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LXQT Proof of Concept (on MX 17.1) using XFWM

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manyroads
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LXQT Proof of Concept (on MX 17.1) using XFWM

#1 Post by manyroads » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:02 pm

Hello all.

I just completed an inital 'proof of concept' exercise using and comparing XFCE4 with LXQT 0.11 (The most current release of LXQT seems to be 0.13, but that version is not in the repos.) The platform I tested on is a Dell Latitude E5470, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. My development was all done on a VirtualBox CPU with 2 Processors, 4GB RAM and 16GB of virtual 'disk'. My host PC runs Manjaro XFCE4 (Testing version). Enough of the toys I used; here's what I discovered.

The MX Linux stretch repos for LXQT do not have Openbox-LXQT available (and that is the default for manipulating the Desktop on LXQT). As a result, I had to try something else out. (More on that down stream.)

I tried to stick with software available from MX Linux standard repos in my LXQT builds. My first buid which crashed and burned unexplainably was built as follows:

I scraped XFCE4 out of MX Linux; I can tell you that removing XFCE4 from the base was a bit painful. This may have been the reason for the crash as well.

What I did 'otherwise' in this initial install was use standard LXQT and:
-added synapse (activated via the "Insert" key) for program launching.
-added Kvantum; Kvantum is an SVG-based theme engine for Qt4/Qt5, KDE and LXQT.
-plank added to function as a nice piece of eye-candy but more importantly as a flexible launcher.

When I tried to take a snapshot of my first LXQT MX Linux (minus XFCE4) install, the system went down for the count. Undaunted by my first crash... my second build attempt was placed on a combined Desktop (XFCE4 & LXQT). I figured leaving XFCE4 alone might be the best approach for this exercise. To invoke one DE or the other, you make the desktop choice from the login page (top right side iconset, first one on the left). Not nuking the primary XFCE4 desktop on my second attempt proved to be a wise choice.

I installed the same add-ons (via synaptic: synapse, plank, KWIN-x11, kvantum). I installed LXQT via cli (sudo apt-get install LXQT). It is worth noting that the LXQT install consumes about 17MB of disk space beyond that of a standard MX Linux 17.1 install.

For the purpose of the proof of concept, I used approximately (as close as I could make them, without having to code icons, etc. So what you will see will look very much like the same GUI on both XFCE & LXQT. Be aware that my XFCE skills far exceed those I have with LXQT.

The windows theme I used on both was Kvantum -KvArcDark; the icon theme ePapirus. I positioned the conky theme and panel themes in the same place, as well.

By default, LXQT uses openbox as window manager and compton for display compositing. To obtain a more feature rich, all-in-one window manager and compositor, I initally installed KWIN (sudo apt-get install KWIN-x11). This largely works, although I am a total novice in using it. In the end, I discovered I could use XFWM4 (and so I did, on the snapshot iso below.) If you wish to try other compositors, you may test Compton, KWIN and XFWM4 on the provided snapshot. The compisitor settings may be changed from Preferences==> LXQT Settings==> Session Settings on LXQT menu.

Note: When using the windows settings from XFWM4, the settings for both XFCE4 and LXQT desktops will change and synchronize. I can, also, tell you XFCE4 windows tools are not QT based and the windows layout for those tools are seriously u-gly on LXQT.

One other item I discovered... if I add a URL link to the desktop on XFCE4, it appears on LXQT. System level icons like file manager, home, etc. do NOT appear on both desktops when added on the XFCE Desktop. To get them on to LXQT seems to require hand coding (slick, eh?). As a result, I have not been able to get Desktop settings to work, yet on the MX Linux LXQT install. As I said, there are no tools that make it easy. It is one of those thrilling "coding required" activities, which I will try to do (maybe during one of today's football games) :( The bottom line is that the current install is a bit incomplete and wobbly.

As a side note, I gave LXQT a try with antiX. That platform was even less ready for LXQT (probably because they offer LXDE and have tons of windows managers etc. installed). After my virtualbox antix-base was installed, I added:
-synapse (as I did with MX Linux)- this was in the repos
-Kvantum was NOT in the repos. Arrgh. So I tried to build it myself... without success.
-KWIN-11 was not in the repos (I did not try XFWM4).

From there, it got really ugly. I threw in the towel after three failed attempts (I'm a slow learner.)

Below is a link to the Dropbox folder where the LXQT-XFCE4 MX Linux material resides. Should you elect to install this snapshot, the landing page for the install is the XFCE4 desktop (I built the snapshot on the XFCE4 desktop because the MX Tools work better on XFCE4... I think that might be what determined the landing desktop). As I work on things, I'll drop new versions in the folder and delete the old stuff; I only have 1TB and 50% is consumed with Genealogy stuff. ;) Updates will be semi-irregular. The file uploads are in process as of 09:41 Mountain Daylight Time on 7 Oct 2018. They should be there sometime on the 7 of October. ;)

As always, remember this is opensource software; you may keep it, use it, share it. AND if you break it, all the pieces are yours to keep! ;)

Anyway, enjoy.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ualejcsd88s7 ... RACra?dl=0
Last edited by manyroads on Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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chrispop99
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Re: LXQT Proof of Concept (on MX 17.1)

#2 Post by chrispop99 » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:21 pm

Have you seen this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=100&t=46126

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Re: LXQT Proof of Concept (on MX 17.1)

#3 Post by manyroads » Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:49 pm

Hi Chris.

