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Author Topic: Sparky (minor) LXQT issues  (Read 283 times)

Offline hedon

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Sparky (minor) LXQT issues
« on: October 02, 2018, 06:35:58 pm »
Not sure if this belongs in "desktop" or "applications",  so please let me know if posted in the wrong forum.

After 9 years in the Ubuntu family of distros (currently Lubuntu 16.04), I'm looking to switch to a lightweight rolling distro.  Sparky LXQT seems like an ideal candidate, being derived from the familiar Debian tree and LXQT looks like the next generation of LXDE, but future-proof.  REALLY liking my Sparky experience so far, but am noticing several small annoyances that my OCD really wants to address.

Not sure if these issues are Sparky-related, or due to my Ubuntu-centric background not quite understanding Debian differences, or perhaps LXQt issues that simply haven't been resolved yet, is LXQt is still kinda sorta "beta" or "rc" quality moreso than finished product, IMO.  Cruising the forums, I can't seem to find answers for any of the following:

1 - pcmanfm-qt does not allow me to "open as root" from menu bar.  I've tried to invoke gksu pcmanfm-qt from CLI, but gksu is not installed, and isn't even available for installation.  further research indicates that perhaps sparky-remsu is what I'm looking for, but synaptic indicates it's already installed.  sparky-remsu references pkexec and at least that works with CLI, but how to fix the "open as root" option from pcmanfm-qt menu bar?  I note that the pcmanfm-qt settings.conf file in my home directory references "SuCommand=gksu %s" in the [System] section.  I've changed this from gksu to pkexec, closed pcmanfm and re-opened, but no change.  I've quit pcmanfm using the --quit switch and then restarted pcmanfm in daemon mode with -d switch, but it overwrites my changed file with the gksu command again.  How can I make the "open as root" function?

2 - I've installed obmenu-generator for a heavily customized OpenBox right-click menu.  After making extensive changes to the schema.pl template, I was quite happy with the results.  Then obmenu-generator must've updated, as I lost my customized menu to the original default schema.  I made my changes a 2nd time, and backed up the schema.pl file as schema-BAK.pl in the same directory.  And then it happened again...I lost my custom OB menu to the original schema.  I chuckled to myself and though "no problem, I'll restore my backup" as I navigated to the obmenu-generator directory, only to see that my schema-BAK.pl file was missing!  Apparently, the entire directory is over-written when updated?  So I made my changes a 3rd time, saved the modified schema as schema-BAK.pl and copied it to a "Backups" folder in my home directory.  I lost my custom menu yet again yesterday, but was at least able to restore my preferred schema file to the obmenu-generator directory and get my custom menu back again, minus the hours of manual changes.

WHY does obmenu-generator overwrite the entire directory, including files that were manually created and saved with different names?  Is this a bug in obmenu-generator?  This does not appear to be intended behavior, or is it?  Can this be addressed to leave custom schema files alone?

Also wondering if this behavior is similar to how pcmanfm-qt overwrites manual changes in the pcmanfm-qt settings.conf file?

3 - having a hard time understanding the LXQt theme structure.  Sparky provides a nice LXQt theme (2 actually!), but I prefer an "all dark" theme.  I'm having a devil of a time finding dark widgets and dark LXQt theme, but seems like no matter what I do, I'm left with light/white backgrounds in my apps.  Troubleshooting seems to indicate that the solution might be installation of qt5ct package and modifying from there.  But Sparky can't install due to a missing dependency.  LXQt is a relatively new desktop and documentation of "how to" is pretty sparse, especially for us non-coder laymen...anyone have thoughts on how to modify LXQt themes?  Conversely, may I suggest an all-dark theme for Sparky?

4 - finally, nitpicking a little, but here goes:  i've also installed fluxbox and pekwm as openbox alternatives, adding "switch window manager" capability to the menus of each.  fluxbox is always a little tricky, as it doesn't respect the "wm --replace" convention, but short scripts seem to address the issue in Sparky.  PekWM is usually the easy one to implement, once you "sync" the number of workspaces (PekWM defaults to 9) across all window managers; but for some reason, PekWM often crashes during the switch.  Sometimes from OB>Pek, other times from FB>Pek.  It doesn't always crash, and I can't reproduce the error reliably, making it seem random.  Switching from within the terminal with 'pekwm --replace' reveals a warning regarding "missing workspace indicator" but I believe that its warning about a missing section in the PekWM configs, not necessarily a crash-inducer.  Or is it?

Other than these items, I'm digging Sparky so far!  I've got a heavily customized LXDE desktop (including Openbox, Fluxbox, and PekWM window managers) that I'd really like to port to LXQt once LXQt is a little more mature, and once I do I'd like to remix Sparky into an unofficial community edition for others who may be interested also.

