Openbox and wallpaper

This topic kinda intriqued me - after relatively easy installs in FB - and I tried out some 10 different versions of scripts I found through links here.

Basically, there is two different kind of change - one that swaps wallpapers after some amount of time, and another that swaps wallpaper together with desktop change.
Scripts are the same but timed ones - obviously - have to have time-trigger.
For this, there also are two options: crontab or Conky (howtos can be found by those same already-mentioned-links).
I definitely do not want spastic desktop, so I went for new-desktop-new-wallpaper kind. This type needs desktop/execute type combo keybind.

The result of my experiments was kinda depressing fail but also ultimately victorious: Most of found scripts didn't work (in my environments), and one that did, went with Nitrogen in Debian, but had to have Feh in Slackware. Problem probably was version of Nitrogen in Slack - an investigative hour wasted nevertheless (no, not really - I got results). But after that I didn't feel anymore like shitting around with new compile, flags, optional dependencies etc.
So it's nitrogen in Debian and Feh in Slack. The friendly scriptlet is like that:
## very simple random wallpaper picker, uses nitrogen or feh
## From Crunchbang forum ##

# directory containing images

# select a random jpg from the directory
PIC=$(ls $DIR/*.jpg | shuf -n1)

# use nitrogen to set wallpaper
nitrogen --set-scaled $PIC
# or comment prev nitrogen and outcomment next for feh
#feh --bg-scale $PIC

# and just for terminal fun
echo "$PIC"

To mention - scripts should be executable (chmod +x) and preferably on PATH.
I used two of them, smartly named as and, with wpdirs like wp1 and wp2, and keybinded them to W-Left and W-Right.
Two because then I can have two different sets of 'randoms' - like steampunk/fantasy or pr0n1/pr0n2.
Why not to combine action with ready binds of 'GoToDesktop'-type? As much as I tried, this combination didn't work... I was even so crazy that I made 'execute' of GoToDesktop with xdotool (to have 2 similar executes) - and that was success alright... only... then I used xdotool'ed icon on my tint panel, and tint hung totally.
Out it went and in came that, and these entries have to be created:
    <keybind key="W-Left">
    <action name="Desktop">
    <action name="Execute">
    <command>sh /home/user/bin/</command>
    <keybind key="W-Right">
    <action name="Desktop">
    <action name="Execute">
    <command>sh /home/user/bin/</command>

That works for me. No hangs. And jumping back-and-forth, new wallpaper every time!
Oh, and moral: you never know what works; when messing with scripts, bash for beginners is quite must... Me, have to dig in, seems, for less waste of time, less failures.
Merry Christmas.

Fluxbox vs Openbox, chaotically compared

Patients: FB + lxpanel + (nitrogen, compton)  vs OB + tint2 + (nitrogen, compton)

I installed Vsido 3. And there is really nothing new to nag or praise over (see review-like of ver 2). ... Only change worth to mention is that Fluxbox is now sole installed WM. See release announcement.
Means - not a big excitement - but, for squeezing some profit out of my install, I spent some (many) hours poking in Fluxbox and comparing it to my beloved Openbox. Here are results:

## lxpanel vs tint2

0 Takes less recourses. But who cares about 10-20 megas of RAM. I don't ... if we talk of two different environments.
Appearance is markedly less configurable than tint2.
+ At the same time, you can get those fewer options in nicy right-click-on-panel menu.
+/- has panel plugins, tint2 doesn't. How useful they are ... depends on use, and if they function (in Vsido, at least, pagers refused to work. One of them demanded Openbox, other simply crashed the panel). There are bunch of system and hardware monitors - but those would look better in Conky. There is show/hide desktop plugin ... which can be considered useful or not. There is volume control and clock - which are useful alright. I have clock in Conky, though...
+ can create more panels from menu. In tint2 you have to start separate tints for that.
Conclusion: Lxpanel wins in ease of usability. Tint2 wins in looks and flexibility.
I quite like lxpanel - but no swap, I stay with tint2.

## FluxBox vs OpenBox
FB one , two; OB one, two.

- dragging windows's around is strange ... sluggish - cursor moves, but window lags way behind. When releasing mouse button, window jumps. Never observed suchlike in OB. Googling also gives not-a-few mystery lag-problems. No solutions, though.
- window resize is only possible from bottom grips.
- certain theme changes need FB restart. And that's quite annoying - one starts to look for (unexisting) over-rides and ...$$%^$ ... so on.
+ apps' window positions, dimensions, workspaces etc etc: Compared to OB, FB has upper hand here - more options, and those are easy to use by right-clicking window title... plus editing files. There isn't such right-clicky-thing in OB. It is bloody convenient thing to have.
- themes: fewer configurable options. There is 'window.roundCorners' parameter (no such thing in OB) - but this 'roundness' is so pixelated that it looks like major crap.
+ themes: Has ~/.fluxbox/overlay file where it's possible to define your default fonts. Over-rides themes' parameters and gives consistent text-look when using different themes.
+ Menu creation: Manual way is definitely syntactically shorter than in OB. And maybe FBs' menu editor is a bit better than Obmenu.
+ Tabs  - there isn't such thing in OB. However, how needed the feature is, depends again on way-of-use.
0 Wallpaper and changing it. Not an important theme at all - but I decided to investigate/install. Here, both WMs have to use helpers - as they are not DEs.
    Fluxbox first: One way is here.   Then Wally, it's GUI and can get pictures from different sources. Wally needs qt4 installed.
Fluxter: different wallpapers in workspaces plus pager - but it's dead code. That was precisely only way I managed to get it compiled and working. Different wallpapers for workspaces can be set also - and more easely - with FB changeworkspace entry and fsetbg or feh.
    OpenBox wallpapering: with those links here, you can find a bunch of different scripts for random change and/or for different desktops. ...Wally is not OB compatible, though.
AND - I also committed myself with this - see here, a story, with code!
0 Slit, dock-like thing, needs specific dockable apps (above-mentioned fluxter is one). Googling leaves the impression that it's essentially dead. So no pluses or minuses here.

As I have noticed, there are people who salivate very much over FBs Tabs - so that might be the only real winning feature of FB - if you happen to like/use it. Right-click-title-menu is nice...
At the same time, at least for me, window-drag-lag and bottom-grip-resize are quite unpleasant. I don't use Tabs (honest, I thought about it - and no, I don't know why I should).
Add fancy refresh problems with themes... leads to: No, I am not going to swap to Fluxbox. But it certainly is the second best WM after Openbox.
Merry Christmas.


Slackware upgrade to 14.1

Yes, upgrade from 14.0 to 14.1. And it's not as little as seems - kernel goes from 3.2.45 to 3.10.17 and a lot of system packages get upgraded - a lot like half an hour of running text in console.
As a guide I used this superb one, and followed it quite punctually - with only a slight differences:
- I tried to do as much on desktop (new lilo menuentry, install of new kernel packages, new initrd, blacklisting kernel and third party repos...
As a note - I did 'installpkg' for kernel-things and not upgraded. And that irritated 'slackpkg' afterwards (similarly-named packages)- so I had to keep kernel packages blacklisted.
- I did not use init 1, as it does not have net, but used init 3. If you download whole bunch before and install from this, then you can do everything in single-user and be safer.
- I ended up (before reboot) with Nvidia install. Did it like this:
sh --kernel-name='3.10.17'

The thing booted up nicely - gdm, openbox, nitrogen, compton, tint2 - all worked totally alright. Overall memory usage dropped 20M compared to 14.0. CPU usage remained on 2%+2% (Debian, by the way, stays on 1% when idle).
Then came problems - which took me about 8 hours to resolve:
- As being smart afterwards, first thing to do should be deleting all things in your .cache folder. Else there will be strange apps' settings' problems.
- gksu. It didn't work, I reinstalled, it worked - once. I reinstalled all (libgtop, libgksu, gksu)... no cookie. I went for gksudo, it worked once...
Well, interesting, isn't it?
The culprit is 'shadow' package - see here. I didn't install salixs' fix 'gnsu', but downgraded from 4.1.5 to old (and blacklisted it). And that did it - after some 3 hours fruitlessly thrown away (#^^%&*&^).
- spacefm. Despite compiling all fresh, still has strange behaviour - occasional resizing of panels and kinda laggy performance... It probably was exactly this 'old-cache-problem'.
- Volumeicon is forgetting volume settings, on every boot. | Edit: It seems, whole problem was master volume gone missing during upgrade... (3 days later) - no, it wasn't. Now it seems that removing .lock file (created during upgrade?) in /var/lib/alsa fixed it, finally. Well, we'll see... No, it didn't fix it... And the reason for that nag (and some other vague abnormalities) was my own syntax error in rc.M ... Bloody never change your conf-files by typing (if possible). |
- Clock went berserk again (my specific bios clock problem 'me like to be three hours wrong and it stays like that'). Fixed it so:
hwclock --set --date "11/17/2013 08:54:10", and then hwclock -s
Means, set your date-and-time manually, and tell it also to kernel. And look here.
- qbittorrent missing Installed alienbob version for 14.1 from slakfinder and nothing changed, lib still missing. Then I made it from source - and got exactly the same result. But ln -s of 1.49.0 to existing 1.54.0 did the trick.
- gparted - the same type of thing. Missing Created symlink to and gparted started (and worked) fine.
- xfce4-terminal got its name back (previously 'Terminal'). So I whined about that silly name before... now, of course, I whine again:  When arriving to Openbox first time after upgrade, there is no terminal available (except some other backup terminal, if you had one. If you didn't, you have to go to console and fix at least one exec-name in nano. And bloody shortcut in your rc.xml needs fixing too.
By the way, if you define window-opening-postions in the same rc.xml, then keep in mind - 'class' for xfce4-terminal is 'Xfce4-terminal'.

