Different GUI's for Debian squeeze


15 posts
by hjongste » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:20 am
So you have started up the Raspi and typed in 'pi' and 'raspberry' as login and password. So now what? The distro that you have downloaded comes with LXDE, which is started by typing 'startx', but you can install others. Try this:

sudo apt-get install xfce4

This will install the LXFCE4 GUI which can be started typing: 'startxfce4' at the prompt

Try another one:

sudo apt-get install fluxbox
sudo apt-get install xterm

After the prompt type: startx /usr/bin/fluxbox
This is the most minimalist GUI and only right clicking brings up a menu.

Enjoy!
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by JonB » Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:43 am
That's interesting. I used Synaptic to install xfce last night, and all it did was put a bitmap on the background of my lxeterm. I will try the startx argument tonight. Thanks!

How do you switch the default desktop? In Gnome / Ubuntu you can select at the login screen - can this be setup in LXDE?
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by rasbeer » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:29 am
I think lxde & xfce are 'desktop environments'. & the thing puts up the login screen is called the display manager. There's one from the lxde people called lxdm and I think xubuntu uses GDM (Gnome Display Manager) by default; not sure about the RasPi distros.

People say you can switch between lxde and xfce freely. However, with sufficient ignorance (ie mine) during this process it's possible to banjax things to the point where you a) can't get into the GUI and b) can't get into a CLI environment that lets you get online with wireless (you can boot into a 'recovery' CLI environment, but to make sure this is available it doesn't load the necessary drivers.)

I think I made an error when lxdm flashed up an ncurses (ie in-terminal, non-gui) menu when I uninstalled lxdm - possibly selecting a display manager that lxdm's uninstall script listed, but that wasn't installed at the time.

Tips on how to get lxde and xfce to live together harmoniously might help others avoid this fate. :D

(EDIT: possibly similar problem reported recently. But it might be this is a (u|l|x)buntu-specific problem.)
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by JonB » Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:31 pm
startxfce4 - got it.

Funny, xfce is much slower than lxde! I wonder why?
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by OlDrunk » Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:31 pm
I don't have any other desktops installed right now just LXDE , but I know in the base Debian squeeze image if you enter gdm at the prompt it will load, give you a login and let you select a desktop, language and that.
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by sharpapotheosis » Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:38 pm
I find IceWM to run with a nice mix of speed, functionality and familiarity. I think you can just use sudo apt-get install icewm, and then use gdm or slim to pick it.
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by hjongste » Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:53 pm
A slight adjustment. I had to type 'sudo gdm". Thanks for the tip, it works great.
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by ren41 » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:05 pm
I uninstalled lxde and installed fxce4 which I much prefer.

if you have both installed then startxfce4 should sort you out. I think with startx lxde will load as default.

You do need to be aware that some programs, such as synaptic, need to be run as root - they may ask you to log in as root and the little program which deals with this task is called menu. If you try running (for instance) synaptic from the GUI and nothing happens, download and install menu again.

ren
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by hjongste » Sat Jun 23, 2012 5:16 am
In the new Debian wheezy distro, gdm is no longer working. I cannot install it as well. I can install gdm3 which seems to be a huge download and install. Gdm3 is much much slower than the previous gdm. Does anybody know a different GUI manager?
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by andyl » Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:26 am
hjongste wrote:In the new Debian wheezy distro, gdm is no longer working. I cannot install it as well. I can install gdm3 which seems to be a huge download and install. Gdm3 is much much slower than the previous gdm. Does anybody know a different GUI manager?


Yep gdm3 requires Gnome libraries I think.

A couple of alternatives

lightdm. see http://wiki.debian.org/LightDM.

SLiM

Both are in the repository - so just apt-get install them.
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by hjongste » Sun Jun 24, 2012 5:45 pm
Lightdm works fine, but SLiM cannot be found in the repository.
Anyway, lightdm does the job.
I am sure there is a way to have the raspi start up with lightdm. Probably some init file?
Thanks!
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by andyl » Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:03 pm
hjongste wrote:Lightdm works fine, but SLiM cannot be found in the repository.
Anyway, lightdm does the job.
I am sure there is a way to have the raspi start up with lightdm. Probably some init file?
Thanks!


I think it is just a matter of changing /etc/X11/default-display-manager so just
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sudo nano /etc/X11/default-display-manager


BTW - SLiM is in the repository but it is named slim - the funny caps version is the actual name of the program not the package.
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by Super-Nathan » Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:12 am
There is always my personal favorite, Openbox
openbox is super lightweight and super fast.


the simple install is:
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aptitude install openbox obconf obmenu



Here is a GREAT writeup on the install and configuration of openbox
http://urukrama.wordpress.com/openbox-guide/
echo "Something Useful" > /dev/null
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by pisit » Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:46 am
Openbox is a good GUI to try and it was pre-install with Debian Image.
create a .xinitrc file in /home/pi
add line:
exec openbox
save
exit and startx
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by Super-Nathan » Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:12 pm
Before you run openbox!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
you should first copy (as a regular user) the configs from etc to home

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mkdir -p ~/.config/openbox

Then
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cp /etc/xdg/openbox/** ~/.config/openbox



Without editing the .xinit file you should also be able to start openbox manually

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xinit /usr/bin/openbox-session
echo "Something Useful" > /dev/null
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