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LXQt and KDE respins - personal projects

For issues with MX that has been modified from the initial install. Example: adding packages that then cause issues.
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Adrian
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LXQt and KDE respins - personal projects

#1 Post by Adrian » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:06 pm

Hey all, like I mentioned in another thread if I was going to get bored I would build a LXQt respin.
It looks like I was really bored since I also built a KDE respin.

1. These are not official releases (just used MX Snapshot to take a snapshot after removed Xfce and installed LXQt and KDE respectively). I also stuck them in sourceforge.net/projects/adrian-test site so there's no confusion with the main MX Linux project, it's just a personal project. Also, I've noticed that other people posted their own respins, this is not meant to undermine them or even compete with them, I feel like MX Snapshot is a great tool and it's nice to see many people making use of it and posting their custom respins.
2. This is not a sign MX will abandon Xfce as somebody asked. Actually I'm not a KDE user anymore (since MEPIS days) and building it I kind of reminded myself why I didn't miss it. It looks pretty and some stuff is nice, but there's a lot that annoys me (like for example the fact that by default they don't even show ~/Desktop on Desktop like the rest of normal DEs).
3. I'm not going to work a lot on these respins, but I can take feedback and add/remove stuff as needed. If there's interest, I can release updates.
4. These are 64bit respins. It's possible to do 32bit respin, but I have no interest and time. But if somebody takes the list of apps I used in the 64bit respins and copy the files in /etc/skel they can easily build their own 32bit respin.
5. These use KDE and LXQt versions available from regular repos, if you want something fancier and newer versions you can do that by yourself, it shouldn't be too hard, but it's out of the scope of my project.

Some notes:
- KDE ISO is 1.5 GB, a bit larger than regular MX Linux release which is about 1.3 GB
- LXQt is 1.3 GB and it doesn't feel much lighter than Xfce (it saves about 58MB RAM so depending how strapped for RAM you are you might see some improvements) Personally I feel like Xfce is still much more powerful than LXQt and just as light. I was interested to see how LXQt works and how easy is to create a respin but I doubt I will use it.
- These come as they are with no warranty and not much testing, like I mentioned I'm not a KDE user anymore, I just tested to see if it looks like things are working fine on the surface there might be errors popping up in more intensive use. Also some tools are buggy, for example gdebi-kde crashes each time after I install something while the regular gdebi works fine... oh well.

Download ISOs:
LXQt: https://sourceforge.net/projects/adrian ... o/download
KDE: https://sourceforge.net/projects/adrian ... o/download

There's also a zsync_adrian-test.sh script in https://sourceforge.net/projects/adrian-test/files it might save you some bandwidth for LXQt if you use the July or August monthly snapshots of MX-17.1 as input files because LXQt ISO is not that different (it uses pretty much the same tools), the KDE ISO would not see much saving, the zsync script itself might be useful later on if I release updates to these ISOs.

Looking forward to hear opinions and suggestions.

Earl57
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Re: LXQt and KDE respins - personal projects

#2 Post by Earl57 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:05 pm

Thanks, Adrian, for doing this. I have not had much luck trying to do this myself. I am waiting for the download to finish so I can try it out! I'll post back to let you know how it runs on my test machines. Thanks again!
Bob

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Re: LXQt and KDE respins - personal projects

#3 Post by m_pav » Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:35 am

Cheers Adrian, looks nice as you say, though like you, I'm not a KDE fan either, especially of their plasma menu, which I find clumsy and slow, but my wife uses it so I've had to make my own personal remaster for her. Yours is certainly a nice looking model. My red/green colour deficiency keeps me a hundred thousand miles away from any desktop theme tweaking etc unless forced to.
I was always late with my input during MX development when a new version is being cooked up because usually, after the first forum page or 2 of bug squishing, typically next 16 pages or more are devoted to theming alone, something I am incapable of contributing to, so when a capable and trustworthy person puts forward a KDE respin, I'm happy to use their nicely cooked base.
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Re: LXQt and KDE respins - personal projects

#4 Post by sunrat » Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:55 am

I'm a long-time KDE user and definitely a fan. But I agree with you, I always switch back to the classic style Application Menu. Just right click on the menu icon with widgets unlocked and select "Alternatives" to change it.

Seems these are quite popular already. I just started downloading and noticed you have 192 downloads this week.

Edit, a bit later - just fired it up live in VBox and launched a few applications. Seems to work well! ;)

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Re: LXQt and KDE respins - personal projects

#5 Post by asqwerth » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:51 am

LXQT: Nice and simple, but lacking in functionality when compared to XFCE. Not my cup of tea but this spin is pleasantly set up.

Some suggestions -

1. MX-updater is not in autostart, which I believe it should be. Worse, I couldn't find it in the LXDE menu, even though it's installed.

I have now pasted mx-updater-menu-non-kde.desktop into $HOME/.config/autostart


2. have the MX-Tools as a quicklauncher in the panel.