That's it. Some few annoyances remain, but overall - upgrade can be called success.
And just to mention - there is always reinstall option, but, in this case, it wouldn't be any easier. Problems are of new packages, not of upgrade as such.
| Note, as of 23.11.2013: SBO is still missing whole 14.1 (but, I am sure most of 14.0 stuff is eminently usable anyway). Shittier is that Slacky and Kikinovak also are still missing 14.1 - and that drives slackpkg+ a bit crazy... Sensible thing seems to take those two temporarily out of mirrors (and repos) list.
-- As of the very end of December, the last problematic repo - Kikinovaks' - has returned. He had severe recontruction bout in his servers. |


Filezilla install, Slackware 14

I am not sure if the following experience is not caused by my not-100%-slack-install, BUT I tend to think that no.
I started with, and Kikinovaks' 64bit Filezilla package (no dependecies notified). It refused to install.
I decided to go stright for sbo and compile my own (sbo also had latest 3.7.3 version). One dependency - wxPython - was listed.
It dind't  compile.
To cut it short, needed are (all installed with slackpkg+, and from 'slacky' repo): wxPython, wxWidgets, wxGTK, libmspack.
Then it compiled OK, and works also OK.
Hopefully it saves you this hour I spent.

And to blab a bit more:
- Openbox 3.5.2 doesn't want to compile in Slackware 14. Probably pango libraries are oldish. Seems that waiting for Slack 14.1 is a wise move.
Edit | And it did compile in 14.1 ... I still haven't tried to install, though... (3 days later) - Now I have, and it works totally alright. |
- Week ago Spacefm had a new version - 0.9 which has a lot of improvements. If your previous install was with spacefms' installer, then upgrade is easy-peasy - download 0.9 installer and run it. That's it.


Vsido 2, review-like

| Informational note, 2014, Vsido = Fluxbox only, pulseaudio, systemd |

Generally, I quite hate writing reviews. In this case, there are two reasons for installing Vsido and reviewing it: First - the nostalgic one - Vsido was my first real Linux (means, not Ubuntu-based). So it can be taken as homage to VastOne. Secondly - I have problems with Fluxbox in Slackware and wanted to compare confs with other Fluxbox.
Fortunately my gratitude to VastOne doesn't forbid me to whine and bitch over Vsido 2. So, let's...

The story of installing Vsido ver.1 is here.
I wrote iso (64bit, 16.oct version) to USB with Unetbootin, and booted to Live without any problems.
Desktop layout has remained quite the same as in ver.1.: Conky up-left, and (hidden) dock-thingy (lxpanel) at bottom-center. Newcomer is Wicd icon in up-right corner. Wallpaper is the same as Vsidos' website header... well, it's better than previous one.
If one doesn't use wireless, then wicd should be promptly uninstalled. I also would uninstall lxpanel and replace it with tint2 (which is already installed, and used in Openbox). I like my launched apps nicely visible, as also three icons (terminal, spacefm and firefox) and system tray. And I do not like launch-once-docky-type things at all.

So, let's install (installer is in System menu).
There is quite a lot of explanatory text here and there - which is good. Gparted is for partitioning. Then comes nice compact menu for creating user, passwords and computer name. After that comes choosing timezone and lastly, grub install (which has all needed choices).
Whole install took less than ten minutes.
Vsido boot was normal (fast) debian. Display manager is - as previously - LightDM, but in it's new and moronic form. I logged in and was greeted by first-time script. I let it dist-upgrade - which is, in my opinion, a bit dangerous thing. What happens if there is, say, big xorg update? Anyway, update was successful - and biggish as always with Sid. Script installed apt-xapian-index, which is great (creates seach-box into Synaptic). The script offers also to install cups, java, Libreoffice and some more things.
One can do the same - and more - through pre-installed smxi script. But I suppose welcome-script is good thing to have.
There are - additionally to default Fluxbox - Openbox, i3 and Xfce installed. Which is quite a lot of options.

Fluxbox menu.
First, why is Spacefm represented with general icons? Spacefm has very nice original icon - why not to use it?
And here comes my loudest whine: the menu structure and app distribution in submenus are bloody strange!
- Settings: Why is Gparted there? Why is Disk Manager installed at all?
- Accessories: Why are Lxappearance (and, by the way, 15pt font size for text is way too big) and Nitrogen here? And Htop??
- Development has Xcalc in it!?
- Fluxbox menu should sit in Settings, as submenu, and not as separate menu.
- Internet: Why to have Wicd and Ceni both installed?
- Multimedia: So, Vsido got pulseaudio installed this time... well, fortunately there is 'purge'.
- System: Not sure if Gdebi and Aptitude are good for anything.

Now, app choices doesn't really matter - everyone has to make their own picks anyway. But - sticking apps into absurd places certainly is irritating. And having a bit more consistent menus through different sessions would be definitely bonus too.

Everything what was installed seemed to work - except Iceweasel, of course (bookmark toolbar not functioning. Also - whole menu was grey and fuzzy-looking.).
Net was picked up without any problem. Initial memory usage was pleasantly low 125 megas.

The same look - but dock-thingy is created with Tint2 and it's not hidden here. Terminal comes transparent by default - and that's not a good thing. When terminal happens to be on top of white app, it's unusable.
Menus - A lot better here, but:
- Compton sits under Graphics... really, now...
- Audacity is missing in Multimedia. Not that I would use it, but why inconsistency?
- I would put Tools and System menus together.
Font size in menus (in Fluxbox menu too) are too big and look like childrens' book.

Well - i simply couldn't open anything there, who knows how it's supposed to work. Fortunately console and killall helped.

Dock is created with lxpanel and is hidden. Menu looks textvise better than boxen ones. But it has huge problems with icon sizes - there are at least 3 different sizes all mixed up. And there are double entries.
- Settings has Openbox Configuration Manager sitting there.
- Accessories has Nitrogen - which should be in Settings; Spacefm is doubled, and with different icons; Root Terminal shouldn't be in this menu at all.
- Internet has two Iceweasels.
- Multimedia has two gmusicbrowsers (and icons are of different size.
- Other has 'Fluxbox menu' and 'Openbox'. No, I didn't try...
- System has two Spacefms and two Xfce terminals.
So, Xfce session looks quite untuned. Maybe it's time to drop it? Vsidos' forum leaves impression that there isn't very much Xfce users... if any.

Now, if all previous left the impression that I hate Vsido - then no, I do not. As far as Linux distros go, Vsido is one of the best.
It has pleasant clear-cut installer and installs without any problems. It works. It's fast and lean. Fluxbox and and Openbox are good bases to personalize onto. And all those whined-over menu things can be fixed in an hour. But experimental Iceweasel is a pile of crap and should be purged as a first thing.
I think I liked first version of Vsido a bit more. Not sure why... maybe it's this first love thing. Second version seems to be more advanced-user oriented. Which is a wise move - I guess that there aren't very much noobish Vsido-users in existence.
... And I did not manage to fix my Slackware Fluxbox. Looks like, maybe, a compile-time.


Firefox, Grub2, Bash aliases etc

I have been busy - and it seems to continue like that. So, no much time to play around. Here come bits and pieces of things I had to do or didn't but still did. Let's start with Firefoxes:

## The problem: Firefox consumes up to 100% of CPU, and never falls below 20%. To make it even more exciting - this doesn't happen in every session... but when it does, then nothing helps. I started to have this behaviour couple a weeks ago in two different distros - Debian Wheezy and Slackware 14. Common was that they both had Firefox 17.09esr AND had some similar updates to Xorg.
Problem seems to be solved by installing other Firefox version. I went for 24.0. For further thrill - the one I downloaded from Mozillas' server, absolutely refused to start... but one I got from here, was OK and works without turning CPUs fan to jet engine.
How to manually install Firefox - look here.
Edit | If after install there isn't any plugins anymore - like IcedTea - then the easiest way is: create a folder .mozilla/plugins, cd to there and do
ln -s /usr/lib64/ (in Slack, or from usr/lib/ in Debian) |

## I finally had enough of Grub2s' auto-generated menuentries. First, there are too many of them (menu-submenu thing, and some kernels doesn't have to be shown at all) and second, labels that Grub creates are not especially informative - or not at all - my Puppy Slacko had a label 'Unknown Linux'.
So I made files 06_debian, 07_slack, 08_test and 41_win (from /etc/grub.d/40_custom). First has my two debians, second has Salix and Slackware, third is for temporary Linuxes and fourth for you-guess-what. Took entries from each distros /boot/grub/grub.cfg (or from /etc/lilo.conf), cleaned them up (everything after label, hint-crap in if-fi part (do NOT delete search-part there)) and inserted them to their new homes.
Also, fixed finally the console resolution problem (all resos in non-master-grub distros' consoles stay at 640x480 - despite that my master-grubs' conf is fixed AND I fixed it in every bloody other grub).
First, the master-grubs reso-fix (in /etc/default/grub) works ONLY for this same grub, AND - when Grub2 os-probes other distros and creates menuentries - it does NOT include reso part there.
So, it's fixable in two ways:
- either add two lines after label part ends and business-part starts:
set gfxpayload=keep

- or add kernel parameter: vga=791 (to end of line starting with 'linux...' Mind! This number has to be picked according to resolution your monitor is capable in console.)
Frankly - i didn't experiment with all possible combinations - I used first option for Grub-distros, and the second one for Lilo-distros.
One more thing - if there appears unwanted (penguin) logo at the beginning of boot, then adding kernel parameter logo.nologo fixes it.
See also previous Grub posts: 1 and 2.

