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yoghurt

Building a light weight funtoo

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Hi folks I just started building a funtoo system. My goal is to build a nice light system with enough functionality for what I need. One thing I notice is if I build something it could pull in alot of stuff that might not seen the light of day, and really just slow down the whole build process. I guess this comes down to the USE flags, but as a newbee it can be hard to know what you can remove.

 

Cheers

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I wish there was an automatic installer where it looked at your hardware, made some recommendations and then let you how to install from there using a simple set of meta-packages.

 

Ex: You probably don't want to install the latest kde or something on a 512Mb system, and you likely won't use it as a workstation, so that leaves tiny desktop with all the options trimmed, or embedded server.

 

I started something along those lines, but I had to put it on the back burner.

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Openbox, lxde, or xfce.  The latter having the most features and eye-candy.

 

Personally, I think if your hardware is so old that it can't run a modern desktop, you shouldn't put X on it at all.  Anything modern, and Gnome isn't going to slow it down if you have enough RAM and RAM is cheap.  The only thing thats slow on my system is Android Studio, and switching desktops isn't going to help, and its a fairly old AMD-based laptop at 1.6Ghz (max) ... then again, I have plenty of RAM and it doesn't swap.  Point being, switching to a 'lighter' desktop won't speed up my work flow.   Missing features could very well slow things down.

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I'm not very knowledgeable when it comes to portage, but I'd actually recommend avoiding funtoo profiles if you want a light install. I think they only modify your USE flags and possibly unmask a few packages. When I used profiles I found a few USE flags that I didn't need; the X11 mix-in mix in bought in support for joysticks and other uncommon hardware. I just glance over a few of the possible flags for packages and add the ones I think I need to my make.conf.

 

Again, I know very little about portage and there's a very good chance that what I just said is wrong...

 

 

Also, I'd recommend the i3 tiling window manager. It's extremely lightweight, and although there's a bit of a learning curve I've found it to be quite powerful.

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... but I'd actually recommend avoiding funtoo profiles if you want a light install.

 

 

I used to think this way, too. However, i've found Funtoo profiles actually aids in system stability (measured by the occurrence of emerge errors).

 

After setting the generic world profiles with eselect, I manage specific local flags with /etc/portage/package.use - thus removing any unnecessary dependencies.

 

This seems to me to be a reasonable trade-off and easy to do for newbies - set the base system then work backwards to deal with specific local issues as they arise.

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Please suggest a Gnome/Xfce4 specific feature which provides an advantage over Openbox in this regard.

Its a number of things. I like having things well integrated snd uniform. For generalbwork flow, I'm really liking the use of the Windows key for everything. Rather than trying to resize windows and then alt-tab between them, a single key gives me an overview and direct access to the window I want. A pull down terminal is always available via F2. Hardware support is cleanly integrated. For example, I frequently keep my phone plugged into USB. MTP works great. I tap one button on my phone and the MTP Icon goes away and USB networking is turned on. Tap it again and I'm back to MTP.

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Sounds kinda defensive! And I doubt you've got a keybinding that replicates Gnome's overview mode. For me, the apps I use are Gnome, so Gnome desktop makes sense. Luckily, Linux lets you choose

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There is nothing here that can't be accomplished with Openbox keybinds.

 

Oh sure there is, the windows key(or mouse up left corner) and the way it works, is completely its own thing in combination of what you type after. it's more than just a  nice way of seeing your windows. I also like minimalistic windows managers and always keep awesome around, Sometimes  I just need tmux and firefox tiled, but really gnome has got really better than what the initial version 3 was, so I only log into awesome when I'm using various vms( I don't have tons of RAM).

 

Sounds kinda defensive! And I doubt you've got a keybinding that replicates Gnome's overview mode.

+1

The way gnome designed the use of the Mod4 key is indeed really good, You can even throw math at it!  type Mod4+'2+2', I bet that you couldn't do that with openbox, unless you write some code.

