Suggestions about antiX Linux to developers and maintainers

Forum Forums antiX-development Development Suggestions about antiX Linux to developers and maintainers

  • This topic has 110 replies, 16 voices, and was last updated Oct 5-1:27 am by marcelocripe.
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  • #38459
    Member
    marcelocripemarcelocripe

    Title: Suggestions about antiX Linux to developers and maintainers.

    Hello dear colleagues.

    The purpose of this post is to send some suggestions to the developers and maintainers, to whom I would like to express my sincere thanks for developing, making available and updating antiX Linux.

    Some suggestions I have included in some posts on this forum, I have gathered my main suggestions to form the main content of this post.

    1-Excerpt from the post: https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/iso-on-cd/page/2/

    “Provide ISOs of up to 4.3GB of the entire antiX Linux repository, similar to what is done with Debian, where they provide 3 ISOs, one with the installation and programs and the other two ISOs with only the programs.”
    Post: https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/iso-on-cd/page/2/

    2-Excerpt from the post: https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/antix-plus-desktop-environment/page/4/

    “My suggestions are:

    I would choose the Desktop or Window Manager that consumes less processing and RAM resources without losing antiX functionality – “the antiX Desktop”.

    Desktops that reduce antiX functionality do not believe they are necessary or important.

    Beautiful desktops that consume more processing resources and more RAM could be inserted as optional by the user.

    Another suggestion, when installing antiX Linux, the user could choose which Desktop to install, at the time of installation it would be necessary a summary stating the name of the Desktop and the processing and RAM resources that are consumed, in case the user does not be satisfied after the end of the installation of antiX, you could have an option to reinsert the media (DVD, or CD, or pendrive) and perform the local installation of another environment, or even if the user wishes to install all the Work Environment it would be necessary to check the desired options during the installation process.

    I would like you to take into account an excerpt from my post on the link: https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/antix-the-best-operating-system-for-my-p-iii/#post-37983 and so as not to lead antiX into the path of programmed obsolescence:

    “… We live in times where programmed or forced obsolescence exponentially increases the amount of waste on the planet, most of which go to third world or underdeveloped countries, as if they were donations to needy people.

    When they are not electronic waste (referring to the previous paragraph, those that are no longer repairable), technologies in full operation are discarded due to the increasing requirements of hardware requirements (Processor and RAM) of MS Windows and various Linux distributions that follow o the same way, the programmed obsolescence.

    In rich countries, where economic power must be greater and conditions, I believe, are better for the population, it may even be relatively easy to acquire new hardware in Brazil, with an equivalent US $ 1.00 (US dollar) R $ 5.24 (reais) quotation on 06/24-2020, excluding taxes, we will have to reuse and repair hardware with more than 15 or 20 years of manufacture, for a few more years, or as long as it is possible to keep them running. ”

    I hope I collaborated. ”

    3-Facilitate installation of programs (packages) without internet access, via pendrive, CD, DVD or in a local folder.

    4-Facilitate the use of self-executable programs (AppImagem, AppImage, Flatpak or Snap).

    5-Do not make antiX Linux an operating system that makes computers obsolete due to hardware requirements increasingly demanding from the point of view of processing and consumption of memory.

    I hope you will consider my suggestions, the goal is to collaborate with the project.

    Thankful.
    marcelocripe

    Original text in Brazilian Portuguese, translated into English by Google translator.

    #38460
    Member
    marcelocripemarcelocripe

    Título: Sugestões sobre o antiX Linux aos desenvolvedores e mantenedores.

    Olá caros colegas.

    O objetivo desta postagem é de enviar algumas sugestões para os desenvolvedores e mantenedores, aos quais eu registro os meus sinceros agradecimentos por desenvolverem, disponibilizarem e atualizarem o antiX Linux.

    Algumas sugestões eu as incluí em algumas postagens neste fórum, reuni as minhas principais sugestões para formarem o conteúdo principal desta postagem.