## Some desecrating of Slackware:
- Sudo. As there is no group for that, you can't add user to it, and sudo doesn't work. Now, you can add yourself to wheel group
usermod -G wheel username
and then you can enable sudoing through wheel.
Do 'visudo' ... and yeah, it bloody opens in vi. I, for example, know nothing of this adorable 'very powerful' editor. So: I added following to end of my .bashrc
export EDITOR=nano
, saved, opened new terminal, visudo - and now it opens in nano.
Find the following line
# %wheel ALL=(ALL) ALL
, uncomment it, save. And sudo should work now.
In Slack there might be slight problem with system-binaries still not working. It's because user lacks path to them - not because sudo is not working. Open up your .bashrc and add PATH to /sbin:/usr/sbin:usr/local/sbin - that should solve the problem.
- Colors. To make Slacks' boot and shutdown texts fancier-looking, it's easiest to shamelessly copy relevant parts from Salix (thanks, Salix-folks).
First, one has to copy color-definitions file /etc/shell-colors, and then comes boring compare-search-replace routine in files: /etc/rc.d/rc.S, rc.K, rc.M, rc.4, rc.sysvinit, rc.6
Not sure it's worth of it... well, yeah, I think it was for me.
- rc.M and refreshes. There are several things Slackware refreshes at every boot. Like font cache, icons cache, libraries list (ldconfig), mime cache. It does those tasks in background (command &), so there is probably not much difference (in boot time etc) if they are there or not. Still, it's a bit pointless to refresh those things every time.
So I decided that it's good time to start messing with bash scripts and to make some tiny simpleminded launchers I can start from openbox menu. (And then out-comment relevant parts in rc.M)
As I also know nothing of bash, it took unholy amount of googling and trying. First thing, I couldn't get scripts running with su (despite various suggested tricks in web). So I did it through sudo (see above, that's why I made it to work). I wanted my scriptlets to open new terminal, do it's thing, and leave terminal open - so I could see what occurred. And one successful example is here:
# Refresh font cache
Terminal --execute bash -c 'echo "fc-cache -fv";sudo fc-cache -fv;bash'

## I shit around with three different package managements. Quite frequently I mix up if there are --, or -, or there isn't any -. So, kinda lazy solution for this is to use similar aliases in all distros.
Orderly way to do this is to create separate .bash_aliases file and define all your stuff there (simple text file, only aliases there, no #! or something needed):
alias up='sudo apt-get update' - is one definition, and that's for Debian, 'slapt-get -u' goes for Salix and 'slackpkg update' for Slackware.
alias upg='sudo apt-get dist-upgrade' is for Sid, 'slapt-get --upgrade' for Salix and 'slackpkg upgrade-all' for Slackware.
And so on. To keep in mind - aliases have to be unique (in one particular distro), can't have different commands with the same name (meaning, it's bad idea to create alias 'nano' for something - as there is already app exec 'nano').
Also, in this case, .bashrc should have the following somewhere:
if [ -f ~/.bash_aliases ]; then
    . ~/.bash_aliases

And the future posting will be probably quite infrequent. Depends how 'busy' my busy is...


Slackware 14.0 64bit install - 3: More apps, some problems

Planned it to be a third-party package-managers post... Well, it isn't. I got slackpkg+ working - so I am not currently interested in other helpers. Also, as my playing with Slackware is educational undertaking, then I am kinda reluctant to turn Slack into another Salix.
So the following is more app-installs and description of various accompanying annoyances. Let's start with:

- slackpkg+ (and all installs are now with slackpkg+, if not said differently),  homepage and sourceforge files.
In my second try I downloaded it from slackbuilds, built and installed. There was 8 bit difference compared to dowloadable package. But never mind that, what's important - the thing worked. Next day I let it be upgraded with the same slackpkg+, and it still works... It's funny how Slackware teaches to be happy when absolutely trivial things actually work :)
I played around with adding and removing mirrors, changing their positions in repo list, and so on. Drove me almost nuts... I ended up with no salix on list (their repo is missing md5 check - and slackpkg doesn't like that at all), and 'upgraded' most of my salix pacakages to others like alien bob or slacky. Which caused me quite a lot of greaf.
And which also means I have to blacklist some salix-packages - to avoid them to be upgraded or continuously whined-over by upgrade-all. First ones in blacklist are:
- Openbox and obconf. After 'upgrade' to slacky versions I lost all icons in openbox menu. I discovered that after some other installs and so wasted 1,5 hours with searching wrong leads... Installing salix versions back fixed the problem. Seems it had something to do with slacky (and alien bob) packages not referencing to imlib2
- conky 'upgraded' to slacky. After that it refused to start - missing liblua and libtolua. Both were installable, though. Then, at some point, I removed audacious and bloody conky had a new problem - it missed libaudcore.
So I had to reinstall audacious. I have to say that this made me a bit angry.
Edit | Recently, the bloody moron (slackpkg+) suggested lua 'upgrade' to alienbob... conky got broken again. As slackpkg also refused to install slackys' lua package, I had to download it and installpkg. Then conky worked again.
Some philosophy here:
a) I am not sure anymore that slackpkg+ is worth the hassle. It seems bloody easier to get your stuff yourself - and you know what you have downloaded and you upgrade when you want.
b) Occasionally it seems easier to compile than to use binaries. It goes for contributed packages, and also for some 'officials'. |
- dotnew sf:salix64. Definitely better tool to fix new configs than slackpkg one.
- gksu sf:chess, depends on libgksu s:slacky and on libgtop sf:salix64. It still refused to run and as appeared, it has somewhat oldish (two years at least) configuration bug. To fix it, do:
mkdir /usr/lib/libgksu
ln -s /usr/lib64/libgksu/gksu-run-helper /usr/lib/libgksu/gksu-run-helper

For me it fixed it. But I saw one case in web where this didn't help...
- google-droid-fonts, kikinovak.
- murrine engine from sbo.
- gparted, slacky - needs gtkmm (which I already had because of nitrogen install).
- fsarchiver from sbo, no deps.
- mplayer codecs, kikinovak.
- mplayer. There I had a bit confusion - slackpkg didn't show it in Slackware repo, but slakfinder claimed it to be 'official'. So I installed it from sf:official. And uninstalled vanilla phonon-mplayer. I hate GUIs that look like shittily designed car dashboards.
- smplayer from kikinovak.
- abiword 2.8.6, slacky - needs wv - slacky, AND despite sbo saying 'optional' - libgoffice is needed - slacky.

-- gdm: Tweaking flower-pr0n off. Two important places:
/etc/gdm/custom.conf and /usr/share/gdm/themes
Since I installed Salix gdm-package then there was quite a few themes to tweak. I took one, copied it, swapped all pngs, tweaked .desktop and .xml to match filenames, tweaked .xml a bit more for login-menu position... Done.
Then ran: 'gdmsetup' and picked this and that.
Logout and ... what the hell is this? The look was complitely different of what I expected. It wasn't even my theme... Back to openbox, gdmsetup - and it appeared that the moron leaves all checked themes checked, and shows the first one on list. You have to uncheck others and specifically choose 'show selected only' option.
Otherways, everything worked fine and my login-screen now looks great.

Also, most of tweaking and installing is done now. Just some more experimenting (bashrc, rc.d ...) and then I start to play with other Slackwares' window managers.

Some more useless philosophical musings - a) Slackware is probably quite great if you don't poke it. b) It's quite annoying when you do. And takes a shitload of time.
It's definitely a distro not fit for casual user.
Despite that I find it ...errr... intellectually stimulating with its complicated ways, I guess that slapt-get way is better. It really saves a lot of time and annoyances.
See also: part 1, part 2.


Slackware 14.0 64bit install - 2: Apps

Xfce in Slackware looks completely stock. And it is that. Good - so we can customize it, and other WM-victims, to our fine tastes and don't have to tear down wimpy vanilla customizing! Alas, that has to wait.
This here is about installing apps and things, and without automatic dependency checks at that! And, if you are Slack-n00b - as you should be if you are reading this - let me stress, there REALLY isn't checks. has dependency info as a comment... mostly. And no, Slakfinders' packages doesn't have dependecies included, but description pages have 'required' field (probably filled).
Those mentioned two ARE essential web-pages for app-hunting: = sf (binaries from different repos) and = sbo (build scripts and links to sources).
Most of following apps were installed either with stright 'installpkg' or through SlackBuild/installpkg (yes-yes - I am going to try out slapt-get, sbopkg and src2pkg. There will be 'Edit' or something about that. Maybe).
So, take the following (partial) list as an example how-to. Oh, and there are some pretty good apps in this list, too. Naturally, it will be Openbox installation - no Kdes' native apps will figure here.

Two commands for checking what we already have out-of-box: slackpkg search xxx, slackpkg file-search yyy. They are very useful. The first one searches packages, the second, naturally, files. You don't have to write whole names, all that fits will be shown.
To business:

- udevil for mounting things, spacefm as the file manager. Those two have their own installers. Worked like charm, no dependencies missing.
After installing, add following line for kernel polling into /etc/rc.d/rc.local:
echo 3000 > /sys/module/block/parameters/events_dfl_poll_msecs
One more thingy - both will be installed in /usr/local/bin. So, if you specify udevil as your 'mount command' in spacefm, don't leave it '/usr/bin' like it is in example there.
- medit sf:slacky.
- webcore-fonts sf:salix64.
Then delete link: /etc/fonts/conf.d/60-liberation.conf
then run: fc-cache -f
- gdm sf:salix64. Needs libgnomecanvas sf:salix64
- libconfig (for compton) sf:salix64.
- compton, get source from and there is Readme too.
make && make docs && make install
- openbox, obconf sf:salix64.
- tint2 - source, v.0.11. How to make svn tint2.
Needs imlib2 sf:slacky.
In essence: in your /tint2 build folder, as user, run and do:
svn checkout tint2-read-only
and extract the three files to /tint2-read-only
cd tint2-read-only
patch -p0 < src-task-align.patch
patch -p0 < freespace.patch
patch -p0 < launcher_apps_dir-v2.patch
make install

- volumeicon sf:salix64.
- wmctrl sf:salix64.
- xdotool sbo: this SlackBuild wants source tar in its folder (not an extracted folder); result goes to /tmp. Copy/move it to your packages folder, do installpkg.
- qbittorrent sf:salix64. Needs libtorrent-rasterbar sf:salix64.
- qpdfview sbo: here is unpacked source-folder OK, resulting package goes to /tmp. Take it, installpkg it.
- nitrogen sf:salix64. Needs gtkmm ... - I probably left some set uninstalled OR the dependency-info in sbo is incorrect, it needs additionally: ... atkmm, pangomm, glibmm, cairomm, sigc++ sf:alien bob.
First 'ldd' said that there was also libgiomm missing - but it came obviously from somewhere... anyway, it wasn't available neither in sf nor in sbo.
- gcolor2 sf:salix.
- xarchiver sf:ponce.
- galculator sf:salix.
- FBReader sf:salix. Needs liblinebreak sf:salix.
- icedtea-web sf:slacky.
- gucharmap out-of-box, but not starting, saying that it's missing schemas. Run:
glib-compile-schemas /usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas
Lotsa deprecation-drivel there, but gucharmap started then OK. But whining that it's 'using the memory gsettings backend' - and this means, it needs dconf sf:salix.
By the way, Gthumb for example, also needs dconf for remembering its settings. Stupid gnomish trash...