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Yeah I tend to use byobu (tmux) over ssh and in my drop-down terminal (I like having a terminal that survives my desktop) and Gnome for general desktop. And my laptop is touch screen and I think Gnome beats every other 'desktop' OS for touchscreen.

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If you run Openbox and what something similar to Gnome Shell's Overview Mode you can actually get pretty close.

 

To learn how to get there start with Urukrama's attempt to replicate Expos?-type behaviour with Skippy and go on from there - it's a fun learning process!

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If you run Openbox and what something similar to Gnome Shell's Overview Mode you can actually get pretty close.

 

To learn how to get there start with Urukrama's attempt to replicate Expos?-type behaviour with Skippy and go on from there - it's a fun learning process!

Gnome's Overview mode isn't about Expos?. Its about redesigning the interface into one that is modal. You don't have docks, taskbars, or app menus to launch programs mixed with your work. This is really different and takes a bit to get used to. This makes a lot of people hate Gnome 3.

 

From a pure user-interface design stand-point, if you discount what people are used to, its much better. If your goal is to tailor your UI to what people are used to seeing then you just clone something else and Linux stays behind everyone else for innovations.

 

So, you hit the Windows key and it enters a mode used to launch applications or switch between them (or switch desktops). This is also where your search is at. Someone asked me for someone's phone number and my cell phone was downstairs, so I tapped the Win key and typed part if the name. It pulled it from my Contacts list and gave me the info immediately.

 

I have never opened the Gnome contact manager application. I had given Gnome Accounts my Google ID and allowed it to sync. It knows my contacts and gives me notifications of calendar events right on my desktop. Wanna hear a song? Tap Win and type the name. New notifications flash the screen back on temporarily so I can see it. Extensions will let you extend the search to the web if you like, or give you back your application menu or dock if you want to tailor your system.

 

Its easily flexible and it works, out of the box, without me spending time fiddling with some lock screen trigger to fake Expose! And BTW, I wouldn't like a hot-spot since this doubles the mouse movements. Tap Win, select window, and I usually know where it will appear, so its VERY fast at task switching! Much faster than a hit-spot trigger or paging through an alt-tab list (although that's available)

 

This is a level of integration that people are used to having on their phones, and now the Gnome desktop does it.

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Gnome's Overview mode isn't about Expos?. Its about redesigning the interface into one that is modal. You don't have docks, taskbars, or app menus to launch programs mixed with your work. This is really different and takes a bit to get used to. This makes a lot of people hate Gnome 3.

 

You can have all those things you say, I have applications menu, places menu, and you can have a window list at the bottom(very much like gnome2), when not having a touchscreen these are useful, can be activated using gnome-tweak-tool under extensions, and 'Dash to Dock'[1] a very nice dock extension is available on the gnome extensions site, it's really configurable, for me it simulates a hidden windows list on the right, I would say it is the best extension I've seen, I really think it should be upstreamed and included as a default, it adds a lot(mainly in a regular desktop), as it doesn't change the way gnome currently works and brings the best of the apple dock and the windows task bar.

[1] https://micheleg.github.io/dash-to-dock/

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Have you come down to a decision on what you'd like to build and the useflags you need?

Did you look at the quote date? , 7+ months should have been enough for OP to take a decision, when you revived this thread, I think most took it as if you just wanted to talk about minimal desktops, and then the thread got deviated into a discussion about features.

 

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I really think it should be upstreamed and included as a default, it adds a lot(mainly in a regular desktop), as it doesn't change the way gnome currently works and brings the best of the apple dock and the windows task bar.

It will always be an extension as it does change the way Gnome works. Docks and window lists always go on the overview screen as part of the modal interface. At first, I had turned on many of the same extensions to have a more familiar interface, but I found that I liked gnome better without them. I think of it like desktop icons... seems like a good idea until you have 20 windows open and need a 'show desktop' Icon to get to your desktop icons... but I rather like the 'Places' menu.

 

However, I do wish the refresh button on the Wifi selection screen would be made a default! Surely not being to refresh the list of networks was an oversight and not a design choice.

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