    1-Trecho da postagem: https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/iso-on-cd/page/2/

    “Disponibilizar ISOs de até 4.3GB de todo o repositório do antiX Linux, semelhante ao que é feito com o Debian, onde disponibilizam 3 ISOs, uma com a instalação e programas e as outras duas ISOs só com os programas.”
    Postagem: https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/iso-on-cd/page/2/

    2-Trecho da postagem: https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/antix-plus-desktop-environment/page/4/

    “As minhas sugestões são:

    Eu escolheria o Ambiente de Trabalho ou Gerenciador de Janelas que consumisse menos recursos de processamento e de memória RAM sem perder as funcionalidades do antiX – “o Ambiente de Trabalho do antiX”.

    Os Ambientes de Trabalho que reduzem as funcionalidades do antiX não acredito serem necessários ou importantes.

    Os Ambientes de Trabalho bonitos que consumem mais recursos de processamento e mais memória RAM poderiam ser inseridos como opcionais pelo usuário.

    Outra sugestão, na instalação do antiX Linux o usuário poderia escolher qual Ambiente de Trabalho deseja instalar, neste momento da instalação seria necessário um resumo informando o nome do Ambiente de Trabalho e os recursos de processamento e memória RAM que são consumidos, caso o usuário não fique satisfeito após o final da instalação do antiX, poderia ter uma opção para inserir novamente a mídia (DVD, ou CD, ou pendrive) e realizar a instalação local de outro ambiente, ou ainda se o usuário desejar instalar todos os Ambiente de Trabalho seria necessário marcar as opções desejadas durante o processo de instalação.

    Eu gostaria que levassem em consideração trecho da minha postagem do link: https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/antix-the-best-operating-system-for-my-p-iii/#post-37983 e para não conduzirem o antiX para o caminho da obsolência programada:

    “…Vivemos tempos onde a obsolência programada ou forçada aumentam exponencialmente a quantidade de lixo no planeta, a maioria vão para os países de terceiro mundo ou subdesenvolvidos, como se fossem doações as pessoas carentes.

    Quando não são lixo eletrônico (referente parágrafo anterior, os que não possuem mais conserto), tecnologias em pleno funcionamento são descartadas devido as exigências de requisitos de hardware (Processador e memória RAM) cada vez maiores do MS Windows e de várias distribuições Linux que seguem o o mesmo caminho, o obsolência programada.

    Nos países ricos, onde o poder econômico deve ser maior e as condições, acredito eu, sejam melhores para a população, pode até ser relativamente fácil a aquisição de novos hardwares, no Brasil, com um US$ 1,00 (dólar americano) equivalendo R$ 5,24 (reais) cotação do dia 24-06-2020, sem contar com os impostos, nós teremos que reutilizar e consertar hardwares com mais de 15 ou 20 anos de fabricação, por mais alguns anos, ou o quanto tempo for possível mantê-los funcionando.”

    Espero ter colaborado.”

    3-Facilitar instalações de programas (pacotes) sem acesso a internet, via pendrive, CD, DVD ou em pasta local.

    4-Facilitar o uso de programas auto executável (AppImagem, AppImage, Flatpak ou Snap).

    5-Não tornar o antiX Linux em um sistema operacional que torna computadores obsoletos devido aos requisitos de hardware cada vez mais exigentes do ponto de vista de processamento e consumo de memória.

    Eu espero que ponderem as minhas sugestões, o objetivo é de colaborar com o projeto.

    Grato.
    marcelocripe

    Texto original em idioma português do Brasil, traduzido para o inglês por Google tradutor.

