centre). Picture it as Window’s “Secure/safety mode” (or whatever it’s called, that you boot into when you have problems running the default Desktop)
                  -Min-Fluxbox – “”
                  -Min-JWM- “”

                  *Default “Desktop”:
                  Until antiX 23 alpha1 the default “Desktop”, for a very long time as been “rox-icewm”. From that version on, it was changed to “zzz-icewm”, using zzzfm to render desktop icons and also as default File Manager.

                  *How to change “Desktops”:
                  1- antiX menu > Desktop > Other Desktops > select the “Desktop” you want to use. If all goes well, you’ll switch instantly to that “Desktop”, keeping all open windows, but to be on the safe side, always save your work before doing that. If something goes wrong you can be sent back to the log in screen, and you’ll feel stupid for losing what you were doing…
                  2- From the log-in screen, press the “F1” key and the “Desktop” you’ll log into will change, it’s name will be displayed. Select the one you want and log in.

                  *Recommended “Desktops”:
                  -For people coming from Windows, I recommend a zzz desktop, because the file manager is way more intuitive for those people. (Strangely enough, it’s more intuitive to place icons on the desktop using rox, it’s just drag-and-drop. IceWM’s Manager GUI, available in the antiX menu and the Control Centre, has a button that allows you to select the app you want to have to the desktop, without even any need for drag-and-drop)
                  -For people that don’t rely on desktop icons (it’s usually a waste of system resources, and if you have too many icons there you waste more time searching for them than you would launching the app from the menu)- use the “plain” Window Managers (no rox- or zzz- prefix).
                  -Use only the min-desktops if you need to troubleshoot some problem.

                  Note: the Fluxbox Window Manager is extremely powerful and light, but, until very recently, lacked something that both IceWM and JWM offer: a “Menu” button on the toolbar. On a recent update that was changed, and probably future Fluxbox configurations on antiX will offer the “Menu” and “Show Desktop” buttons. Unfortunately you can only use “text buttons” on Fluxbox’s toolbar launchers, you can’t add icons.

                  • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by PPC.
                  #110633
                  Member
                  Pinchudo

                    Hi @PPC

                    I found this cli guide to setting up Connman, maybe someone will find it useful if they have problems with it.

                    #110645
                    Member
                    PPC

                      I found this cli guide to setting up Connman, maybe someone will find it useful if they have problems with it.

                      What guide? It did not get posted on your comment…

                      P.

                      #111597
                      Member
                      BibS

                        I’m new so maybe I’m not understanding something in tip 13 of Short essential how-to list for the complete Linux newbie.
                        following the quick steps all I get is an File doesn’t exist error. I looked through all directories and hidden files. I did not find a file named “start” or “Start” with any type of extension, conf or other. I’m running Antix 22.
                        Can someone please confirm the correct process for starting the system with the number lock on? Thank you for any assistance.

                        #111604
                        Member
                        BibS

                          I’m new so maybe I’m not understanding something in tip 14 of Short essential how-to list for the complete Linux newbie.
                          following the quick steps all I get is an File doesn’t exist error. I looked through all directories and hidden files. I did not find a file named “start” or “Start” with any type of extension, conf or other. I’m running Antix 22.
                          Can someone please confirm the correct process for starting the system with the number lock on? Thank you for any assistance.

                          Reading some other tips I found a way to set the number lock on. goto Control Center > edit icewm settings open the startup tab and add the numlockx & line save the change. The number lock will be on the next time the system starts.

                          #111606
                          Member
                          PPC

                            Can someone please confirm the correct process for starting the system with the number lock on?

                            There are several ways to start your system with Num Lock on. That particular entry is outdated, sorry (add-start no longer exists, at least not under that name).

                            There’s another tip you can follow: https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/short-essential-how-to-list-for-the-complete-linux-newbie/page/3/#post-87066

                            Edit: so you can’t miss it: antiX menu > Control Centre > “Session” tab > Access Manager icon (it’s the one that shows 3 red dots and 3 blue dots) > Check the option related to numlock

                            P.

                            • This reply was modified 11 months, 2 weeks ago by PPC.
                            • This reply was modified 11 months, 2 weeks ago by PPC.
                            #118257
                            Moderator
                            Brian Masinick

                              Short essential how-to list for the complete Linux newbie- antiX 23 version
                              (Written by PPC and posted on his behalf)

                              This is meant to be an unofficial guide to antiX (and Linux) basics, updated for antiX 23.
                              If you come from another OS, this is a pretty good place to learn how to do almost anything in antiX. It may be an extremely light OS, but it does almost everything you are used to do, maybe in a different way.
                              This Thread is meant to partly replace https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/short-essential-how-to-list-for-the-complete-linux-newbie/
                              and some information in https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/how-to-install-applications-2020-version/
                              Since some of the information there is now partly outdated. Most of what is said on those posts, however, remains valid, and I’ll simply refer to older posts when needed, to avoid unnecessary repetition:

                              *Where to start, if you know nothing about Linux or antiX:
                              https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/what-is-antix-and-how-to-try-it-out-or-install-it/

                              and also this post, explaining what are antiX “Desktops”:
                              https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/short-essential-how-to-list-for-the-complete-linux-newbie/page/5/#post-107769

