Switching from Ubuntu to antiX

Forum Forums General Tips and Tricks Switching from Ubuntu to antiX

  • This topic has 8 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated Apr 2-2:40 am by BobC.
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      Hello currently I am using Ubuntu as my daily driver. I am thinking about switching to antiX because I want something simple that does not use a lot of resources. My main concern is with the available software. I am a computer science student and usually if I need some piece of software it is available for Ubuntu. Since both ubuntu and antix are debian based I was wondering if anything that works on ubuntu will also work on antix?
      Hopefully I escape the hell that is ubuntu have a wonderful day!


        I was wondering if anything that works on ubuntu will also work on antix?

        No, they’re not. They are two separate distributions.

        You need to look at each one individually to see if the applications you need are available with the features you need.


          Hi @framebyte, if you have enough disk space, how about a dual boot to try antiX?

          Beware than antiX does not support ‘snap’ (systemd dependency) and DEB packages for *buntu may not work on Debian-based systems (e.g. due to different names of libraries) and DEB packages for Debian may not work on *buntu.
          This is a partial expansion on the answer provided by @ChPol.

          It would probably be more straightforward to try a light-weight desktop variant on your *buntu install first.
          On the other hand, most of the heavy-weight apps will still be there, hence re-install with a more-lightweight *buntu desktop variant (e.g. Xubuntu or Lubuntu) is even better.

          BTW, I recently saw ‘distrobox’ mentioned, it may help to resolve the situation if you decide to transit to antiX and you find some applications missing, see the official web-page: https://distrobox.it/
          Did not test it on antiX and I am not sure how it could decrease the performance.


            Hi. Agreeing with everything that was said, let me try to get into more detail:

            LONG VERSION:
            – Ubuntu is Debian based, but it changes lots of things, like dependency names (and maybe versions), etc, adding stuff that Debian does not have available by default
            – antiX is kind of a purer form of Debian based distribution… but (unlike Ubuntu)it changes the init system from the nearly universal Systemd that both Debian and Ubuntu uses to other “lighter” inits, like sysv or runit (there is an iso that includes multi init support, but not for systemd). This means that any software that requires systemd, such as snaps, will not install in antiX. Probably 100% of Debian packages that don’t include a systemd dependency (or are not related to a certain DE or Window Manager) will work in antiX. Some of those packages are repackaged (by our team) to remove the systemd dependency and work under antiX, but it’s impossible to do that to ALL possible packages. So almost all (but not really all) Debian packages will work in antiX. Most Ubuntu .deb packages (ex: like those manually downloaded from PPA’s) will work in antiX, but there’s always the theoretical risk of them not working OR breaking your system. That said, I tested some dozens of those Ubuntu packages over the years and the worst I got was them not working.
            – flatpak, although not supported by default, can be installed in antiX… but there is currently no GUI (i.e. no “app store”) to install or remove flatpaks in antiX (and probably will never be an official one, included out of the box).
            – antiX is an Xorg OS only, it does not support Wayland, so “Wayland only apps” won’t work under antiX (most- something like 99% or more- of the apps work under X)
            – recent versions of antiX: 23 and 23.1 include pipewire audio server, so it’s probable that you won’t have more sound problems than you would with *buntu
            – antiX uses “desktops” that are a mix of Window Managers (the default one is IceWM), File Managers (the default one is ZzzFM) and several apps (some of them created exclusively for antiX) to make them almost as easy to use as any modern Desktop Environment, but some features, like drag and drop apps from the menu to the toolbar or desktop do not work (but there are easy work around for that)- almost everything else usually works as well or even better than on a D.E., and specially on slower machines, using much less resources, so they run noticeably faster- and that is an understatement: I run antiX on a 32bits, 1 Gb or RAM laptop, that is over 20 years old, and I still can run a modern browser and an office suite, and it’s perfectly usable (but that requires you to use apps that don’t use as much system resources as the default 64bits do)…

            SHORT VERSION:
            No, not all apps available for Ubuntu run in antiX. The vast majority of them do, but not all of them. Apps available only as Snaps, won’t run at all in antiX (that does not support snaps).

            Like previously recommended, I would try antiX live; try antiX in a virtual machine or dual boot antiX and Ubuntu, and check if everything you want runs in antiX. Options like distrobox do, in fact, allow using apps from any distro in your current distro, but they are not for the average user.


            • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by PPC.
            • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by PPC.
            • This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by PPC.

              Hi framebyte,
              For study Debian/antiX is according to some students I helped with setup good,
              none moved to another distro unless tasked to do so for a specific purpose.
              Known example was an assignment: develop a task specific application for
              running on SuSe.

              For specific details you might like to take a look at.


