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#1 2012-03-14 07:39:06

gxagar
Member
Registered: 2012-03-14
Posts: 29

gxagar is in the house!

First exposure to Linux was Linspire in 2005.  Used the LiveCD only.  Was afraid to Install.  Got Braver in 2006...built a box just for Linux and Distro Hopped to PCLinuxOS.  Desktop Hopped to Gnome2 when KDE 4.0 came out in 2009.  Distro Hopped again in 2011 to Debian Stable when PCLOS no longer supported my Fave Apps, and Updated too much, too often for my taste.  Now plan to Desktop Hop to XFCE when Debian Stable defaults to Gnome3 in Feb. 2013.  4.8 made me a believer in XFCE.  Will Convert when Gnome2 is Gone.

In the mean time, I have XFCE installed on Debian Testing Wheezy currently, and am learning my way around it in preparation for it becoming my preferred DE next year.  Joined the forum to aid and abet that effort, and to help other Non-Traditional Desktop Metaphor Refugees do the same.  When Testing Wheezy becomes Stable Wheezy next year, I'll already be an experienced Mouser.  Planning is good.

Keeping a watch on MATE and am contributing to Its community.  It's a great & worthwhile project but it's gonna be about 2015 before it's Debian Stable stable.

Secretly hoping to find a home.  Weary from all the changes.  Permission to come aboard?

G

PS.  All Distros & DEs have Right & Reason to go the Directions they do.  In FreeWorld, they can make their choices without condemnation.  Users, then, exercise their Right to Choose, for Whatever Reason they do.

Last edited by gxagar (2012-03-22 18:02:36)


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#2 2012-03-14 07:48:53

gnome_refugee
Member
Registered: 2010-01-15
Posts: 157

Re: gxagar is in the house!

Permission granted, and we hope you stay with Xfce and don't even think about the Gnome catastrophe. My own bias in favour of the Mouse is that with Xfce I can configure my desktop just the way I want, down to the last detail of appearance and function. It all works very nicely and fast. Running Debian Stable with Xfce 4.6, but I've looked at 4.8 and seen the same niceness. It was tiring to learn the desktop environment rules and patterns back when I was fiddling with Gnome and KDE - how to do things got in the way of opening and running applications. With custom-configured Xfce, the rules and patterns are my own.

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#3 2012-03-14 18:46:01

rayandrews
Member
From: Vancouver B.C. Canada
Registered: 2011-12-30
Posts: 54

Re: gxagar is in the house!

Gnome catastrophe sounds about right.  It seems that at linux mint there are already four flavours of Gnome, it's like watching an explosion in slow motion.

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#4 2012-03-15 05:56:13

gxagar
Member
Registered: 2012-03-14
Posts: 29

Re: gxagar is in the house!

Thanks gnome_refugee.  I feel much welcome already.  I've already configured my own custom menu by copying /usr/share/applications to my home folder, editing it, and saving it to ~/.local/share/applications.  It was as easy as any Menu Editor, and I Loved the feeling of power and control. So, I'm slowly getting what you mean by making my own rules & such.  Afterwards, I went back to recreate the process in Gnome2.  Menu & Application files were strewn everywhere around the file system such that I couldn't figger where to start.  Didn't know if Alacarte would override me or not.  Just felt overwhelmed and intimidated.  Used to wonder why XFCE abandoned its Menu Editor.  Don't wonder any more.  It really complicates things under the hood and works against Light & Fast.

The selling points for 4.8 were the addition of the Network File Transfer feature to Thunar, and the easier ways to manage the Panels and the Stuff on them.  I'm still a little noobish.  I'm thinkin' that if they can continue to make it Noob Friendlier, while keeping the Code small, the Footprint light, and the Performance Fast, thats a good thing.  Took XFCE for another Test DRIVE today.  Learned that I like the way it HANDLES permissions better.  Pun Intended.

I agree with you rayandrews.  Recently, Clem said that he was committed to Gnome.  I hope Gnome doesn't cause him to be committed.

Bedtime,

G

Last edited by gxagar (2012-03-16 03:50:49)


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#5 2012-03-15 14:16:28

rayandrews
Member
From: Vancouver B.C. Canada
Registered: 2011-12-30
Posts: 54

Re: gxagar is in the house!

gxagar,

re. Gnome, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, as my dad used to say. 

