Minimalist Trisquel

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insomniac@fedora.email
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Joined: 08/31/2021

I've been using Debian for quite sometime now. I tried Trisquel and
ended up actually running it for a while. With Debian I can start with a
standard install image: just the tty, and then install all I
need... It would be cool if there was a super minimalist Trisquel ISO
that starts you off in a terminal as well.

jxself
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Joined: 09/13/2010

There already is and you already have it. When you boot up the installer, notice the option to "Install Trisquel in text mode" or words to that effect. It starts the netinstall. It's also possible to download the netinstall as a separate ISO from the Trisquel download page if you'd rather. You can also accomplish this by purging packages that you already have installed. It's not necessary to re-install to get to that state.

lanun
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Joined: 04/01/2021

> You can also accomplish this by purging packages that you already have installed.

I never thought about that. Thanks for mentioning, it will be an interesting experiment.

Although I am still to find out how to remove all these extra packages at once.

Andy

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Joined: 02/02/2020

To see if there are any problems try $ sudo apt-get install -f
then in case terminal does not suggest it…. $ sudo apt autoremove
If you suspect specific packages use Synaptic Package Manager and mark them for removal, AFAIK it will remove dependencies too!

loldier
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Joined: 02/17/2016

I took some screenshots in a VM.

Choose 'install' if you wish to add a desktop environment. The other option 'command line' has no software selection (tasksel). The installer is text-based under both entries.

Log in and install some packages.

Add packages 'xorg' 'xterm' 'twm' to have a basic desktop. Create .xinitrc with two lines 'xterm &' and 'twm' and save the file

TWM has huge titlebars, to correct run 'export LC_ALL=C' and then run 'startx'

https://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?t=63412

t9_install.png t9_prompt.png t9_root_weave.png t9_x.png
loldier
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Joined: 02/17/2016

This is like old times!

mwm and Seamonkey.

t9_seamonkey.png
Andy

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Joined: 02/02/2020

Could I enquire why anyone would want something more minimalist than Trisquel-mini?
(Other than single board users)
I presume that you refer to minimal resource usage? What does typing “free” in terminal give at present time?

jxself
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Joined: 09/13/2010

Could I enquire why anyone would want something more minimalist than Trisquel-mini?
(Other than single board users)

Oh, if we're talking generally there could be any number of reasons. Someone using a machine as a file server wouldn't necessarily need a GUI, even if it's minimal like Trisquel Mini. Or maybe they're like me and only interact with the machine remotely so it's "headless" and doesn't even have a screen attached to it. I have several machines like that which are used to build Linux-libre kernels that go into my APT repository for people to use. I don't have need for much beyond being able to boot the machine to a state where I can SSH in while sitting at my desk on the other side of the room. Or perhaps someone wants to install their own combination of software packages, possibly even modified, in order to customize Trisquel to their liking. I have a certain friend that makes extensive modifications to the Trisquel KDE packages to make them work how they want which then requires rebuilding them from source in order to change some decisions that were made for Trisquel in relation to KDE. Anyway; the reasons are probably and endless as the number of stars, and it doesn't have to be limited to single board users.

Beformed
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Joined: 01/13/2017

Out of curiosity, do you use Trisquel on all machines you have (including servers)?

jxself
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Joined: 09/13/2010

I do.

GrevenGull
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Joined: 12/18/2017

What about modems/routers?

Andy

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Joined: 02/02/2020

I should have been more clear: For a home-office general minimal OS with the capabilities of Trisquel-mini at least.
(I believe that there are at least two gnu-linux os's for your purposes)
I would suggest that the numbers are very low and thus finite?

jxself
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Joined: 09/13/2010

Perhaps it may remove some of those stars (aka "reasons") in the night sky but I can still envision plenty of others so I'm not sure that the answer really changes in a material way.