- When writing Openbox menu, mind that xfce4-terminal is called Terminal.
- there is no ~/.bashrc - and terminal prompt looks...errr... boring. Either you have to write your color-code or copy relevant parts from some debian distro, for example. bash_completion works alright, but some added aliases should be fun too.
And so on.
It seems to me OK method to check dependencies through sf and sbo - they list only those that are missing in vanilla Slackware install (sbo at least does, not so sure about sf). If app is not in sf or sbo - or still doesn't start, try 'ldd' command and/or homes of app for info.

Everything I installed to this point works OK. I have still blue-flowery pukey gdm for login and already mid-customized dark science fictionish OB 'desktop'.
... I might even add third part, 'Installing non-native package managers and what crap happened then'.
See also 'Slackware install  part 1'.


Slackware 14.0 64bit install - 1

Let's start with whining. Getting Slackware installed took me approximately 15 hours - 90% of that went for preparatory reading. At least 70% of reading was useless waste of time.
That's because Slackware docs and wikis are mostly outdated. There isn't one place with properly updated tutorials. I can't be bothered with analysing why it's like that, but it is bloody frustrating to dig through old (and irrelevant) crap.
So, I will be kind and caring in my attempts to make it easier for you, means, even more verbose in my report than usual.

-- I wrote iso to USB, using plain simple Unetbootin (in windows xp, too). And it worked. Means, with ver 14 it's not really neccessary to play around with mini-images or hybridize your iso before dd.
Though - the start menu was a bit funny: memtest, default, huge.s and speakup.s ... last three did the same thing - booted huge kernel. Why the hell is there something called 'speakup' ...?

-- There isn't anything essentially difficult in Slackwares' install process. It's different, alright, but at the same time logical and it has quite a lot of explanatory text.
If your favourite is not fdisk, it's easier to prepare your partition(s) beforehand.
Combination of usb and full iso means that your source is on HDD. Open the list and and pick your usb (mine was /dev/sdd1). Then pick the folder - it's /slackware64.
Setup need to be started with 'setup'.
Select sets you want installed. I left out only Kde and Kdei (and you still get qt-4 installed, a good thing); pick full install in next menu (less dependency problems afterwards).
Configuring: Lilo - as I have Grub2 as my master-bootloader, then I installed Lilo to root (just for creating editable entry for Grub to find). Then I picked usb mouse; for network hostname=takeyourpick, domain=local, ip=dhcp. Then came startup services (You can later change them with pkgtool > setup > services). Then clock; what WM or DE will be default - I chose Xfce (later changeable with xwmconfig); finish with root passwd and boot with ctrl+alt+del.
I booted, did update-grub.
Now, despite generic kernel being also installed, there isn't any initrd created for it - means, booting generic kernel ends in panic. No worry - boot with huge kernel and continue with install.

-- When landing into login prompt, login as a root and then run 'adduser'. It will create your normal user. Creating new user is quite simple, read and respond. Only thing I changed, was to add 'wheel' group to my user (not sure if this gives something additional, but it made me feel good).
Edit | Good that I did. Wheel can be used for sudoing. See here. |

-- Update system: Open /etc/slackpkg/mirrors file with editor (nano is alright for me), and pick only one mirror and uncomment it. Save.
slackpkg update gpg
slackpkg update
slackpkg upgrade-all

# the last one gives you a list of choices, including minor kernel upgrade (dangerous). I bit the bullet and did them all. And it worked.

-- Then I installed slackpkg+. It's an addon script for slackpkg and gives you multi-mirror capability (ordinary slackpkg knows only slackware repos, nothing else).
Unfortunately, it didn't work for me. Whatever I did, I got a reply that I should update before doing it. And update said that there is no packages list available. I removed slackpkg+ through pkgtool and package management worked again. I have no clue...

-- Creating initrd for generic kernel. Run:
/usr/share/mkinitrd/ -l /boot/vmlinuz-generic-3.2.45
This gives you a) a mkinitrd command to run, b) lines to put into /etc/lilo.conf
a) My command was like this (I changed initrd file name to be more specific):
mkinitrd -c -k 3.2.45 -f ext4 -r /dev/sdb4 -m mbcache:jbd2:ext4 -u -o /boot/initrd-generic-3.2.45.gz
b) And my lines for lilo.conf:
image = /boot/vmlinuz-generic-3.2.45
initrd = /boot/initrd-generic-3.2.45.gz
root = /dev/sdb4
label = Slackware 14.0 Generic 3.2.45

# And do not forget to update-grub too. By the way, no need to write 'on /dev/sdbx' into label - Grub2 does that automatically.

-- Multilib thing - to add 32bit app running capability. I didn't do it. With slackpkg+ it would have been easy-peasy. Without - a bit hassle. I do it when I need it.

-- NVIDIA, one might take a look here - if binary solution doesn't work.
Again, there are quite a few different ways of doing it. Confusing. So I decided to start with the simplest - Nvidia binary.
Downloaded it from Nvidias' page, made it executable, ran it (from console, no X running!).
chmod +x

After a while installer finds nouveau driver, blacklists it and wants to reboot. Do it.
Also - if you didn't already, update your Grub2, and boot to generic kernel.
Run Nvidia installer again. It does its thing and asks to write xconfig. Yes, let it.
Video driver should be installed now, and time to visit desktop.
Got a picture? Good, then you can change default runlevel (3) in /etc/initab to id:4:initdefault, and your next boot should go to default desktop.
Well, I did that after I installed gdm as display manager. It's probably also wise to run 'xwmconfig' as a user - for creating your own .xinitrc file (there was said somewhere that gdm kinda needs it... not sure).
... to be continued in part 2, 'Installing apps'.
I like Slackware a lot.


Slackel Openbox, a rant

It seems to be not so happy and sunny time for me. Happened to stumble into one more tearful installation.
First I decided that I do not rant... but I couldn't resist. I had expectations...
Reading that Slackware/Salix-based Openbox was released made me definitely excited. So much that I promptly downloaded 64bit iso, wrote it to USB and installed.
Installer was of Salix. Couple of things to repeat over. Read the text! Especially dangerous point is when partitioning defaults coolly for wiping your hdd clean.
Ah, yes, and your install-files are this time in /slackel folder.


Let's start with the only good thing - the file manager is Spacefm - the best that can be found. Though, it's not the last version, but the older one ready to take from Sourcery. As a hint - last versions' installer from Spacefm download-page works very well, no sweat - all deps happen to be preinstalled in Salix.
Spacefm is also used as desktop-provider.
There is only one icon on desktop - Slackel online. Which is a bit ...err... strange as mentioned page contains pityfully little info. No documentation, tutorials and such. Well, but one can learn a bit greek here and there.

There is a big stuffy Conky... a lot people love extensive Conkys. I don't. I like Conky as source of info, not as bloody fancy jukebox.

Panel at bottom is fbpanel, not tint2 which would seem to me more a flexible choice. At the same time, there are out-commented tint2 in, and a folder in .config.
Talking of leftover crap - there are more to find: libreoffice, pcmanfm ...
A bit more cleaning up, perhaps?

There is no proper compositor installed. And that's Compton, not oldish and less-configurable xcompmgr. Sure, it's not in repos... is it really a problem, now?

Menu on panel and rightclick one are complitely different ... In looks and in structure. This is not good and logical at all. I would say even it's wickedly evil - meant to drive users nuts.

Mime: All txt files default to Abiword... I'm sure the author is not using Abiword for editing confs. Why it's left like that for users?
Sure, changing mime files is not a rocket science, but still.

Logout in fbmenu goes stright out, reboot and shutdown do the same. No menu between for picking your options. Quite irritating the first time when you want to see how exit-menu is built - and you find two things - that it's not and then yourself looking at gdm...

Show-hide plugin in fbpanel has funny way of 'showing' - it starts from leftmost task. Means, your last active window will be on top only if it was created first.

Apps: I would remove/replace at least 50% of them. That means, system, settings and tools mostly stay - and those are heritage of Salix. And couple of other things. But not Midori, for gods sake. Or why should one use a media player with name like Whaaw! (exclamation mark is not mine)?... There are a lot well-established players which mostly even work. And so on.
Then we have obconf in settings, but obmenu in utilities (that's fbmenu)... in desktop menu they are in defferent menus too, but those menus have different names, for further thrill.

What a mess.
It's my first installed distro from which I can't find anything positive to learn or copy.
When one feels need to remaster, then maybe it should be not done in such a unthinking hurry?
End of rant. I am in hurry too - have to do some formatting.

PS! If one wants to try easy Slack with no worries - go for Salix. Or, if craving for tiny and strange and a bit broken, go for Puppy Slacko.
Slackel seems one pointless respin to me....


Mystery of PC-BSD

A funny story of unsuccess and bafflement...
So I wanted to try out a BSD. I picked, warily, the simplest of them - PC-BSD. Downloaded 9.1 UsbLive version, wrote the img with WinImageWriter and booted.
Boot was abysmally slow, riddled with cryptic error-messages. Then, after an eternity, it asked if it can expand files... 'and the answer is yes', emphatically.
Then it rebooted! And loaded again what seemed a new eternity... then display wizard appeared and inquired if the resolution is right. It wasn't. Several attempts to suggest the right one ended with approximately 1 minute console view and after that: 'not possible'. So I let it have a wrong one and proceeded to desktop. Which was kinda slow and laggy.
Then I discovered that 5,6 Giga image was obviously too limited in size to have a browser...
And the stupid thing didn't have install option at all! What-the-hell?!
I felt enraged enough to promptly reboot - and intrigued enough to download install-usb.

