minimal CD --> startx

Patrick Asselman iceblink at
Sat Sep 15 17:28:23 UTC 2012

On 2012-09-15 16:18, Liam Proven wrote:
> On 15 September 2012 15:06, Thufir <hawat.thufir at> wrote:
>> Ah, that was my misunderstanding.  I think I just want XWindows, if 
>> I understand
>> your question.
> There is no such thing as "just XWindows". Indeed there is no such
> thing as "XWindows".
> By way of comparison:
> "I just want a car."
> "OK, which make?"
> "I don't want a particular make, I just want a car."
> "But you have to choose a make. You buy cars from car-makers. Pick 
> one."
> "No, I want no make, I just want a car."
> You have to have a window manager; without a window manager, you 
> can't
> have windows and thus you can't have a graphical environment of any
> kind.
> There is no default window manager; you have to pick one.
> The simplest, most primitive window manager for X.11 is probably twm,
> but twm is /very/ rudimentary and really not much use.
> So, go pick a window manager, and then you can install it and the
> basic underpinnings of X.11 to allow it to run.
> If you don't know what a window manager is and have no preference in
> window managers, then you are probably not yet ready for trying to
> build a raw system from the command line upwards. A good place to
> start might be Crunchbang, which is a fairly modern Linux with a
> minimal, somewhat old-fashioned windowmanager setup rather than a
> desktop.
> Install Crunchbang, explore it, learn to work it, learn to customise
> its app menu and change its panel and a few basic things like that,
> then you will be equipped with some more of the necessary skills.
> Alternatively, if you want to see what life used to be like in the 
> bad
> old days, try to get a base FreeBSD system running. :¬) And in the
> unlikely event that you manage that, try again with NetBSD.

The man just wants a car of any brand with no interior. That may not be 
available at the dealer, but that is why he came here, to the junk yard 

Maybe you cannot have a working graphics GUI without a window manager, 
but imo you can have an X session starting without a window manager. All 
you get is a gray background, not very workable, but definately 
possible. I've done it, years ago, but it was before my Ubuntu era, so I 
wouldn't know how to do it in Ubuntu. I suspect you install the server 
version first, and then install a package like "x11-common"... but I do 
not know which package one would have to choose.

Best regards,
Patrick Asselman

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