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antiX19a2 (xfce, openbox and more?) personal project(s)/ test

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manyroads
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antiX19a2 (xfce, openbox and more?) personal project(s)/ test

#1

Post by manyroads » Tue May 21, 2019 2:24 pm

I thought some folks here might be interested in an antiX project I am working on. If you are and you want a copy of my work to beat upon, please PM me and I'll provide a link to a snapshot. Because the version I'm working on is in an alpha state (on antiX19 alpha2)-- this is alpha-squared activity. Hopefully you'll understand that I'd rather not make it generally available, for now.

Because so many people in the MX forums express concerns re: systemd, I thought I'd test building a xfce/ openbox version of antiX with jwm, fluxbox, herbstluftwm (removed). I am also experimenting to see if icewm & LXQt might be incorporated in the mix, think of this potential build as a lighter weight platform than MX but heavier than the traditional antiX. Thus far I have both openbox and xfce4 running successfully on antiX19-a2. They look good (to me), seem quite stable, and are completely systemd-free. :eek:

For those with inquiring minds regarding resource consumption, I can tell you openbox runs on par with fluxbox and icewm on the alpha release (right around 280MB RAM when idling on my VBox setup). xfce runs about 200MB heavier (~480MB). I have done zero tuning, as of now. I may do some later. :bagoverhead:

I have no plans to migrate whatever I build on to 32bit machines. Although if someone wants to mirror my efforts and improve upon them, I'm happy to provide information on what I have done to revise the base antiX system. If anyone is interested in contributing to this effort by checking my work and helping repair my faux pas just let me know; via PM is probably best.

I have included a couple of screenshots for 'your viewing pleasure'. :popcorn:

https://ibb.co/c64tj6W
https://ibb.co/TPwrJhL
https://ibb.co/kHQNskb

Edit:
Because there are a lot of people who believe 32-bit needs to be addressed and woe to those distros that do not offer 32-bit variants.

I thought I'd share the rationale behind why I, personally, only put effort into 64-bit work. The following quote sums things up for me, pretty well. It was published on PC Computing (https://www.pcmag.com/article/350934/32 ... difference).
"Why 32-Bit at All?
Why would you install a 32-bit OS on a desktop or laptop PC? The big reason is because you have a 32-bit processor, which requires a 32-bit OS.

But having such a CPU is unlikely. Intel started making 32-bit processors in the 80386 range way back in 1985; it was selling 64-bit processors by 2001. If you've bought a PC since the Pentium D chip came out in 2005, it's unlikely you'd have a 32-bit instruction set inside. The last Intel 32-bit chip, Pentium 4E, came out in February 2004 and that was extended to 64-bit by the x86-64. That was backward-compatible with both 32- and 16-bit software as needed. Later versions of the Pentium 4, like the Extreme Edition, were fully 64-bit—and even that was discontinued by 2005."
I am happy that others are worried about their 10+ year old PCs. I am simply not in that group. Call me selfish...
Last edited by manyroads on Tue May 21, 2019 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Don't believe everything you think."
Pax vobiscum,
Mark Rabideau - http://many-roads.com - Reg. Linux User #449130
MX-18.3 kernel: 5.1.5-antix.1-amd64-smp x86_6
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bled
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Re: antiX19a2 (xfce, openbox and more?) personal project(s)/ test

#2

Post by bled » Tue May 21, 2019 3:42 pm

manyroads , compliments!

good work. can you create xfce4 version-light, minimal
of antix?

with root, no guest

thanks

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Re: antiX19a2 (xfce, openbox and more?) personal project(s)/ test

#3

Post by manyroads » Tue May 21, 2019 4:07 pm

bled wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 3:42 pm
manyroads , compliments!

good work. can you create xfce4 version-light, minimal
of antix?

with root, no guest

thanks
I think I can make the inital xfce build a 'skinny' or 'minmal' version. The antiX test version of xfce runs about 40% of my MX version. My inclination would be to remove all the xfce4-goodies except for whiskermenu.
"Don't believe everything you think."
Pax vobiscum,
Mark Rabideau - http://many-roads.com - Reg. Linux User #449130
MX-18.3 kernel: 5.1.5-antix.1-amd64-smp x86_6
Dell Latitude E5470
Intel i5-6300U~ 24GB RAM ~ SSD: 1TB
Coding since 1974

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Re: antiX19a2 (xfce, openbox and more?) personal project(s)/ test

#4

Post by figueroa » Tue May 21, 2019 4:59 pm

Today I'm less interested in testing this, but your project is still interesting. I'll provide some memory info. On my 64 bit Gentoo desktop with the full LXDE running, desktop wallpaper, well populated panel, kernel 4.9.170 idles around 250M. Current and up-to-date MX with kernel 4.19.0.5 idles around 310M. The pictures are nice, but darker themed than I like.

