Monday, March 31, 2014

easiest openbox set-up ever

Installed Openbox in Kubuntu 12.04 this morning. I basically looked at my notes from when I installed Openbox in Wheezy KDE, installed the same set of packages, and then copied my config files right from Wheezy KDE into Kubuntu.

I had to edit two things in the menu's configuration file: the command for Chromium (in Debian it's just chromium but in the 'Buntus it's chromium-browser) and the command for Synaptic.

Can't find anything else to do; looks like everything is set up nicely. With Openbox, the keys are to keep good notes and to save copies of the config files; then, future Openbox installations are a piece of cake.

Added volumeicon-alsa from the repos, then added the following line to ~/.config/openbox/autostart:

volumeicon &

The volume icon shows up in the system tray; with the cursor hovering over the icon, the mouse scroll wheel controls the volume level.

A screenshot of my desktop, with the menu open and a few apps running:

Sunday, March 30, 2014

mx-14 video

YouTube video about MX-14, done by "runwiththedolphin": MX-14 "Symbiosis" - Here's what you Get!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

mx-14 "symbiosis"

MX-14 has been released. I used Unetbootin to set it up on a flash drive, and I'm running it with home persistence enabled. Here's a screenshot taken after I tweaked the desktop a bit:

Very nice release, from what I've seen so far. One of the nicest Xfce distros I've ever tried.

The release announcement, as copied from here:

24 March 2014

MX-14 "Symbiosis" available

So, what is MX-14?

"MX-14 "Symbiosis" is a special version of antiX developed in full collaboration with the Mepis Community and using the best tools and talents from each distro. It is a midweight OS designed to combine an elegant and efficient desktop with simple configuration, high stability, solid performance and medium-sized footprint.

The base depends on the excellent upstream work by Linux, Debian, and Xfce. MX-14 also incorporates the independent and innovative development products Whisker Menu, simsu and gottet, QupZilla Browser, smxi and inxi."

We think you will enjoy it!

MX-14 is based on Debian 7 "Wheezy" and enhanced with more up to date applications from debian-backports and MEPIS Community repository.


- Linux kernel 3.12 pae 32 bit
- Xfce 4.10
- Qupzilla browser
- Libreoffice - full featured office suite
- VLC - multimedia player and streamer
- Clementine - modern music player and library organizer
- Synaptic - package manager
- MX-Flash - Adobe Flash (tm) plugin manager
- MX-User - user manager
- MX-Codecs - restricted codecs installer
- MX-Apt-notifier - tray applet to notify of system and application updates
- MX-Checkaptgpg - check and add missing GPG keys needed by apt
- XChat - IRC client
- Network Manager
- xfburn - cd/dvd burning
- Lightdm - desktop manager
- Leafpad - text editor
- File-roller - archive manager
- Snapshot - tool to make a live.iso of your installed system
- Luckybackup - backup tool using rsync
- Live persistence and remastering
- Samba
- Transmission - torrent client
- Xscreensaver
- Metapackage-installer - simple way to install popular applications.
- Firmware
- Printer drivers
- Bleachbit - cleanup utility
- Catfish file search tool
- Games - chromium-bsu, gottet, lbreakout2, simsu
- claws-mail email client and some plugins
- disk-manager - graphical filesystem configurator
- galculator
- gdebi - tool to install deb files
- gnome-ppp - modem internet connection tool
- grub-customizer - graphical Grub2/BURG configuration application
- grub2
- minitube - watch youtube videos outside the browser
- mirage - image viewer
- orage - calendar
- pacpl - multi-purpose audio converter/ripper/tagger script
- pdfshuffler - merge, split and re-arrange pages from PDF documents
- qpdfview - tabbed document viewer
- simple-scan - Simple Scanning Utility
- Thunar - File Manager for Xfce
- Unetbootin - install linux iso to a partition or USB drive
- hybrid iso

... and it all fits on a cd!

For more information, see the webpage here:

and video here - Introducing MX-14:


Available here:

Torrent here:

and from MEPIS mirrors here:
md5sum: 8bb53e4b5d15e44b635cca66168f9afb MX-14.iso

Post feedback here:

Post bugs and feature requests here:


anticapitalista, Thessaloniki, 24 March 2014.

The ISO is also available via Google Drive; see

Monday, March 10, 2014

free as in freedom, free as in beer

Some exploration into the concepts of "free software" (as defined by the Free Software Foundation) (see:, "open source software," "free and open source software" (aka "FOSS"), and "freeware"...

Much of the content that follows was taken from the maketecheasier article from 2013, "MTE Explains: What Is The Difference Between Free Software, Open Source Software, and Freeware?"

Free Software ("free as in freedom")

The Free Software Foundation provides these “four essential freedoms” that software must respect in order to be considered free:

- The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
- The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1).
- The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
- The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3).

The foundation created the GNU General Public License, commonly referred to as the GPL, as a copyleft license that developers can distribute their software under to qualify it as free and ensure that it stays that way.

Open Source Software

Open source software is software with source code that is publicly available under a license that gives users the right to study, change, and distribute the software as they wish [...] Like free software, open source software can be distributed for free, but it doesn’t have to be [...]  Software available under the GPL generally qualifies both as free software and open source software [...] Chrome OS [and] Android, are open source projects, but they don’t satisfy the four freedoms necessary to be considered free software.

Software available under the GPL generally qualifies both as free software and open source software. If you use a Linux distribution, most of what you get through your package manager satisfies both sets of requirements.


...any software that qualifies as free software could also be considered free and open source software,..

"Free and open-source software (FOSS) is computer software that can be classified as both free software and open source software." --

Freeware ("free as in beer")

In general, freeware is software that is available at no cost.

Also see this Wikipedia article: "Alternative terms for free software"

Some comments:

Like many people, I believe that free software as defined by the FSF is important; I fully support that movement. But like many other people, when it comes down to it, I'm gonna go with "free as in beer" when... well, basically, whenever I want to.

Some folks will say, "You can't have it both ways." Well, I think you can. I might avoid proprietary software, or just any software that is not FOSS, to a large degree, but there are times when free software isn't good enough. That's the real world. You do what you have to do.

mx-14 rc2

MX-14 RC2 is now available for testing:

Again, Mepis forum member "Stevo" has mirrored the ISO on Google Drive:

sen reviews tanglu

Latest distro review by Arindam Sen at his Linuxed blog: Tanglu 1.0 "Aequorea Victoria" GNOME Review: Elegant and efficient distro based on Debian

Glad to see this new distro getting some attention!


J.A. Watson takes a quick look at Debian and a few of its derivatives in "Debian, Mint (LMDE), SolydX and Tanglu, compared and contrasted".

Sunday, March 9, 2014

mx-14 rc1

The first release candidate of MX-14 is now available for download. For more information, see:

Mepis forum member "Stevo" has mirrored the ISO on Google Drive:

I used Google Drive for the download, and used Unetbootin in Debian Wheezy to create a bootable flash drive. In the live session, I set up home persistence with the RemasterCC GUI; everything's looking good here, so far.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

speaking of tanglu

Andrew Powell takes a look at Tanglu 1.0, GNOME spin, live session from a flash drive:

There are some good comments following the article.


Tanglu at Google+:

Tanglu at the Debian Wiki: