MATE for Raspbian


145 posts   Page 3 of 6   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
by Evilbadger » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:58 am
When I installed MATE on my basic Raspbian install I followed your instructions here.

I noticed your instructions had this part TBD...
Running MATE automatically at boot time
TBD [Haven't figured this out yet.]


The MATE project have not yet released their own X display manager, so you need to install a separate display manager. (I would recommend LightDM)
Once that is done it should auto-magically go to the graphical login menu at startup.
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by Mentazm » Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:27 am
Hi guys,

Just installed this image and logged in. I thought it would boot straight to a GUI as I am a complete linux noob and finding even the basic commands difficult to remember.

What do I type in at the root@pisces:~# prompt to get a GUI on screen?
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by Steep » Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:09 am
Try startx Mentazm
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by Mentazm » Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:54 pm
That's it, thanks Steep.
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by john.mills » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:16 pm
Hi Steep,

That is a good point, it is not a bad idea that the desktop automatically starts by default. Typing 'startx' is very simple for those that aware of the command. But, as can be seen above, causes problems for those who have no knowledge of desktop Linux.

Someone coming to Linux for the first time being confronted by the command prompt would likely be somewhat intimidated. I would like to see Raspbian boot straight to LightDM. I think all of the desktop facing Linux distribution boot in to X by default now. It would certainly help the new users if Raspbian did the same. We should be trying to make the Raspbian experience as welcoming as possible for new users.

John
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by Steep » Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:19 pm
Maybe some.basic.linux.commands.txt placed on the fat32 partition with stuff like apt-get, wget, startx nano and a short explanation of each.

One of the most frustrating things about Linux is the lack of 'user friendly instructions' for new users.
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by john.mills » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:49 pm
Hi Steep,

But the question then is how do you look at the commands, if you have to use VI, emacs or nanothen that is a huge, huge fail. The instructions along with their usage is better served if they are in a pdf file in the documents folder of the home directory. You can then have an xterm open at the same time to learn the command.

John
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by Steep » Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:38 pm
I'm assuming that most Linux newbies will be coming from Windows and burning the images using win32diskmanager. When checking the CS card in windows they will see the .txt file and be able to read it easily enough.
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by john.mills » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:58 pm
Hi again Steep,

I think the key point, as you said, is that you are assuming. For now most people probably will be using a disk image produced on Windows. But, Windows is not a prerequisite for using the Pi. In a few months when the Pi is shipping to schools and third world countries, maybe a child will never have experienced Windows or possibly used a computer before and will have no understanding that they should open a text file to look at the contents of commands line utility

You have to consider such factors, that is why the Raspbian release needs to be a straight forward as possible so that the computer becomes the tool and not an obstacle to the learning process.

John
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by paaland » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:00 pm
I suggest including a small "getting started" leaflet with the raspi when it's sent to the masses.
- It should describe where do download images and how to put them on an sd card (not just copy the img file etc)
- How to login
- How to start the GUI
- etc
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by summers » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:11 pm
Suspect this isn't where raspbian is at right now - its still alpha/beta software. Means that at the moment it probably going to be a bit clunky. So first time users probably better off by using one of the other builds. Of course Rasbrian is aiming at how to get the best out of the RPi hardware - so long term, we hope it will go out to the masses. But for now, just a bit clunky and geek talk ... sorry about that ...
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by mpthompson » Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:25 pm
Evilbadger wrote:The MATE project have not yet released their own X display manager, so you need to install a separate display manager. (I would recommend LightDM)
Once that is done it should auto-magically go to the graphical login menu at startup.


I was going to try using SLIM, but it was too late at night when I put that page together for me to figure things out if it went wrong. I'll have to give LightDM a try.
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by Steep » Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:28 pm
summers wrote: Rasbrian


Is that Son of Raspian? :)

It's true we're in beta land here, but this is the kind of thing that should be addressed now (if not on this thread, with apologies to the OP)
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by chrisw2 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:35 pm
john.mills wrote:...
that is why the Raspbian release needs to be a straight forward as possible so that the computer becomes the tool and not an obstacle to the learning process.

John

Hi John,

I'm not sure if it is you or me that has got it wrong but I thought the aim of raspbian was to be as much like mainstream debian as possible.

IMO that does not stop it being a learning tool but I would hate to see raspbian compromised by being dumbed down. I realise the aim of the foundation is educational but raspbian is not being produced by the foundation.