BTW, it took me forever to figure out how to add new launchers to quick-launcher in the panel. It's not possible to drag the icon from lxde menu to panel. You need 2 steps. Drag the icon from menu to desktop. From desktop, right click to copy it and then paste it in the qucklaunch area.

So the difficulty in adding a launcher to the panel is another reason MX Tools should by default be in the panel, so users can spot it. There is after all no ability in LXQT to add favourites to the menu.


3. install xfce4-appfinder, XFCE's application finder, and stick it in quicklaunch as well, so that there is a proper search function for the apps, plus it looks a lot like Whisker menu.

Note: appfinder was able to find MX-Updater, where LXQT's menu was unable to.
appfinder-updater.png
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Adrian
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Re: LXQt and KDE respins - personal projects

#6 Post by Adrian » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:16 am

Not sure why you needed two steps to add items to quick launcher, I can drag items directly to it.

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Re: LXQt and KDE respins - personal projects

#7 Post by darknetmatrix » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:41 am

testing the kde edition in virtualbox now, all seems to work fine, great job
/home/darknet

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Re: LXQt and KDE respins - personal projects

#8 Post by KBD » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:59 am

Downloading LXQt right now. Thanks for taking the time to do this!
I think LXQt has a good future, but may be awhile before it reaches the kind of maturity we have with Xfce. KDE I dropped years ago, but the Kubuntu 18.04 release caught my interest again.

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Re: LXQt and KDE respins - personal projects

#9 Post by asqwerth » Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:15 am

Had a quick test of MX-KDE live on thumb drive.

Works fine but seems very vanilla Plasma and not MX-ish enough.

1. the MX default papirus icon set isn't installed at all. It's in the LXQT spin.
2. for some strange reason, even though the xapian-apt-whatever package is installed, Synaptic does not have the search-bar, only the vanilla search button. LXQT has it.
3. I think the MX-updater wasn't in the notification area.
4. MX-Tools is not in Favourites in the menu.
5. fonts (very tiny!) aliasing and hinting weren't enabled, I think, so the fonts didn't look nice. I thought LXQT spin had nicer fonts.
[not so important] 6. I can't recall now, but I think there were lots of differences in the choice of packages. Granted KDE has a lot of its own QT-based applications....

Suggestion: add Kvantum Manager and its set of Kvantum themes. That helps a lot in getting QT themes that match the more widely used GTK themes like Arc, Obsidian, etc.


All that being said, it's still a very workable base which users can build on and tweak for their own use, and it seems impressively fast, even running live on an old USB2 thumb drive.

All in all, both respins generally work well, with just some missing MX-ness in their look and set-up.

Good job, Adrian!
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Re: LXQt and KDE respins - personal projects

#10 Post by Adrian » Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:30 am

asqwerth wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:15 am
Had a quick test of MX-KDE live on thumb drive.

Works fine but seems very vanilla Plasma and not MX-ish enough.

1. the MX default papirus icon set isn't installed at all. It's in the LXQT spin.
2. for some strange reason, even though the xapian-apt-whatever package is installed, Synaptic does not have the search-bar, only the vanilla search button. LXQT has it.
3. I think the MX-updater wasn't in the notification area.
4. MX-Tools is not in Favourites in the menu.
5. fonts (very tiny!) aliasing and hinting weren't enabled, I think, so the fonts didn't look nice. I thought LXQT spin had nicer fonts.
[not so important] 6. I can't recall now, but I think there were lots of differences in the choice of packages. Granted KDE has a lot of its own QT-based applications....

Suggestion: add Kvantum Manager and its set of Kvantum themes. That helps a lot in getting QT themes that match the more widely used GTK themes like Arc, Obsidian, etc.


All that being said, it's still a very workable base which users can build on and tweak for their own use, and it seems impressively fast, even running live on an old USB2 thumb drive.

All in all, both respins generally work well, with just some missing MX-ness in their look and set-up.

Good job, Adrian!
1. Yes, I removed it because we use a different icon theme. I would have done that in LXQt too, but I could not because LXQt them I use has a dark toolbar but white interface so if I choose a normal theme the icons are not visible on toolbar, if I choose a dark icon theme the icons are not visible on the white interface. Papirus seems to be the best compromise in this case.

2. don't know.

3. No, I removed it, KDE has its own update notifier that works pretty well in my experience, I preferred native tools if possible.

6. I had more KDE-apps to choose from in KDE respin, even in LXQt they would be too heavy so I left the ones we already had. There are Qt apps and then there are KDE apps, if I add too many KDE apps in LXQt it pulls too much crap from KDE environment. I'm open to suggestions for app selection, my main consideration are: 1. native app (designed for KDE, LXQt etc), 2. toolkit app (Qt v. GTK), 3. how much worse is than the alternative that uses different toolkit.

Thanks for testing and feedback!

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