I downloaded just-appeared 9.2 Usbfull, wrote it to USB in Linux using dd, and booted.
After lengthy delay menu appeared, and after 5 seconds - before I managed to read menu-items, it booted to default. Fuck. Reboot. Hit space to halt countdown. Read menus. Fuck. Nothing of interest there. Go default.
After more lengthy delay isotope-wallpaper appeared. After some more delay language-selector appeared.
I clicked 'next' and could pick a desktop (default is kde) and some more general packages (like various developments, compiz, etc). No problems there, desktop and window-manager choices are quite extensive. I chose Xfce and Openbox.
'Next' - Disk choices.
Default was zfs to first hdd, all.
I clicked 'customize', then 'advanced'... Menu looked nothing like screenshot from 'Handbook'. Well...
I picked 'ada1s4' as install-partition, and - I couldn't pick ufs. There simply wasn't that option.
What? Where? Fuck? Cancel.
I then tried 'expert' install, typed 'sysinstall' to terminal, navigated back and forth, picked this and that, created root (ufs2) and swap. Commit. Error - can't write from usb blah-blah...
Deep breath. Count to hundred. Think.
OK, install zfs then, you bastard (and no bootloader - as 'Handbook' says if you are going to multiboot from already existing bootloader).
No problems with usb at all, now - the thing installed OK (it took awhile).
Trying to convince Grub2 that there IS bsd. Googling and searching. Trying this and that - and no success whatsoever, no boot.
Bloody fuck!
Downloaded older 9.1 usbfull. Install looked and was exactly the same - no ufs option. Cancel. &^%$ %$##^!
So, it boils down to if I want to experiment with installing zfs+bootloader (for getting valid boot code) - and very probably having to restore overwritten MBR.
I am not sure I want...
And I still can't understand WHY THERE IS NO UFS option available for me.
Edit: It came out that PC-BSD folks simply decided not to support ufs anymore. Ups! Taking to account that manuals there seem to be updated not especially slowly - then one might expect updated Handbook in a year, surely... Edit ends
Well, I think I leave BSD alone for a while. No use to risk with stroke.

Edit: Just for fun and giggles - I also dowloaded GhostBSD 3.1 Lxde amd64 (just after pc-bsd fiasco), wrote the img two times and results are:
a) In Linux, format with GParted, then dd, according to 'handbook'.
Boot messages: No bootloader, no kernel. End.
b) In Windows XP, format with HP usb writer, then winImgwriter, as adviced.
A lot of text (progress!), riddled with multitude of errors. X couldn't start because there were no 'screens' nor any 'devices' available. End.
That was that. Edit ends.


Puppy Slacko

What arouse my interest was - It's archaic looks (means Jwm), cluttered desktop (my desktops doesn't have a single icon), it's custom soft (package manager and pupcontrol), and it being slackware-based. I did 'full' install to my desktop machine. It was a mistake, and here comes why.

I wrote image with Unetbootin to USB and booted succesfully to live session. Boot was fast alright. I also liked orderly-looking colorful boot-text format :)
Puppy detected video, sound and net without any problems. Memory usage was approx 80Mb after installing Conky (means, very nicely tiny). Apps reacted fast.
'Desktop' looks indeed wonderfully horrible, as was expected from screenshots.
There are partitions' icons on desktop by default - 13 in my (desktop) case. Pure horror. When clicked/mounted, icon gets border and red cross at corner - which in Puppys' drive mounter app seems to indicate 'unmounted'. Something is not entirely right here.
There are whole bunch of icons in upper left corner - which make sense only when opening a menus is a difficult task.
Actions tend to be 'one-click springs it'.
Whole layout looks to be oriented to tablet-size touchscreen thingies.

Menus are seriously cluttered. Various kinds of settings seem to be all available in Pupcontrol... why to duplicate them in foot-long lists in menus?
Apps... Roxfiler is one of the quite useless file managers in my opinion (lacking devices and tabs), and urxvt-terminal doesn't impress also. Cutting it short - I would uninstall a lot of default apps.
Wanting to be positive, there is no whining about text editors (Geany and Leafpad).
There is that - I am using desktop machine, and Puppy is not a desktop distro.

Install to HDD failed. Installer couldn't find vmlinuz etc in it's root, nor could it show/find mounted iso. But when I gave it a second try, it claimed that Puppy already exists... do you want to upgrade. Well, why not. And the thing found it's files somewhere and installed like lighting. Mighty odd.
My Grub2 master bootloader marked Puppy as 'unknown linux'. Funny.

Pupcontrol is nice thing. Really everything together. IF it also works all the way - I do not know. I didn't bother to click through everything. But I liked its looks better than many other control centers.

Puppy package manager. A disappointment.
- The thing doesn't remember most of settings, nor the size of window (as some other apps too). And it's in Setup menu... ??
- it seemingly installed the same library from 3 different repos as 3 actual libraries.
- it didn't 'find' things.
- only thematic grouping of packages is... bad.
- when updating databases, 'any key'(no) does not work, only 'enter'(yes) works.
- most of those thousands of files one sees flashing by when updating, disappear somewhere - one does not see them in themes. Are they in cryptically named packages? Or not really available?
- There is no info about packages. You really don't know what the package is (one-liner is not real info), or where it got installed.
- window what appears when you click a package contains a lot useless text. Missing dependency list kinda disappears in it.
... and, never mind.

a) Puppy-vanilla is not for desktop computer.
b) ... and needs some polish.
c) it's fast and agile.
d) ... and surprisingly customizable. 


(Re)partitioning for desktops

Things to remember ... And I talk of MBR-based things, not LVM (but see 'monumental' guide here)  or whatever else.

We, desktop-using amateurs, do not do partitioning very often. So it seems to be every time a forgotten mysterious thing and errors are easy to come.
When I repartitioned my sdb, I found myself a bit lost couple of times. Following are some facts and philosophies of a Big rePartitioning. (And it's not a guide 'how big I should make my root and home and should I make separate var'. Do google for that.)

- There can be only four primary partitions per physical disk. After the last one is used, you can not create any new partitions! So, use them wisely... at least the last one should house your extended partition (which then contains logicals). Logicals have limit too, but it's a lot bigger - no practical worries here.
- It's not wise to partition your disk - in a extencive way - from installed distro. There are limitations - things you simply can't do. Use Live USB. Any distro with Gparted (probably the best partition manager) will do. Or, if you want to have all the best dedicated tools - Parted Magic Live USB is your choice.
- You don't need primaries for Linux - it can live nicely on extended/logical. But BSD, for example, requires primary for installation. So does Windows...
Logicals start with number 5... means, when you have only one big extended, then your first distro sits on sdx5. Then there is a swap and you add couple of distros, and/or put your homes onto separate parts... and very soon you end up with numbers in tens... and those beginning with 1 are listed before 5 too. Which looks silly.
- ext4 is complitely ok for everyday desktop Linux use. No need for btrfs, reiser, xfs et cetera - one day it can create a problem (having a bunch of mixed filesystems).
- When repartitioning - if you have spare OTHER disk, archive/copy everything onto it. And delete old partitions. It's dramatically more time-consuming to move partitions, than to delete / create new ones. The difference is tens of times.
- Make a plan. What goes first, what comes later, how big you want all those parts. Remaking them afterwards takes again a lot of time.

A week ago I rearranged all my ten-plus partitions:
- I put my two mainstay distros onto first two primaries,
- And made third primary for future BSD testing.
- Fourth contains extended/logicals with all my other Linux partitions:
Swap is first. 'Common' is second - for all distros to keep various user-files on. It kinda replaces separate homes. Configs stay in their proper places, and are only (partially) back-upped to Common.
And then come different distros I play with. Plus unallocated area for new logicals.

- PS! I also have ext4 partition on different HDD, for real backup, like whole distro backups with fsarchiver. I have this partitions' copy also on external HDD (yes, I have experienced hard disks stopping to work, all of sudden).
For how-to backup with fsarchiver, and how-to get distros work again in new homes, look here.

What I want to say with this short and general post, is: when all those wildly happened partitions turn really bothersome and unconvinient; make a plan according to your needs, think it over, and remake your partitions, hopefully in future-proof way.
And do not forget about backups! Well, after first-time manual reinstall (3-4 hours confing versus fsarchiver 10 minutes) - it tends to be easier to remember.


Netinstall Jessie to Sid, Openboxed

After dist-upgrade two weeks ago serious problems appeared in Vsido (Sid with experimental repos enabled) - CPU-usage went up, as did memory-usage. Some people couldn't even boot... - (upgraded) xorg and nvidia driver conflicted.
So I thought of flying a bit lower (without 'experimental') and netinstalled pure 'sid' from scratch. Well, and I had messed up my Vsido a bit, while playing around.

Do take a look to previous netinstall post here.
What follows here is mostly what I found to be 'different and strange or silly'.

Making Sid:
Rebooted after install and went stright for /etc/apt/sources.list.
Changed things to sid:
#sources to sid
deb sid main non-free contrib
deb-src sid main non-free contrib

# added debian multimedia
deb sid main non-free
Security (added by install) goes out - no such thing in Sid.

One can add some repos. But - you have to install also their keyrings:
aptosid, siduction (I did not try them), spacefm (no success, keyserver timed out)
- sudo apt-get install deb-multimedia-keyring
- apt-get install also to: aptosid-arhive-keyring, siduction-archive-keyring
- with spacefm it's a bit different, as root, do:
gpg --keyserver --recv-keys 0x01937621 0x107165A1
# when successful,
bash -c 'gpg --export -a 01937621 107165A1 | apt-key add -'

But as said, no success here - and I installed it from downloaded 'deb'.

When sources are ready:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Everything seemed to be fine - no errors, no things 'not upgraded'.

