Need to Uninstall Trisquel

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Misty
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Thanks. :)

strypey
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Keep at it. One day people will say things like this to you. You will be just as amazed as I am when people say them to me ;)
https://www.xkcd.com/627/

tech_support_cheat_sheet.png
Misty
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Under File Systems, I put this into a text editor and wrote it out since I can't do screenshot, so I could ask why does it say this:

Device Directory Type Total Free Available Used

/def/sda1 / ext4 19.5GB 14.1 GB 13.1 GB 5.4GB 29%

/dev/sda6 /home xfs 136.8 GB 136.6 GB 136.6GB 222.2MB 0%

sorry I can't seem to line these colum up. :(

Magic Banana

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It is the same information than the one 'df -h' provides. I explained it to you: https://trisquel.info/forum/need-uninstall-trisquel#comment-104238

Misty
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oh ok. I'll look at tht again. this is a good experience for me when I can see the different ways of getting the same info. I'm very glad to be learning. :D

SuperTramp83

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> what can I do, what can I run that will not use too much resources?

First of all, the most important, is the desktop environment. An old laptop with limited resources may run flawlessly with xfce, and barely move with say KDE.
I have used for a long time Xfce, I really recommend it. Some say LXDE is faster, but last time I checked, I saw no difference at all. Xfce is IMHO much more complete and customizable than LXDE, very easy to customize and to make it look modern and shiny.

Then, the applications you run.

The browser is usually the heaviest one, firefox and most of its variants are as heavy as it gets. I recommend seamonkey and Links2. Dillo is great too. You could try some others (like netsurf, xombrero etc) and see if you like one.

Nothing plays as smoothly the videos as "smplayer" does in my experience.

A very lightweight mail client (and great software overall) is claws mail (too bad it constantly gave me issues with riseup :/ )

For the musicz: qmmp.

You could even go "half-full cli" and find a cli replacement for many of your GUI applications (which is very fascinating and something I have been trying to do lately).
Cli applications tend to be inherently more efficient in terms of resources.

Misty
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about the browser, I'm concerned about being able to block trackers and I need to have my security settings, plus have some add-ons, all are for those purposes. I like IcaCat for that. It took me months to get it tweaked. I wouldn't mind doing that again if I knew what to do ahead of time so it doesn't take so long because I didn't have all the info I needed.

I haven't watched videos or listened to music on here yet, though I'd love to, if I felt sure I'd be protected, especially from google; I wouldn't download their vids for fear there's embedded stuff that would snoop and mine my info.

I know how devious they are, and what happens just by using anything they have,like their analytics, for example, which I block as soon as I get there, blocked them in the browser,and spydblock, so I stopped enjoying that stuff on my Mac, and I won't do it here for peace of mind. I hope they don't bypass my settings but I know they prob'ly could. I do my best to avoid them but that's nearly impossible, sad to say. I miss watching videos.

SuperTramp83

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> about the browser, I'm concerned about being able to block trackers and I need to have my security settings, plus have some add-ons, all are for those purposes. I like IcaCat for that.

There is nothing special about Icecat, it is only the best browser AFAIK for your privacy **by defult** (well, after TorBB, of course). You can set any FF based browser to be as secure if not more.
On the monkey I have noscript, ublockorigin, noresourceurileak and httpseverywhere installed. They are all compatible and everything works great. I will leave you in the attachment the huuge list of modifications I made in advanced settings. You only need to copy your prefs.js to keep your modifications when you migrate to another FF browser, there is no need to manually change everything in about:config every time..

> I haven't watched videos or listened to music on here yet, though I'd love to, if I felt sure I'd be protected, especially from google; I wouldn't download their vids for fear there's embedded stuff that would snoop and mine my info.

Embedding malware in videos AFAIK is extremely difficult and it relies on exploiting a bug in the video player. An attacker would need to know which player, on which OS, which libraries version you use. It is something that can be done (from what I read) but in practice nobody does it. I don't think google would risk millions of dollars and spend time and effort to infect a bunch of GNU users. They already have all the info from people who don't know better and voluntarily spit out all their private information. Through correlation they also have a lot of information on those who don't even use their services.
Malware gets usually embedded in pdfs and doc files. If you receive a mail with one of those attached, you should worry, but you should not worry bout videos and music.
Btw, I am pretty sure the Tor Browser will run faster and use some 50 mb less memory than FF (or Icecat). Give it a try.