Sounds like your learning how to do these CLI manipulations of Xfce, which is exactly what I'm trying to do. Right now I'm trying to figure out how to copy whole panels between different users. Any ideas which files are involved? I wish Xfce came with a doc. giving us a complete list of config files, what they do, and how to manipulate them from CLI.

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#6 2012-03-16 03:35:51

gxagar
Member
Registered: 2012-03-14
Posts: 29

Re: gxagar is in the house!

RA, asking me for help is a Medal Winning act of Bravery.  I did not expect to be this active in this forum so soon, but I'm having a real good time with it so I'm gonna go with this flow.  This initially sounded like a question for the BigDogs.  But, I'm a Figgerer Outerer from waaaaay back who wants to be a BigDog, so I decided to delight myself with this challenge.  I appreciate your confidence in me.  I'll try not to disappoint.  I originally didn't have any ideas. So, I went in search of some.  Here's the one I came up with.  Surprisingly, it didn't take long.

A Catfish Search for 'panel', in 'file system', including 'hidden files', revealed 2 items of interest:
A Folder: /home/username/.config/xfce4/panel,
and a File: /home/username/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-panel.xml.

The Folder contains the Launcher Files for the Quick Launch Icons that a User has put on the Panels.  Launchers from both Panels are in this Folder.  Which Panel they are on is not identified.
The File contains the Code/Text that builds Both Panels.  It calls up data from the Default Panel Folder (wherever that is) and data from the User Panel Folder, then sends it all to whatever manager (Desktop, Display, Window) combines it and builds the panels on the Desktop.

I'm thinkin' you could copy this Folder & File from one user to another and the panels will go with them.  The Default Data should already be available to the receiving user and you shouldn't have to mess with it.  CAUTION:  Be sure to append the Receiving User's Original Folder & File Names with .old before you copy the new stuff.  Then, if I'm out of my mind & something goes wrong, you can delete the new stuff & remove the .old from the Originals to restore.  This idea comes without warranty, expressed or implied.

This idea is also untried and untested by me.  If you can figger a way to test it on a Box or OS you can afford to break, that would be good.  I keep an extra OS on an extra Partition handy just for that purpose.  Presently, that Partition has MATE on it so I can't test this.  I'll build a Test XFCE soonly since that's where I'm going.  It might pay to seek an idea from a Bigger Dog.

BTW, I'm a Pointer & Clicker by default.  When Forum Folk or Man Pages or HowTos or Bloggers give CLI instructions, I can usually figger a way to P&C through them.  I'm OK with CLI, but rarely use it unless I have to.  I think this idea can be implemented mostly by P&C.  Just open Thunar as Root (Run Program or Terminal Emulator > gksu thunar) so you have read/write access to all users files.  WARNING:  After copying, check the newly written Folder's/File's Permissions and make sure they belong to the Receiving User.

There's a real good chance that we've gotten off the 'Hello' topic of this thread.  Watch for a Moderator to move our Posts.

Good Luck.  Let me know what you think or how it works.

G

Last edited by gxagar (2012-03-16 03:44:11)


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#7 2012-03-16 17:06:28

rayandrews
Member
From: Vancouver B.C. Canada
Registered: 2011-12-30
Posts: 54

Re: gxagar is in the house!

gxagar,

I like your attitude.  I'd like to be a bigdog too, but it's hard to join the inner circle it seems.

I found  the two paths you mention too, I just can't figure out how to 'drive' them.  have three panels on two monitors and I'm expecting something like three files for the three panels -- but that would be too easy, wouldn't it?
Sounds like you've done some commendable research tho, I'll play with that. However, it does seem like this default panel is in /etc somewhere, I did find it yesterday but can't remember where. Don't you love the way that devs like to hide things all over the place? HIde-and-go-seek is such a fun game.  Well, Gnome is/was far worse.