Making ze colorful picture:

Then I installed Openbox and other essentials:
Only thing I thought of doing differently was swapping xfce4-terminal to roxterm. But, xfce4-terminal wanted a lot less deps - so it stayed.
Lightdm install with --no-install-recommends gave 3 times less dependencies. A lot of gnome trash went away. Lightdms' version 1.6 is already this new fucked-up one - no hackable greeter.ui file, no session picker in center-menu.
As a side-note: If using Synaptic, also do not forget to remove 'check' from Preferences 'install reccommends by default' - saves you from a lot strange junk.

Installed smxi and when trying to install Nvidia drivers, got message that kernel 3.9.1 amd64 (installed by Debian Installer) has no headers and there isn't any in repo too. Doh! I decided not to think too deeply over it, and installed liquorix 3.8.13 kernel - and Nvidia installed without problems. Strange, though.
One more observation: If you want to clean up useless xorg drivers with smxi - you have to run xorg at least once before.

Rebooted for new kernel and, as usual, ran sgfxi in console to get that installed Nvidia working (it goes like that every first-time-installation).

Holy moment! Login to Openbox ... and do all usual stuff (again, look up the previous openbox posts).
Let's list here only some strange happenings, odd outcomes:
- When Debian had still first, native kernel, then booting text ran small. After change to Liquorix, text turned big (res 640). Changing resolution bigger in grubs' conf doesn't work... Me, baffled. 
Edit: Took whole menuentry from Sids' grub.cfg, made 41_sid file in master-Grub /etc/grub.d, copy/pasted menuentry - and Sids' console resolution turned to nice 1024x768. I guess that crucial lines here were (omitted by master-grub):
set gfxpayload=keep
insmod gzio

Irritatingly, I also got several penguin pictures displayed before initrd load... got rid of them by adding following kernel parameter: 'logo.nologo'. Edit ends

- Compton: As usual, missed a lot of deps. I installed everything, even asciidoc. But, 'make install' failed anyway - with some line in source error. Jeez... so I ended up copying the comptons' executable to /usr/bin as per usual.
- Showdesktop and exit scripts didn't work. Both are python, so I installed a bunch of python stuff - thinking that error is there. It wasn't - it was missing 'wmctrl'.
- I did adduser username sudo (which was complitely ok), and was a bit confused why it still didn't work. I forgot to install 'sudo', that's why ...
Moral here is - it pays of to make precise list of 'essential things to install' - and also to follow it.
- For some reason my boxes bios clock lately insist of being 3 hours incorrect... Here helps installing 'ntp' which then takes time from nets' server.
- Firefox doesn't save to ntfs partition... ups, file manager too. Need to install 'ntfs-3g' and 'fuse'. Last time when Openboxing Wheezy, I got them probably automagically when playing with smxi.
- And one more funny thing: I happened to stick mother-in-laws' Kindle to my Linux box - and bloody thing refused to accept 'umount' as eject. Well, you have to install 'eject'... then it ejects.

Everything seems to work now (knock the wood). Memory-usage is the same as with my Vsido install (unborked) - 160M. And no funny peakings with CPUs. 


QT apps in GTK environment

There have been various problems with GTK3 - like every minor upstream GTK-update breaking something... which has created certain tendency to avoid using it (outside of Gnome-shell) as much as possible. In dev-level, latest news is LXDE porting to Qt (and merging with Razor-qt).
In user level it (avoiding broken GUI) boils down to picking and installing as much 'independent' apps as practically possible. By 'independent' here, I really mean 'everything not GTK3 dependent'.
So I decided to see if I can replace some (more) g-apps with Qt-apps. I picked a bunch and tested them on Debian Sid Openbox.
For Qt apps see: Here and here.

I already had Smplayer, Qbittorrent and Fbreader installed. All very nice apps - and which I have chosen for their merits, not for Qt. All are in Sids' repos.
So, I also obviously have some Q-deps already installed and next comes list of what I had to add:
qt4-qmake, qt4-linguist-tools, libqt4-dev-bin, libqt4-dev, qt4-qtconfig
The first one here makes config for 'make' (but more commonly used seems to be cmake), and the last one is an utility for configuring certain aspects of all installed Qt apps.

What happened, in no particular order:

# znotes (websource):
qmake -o Makefile
# make didn't finish, there was error in code. Fix:On unix we need unistd.h included in the qtlocalpeer.cpp, just below the time.h include in the #if defined (Q_OS_UNIX) include section.
make install

The thing is somewhat buggy but works. Not sure if it's worth to keep.

# qastools (repo). Alsa toolset and mixer, see also It looked kinda big and uglyish (but better, of course, than natural alsamixer). It also didn't detect my audio setup... and took twice more memory than xfce4-mixer: --purge.

# juffEd 0.81 (repo). Seems to be (Geany-like?) pro-text-editor. I mention it simply for creating confusion - I actually didn't bother to install it. :)

# qterminal+qtermwidget (websource),
It has mightily confusing documentation. After an hour of playing around I managed to install it (widget comes first, then terminal) - and the bloody shit didn't find it's (existing!) library. Running ldconfig didn't help...
But then I had a brilliant idea - I went to Siductions' (Sid distro, has Razor-qt ver) repos and dowloaded some of their debs. Thanks, Siduction.
Install went in that order:
1. qtermwidget-data_0.4.0.2~siduction.
2. libqtermwidget0_0.4.0.2~siduction.2_amd64.deb
3. qterminal_0.4.0.2~siduction.5_amd64.deb
Transparency didn't work. Title-name is not configurable. Memory usage - twice more than xfce4-terminal (26:15 megs). Not sure if it's worth to keep.

# Two file managers, both debs from Siduction:
- andromeda. Wanted libqt4-opengl, then installed ok. It's not very much configurable. Somehow shows only mounted devices (and does not have mounting option?). Generally primitive.: --purge
- qtfm 5.9. Installed stright. Icons missing and replaced by ... colorful pieces of something? It's possible to define theme - but no effect. No devices list at all...: --purge

# taskbar (websource). Well, 'transaparent configurable taskbar'.
Do exactly what INSTALL says (surprising, no? Yes, it is.)
Transparency doesn't work. And what I mean - Comptons' transparency works, but apps' natural one does not (as with qterminal). It's kinda by-passable if using 'transparent' bitmap in 'options'. Icon name option doesn't work. The box columns doesn't work. The box resizes itself. Icon animation was unremovable: Delete, and if possible, delete several times.

# nomacs (Siduction deb). Picture thumbnailer and just a bit editor (rotate, resize, crop!). Needed libopencv-contrib2.3 and libraw9, then installed ok.
Thumbnail-ribbon is kinda silly and swimmy, otherways ok app. Memory usage is close to Gthumb... but Gthumb is a lot more advanced tool. So it looks like --purge.

# Screengrab (Siduction deb). Screenshooter, look here.
It installed stright, it works and I didn't see even bugs yet. Seems usable.

Conclusion: No, you can't replace all your GTK-apps with Qt-apps (unless going to KDE). I mean, you can, but then you end up with some pretty unusable stuff. And I am aware that using Siduction debs might have caused some problems - but I don't think that compiling from source would give very much different result (besides wasting more time).
It was very irritating project. I hope you suffered (too) when you read it.


Salix Openbox memory usage

Bliss, yes - but there is always margin for improvements.
Nothing of what follows is a showstopper - or matters very much for everyday use... BUT!

Just after writing the post about being euphoric of my new OB, I noticed how bloody lot of memory it took. Almost twice more than my two Debian OBs (230 to 110-130). Unacceptable! Cultivating an anorectic Openbox is THE sport! So I went for it and culled some more processes:

** salix-update-notifier: process tended to hang around even after session change or logouts-ins, piling additional processes up after every 2 hours, and dragging along 'sleeps' (800k a piece).
Currently, I simply added OnlyShowIn=XFCE; into its' .desktop file in /etc/xdg/autostart/ - simply to avoid it in OB. We'll see... but I think I uninstall it in near future - there isn't a lot of updates to worry about, really. They can be checked-installed manually.
** multiple 'sh /.../openbox/autostart' processes: as investigation revealed, they go with every 'sleep' in autostart. Yeah, they only took 5 megs - but still!
I remade my whole autostart without any 'sleep'... and it works totally OK (shows that copying 'authoritive' advice from web might be err...not always useful).
Also, it seems to matter what is order of started apps in autostart ... If anyone is interested, after 1,5 hour of testing in virtual terminals, I ended up with this order:
nitrogen --restore & 
compton --backend glx --vsync opengl-swc --paint-on-overlay --shadow-exclude "! name~=''" --config ~/.compton.conf & 
spacefm -d & 
tint2 -c ~/.config/tint2/.tint2launchers/tint2rcbleft & 
volumeicon & 
# next is show-hide-desktop-icon-in-systray script (from crunchbang forum) 
~/bin/ & 
xxkb & 
conky -c ~/.conky_ob_rc &
* About virtual terminals... There are only three agetty-s defined in Salix (F1-F3), and tty goes to F4. Bloody strange and unconvinient! Open up your /etc/inittab and add other 3, copy/paste and change numbers. Voila!
Also, 'xinit' to start virtual desktop seems to give somewhat bizarre results... What worked OK (from C+A+F2 to C+A+F8), was:
startx /usr/bin/openbox-session -- :1
** Killed wicd off. I use no wireless - so, no need to configure it. 'removed' wicd - and lost net. Did that, in terminal:
Options there were picked like that (and of course those are specific for my situation): hostname = whatever, name of the machine
domain = local

Reboot (/etc/rc.d/rc/inet1 eth0_start command was not doing a thing (in perceivable way)... and there appeared nothing in inet1.conf file too. Oh, and no connection.) But booting made it - a wired connection without wicd.

Now my Salix-OB uses less, but still approx 40 megs more memory than OB in Debian.
So I decided to switch from default 'huge' (all things compiled in) kernel to 'generic' (nothing in, neccessary will be added with modules). And hoped shorter boot-time and less memory use.