Andy

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Hi Jxself - “so I'm not sure that the answer really changes in a material way.”
I suggest my answer still stands, but being a genourous Guy, would limit the Death Star range to just our Galaxy, and being edge-on we see just a fraction of them - Milky Way. I do appreciate that there are server, single board and R-Pi users and plenty of geeks. So discounting the headless computer OS’s for home-office loaded OS’s – I guess the only way to settle this “Star Wars” battle is to put it to the vote on a larger platform than this…?
Hooray – there is such a platform – Distrowatche’s hit rankings. Just had a quick skim down the 12 month ranking and could not find a single instance to corroborate your claims – could you confirm; in case I did not recognise anything lighter than Trisquel-mini or even main Trisquel itself in their listings?
Though I must admit that as our insomniac post originator had the “F” word; Fedora in his handle that he was used to the slow, heavy, bloated US end of Linux Distros – Fedora 33 at 1.52 GiB RAM with Fedora 34 at 1.04 GiB RAM – that’s after a fresh boot with Wifi disabled standing still – Wow..! Main Trisquel 0.36 GiB RAM. Putting Trisquel-mini into a parallel universe – Spok; this is efficiency Jim - but not as we know it - incredible….!

Legimet
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Joined: 12/10/2013

Every single GNU/Linux distribution can be used without a desktop environment. The default installation image doesn't really matter. GNU/Linux is more popular on servers than on desktops anyway.

damidu
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Joined: 03/30/2021

If you want to be very minimalist why do you not use emacs in tty? I'm testing that and I feel like in another world.

Editing /etc/default/grub

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash video=1366x768" or what you like.

You can do all your computing with that. That's interesting. Of course you can switch between tty and X/abrowser for fun. ctrl+alt+F1 , ctrl+alt+F2.

Legimet
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Joined: 12/10/2013

You can also view images in tty using fbi/fim and play videos using mpv.

damidu
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Joined: 03/30/2021

A funny thing is to read pdf files with the command 'less' and of curse computer usage memory decrease.

Andy

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Joined: 02/02/2020

Is this relevant to the post originator...?
As they say > the only person you can impress with a Honka Chicken-Chaser is another Honka Chicken-Chaser owner...!
Thought most used RasPiOS?

loldier
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Joined: 02/17/2016

EeePC 701 with minimal Debian. From around 2008-2009.

Use as a table clock.

With room to spare (1.4 gigs of 4GB).

RAM 2GB.

eeepc_clock02.jpg eeepc_xterm.jpg 2021-09-03-170445_800x480_scrot.png
loldier
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Joined: 02/17/2016

Listening to a podcast on the EeePC 701. It's quite a capable little machine even after more than ten years.

eeepc701_debian.jpg 2021-09-03-205019_800x480_scrot.png
loldier
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Joined: 02/17/2016

EeePC 701 with Trisquel 9 minimal.

After base installation, 2.5 gigs available.

Added xorg and some stuff (xterm, nano, mwm, cmus, mpv, mupdf, feh, wallpaper), now down to 1.8 gigs.

Boots and works fast enough, doesn't feel sluggish.

Oh, yes, and added alsa-utils for sound.

Some screenshots.

eeepc701_trisquel9_xeyes.png eeepc701_trisquel9.jpg alsa-utils_cmus.png
nadebula.1984
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Joined: 05/01/2018

It seems that the internal SSD in eeePC 701 series cannot be upgraded.

I still keep two Atom netbooks. One Acer Aspire One and one Lenovo S10e. They are still usable if connected to an external VGA display. The built-in displays (1024*600 and 1024*576, respectively) are too constrained.

Both have Atheros wireless NICs. The Lenovo one preloaded with a Broadcom card but there was no white-list restrictions. It, however, accepted only single-sided WLAN cards, so I used the AR2427 from my non-functional (i.e., unusable) Asus eeePC 1001 series.

loldier
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Joined: 02/17/2016

The main storage is soldered. There's a maintenance hatch for a minipcie card on the bottom, but the board has no connector (some later 701s have a socket).

I connected the netbook to a VGA display.

Here's a screenshot. It feels surprisingly zippy-peppy.

eeepc701_trisquel9_jwm_xfe.png eeepc701_t9_saigon.png eeepc701_t9_mc.png
nadebula.1984
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Joined: 05/01/2018

There are mini PCIe slots on some netbooks, but they don't support mSATA SSDs, because there wasn't mSATA standard by then.

It is possible to use an M.2 NVMe to mini PCIe converter card and install an M.2 2230 or 2242 NVMe SSD there, although it may seem wasteful, and you may have to leave MBR and grub on the main SSD.

My both netbooks use standard 320 GB HDDs and I have no plan to upgrade them to solid state storage.