Until then, thanks in advance to anyone who has knowledge to share!

Offline hedon

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Re: Sparky (minor) LXQT issues
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2018, 10:14:29 pm »
okay, I think I've resolved item #1 above regarding pcmanfm-qt and "open as root".  looks like LXQt uses "lxqt-sudo" instead of gksu.  and I'm not exactly sure which of my steps actually fixed the problem, but I've now got "open as root" working as expected.  But as a side effect, I can't tell the "root" window from the regular user window.

I like to have my "root" file manager use different icons...jarringly different...so that I am acutely aware that I'm using root and to make sure I'm using extra caution.  But the windows are identical now.  I note that there are 2 files in 2 different directories of my ~/.config/pcmanfm-qt directory.  One of the sub-directories is "default" with a single file settings.conf; while the 2nd directory is "lxqt" with a single file settings.conf.  The lxqt>settings.conf has a section for "fallback icons=oxygen", while the default>settings.conf has "fallback icons=elementary".  Coming from an LXDE/Lubuntu background, I know that Lubuntu directories supercede LXDE directories.  What does Sparky do?  Which of these does Sparky LXQt read from?

Am I even in the right place for this?  Is there a way for the "root" user to select different default icons in pcmanfm-qt, so that a simple glance will OBVIOUSLY indicate to me the difference between a regular user pcmanfm-qt window and a "root" window?

Offline paxmark1

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Re: Sparky (minor) LXQT issues
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2018, 01:49:19 am »
Debian stable - (akin to Sparky4) - installed when Stretch was testing over 3 years ago)  Pcmanfm-qt - Tool menu  then open as root.    The main difference is the Places tree will have Root  at top instead.
Much older Sparky install - still rolling  .  A little snappier looking PCmanfm-qt - it wants my root password instead - I do not know why. 

No jarring colours to let you know "Danger Danger."   Myself - I prefer to go to terminal and my red instead of green "root@raunes.
You could go to the LXQT site and file a feature request as a bug.  They are usually quite friendly in irc.  They have  gone to OFTC
https://lxqt.org/release/2018/07/26/moving-to-oftc/

Yes lxqt uses libfm and therefore lxqt-sudo -  man gksu  "gksu - GTK+ frontend for su and sudo"   There are no GTK requirements at all to best of my knowledge for LXQT. (There are Tier 1 kf5 "Plasma" requirements, however all Tier 1 are written entirely in QT5.)

As far as I know Sparky does not do much to alter LXQT. 

Yes, following KDE in testing or unstable can be an extremely rocky road.  GTK - the GTK3 (and coming GTK4) changes - not my style. For the Deskto Environments (DE) that are staying with GTK2, means you are locked into the past.    QT5 and LXQT are tailor made in my opinion for a smooth ride in a rolling distribution. 

This is a very good question.  Thank you. 
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Offline pavroo

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Re: Sparky (minor) LXQT issues
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2018, 04:56:26 pm »
Talking about obmenu-generator - there is a new version 0.85 waiting to be upladed, so I will add an option to backup the schema and keep it after upgrading the package.

Edit:
The new version 0.85 landed in the repos with my addition to backup schema with present date.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2018, 11:11:54 pm by pavroo »
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Offline hedon

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Re: Sparky (minor) LXQT issues
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2018, 10:47:07 pm »
Talking about obmenu-generator - there is a new version 0.85 waiting to be upladed, so I will add an option to backup the schema and keep it after upgrading the package.

Edit:
The new version 0.85 landed in the repos with my addition to backup schema with present date.

Thank you pavroo, I was hoping you'd chime in at some point.  Excellent news for the obmenu-generator package.  Any word on the unresolvable dependencies in the qt5ct package?

I think I can eventually figure out and/or hack a solution for my pcmanfm "root" desires, and I'm slowly starting to figure out that LXQt seems to have three different levels of theming; LXQt themes for panels & main menu; widget themes for background colors & widget themes in windows; and window manager themes for window managers (including, but not limited to KWin, xfwm4, openbox, fluxbox, pekwm, etc...).  And a fourth layer, I suppose, in order to get gtk-based apps to look integrated into a qt environment.  looks like I need qt5ct or kvantum for that, but only qt5ct is in the Sparky repos.  Will the dependency issue be resolved anytime soon?  Or should I look for a qt5ct PPA?

Lastly, with respect to OpenBox>FluxBox>PekWM issues described above, I note that if I use the "wm --replace" switch from the terminal that I see a LOT of errors/warnings with OB.  I can provide a text of those errors if interested.  Is it possible that OB isn't built "correctly", and THAT is what is causing PekWM to hang/freeze at switch over?

