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Hi, how can i start X without desktop environment? My needs: Boot and load a notepad and when i close the notepad the PC turn off. Is it possible?...
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  1. #1
    Just Joined! playerum's Avatar
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    Start X without a desktop environment


    Hi, how can i start X without desktop environment?

    My needs:
    Boot and load a notepad and when i close the notepad the PC turn off. Is it possible?

  2. #2
    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
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    Which distro?

    Given that adding a basic window manager on top of X adds almost nothing to the install size (dwm for example is 108 KB installed), I'm not sure why you would want just X, but yes, it should be possible.

    I believe you just need to edit your xinitrc file to start the app you want. I'm not sure about shutting down the computer when the program exits. If you used a window manager, you could make a keybinding to the shutdown command pretty easily.

  3. #3
    Linux Engineer Segfault's Avatar
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    You want to start a GUI application when computer is powered on without any login, when application is closed you want the computer to power down.

    This is definitely possible, you need to create a passwordless login, execute startx from your .bashrc, put exec foo into .xinitrc.
    When application is closed X will shut down, with a little tinkering you can make it power off, too.

    Edit: There is a way to run GTK applications on framebuffer without X server, too. Google will tell.

  4. #4
    Just Joined! playerum's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I'm thinking in Ubuntu or Mandriva.

    Tank you guys! that's what i need, a direction to start 'googling', because i didn't have any ideia how to do it..

    I'll problably come back with more questions about this, can i use the same post?

  5. #5
    Linux Engineer Segfault's Avatar
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    Ubuntu or Mandriva ... they come with all the bloat, you don't need that.
    Minimalist Debian install will do.

  6. #6
    Linux Guru reed9's Avatar
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    You can also use the minimal Ubuntu CD and build up from there, if you prefer Ubuntu to Debian.

    I agree that if you're going for just minimal X and text editor, it's probably better to start with the basics and add just what you need than try and remove the bloat.

    What exactly are you using the "notepad" application for? You might consider just going console only with Vim.

  7. #7
    Just Joined! playerum's Avatar
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    Actually, the notepad was just an example.

    I'll use a Lazarus based program with firebird and i'm looking for a distro that we known how to use here in the lab.

    I use Ubuntu as my desktop (house and work) and Mandriva as server for our clients (just ssh and samba)

    I'll try Minimalist Debian and the minimal Ubuntu CD.

    Tanks.

  8. #8
    Linux Engineer Segfault's Avatar
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    I'll try Minimalist Debian and the minimal Ubuntu CD.
    Whoops, there is no Minimalist Debian. Debian can be installed as base only, I'd call it minimalist. Once the base is installed and running user can start adding software what he needs, keeping it nice and lean.

  9. #9
    oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by playerum View Post
    Hi, how can i start X without desktop environment
    Hello and welcome!

    TWM is another really lightweight if that's what you want.

    You can start it by adding the following to an .xinitrc file and putting it in your /home folder:

    Code:
    exec twm
    ...then startx at the command line should start TWM.

    More on TWM and additional simple window managers can be found here:

    Window Managers for X
    oz

  10. #10
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    For what it's worth, by default, both Slackware and Arch Linux do not even start a GUI - but it's easy to enable them and use something like .xinitrc to start precisely what you want.

    At first, something like Arch seems pretty "geeky" because you have to really know what you are doing to set it up. However, installing the base is about as easy as it gets, it's just that from there you have to know what you want to do.

    Suppose you just add the X server, the lightest window manager that you can get your hands on plus the application you want. That could be a good application for using something like Arch.

    I'm very fond of another distribution, the not very well known antiX distribution. It is an offshoot of SimplyMEPIS, a distribution that became popular in 2004 but has quietly faded from high visibility, yet remains a very solid and stable, easy to use Debian based desktop system. The antiX distribution takes SimplyMEPIS as a starting point, and removes a lot of the full featured GUI based applications and replaces them with much lighter GUI-based equivalents. Right now, however, they are just embarking on a brand new project still in development called antiX-core, which might be perfect for the kind of thing you are doing.

    It COMES with no X server at all; if you want one, you simply add it in using Debian repositories. What it comes with are core console based utilities. By adding just the X server and the app or apps that you want, this could be a highly optimized way (fast and easy, too) to create the kind of system you are looking for.

    Check out: antiX-forum • View active topics
    Brian Masinick
    masinick AT yahoo DOT com

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