                              Those texts explain some basic Linux concepts, like what is an OS, Linux, antiX, a Desktop Environment (DE), a Window Manager (WM), what the several Desktops available under antiX are (you have about a dozen different desktops in antiX, not just one)

                              *Where to start, if you know nothing about asking for help here in the forum:
                              https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/how-to-correctly-use-antix-forum/

                              *Note: Some of this information is for users of antiX FULL, using the default desktop- zzz-IceWM, but all antiX Menu references are common to all antiX desktops that have a menu: IceWM, JWM and Fluxbox

                              *0 – How can I access my apps?
                              The default antiX desktop, Zzz-IceWM, like most desktop OSes has a toolbar, a menu and desktop icons.
                              The toolbar, by default, has quick launch icons to the Web Browser, the File Manager, etc. – left click them to open them and start using the computer (see below how to add new quick launch icons to the toolbar).
                              You can access the Menu either by left clicking the menu button on the toolbar, right clicking any empty space (i.e. without icons) on the Desktop, or by pressing the “Windows” key.
                              The menu has a Search entry (that launches the antiX app-select, which allows you to search for the app you want and launch it); then it has several generic launchers, for the Terminal, File Manager, Web Browser and (Text) Editor; the “Applications” menu entry allows access to (almost) all installed applications, organized by categories; the “Refresh menu” entry should be used only if you are having trouble seeing applications inside the “Applications” menu, or if you want to update it, so it shows any app that you installed, and does not appear automatically there;the Personal Menu is used to Pin your favorite apps, for faster access; “Recent files” entry is self evident; Control Centre allows access to a GUI that manages almost any setting you may want to change in antiX; The last menu option, Exit, allows you to Log off/Suspend/reboot/Turn off your computer.
                              TIP: you can pin/unpin apps to your Personal Menu by using the GUI already included inside the Personal Menu or by using app-select (the search app available from the menu- launch app-select, right click the app you want and then select to add/remove it to your Personal Menu).

                              You can also start apps with a single left click on their desktop icons. By default, antiX comes only with a few desktop icons (like File Manager, Installer and Help… after installation the Installer icon disappears and you get a Trash Can/Recycle Bin icon). See below how to add more desktop icons, if you want to do so.
                              NB: In my opinion, it’s a waste of resources, having desktop icons. It’s more resource effective to have quick launch icons on the toolbar (they are always just one click away). You can disable desktop icons by choosing a Desktop that does not start by “Zzz” or “rox”. Since the default Desktop is Zzz-IceWM, I recommend, for example, switching to the “IceWM” desktop – it’s the same, minus desktop icons (saving a few MB of Idle RAM).

                              To switch between antiX Desktops: antiX Menu > Desktop > Other Desktops > Select the name of the desktop you want. Usually antiX is able to switch desktops “on the fly”, but you should always save your work before trying to do so, since, some times, to switch Desktops, antiX may have to log off…

                              *antiX has apps with strange names! I don’t know what those apps do!
                              app-select is your best friend, if you are new to antiX: open the menu, launch the first entry (the “search” one, with the magnifying glass); or launch it using the Ctrl+Space keys. You can scroll down the apps list, and read it’s name and description. You can search by name, description and even the MIME type of file associated with the app, to instantly know what app you can launch to do exactly what you want.
                              Ex: you want an app able to open an e-book in .epub format? Type epub in app-select’s search field and you’ll find out that Mupdf not only opens pdf’s but also epubs! Do you want to know what app can open that .docx document that you have in your pen-drive or got in the e-mail? Search for docx… Don’t know how to set Screen Resolution? Search for “Resolution” and you’ll find out that arandr is the GUI app you want…
                              The nice part is that app-select allows you to find the apps you want and also place quick-launchers to those apps anywhere you want (the toolbar, the desktop or the (Personal) menu) so you don’t have any more problems starting those apps you need so much.
                              … and it’s way faster than waiting for someone to answer your queries about which app does what…

                              *1 – Setting up WiFi:
                              – On current antiX version (23) when you start your system, if no cabled internet connection (or an already configured WiFi 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 some information squares, that show information about your computer…
                              Left click the square that shows network information, usually the third one, 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: Check if “WiFi” is not set to “Disabled”- if it’s disabled, make sure to left click the it’s “Powered” button (it should be green, not red).
                              – Hopefully, a list of all detected WiFi networks appears on the lower part of the window. Please notice that, to configure (or connect to) any available WiFi network, you should click the “Wireless” tab, on top of Connman’s window. Double left click the network you want to connect to and, if needed, enter it’s password (for some reason Connman calls it “Passphrase”). You do not need to enter any extra information to connect to a “normal” WiFi network. Click the “OK” button, on the lower right part of Connman’s window. [Note: if, for some reason you don’t see the “OK” button, use the horizontal slider to scroll the window’s content to the right, so you can see it OR force the window to full screen, by pressing alt + F11 – a tip that should work to maximize any window in antiX)
                              – To connect to a WiFi network, once it’s setup, simply select the network you want to connect to (by left clicking it) and then left click the “Connect” button on the top of Connman’s window.
                              *TIP 1: Do you need Internet access in your laptop and have no WiFi? 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 WiFi on a computer that does not have a WiFi card. Access your WiFi 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 WiFi internet!