Offline paxmark1

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Re: Sparky (minor) LXQT issues
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2018, 05:51:29 am »
I have a newish virtualbox with LXQT and an i386 atom netbook with a several year old install of LXQT both Sparky rolling, neither has qt5ct -.35-1+b1.   Of course there is no qt5ct in Sparky4-Stable.  Not even backported.  I have  no experience with. 

Using a ppa for qt5ct- well Debian is  one of the first to get  the new code from LXQT, Alf G sees to that.   I doubt a ppa would be faster.  I am biased, see my sig.  The last thing I would add to /etc/apt in a rolling distribution is a Ubuntu ppa for something.

For looking down the road, you have two choices in LXQT configuration center for your window manager.  You can go into the Session Setting module and (if installed) utilized xfwm4 instead of openbox.  Down the road, openbox will probably not work with wayland,  xfwm4 will.   But that might open up a tangled mess with your customs scripts. 

I really got to love openbox via CrunchBang (#!) but I am not looking back.  I have had xfwm4 in stretch in testing and have had no problems.  I wish you luck. 
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Offline hedon

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Re: Sparky (minor) LXQT issues
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2018, 02:41:48 pm »
I have a newish virtualbox with LXQT and an i386 atom netbook with a several year old install of LXQT both Sparky rolling, neither has qt5ct -.35-1+b1.   Of course there is no qt5ct in Sparky4-Stable.  Not even backported.  I have  no experience with. 

Using a ppa for qt5ct- well Debian is  one of the first to get  the new code from LXQT, Alf G sees to that.   I doubt a ppa would be faster.  I am biased, see my sig.  The last thing I would add to /etc/apt in a rolling distribution is a Ubuntu ppa for something.

For looking down the road, you have two choices in LXQT configuration center for your window manager.  You can go into the Session Setting module and (if installed) utilized xfwm4 instead of openbox.  Down the road, openbox will probably not work with wayland,  xfwm4 will.   But that might open up a tangled mess with your customs scripts. 

I really got to love openbox via CrunchBang (#!) but I am not looking back.  I have had xfwm4 in stretch in testing and have had no problems.  I wish you luck.

Appreciate the reply pax!  While I truly dig the ability of LXQt to use any of a multitude of WMs, and the EASE of swapping them out, lack of a right-click/keychain menu would be a deal killer for me, as it's so ingrained into my workflow.  When/if that happens, I'll be looking for something else (Lumina looks interesting, being a Qt-based WM which began as a Fluxbox fork).  You are correct that OB isn't Wayland compatible (yet?!), but there's such a large user base for OB that I believe it will get resolved.  Whether OB gets ported, or a compatibility layer is developed....something.   I'm more concerned about FluxBox (my favorite #1A) and PekWM (my #1B) being made compatible. 

You are also correct about Alf G...he's a very helpful fella on the LXQt dev forum and he also maintains the LXDE & LXQt flavors of Siduction.  Ironically, Siduction is probably my favorite LXQt distro, as well as the most polished, but Sid is just too "wild west" for me and my main rig, as well as about 10 other 'puters in my house.

With respect to qt5ct, it's already in the Sparky repos, but isn't able to be installed due to a dependency issue.
Code: [Select]
sudo apt install qt5ct
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
or been moved out of Incoming.
The following information may help to resolve the situation:

The following packages have unmet dependencies:
 qt5ct : Depends: qtbase-abi-5-9-0 but it is not installable
E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

This is the first time I've run into such an issue with Sparky, but not sure why?  Is this because of a feature-freeze in Sid or Buster?  Or just an oversight by whomever built the package for Sparky?  Now I know what "Franken Debian" means in your sig!  I tend to agree with that philosophy!  I've been known to locate a missing dependency and install it manually, just to meet the installation requirements.  On rare occassions, I've been known to add a new source simply to install that one missing dependency (usually because I can't figure out where to manually install it), and then de-activate the source.  In the Ubuntu family, a PPA is a solution.  Maybe not the BEST solution, but solves the problem until a better one can be found/developed. 

However, as a matter of practicality, I believe that you have to do whatever you have to do to get your machine running the way you want it to.  For instance, I can agree with Richard Stallman's philosophy for free-software, against proprietary offerings...one SHOULD choose the free open-source over the closed proprietary.  However, if the open-source graphics driver is somewhat glitchy on my hardware, and the proprietary offering solves that problem, I feel that proprietary is the better solution for the time being, and that is what I'll choose.  When the open-source offering "catches up" and addresses that issue, I'm happy to switch back to that software.