    #38463
    Member
    AvatarPPC

    I’m not a Developer, Marcelo, but let me try to help you out with your suggestions:

    1- I guess making such Iso would be too much work, also it would probably be out of date the very next day… Read more on how to achieve almost that for yourself on point 3…

    2- All 3 default Desktops antiX offers use about the same ammount of RAM. What the anticapitalista did was choosing a default Desktop that looks and feels a bit more familiar to most users ( IceWM with Rox File Manager running to allow for Desktop icons). Believe me- if antiX did’t allow for desktop icons out of the box most users would compain that “I have no icons!!! antiX sucks!”. Users can use the menu to select the “minimal” version of the desktop they like best and save some meg’s of RAM

    3- Ok, if you have no broadband internet connection having a up to date system and installing new applications can be next to impossible. But there are ways around that, that the Debian folks thought about: apt-offline (and apt-offline-gui)- allow you to use a computer with internet access to download all the files you need and then, copy them somewhere (pen drive or cd/dvd-rom) and install them in the unconnect systems… If you have antiX installed in computers without internet connectivity, as long as they all have the same version of the OS and the same installed applications, you can for example, use apt-offline to get the latest LibreOffice or Gimp versions, save those packages and install them in all your off line computers!
    Think of it as your own personal “Off-line Repository”! (see detailed instructions here: https://askubuntu.com/questions/835655/install-a-program-with-apt-offline)
    There are some other options to do the same thing, like https://launchpad.net/cube-server.
    Please note that I fotunatly never had the need to use any of that software for myself, but I’ve used this method:
    http://www.penguintutor.com/linux/apt-get-offline

    4- About universal packages:
    Appimages – they run out of the box- just make them executable and run them, no extra support necessary!
    Flatpak’s – yes, the user has to install the flatpak application, and then install all the basic dependencies (many hundreds of Megs of files- you see why antiX does not support flatpak’s out of the box?)
    Snaps- snap files can’t be installed in antiX, not because of the Dev’s made that choice- but because Snaps need a Operanting System that is managed by systemD, that is not antiX’s case, and that’s partly the reason why antiX is to light on resources!

    5- I’ve been using antiX for about 3 years now, since version 16, and the only thing that I noticed made it use more resources, can be turned off and was only added because of “popular demand”- the automatic system uptader (I don’t use it myself, but I guess it uses about some 20 meg of RAM). This means that I’ve been running an up to date Debian system on all my computers (my office’s desktop, my home desktop and also a 10 year’s old netbook Atom single core with 1 gig of RAM) for the last 3 years and I never noticed any increase on system resources usage (I believe antiX 19 uses about 1 meg of RAM more than the previous version- can users of other Operating Systems say the same?)

    P.

    • This reply was modified 10 months, 1 week ago by PPC.
    • This reply was modified 10 months, 1 week ago by PPC.
    #38474
    Moderator
    Brian MasinickBrian Masinick

    I agree; finding the right balance between simplicity/ease of use and efficiency can be difficult; most usability features cost considerable resources in memory and/or execution speed.

    There are plenty of easy to use distributions available. Though we can (and we do) make every effort to make things reasonably easy, usable, and even attractive, unlike other systems we make the choices to prefer support for aging hardware FIRST, then do what we can to provide reasonable compromises.

    The fact of the matter is that people who DO have ample resources can do things like:

    1. Install their favorite cool, resource hungry desktop and applications.
    2. Modify the default appearance.
    3. Build, configure, and install any applications they want. People can definitely install stuff that is available from Debian packaging. which includes the usual binary packages, but may also include source from which individuals can compile and customize applications to suit their systems and their interests. Many other programs can be added from package groups; some are archived executable programs, and others have to be configured and compiled. But there are a HUGE number of possibilities.

    For those who want something ready made that antiX doesn’t include, though we’re not trying to chase people away, we recognize that what we offer isn’t designed for everyone, it’s designed specifically for those who need lean, efficient software that works on old equipment. You can modify what we offer yourself, or if that isn’t appealing, there are probably free and open solutions that are similar to what you want. There’s nothing wrong with trying our approach, and if it doesn’t fit, try another approach. We all love free software for that reason.

    Brian Masinick

    #38498
    Member
    mrootmroot

    I am not a developer either. But as far as having antiX offered on several DVDs including the installer and the complete repository I see it as this…..

    The big disadvantage I think would be it’s probably a lot of work and small distro like antiX probably couldn’t support it. Debian does but they have a thousand people working on the project. I don’t know of any other distro that does this although maybe Redhat or Suse offers this but don’t think they do.