                              *1.2 – We have an app to help activate and configure WiFi, for those of you that are having problems doing that using Connman : “antix-wifi-switch”

                              One way to use it is antiX Menu > Run and enter this command and press enter:

                              antix-wifi-switch --gui Connman

                              Enter your password, if asked to then click through the “helper” windows, then, on the “Wireless” tab, click “Connect” to the selected WiFi network.

                              *2 – Accessing your files:
                              The default File Manager it’s called ZzzFM (a fork, of SpaceFM, which was itself a fork from PCManFM, created by the forum user Skidoo):
                              You can access the File Manager by clicking the File Manager icon on the desktop, on the toolbar or on the first layer of the antiX menu. You can access it inside the menu category it’s in: Menu > Applications > System > ZzzFM
                              As in any OS, antiX’s File Manager allows you click your files and open them using the correct application for that end. You can access your pictures, music, videos, pdfs, text documents, office documents (like .docx, etc). The applications that antiX uses to display the files may be different from the ones uses in other OSes, but they are all very similarly easy to use.
                              ZzzFM currently offers the default Bookmarks most users expect to see (like Documents, Downloads, etc) and also Recent Files list, and a Trash Can/Recycle bin

                              Tip:
                              – Do you can add new Bookmarks: Open ZzzFM > Navigate to the folder you want to bookmark > ZzzFM “Bookmarks” Menu > Confirm that “Show bookmarks” is checked > Click “add bookmark”.
                              A bookmark to your folder instantly appears on the left side bar. You can create bookmarks to any folder you want to, repeating this process.
                              – Do you want to see thumbnails of your files ( pictures)?
                              Open ZzzFM > ZzzFM “View” Menu > Preferences > Make sure “Show thumbnails” is checked > Click “OK”.
                              Note that the default compilation of ZzzFM that antiX uses, to save resources does not show thumbnails for video files.

                              Tip:
                              If you want to access certain types of compressed files, like .zip, .rar, .cbr, you may have to install the required programs in Package Installer (To make sure antiX has .rar/.cbr support, in Package Installer “Enabled Repos” tab search for .rar and install the package you want, like “unrar-free“. To make sure antiX has zip support, search for .zip and make sure zip and unzip are installed )

                              Tip:
                              If you want to access image files in Apple’s modern file format (i.e. pictures taken with an iPhone): make sure you have the correct packages installed- Package Installer > “Enabled Repos” Tab > Search for, and install heif-gdk-pixbuf. This will allow antiX’s default image viewer (called Mirage) to open those files.

                              * Do you want to search for a specific file (by file name or file content)?
                              There are several ways you can achieve that:
                              -Use ZzzFM Search: click the “search” icon – the magnifying glass- on the top right of ZzzFM’s window. By default it searches only on the home folder (where normally user documents and other files are stored). If you want to search in other places, you can do so, clicking the “Add” button, on the right side of the search window, to add a new place to be searched for what you want.
                              ZzzFM’s search uses wildcards ( * ). This means that, if you want to search for the file “thesis.txt” you’ll have to enter exactly what you want to search for: “thesis.txt” or use wildcards.
                              Ex:Searching for “thesis.*” will find files called “thesis” with any extension, like: thesis.txt, thesis.pdf, thesis.odt, thesis.jpg, thesis.mkv, etc.
                              If you want to search for a file that has a certain content anywhere in it’s name, use wildcards both before and after the expression you want to find:
                              Ex: searching for “*thesis*” will find files called: alfreds_thesis.txt ; bernards_thesis.txt; thesis.txt, thesis_about_linux.odt, etc, etc…

                              -You can also use the more advanced Search application that’s included in antiX. It’s called (no joke) Searchmonkey.
                              You can run it from Menu > Applications> Accessories > SearchMonkey
                              It allows not only to search for files by name, but also by contents (if they are unencrypted documents, like txt, pdf, odt, etc)
                              Searchmonkey does not require the use of wildcards. Ex: if you type “thesis” and press enter, it will search for any file that has “thesis” anywhere on it’s name.
                              If you want to search for text inside a particular type of document, you can. Example: type .txt on the first search box and thesis on the second search box. It will search all .txt files contents for any mention to thesis, and display the results on the lower right, when you select the file you want.

                              * Can I access files from my USB thumb-drive, external drive?
                              Any external drive should automatically come up on your screen, on your default file manager, when you connect them. If it does not happen, 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.
                              Please note that, for security reasons, non Linux partitions (like NTFS Window’s Partitions) may have to be mounted manually, i.e. you won’t be able to automatically access them from ZzzFM.

                              TIP: If you access an external drive, when you want to unplug it, it’s safer to first make sure the device is ejected (i.e. make sure no files are open or being written, when you remove it, because that can lead to data loss or corruption). If you are used to Windows, then you are probably familiar with the “eject button” on the system tray. antiX has a similar option, but not on the system tray. By default that icon is on the quick launcher’s side of the toolbar, to the left, near the “Menu”.
                              antiX’s “eject button” is a tiny bit more complex than the Window’s one: left click the “eject icon” > a window will pop open, listing the partitions of all mounted external drives > Put a check on the device you want to eject > Click the “Proceed” button, on the lower right of that window > a Warning will be displayed telling you if any error happened or if the device was successfully ejected (even in this case, the warning may advise you to make sure the device stopped before unplugging it, in case it was recognized by antiX as possibly being a “spinning drive”…)

                              *Can I access files stored on the cloud?
                              Sure:
                              – use the file storage web interface from inside your browser or;
                              – install any available interface (“Dropbox” and “Mega” can be installed from Package Installer). 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).

