[openbox] which distro?

David Courtney blixel at gmail.com
Wed Dec 20 00:26:36 EST 2006

On 12/19/06, mike obrien <greypins at nc.rr.com> wrote:
> just curious which distro most of you use?   have you tried openbox on a
> number of them, and which one did you get the best performance on?

Well, I don't think the distro really matters that much.  You can take
about any distro and shutdown/disable/uninstall the stuff you don't
want and install what you do want.  That said, certain distributions
are certainly easier to work with depending on your goal.  If you want
a full Gnome environment like Ubuntu provides, it's going to be a lot
easier to install a distro like Ubuntu that gives you that out of the
box than it would be to start with a minimal Debian CD and spend a
bunch of time adding X.org, Gnome, etc...

On the other hand, if you want a non-GUI server environment, it's a
lot better to start with the minimal Debian CD than it is to install
Ubuntu and remove 90% of it.

For my own system, I prefer to start with a Debian base install,
command line only, and then apt-get the few things I need to make my
"Desktop".  I tend to avoid distros that use Gnome or KDE by default
just because I don't need/want that kind of setup for my main system.

But if you took Ubuntu, installed OpenBox, disabled gdm, and then had
Ubuntu boot to the command line where you just used "startx" to get to
OpenBox, I imagine it would run every bit as well as it would if you
had just done a minimal Debian install.  The only difference being,
with the Debian install, you won't have a gigabyte of unused gnome
libs on your system.  And if you decided to remove all those unused
libs, it would be a lot of work tracking down all the unused parts and
removing them.

I've also ran OpenBox under Gentoo, OpenBSD and FreeBSD.  But, you
know ... it's a window manager, it manages the placement of windows on
the screen.  I don't see any difference between distros/OS's other
than how the OpenBox package maintainers decide to package it for a
given system.

There's the issue of system resources of course.  If you have a
minimal system and you install Ubuntu on it and then just use OpenBox,
the system may feel sluggish/slow due to the number of processes
Ubuntu starts up by default.  In the case of a minimal system, you'll
definitely benefit from a minimal Debian install so you only have a
few processes running by default.

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