As for me, I'm a CLI fanatic to the day I die.  For me, GUIs are all nursemaids, which is just fine when you're a kid, but when you grow up you want to get your hands on the leavers of power.  GUIs make easy things easier, but they make hard things impossible.  For the adult user GUIs might be likened to a butler -- "Jeeves, bring me a brandy". Now that's fine if your butler is smart and can do absolutely anything you might want. But what if he's a bit limited -- "Jeeves, tune up the Ducati". If he can't do it it behooves you to be able to do it. And if Jeeves is off sick, you should know where the brandy is kept yourself.  Eg. just a couple of days ago I found that the 'Services Settings' widget is broken here -- it won't let me do anything as a user and doesn't ask me for my root PW either. If I'm stuck as a GUI user, I need to quit Xfce, log in as root restart Xfce to make changes, quit, restart as 'ray' ... , then But then I  found the CLI 'sysvconf' utility, which works fine.  I  'know where the brandy is' so to speak. OTOH the linux CLI,  as it comes out of the box, is absolutely atrocious. First thing I did on starting with linux is to get the blasted CLI running almost as sweetly as I had it back in the good old day of 4DOS -- the best shell ever created.

Last edited by rayandrews (2012-03-16 17:08:46)

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#8 2012-03-16 17:50:25

Ahau
Member
Registered: 2011-12-22
Posts: 27

Re: gxagar is in the house!

configure xfce the way you'd like it for user "a", then:

su #enter password, or use sudo if you're in a debian state of mind
cp -r /home/user-b/.config/xfce4 /home/user-b/.config/xfce4-bak #make a backup just in case...
cp -r /home/user-a/.config/xfce4 /home/user-b/.config/
chown -R user-b:user-b /home/user-b/.config/xfce4 #you'll want user b to own these files or you'll have big problems

That will copy pretty much all of your xfce settings, but it won't change the system-wide defaults.  If you don't want to copy everything over then you'll need to poke through the specific folders and files inside /home/*/.config/xfce4 and copy them individually.  I've been making lots of customizations and applying them to two user accounts in Porteus (root and guest).  Once you do this a handful of times, it all starts to make sense smile

Check the group ownership for the files in /home/user-b, you might need something other than what I describe above, e.g. 'chown -R user-b:users', where user "b" is a member of the group "users".  Just run 'ls -la /home/user-b/.config' and use the same group name as the existing files.

Last edited by Ahau (2012-03-16 18:02:40)

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#9 2012-03-16 18:40:44

gxagar
Member
Registered: 2012-03-14
Posts: 29

Re: gxagar is in the house!

RA,
I just created the Test XFCE that I mentioned, and tried the 'move panels from one user to another' procedure that I tried to invent.  Lo and behold...IT WORKED!  Yay me!  I am replying from the user to which I transferred the panels.  They are fully functional.  Every item on every panel does its job...perfectly!  Here's the way it went.  I did it completely by Point & Click.  I think you can translate it to CLI lingo.

IMPORTANT!  No need to mess with the Default Panel Settings in /etc.  Because it's in the Main FileSystem, it's completely available to all users all the time.  The OS will pull from it what it needs, and combine with each User's Panel Settings to build that User's Panels. Only mess with the Folder and File mentioned in my previous post.

EQUALLY IMPORTANT!  You will NOT find 3 files for 3 panels.  All the data for ALL panels is contained in the One Folder & One File previously mentioned.  You will not have to mess with any other. 

I logged in as Root from the Display Manager.  Makes things easier for a Pointer & Clicker.  Opening a Root Terminal from user1 will work well for you.  Not good to work from user2.  It's that user's files that you're changing.

Change the name of the Folder  /home/user2/.config/xfce4/panel  to  /home/user2/.config/xfce4/panel.old

Change the name of the File  /home/user2/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-panel.xml  to  /home/user2/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-panel.xml.old

Copy the Folder  /home/user1/.config/xfce4/panel  to the Folder  /home/user2/.config/xfce4

Copy the File  /home/user1/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-panel.xml  to the Folder  /home/user2/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml

Make sure the newly copied Folder & File are Owned by user2.

Login to user2 and enjoy your new panels.

If there are problems, remove the newly copied Folder & File from user2. Then remove the .old extension from the original Folder & File in user2.  This will restore user2.  Then consult with a Bigger Dog.

Again, Good Luck.  And Reply with your Results.

G


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#10 2012-03-16 19:02:49

gxagar
Member
Registered: 2012-03-14
Posts: 29

Re: gxagar is in the house!

Thanks Ahau.  I tried to change permissions for the newly copied Folder & File in user2 by becoming root & pointing & clicking.  I wouldn't let me do it.  So...I fell back on the 'chown' command that you so helpfully provided and it did the job.  Never 'chown'ed before.  Now I have.

RA, I owe you an apology & correction.  I didn't do it completely by Pointing & Clicking.  Had to CLI a little.  Now I'm a slightly Bigger Dog.

