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FREE! MX18 Minimal Installset

Those who have created deb or tar packages to share with other MEPIS users can create a thread in this forum to do that. Also those that request someone to create a package for them, can be posted here.
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manyroads
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Re: FREE! MX18 Minimal Installset

#11

Post by manyroads » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:43 pm

Well my 'proof of concept' has folks thinking. :exclamation:

I'm no expert but I would guess that antiX is the truly 'thin' distro 'in these parts' and designated to stay that way. I see no problem with that. I agree with what @anticapitalista stated above, i'm not sure that MX would much different (if at all) from antiX if it were whittled down to under 700MB. No point having two of essentially 'the same thing'. ;)

I think of an application thin install of MX as filling a niche for those who don't want a lot of extra apps; or like me, they prefer to pick most of their own (yep... old cranky, opinionated. :bagoverhead: ).

When I was going through the list of apps to remove in the minimal install (proof of concept), I was thinking about those I keep and those I don't. For example I prefer Mousepad to Featherpad and do not see the need for both. For programming, html, css and the like, I prefer Geany (so what I like/prefer is a bit different from many). No big deal but just a thought to say, a nearly 'naked' install for the distro is 'largely' but will never be perfectly useful nor satisfying. You have to have an editor and someone will pick one, someone else won't like the one they picked. And, so it goes.
"Don't believe everything you think."
Pax vobiscum,
Mark Rabideau - http://many-roads.com
MX-18 4.20.12-antix.1-amd64-smp x86_64
Dell Latitude E5470
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Richard
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Re: FREE! MX18 Minimal Installset

#12

Post by Richard » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:49 pm

What is the base antiX origin for MX?
The antiX-base plus systemd-shim, systemd and what else?
Laptop: MX18.1: Thinkpad T430: DualCore, Intel i5-3320M, Ivy Bridge, 8GB RAM, 4.19.0-1-amd64, 119GB SSD 840PRO, Intel Graphics-Audio-Network
Netbook: MX18.1, antiX17.3: AsusTek EeePC 1005HA: Intel DualCore Atom N270, 1GB RAM, 4.19.0-1-686, 150GB HDD

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Re: FREE! MX18 Minimal Installset

#13

Post by Richard » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:50 pm

Duplicated due to slow Internet.
Laptop: MX18.1: Thinkpad T430: DualCore, Intel i5-3320M, Ivy Bridge, 8GB RAM, 4.19.0-1-amd64, 119GB SSD 840PRO, Intel Graphics-Audio-Network
Netbook: MX18.1, antiX17.3: AsusTek EeePC 1005HA: Intel DualCore Atom N270, 1GB RAM, 4.19.0-1-686, 150GB HDD

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anticapitalista
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Re: FREE! MX18 Minimal Installset

#14

Post by anticapitalista » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:02 pm

manyroads wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:43 pm
... You have to have an editor and someone will pick one, someone else won't like the one they picked. And, so it goes.
Indeed.
Distro devs make choices - some popular, others not so. In that sense, as we all know, whatever (a) dev(s) choose, someone will complain either about bloat or lack of features - too 'vanilla'.

MX is built by d_o using the antiX build-iso set of scripts (created by BitJam). It is not built using the remaster/snapshot set of tools, but via chroot and debootstrap (to be technical). Using build-iso gives the dev(s) many advantages in building a consistent iso set up, but the dev needs to make sure that this actually will work with packages outside of the core - ie Debian (99%) and antiX.

MX's starting point is antiX-core, which does not give user an X environment. d_o then grafts on top apps/configs etc to produce MX. This is not as easy as it may seem. For example, installing antiX-core and trying to make it MX doesn't quite work, unlike doing it via the build-iso scripts.

My point - (finally) - For me a minimal MX iso that may be useful would be antiX-core plus X plus a few MX apps. But then, is it any longer MX?
anticapitalista
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BitJam
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Re: FREE! MX18 Minimal Installset

#15

Post by BitJam » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:08 pm

As I've said before, we usually suggest that people start with an iso that has less on it than they want and build up rather than start with an iso that has more on it and whittle down.

In addition to what anticapitalista said, MX uses the antiX live system which (from my perspective) is what makes snapshots so stable and not flaky. It may seem trivial but it took a lot of hard work from us to make it easy for you. This is tied together with our build-iso system. Broadly speaking it works like this:

Code: Select all

build-iso  ==>  live  ==> installed = \
                  ^                   |
                  |                   |
                  ====================|
Of course this happens with other distros but I doubt they have it as well integrated and automated as we do. Back when I was building this stuff we had very few devs at antiX and we were trying to put out six iso files every year plus point releases (which could add up to 12 or 18 iso files per year). I thought the only way this would be possible with any kind of reliability or quality control would be if we automated the build process as much as possible.

My focus for the last eight years or so has been to develop our live system and automate our build system. These are tied together and it only works because the pieces in the diagram above are highly integrated. IMNSHO, this was a big factor in the success of both antiX and MX. The way Mepis and antiX were previously being hand-crafted for each release was simply not sustainable. Too many bugs.

MX was a collaboration between Mepis and antiX. The name comes from the first letter of Mepis and the last letter of antiX. The lead Mepis dev had left. The forums and the community repos and a large number of devs were still here but the ability to put everything together and release an iso was missing. Then Jerry3904 came up with the idea of making a lightweight "version" of Mepis based on XFCE instead of KDE (I'm sure he can add some clarity about this). So, roughly speaking, the community repos, a large developer community, and the forums came from Mepis. The "putting it all together and making an iso" came from antiX. Then the MX XFCE desktop was built fresh, mostly by the previous Mepis devs.