                              ADVANCED TIP – 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: http://github.com/PPC-scripts/access_cloud
                              Save the antiX version of the script to your computer. On your File Manager right click the file and make it “executable” (using ZzzFM: 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…

                              * Can I access Network Shared folders?
                              Yes. antiX has 2 ways of achieving this:
                              -You can use “Connect Shares” ( antiX Menu > Control Centre > Shares > Then select to first Configure the Share and then you can Access it
                              -You can use “Shared Folders” (antiX Menu > Applications > Internet/Network > Shared Folders). To run this app you have to have an updated system, then, at first run, the app will ask if you authorize to download and install 2 very small dependencies. After that, every time you run “Shared Folders” the app will scan your network for Shared Folders, if there are more than 1 Shared Folder, you’ll have to pick to which one you want to connect to, if there’s only 1, it will try to connect to it automatically. A log in screen will be presented. If no credentials are needed to access your shared folder, simply proceed, without entering any credentials. If the scrip succeeds, your shared folder will be displayed in your File Manager.
                              TIP: you can add a Bookmark to the “Shared Folders” app to ZzzFM, to make it easier to access them. Right click an empty space in ZzzFM’s Bookmark’s column > New > Application > select “Shared Folders” > click the “OK” button.

                              * Can I access files on my mobile device (smartphone/tablet)?
                              antiX comes with an app that allows access to most Android phones and tablet, connected via USB cable. It’s called “Android Device USB Connect” and it’s very simple to use. There are some reports that it fails to work with certain devices.
                              If you want to access files on android mobile devices and both devices are connected on the same WiFi network, I suggest a pretty good Open Source App that allows you to send/receive files: “PlainApp” (available from the Play store or F-droid)- it allows you to access your android device from inside our Web Browser.

                              *3 – Do you want to update your system?

                              *IMPORTANT*: by default antiX does not automatically update itself (unlike most modern Operating Systems). You have to check for updates and install them, that way updates will only be installed what you want to, and your work won’t be interrupted.

                              There are several ways to update your system. antiX includes a GUI to do so with minimal work, it’s called “antiX Updater”. It’s available straight from the toolbar.
                              You can also launch it from the antiX Menu: Menu > Applications > antiX > antiX Updater

                              When you launch antiX Updater, you have to be connected to the internet. If asked to, enter your password. Wait while antiX checks if there are any updates. If updates are found, a window will pop up, letting you know how many updates are available to be installed. You can click the option to update automatically (antiX will select for you the default answer to any question that appears during the update process- that way you will not have to interact with the terminal) or the option to update manually (the update process stops and waits for you to select the option you want, any time a question is asked).
                              For most non experienced users, I suggest using the “automatic” option.
                              During the update process a a black Terminal window with white letters pops up. DO NOT CLOSE THAT WINDOW, until a warning window pops up letting you know when the process is finished- Click its button and you are done, the Terminal window will close automatically.
                              OR

                              You can install and enable an 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.
                              To install it: use antiX’s Package Installer (available from the toolbar): In it’s first tab (opened by default), install “Apt Notifier”, by checking it and clicking the option to install, then confirming you want to install the required packages.
                              After apt notifier is installed you’ll have to make sure it’s running. You can either start it from the menu (or the terminal) or edit an antiX’s configuration file so it starts automatically: antiX menu > Control Centre > “Session” Tab > Click the option to Manager User Session > “Startup” Tab > find this line (it should be around line number 54):
                              #apt-notifier &
                              uncomment it, removing the “#”, so it now reads:
                              apt-notifier &
                              Save the changes. Restart antiX. From now on, the automatic update checker will run automatically.
                              When the automatic update checker is running, you can see it’s icon, on the system tray part of the toolbar, next to the clock.

                              ADVANCED TIP:
                              – You can always update antiX via the Terminal:
                              Menu > Terminal and type this commands (or copy and paste them in the terminal):
                              sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

                              OR
                              sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade

                              As always, for performing any task that requires administration privileges, enter your password if asked to, answer any question that the process asks you and wait for the update process to finish.

                              NB on some very rare occasions, like when updating the GRUB package 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.

                              *4 – Do you want to install an application/ remove an application?

                              There are so many ways to install stuff in Linux in general and antiX in particular! Read this antiX forum thread: https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/how-to-install-applications-2020-version/

                              Most people are now used to using Stores to install Apps. That was available in Linux long before than other OSes. Just to give you an approximated view of how that works – usually, Linux Distros store information about all available packages that can be officially installed in huge data files, in servers, that act as Repositories (Repos) of all that information. When you install anything using your official Distros Package Manager, it’ being downloaded from those servers.

                              Package Installer:
                              Quick start: Launch Package Installer, by clicking the “Shopping Bag” icon on the toolbar, right next to the “Menu” button (or Menu > Control Centre > “Software” tab > “Package Manager”)
                              From antiX 23 on, Package Installer has several Tab, on the top part part of it’s window:
                              – “Selected apps” (the first and the one that’s open by default) allows access to a small list of pre-select applications, organized by categories. You can install almost any Web Browser available under Linux, the most recent LibreOffice and GIMP versions, Java, Wine, Non Free video codecs, VLC, Steam, and even some games.
                              – “enabled repos” – allows access to almost all 65.000+ packages available in the Debian Repository
                              – “Debian Backports” – allows access to the “Backports” that are more up to date versions of several applications, that should be safe to install.
                              – The last tab is active when you are installing/removing any package, showing what the system is doing.