Yes I did... but rather than ending up with using kwin or kde, I built this using xfwm4 to remain closer to MX Linux premier offering. The ugly history of that transition is explained in the note above (as you probably saw).

I think LXQT will work fine with xfwm4. I have figured out the Desktop icon issues I was having. I'll upload that probably tomorrow or over night.

With a few tweaks I think I have it working as well as it can. There are some theme issues that are unfixable by me. For example, some (all?) the MX tools need to be offered in a QT friendly layout in order to play nice with Kvantum.

My guess is that xfwm4 and Kvantum could make for an acceptable DE. I like how mine looks, with my next batch of fixes.

The real test will be when I move everything over on to my 10 year old Acer Laptop. If it delivers service faster than PeppermintOS or LinuxLite, I'll consider it a winner.
Pax vobiscum,
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CPU: Dual Core Intel i5-6300U (-MT MCP-)
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Re: LXQT Proof of Concept (on MX 17.1)

#4 Post by manyroads » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:09 pm

The download(s) are available for anyone who might be interested.
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Re: LXQT Proof of Concept (on MX 17.1)

#5 Post by asqwerth » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:10 pm

The MX-Tools are all QT-based, AFAIK.

In order to get the mx tools to follow the gtk theming of XFCE, either qt5ct or just editing an environment variable was used.
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Re: LXQT Proof of Concept (on MX 17.1)

#6 Post by fehlix » Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:03 pm

manyroads wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:49 pm
There are some theme issues that are unfixable by me. For example, some (all?) the MX tools need to be offered in a QT friendly layout in order to play nice with Kvantum.
The MX tools are fine, your Qt environment is wrong.
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Re: LXQT Proof of Concept (on MX 17.1) using XFWM

#7 Post by Stevo » Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:24 pm

Though kde-style-kvantum is only in the MX repository, it's built on a vanilla Stretch platform and should install and work just fine in antiX. http://mxrepo.com/mx/repo/pool/main/k/kvantum/

It is a bit tricky to compile from raw source, but if you learn how to use the Debian build tools to rebuild already debianized sources like we have in the repo, it suddenly becomes very simple and easy in most cases.

I did update some LXQT libraries to the newer 0.13 version in order to backport the latest pcmanfm-qt for MX 17 last week, but then decided I may as well try backporting the rest of it. It's still a work in progress though, and will go to the test repo if I succeed. I don't know if Debian has openbox-qt upstream for backporting, though.

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Re: LXQT Proof of Concept (on MX 17.1) using XFWM

#8 Post by manyroads » Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:37 pm

@ fehlix As for a wrong QT environment... I'm not certain how it should be fixed? I guess that's another one of my skill limitations. :frown:

@steveo I am not worried about antiX. I just thought it would be worth a try. Again a limitation of mine. :frown:

@asqwerrth, I'm not certain where those environment variables are that need adjustment. It's not a real problem just one of my limitations, again. :frown:

As you can see I have lots of limitations. :bagoverhead:

Now for something I have a fix for... If you want Desktop Icons for Home & Trash, here are the files that need to be created on the Desktop. Featherpad allows the job to be done nicely:

Here's what they should look like:
For "Home" provide the following content in the Home.desktop document...

[Desktop Entry]
Type=Application
Exec=pcmanfm-qt
Icon=user-home
Terminal=false
StartupNotify=true
MimeType=x-directory/normal;inode/directory;
Name=Home

For "Trash" provide the following content in the trash.desktop document...

[Desktop Entry]
Icon=user-trash
Type=Application
Exec=pcmanfm-qt trash:///
Categories=FileManager;Utilities;GTK;
Terminal=False
StartupNotify=true
MimeType=x-directory/normal;inode/directory;
Name=Trash

Some minor fixes have been added to version 2 which is now uploading to the Dropbox folder named earlier:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ualejcsd88s7 ... RACra?dl=0

For me the most interesting learning in this exercise has been around Kvantum. A very nice theming tool, methinks.

If anyone wants to take this work further, feel to take it and run. :turtle:
.
Pax vobiscum,
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MX-18b1_x64 Continuum
Platform: Dell Latitude E5470
CPU: Dual Core Intel i5-6300U (-MT MCP-)
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Re: LXQT Proof of Concept (on MX 17.1) using XFWM

#9 Post by fehlix » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:47 pm

manyroads wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:37 pm
... how it should be fixed?
I'll have a look .. seems not yet uploaded . :snail:
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Re: LXQT Proof of Concept (on MX 17.1) using XFWM

#10 Post by manyroads » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:19 pm

@fehlix... sadly my Internet connection is one that allows me to enjoy 'lifes rich tapestry'.... :popcorn:
Pax vobiscum,
ManyRoads (Mark Rabideau)
http://many-roads.com
MX-18b1_x64 Continuum
Platform: Dell Latitude E5470
CPU: Dual Core Intel i5-6300U (-MT MCP-)
Mem: 8GB SSD: 978.09 GiB
Reg. Linux User #449130
:bagoverhead:

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