    The big advantage would be if you don’t have an internet connection and need to install on multiple computers and each computer needs a different mix of software. Having a bunch of dvds with all the software would help a lot. I wouldn’t want to be doing an install and find I need package xyz and realize I don’t have it. Then having to get in my car, drive to the internet connection, download the package, drive back and install it. If on the other hand you need to install an identical mix of packages on many computers a good work around would be to remaster antiX with the needed packages and do the installs from the remaster.

    As far as the dvd software collection becoming outdated I don’t see that as a problem. The only reason keeping software updated is important is security. Most computers are connected internet and you need security updates to prevent your computer from being hacked. A computer that is not connected to internet really doesn’t have that risk. There are quite a few people that run DOS or windows xp without any problems but again these computers are not connected to the internet. In fact, you see this at large corporations too in the United States. The reason is that DOS or xp computer is used to run a $100,000 or $300,000 dollar piece of equipment and the company doesn’t want the expense of replacing that equipment since it works fine the way it is.

    I think antiX is fairly light on resources and choosing the minimal version of the desktop will help you save even more resources. I think the biggest problem is not the operating system but the browser and the need to use the browser to access the internet. Browsers requirements for cpu load and memory grow each year. In most cases now the browser sets the minimum system requirements not the operating system or distro. We don’t have any control over browser development. And even if we did I am not sure we could reduce the footprint of the browser and still have it provide all the features that are now considered essential. But a free standing computer not connected to the internet doesn’t need a browser and even if it’s really old can work just fine.

    #38499
    Moderator
    Brian MasinickBrian Masinick

    mroot, I agree with everything you have shared with us.

    My concerns are for those people who only have access to a computer because it is old and their access to the Internet is limited, sometimes in a library, kiosk or public place that can only be used for short periods of time.

    To put antiX in such places is not easy because of the “cost”. For most of us the cost is insignificant. We already have or pay for Internet access. That’s not a privilege that everyone has. Same with a CD, DVD or USB.

    There have been projects for years that have attempted to provide more computer systems and access to people all over the world. It seems like the more we do this the more we realize the great division between those who have “things” and those who don’t. In the cases of the greatest need, the essentials for living are even more critical and that is where my heart is.

    If we (a small number) can share even a few resources (obviously life essentials are more important in many situations) it may be a small help to one person.

    I’ll do what I can when I can…

    Brian Masinick

    #38501
    Member
    AvatarPPC

    I’ve been thinking about providing a way to have a repository available off-line…
    Maybe Marcelo could, for example use wget to download the full contents of a mirror like “http://mirror.ufam.edu.br/mx/antix/buster/pool/” and then save those files to a large capacity pen drive (or several DVD’s?)- I never tested the size of a mirror, before. The same could be done with a Debian mirror…
    But Marcelo (or any other user wishing to implement this) would need detailed instructions about how to do that and then how to use those files to easily install software on off-line computers… Synaptic has the option to install from a CD/DVD-rom, but I never used it before- would it work with such CD/DVD, and how to make it work with an pendrive/external drive?
    For computers without internet connectivity, probably appimages are the way to go: most essential applications on many uses, like Libreoffice, GIMP, Audacity, etc. Do already provide official appimage files. Some, like Firefox do provide compressed binaries, that all the user has to do is uncompress and then run the binary- it would be trivial to include a .desktop file that allowed non techie users to tun those uncompressed binaries…

    Edit: also, Debian 10 DVD with .deb files – shouldn’t they work to install stuff on antiX? Also, if so, how to avoid installing systemd dependent stuff from there?

    P.

    • This reply was modified 10 months, 1 week ago by PPC.
    #38504
    Moderator
    Brian MasinickBrian Masinick

    I like the idea very much and I hope that there are ways to accomplish this and that a few people will be able to get antiX installed in places previously unreachable.

    Whether this works out or not I thank you for your ideas and thoughtfulness!

    Thanks!

    Brian Masinick

    #38505
    Moderator
    AvatarBobC

    I do wonder about his multi-version USB question.

