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#1 2019-02-10 07:16:02

fr0st
Member
Registered: 2019-02-05
Posts: 13  

Installation of XFCE + i3wm with ALSA

Hi everybody

I want to do a minimum netinstall of Devuan with the goal of having a  XFCE + i3 desktop with ALSA instead of PulseAudio. Unfortunately I don't have any clue which packages depend on PulseAudio, nor do I know how to get a basic XFCE without LightDM (I don't need a login manager) and the default applications such as office, multimedia and misc. There isn't something like an XFCE core package, right?

Things I want to install for now:
• XFCE (minus LightDM and the default applications for office, multimedia, graphics etc)
• i3 (from Devuan repo, non-gaps)
• ALSA
• firefox-esr, chromium (they might depend on PulseAudio by default?)

Does "standard system utilities" during the netinstall already provide PulseAudio and should I uncheck it, or should I leave it because it is crucial for things to work? How do I proceed after said netinstall to install the things mentioned above, without accidentally installing PulseAudio as well?

Last edited by fr0st (2019-02-10 07:36:34)

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#2 2019-02-10 10:38:19

Panopticon
Member
Registered: 2018-01-27
Posts: 232  

Re: Installation of XFCE + i3wm with ALSA

Choose standard system utilities, you will need that.

I would be more inclined to download and install Refracta by fsmithred the forums admin, as it is already setup with xfce and most other requirements so all you have to do is add in i3 window manager. But really i3 should be used just as i3 i think, i dont know if it would work real well over xfwm.

Refracta installs really quickly and you can be setup in 10 minutes or less to a somewhat (network might need setting up) fully functional xfce4 desktop.

https://dev1galaxy.org/viewtopic.php?id=2656

Last edited by Panopticon (2019-02-10 10:40:18)

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#3 2019-02-10 10:57:16

fr0st
Member
Registered: 2019-02-05
Posts: 13  

Re: Installation of XFCE + i3wm with ALSA

Panopticon wrote:

I would be more inclined to download and install Refracta by fsmithred the forums admin, as it is already setup with xfce and most other requirements so all you have to do is add in i3 window manager.

Looks interesting, but I don't see any advantage over vanilla Devuan. At least not for my usecase.
Does it come with ALSA by default?

Panopticon wrote:

But really i3 should be used just as i3 i think, i dont know if it would work real well over xfwm.

Why wouldn't it work well? It is basically tiling for XFCE.

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#4 2019-02-10 11:13:45

Panopticon
Member
Registered: 2018-01-27
Posts: 232  

Re: Installation of XFCE + i3wm with ALSA

I think it is setup a little more than vanilla devuan with a few more packages in the list. vanilla devuan would be fine too, i was just making a recommendation.

It comes with alsa-utils by default.

Ive used i3 on a few occasions and had it setup quite well on a void linux base but it only had another window manager jwm on it not a desktop environment like xfce4 , mate or such. Give it a go cant hurt i suppose, be a lot of setting up. You will need a panel like polybar or similar as the xfce4 panel probably wont cut it.

EDIT: Ok i stand corrected, it is possible to have a working xfce4 DE and i3 following below instructions. Looks like a fair bit of setting up to get in going initially and you should have a working knowledge of i3 first it says. Also note that link is from 2015 so maybe there is an updated tutorial doing a google search and that tutorial is for xubuntu so you will have to take what you can out of it to suit devuan.

http://feeblenerd.blogspot.com/2015/11/ … -xfce.html

Last edited by Panopticon (2019-02-10 11:24:08)

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#5 2019-02-10 11:33:37

fr0st
Member
Registered: 2019-02-05
Posts: 13  

Re: Installation of XFCE + i3wm with ALSA

Panopticon wrote:

I think it is setup a little more than vanilla devuan with a few more packages in the list. vanilla devuan would be fine too, i was just making a recommendation.

I checked the package list and it has useful stuff, but also has a lot of packages I don't need.

Panopticon wrote:

It comes with alsa-utils by default.

That is a huge plus indeed.

Panopticon wrote:

Ive used i3 on a few occasions and had it setup quite well on a void linux base but it only had another window manager jwm on it not a desktop environment like xfce4 , mate or such. Give it a go cant hurt i suppose, be a lot of setting up. You will need a panel like polybar or similar as the xfce4 panel probably wont cut it.

I want to use i3 for a better workflow on limited screenspace. The thing is, I don't want to go full CLI with i3. I'd use thunar anyways and xfce4 panel and the xfce settings manager would be convenient as well.

Panopticon wrote:

EDIT: Ok i stand corrected, it is possible to have a working xfce4 DE and i3 following below instructions. Looks like a fair bit of setting up to get in going initially and you should have a working knowledge of i3 first it says. Also note that link is from 2015 so maybe there is an updated tutorial doing a google search.

http://feeblenerd.blogspot.com/2015/11/ … -xfce.html

Thank you for the link. I saw a great workflow video of XFCE & i3wm a while ago and wanted to make it happen on my laptop ever since.