                              NB: You can not only install applications using Package Installer, but also remove applications.

                              Synaptic:
                              antiX also comes with the default Debian GUI Package Manager- it’s called Synaptic.
                              It allows you to access to ALL available (Debian and antiX) packages: run “Synaptic package manager” (Menu > Control Centre > “Software” tab > “Synaptic Package Manager” > enter your password if asked to > select what you want to install/remove)

                              *WARNING*: as in any system, be very careful when deleting apps/packages- delete only stuff 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!

                              *Can I install .deb files I downloaded from the Internet?
                              Yes, but use caution. If a package is meant for Debian, and does not depend on systemd, it should work perfectly under antiX.
                              If a .deb file is meant for Ubuntu, please by careful, it may harm your system. Most of them work without any problem (except those that depend on systemd), some may have dependency problems an not install at all, some may install and break your system in the process.
                              You can install .deb files from the default File Manager, by using the “deb install” GUI.

                              *Can I 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.
                              You can’t use Snap packages in antiX because they depend on the systemd init system, that antiX does not use, to save system resources.

                              *Can I use Appimages is antiX 23+?
                              Yes. Appimages are a universal file format. If you come from the Windows world, they are roughly equivalent to “portable apps”: compressed folders that contain the application and almost everything it may require to run, that get uncompressed on the fly.
                              One of the best places to get Appimages is http://www.appimagehub.com/
                              Download the file you want > Open the folder the file is in > Right click the appimage file > Properties > Permissions > Make sure that all 3 entries in the “Executable” column are checked > click the “OK” button, on the lower right. You will have to do this procedure just once, for every appimage you download.
                              After an appimage file is marked as executable you can run it from inside your File Manager. Please note that, by default, Appimages are not automatically added to your menu and you’ll have to manually run them from your File Manager. Usually appimage files do not update automatically, so to get a new version of an appimage, you’ll have to download the version you want (and make sure that file is marked as being executable).

                              *Can I use Flatpaks in antiX 23+?
                              Yes, Flatpaks are a universal file format. You will have to manually enable Flatpak support (by installing Flatpak and enable a repository). Please note that you have no GUI to install/remove/update Flatpaks, in antiX. this means that to install/remove/update them you will have to use the Terminal. Once installed, you can run a Flatpak Application just like you run any application, installed via an official .deb package.
                              There’s a small Guide on how to use Flatpaks in antiX 23 here: https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/adding-flatpaks-to-antix-23/

                              *Can I install docker in antiX 23+ ?
                              Yes. There’s a thread on it here: https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/installing-docker-on-antix/

                              EDIT: Important note, from anticapitalista, antiX’s creator and Main Developer (quoted from his post):

                              1. We do not use systemd/elogind on principle as we oppose their philosophy – not just because it is ‘bloat’.

                              2. Installing Flatpaks and docker will bring in elogind. If user wants to do so, that’s up to them, but antiX will not ship with any apps that require elogind.

                              *Can I install Windows apps in antiX 23+ ?
                              It depends. In principle, apps made for Windows work only in Windows. If you want to run an app that is “cross-platform” (that has versions for different OSes like Windows, Linux and MacOS), and it has a Linux version, you can install and run the Linux version (ex: Chrome, Ms Edge, VLC media player, etc have versions for Windows and for Linux).
                              There is an application called WINE (available in the Package Manager) that is a compatibility layer, that tries to run Windows only apps in Linux. Success may vary, some, usually old apps run well in Linux (even faster than in Windows it self). But there is (for now) no easy way to directly install and run, in antiX, recent versions of the most well know Windows apps (like MS Office apps: Word, Excel, etc or Photoshop).
                              In the games front, it’s a different story: via STEAM, with PROTON enabled, you can directly play many thousands of Windows Only games under Linux – if your PC has hardware to do so. You can check which of the STEAM games you own run in Linux in http://www.protondb.com/ (currently about 70% of the Top 10, Top 100 and Top 1000 games should run in Linux).

                              TIP:
                              *Installing WINE in antiX
                              You can install WINE from Package Installer. However, as I write this, to get WINE to work trouble free, you have to do also install some required 32bits dependencies, even on 64bits systems. Unfortunately, for now, the best way to do that properly is using the Terminal…

                              antiX menu > Terminal > run this command:
                              sudo apt install wine32:i386

                              Enter your password if asked to.
                              When the install process finishes, delete or rename the folder that stores the WINE configuration. You can do it using the File Manager or by running this command in the terminal:
                              mv ~/.wine ~/.wine.old

                              To get Windows apps to run via Wine: Go to a folder containing your windows executable. Right click the executable file. In the first entry of the contextual menu, “Open“, left click “Choose“ and then in the “Command“ field, type wine
                              You can check the box below that field, to make sure wine is always used to run that kind of file, if you wish so.
                              Click the OK button, on the lower right of that window.

