Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2007 07:01:45 +0200 (CEST) From: "J.B. Lethbridge" <lethbridge@...-tuebingen.de> To: owl-users@...ts.openwall.com Subject: Re: Owl-based desktop environment DEar ALl: I have used OWL as a basis for a full desktop before (no su). The great advatge of OWL as a base system is that it is small and efficient. A basic Debian or whatever is vast, and runs an awful lot of processes you don't need. Apart from the resources it hogs, it is untidy. It took a long while to get all the sources by compiling and seeing what dependencies were missing, but it was a beautiful, lean system when it was done. Back then I had old computers and more time than money. Now I have a better computer and less time (sadly not more money of course), I have put a full system on one of the computers, and not chosen, or removed, programmes I don't need. The trouble is that weeding out programmes I don't need or want took just as long as compiling as above. So-called dependencies get broken and so on. More trial and more error. OWL is marvellous and I use it for a server/firewall and on two other computers on my network and at work. One half-solution is to copy over a few needed programmes from the full system (Debian in my case), to an OWL computer (desktop, not server), the X server executable for example, then run it. When it complains about missing libraries copy them over -- and so on until an X server actually works (you need a few fonts, too). Then X -query desktop, and you have the full desktop on your OWL screen without its taking up space and resources on the OWL computer. It takes about half an hour to get this going. In effect, the Debian computer is also a server, serving only X far behind the OWL server/firewall. This way, you need three computers of course: Owl server/firewall, X server, and desktop running OWL plus a basic X. Moving files between systems is then a necessity, and a bit of a nuisance: but with cron, ssh, scp, a script or two, and above all cvs, I have no problems (almost all my work is with text files, Latex and such-like). One more thing: on the desktop (X server) running Debian, I have found KDE faster across a network than Gnome, but I usually use twm, very fast, very clever, nice and minimal. I don't know if this helps? It counts as a hack I expect. Since I hardly ever write, can I say thank you to those of you who spend time on OWL so that the rest of us can use it in peace and quiet and safety. All the best to all, Julian J.B. Lethbridge English Seminar University of Tuebingen Wilhelmstrasse 50 72074 Tuebingen Germany
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