- Downloaded kernel-generic and modules via
- Did installpkg for kernel-generic, and did not for modules - as it appeared with upgradepkg --dry-run that modules were 100% the same.
- Ran /usr/share/mkinitrd/, and executed the result, initrd.gz was created.
- For good measure, reinstalled nvidia drivers.
- Updated local Grub, rebooted to my Grub-master and updated that too. Generic kernel was added as last (Salix) entry. Haven't found out yet how to change it to be first (and default) boot kernel. So, probably I will simply make 06_custom file for Salix Grub.
- Rebooted and got kernel panic... ?? ... Checking grub.cfg - initrd was NOT included (and it IS neccessary for kernel-generic). Added a line:
initrd /boot/initrd.gz.
Successful boot!

But, no change in boot time (though, the text flying by is different... which can be considered 'interesting', but not as a desired result) or in desktop memory usage... So, it seems that I did something wrong. Or something.
And the moral is - you do this kernel-thing in different and right way.


Salix 14.0 + Openbox

Yeah, doing openboxing a third time, now on Slackware - after Xubuntu and Debian. I was kinda interested how this one might differ... Openbox is not stock for Salix (and Slackware), and Slacks' repos are not as big by far as Debian ones.

As it appeared, installing Openbox itself went quite as usual, with slight differences. But some pre-install preparations almost drove me nuts. Whole process took twice as long as in Debian.

1. Pre-installing things:
Let's start with simple.
- Nitrogen for wallpaper, with slapt. No problems. First I had a plan to use Spacefm as desktop manager (and wallpaper-provider) - but Spacefm somehow prevented Conky from starting.
- Conky, with slapt, no problems.
- Volumeicon, with slapt, no problems.
- copied session-exit-script from my Vsido install, once again. And as later was seen, it worked without a hitch.
- Also installed wmctrl (slapt) and xdotool (from source), without problems.
Now, not so simple things.
- Tint2 - available through Sourcery. Only thing I had to install before was Cmake. Then it compiled and worked... unfortunately it wasn't SVN-version (no launchers). Then I went and took source from Tints' home. Made, installed - and found that it's the same one - no launchers.
After some digging around I found this. The writer, by the way, is the same guy who makes Vsido. So thanks, Vastone, for all good things. Tutorial worked like a charm, and I soon had nice patched SVN version of Tint running, with launchers and all.
- Compton (sweat, blood and tears). Not available in repos at all, have to get the source from Comptons' home and compile. List of dependencies is quite long, as we know...
What was surprising that only missing dep in Salix was libconfig. Even asciidoc was already installed! But the joy was short-lived - libconfig also has to be searched out from web. My first attempt to install it was unsuccessful. Thing appeared to exist, but pkg-config refused to recognize it. And Compton refused to make, citing missing libconfig as a culprit. Apparently I had unwittingly brought home a where-libconfig...
More searching in web and I found other and better place to get it. Differently of the first one, it was already compiled for Slack.
So I only had to run  
sh (and replace user/lib64 in this file with /usr/lib64, otherways it couldn't find folders, as install-package was not in root).
Then I checked, somewhat fearfully:
pkg-config libconfig --libs . It's not there, then
echo $PKG_CONFIG_PATH, and path appears to be wrong (compared where libconfig.pc really is, then
export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/usr/local/lib/pkgconfig (that's my conf, of course). Anyway, after correcting the path, libconfig was found AND Compton was now happy to make and make install too.
As for now, I used exactly the same start conf as in debian install. Works alright, no tearing observed yet.
Edit | When installing libconfig, I was yet such a moron that I didn't know of SlackBuilds... Correct way, of course should have been to run: libconfig.SlackBuild, and then installpkg libconfig...gz. But I leave this example of stupidity to be - as there are some useful hints how to check and correct library paths. Also - there are ready-made binaries available in :) |

2. Installing OB, a lot less dramatic part:
Main packages for Openbox - openbox and obconf - are available with slapt, as is lxappearance. There are also obmenu and some other helpful stuff to take - but I didn't bother.
slapt-get -i openbox obconf
Logout and login to fresh openbox session.
Right-click menu was bizarre, consisting mostly unexistent items. Those what did exist, refused to open.
Back to Xfce, copy Openbox conf files to .config/openbox, add some quick (real) links to menu, back to Openbox. Now things (real ones) in menu opened ... so, I presume that the first time rebellion was because of lack of confs in user folder.
Still, 90% of this default menu was taken out of thin air. Fancy. I should have used dmenu to generate something more valid. Well, I forgot to install it.
One more surprise was that xfce4-terminal is named as 'Terminal'. Bloody why? Couple of more minutes down to drain when investigating why terminal 'does not exist'...
After that it was usual copy/paste of various confs, fixing this and that, 2 hours lovingly pimping the menu, and removing couple of last unwanted apps. Everything seems fine and working. Checked also .xsession-errors - nothing of interest there too, only gtk stupid deprecation-drivel.
Now, if I happen to finally succeed in compiling Medit, then the situation could be called a bliss.


Salix 14.0 Xfce install

So I went for childrens' version of Slackware, sue me.
Why Slack? Because it seems to be most stable and conservative (compared to nowadays mad-rush Linux developments). No systemd or pulseaudio or Mir or perverse experiments with GUI. Not yet at least. And they avoid even GTK3, it seems. Which is good - I definitely prefer 'less modern' look to broken porridge after every Gnome update.
As of preparations - a partition for installing Salix was made before install.

64bit stright-install image (means, not Live) was written with Unetbootin to USB. The process (and probably structure of image) was different of usual - in meaning that it was continuous, without huge main file. Not that I care...
There is only two 'options' in boot-screen: 'default' and 'huge.s' ... Default seemed to be the same as 'huge.s' so, here we go:
Installer loaded quite long and is old-school ncurses-based - pure terminal, no bling, no frills. Installers' structure is different of Debians', Suses', RHELs' and even Archs' installer.
Now, what to keep in mind: In partitioning - have to select correct disk where your premade partition is. Then it's possible to pick it for Root. You can also mark already (if) existing swap for use. No separate home for me anymore, I keep all important stuff of my distros on separate 'common' partition. And I do my backups with FSArchiver - so Home (confs only) gets backed up together with Root.
The most problematic part of installation was a question 'where is your install-data': No, USB-stick is not a 'CD' or something other 'movable' - USB stick is a 'hard disk'. At least you can browse partitions and pick the right one. The table there doesn't show partitions' sizes... so I identified my USB (from about 15 choices) as only one having fat32 filesystem. Then installer wants to know the folder name...&^%$#... to cut it short, it's 'salix'.
Then you can make password for root and also create your common user - and define users' parameters to all details. By the way, there is no problem with using the same password for root and user...
And at the end there is choice of install-packages: I picked Full (desktop and 'one app per task').
There were, of course, the usual things (keyboard etc), and also an offer to install Lilo (bootloader) - which can be skipped entirely (which I did).
It installed successfully.
I rebooted, logged to Wheezy, update-grub, and rebooted to Salix. There was a lot text flying by (quite different-looking of Debian, and it took a little longer too), then Gdm-greeter for logging, then desktop and then you can admire 'a flying rag'... - screensaver kicked in an instant after desktop appeared. Fancy. I have no idea if this bizzarre behaviour goes with every boot - I removed xscreensaver from startup.

I think it's first Xfce desktop (I have tried) what comes panel-at-bottom and no dock. What a pleasure! Especially after quick swap of wallpaper...
First I did some fast clean-up and pimping: removed some startups and daemons, deleted some apps, changed themes and icon-set, tweaked panel a bit... the usual. And sure, I installed my favourite file manager - SpaceFM - and threw Thunar out. I downloaded Spacefm installer and whole thing went without any hitch, dependencies and all.
Ah, by the way, I had also one mysterious crash when I left Salix running. When I returned after some 2 hours, it appeared to be in console and frozen. No idea why.

Then came serious part - updating (minor) kernel and installing Nvidia driver. No automation here, no smxi script either. There is almost perfect tutorial for Nvidia, though. In nutshell, it went like that:
1. Get kernel source: slapt-get --update && slapt-get -i kernel-source
Update kernel: ls /var/log/packages/kernel*
There are some 4-5 files, all has to be updated separately, like this:
slapt-get -i kernel-modules (no version numbers needed!). Then (re)create initrd file - see howto in /boot/readme.initrd .
2. Download Nvidia driver.
3. Blacklist Nouveau. And here I found difference with tutorial. There is no such file as tutorial says. I solved it with Gslapt, searched for 'nouveau' and found 2 packs, and installed blacklist-one. It's name was the same as of driver.
3. Reboot. Log to console, init 3, cd wehere-your-driver-is, sh (and answer questions it asks), init 4.
Done. If you said 'yes', it even created conf. And DO NOT let Nouveau to be updated afterwards, or you loose your 'blacklist'!

There are quite a lot of conf available in menus. For installing codecs there is a launcher. Packages can be managed through Gslapt, sources through Sourcery (both are GUI frontends). There is even update-notifier...
Package manager is 'slapt' - works like this: slapt-get -u
for example, is the same as debian 'apt-get update'. Nothing difficult here, do read Salix (or Slackware) wiki etc.

It has been pleasant experience. After first flurry of tweaks I find it hard to spot next 'urgent' tweak... because it's already OK. Salix is super for everyone looking for traditional distro + desktop. It's also very fitting for newcomers to Slackware - it really is Slack-made-easy. Recommended.

Grub 1.99 in Debian 7. Part 2

Changing menu item looks in Grub2 menu. Deleting and adding entries.
Now - I am no coder and know next to nothing of scripting. So I really can't rewrite grubs' scripts. After more hours wasted with combing interweb for tutorials how to change files 10_linux and 30_os-prober, I came to conclusion that it's hard to find ready-made drop-in script-bits for easy tweaking. And I didn't feel like spending all my time with testing...
I decided to drop my ambitious plans to alter above-mentioned files and go for easier (and commonly used) way: create a 06_custom file.