I recommend you don't apply blindly changes in about:config but first read what does each do.
Notice that I purged the irrelevant entries, and also that the list would be longer if I used FF, as Seamonkey has not implemented a lot of anti-feature bloat FF has been building up for years now.

AnexoTamaño
prefs.js_.txt 13.38 KB
Misty
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OH wow- Thank you very much! I really appreciate that.This is exactly what I need.

I have used Tor a few times, though I know there's concerns about it. Some sites blocked me for using it, and others who use it have complained about that too.. There are tunnels, I tried them, tried watching a vid through one while using Tor, but it took me 4 hours to watch, lots of lag time, rebuffering and freezing. An interesting experience.

One concern is, they say at Tor, if someone uses a non Tor browser, then revisits a site with Tor, it compromises anonymity. Other sources say using Tor makes us targets of certin snooping agencies, but, we're targets anyway, despite any innocence. Seems life is always a compromise.

Anyway I'll copy that info you gave me, and do what Magic Banana suggested about checking RAM.. .

SuperTramp83

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> One concern is, they say at Tor, if someone uses a non Tor browser, then revisits a site with Tor, it compromises anonymity.

Hmm, no. Why would it? Wait, I think I know what you mean. If you **log in** to a website while using Tor, then they know it is you, and then if you stay on the same circuit (it gets renovated each 10 mins) an attacker who can observe a large portion of the network can follow you and see where else you go. This is why TorBB has this nice little option to refresh the circuit or better yet to "change identity", which is close and restart the TorBB. Each time you do that (new identity) you get the default shiny browser, everything just got flushed (think cookies, session id etc).
But if you do not log into the site they can not know by any means that it is you.

> Other sources say using Tor makes us targets of certin snooping agencies, but, we're targets anyway, despite any innocence. Seems life is always a compromise.

Well, if caring makes me a terrorist, so be it.

Do not let the initial complexity (switching to somethin new is always tough) discourage you, if you are serious about it, I am certain you'll manage to get your system libre, up, and running as you like it. It may take months or years, but it will pay in the end, so.. PERSIST!

Misty
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I like Tor and I've used it with that identity feature.

Yes I am very serious about this, if it takes awhile, that's ok. Tonight I'll set up that memtest and hope for the best.

What do you know about Tails? I've read it's very good.

And, Yeah, us caring people are seen as a threat.

Thanks again for your help. :)

SuperTramp83

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Well, Tails is Debian set to be as secure as possible by default and an amnesic OS, that is, an OS that will run entirely in your memory without ever touching your hard drive. The idea is the non persistence - and precisely non persistence of malware. It routes every connection through the tor network, so that you never make a clear connection to a server.
I would recommend it to someone who really takes risks on the net, say an activist, a whistleblower, or any illegal action.
If nothing stays on the disk and after you shut down your PC the memory in a few seconds got flushed, then there is no proof of wrongdoing. The downside is that Tails is slow, even when you run it from a USB.

strypey
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The other downside with Tails, from a libre POV, is that it uses the blobbed version of the Linux kernel, not Linux-libre. This is why FSF will not endorse it. Of course, RiseUp (developers of Tails) do this for a good reason; Tails is designed to allows its user to get on the net from any PC they can get their hands on, and including the binary blobs (mostly firmware/ drivers) means Tails will run properly on a wider variety of PCs than a 100% libre distro like Trisquel or Uruk.

It's a shame the FSF endorsement list doesn't have different levels, something like:
* Gold: fulfils every criteria on the FSDG (Free System Distribution Guidelines) ie the existing list
* Silver: default install fulfils every criteria on the FSDG, but gives users access to some proprietary software in a separate repo (eg Debian)
* Bronze: fulfils every criteria on the FSDG except using linux-libre, but vows to remove blobs for any hardware as soon as there is a free driver that can support it (eg Tails)

Also some kind of usability-rating would be good. After deciding to move on from Ubuntu to a more freedom-respecting distro, I tried a number of the distros on the FSF's list before I found one that was actually usable as a day-to-day OS, which was Trisquel, which is why I'm here (see: http://www.coactivate.org/projects/disintermedia/blog/2012/10/22/brick-seeks-free-software-foundation-endorsement/). Of the 9 full distros on the list, almost half are not even being actively developed according to Distrowatch (eg Dragora, Utoto, Dyne:Bolic, Musix). Of the 5 that are left (Trisquel, BLAG, Parabola, GuixSD, and gNewSense), BLAG is broken and useless, Parabola is an Arch fork (experts only), I haven't tried GuixSD or the last couple of versions of gNewSense.

