Author Topic: My second SparkyLinux 4.4 installation, this time using the MinimalGUI  (Read 204 times)

Offline n1ksn

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This is my second forum post.  In my first, under "introductions," I told of my HP Pavilion G6 installation of Sparky 4.4 Xfce.  (As an aside, I finally converted that install to i3 only and have been happy with it.)

A couple of days ago I decided to replace my Bunsen Labs distro on an HP Mini 210 Notebook with a SparkyLinux 4.4 Minimal GUI install.  I have a fair amount of experience with Openbox using Arch and base Ubuntu as platforms, so I was curious about Openbox with Sparky and Debian Testing.  I'm happy to report that everything went well the second time around using the Advanced Installer.  (The first time I tried to install the Sparky i3 desktop using the advanced installer, but the machine hung up.  Was this intended only for the MinimalCLI version?)  After the first update (about 350 packages!) the obmenu-generator stopped working, but I found the fix (purge and reinstall) on this forum.  Thank you!

I am VERY happy with this distro.  I added MOC for music and mpv for videos, SMTube for Youtube, evince for reading pdf and ps files, and some of my favorite games.  I could not install VLC due to some missing package in Debian Testing, but I don't really need it with mpv installed.  I removed pulse audio completely (I just don't like it--one extra layer I don't need) and installed volumeicon for sound control with alsamixer.  Also, the progress bars in the default widget scheme were hard to see, so I changed to Clearlooks.  I added catfish for file searching and installed some other small odds and ends.  Normally I have a conky display, but the fbpanel setup was so nice I decided I didn't need conky.   I did add battery monitoring to the panel and changed the clock format.  Oh, and I changed the wifi driver to Broadcom's wl.

As mentioned above, I've built two Openbox installations from scratch before, but the Sparky MinimalGUI was already very close to what I like, so with the tweaks above and some additional hotkeys added to the rc file, I'm up and running with much less work.  Many thanks to the developers!

Best regards,
Andy N1KSN

Offline n1ksn

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Re: My second SparkyLinux 4.4 installation, this time using the MinimalGUI
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2016, 02:33:37 am »
Just an update from a satisfied Sparky user.  I liked the MinimalGUI install with Openbox on my notebook so much, that I installed it on my laptop, replacing the earlier Sparky Xfce install.

The Sparky Xfce4 version worked fine, but I noticed that for some reason the RAM usage was on the high side, around 380M.  This is about 100M more than I have using Xfce with plain Debian stable.  I could not figure out what the underlying cause was, but since I like Openbox anyway I did the switch without digging in further. 

My current selection of software is:
- MOC for music file and radio stream play
- Mpv for video play (slightly lighter than VLC, but not by much)
- SMtube for Youtube videos (back end mpv)
- Streamtuner2 for finding new radio streams (back end mpv)
Web browsing:
- Firefox-ESR
- Links2
File management:
- Pcmanfm
- Midnight Commander
- Catfish
File editing:
- Vim
- Geany
- Leafpad
Document reading:
- Evince
- Aisleriot
- Xmahjongg
- Gweled
- Frozen Bubble
- Ltris
- Lbreakout2
- gPlanarity
- Einstein
- TuxPuck
- SuperTux2
- DIgger (DOSBox)
- Champ Kong (DOSBox)
- MS Pacman (DOSBox)

That's it from northeast Wisconsin. Best to all,
Andy N1KSN

Offline paxmark1

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Re: My second SparkyLinux 4.4 installation, this time using the MinimalGUI
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2016, 06:18:51 pm »
Stable is something that has been polished and buffed, all sorts of tiny errors fixed, etc.  Testing is 5 days behind unstable and using a newer generation of XFCE and other code, getting ready for wayland, Debian 9, etc., etc.  A truer test of differences would be between xfce on Debian testing and Sparky.  It might be a little bit high, I only use 195M on lxqt on Sparky on  a 1.0G mem older atom. 

If you want to learn how to play "whack a mole" on memory leaks, etc. and file bugs on it - that is all right. 

It is all right to lurk at Freenode #xfce Something might pop up there.  Check htop   post "free"  Good luck. 
Don't make a FrankenDebian

Offline n1ksn

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Re: My second SparkyLinux 4.4 installation, this time using the MinimalGUI
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2016, 06:21:19 am »
Thanks for the info, paxmark1.  My Sparky MinimalGUI installs have very low RAM usage in idle, and I did not mean to imply that there was something wrong with Sparky vs. Debian regarding memory usage.  I'm afaid my Linux knowledge and skills aren't up to the task of tracking down such things.

It has been interesting having a distro based on Debian Testing, esp. with all the daily updates.  I once had an Arch install which was rolling and I also tried Manjaro twice.  Both times I tried Manjaro it managed to eventually clobber itself with an update.  In fact, I came to SparkyLinux after my last Manjaro fail.  It's been smooth sailing with Sparky all the way so far.