I see raspbian as a linux distribution with complete freedom to choose to install & setup as you like.

The various SD images, I see as as examples of ways raspbian can be setup and there should be no reason why you and like minded people should not produce a raspbian based SD image (edu-raspbian??, simple-raspbian??) with the educational/simple features you want to promote.

Perhaps it is just a matter of terminology.

I'd be interested to hear Mike's (mpthompson) take on this.
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by mpthompson » Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:51 pm
summers wrote:Suspect this isn't where raspbian is at right now - its still alpha/beta software. Means that at the moment it probably going to be a bit clunky. So first time users probably better off by using one of the other builds.


summers, you are completely correct. Right now, plugwash and I are keeping our attention on getting as many of the 100's of packages that are updated by Debian Wheezy each day to build. This day-to-day babysitting should slow down in a few weeks when the Debian Wheezy freeze occurs. Until then, as we get time, we try to work on side projects such as the kernel for plugwash, MATE for myself and a few other things.

My hope is that more of the community will get involved with creating their own images that implement certain features that appeal to themselves. Even though the installer is in a primitive state, it certainly is useable to create base images that people can then use as a springboard to their own custom image of Raspbian. If these images are shared with others, hopefully feedback and community consensus will help push Raspbian towards a small number of base images that will include newby friendly features and please most of the Raspberry Pi community. Until then I think it's best to concentrate on making things such as MATE available to facilitate experimentation and have faith that user friendliness will become a higher priority over time.
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by mpthompson » Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:21 pm
chrisw2 wrote:The various SD images, I see as as examples of ways raspbian can be setup and there should be no reason why you and like minded people should not produce a raspbian based SD image (edu-raspbian??, simple-raspbian??) with the educational/simple features you want to promote.


chrisw2, you are correct that the goal of the Raspbian repository, kernel and installer is to stay as close to Debian as possible, but with binaries that are optimized for the Raspberry Pi specific hardware. Hopefully our efforts to date have demonstrated this.

John and I have had a number of conversations over email and IRC and I believe we are of like mind that there is indeed the need for kid friendly RPi distribution that attempts to smooth over as many of the rough edges of Linux as possible. If such an image can be built from the Raspbian base, that would be very pleasing to me. In fact, I'll do what I can to facilitate such an image by making extra non-Debian packages such as MATE available for use. However, any such image will be layered over Raspbian rather than being seen as Raspbian itself so as not to confuse the original intent of Raspbian.

There is a good chance that once the Foundation is finished ironing out the kinks in their Debian Wheezy armel image (the one in beta now), they'll work on creating a Raspbian-based work-alike image that will look nearly identical, but of course have hardfloat and other RPi friendly optimizations. Since some future version of that image will be distributed by the Foundation and land in the hands of children, that is where lobbying for certain user-friendly features would reap the highest dividends. We can make images on our own for Raspbian that include a variety of features, but the reality is any such image will only ever have just a fraction of the mindshare any reference image created by the Foundation will have.

Personally, I really like MATE and I've been using it as my Raspberry Pi desktop since creating the image a week ago. Hopefully someone from the Foundation will try out the Pisces+MATE image I've created and also see it's possibilities. If it would help, I would be fine with helping to create armel versions of the MATE binaries as I know the Foundation is using Debian wheezy as the initial base of their reference image.
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by john.mills » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:31 am
Hello chrisw2,

I think I might have confused the matter a little. Raspbian is the rebuild of Debian Wheezy for the Pi hardware making benefit of the hard float unit. The MATE desktop is just that, a desktop, a specifically targeted build. As Mike stated there is a need for a user friendly distribution that targets a specific desktop / education audience.

In no way would a targeted desktop release hamper the furtherance of the Raspbian project, if anything it would encourage more developers to get on board with the project. The Raspberry Pi foundation will release a reference image in the future that will be advocated for the Pi and as such be used on the vast majority of shipping hardware. There is a possibility, (but certainly not certain) that it will be based on Rasbian. I would like to see it ship with a desktop based on Gnome 2 / MATE because I think it is simply the better choice.

