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  • hardikmehta 2:24 pm on March 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , sidux   

    Switched to Archlinux 

    At last a new post after a long time !

    Lately, I was very busy with real life issues and concerns so could not find time to write.

    In spite of being a fan of debian [1], I decided to change my operating system. I was completely happy  with sidux [2] which is essentially debian sid with a pinch of spice, but wanted to try something new and different. I had heard a lot of good things about Archlinux [3]. First I decided to try it on a virtual machine and was impressed by the simplicity of the system. It is highly configurable and yet simple when it comes to configuring it to your taste.  For me the common thing is that sidux and Archlinux both are rolling distributions.  Arch claims to be optimized for i686, so at least theoretically it should be faster than sidux. Though,  I don’t have any benchmarks to support this. Debian has may be the highest number of binary packages available, but Arch has AUR [4] and ABS [5], so it becomes easy to compile a package from sources.

    Another reason, I switched to Arch was that I was experimenting with lightweight window managers like fluxbox, openbox, dwm, xmonad etc. The community at Archlinux provides a great support and knowledge base for them. In fact I got encouraged to try those window managers by browsing through the screenshot threads in the Archlinux forums. On the other hand, sidux officially  supports only Kde, and I somehow felt that the community at sidux discourages the use of alternatives to kde and also other lightweight applications.

    Although, it was not GUI based like sidux, the installation of Arch went rather smoothly. Archwiki [6] is an indispensable resource. I have a 4 years old Dell Inspiron 6000. The system seems to run smoothly. There are less daemons running compared to sidux, so the boot time is less. I have more or less the same setup as my sidux installation with openbox as main window manager and kde 4 as a fallback ! I am also maintaining my plasmoid plasma_pyweather [7], so I don’t want to get rid of kde altogether.

    I don’t know yet, if I will continue with Arch or go back to sidux again. I have realized that you need to read all the messages carefully when you upgrade the system with pacman, this was also true for sidux, but the forum with upgrade warning was a great help.  Anyway, I hope to post interesting things about my experience using Arch.

    Here some screenshots for those who want to see it to believe.

    Arch clean

    Arch dirty


    1. Debian GNU/Linux
    2. sidux
    3. Arch Linux
    4. Arch User Repository
    5. Arch Build System
    6. Arch Wiki
    7. A weather plasmoid in python

    • Med Berdai 7:32 pm on March 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Hi fellow Archer 🙂

      I’ve been using it exclusively for almost 2 years now, it never failed me and I didn’t miss Debian at all. Arch Linux is absolutely one of best GNU/Linux distros out there.

      Now that I grown feed up of Arch Linux being so reliable I started messing with FreeBSD and LinuxFromScratch 🙂

      Happy hacking,


  • hardikmehta 6:25 pm on April 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , sid, sidux, x11, xserver-xorg   

    Successfully upgraded sidux with KDE4 and Xserver-Xorg 

    Last week, I could successfully upgrade(dist-upgrade in debian terms) sidux.

    This is very significant,  because I have been using sidux since its 2007-01 version and I have never reinstalled the system. The last week’s upgrade brought in new KDE 4 and also Xserver-Xorg.

    The upgrade  went smooth with the help of the how-to   posted by the sidux team. Kudos to them.

    Because of the new X-server upgrade, I had problems with tapping of my synaptics touchpad on my dell inspiron. Here is a general how-to posted on sidux site, which may apply to other systems with some changes.

    There was only a small issue with kmix which showed the wrong channel as default one, this is not at all a big deal considering the critical nature  of the upgrade. I may discover some other minor issues in the course of time, but they will surely be fixed.

    I use openbox as my main WM (Window Manager), but I also keep Kde installed as fallback DE (Desktop Environment) and to be honest, I was also curious about how the new Kde will be. As an eternal WM hopper I am constantly looking for something new :).

    Such upgrades are only possible with rolling distributions like debian and  hard work by the sidux team to integrate the changes as smoothly as possible. This cannot even be imagined with release based operating systems or linux distributions.

  • hardikmehta 6:04 pm on February 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , sidux   

    Quest for Window Manager: Fluxbox 

    I am sure much has been written  about different window managers under GNU/Linux operating system. Here I present my journey and experience with them. This is how it started.

    I was a Windows user. I started to hear about Linux and got inspired to try knoppix live cd. It was really a nice experience and I started admiring how Linux stays out of your way when you want to work with your system. Then I decided  to install a suitable distribution on my hard disk, but the problem was that I had only 4.5 GB hard disk at that time, so I started searching for  a light distribution which could fit. The choice then fell on feather linux. It is really a very  light (under 128mb) but nice knoppix based distribution, so after installation it is essentially debian with some knoppix quirks. The only problem I faced with feather linux at that time was that it came with  fluxbox as the default window manager.

    To be honest, at first, fluxbox looked  frightening due to my  KDE background, no launch button, only right-click menu and even for a simple task like getting the same wallpaper every time you boot, you have to edit a configuration file. But after leaning to work with it, I started admiring fluxbox. I also found it easy to configure by editing simple text based config files. With time, I got so fond of fluxbox that even when I had ample disk space to install KDE, I opted for fluxbox when I installed my first real debian based (as feather linux was based on knoppix) distribution, sidux. As the name suggests sidux is based on debian sid and one of the most cutting edge and fastest distros, more on sidux some other time. Here is how my desktop looks running sidux and fluxbox tweaked to my taste and with some other gadgets I like.


    Fluxbox is highly configurable and very well documented. The wiki here a good place to start to learn how to configure fluxbox.

    My fluxbox configuration files can be found here:

    I can also provide the supporting scripts which I have written and may be referenced by the above files.

    Now, the only short coming of fluxbox in my opinion is that there is a limit how much you can configure it. After some time I had a feeling that my desktop was becoming monotonous. Also considering the resource consumption, fluxbox is not the slimmest among the  light window managers.

    Moreover, I had started following the monthly screenshot threads on the highly geeky  archlinux and ubuntu forums. There the posts are like “pimp my desktop” shows, the screenshots are so tempting that you are compelled to ask them how they achieved that look or what program was that little clock in the corner. So, I also had a wish to “pimp my desktop” and try something new.

    • ruchir 4:53 am on March 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Good information about linux operating system and various options.

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