For comparison, my 32 bit Gentoo box with XFCE and all goodies including weather and CPU frequency monitoring active kernel 4.9.173, but no conky, is running is keeping about 854M of RAM occupied, though it's also running a Courier mail server and Apache web server so there is a lot going on. The same desktop when running LXDE uses about 60M of RAM less.

If I were to want to use an antiX XFCE, I would want the full blown offerings with all of the extras. As you've posted, I think 480M of RAM that you are using seems excessively high by almost 200M. That's not criticism, but feedback of sorts.
Andy Figueroa
Using Unix from 1984; GNU/Linux from 1993

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Re: antiX19a2 (xfce, openbox and more?) personal project(s)/ test

#5

Post by manyroads » Tue May 21, 2019 5:13 pm

figueroa wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 4:59 pm
Today I'm less interested in testing this, but your project is still interesting. I'll provide some memory info. On my 64 bit Gentoo desktop with the full LXDE running, desktop wallpaper, well populated panel, kernel 4.9.170 idles around 250M. Current and up-to-date MX with kernel 4.19.0.5 idles around 310M. The pictures are nice, but darker themed than I like.

For comparison, my 32 bit Gentoo box with XFCE and all goodies including weather and CPU frequency monitoring active kernel 4.9.173, but no conky, is running is keeping about 854M of RAM occupied, though it's also running a Courier mail server and Apache web server so there is a lot going on.

If I were to want to use an antiX XFCE, I would want the full blown offerings with all of the extras. As you've posted, I think 480M of RAM that you are using seems excessively high by almost 200M. That's not criticism, but feedback of sorts.
I notice that same phenomena on all my tests. When I examine htop, I see quite a number of Virtualbox client things going on. There's not much else running, so I assume some of the extra memory is consumed there. It's nothing I have added, because I'm installing straight up antiX installsets.

As for the themes, I'm using vanilla Numix-greybird. Pretty vanilla MX color scheme. Xfce looks pretty mx like... openbox does not use the Numix themes in the same way and does come out darker. The wallpaper images are dark to allow for readability on the conkies. When I add color to the wallpaper folks with tiny old screens complain they are unable to see what the conkies offer. Trust me there are lots of wallpapers (several dozen) to choose from on anything I build. I use hundreds of them. 9_9 I like color, depth of field, and variation.
"Don't believe everything you think."
Pax vobiscum,
Mark Rabideau - http://many-roads.com - Reg. Linux User #449130
MX-18.3 kernel: 5.1.5-antix.1-amd64-smp x86_6
Dell Latitude E5470
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Re: antiX19a2 (xfce, openbox and more?) personal project(s)/ test

#6

Post by dreamer » Tue May 21, 2019 7:34 pm

figueroa wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 4:59 pm
If I were to want to use an antiX XFCE, I would want the full blown offerings with all of the extras.
Same here, I don't want to hunt for random packages to have a complete experience. If I think there is too much bloat I simply uninstall it. I think your screenshots look good. :puppy:

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Re: antiX19a2 (xfce, openbox and more?) personal project(s)/ test

#7

Post by manyroads » Tue May 21, 2019 8:15 pm

dreamer wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 7:34 pm
figueroa wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 4:59 pm
If I were to want to use an antiX XFCE, I would want the full blown offerings with all of the extras.
Same here, I don't want to hunt for random packages to have a complete experience. If I think there is too much bloat I simply uninstall it. I think your screenshots look good. :puppy:
I think what I'll do is provide a script to clean out the xfce4-goodies for those who don't want them. Otherwise, it will carry the regular, xfce install set (ala my bias). :bagoverhead:
"Don't believe everything you think."
Pax vobiscum,
Mark Rabideau - http://many-roads.com - Reg. Linux User #449130
MX-18.3 kernel: 5.1.5-antix.1-amd64-smp x86_6
Dell Latitude E5470
Intel i5-6300U~ 24GB RAM ~ SSD: 1TB
Coding since 1974

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Re: antiX19a2 (xfce, openbox and more?) personal project(s)/ test

#8

Post by mxer » Wed May 22, 2019 4:54 am

Call me selfish...
Hi Selfish! :p

Interesting project - if MX does go systemd, (which I doubt) - maybe it should be called MantiX. :happy:
(FOSS, Linux, & BSD since 1999)

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Re: antiX19a2 (xfce, openbox and more?) personal project(s)/ test

#9

Post by kernelkurtz » Thu May 23, 2019 12:53 am

Hiya Mark,

I'd take the alpha link with gratitude, and pay back with an install to the metal and some numbers from there, time permitting. (VirtualBox doesn't float my boat very high.)

