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Re: Revert to simple Window Manager

Douglas Allan Tutty wrote:
On Sun, Jun 10, 2007 at 10:33:43PM -0600, Telly Williams wrote:
    I'm currently using the Gnome Desktop environment.  As I learn to
use Linux/GNU more, I find that I want to slim down my computer as much
as possible.  Hence, I would like to use just a window manager instead
of a full GUI.  Is it possible to revert (maybe, apt-get remove gnome)
my GUI and simply use a window manager, or will I need to do a complete
reinstall?  Will removing the GUI (Gnome) break my system?  Are there
any links on the web that anyone has that discusses this issue?  Thanks.

Hello Telly.

First, let me assure you that you do not have to reinstall, nor will
this break your system.

Second, my I suggest a planned approach to this.

What will the end result look like?  Personally, I don't use any gdm or
any other *dm, I just log into a normal terminal and run startx, which
starts icewm (on my PII) and Xfce on my Athlon.

Wouldn't it be nice if Linux would allow you to have more than 1 graphics card and run a textconsole VT on each one and then use startx to do just that: start X.


I went with Xfce over
icewm simply because I can edit the tool bar and other stuff with a
simple config applet instead of editing config files for icewm.
However, my PII only has 64 MB ram whereas my Athlon has 1 GB.  Xfce
tends to leak memory.

My suggestion would be to first learn enough GUI stuff so that if for a
short time you end up without X you won't be lost or panic.  That means
that you are able to send and receive email with mutt (unless you use
webmail), browse the web with lynx or links2, and manage packages with
aptitude interactively.

That last point is important, IMHO, but if you aren't using aptitude
now, then this is another separate project.

Once that is accomplished, you can browse your installed packages
searching for gnome and mark them all for removal.  Ensure that you
don't inadvertanly mark xorg for removal (or at least not the necessary
dependencies of the xorg metapackage).

Then ensure you install:

	some type of xterm.  Even on the PII, I like xfce-terminal.

	Your window manager of choice, with its docs if they are

Then tell aptitude to go ahead.

Once its all done, I would suggest a reboot just to clear out any memory

Then you should see a normal login prompt.  Log in, type startx, and see
what you get.


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