    Assuming multiple distro’s would fit on a USB, is there some way we could be able to boot any of them as they were originally intended?

    So then we would need a way to replace them or reproduce that again after remastering or as new versions came out?

    Is there software already available that would do this?

    #38520
    Member
    mrootmroot

    I don’t disagree that it’s a worthwhile goal to make the full antiX repos available on dvd or cd. My question is how do you accomplish this? There are greater than 30,000 packages in antiX. I don’t think it’s practical to make the dvds of the entire repo by hand.

    Are you thinking of writing a script to automate this? Are you thinking of reducing the number of packages to say 6,000 to make the task easier since people probably would do fine if they don’t have 10 tools available to perform the same task? Or since we use the Debian repos are you just planning to offer the Debian dvds and count on apt-get and synaptic to prevent systemd from being installed? Or is there a different plan or different way your planning to approach this?

    #38521
    Moderator
    Brian MasinickBrian Masinick

    There are many challenges related to actually doing this. What I *like* about this is the fact that we are discussing this and considering creative ways of accomplishing it.

    With a DVD it may be possible. With a decent sized USB drive it may also be possible but it may not reach the intended audience.

    I think it’s worth trying. It may be a special purpose distribution for a particular audience that lacks high speed wireless networking and new technology. Whether this can actually be accomplished is another question to ask and solve. If the scripts can create the image then anyone who wants to make a DVD or USB for someone can do it. That’s what I like about it.

    Other thoughts?

    Brian Masinick

    #38539
    Moderator
    AvatarBobC

    multibootusb comment moved to separate thread. I reread the request, and its not what the op was asking for, but is something I would like to get working.

    • This reply was modified 10 months, 1 week ago by BobC.
    • This reply was modified 10 months, 1 week ago by BobC.
    #38545
    Member
    XecureXecure

    I haven’t fully read the thread, but skimming it I see that you are considering ways to create an ISO or live USB with a collection of packages.

    If using the terminal, on an online system, you can do:

    cd /to/desired/folder
    sudo apt-get download $(apt-rdepends "${package}" | grep -v ^\ )

    For each package you are interested in. It will download the package and its dependencies to the selected folder.

    I think it is not a good idea trying to download the whole repo, as all online tools (web browser, network managers, Samba…) would be useless for a system that has no internet. It is better to make a list of packages/programs (libreoffice, Abiword, Gimp, etc) and create a script to do as above but reading that list.

    Even a simple GUI could be created, that could add up the amount of space all selected packages would take (by getting the download size, adding it up and adding an extra 10-50 MB of error margin), so they know it can fit in a CD/DVD, selecting the directory you want to save the downloads, etc. It would also be great for upgrading systems if we also add all packages used by base or full so that the old systems will be able to upgrade to newer antiX version (this could be done once a year, as offline systems don’t need to be updated that often, they will keep working well).

    #38615
    Member
    AvatarPPC

    @Xecure: you are right, this can be almost trivial to do, but Marcelo gave all these “suggestions” and seems to have abandoned this thread… I won’t even attempt to build a basic script without him saying that he could really use such a thing…
    Like I pointed out, there are already some GUI options available out there that do what he needs – and as far as I know, he can use the Debian Isos to install software in antiX, right?
    For 64 bits systems I would even advise using appimages (that can be uncompressed, to start faster, specially in slow systems) of LibreOffice, Gimp, audacity, Vlc, Ungoogled Chromium, etc to “install” the latest versions of those apps in many computers. Firefox, like I pointed out, can run be from the official files available from the site, once decompressed- that is a huge chunk of all “essential” software, already easily usable in off-line systems…

    I talk about web browsers because I’m betting that part of the problem is not complete lack of connectivity, but rather very slow or unreliable connections, that make downloading large files very difficult…

    P.

    #38616
    Moderator
    Brian MasinickBrian Masinick

    You have some valid points PPC.

    It makes sense to understand the situation and suggestions before investing efforts in anything other than your personal tools.

    I do appreciate your efforts and support you in whatever you want to do.

    Brian Masinick

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