Debian Lenny E17 and the OzOs goodies

I am upgrading the desktop in the house and looked for “eye candy”… is 2008 after all. Although I didn’t fancy the big fat desktops (kde, gnome) and wanted to go for slightly slimmer I have tried Gnome in the process and found it a bit too slow for my machine (pentium4 2G ram). Over a weekend of looking at various eye candy packages (OpenBox, fvwm-crystal)
I saw some nice examples of Openbox implementations, but I haven’t got the time to work on the various configs.
Fvwm-Crystal was nice but I found it quite buggy and had to much crystal type add-ons that I didn’t like much.
I settled on E17 in the end, although it is more of a temporary rest place, as there are now further implementations which one has to choose.
There are a couple of distributions out there which implement E17 desktop environment. I have tried elivecd, ozos, and of course installing E17 from cvs on debian lenny.
I didn’t like elive although it might have been ok, if not for their admin console which is buggy and ugly.
Ozos is quite nice, they are getting their fundamentals right, good documentation, good forums. On the forums they appear welcoming, but I’ll see what replies I get to a couple of posts I made before making further comments.
I have tried Ozos, but at the moment some fundamental things (their update of configurations) don’t work for me. I also don’t like the ubuntu repositories.
I am therefore back to true debian land, taking advantage of Lenny being virtually stable. My aim is to have an usable e17 desktop on top of debian lenny, taking advantage of as much of OzOs goodies as I can without breaking my machine.

I’ll document here what I’ve done so far

– install debian lenny from the netinst CD, with nothing at all (deselect any package including base)

# apt-get update && apt-get upgrade
# apt-get install alsa-base alsa-utils alsa-oss xorg
# echo 'deb tinwoodman main' >> /etc/apt/sources.list
# wget -q -O- | sudo apt-key add -
# apt-get update
# apt-get install e17-cvs

before going any further time to do a back-up.

I use a usb drive and SystemRescueCd
it is very easy to use:

  • boot the SystemRescueCd
  • mount -t ext3 /dev/sdb1 (you could use gparted in the gui version – startx
  • partimage (in the console) no compression is best for not so big partitions (<5G)

I have sorted my audio like in here

installed flash, mainly

cp /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/
cd /usr/lib/mozila-firefox/plugins
ln -s ../../mozilla/plugins/

a nice little add-on is itask-ng
It works well with xcompmgr

add-apt get install subversion xcompmgr

add a .desktop entry like either through new application (configuration>configuration panel>applications>new application) in E17 or manually:

gvim ~/.local/share/applicatinos/xcompmgr.desktop

(paste the code bellow)

[Desktop Entry]
Exec=xcompmgr -cCfF -r7 -o.65 -l-10 -t-8 -D7

then it is a question of following the instructions in itask-ng logged in as your normal user (not root – at least doing the installation as root didn’t work in my case)

svn checkout http//
cd itask-ng
./ --with-enlightenment-config=/opt/e17/bin/enlightenment-config
make install

then Configuration|>System|>ItaskNg|>Load Module

then you add the actual ItaskNg on your desktop through Configuration|>EnlightenementConfiguration|>Extenstions|>ItaskNg