Looking for a lightweight and fast distribution? Tired of X, but still want a graphical interface?
LightDesktop is a web-focused distribution aiming for speed. As the creator apparently hates X, LightDesktop uses QT running on a framebuffer, with a custom (?) window manager, a WebKit-based browser, a terminal, a wireless configuration tool and an installer. Oh, and a green background. That’s all you get.
As you might have deduced already, LightDesktop is far from ready. And I wouldn’t call it “lightweight”; it requires about 98MB of RAM just to boot, as it copies the whole root file system to RAM.
So for now, let’s just wait and see where this one goes.
As mentioned before, I had problems with non-standard (as in 1366×768) resolutions on Debian. Now, thanks to Ubuntu users, I have found the solution. For Intel-based graphics, at least. This solution is also useful if xserver-xorg-video-intel sets i915 up for you, but you get an agpgart or “fill_in_dev” error/warning on boot.
It’s a little hard to find, so I’ll just put it here and hope Google indexes it
You need to add this to /etc/initramfs-tools/modules:
intel_agp i915 modeset=1
Easy, isn’t it? For some users, that doesn’t seem to work, so be sure to take a look at the comments here.
Today, I tried installing Debian on my HP ProBook 4510S. Three times.
Obviously, I failed. On the first try, I got the wrong CD image (Lenny instead of Squeeze) and only realized that after I installed it. On the second try, I assigned the 500MB /dev/sda1 to / instead of /boot, which resulted in a cataclysmic Debian-style out-of-space dpkg error. Something I got about four times with Ubuntu on my Eee PC, but that’s another story. And on the third try, I almost got it done and even did an offline install of the Broadcom STA driver using Keryx, dpkg and module-assistant. However, it failed to detect any networks, citing a read error
Then I gave up and decided to install Linux Mint 9 LXDE. I just burnt it on a CD-RW and I’ll install it as soon as I finish this post
Anyway, here’s my “detailed report” on installing Debian Squeeze:
- You don’t get an Internet connection during the install, so you have to download the 600+ MB CD1 image instead of the 180 MB netinst one.
- The first CD image for Squeeze doesn’t even come with wireless-tools packaged.
- You absolutely need Keryx to do any kind of offline Debian install. And the guide here.
- It’s probably easier to do all this if you install GNOME. But it’s a pain to remove in my experience, so I didn’t even try that.
- The framebuffer made my eyes bleed. 800×600 on a widescreen display? No thank you.
- Doing an offline install of the Broadcom STA driver on Debian-based distros is mostly impossible.
The Broadcom driver has been annoying me since I got the ProBook. The only distro on which I managed to manually install it is Fedora. On Ubuntu, I now connect to the Internet using my ZTE MF110 modem and use Hardware Drivers (jockey?) to automatically install it. On a side note, I couldn’t do that with Kubuntu, because KNetworkManager is too buggy to let me connect to networks that do not support 2G data (which Digi Mobil Romania is).
The conclusion? I probably won’t install Debian on this machine again too soon.