As for what to include, I'd be all for as light as possible to start, even though I'd probably add back a good percentage of goodie business over time anyway. Whisker for sure. Panel drops like Task Manager and an extended clipboard are standard here.

Much appreciated,

kK

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Re: antiX19a2 (xfce, openbox and more?) personal project(s)/ test

#10

Post by PPC » Thu May 23, 2019 5:53 am

Hi!

@ MArk/Manyroads: sorry for the long rant that follows...

At least having a antiX XFCE version is in accordance to what I've sometimes talked about in the forums, for about a year, on and off- to me it makes sense that antiX and MX share a more similar User Interface. I like that, I'm willing to try it, as always thanks for working on it and making it available, Mark!

Ok, maybe that OS homogeneity does not come out of the box, each OS has it's own identity, I get that. But, antiX 19 A2 now offers Papirus icon theme (MX's default icon theme)- it comes out of the box but is not the default. You can select it and have a more similar visual experience using both OS. The same can be done for using similar Windows Decorations to MX's (Arc Dark, if I recall correctly). It can be done without much effort (I did it for Fluxbox, I could do it for IceWM if the dev's ever said they wanted that feature).
Most people that use antiX are ok with the way looks right now- a user once replied to me in the forum, when I made a suggestion about something I believe antiX lacked- "antiX lacks nothing". I respect that opinion, but I'm glad that person isn't a antiX/MX dev- there's always room for improvement.
My reasoning for defending more antiX/MX "UI homogeneity" is this: if you have a more power full pc and use MX on it and a less powerful one and use antiX on it, you may (like I do) want to have a similar experience using both machines- instead of having to think were you have to click to suspend your computer- ok that takes only a second, I know, it's no big deal, but it was bugging me enough so I did a less compentent version of what ManyRoads is doing and "hacked" my way with antiX FluxBox until it looked so similar to my MX box that most of the time I can't tell the difference.
I only have to click a package icon to update MX? I found a way to do the same in antiX, no extra resources needed. I didn't have a USB eject button? I took care of that. I had no "Off" button in the bar? Now I have... It's the beauty of Linux- you literally can have it any way you like it. And in a old netbook with less than a 1 gig of available RAM, I had to have a way to make it look like I like and don't use too much RAM...
Like I drummed on and on in the forums: most of the user experience is clicking icons in the desktop/ taskbar and looking at windows. If the icons of the applications look the same or very similar, the icons displayed inside the windows are same and the windows decorations is the same, most of the user experience is the same, no matter, what the OS you are using, no matter the Desktop.


The Openbox version- more Desktop choices is always a good thing. That makes particularly more sense in MX case- if you can shave some 100mb or so of idle RAM, some users that chose antiX instead of MX because lack of RAM may now have more choice...
My reasoning is that most antiX users choose antiX instead of MX because it runs on less ressources. Looking at desktop images on the forum or youtube videos of people reviewing antiX, now I second guess that. If you have 8 gig of RAM, what does it matter that you OS takes about 500 MB instead of about 120Mb? Not much to me, but most people with more modern machines than mine have a different opinion- hey, free ram is free ram, no matter how much of it you have, right?

A bit off topic- About systemd- I like tech news but I'm not big no tech details. I didn't even got what "systemd free" meant on the antiX description for, maybe a year of so. It run fast, it run light, it was rock solid. That's what I needed, so I stuck with it.
I'm sure that if, for some reason the MX dev's opted to go systemd, the "normal" user, not very tech savvy (like me) wouldn't notice the difference other than: "hey I can now run snaps like everyone else!" (I know you can choose systemd at boot time and use snaps, but the average user does not want to mess with boot options if their life does not depend on it).
The more I read about that controversy the more I think it's a "geek" problem. Users of a desktop system that's, for now, in the low single digit market share trying to divide their small world. I used xubuntu, lubuntu and Mint for years, I have no problem with any internal workings of any OS. Damn, I would probably be using the Windows 10 (that came preinstalled when I got this PC) right now if it ran fast enought! It does not so, I found a alternative that runs. My point: choice, like having XFCE and Openbox matters.

@ ManyRoads- I have to ask- other than Openbox having, out of the box, the option to display notifications (that also allows to have a task switcher window, that Fluxbox lacks), is there any technical reason to use Openbox instead of Fluxbox? Writing this I recall you commented about the fact that FB has problems dealing with displaying certain kinds of pictures, so your option to use OB instead of Fb makes sense to me. But are there any internal workings reasons to favor one instead of the other? I'm really just curious.
Also I can try running both desktops/DE via USB live, if you think that can provide you with some valuable feedback, Mark...

Edit: not sure if it's helpful- some info about system resources: my installed MX OS, running the default XFCE takes less about 380Mb of ram. It's a good measure starting point (antiX is the 120Mb ball park, running Fluxbox, without desktop icons).

P.

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