My point is, having different levels of endorsement would give users a greater range of actually usable distros to try, while still educating and warning them about the freedom issues affecting the distros rated Silver or Bronze, and what to do to encourage them progress to Gold (eg which hardware vendors to hassle about releasing source code for drivers).

Magic Banana

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Dragora GNU/Linux looks actively developed: http://dragora.org/repo.fsl/timeline

strypey
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Hmmm. Distrowatch might be saying it's "dormant" because they haven't released a new version since 2012?
http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=dragora

But it does look like they are actively working on shipping a new release this year:
http://dragora.org/repo.fsl/doc/trunk/www/roadmap.md

Misty
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Wow Strypey, you have thought this out well with the levels. That and the usability rating idea make a lot of sense to me. It would be nice if you could present these suggestions to the FSF for consideration.

What is a blob? It'd be interesting to know how these things got their name.

Ignacio.Agullo
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Misty
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please tell us what that is?

Mangy Dog

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Software components with no available source code are called binary blobs and, as such, are mostly used for proprietary firmware images in the Linux kernel. While generally redistributable, binary blobs do not give the user the freedom to audit, modify or, consequently, redistribute their modified versions

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux-libre
How it is done ?
The removal of non-Free bits from the kernel Linux is accomplished with the script deblob-main, that in turn uses deblob- and deblob-check.
deblob- is inspired in gNewSense's scripts, later customized for BLAG by Jeff Moe, and then further improved as part of the linux-libre project.

http://www.fsfla.org/ikiwiki/selibre/linux-libre/

Misty
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Hi Mangy Dog, Thanks for explaining! This is fascinating stuff! I wish we could remove all those proprietary blobs and replace every one with something Free. I wish I was a programmer. Many years ago someone tried explaining what binary is. He made it seem so simple. This stuff is so over my head, so I'm very, very thankful for all of you techies. :D

Magic Banana

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A binary language is a language with two letters that are usually denoted "0" and "1". Two letters always are enough: a mapping can be defined from any other alphabet to (long-enough) sequences of "0" and "1". Most digital systems use that language: on a CD, 500 nm wide pits and lands represent the two letters, most digital circuits (in particular in a processor) only consider two signals: high or low voltage; etc.

All that said, when we write about "a binary", we are actually talking about a file whose content is directly executable by the processor, i.e., a file only containing extremely simple (i.e., low-level) instructions. Those instructions are the assembly language. Like any other language, the instructions (the letters of the language) can be mapped to sequences of "0" and "1". But that is not the point.

The point is: humans can only read/write tiny programs in an assembly language. Most of the programs we use are written in high-level languages (mixes of English and mathematics), that are far easier to work with. Programs in high-level languages can then be automatically translated (a process called "compilation") to the assembly language the processor understands... but that human beings cannot understand anymore (unless the program is tiny). Also, it basically is impossible do do any significant modification to a binary.

Almost all proprietary programs are only distributed as binaries, i.e., human beings cannot read/write them. On the contrary, a free software program grants access to the source code (in the high-level language the program was actually written in): the user can study the program and can modify it.

Misty
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how many high-level languages are there? are Bash and Python in that category? Often I see many programming code names like those, so I imagine they're part of that whole group.

Magic Banana

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There literally are countless high-level programming languages. Most of them are unpopular though. Bash and Python are high-level programming languages. They are not compiled though, i.e., Bash/Python programs are not turned into executables (written in the assembly language that the processor understands). They are interpreted: when you execute them, a separate program (the "interpreter") reads the Bash/Python programs you execute and transforms the next Python/Bash statement to execute into assembly instructions.

@purists: I know there are Python compilers too.

Misty
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> You only need to copy your prefs.js to keep your modifications when you migrate to another FF browser, there is no need to manually change everything in about:config every time.

I'm not sure how to do that, though I have an idea. I guess I should get Tor first, I'd also want to delete IceCat. Many years ago I knew how to transfer bookmarks, too, but I forgot how. I imagine copying your prefs would be a similar method.

If I got this right, I'd find the browser file on my computer, and paste them there. I'd want my bookmarks, too. It's been awhile since I've done that, somehow I followed instructions and got it right.

Magic Banana

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"prefs.js" is a file in the subfolder of ~/.mozilla/abrowser (that is a folder "abrowser" in the hidden folder ".mozilla" in your home folder) that relates to your profile. There usually is the sole default profile, with a randomly generated prefix.