Up until two years ago (I think) anticapitalista was responsible for building both antiX and MX. This was too much work for one human being so dolphin_oracle (originally an antiX dev, I believe) took over building MX. He did a great job! I also got burned out working on two distro releases a year and took last year off. This was the 2nd time we skipped making an annual antiX release. The first was when the antiX devs were focused on getting MX off the ground. IIRC, the first MX release came out about 4 or 6 months after Jerry's original idea. This was only possible because we already had so much of our antiX build system automated.

HTH
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When I die will I see Heaven?

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oops
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Re: FREE! MX18 Minimal Installset

#16

Post by oops » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:13 pm

BitJam wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:08 pm
...
MX was a collaboration between Mepis and antiX. The name comes from the first letter of Mepis and the last letter of antiX. The lead Mepis dev had left.
Ah,thanks for the info ... it's a scoop for me ;-)
$ inxi -Fxxxz : System: Host:XEON ... Distro: MX-18_x64 Continuum

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manyroads
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Re: FREE! MX18 Minimal Installset

#17

Post by manyroads » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:30 pm

@anticapitalista & @BitJam, I sure hope no one thinks I, in any way, devalue or am critical of the antiX-MX team efforts and history.

People simply stated they wanted a simple way to modify the MX application base. I offered what I do, my scripts. Then some suggested a new set of MX Tools that allowed checklists either pre or post install (add-delete); there was even a poll in the MX facebook group addressing the topic. In thinking about this discussion/request/need, it sounded like people were asking/considering what some of the arch-based distros offer. So I offered to run an editted version of my application removal script (posted in this thread) and create a snaphot (also linked here). Personally I have a universe of applications I like (by now most have seen them listed here or can if they haven't; they are in my original scripts). I am perfectly happy taking a solid xfce base distro (like MX) and tweaking it. That can be from a minimal (low application) base set; or from a full one (like I do now).

Where that leads, I have no idea. I like MX. It is easy to work with, easy to change (to my liking). I simply offered a set of scripts and a snapshot. If they are useful and people want to use them, I am pleased. If they don't that's equally fine. If the devs here would like to do more with what I have offered and I can be of assistance, I am happy to do that (assuming I have the requisite skills).
Last edited by manyroads on Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Don't believe everything you think."
Pax vobiscum,
Mark Rabideau - http://many-roads.com
MX-18 4.20.12-antix.1-amd64-smp x86_64
Dell Latitude E5470
Dual Core Intel i5-6300U (-MT MCP-)
Mem: 24GB SSD: 978.09 GiB
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Re: FREE! MX18 Minimal Installset

#18

Post by Stevo » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:31 pm

dphn wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:26 pm
Hi stevo,

in many ways it's not possible. MX-apps depends on faenza-icon theme, papirus-icons are used for the default Xfce-config. Maybe the Numix-icons can be removed.

Same with a lot of apps. When you replace featherpad for example with another editor you must change /etc/skel/.config/Thunar/uca.xml. There are entries for featherpad and with a new update from desktop-defaults-xfce-mx17 package you become all default configs back.
Featherpad is a tiny package when you consider that Qt 5 is already installed, so that would be way down the list. That's why I suggested sorting them by size.

I tried getting MX 17 down to 700 MB with this method, but couldn't get it under 800 something, so abandoned the effort. But that's smaller than 1.2 GB.

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Re: FREE! MX18 Minimal Installset

#19

Post by dreamer » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:46 pm

It's the curse of Linux. Because you can tweak so much you are never going to be fully satisfied. I feel it's a slippery slope. I'm pretty happy with what I have, but not completely happy and will never be, see second sentence.

Sometimes I think it's boredom. How am I going to stimulate my brain if I stop tweaking (MX) Linux? Software is the only thing I'm passionate about and also the reason I get upset when I perceive something as a regression. I am very thankful for antiX and MX Linux because without these projects maybe I would have given up on Linux. There is no other distro I want to use and I am critical of the tech that dominates the Linux desktop today.

I'm OK with using Windows and I tweak that too. I don't like Windows 10 so Linux is the only thing that can give me a good old-school feeling and a sense of freedom.

I don't know what I want to say other than: There is no end to tweaking, no final destination. If you manage to create the perfect setup for you, then soon your base system (Stretch in this case) will be obsolete anyway and you have to start again. This is not to discourage people, just something that I have become aware of. Especially if you intend to support other people, you have to be aware that for example Chrome and Skype won't support Stretch forever.

I think an upgrade path to Buster would be the most valuable thing. Linux Mint is always criticized for not having an upgrade path between LTS releases which Ubuntu has. I have done a lot of personal tinkering with Linux so I feel supporting other people would feel more meaningful going forward, but I struggle with time and sleep like everybody else.

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Re: FREE! MX18 Minimal Installset

#20

Post by manyroads » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:50 pm

Sometimes I think it's boredom. How am I going to stimulate my brain if I stop tweaking (MX) Linux? Software is the only thing I'm passionate about and also the reason I get upset when I perceive something as a regression. I am very thankful for antiX and MX Linux because without these projects maybe I would have given up on Linux. There is no other distro I want to use and I am critical of the tech that dominates the Linux desktop today.
@dreamer: "Hear, hear"

I always tell people there are two things to know about Linux one is good news and the other bad.
The good news about Linux is: "You can do anything you want..."
The bad news is: "You can do anything you want..."

:bagoverhead:
"Don't believe everything you think."
Pax vobiscum,
Mark Rabideau - http://many-roads.com
MX-18 4.20.12-antix.1-amd64-smp x86_64
Dell Latitude E5470
Dual Core Intel i5-6300U (-MT MCP-)
Mem: 24GB SSD: 978.09 GiB
Reg. Linux User #449130

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