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#1 2018-12-10 01:33:10

Registered: 2018-12-09
Posts: 21  

first steps with devuan/jessie on a laptop

Hello world,

because this is my first post to the dev1galaxy, my 1st aim is to send thanks to all the people, who have decided to fork debian. THANK YOU for the work you've done over the last four years!  And it's on my personal wishlist in 2018 that devuan continues longer than the next four years (at least;-)

In this post I want to note some topics which are important to me:

  • I'll prefer the debian way to packaging software for many years, it's just rock solid. (No extra server load neccessary during recompiling with important patches.)

  • At the end of the last century there was an request for "*nix to the desktop", long before Mac OS X becomes available.  On behalf to GNU/Linux I've found that Ubuntu has completed the job around 2008. At that time I was able to install and maintain an alternative operating system for others(!) without too much hazzle. There's nobody to blame.

  • In 2014 I was looking for another desktop distribution, just because the

    apt-get dist-upgrade

    (BTW: from Ubuntu 10.04 LTS to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS) does not work like suspected. NOTE: Two years are a very long time for any desktop operating system. You should consider an fresh installation after that period.

  • In Nov 2014 I took my freedom to choose the "LinuxMint Debian Edition with MATE-Desktop" as desktop system not only for myself. This "LMDE 2 Betsy with MATE" works (nearly:-( well up to now. But it reaches "end of life" at 2018-12-31

Most of the above relates only loosly to devuan, but just to say: This post is written with help of

  • acer laptop: an "Intel(R) Celeron(R) M processor , 1.50GHz" with 1GB RAM and (around) 74GB hard disk.

  • an "unknown linux" ... aah ... "unknown" to grub (which misses lsb_release;-). It's a minimalistic devuan/jessie with xfce installed in mai 2017 and up-to-date until now.

  • a shell (in an adjusted xterm), an editor (not pico but nano) and a long-time-used x-www-browser.

And last but not least: I've managed to post here.

Greetings and best wishes to all of you

PS at 2018-12-14: Today I found an interesting discussion Devuan/A philosophical diatribe: ... (started at 2018-12-07 02:04:09). Just to say: I'm not a native speaker of english nor an real programmer. But to set a counterpoint with acronyms: I'm a VUGL or at least a VCU in terms of PDP-7. That means "veteran computer user" or "veteran user of GNU/Linux". And this thread is just about how to get "devuan/ascii with mate desktop" running on several machines just with one devuan/jessie currently running. I want to note my first steps.

Last edited by guuml.dev1 (2018-12-14 18:06:23)

guuml is an abbrevation for gü in ASCII (1967),
focused on devuan and skipping epic poems like beowulf.
Has Gü spent his last raw DVD to a chimäre? No.


#2 2018-12-12 10:03:58

Registered: 2018-12-09
Posts: 21  

Re: first steps with devuan/jessie on a laptop

Update 2018-12-12: basics about xfce and firefox
Update 2018-12-29: changed markup and inserted links to other threads

As noted in my previous post I have made some experiences with GNU/Linux both on servers (even headless) and on desktop/laptop with older hardware. And I have had to learn some lessions about details I was not interested previously. But to keep a long story short: In the not to far future there should be some desktop/laptops booting a devuan/ascii with MATE desktop which are somewhat "easy and straightforward" to maintain the next couple of years.

As of this writing I am using an rather minimalistic devuan/jessie with xfce on 32bit: It starts and runs very fast although there are some details to adjust. You should remember that su - is your friend. BTW: the last few years on LMDE2 betsy I was used to type sudo su. Unfortunately some time ago a guy (new to GNU/Linux but interested to learn) asked me about the differences about su and sudo and why both packages are needed. My answer was not very helpful to him because it was much too detailed ...

According to devuan-cd/devuan_ascii/README.txt there are different flavours of devuan for me to consider:

desktop-live/: A live isohybrid image featuring the standard desktop. This is the recommended choice for desktop users wanting to try Devuan out. It also allows to install the system on your hard-disk using refractainstaller-gui.

The next upcoming step is to replace "the other os" (on /dev/sda1) with "devuan_ascii_2.0.0_i386_desktop-live.iso" with the only help from devuan/jessie on /dev/sda3. This approach helps me to learn more about the "scope creep" introduced some years ago. But there is a drawback:

As far as I remember there was no difference in devuan/jessie between installer-iso/ and minimal-live/. There's a good chance that I found some issues in oldstable that are fixed in stable. FYI some examples:

1. Calling uxterm the first time after installing jessie it comes up with a much to small fontsize for me to read easily. No big thing to fix, just remember the basics:

! 2017-11-20 fontsize increase for UXterm
! afterwards do
! xrdb -merge ~/.Xresources
xterm*font:     *-fixed-*-*-*-18-*

2. A more interesting issue are some messages foung in less +F ~/.xsession-errors:

(xfce4-*): Gtk-WARNING **: Im Modulpfad »clearlooks« konnte keine Themen-Engine gefunden werden,
... repeatet many times

To get rid of messages like this use:

apt install gtk2-engines

Some links worth to be mentioned (at least for me):

3. Is there any reason for looking into ~/.xsession-error? Just in case you're using firefox, firefox-esr or thunderbird you will find many pairing messages:

(firefox-esr:3721): GLib-GObject-CRITICAL **: g_object_ref: assertion 'object->ref_count > 0' failed
(firefox-esr:3721): GLib-GObject-CRITICAL **: g_object_unref: assertion 'object->ref_count > 0' failed

Looks like on 32bit devuan/jessie with xfce (and LMDE2 with MATE) this can be ignored, say:

firefox --Profilemanager 2>~/firefox.errmsg &
less +F ~/firefox.errmsg

But at least on an specific amd_64 with LMDE2 MATE the failed assertions causes heavy havoc: "thunderbird kills betsy on the second shot." -- Ok, as devuan/ascii shall replace the LMDE2 as soon as possible I just ignore this  problem for now. here some may-be-related threads:

Last edited by guuml.dev1 (2018-12-29 13:00:11)

guuml is an abbrevation for gü in ASCII (1967),
focused on devuan and skipping epic poems like beowulf.
Has Gü spent his last raw DVD to a chimäre? No.


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