To only import/export bookmarks, display all bookmarks (either from the "bookmark" menu of the Web browser or using Ctrl+Shift+O) and click on the related menu.

Misty
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I have questions about verfying stuff, the signatures, to be sure I got what I want from where it's supposed to be from- those things are soooooo looooong it'd take me forever to compare them, is that the only way, no matter how long it takes to read it?

When I get my preferred browser I'll put your prefs in the I should do it for the ones I use now too, if I'm gonna stay online. It's getting so stressful for me though, keeping up with all the stuff that needs doing.

Misty
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I read some of your prefs, noticed some mention of windows and NT. That says to me it's referring to your computer and OS, am I correct?

Oh, and speaking of javascript, you know Diaspora uses it, I'm sure.

Also, about add-ons for Tor- I read it's not recommended to put more than what they put in. I'm re-reading that now. Some years ago someone said not to use addblock, because it reveals info- whatever we use, the sites know we're using it. Would the random browser spoofer compromise Tor's purpose?
Maybe I should go to Tor's IRC channel. I'd have to get my messenger back, when I got scared about the DDos, I deleted it.

I haven't added anything new to Tor yet. On IceCat I have HTTPS Everywhere, UblockOrigin, Cookie Monster, SpyBlock, Random Browser Spoofer (hope I'm remembering the name of that right), NoScript, and I think that's it but that's enough. SilverWolf told me too many add-ons could mess things up. He helped me get Trisquel.

Magic Banana

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Website can detect many things about the Web browser configuration. It can indeed know that an ad blocker is used. It can know as well that Tor is used (its exit nodes are not secret). The more tweaking, the higher the risk that the fingerprint of the browser is (close to) unique and that websites can track you. That is why the Tor Browser is configured in a very generic way. It even sends wrong information to the websites because that information is more common. The developers recommend not to install add-ons or plugins because that makes the fingerprint more unique.

All that said, another possibility is to randomize the information, in particular the user agent information that gives what browser in what version is used. The add-on named "Random Agent Spoofer" does that. But the developer of the Tor browser argue that uniformity is safer than randomization: https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser/design/#fingerprinting-linkability

Misty
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Thank you for the info, I was reading some info at Tor earlier and I'll go to the link you gave me.

SuperTramp83

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>I read some of your prefs, noticed some mention of windows and NT. That says to me it's referring to your computer and OS, am I correct?

I assume you are referring to the prefs.js file.
Those are fake values to override the user agent. On panopticlick, with no js, I get 6 bits of identifying information, heh ^^

Misty
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yes. I read many of them, but not all. Also I read some info at Tor, and why they don't recommend plug-ins, which makes sense. It might be a good idea to compare their prefs with yours. Considering how they set it up, I have to be sure if it's ok to add any changes to it. From what I read of yours, they look good, but I'll read them again soon. Then I'll be able to better decide what I wanna do.

There's something I need advice on. In Icecat, anything with goo in it, I made blank. I hope I got them all, there were other nasty names like yahoo, I think I made those blank too. I wanna do that in Tor. Someone might say doing that would uniquely identify me, but I will never knowingly allow them to track me. What's the best solution?

If I were a programmer, all those horrible companies would never be allowed.

SuperTramp83

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It is not only harmful but also useless (read ineffective) to change any value besides cranking up the "security slider" in TorBB. When you use it properly, no one can track you, no one gets your IP, Misty.

Misty
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OK thanks for the info. If I went back to IceCat I wonder what the best way to handle that is, to be effective. My logic says making it blank would tell it, "no one tracks me." You say it's ineffective- how so?

There was a thread or 2 on this forum about browser tweaking, but I think they may be locked, if I remember right when I searched for them a few months ago.

Magic Banana

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It is harmful to your privacy because you then become the unique user who set the value to "blank".

Misty
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That makes sense. Thanks. So if everyone did that it'd be better. :D

Misty
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you said, "You could even go "half-full cli" and find a cli replacement for many of your GUI applications." I'd like to understand more about that. You also mentioned Xfce. I'd like to try it, but I should remove something first. Since my Trisquel is still functional without the GNOME shell, I'll remove the mini.
However long this all takes, I'm in it for the long haul- I wanna be free! :D

SuperTramp83

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cli https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Command-line_interface

CLI applications require less resources, are much faster and efficient. Sure, they are less friendly for you will not click with your mouse in a GUI, instead you will only use your keyboard and will need to learn a few commands.