Andy

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Joined: 02/02/2020

Hi Guys, my initial reaction was “why bother” and is still currently my understanding.
If EeePC can theoretically run Win-XP surely this dinky little PC can use Trisquel-mini instead of the pre-loaded Linux version?
I installed Trisquel, mini and Toast onto a very basic old Toshiba laptop and all worked just fine. I gave it to a local school with Toast installed. Surely you can install super efficient Trisquel-mini LXDE on your EeePC?

Tosh-Sys-01.png
loldier
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Joined: 02/17/2016

The storage constraint is 4 GB.

There's no need for a full-fledged graphical user environment.

OpenBSD runs on it just fine. I could install openbox or a tiling wm.

GUI is not particularly fun. I use the machine to simulate old times playing with DOS some 25 or 30 years ago. SSH to my desktop.

Andy

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Joined: 02/02/2020

I still do not understand - Are you saying your EeePC is incapable of installing Trisquel-mini.
Also cannot a USB drive stick extend storage very cheaply to way over existing? Even 1TiB external SSD is very cheap.
Would hazard a guess that most Linux users would consider a graphical interface as a must?
Ah DOS - when life was so simple as a large floppy disc! Sob...

ps; again FreeBSD great for servers by most accounts and great interesting distro - have you or anyone tried GhostBSD...? With ZFS enabled, what is the result of free command in terminal?

loldier
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Joined: 02/17/2016

There's plenty of external storage to choose from, including over the network remotely. The built-in sd card reader is limited to 2GB.

Here's a screenshot. No shortage of RAM, either. The internal IDE/ATA flash storage could be bigger, say 8 GB.

It can run Win XP or some GUI environment with GNU/Linux. I just don't need more than X Window System can provide.

##EDIT

Added screenshots openbox & wmaker.

##EDIT 2

Added screenshot jwm.

eeepc701_t9_mem-free.png eeepc701_t9_openbox.png eeepc701_t9_wmaker.png eeepc701_t9_jwm.png
Andy

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Sorry Loldier – I got confused between my BSD’s should have said OpenBSD not FreeBSD.
In any event it would appear that there is little interest, at least on this forum, for a minimalist Trisquel to even run in a headless environment. Even if we were to add a DE the interest level is yet to reach even a handful – this confirms my post #12 in response to jxself.
Probably better served, excuse pun, by using - The libre Embedded GNU/Linux Distro LibreCMC or ProteanOS

For those readers vaguely interested in BSD perhaps take a quick look at…
https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2020/04/not-actually-linux-distro-review-freebsd-12-1-release/
https://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20161003#openbsd

Edit: Got to say of your 09/05/2021 - 19:22 post #23 graphics:- Most impressive - Well done

Legimet
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Joined: 12/10/2013

LibreCMC isn't really GNU/Linux (the website says that it's GNU/Linux, but it uses Busybox and musl rather than coreutils and glibc), and is more intended for embedded systems such as routers. Not really ideal for a general-purpose server.

jxself
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Joined: 09/13/2010

My understanding from past interactions is that they call it GNU/Linux because it does have GNU components. Linux-libre for one; that's a GNU package. And it does offer options to build from source to use even more GNU components, like glibc and etc.

Legimet
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Joined: 12/10/2013

Right. Maybe a standard installation of LibreCMC should be called Busybox/musl/GNU Linux-libre, but that would be cumbersome. Anyway, my point is that a regular GNU/Linux distro (without a desktop environment) is preferable for servers, and that's one reason that people use the minimal netinstall iso. Also, some people prefer to use a different desktop environment or window manager than those included in the iso's.

Legimet
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Joined: 12/10/2013

By the way, speaking of LibreCMC, I was looking at the source code the other day and I found a file which is under the JSON license. Isn't this considered nonfree?

https://gogs.librecmc.org/libreCMC/libreCMC/src/LTS/package/luci/modules/luci-base/src/jsmin.c

jxself
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Joined: 09/13/2010

If you find non-free bits, or suspected non-free bits, please report that to the distro. I don't know that the libreCMC people will see anything on a random website like Trisquel's. :)

Magic Banana

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lanun
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It is indeed considered by the FSF as nonfree, because of the following statement: “The Software shall be used for Good, not Evil.” As a massive evildoer myself, I feel highly concerned.

andyprough
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That's terribly restrictive. Most everyone in the world is evil except me. Good thing the FSF will not stand for such unjust censorship.

lanun
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Joined: 04/01/2021

Agreed. "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good" should be the only authorized addition to the GPL.

andyprough
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Redhat won't let you use any of their software or anything made with their programming languages unless you worship Cthulhu.

