Artix display managers and Openbox or LXDE

I am amazed how well Artix has been running and once you get comfortable it appears to be among the simplest to configure linux distributions.

Artix initially came with sddm as a display manager and LXQT as its default desktop, for those that need one.  To see how alternatives are able to work I tried lightdm which I am comfortable with for years.  It run very well but came with the same boring login screen that is the lightdm constant basic login screen.  It does what is needed simply and reliably.

I also tried slim, which is very light but does not allow remote logins.  Slim has also been left undeveloped for years and unless it will receive some repackaging and modification does not work very well.  I shortly gave up and uninstalled it.

Next on the list was LXDM which is a known entity in many distributions as a default DM.  Surprised again not to see it working well.  You do get to a login screen but seems to mess up in loading the DE (desktop environment). So I suspect it needs a tiny little love and care by the Artix team to comply fully to the task.

Back to sddm and lightdm, which seem to be both functional and light options.  In combination with openbox and not too many “daemons” autostarting you get into a desktop environment with only using 100-150MB of RAM.  I also use LXDE, but you may have pcmanfm or nitrogen for a desktop background, or use pcmanfm for having a desktop full of icons, folders, files, or anything you like from a desktop directory.  You have a huge variety of docks, (docky, plank, cairo, lxpanel), you can add conky, and still be around 200MB ram on start.  All these are proven ideas that came from the Miyo Devuan distro.

Again, I am amazed on such an early stage how flexible and stable Artix is.  I thought my transition from Manjaro OpenRC (which is still fully functional and updated) to Artix would be rough, but I can hardly tell a functional difference.  Meanwhile there are daily updates on packages on Artix and is getting better and better and better.

Two thumbs up to the team working on Artix.

6 thoughts on “Artix display managers and Openbox or LXDE

  1. Thanks for writing (thanks for this site), but how do you install/configure **lightdm** in Artix?

    Also [maybe you want to make new topic out of following?],

    When I first installed Artix (their first iso) all other partitions and usb/external drives mounted automatically, though I ended up uninstalling and went back to my MX16 LInux that I’m so used to. Upon reinstalling Artix (more than once – trying diff iso’s), other partitions/external drives/usb’s do not automount. I sure miss this feature which is much more refined than editing fstab config. Just curious what others are doing concerning this. Yes, I consulted Arch Wiki… Thanks again.


  2. Sorry about the lag in responses, it is also the time-zones-sleep-time in between.
    In all honesty, in the past couple of days I have made Artix my daily used distribution, it is wonderful.

    Pacman is the essential tool to learn how to use. It is much more fun or at least the same as apt or apt-get. MX/AntiX are both Debian derivatives, so on Devuan you would feel right at home, but as in Debian you will be limited to older but stable and free of security bugs packages. In artix you get the fresh packages as they come from the developers’ bakery with slight delay. It may take months to years in the Debian based distributions.

    $ pacman -S lightdm will install lightdm
    $ pacman -Syyu will update and upgrade anything you have already installed.
    $ pacman -Q lxde will search for all available packages containing lxde in them.

    In Manjaro they had developed a package named pamac, which you can get in artix too, but don’t trust it. It is like synaptic but is limited in function in Artix. Very nice when you are browsing and searching through packages.
    There is also yaourt and yaourt-gui, which is not a gui but a tui but it is very useful.
    $ pacman -S yaourt yaourt-gui
    $ yaourt-gui –> then hit option 9 on the menu by typing 9
    –> lightdm
    –> then pick the number or the package and type the number
    –> it is installed if possible.

    That simple. But, lightdm works like a generic lightdm, if you were using it in a Debian distro it would be the same with a blank/black login background.
    Sddm is the official Artix DM. The login screen is really Artix, but it may show a confusing LXQT in the login box, because that is the DE that Artix chose to include in their installer. I have openbox/LXDE and it gives me the option to choose which I want to log in as.

    If you just install lightdm you may boot in console. Login as root and type lightdm.
    Sddm which works fine, when installed it configure autostart on its own. On lightdm you will have to go to the xinit configuration and add lightdm manually to get to the login screen from boot. Minor problem and maybe an advantage for those who like to work on console and have the ability to go to GUI if they decide.