G


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#11 2012-03-17 16:09:31

rayandrews
Member
From: Vancouver B.C. Canada
Registered: 2011-12-30
Posts: 54

Re: gxagar is in the house!

Ahau wrote:

configure xfce the way you'd like it for user "a", then:

su #enter password, or use sudo if you're in a debian state of mind
cp -r /home/user-b/.config/xfce4 /home/user-b/.config/xfce4-bak #make a backup just in case...
cp -r /home/user-a/.config/xfce4 /home/user-b/.config/
chown -R user-b:user-b /home/user-b/.config/xfce4 #you'll want user b to own these files or you'll have big problems

That will copy pretty much all of your xfce settings, but it won't change the system-wide defaults.  If you don't want to copy everything over then you'll need to poke through the specific folders and files inside /home/*/.config/xfce4 and copy them individually.  I've been making lots of customizations and applying them to two user accounts in Porteus (root and guest).  Once you do this a handful of times, it all starts to make sense smile

Check the group ownership for the files in /home/user-b, you might need something other than what I describe above, e.g. 'chown -R user-b:users', where user "b" is a member of the group "users".  Just run 'ls -la /home/user-b/.config' and use the same group name as the existing files.

Thanks Ahau, that looks about right, I was worried that there might be some hidden gotchas.  I was moving all that stuff to the root account, and it seems to have taken over ownership automaticaly. I guess root does that.
We'll see how it works next time I log in as root. Gracias.

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#12 2012-03-17 16:17:11

rayandrews
Member
From: Vancouver B.C. Canada
Registered: 2011-12-30
Posts: 54

Re: gxagar is in the house!

gxagar wrote:

Thanks Ahau.  I tried to change permissions for the newly copied Folder & File in user2 by becoming root & pointing & clicking.  I wouldn't let me do it.  So...I fell back on the 'chown' command that you so helpfully provided and it did the job.  Never 'chown'ed before.  Now I have.

RA, I owe you an apology & correction.  I didn't do it completely by Pointing & Clicking.  Had to CLI a little.  Now I'm a slightly Bigger Dog.

G

Yep, in all OS, but particularly in linux I think you'll find that when you really want to get something done you hafta use the CLI. Me,  I'm on a Mission From God to try to get GUI developers to stop trying to hide the real OS from us and instead turn the GUI into a tutor -- something that *helps* you to understand the underlying OS rather than trying to hide it from you.

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#13 2012-03-17 17:47:59

gxagar
Member
Registered: 2012-03-14
Posts: 29

Re: gxagar is in the house!

Post removed by gxagar out of regret for having posted it.

G

Last edited by gxagar (2012-04-04 20:35:12)


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#14 2012-03-17 20:23:08

rayandrews
Member
From: Vancouver B.C. Canada
Registered: 2011-12-30
Posts: 54

Re: gxagar is in the house!

gxagar wrote:

RA(nt)
I've reviewed your other posts in this forum.  I just don't see that the devs hide files from anybody.  Nor do I see that the GUI is just for noobs.  Nor do I see that you aren't getting help in this forum.  I used a GUI to find the Panel Files you were looking for, that perhaps you couldn't find with CLI.  I used Point & Click File Manager techniques to demonstrate to you that moving panels, and panels only (unlike Ahau's suggestion, which moved the whole desktop) was not only possible but easily done in 6 steps.  I did it in about 2.5 minutes, until I had to go to the CLI to chown.  That's what took the extra time and made it difficult.  It seems to me that you could use a little GUI time to be 'nursemaided' and 'tutored' in learning your OS & DE before you launch your 'Mission from God' to change everbody to a CLI only mindset.  Even CaveMan progressed from Clubs to Spears, and the progression continued until we have GUIs and Mice and TouchScreens and beyond.  Even YOU have 2 GUIs going on 2 Monitors simultaneously.  Why don't you just boot into a Console and stay there?  Because even YOU know deep down that both GUIs and CLIs benefit EVERYBODY.  Stop talking down about the tools & techniques that others are using to build this OS & DE and to help you.  If you truly want to be a BigDog, you have to learn to work with the Pack and what it has graciously provided.  There's an whole World full of 'Jeeves'es out there that have brought you Linux, and help with it, on a proverbial Silver Platter, and you didn't have to pay them.  Everything you've gotten from LinuxWorld is FREE!  This should incite nothing but gratitude and support from its users and beneficiaries. I, and I'm sure others, resent any other response.