And that is how I view PPAs.  With that said, I was under the impression that Debian and Ubuntu were compatible with their directory structures.  I often see PPAs reference "Ubuntu and Debian".  Is this not the case?  Or just not your preference/recommendation?  After 9+ years in the Ubuntu family of fixed-point releases, I'm just trying to learn my way in the Debian rolling-release way of doing things!  Thanks in advance!

Offline paxmark1

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Re: Sparky (minor) LXQT issues
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2018, 08:45:50 pm »
I have since installed qt5ct on the virtualbox and the atom netbook.  I then updated -  apt -s install obemenu-generator works, but for apt install   it only half configures.  dpkg --configure obmenu-generator fails as  does dpkg --configure -a   Note:  I switch off my sparky sources and then open up every few months for an update. 

ppa's   I used to use Norbert Preining's ppa for Sigil (qt5 ebook editing - took awhile to get into Debian, Norbert is a dev now) and also the blob of Calibre as it took forever - all cutting edge qt5 and python3.    This was for testing and stable.   But I have seen too many people in ircs totally hose their systems via ppa's based in Ub and especially in testing - even more so in sid.  My Kobo ebook reader was non-functional for awhile in stable - so I just used my sparky5-testing netbook to get opensource books from FadedPage (Canadian copyright - death plus 50)
   

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Offline pavroo

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Re: Sparky (minor) LXQT issues
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2018, 08:57:40 pm »
The abi is not an separated package any more, it is a part of a libqt5core5 package. The point is the qt5ct packager should not keep the abi as a dependency, that's a problem

Just upladed to repos re-debianized qt5ct 0.35 so refresh package list and try again.
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Offline hedon

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Re: Sparky (minor) LXQT issues
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2018, 09:08:10 pm »
okay...qt5ct downloaded and installed from repos with no issues.  now to learn how to configure and use this software...   :o

Also, Sparky updated today, with obmenu-generator being one of the updated packages.  After backup, the OB menu changed to the default schema, but my schema-BAK.pl file was right there in the directory, where I expected it to be.  Nice!  Replaced schema with my BAK file and OB menu immediately updated.  Would be better if obmenu-generator left the custom schema.pl in place, or allowed for a custom schema to supercede the default schema; but I can live with this.  THANK YOU!
« Last Edit: October 05, 2018, 10:31:59 pm by hedon »

Offline hedon

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Re: Sparky (minor) LXQT issues
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2018, 10:40:29 pm »
Referencing item #4 in my original post (window manager switching), I noted the OB errors when switching within a terminal:

Code: [Select]
***** Imlib2 Developer Warning ***** :
        This program is calling the Imlib call:

        imlib_free_image();

        With the parameter:

        image

        being NULL. Please fix your program.
ObRender-Message: Cannot load image "application-info" from file "application-info"
***** Imlib2 Developer Warning ***** :
        This program is calling the Imlib call:

        imlib_free_image();

        With the parameter:

        image

        being NULL. Please fix your program.
ObRender-Message: Cannot load image "drive-harddisk" from file "drive-harddisk"
***** Imlib2 Developer Warning ***** :
        This program is calling the Imlib call:

        imlib_free_image();

        With the parameter:

        image

        being NULL. Please fix your program.
ObRender-Message: Cannot load image "system-run" from file "system-run"
***** Imlib2 Developer Warning ***** :
        This program is calling the Imlib call:

        imlib_free_image();

        With the parameter:

        image

        being NULL. Please fix your program.
ObRender-Message: Cannot load image "usb-creator" from file "usb-creator"
***** Imlib2 Developer Warning ***** :
        This program is calling the Imlib call:

        imlib_free_image();

        With the parameter:

        image

        being NULL. Please fix your program.
ObRender-Message: Cannot load image "system-shutdown" from file "system-shutdown"
***** Imlib2 Developer Warning ***** :
        This program is calling the Imlib call:

        imlib_free_image();

        With the parameter:

        image

        being NULL. Please fix your program.
ObRender-Message: Cannot load image "usb-creator" from file "usb-creator"
***** Imlib2 Developer Warning ***** :
        This program is calling the Imlib call:

        imlib_free_image();

        With the parameter:

        image

        being NULL. Please fix your program.
ObRender-Message: Cannot load image "preferences-desktop-theme" from file "preferences-desktop-theme"

Wondering if this could be the source of desktop "freezing" during WM switch, or if these are just typical warnings due to the way OB was compiled.  I don't see anything "fatal" here, just warnings, but trying to confirm or eliminate the obvious, whether OB could be a source of the problem, or just a coincidence.