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#6 2019-02-10 11:42:44

Panopticon
Member
Registered: 2018-01-27
Posts: 232  

Re: Installation of XFCE + i3wm with ALSA

Well good luck with it frost, i hope you get it going well and i might even give it a try myself as i dont mind tiling window managers as i use dwm and void linux on my laptop for as you mention limited screen space.

Ive just installed refracta xfce4 on another machine so i might try out i3 wm on that and post back here.

Last edited by Panopticon (2019-02-10 11:46:24)

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#7 2019-02-10 11:55:24

fr0st
Member
Registered: 2019-02-05
Posts: 13  

Re: Installation of XFCE + i3wm with ALSA

Panopticon wrote:

Well good luck with it frost, i hope you get it going well and i might even give it a try myself as i dont mind tiling window managers as i use dwm and void linux on my laptop for as you mention limited screen space.

Ive just installed refracta xfce4 on another machine so i might try out i3 wm on that and post back here.

Sounds good. Let me know how it works out for you.

I think I will also give Refracta a try, although I don't like the amount of applications and the fact that openssh-server is running by default.

@topic: Still curious how to do the netinstall with ALSA and without installing PulseAudio by accident.

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#8 2019-02-10 12:06:09

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,037  

Re: Installation of XFCE + i3wm with ALSA

Looks interesting, but I don't see any advantage over vanilla Devuan.

The desktop is installed as individual parts instead of with metapackages, so if you remove one part, just that part gets removed. It's also installed without recommends (in most cases).

It starts kinda like this:

xfconf xfdesktop4 xfwm4 xfce4-terminal xfce4-xkb-plugin xfce4-panel \
thunar thunar-volman thunar-archive-plugin xfce4-notifyd libnotify-bin xscreensaver \
xfce4-power-manager  xfce4-cpugraph-plugin  lxde-icon-theme lxdm \
xfce4-screenshooter xfce4-appfinder xfce4-netload-plugin \

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#9 2019-02-10 12:16:13

fr0st
Member
Registered: 2019-02-05
Posts: 13  

Re: Installation of XFCE + i3wm with ALSA

fsmithred wrote:

The desktop is installed as individual parts instead of with metapackages, so if you remove one part, just that part gets removed. It's also installed without recommends (in most cases).

This is great, I agree.

U don't use the Debian installer on the LiveISO I assume?

Last edited by fr0st (2019-02-10 12:32:49)

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#10 2019-02-10 14:39:04

thierrybo
Member
Registered: 2017-11-11
Posts: 38  

Re: Installation of XFCE + i3wm with ALSA

fr0st wrote:

I think I will also give Refracta a try, although I don't like the amount of applications and the fact that openssh-server is running by default.

@topic: Still curious how to do the netinstall with ALSA and without installing PulseAudio by accident.


You just have to pin the package. Put a file named e.g avoid_pulseaudio in /etc/apt/preferences.d with this:

Package: pulseaudio
Pin: release o=Devuan
Pin-Priority: -1

For example, here is my /etc/apt/preferences.d

    ├─ /etc/apt/preferences.d
    │    ├─ avoid-systemd
    │    ├─ avoid-systemd-i386
    │    ├─ avoid-consolekit
    │    ├─ avoid-mono
    │    ├─ avoid-policykit-1
    │    ├─ avoid-udisk2
    │    ├─ avoid-pulseaudio

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#11 2019-02-10 15:32:27

golinux
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,573  

Re: Installation of XFCE + i3wm with ALSA

fr0st wrote:

U don't use the Debian installer on the LiveISO I assume?

Right.  The live disks use the refractainstaller.  There is also a cli version.  Launch refractainstaller as root.

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#12 2019-02-10 18:05:45

fr0st
Member
Registered: 2019-02-05
Posts: 13  

Re: Installation of XFCE + i3wm with ALSA

thierrybo wrote:

You just have to pin the package. Put a file named e.g avoid_pulseaudio in /etc/apt/preferences.d with this:

Package: pulseaudio
Pin: release o=Devuan
Pin-Priority: -1

For example, here is my /etc/apt/preferences.d

    ├─ /etc/apt/preferences.d
    │    ├─ avoid-systemd
    │    ├─ avoid-systemd-i386
    │    ├─ avoid-consolekit
    │    ├─ avoid-mono
    │    ├─ avoid-policykit-1
    │    ├─ avoid-udisk2
    │    ├─ avoid-pulseaudio

Thank you. So I remove pulseaudio after my netinstall and pin the package to prevent it from being installed again?


golinux wrote:

Right.  The live disks use the refractainstaller.  There is also a cli version.  Launch refractainstaller as root.

Can I install Refracta from the live image on a device with libreboot?

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#13 2019-02-10 23:08:18

thierrybo
Member
Registered: 2017-11-11
Posts: 38  

Re: Installation of XFCE + i3wm with ALSA

fr0st wrote:

Thank you. So I remove pulseaudio after my netinstall and pin the package to prevent it from being installed again?