G

G,

That's not a rant. I do rant quite often, but that's not one of them ;-) I'm not pointing my remarks where you seem to think.  I'm commenting on what seems to me to be a pervasive sort of mindset in the heads of ALL GUI developers in ALL OSs that the GUI should do what it does without showing you what it does. When you use some applet to do some system level thing, you have no idea what files have been modified, or what the CLI name of the applet is, and IMHO that need not be.  Hey! this is just an idea of mine, nothing more. And I think that what I say is true: GUI applets are fine 90% of the time, but there are occasions when you have to dig deeper.

I use my GUI all the time! 90% of the time, and I like Xfce very much.  I'm not out to change anyones mindset *except* this 'GUI vs. CLI' idea -- I think GUIs should help the user understand the OS and that the GUI and the CLI should be much more integrated. That's just me of course, others are free to hold a different view.  I'm interested in all perspectives on the question.

Far from being ungrateful to the dedicated and talented people that have brought us linux and all the suff that goes with it, not only am I grateful, but I'm looking forward to joining them. Within the year I hope to be answering more questions than I ask.  Some guys take suggestions and cricisisms as negative, OTOH, without suggestions and critiscisms nothing would ever change.

Sorry if I sounded bitchy.

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#15 2012-03-19 05:58:12

gxagar
Member
Registered: 2012-03-14
Posts: 29

Re: gxagar is in the house!

RA,

Sorry accepted.  I appreciate your contrition.  A Re-review of your posts tells me that your a nice guy who wants to be friendly & helpful but maybe doesn't choose his words well sometimes.  We all have those moments.  My curse is that I'm somewhat of a linguist and tend to take words and phrases VERY literally.  I'll try to understand your posts in their proper context henceforth.  I'm still delighted to try to help folks.  Toward that end...

Regarding GUI & CLI intergration....some thoughts:

I think it's beyond the scope and goals of GUI projects to educate their users on what's happening underneath everytime they click on an Icon or Applet.  The goal is to keep the DE and other stuff out of the way so the GUI App can do its work as quickly and efficiently as possible.  If a Dialog Box or Terminal popped up every time a program started to reveal its steps to a user, that would be an irritant, hog resources, and undermine the goals of the DE and App.  For users who want to know such, there are Books, Help Pages, HowTos, Wikis, ManPages, Blogs, Forums, IRC Channels, Project Websites where Devs can be contacted, SysAdmin Resources, log files, etc...where that information can be obtained.  There may even be some Apps in the Repos that will log, print, or display what you want to know.  Speaking of repos...in synaptic (in Debian and maybe derivatives), you can highlight your App of Interest, click on Properties, click on the Files Installed tab, and see a list of all the files that a program uses.  Could be a clue as to which ones will be modified during use.

Admittedly, there are times when I would like to see an output.  So today I bounced off your thinkin' and tried running apps in a terminal and in a console.  Neither showed me an output.  Oh well.  Have to try something else.  I have seen in Forums where someone will suggest typing 'abc' in a terminal and post the output.  Don't recall specifics but maybe there's something there for you.  Have also noticed that CLI devs don't always show you stuff.  Plenty of CLI commands and apps don't show an output.  They just show a blinking cursor until they're finished and then show the command prompt.

Regarding Suggestions & Criticisms...mo thoghts:

Suggestions GOOD!  Agree that when positively presented, progress & change doesn't happen well without them.

Constructive Criticisms GOOD!  Not only is a problem identified, but a solution proposed for the devs to consider.  Starts their cognitive juices flowing, gives them a direction to start in while they contemplate other options.

Complaining Criticisms NOT GOOD! Only identifies a Dislike, not necessarily a real problem worth fixing.  Proposes no solution.  Puts the responsibility for change completely on the backs of others, and only for the purpose of satisying the Complainer's whim.  Hurts feelings, Insults, Offends, Makes the Complainer appear Bitter, Whiney, & Ungrateful, Makes folks unwilling to cooperate and drives them away.

May sound crazy at this point, but I can see us being Forum Friends and keeping a running conversation going.

BTW, how'd that Panel Moving work out?

G

Last edited by gxagar (2012-03-19 16:17:08)


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