Xfce is awesome, it has no bloat, it doesn't get in your way, it doesn't get slower with each version, they don't add nonsense and is very complete and supercustomizable.

I believe the package to install is xfce4 and the goodies:
sudo apt-get install xfce4 xfce4-goodies

Then you log out and at the login screen you select it as your DE (I believe you'll find the selection icon on the top right of your screen, you select Xfce, and that's it.
By default it'll look as poo :(
But you can set it to look exactly how you want it to look, you just need to tinker a little. But first use it for a few days and see if you like its minimalism and functionality.
You are welcome :)

strypey
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"it doesn't get slower with each version"

This isn't true in my experience. I used to run XFCE (Xubuntu) on a computer with 256MB or 512MB of RAM. I guarantee it won't work now with less than 1GB, and if it's anything like Mate (also supposedly a "lightweight" desktop), it really needs 2GB.

Misty
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Hmmm, considering my RAM problem, I really need to do some homework on all of this.

SuperTramp83

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You can not compare versions of Xfce like that, strypey. You can not compare Xubuntu say 12 with Xubuntu (or worse yet another distro with Xfce) 16..
Try this -> install Debian Jessie (current stable) with Xfce **4.10** and test it for a few hours, then on the **same exact** distribution (Debian Jessie) compile Xfce **4.12** and test it. I did that on two different laptops (current one is a 2004 lappy) and I can tell you they run exactly the same and consume exactly the same amount of RAM and CPU.

Misty
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OK, thanks for the info.

SuperTramp83

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Misty, to clarify a little bit, or more correctly to prove the point, let us take an example. Let's use a very, very lightweight **GUI** music player - namely qmmp

The "terminal" music player we can relate to, the one I like, will be "moc"

Now, on my old but great beasty, I open the terminal to check RAM usage and CPU usage, using "top", here, the average values

qmmp - cpu usage 13.5 % / ram usage 2.1 %
mocp - cpu usage 7.5 % / ram usage 0.6 %

You can see the great difference. Now, consider that I am comparing the CLI program with a GUI program tht is exceptionally lightweight (qmmp). If you compare it to a music player that is not as lightweight you'll probably find out "moc" uses 1/3 or 1/4 of the resources..

Misty
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Wow that is noticeable difference. I see I have some studying to do, so I can put together something that my poor old machine can handle, till I can convert my Mac. I'll look at all the suggestions again and compare them. You have all been so wonderful. :D

Misty
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OK I'm gonna try Xfce4.

Misty
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I looked for Xfce in synaptic, what I saw was Xfce 4, and one mention of Xfce keyboard. There were many Xfce4's in the list, I have to find which one to get. As much as I like Trisquel, I'm still uncertain about keeping it. One feature I really like about Trisquel is the screenshot, to me it's a very important tool. I noticed Mini doesn't have it, there's a program that can be had separately though. I saw a post about that someplace.

Magic Banana

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If you want the whole Xfce4 environment, then install "xfce4". It is a meta-package that depends on the whole Xfce4 environment. There is a package "xfce4-screenshooter" and you may like it. Otherwise, nothing prevents you from using "gnome-screenshot" (the name of the command and of the package) on Xfce or any other desktop environment.

SuperTramp83

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sudo apt-get install xfce4 xfce4-goodies

enjoy :)

strypey
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Thanks for the tip about swap files, I'll have a play with that. There's some good info on swap partitions and swap files here:
https://www.linux.com/news/all-about-linux-swap-space

"One swap partition can be shared between several GNU/Linux distributions"

That's what I thought too, but I came across some information on the web (can't find the link now) that said that installing another instance of GNU/Linux using the same swap partition breaks the ability of the original instance to use the swap file. Was this person just wrong, or are you saying that editing /etc/fstab is the solution to this problem? If so, can you provide more detail (or a link to it) on exactly what to edit in /etc/fstab and how?

Magic Banana

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One swap partition can be shared between several GNU/Linux distributions. However, I believe hibernation becomes a problem (for sure running another distribution after hibernating does not allow to recover). Besides hibernation, the swap can be emptied (although it is not necessary) between reboots, like the RAM is, and reused by another distribution.

My /etc/fstab has this line because my swap partition is /dev/sda1:
/dev/sda1 none swap sw 0 0

One way to know the number of your swap partition (do not write 1 if it is not the first partition!):
$ sudo parted -l

SuperTramp83

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> One way to know the number of your swap partition (parted)

or, without sudo, lsblk, so you save 5 seconds of your time :)