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Search - "xinitrc"
For almost twenty years I have sheltered in the protective, safe, warm bosom of Debian. For a long time, it had the largest body of available software of all the distros, and by far when Ubuntu rose to prominence. So I used Ubuntu for years for the depth of package availability, and because if something esoteric was released, it would almost certainly come out first on Ubuntu, and sometimes only on Ubuntu. I was happy. Things were good.
But over time, Ubuntu and even Debian started to lean harder and harder on gnome, which I've always hated, along with all desktop environments, as they obscure the system from the user, and introduce graphical layers of abstraction, so the actual job of getting things done becomes a black art, hidden behind gnome-specific tools. This is my preference, and It's been disheartening in recent years to see the direction the desktop appears to be taking.
Then I joined devrant in 2017, and until then, I had heard peripherally about Arch, but never more than that. I had not heard of Manjaro at all. People started posting success stories and happy screenshots, and I was intrigued.
In 2018 I built a windows machine to use for parsec streaming games that wouldn't run on my linux rig. For not a great deal of money, I built a solid machine that's unequivocally better than any machine I've ever used, and installed windows on it. For a while, I was pleased. I had the best of both worlds: a windows box to stream some games from, and a linux desktop for everything else.
But after a couple months, as proton matured, I found fewer and fewer reasons to use my windows machine. My use of it declined to where I was last week: it had been months since I'd even powered it on. It was the most powerful machine I've ever used, and it was just collecting dust behind the TV in the living room. The full realization came to me while I was fighting a battle in the Gnome Takeover War, and I realized: I don't have to do this.
I pulled the newer machine out from behind the TV and installed Manjaro architect edition on it. The flexibility in the install was staggering. I am using nilfs2 for my /boot and / partitions: an option that Ubuntu has never offered. Normally they just default you into the garbage ext4 filesystem, and if you can dig deep enough, you can install with something else, though you have to really want it, in my opinion.
But Manjaro has been a dream-come-true. Pacman is easily the best package manager I have ever used, and pamac's intuitive and easy commands are a great view into AUR. Booting into the virtual console instead of a display manager has been wonderful too. On Ubuntu, I had to disable systemd's version of runlevel 5 to even get it working. But I just popped my xrandr script into my .xinitrc, and X opens with startx in less than a second. On Ubuntu, it takes about 5-10 seconds.
This has nothing to do with Manjaro, but I also switched to Radeon for this install, and I couldn't be happier about that. No more "installing" nvidia's drivers.
No more gnome. No more PPAs. No more settling. I am a Manjaro user now. Full stop. Thank you, devrant, for bringing it to my attention.11
@JoshBent and @nikola1402 requested a tutorial for installing i3wm in a windows subsystem for linux. Here it is. I have to say though, I'm no expert in windows nor linux, and all I'm going to put here is the result of duckduck searches, reddit and documentation. As you will see, it isn't very difficult.
First things first: Install WSL. It's easy and there's a ton of good tutorials on this. I think I used this one: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/...
Once you got it installed, I guess it would be better to run "sudo apt-get update" to make sure we don't encounter many problems.
Install a windows X server: X is what handles the graphical interface in linux, and it works with the client/server paradigm. So what we'll do with this is provide the linux client we want to use (in this case i3wm) with an X server for it on windows. I guess any X server will do the work, but I highly recommend vcXsrv. You can download it here:
for i3 just "sudo apt-get install i3"
Configurations to make stuff work:
open your ~/.bashrc file ("nano ~/.bashrc" vim is cool too). You'll have to add the following lines to the end of it:
export DISPLAY=:0.0 #This display variable points to the windows X server for our linux clients to use it.
export XDG_RUNTIME_DIR=$HOME/xdg #This is a temporary directory X will use
sudo mkdir /var/run/dbus #part of the dbus fix
sudo dbus-daemon --config-file=/usr/share/dbus-1/system.conf #part of the dbus fix
Ok so after this we'll have a functional x client/server configuration. You'll just have to install your desktop enviroment of choice. I only installed i3wm, but I've seen unity and xfce working on the WSL too. There are still some files that X will miss though.
*** Here we'll add some files X would miss and :
With "nano ~/.xinitrc" edit the xinitrc to your liking. I only added this:
Then run "sudo chmod +x ~/.xinitrc" to make it an excecutable.
Then, to make a linking file named xsession, run:
"ln -s ~/.xinitrc ~/.xsession"
Now you'll be able to run whatever you put in ~/.xinirc with:
"dbus-launch --exit-with-session ~/.xsession"
There's a ton of personalisation to be done, but that would be a whole new tutorial. I'll just share a github repo with my dotfiles so you can see them here:
SHIT I ALMOST FORGOT:
Everytime you open any graphical interface you'll need to have the x server running. With vcXsrv, you can use X launch. Choose the options with no othe programs running on the X server. I recommend using "one window without title bar".10
I'm not a fan of X display managers. I prefer to have my machine boot directly to the virtual console, and if I want to run X, I can start it with startx. Does anyone else do that? If so, what do you put in your .xinitrc?5