One comment on “Salix

  1. I'm working recently with Salix 14.2. I'm mostly into Puppy Linux Slacko, but wanted a backup system in case new Slacko upgrades don't appear. So I installed Salix 14.2.

    I didn't have any real issue with the install. It didn't have a lot of options about what to install, so I just checked "Full," assuming that it's a light distro anyway. It did let me pick what partition to install it in, whether to format or not, and gave me the option to install or not install the LILO boot loader. I chose not, assuming that when I booted back into Slacko I could run the GRUB4DOS utility and it would amend the grub boot file to include Salix. It did, and I was able to boot into Salix. Interestingly, I'd tried an antiX 17 install first. GRUB4DOS found it, made an entry into the Grub boot file for it, but It couldn't actually boot it. But Salix worked.

    I like the setup of Slacko, though I know of people who feel put upon be what seems to them a retro design. I find it functional, so I worked to see if I could get Salix functionally similar. I was able to find rox in the package installer so I installed that. I used the rox pinboard setup (as Puppy does) to give me a way to set background images and even icons if I wanted them.

    I found wbar in the slackbuilds archive, as "sourcery" the slackbuilds manager is included in Salix and shows in the menu system. So I installed wbar through the slackbuilds, as I used it as a handy launcher in Puppy and have grown to like it.

    I was missing the handy disk icons that Puppy uses to help keep track of what disks (or partitions) I have, and which are mounted. Plus Puppy will bring up an icon when I plug in CDs or DVDs, and USB drives. It makes it easy to mount and unmount them.

    For Salix, I came close by finding a dockapp in the package manager called "wmudmount" which would handle CD and USB mounting without me having to resort so some manual method of finding out what device the system assigned to each device. This of course necessitated a window manager that could handle dockapps. The default Salix installed was XFCE4. I don't know if that has a dock or not, but since I'm much more familiar with Fluxbox and ICEWM, I switched to ICEWM, which was in the package manager.

    ICEWM doesn't actually have a dock, but does have a file called "winoptions," which lets you configure a dockapp so that it basically still works as if it was in a dock. USB/CD problem solved.

    But wmudmount wouldn't properly handle system drives. Turns out a utility called "gmountman" does, and it was also in the package manager. It can even run as a tray utility. It shows all user available drives/partitions, and allows the user to mount or unmount them and "open" them with a file manager of any choice. When it mounts the drives, it shows the mount point so you can work with the mounted volumes with any utility you want.

    All that was left that I found really useful about Puppy was that the Slacko version had a tray app that would give volume control of the alsa mixer right from the tray. Turns out this is done with a tray app called "retrovol," and sure enough it was in the Salix package manager. So I installed that, and used the ICEWM "startup" file to start all the stuff I wanted, included the rox pinboard, wbar, gmountman, wmudmount, and retrovol. Doesn't perfectly look like Slacko, but works much the same, only without using so much memory the way Slacko does. Then again, Salix doesn't provide the handy "Frugal" installs, but does have a pretty small disk footprint. It just must have a partition to install in, which Puppy doesn't require.

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