              On top some applications can easily be self compiled.


                Hello framebyte.

                Welcome to antiX Linux and the Forum.

                I don’t know how to write in English and I send my texts translated by the internet translator. I hope you can understand everything. If your native language is not English, please translate my original Brazilian Portuguese text directly into your language with the help of internet translators and you will get a much better result.

                Please read my real welcome in the Welcome to antiX Linux and the forum (antiX 23) and Welcome to antiX Linux and the forum (antiX 19, 21 and 22) thread.

                Please learn how to ask for help here on the antiX forum by reading the threads I linked in my real welcome. Please note that there are 3 editions of antiX from series 19, 21 or 22 and 23 that have technical support in this forum. Each edition has 4 ISO images (full, base, net and core) on two different boot system types, SyVinit and Runit. If my sum is not wrong, at the present date there are about 32 different types of operating systems. That’s why you need to learn how to ask for help here on the antiX forum.

                I recommend you read the topic Unofficial antiX 23 Frequently Asked Questions which will answer several of your questions and you will also be able to understand the main differences between Ubuntu and antiX.

                (Original text in Brazilian Portuguese language)

                – – – – –

                Olá, framebyte.

                Seja bem-vindo(a) ao antiX Linux e ao fórum.

                Eu não sei escrever em idioma Inglês e envio os meus textos traduzidos pelo tradutor da internet. Eu espero que você consiga compreender tudo. Se o seu idioma nativo não for o Inglês, por favor, traduza o meu texto original em Português no Brasil diretamente para o seu idioma com a ajuda dos tradutores da internet que você obterá um resultado muito melhor.

                Por favor, leia a minha verdadeira boas-vindas no tópico Seja bem-vindo (a) ao antiX Linux e ao fórum (antiX 23) e Seja bem-vindo (a) ao antiX Linux e ao fórum (antiX 19, 21 e 22).

                Por favor, aprenda a pedir ajuda aqui no fórum do antiX lendo os tópicos que eu indiquei na minha verdadeira boas-vindas. Saiba que existem 3 edições do antiX, das séries 19, 21 ou 22 e 23 que possuem suporte técnico neste fórum. Cada edição possui 4 imagens ISOs (full, base, net e core) em dois tipos de sistema de inicialização diferentes, o SyVinit e o Runit. Se a minha soma não estiver errada, na presente data são cerca de 32 tipos diferentes de sistema operacionais. É por isso que você precisa aprender a pedir ajuda aqui no fórum do antiX. 

                Eu recomendo você ler o tópico Unofficial antiX 23 Frequently Asked Questions que responderá várias perguntas suas e ainda você poderá compreender as principais diferenças entre o Ubuntu e antiX.

                (Texto original em idioma Português do Brasil)


                  Hello @framebyte, welcome to antiX. I think antiX is a wonderful distro. I like that it is based on Debian. But I would not classify it is “simple”. It does run nicely on older or resource restricted machines, including 32-bit. In fact, I am typing this on a 32-bit Pentium 4 system. But it will take a little change in approach if you have only run Ubuntu until now.

                  Ubuntu has its issues but it is much more popular and more “cutting edge” in it’s approach. antiX is more “old fashioned” in it’s approach. That can be a good thing, if you are willing to learn the antiX way of doing things. I ran Xubuntu for years before I switched to antiX and MX. I like the community in antiX and MX much better. But it has been harder to install certain applications and to adjust to a Window Manager instead of a full Desktop Environment.

                  Now I prefer antiX. But it took a while to get used to it. If you are willing to read and learn than antiX can be a good choice. But I am not sure that antiX will directly support some of the software that you may use in your profession. If you are technical enough you can probably make it work. You may have to compile some stuff once in a while, for instance.

                  Can you share some of the application software that you want to use?



                    As an intermediate step, consider simplifying with Lubuntu. The only snap there by default is Firefox. However if you activate mozilla ppa repos, you can easily install a non-snap version. Light (well, certainly not as light as antiX), and a plethora of other things like no systemd well covered already.

                    And, if one gets frustrated trying to DD iso images from the commandline, use sudo -s
                    I turned a friend on to antiX, and we burned the iso/installer image onto his stick that way.


                      If the dual boot idea above isn’t possible, I would suggest making an antiX flashdrive, probably of antiX 23.1 full sysvinit, unless you have reason to choose otherwise, and bring it up with persistence enabled. Then try to get all the applications you need installed from the antiX repos via the Software installer or Package installer. If there are any you can’t find, check repology and see if there is a version of it for MX.

                      When you are done, if there are any you need that you can’t find, look for alternatives.

                      If that still doesn’t solve it, provide the details, including your system info (see sticky posts on what info is needed) and ask for help here.

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