                              Now it’s a matter of trying to install your Windows app and open it runs fine in Linux…

                              *So I can’t use MS Office/Microsoft365 in antiX?
                              Well… you can’t use the installed version, but Ms Office/Microsoft365 is also available as a Web app. If you don’t mind giving away all your data to that company, you can run http://www.office.com/ enter your credentials, and happily use the web version of that Office Suite (that, for most users has the same features most people expect, even in the “free”- as “pay with your soul, excuse me, your data” version).
                              I recommend using, instead a recent version of LibreOffice – it’s faster, does not require Internet to run, uses less resources, and is extremely compatible with Ms Office.

                              *Can I install DOS apps/games in antiX 23+ ?
                              Yes. antiX includes DosBox, an emulator than is able to run almost 100% of all DOS apps.

                              *5 – Adding application’s icons to your (tool)bar / Removing application’s icons to your (tool)bar :
                              The toolbar it self, by default, includes the “IceWM Toolbar Icon Manager” icon, that you can use to manage the quick-launcher icons. You can also access it from
                              Menu antiX > Applications > antiX > IceWM Toolbar Icon Manager
                              Launch IceWM Toolbar Icon Manager and click on the “Add icon” button > select the name of 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.
                              You can also delete any quick launcher icon from the toolbar, or move icons around using IceWM Toolbar Icon Manager

                              Beginning in antiX 23, app-select, the application used to search and launch applications (usually the first entry on antiX’s menu, also available by pressing Ctrl + SPACE), can be used to add or remove the application you select to/from the toolbar: select the application, right click it, and select the option to add/remove it from the toolbar. App-select, however does not allow you to rearrange the quick launch icons.
                              Note: app-select allows users to add quick launch icons in IceWM and JWM desktops. Fluxbox does not allow quick launch icons (currently it does allow Text quick launchers, like the ones used to summon the Menu or Show the desktop, from its toolbar)

                              *6 – Adding application’s icons to the desktop / Removing application’s icons to the desktop:
                              Since antiX 23, app-select, the application used to search and launch applications (usually the first entry on antiX’s menu, also available by pressing Ctrl + SPACE), can be used to add or remove the application you select to/from the desktop: select the application, right click it, and select the option to add/remove it from the toolbar. App-select, however does not allow you to rearrange desktop icons, you’ll have to drag them to where you want them to be.
                              To remove an icon from the desktop, select it by right clicking and in the contextual menu, select the option to delete it.

                              NB:If you are using the a “rox…” desktop, you can also add icons to the desktop by doing this: antiX 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)

                              *7 – Adding application’s icons to the menu / Removing application’s icons to the menu:
                              antiX’s Personal Menu is used to Pin your favorite apps, for easy access.
                              You can use the built in GUI, included out of the box inside the Personal Menu to add or remove apps to it.
                              You can also use app-select to search for the app you want and then select to add / remove it from the Personal Menu.
                              Note: app-select works to manage Personal Menu for IceWM, JWM and Fluxbox desktops, but each desktop has it’s own Personal Menu, independent from the other Desktop’s Personal Menu.

                              Tip: if you want to access the apps pinned to your Personal Menu straight from the first layer of the menu, IceWM Control Centre does have a button to do so (it’s best used with the button that hides/shows the Personal Menu sub-menu).
                              IceWM Control Centre also allows to hide some menu entries (like the Window Kill one; Run; Settings) so you get a smaller, more streamlined menu, free of options you do not use.

                              Advanced Tip: More advanced users can manually edit the “menu” IceWM config file to directly add/remove/move most menu entries. Be careful doing that, you may mess up your menu. You can do so from the Control Centre. WARNING: Always back up any config file before editing it!

                              *8 – Changing desktop background/ Wallpaper:
                              antiX Menu > Control Centre > “Desktop” Tab > choose “Desktop Wallpaper”…
                              You can select either an image or a plain color background.
                              You can also simply right click any compatible image file in ZzzFM and select the option, near the bottom of the contextual menu, to use the image as a Wallpaper.

                              *9 – Turning the desktop’s resource monitor (Conky) on/ off:
                              That widget on your screen that lists information about your session, system and resources is called “Conky”.
                              You can toggle it on/off by doing:
                              antiX Menu > Desktop > Conky on/off
                              This will enable/disable Conky during this session. After you log off and back on or reboot your computer, Conky will (by default) appear again automatically.

                              Advanced Tip: You can permanently disable Conky automatically starting up every time you start antiX by doing this (thanks, @blur13):
                              antiX Menu > Control Centre > “Session” Tab > Configure User Session > “desktop-session” Tab >
                              Around line number 72 you should have this:
                              LOAD_CONKY=”true

                              Edit that text so it reads:
                              LOAD_CONKY=”false
                              Save the change. Now every time antiX starts, Conky will no longer automatically start (but you can enable it for the current session using the above mentioned option from the menu, to toggle it on)

                              *10 – Automatically starting an application after booting:
                              antiX Menu > Applications > antiX > “Edit antiX startup File”
                              This will show a GUI that display the current contents of your startup file, that lists everything that antiX runs every time it starts, no matter what desktop/window manager (IceWM, Fluxbox, JWM) you are running.
                              -You can click the first button to add an application. This launches app-select. choose the application you want to run, it app-select’s window, and it will be autocratically added to antiX’s startup. This means it will start automatically, from now on, every time antiX starts.
                              -You can click the GUI’s second button, to manually type the command you want to run at antiX’s startup.
                              -The last button removes any line you select from antiX’s startup file (be very careful not to remove any essential default entry).