    The list of automounted volumes in file-managers is very complex. One part is the group of files that start with gvfs. As I understand it is the ability of the system to read other volumes and their different file systems than its own. Even if they are the same. Then there is udisks2 which is semi-tangled by systemd so it is being cleaned up. Then there is polkit, like lxpolkit for LXDE. The policy kit regulates what access rights does a user have in mounting, reading, writing, on other disks. Check around for a file as /usr/share/polkit-1/actions/org.freedesktop.UDisks2.policy and edit the file to allow the user to see, mount, edit volumes. But out of the box this worked much better in Artix than it did on Devuan.

    Unless things drastically change in either distribution, I will only be monitoring and following development in Devuan, but even after years in Debian, I really like the “freedom” I have in artix and the access to AUR repositories. You get today what you may have to wait for 2-3 years in Debian/Devuan/AntiX/MX etc. For example I have been using qupzilla here (and on Manjaro OpenRC) with a speller active, a year and a half fix on Qupzilla. I am on 2.1.2. Debian SID (unstable) still has 1.8.9 which is three year old. If you were to get the package from the developer to compile it and built it, there will be a ton of dependencies missing even from sid (too old). You may download the HUGE binary from Qupzilla that includes all the missing dependencies. It is as big and slow as a Windows binary.

    Forget-about-it! or Faw-ger-abour-et as NYers would say. All this so you can get spell checks on your browser in 21st century’s most popular unix-linux distro? Give me a break!

    Arch-OpenRC has some years of development under its belt. Manjaro-OpenRC was terrific for a year and a half that I know off. Artix is nowhere as new as may think it is. It is a combination of experience from two VERY reliable and developed distros.

    Devuan has a future as a tremendous market to shift in and test things in high numbers. Developers want thousands of testers to be able to fix things. Artix, even though there is an other ocean of Manjaro and Arch folk, they are not the type who will be looking for a shift, IMHO! Debianers have been choked for too long to stay with the aggravation of the mothership. It is also the quality of the market. By far the largest amount of commercial servers are still run on Debian (old-stable or old-old-stable wheezy). They despise systemd with a passion. They have stayed in wheezy avoiding systemd. Not even jessie will do for them. The introduction of Devuan 1.0 is directed to this abandoned (by debian) market. And it is a tremendous market. Forget this open and free propaganda, there are many many millions spent commercially in consulting and seminars.

    I am not selling anything, I am just sharing what I know and what I think in a GNU way.


  3. Someon asks and the man that created Vuu-do responds:

    Soneone wrote:
    > But the list is there but even with complete sudo rights none can be mounted.

    Greenjeans (aka Vuu-do)
    This part at least, can be fixed usually in
    /usr/share/polkit-1/actions/org.freedesktop.udisks2.policy, (same in Artix-Arch with two letters capitalized /usr/share/polkit-1/actions/org.freedesktop.UDisks2.policy)
    you’ll see when you get that file open. At the top a couple of the “allow_active” options with regard to mounting need to be changed from “auth_admin” to “yes”.
    Lots of useful tweaks you can make in the various policy files, you can also stop the gksu dialog from popping up for shutdown which it will do if more than one user is logged in (i.e. your user and root user both logged in).


  4. EXCELLENT! Thanks very much for your response and insight/recommendations, I’ll have to reinstall Artex and give it a try.

    God’s Best To You And Yours


  5. It is not as if I am promoting it without reason, but many of the problems one faces when installing Devuan, Miyo has already solved. That is my experience any way, I have two current miyo installations and one Vuu-do which is based on Miyo. The original Devuan installation, which based on Debian assumptions had shifted to ceres, ended up in trash-can. Even ascii needs work and seems to have a long way before it would become stable.

    On artix the experience was very different. They were intending to make a non-desktop distro for experienced unix/linux users. They finally offered the lxqt desktop that seems these days as the easiest desktop to port. Once a full qt-kit is in order lxqt will float. Being an openbox/LXDE fan, I removed all of LXQT and installed openbox/LXDE. The only thing I found missing was a clipboard/history pkg that I had to install separately. Everything runs flawlessly. And Miyo’s beloved obmenu-generator comes directly from the repositories. All I did is copied the ob-gen schema and config files from Miyo and it was Miyo on artix instantly. Which is much better than Miyo on ascii. 😉


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