The MATE release of Raspbian is focusing on producing that easy to use desktop environment. I see three real possibilities as a basis for this:

1.LXDE
2.XFCE
3.Mate / Gnome 2

It is Mike's and my opinion that if the memory and CPU usage is acceptable then MATE should be chosen as the default desktop for this particular type of focused release. There are a number of reasons for this. Gnome 2 has been widely used for many years on the Linux desktop and is well known and understood. There are many GTK applications available that can be used for this type of effort. There are also many themes and tools availalbe for producing these GTK applications. Gnome is clean and unobtrusive and offers, in my opinion, a more consistent look and feel and is better suited for a desktop experience should the performance be acceptable.

In the limited testing of MATE Mike has indicated that the performance has been good and the release provides a solid desktop experience. There is still much more to do here and any support in testing and improving the MATE Pisces image would be appreciated. Again I want to emphasise the point that the MATE release is in no way taking away from any ones ability to 'tinker' and 'play' with Raspbian. In fact you can look in the forum and find minimal instances to use should this be your goal.

Regards,

John
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by chrisw2 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:31 pm
Mike & John - thanks for replies and clarification.

I think we basically agree :) Good luck with your MATE image project.

My own interest in raspbian in as an installed system rather than an image and as a server** rather than a desktop.

** bacula backup storage (to disk & tape), html server, email server, switching on my MythTV server and maybe more...
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by rcosnett » Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:21 pm
Hi,
Works great, totem does not work, it seams to try to work but too heavy for
the system. Can not wait for the raspberry to speed up.

I know a bit about linux and unix, and want to help out, but my skills need updating and
improving. Do not know how to build a version of debian, any suggestions where to start.

cheers
Bob
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by mpthompson » Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:54 pm
rcosnett wrote:I know a bit about linux and unix, and want to help out, but my skills need updating and improving. Do not know how to build a version of debian, any suggestions where to start.


Hi Bob, when you ask "how to build a version of debian", can you be a little more specific? Are you asking about building a specific piece of software under Debian (or actually Raspbian in this case) or about building Debian itself (which is a rather arduous task as Raspbian demonstrates).

In any case, the Raspberry Pi with either Raspbian or Debian is a great place to start working on strengthening your Unix/Linux knowledge. It's still very rough around the edges, but those are the types of things upon which learning is built.
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by rcosnett » Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:38 am
Hi,
Thanks for the reply, I am not sure which direction to take, I will stick with Raspbian, I have been a Unix administrator for 5 years, doing basic client stuff and writing simple scrips.
Any suggestions.

Cheers
Bob
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by ejsolutions » Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:37 pm
mpthompson wrote:
Evilbadger wrote:The MATE project have not yet released their own X display manager, so you need to install a separate display manager. (I would recommend LightDM)
Once that is done it should auto-magically go to the graphical login menu at startup.


I was going to try using SLIM, but it was too late at night when I put that page together for me to figure things out if it went wrong. I'll have to give LightDM a try.

I was having a play with Slim today, on the non-MATE Raspian - pretty good fun working with different session managers, though some could be removed from the list, IMO.
Instead of 'startx':
Code: Select all
sudo slim

Example:
Code: Select all
sudo aptitude install awesome
Last edited by ejsolutions on Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by ejsolutions » Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:40 pm
Steep wrote:Maybe some.basic.linux.commands.txt placed on the fat32 partition with stuff like apt-get, wget, startx nano and a short explanation of each.

One of the most frustrating things about Linux is the lack of 'user friendly instructions' for new users.

:idea: A few lines could be added to /etc/motd
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by mpthompson » Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:10 pm
ejsolutions wrote:
Steep wrote:Maybe some.basic.linux.commands.txt placed on the fat32 partition with stuff like apt-get, wget, startx nano and a short explanation of each.

One of the most frustrating things about Linux is the lack of 'user friendly instructions' for new users.

:idea: A few lines could be added to /etc/motd


I'll be starting a new MATE image very soon and I'll try to incorporate some of these suggestions into that. I think logging into a display manager is probably the best bet for people who are at a loss for where to start. They just starting clicking their mouses in the menus then.
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by ejsolutions » Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:31 pm
Seems fair enough and in keeping with the inclusion of X.
I've been a user of Mint for a number of years and the transition from Gnome to MATE hasn't been completely smooth, though appears improved in this Pi version. On the PC, I prefer the Cinnamon alternative to MATE, though I don't know how it compares, in its' use of resources.
Currently, I'm in the middle of setting up a dual boot arrangement, with Raspbian 'Pisces' and Raspbian MATE. [I'm sure there must be a quicker/easier way to what I'm trying].

Thanks for your continuing efforts.
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