                              *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 Installer and install “Dunst” (available from the first Tab), that provides that (by default notifications come up on the right upper corner of the screen)

                              *12 – Changing the Default Applications:
                              Lets say that you installed a new web browser and what to make it the default web browser, or VLC, and what to make it the default Video player, etc…
                              antiX Menu > Control Centre > Preferred Applications (it’s the “yellow star” icon)
                              You can select what applications antiX uses for some generic categories:
                              – Terminal (the default one is ROXTerm. antiX also includes Rxvt)
                              – Web Browser (the default one is Firefox ESR on antiX Full, or Seamonkey, on antiX Base)
                              – File Manager (the default one is the Session File Manager, or ZzzFM. antiX also comes with another GUI File Manager, Rox Filer)
                              – E-mail Client (the default one is the extremely light Claws Mail. Of course you can install something like Thunderbird, and select is as your E-mail client here)
                              – Text Editor (the default one is Geany, but when you left click text files in ZzzFM it’s configured by default, to open them using Leafpad, another GUI Text Editor, included by default)
                              – Image Viewer (the default one is Mirage)
                              – Video Player (the default one is Celluloid. antiX also includes the more bare-bones MPV, to which Celluloid is a front-end)
                              – Audio Player (the default one is XMMS)

                              NOTE: The GUI, by default allows you to select, from drop down lists, apps that it “thinks” belong to the selected category. You can manually select the .desktop file of any app, by clicking the “Free Choice” button, on the lower left of the GUI’s window.

                              After you made your selection, click the “Apply” button.

                              *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:
                              antiX Menu > Applications > Graphics > Screenshot OR
                              antiX Menu > App-select > and search for “screenshot”…

                              *14 – How to always have “Numlock” On, when you turn on your computer:
                              antiX menu > Control Centre > “Session” tab > Access Manager icon (it’s the one that shows 3 horizontal red dots and 3 horizontal blue dots) > Enter your password, if asked to > Check the option related to “Numlock”

                              *15 – Do you want to customize antiX? Change the size of the toolbar, put it on the top part of the screen, change themes, change the way the clock looks, etc?
                              antiX includes a tool: IceWM Control Centre that allows you to customize almost any aspect of how antiX looks and feels:
                              – antiX menu > Control Centre > System > IceWM Control Centre
                              OR
                              – antiX menu > Applications > antiX > IceWM Control Centre
                              OR
                              search for it using app-select

                              *16- Do you want to “snap”/”tile” a window to the top/bottom/left/right half of the screen?
                              antiX comes, out of the box with keybindings that allow you to do that (but, as of the time I write this, I know of no way to drag the window and force it to change it’s shape automatically).
                              To make a window snap to any half of the screen you can:
                              -Press a certain key combination to change the format and position of your window automatically. On the default window manager (IceWM), pressing and holding the “Windows” Key + any of the cursor keys will Tile it to the respective position:
                              Windows + Up = the window that has focus is placed on the upper half of the screen
                              Windows + Down = the window that has focus is placed on the bottom half of the screen
                              Windows + Left = the window that has focus is placed on the left half of the screen
                              Windows + Right = the window that has focus is placed on the right half of the screen

                              OR
                              -You you can right click the title bar of the window and select the “Tiling” options (it should be the 7th menu entry counting from the bottom). Please note that there are also options, on that menu to automatically rearrange several all open windows (great if you are working with 2 to 4 windows).

                              Besides this IceWM Tiling feature, antiX comes, out of the box with it’s own tilling keyboard short cuts (that also try to “tile” windows into 1/4 of the screen, center the window, etc).
                              The keybindings to “tile” the windows can be consulted in menu > Control Center > IceWM… > “Keys” Tab.

                              *17- How to switch between running apps/windows?
                              To switch the window that is in focus:
                              – you can left click it’s title/icon in the toolbar;
                              – you can also use the keyboard, press Alt + Tab multiple times until you highlight the window you want to focus;
                              – you can left click the skippy-xd quick launcher, on the toolbar – this launches a real time preview of all non minimized windows you have on the current workspace- minimized apps will show only their icon. You can left click the window you want to focus, middle click a window do instantly close it, right click a window to minimize it. Click an empty space (or press the Esc key) to close skippy-xd and return to your desktop.

                              *18 – How to enable antiX’s firewall?
                              Firewalls are pieces of hardware or software that are meant to control network traffic (both in and/or out of your device).
                              antiX comes with one of the most used firewalls in Linux: UFW. It’s disabled by default.
                              You can toggle UFW firewall on/off (it will be in the same state that you put it in even if you reboot): antiX Menu > Control Centre > “Network” Tab > the “Firewall” icon is the last one (representing a brick wall) > Enter your password, if asked to > The GUI is simple, displaying UFW status, with a button to turn the Firewall on and a button to turn the Firewall off. Press the button you want, you get a notification about the status the Firewall is in and the GUI closes.

                              Tip: if you want to manage UFW settings, you can install a GUI that does that… From Package Installer’s “Repository…” Tab search for, and install gufw. Then you can run gufw from the antiX menu > Applications > Network/Internet and manage exactly how the Firewall is set up (enter your password, if asked to).