Yes, https://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/debi … te_version

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#14 2019-02-11 00:23:20

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,037  

Re: Installation of XFCE + i3wm with ALSA

Can I install Refracta from the live image on a device with libreboot?

I don't know. Never tried it and don't know a lot about libreboot.

The installer can handle the bootloader in different ways, depending on your circumstances. If you boot uefi mode, the installer will just run 'grub-install' in the chrooted system.

If you boot in bios mode, the installer will install the grub-pc package, and the package manager will do its usual thing asking you where to put the bootloader.

You can also skip the bootloader if you have another way to boot the system.

The installer pauses right before it installs the bootloader. At that time, you can chroot the target system and do whatever you need to do manually.

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#15 2019-02-12 10:13:58

Panopticon
Member
Registered: 2018-01-27
Posts: 232  

Re: Installation of XFCE + i3wm with ALSA

Ok i got i3 going in xfce4

main points from the link i posted from feeblenerd are,

VI. Deactivate xfwm window manager in session and startups "session" - dont delete it just disable it to never in case you want to use xfwm again and also xfdesktop.

VII. Activate the i3 window manager in session and startup "application autostart"

VIII. Remove non-i3 Keyboard Shortcuts in xfce4 settings keyboard.

After thats done get your i3 config ready. I didnt use the one in the feeblnerd link, instead what i did was go into an i3 session first, so log out and then log into i3 only not an xfce4 session, im running lxdm greeter so it was there when i logged out. That way i3 will auto configure the config in $HOME/.config/i3/config and ask you if you what per user or systemwide i3 config.

I just commented out the i3 bar in the config to use xfce4 panel and it doesnt seem to work too bad, i was quite surprised. The window switcher seems to be ok but i had my xfce4 panel on deskbar and that doesnt seem to work properly as it filled the entire screen but horizontal bar is ok. Dont forget about a background setter like nitrogen or feh as you wont be able to set a background anymore with xfce

All i have done is this to the end of the i3 config file.

# Start i3bar to display a workspace bar (plus the system information i3status
# finds out, if available)
#bar {
#        status_command i3status
#}

#custom commands
bindsym $mod+f exec --no-startup-id firefox
exec --no-startup-id nitrogen --restore

Here is some scrots of mine...

Screenshot_2019-02-12_20-09-30.md.png
Screenshot_2019-02-12_20-10-30.md.png
Screenshot_2019-02-12_20-10-45.md.png

This works pretty good, i like it. I may need to set up floating windows for windows like preferences etc.

And i am using i3-gaps from here https://github.com/Airblader/i3 as devuan nor debian have them for stable that i can find anyhow?

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#16 2019-02-12 15:50:58

fr0st
Member
Registered: 2019-02-05
Posts: 13  

Re: Installation of XFCE + i3wm with ALSA

fsmithred wrote:

I don't know. Never tried it and don't know a lot about libreboot.

The installer can handle the bootloader in different ways, depending on your circumstances. If you boot uefi mode, the installer will just run 'grub-install' in the chrooted system.

If you boot in bios mode, the installer will install the grub-pc package, and the package manager will do its usual thing asking you where to put the bootloader.

You can also skip the bootloader if you have another way to boot the system.

The installer pauses right before it installs the bootloader. At that time, you can chroot the target system and do whatever you need to do manually.

I couldn't manage to set up full disk encryption on libreboot with the refracta installer, so I went with vanilla Devuan instead. Your Devuan spin looks great though, lightweight but armed with the right tools.



Panopticon wrote:

I didnt use the one in the feeblnerd link, instead what i did was go into an i3 session first, so log out and then log into i3 only not an xfce4 session, im running lxdm greeter so it was there when i logged out. That way i3 will auto configure the config in $HOME/.config/i3/config and ask you if you what per user or systemwide i3 config.

Otherwise it wouldn't even create the config file, right?


Panopticon wrote:

Here is some scrots of mine...

Looks good, except for the huge whisker menu tongue

Thank your for sharing the progress with your setup. I am glad you like the combination of XFCE and i3.


Panopticon wrote:

And i am using i3-gaps from here https://github.com/Airblader/i3 as devuan nor debian have them for stable that i can find anyhow?

Yes, there is no i3-gaps in the repo. Last time I installed i3-gaps, I used https://github.com/maestrogerardo/i3-gaps-deb for convenience. I choose i3 over i3-gaps though.

Last edited by fr0st (2019-02-13 09:59:00)

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#17 2019-02-12 16:09:08

Panopticon
Member
Registered: 2018-01-27
Posts: 232  

Re: Installation of XFCE + i3wm with ALSA

I think as long as you have a config i3 can read in either user dirs or system wide dirs it would be ok. I just did it to make sure i3 was active and worked as expected before i went in with xfce4-session.

I like the whisker menu, reminds me of when i first started out with gnu/linux wink

The combination is surprisngly workable, its like a 50/50, half mouse half keyboard which i dont mind, could be full mouse or keyboard too, best of both worlds i suppose.

i3 gaps is more for show, would be better on a larger display i suppose but who doesnt like a little bit of eye candy, even if its only a few pixels either side.

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