What I did:
Took existing /etc/grub.d/40_custom file and saved it as 06_custom (in this way it will be the first entry of menu). Then I copied whole entry from between #10_linux start and end lines in file /boot/grub/grub.cfg to my custom-file, under first 5 existing lines.
- Then I changed menuentrys' name
- deleted class statements
- and replaced filenames in /boot/ with links in /. That's because it's said that then you will allways boot with latest kernel (through those links). We'll see about that when there is kernel update... But - if there is kernel number in menuentry, it has to be changed manually, of course.
And final result, scriptways (after first 5 existing lines):
menuentry 'Debian 7 Wheezy, kernel 3.2.0-4-amd64 on /dev/sdb6' { 
load_video set 
insmod gzio 
insmod part_msdos 
insmod ext2 
set root='(hd1,msdos6)' 
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root cc715c11-4b56-4d78-bb29-6d78688ce48b 
echo 'Loading Linux 3.2.0-4-amd64 ...' 
linux /vmlinuz root=UUID=cc715c11-4b56-4d78-bb29-6d78688ce48b ro quiet nomodeset nouveau.modeset=0 
echo 'Loading initial ramdisk ...' 
initrd /initrd.img 
And, update-grub when done, of course. Interesting enough, custom entry is not shown in 'Found' list... but, when
grep menuentry /boot/grub/grub.cfg - it's there alright.
Reboot, test your freshly baked menu-item. If boot is successful, do
sudo chmod -x 10_linux, to exclude this file from menu.
That's it. The same way you can deal with 30_os-prober. Entries like kernel instances etc can be deleted or added (might be wise to make os-prober temporarily active for adding - to get correct entry for copy-paste). Downside is that when distros come and go, all entries has to be deleted/added manually. Doesn't make you to spit blood but is still a bit bothersome...


Grub 1.99 in Debian 7. Part 1

Debian Wheezy netinstall and Grub 1.99 tweaking 
Part 1: Facelift

With Debian stable comes Grub 1.99. It is not especially nice-looking and/or handy:
- it has useless wallpaper
- there are a lot of entries without submenus (I have 4-way multiboot, currently)
- menu is a bit too black and white... and other little things.
So I decided to change it. Research took enormous time. Versions and tutorials differ... there are no place to find everything together... tips might work, or not... a lot is simply old...
See here: Ubuntu, more Ubuntu, and this one, and Arch, and my own puny paragraph.
Before tweaking anything, we do backups, of course - like this, for example:
sudo cp /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme /etc/grub.d/05_.debian_theme.bak 
# ... and all others in /grub.d we happen to hack. Then we make baks un-executable: 
sudo chmod -x /etc/grub.d/*.bak
Also, do backup files: /etc/default/grub and /boot/grub/grub.cfg
Here we go, with multiboot system, one Grub in MBR, one in root, one distro without Grub, and Windows XP.

What I did:
(Let's remember - ALL changes has to be written in with update-grub.)
1. /etc/default/grub
- I wanted my Vsido to be the default boot-choice.
grep menuentry /boot/grub/grub.cfg shows all listed menuentries. First one is 0, second is 1 and so on - simple, but it's more complicated when dealing with submenus. Fortunately I do not have them... unfortunately I would like to - menu looks a lot more tidy when bunch of different kernels are hidden.
So, third item in list means GRUB_DEFAULT=2 and highlight is on Vsido entry now.

- Default console size is GRUB_GFXMODE=640x480. Text is therefore big and longer lines end behind screen edge. We change it like that:
Reboot, and when in Grub, press 'C' to get command line, set pager=1 (because there are probably 2 pages of text coming, then vbeinfo. Correct/supported resolutions are displayed, pick one, write it down, 'esc', boot to desktop and replace old resolution with new and bigger one. Mine is GRUB_GFXMODE=1280x768.
After that line add a new one: GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=keep
That keeps resolution the same for whole boot process (no jumping back to big letters).
NB! 'Keep' doesn't work when booting another distro with its own Grub. Probably gfxmode should be changed there also.
Edit 06.07.2013: Changing the resolution in local Grub doesn't help -  no change. Also - resolution doesn't change for distros without Grub too. So, it seems that whole thing works only for grub-mastering distro. Edit ends.

- If you do not need your machine searched for additional OS-es (for whatever reason), disable 30_os-prober, by adding this line:

- If you do not want bunch of Recovery Modes hanging around, then remove comment from line #GRUB_DISABLE_LINUX_RECOVERY="true".
But, there is interesting twist: IF there is Grub also installed for some other distro, then you have to disable recovery mode there also. Otherways master-Grub reads them from there, and displays.
Other weird thing I encountered: I unpacked my Xubuntu (from archive) to another partition, fixed fstab, and removed Grub complitely. Now, when I ran master 'update-grub', it found whole pile of 'Ubuntus'. It appeared that not only current .img, but also symlinks and '.img.old' kernels were listed... I simply deleted links and .olds - and problem was solved and only one Ubuntu was left in list.

2. /etc/grub.d/05_debian_theme
- Wallpaper. This file has very nicely commented sequence how wallpapers are searched for... not that it helped me very much. I deleted wallpaper-line from /usr/share/desktop-base/ and changed also colors. No cookie. Nothing changed.
Then I checked what's in /boot/grub/grub.cfg. There I found certain png as wallpaper. After some pondering I resolved thing in inelegant and nasty way - I simply renamed joy-grub.png to joy-grub.png.outcomment. Update-grub! No wallpaper was found AND Grub defaulted to 'set_default_theme', which is quite at the beginning of the file (05_debian_theme) AND which can be now edited (with results):

- Colors. See also: Here and here and here.
Default is 'Debian blue', update-grub, reboot and take a look. I found it a bit too bright, so my tweak ended like this:
 # Set the traditional Debian blue theme.
 echo "${1}set menu_color_normal=white/black"
 echo "${1}set menu_color_highlight=yellow/dark-gray"
 echo "${1}set color_normal=white/dark-gray"
Menu text is white, background black, higlighted menu-items' text is yellow and under that is gray background. Outside of menu-box is gray with white text (and this last line I added).

That's it. I'm quite satisfied how things look now (errr... no, still can't be bothered with screenshots).
Now, if not terminally lazy, I might produce also a part 2, dealing with hacking of files 10_, 30_ and 40_custom. Means, how to change menuentries themselves.


Linux Mint 15: C & M

Cinnamon and Mate. Review-like ...
I did it for nostalgic reasons (Mint was my first distro on Linux road; and also because I started this blog as intended help for n00bs.
Both Mint ISOs were 64bit Lives, written with Unetbootin to USB.

# Cinnamon
I didn't bother to install, just clicked around in Live.
It booted OK and desktop looked (again very) traditional Mint.
Cinnamon is simple-user oriented, allright. No question about that. I - as an advanced user - shouldn't whine about things-missing... but I do anyway.

- Two panels are possible! Progress!
- Driver Manager: Now separate app.
- Software Sources: Much better usability.
- Get some frills and bling stright from internet. And new data is NOT mixed with default. You can pick what you want to add.
- Classic menu still installable (maybe - as it failed in Live).
- Login Window conf: New place to play.
- Cinnamon is ready for all usual user tasks, and has all ubuntuish 'restricted extras' (codecs, etc) installed.

- MintMenu is still not resizable, not very-much-configurable Windowish thingy.
- File Manager Nemo is average. Definitely better than current Nautilus, but despite of various preferences, it's not especially configurable. Partitions list is not very clear and it is not in logical order. If partitions happen to be without labels, then it's probably total mess. (And the same goes for Mate, and it's even worse.) And of course you still can't remove some bookmarks. (And it's even worse in Mate.) Media handling default is clearly for idiot (err... careless?) user - play everything automatically.
- There is 'settings' icon on panel... it behaves ... strange and stupid way? Why it's there?
Desklets: Useless bling. Trying to be KDE?
- Startup Apps: Dumb-user stuff. Very few items there. Has 'maybe-options' all started... and real important things are not shown at all.
- Preferences: Looooong list of things... some of them are in System Settings, others you can get when using those apps. I suppose it's a bit confusing for Mints' intended users.

I think Mint Cinnamon devs succeeded again. It's a distro for a genuine 'User'. Nice. Smooth. Works out of box. Reminds of MS Windows - in a good way.
And it's definitely not for someone who wants to seriously tweak, tune and customize.
It's very good for a common user, and not so good for a tweaker.

This one was installed for real. And strange enough - first Live boot hung just before desktop, I wrote USB over and then it booted OK.
As an afterthought - could be the same bug what appears later.
Installer is Ubuntus' usual - simple. Desktop is copy of previous one (Cinnamon).
Boot came with greeter error - but it 'switched' something and recovered. Next time was OK. After that I got some 'recursive error...' and everything froze, reboot - and greeter problem again.
By the way - boot time is twice longer than Debian Wheezys'.
Here, like in Cinnamon, everything is installed out of box.
Some things (Caja, Menu opening, System Monitor, ...) are a bit laggy to open, in operation, or when closing.

- The same as in Cinnamon.
- There are no desklets and no strange 'settings'-thing on panel. Oh, good!
- I might be wrong, but there seems to be more configurable items in Control Centre compared to Cinnamon.
- Startup Apps: Sure, a lot more options to check/uncheck, and those are real, important ones.
- Services: Kinda 'Startup Apps' part separately. I am not sure if it's good to separate them... but they are available - which is good thing allright.
- Mint screensaver: Whatever looks better than stone-age Xscreensaver. Good.

- There seems to be serious issue with boot and/or greeter.
- Mintmenu looks different here. Still can't resize it. I still don't like it. But classic one is available (pro-thing).
- File Manager Caja seems even less pleasant than Cinnamons' Nemo. List of partitions is especially cryptic, and default bookmarks are ALL undeletable.
- Time/Date on panel is automatically taken from location and not from language used - which is quite bizarre thing to do.
- Preferences and Control Center  are duplicates.
- Compositing seems to be the usual: tearing when scrolling and so on.

All in all: Mate seems better than it was in previous version. Generally a nice desktop for doing all simple user-stuff in most efficient way. It's n00b-friendly. And it leaves a bit more playground than Cinnamon. Definitely recommended to Linux newcomers. The same as with Cinnamon - userfriendly.