                              ADVANCED TIP: You can configure in/out network traffic via the terminal. Steampunk.tv’s YouTube video (on antiX 22, but mostly applicable to all antiX versions, specially on this subject) shows exactly how to do that: http://youtu.be/6gW_MVl9A_8?t=1805 (to access the YouTube video at the exact place that refers to this you may have to click through some adds..) OR you can stream YouTube video directly, using Celluloid (open Celluloid video player and drag and drop the YouTube link to it’s window – yes, antiX is that simple, most of the time).

                              *19 – Init systems and how to manage Services in antiX?
                              Now we are getting into a bit more advanced matters…
                              Every Operating System has to provide services to the users and to the applications they run, providing applications with an environment to execute and users with services to execute the applications in a convenient way.
                              A few examples of common Services − Program execution, I/O operations, File System manipulation, Communication, Resource Allocation, etc.
                              There are many init systems that manage Services. Currently, the most used init system in Linux is Systemd. antiX’s creator opposes to the use of that init system, so antiX is offered in .isos that run either SystemV (also called just SysV) or Runit init systems. The default is SystemV, but that’s an aging init system and anticapitalista has been trying to implement features in Runit, that may very well replace SystemV as the default init system recommended for antiX users. Please notice that after installing antiX, you can’t easily swap init systems.

                              Managing Services
                              In a SystemV antiX system you can manage Services from antiX menu > Control Centre > System Tab > Choose Startup Services
                              Enter your password, if asked to.
                              The interface to manage SystemV Services looks a bit outdated. It works only via the keyboard.
                              An alphabetical list of all available Services is displayed. You can select the service you want to manage by using the up and down cursor keys.
                              Services can run in Run levels 1 to 5, 0, 6 and S. Usually, when you want to use a process, you only need to enable it from 2 though 5.
                              Highlight the Service you want to configure, using up and down keys, and then use left and right keys to select the column you want. Press the space key to toggle the selection, checking or unchecking what you want to run.
                              Pressing – disables the currently highlighted Service
                              Pressing + enables the currently highlighted Service
                              When you are done, simply close the window or press Q.
                              That’s all. The interface may not look pretty and be keyboard driven, but it’s simple to use. Enable or Disable the Service you want and close the window.
                              IMPORTANT – Please do not mess with Services if you do not know what you are doing.

                              *Other stuff that it’s not essential, but may be helpful:
                              *If you want to learn to use the terminal or the basics of scripts:
                              https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/short-essential-how-to-list-for-the-complete-linux-newbie/page/5/#post-94528 and
                              https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/short-essential-how-to-list-for-the-complete-linux-newbie/page/5/#post-95003 are the place to go

                              *Do you want to press a keybinding and see a flashing visual marker showing you where the mouse pointer is?
                              This comes as a default feature in some Operating Systems, but it’s not available, out of the box in antiX. There’s a relatively easy procedure to follow that makes that feature available under antiX here: https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/highlighting-the-mouse-pointer/

                              *Does your keyboard/laptop not have LED indicators that show if Caps Lock is on/off?
                              There is a package that allows you yo have a key-lock indicator in the system tray. There are detailed instructions on how to install it, for antiX 21/22 here: https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/keylock-indicator/

                              *Do you want to add more themes to antiX (to antiX’s default window manager, IceWM)?
                              I wrote a small tutorial about that here: https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/how-to-add-new-themes-to-icewm-window-manager/#post-91906

                              *For users with very old hardware (even 32bits machines):
                              If LibreOffice is too resource intensive on your computer you can try a lighter office suite: OpenOffice, from which LibreOffice originated. There’s a nice “how to” about that here, that even includes the link to a 32bits and 64bits Appimage: https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/openoffice-instead-of-libreoffice-for-antix-32-bit-machines/#post-92233

                              *If you find that surfing the modern web is too slow on your computer, you can try some browsers, as pointed out here: https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/pale-moon-a-web-browser-for-very-old-laptops/
                              Please note that I suggest Min for 32bits devices, but that 32bits version is old (this means any security flaws were not patched, so don’t use it for anything security related like home-banking, etc) – but it works great for viewing web-pages and even YouTube (at 360p, on my old 32bits laptop) if you want to be served countless adds.

                              P.

                              • This reply was modified 9 months ago by Brian Masinick. Reason: Written by PPC
                              • This reply was modified 9 months ago by Brian Masinick. Reason: Minor Spelling corrections

                              --
                              Brian Masinick

                              #118264
                              Member
                              techore

                                Well done, @ppc!

                                #118290
                                Member
                                Karo

                                  Really great stuff!

                                  I don’t want to complain, but maybe you should “clean up” this thread so that only the tips are visible? Or maybe at least create a new sticky thread that only contains the tips?
                                  As a antiX newbie the individual guides from PPC are really great but not easy to read because they are very extensive. The posts in between make them even more difficult to read.
                                  I am aware that there are helpful posts between that have been incorporated into the individual tips. You could mention the creators by name at the end of each section.
                                  Someone who already knows everything the things PPC has written, reads differently than someone who is more or less unfamiliar with all this. As written abve, I do not want to complain. Please see it as food for thought and not as criticism.

                                  Since english is not my native language and my knowledge is too poor to represent complex things I use a translator.
                                  These are known not to be perfect. If you translate one of my posts from german to english into other languages, the result will be worse and worse. Therefore, I post in both english and german, so that non english speaking users can have the german text translated directly into their language.

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