Not sure why the FSF hasn't raised an eyebrow about that clause yet.

lanun
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Joined: 04/01/2021

> unless you worship Cthulhu

That is indeed harsh. Even Chthulu is known for never forcing his worshipers to use Rust.

damidu
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Joined: 03/30/2021

I may be wrong but I find pure "tty" sessions more responsive. I only use emacs and it's more faster than the graphical one. If you use your computer only for text reading and editing that's look more efficient.

Edit

And it's more relaxing :-) I don't do anywhate with the mouse and don't lost the track of time, no distraction.

andyprough
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Joined: 02/12/2015

And if you aren't using emacs, there's tmux that will allow you to multi-task in the tty. I like to use tmux to split the tty into 3 panes, and listen to my podcasts with gst123 in one, research stuff online in elinks in another, and write up my thoughts with a text editor in a third pane. You are right, it's a more relaxing way to work.

2021-09-11_03-32.jpg
damidu
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Joined: 03/30/2021

I'll drop abrowser/icecat for viewing the trisquel forum. In emacs trisquel.info is blazing fast. Thank you for the screenshot. I use bigger fonts in tty. I start Linux with video=1366x768 on a 32" (I don't know why, I like to use this one) and set terminus fonts with dpkg-reconfigure console-setup and gpm on trisquel. I'll drop gpm too, I don't know why I like to move the mouse.

My setup is not exceptional and I need to buy a laptop for the next 40 years . I can drop graphical apps completely.

And I can play videos in tty with mplayer.

andyprough
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I did not think about using gpm - that's a very intriguing idea.

How do you get mpv running videos in your tty? I just get errors (of course) of --no-video or something. You must have passed some configuration to xorg I'm thinking.

And are you running a graphical web browser without a window manager somehow? If so, I want to hear more.

damidu
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Joined: 03/30/2021

I'm running ratpoison with abrowser on tty2, and emacs on tty1, I switch between them all the time. For videos I use mplayer

mplayer -vo fbdev your_video , (mplayer works without X)

I think you can start X with abrowser if you put exec abrowser in your xinitrc and then run startx.

It's about time but I will live without ratpoison.

Edit: Your last post with mpv is very interesting.

andyprough
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I don't know if I would want to live completely without dwm. Vanilla dwm is only about 30mb of memory - probably less resources than starting programs in tty with x.

andyprough
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Joined: 02/12/2015

Answered my own question:

To start mpv in a tty: startx /usr/bin/mpv [path to video file]
To start abrowser: startx /usr/bin/abrowser

I'm sure there are more tricks - let me know, this is very interesting.

damidu
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Joined: 03/30/2021

The last thing, to trash X completely is to view pdf files. I can view in text mode with less. fbgs is also a solution but no ideal. I'm asking my self if I need really to view pdf files. To live completly in tty.

Well it's ok with pdftotext and then open it with emacs. It's hard to remember pages with a pager. You can't jump to a specific page, you literally scroll text.

The computer will never be turned off.

andyprough
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Joined: 02/12/2015

I use qpdfview as one of my main PDF viewers. To start an instance from the tty is the same as for mpv and abrowser:

startx /usr/bin/qpdfview [path_to_pdf_file]

Apparently one key to getting programs to start with startx is write the program's full path.

damidu
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Joined: 03/30/2021

I can use pdftotext and read it with emacs. It's fast. And open videos in tty with mplayer.
Yes I can start abrowser but it's only for fun. It won't be my principal tool anymore.

The computer is silent and I have 31 GB of memory free. It's only text. You don't have distraction. Seriously that's crazy.

Edit: I've switched to abrowser to look some things and this is a screenshot of a guy who live in tty with tmux.
https://i.redd.it/mvs732dmbqv51.png

It's my point of view but I don't understand why use i3 or something else after that. Yes I can open abrowser on a tty and switching to it for read something but it's not the main tool.