Elive vs established distros

The title says it. Elive, although many advantages, is still a nice, geek/hobby distro. People migrating to Elive will not readily be able to use it like other distros. Is it not possible to make Elive with the option to hafgve it more like xfce. where everything is familiar. The other thing is, there are still too many glitches with elive to make it dependable and ready for daily use. So, I think Elive needs to address these issues and come up with a better philosophy, like, who are we targeting? Are we better than other distros? Can elive be stable and reliable for daily use by home, soho, and even bigger bizs? Is elive aiming to get near the top on distrowatch? Or, is elive going to plod on like it has been? I think this is constructive critique to reflect upon. Elive should have the option to be more like xfce, as an option. With panels and not E22 right click menus all over the shop! And, to make it even lighter, give us the option to install docky! Thank you.

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Wouldn't that make elive just another of many distros and take away it's uniqueness? I understand the personal commitment put into developing a distro but the fact that elive isn't free and never has been is likely the main reason it has never caught on. Certainly when there are so many pretty good distros that are free. I contribute to elive occasionally because I really believe it is a superior product but, lets face it, there are lots to choose from!


I used elive back in the Gem and Topaz days but moved away from it when there wasn't modern versions being built. I just came back a few days ago and tried out the 32bit version because I coud get it free by waiting a few hours. I liked it so well that I contributed and downloaded the 64bit version. I'm runnng the 32 bit in a very old Toughbook CF-t5 and the computer has never worked so well! Tried the 64bit in a Dell e6510 and a Asus gaming laptop G74sx . Very happy with both of them! They do everything for me that I was able to do in Windows and now that Win7 is discontinued I'll be suggesting this OS for all my friends and customers! Now that I've learned how to get bluetooth working today I am a very happy user!


I can only say that my experience is very similar..... A gem and Topaz user that moved away after a while to return when the newer version came out.

I'm not prone to copying other DEs like XFCE just for the sake of making it "easy" for migrators.
It takes some effort getting used to the differences but it isn't black magic or even hard.

Agreed, it's high time there was a clear definition of what the aims are.

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@triantares: for the XFCE thing, it could perhaps be just a theme choice proposed to the user...
Say e.g. 4 initial themes proposal to the new user: normal Elive E"x", ~ dark, xfce alike, ~dark; And without forgetting the "silent" option for all! :wink:


I'm using 2 gigs of ram on this desktop pc. Cpu from 2005 (one of the first dual cores ever). "Ugly" low end gpu from 2006. I have the upgrades somewhere in my bedroom, but i'm honestly too lazy to open the case. Because it does not feel worth the waste of 10 minutes of my life.
This is the difference with any other distro i tried this far, even the most lightweight.
It's the first one that is not ineffective, but still shipping beauty and easiness to use (literally everything an average user needs is ready to use, proven by the fact my sister never complained using it) without making any old system feel as old as it were supposed to be.
Even on a pentium 4 ht it runs fairly well, but ofc the web experience would not be the best (this is out of the os' control though).

I have a borderless 24" full hd (ips panel) LCD monitor, used with an elive system feels as cool as an iMac, maybe even better due to the slight personalizations i made and the odds of enlightenment. Though, from this point of view, i'm pretty much missing ecomorph. (Again, what is the reason why we cannot use e17 @Thanatermesis? I forgot).
Plus e16 ships some cool features like the kill window button that saves up a lot of time when something goes wrong ahahahah And is the easiest i have ever tried when comes to configure the program to run during boot! Maybe a gui would be nice to have for not-so-terminal-prone users? @triantares @Rebel450

Last but not least, is the first distro i tried (of the majors, at least. And note: i only use debian based distros. I tried, for example, fedora on my main pc and the mouse was stuttering lol so i moved out immediately and never left the deb environment again) that makes the upgrade/reinstallation process the least painful and with no issues at all. I messed up my system in the worst ways possible, i probably smashed the kernel quite a few times, but using the "upgrade mode" from the live usb everything was always fixed in a blink of an eye without any data/configuration loss.


That would be do-able but in fact be down to just superficial likeness. :thinking:

In the case of a XFCE-like version, what exactly is it that you find superior?

I don't see anything massively XFCE specific that should be integrated into E16, that isn't already there like "thunar" .
But then, maybe I'm just not seeing it ....... so please do expand. :smile_cat:

What exactly are you refering to?
I mean E16 (or GUI) doesn't run (yet) at boot time so it must be the system. :thinking:

Probably I used the wrong words. I meant at e16 session begin. Just add a line to the conf file in e16:

I don't think in e23 it is harder than that, isn't it?

Actually it is. Albeit that for "start-up applications" it's acually easier. :w00t:

There's a fairly good GUI to get all the conf in the right condition but:

  • it's intricate, so sometimes hard to find.
  • has quite a few unclear or badly worded options, some of which can wreak havoc on your set-up.
  • Has no documentation what so ever, despite being there (in some form) since E17. This is actually a deficit on E16 too IMHO.

To change conf files manually requires decc-ing and recc-ing edje files that aren't overly clear at what they do exactly

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I personally have nothing special with xfce..! But it's talking here about it for "average user used to deal with xfce", to "not disturb too much"... :hot_face: :innocent:
For me, except little things in current E16 and E2x menus to tune up in a better way (wording, repeats (double line for one program), ...) those are ok!
BTW: how to modify E16 & E2x menus for tests and proposals?


Not sure what you man by menus there :thinking:

For one E16 and E23 are very different beasts to modify.

  • E16 has mainly conf files which can be edited like a straight text file.
    They mainly reside in the "~/.e16/" folder and are user editable.
    Overall settings reside in "/usr/share/e16/" and need root privileges.
    Changes often do not show up "on the fly", quite often a cleaning of the cache as well as a restart (of e16) are required.

  • E23 uses .edj files which need to be decompiled before allowing edting (and subsequently recompiled, usually using the "build.sh" enclosed in the .edj).
    They reside "~/.elementary/" and "usr/share/e;ementary".
    Using the gui "setings panel" allows for changes "on the fly" here.

Hope this helps a little ...... at least it'll keep you off the streets for a while. :hooray:

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Sounds familiar to me somehow.... :thinking:


too much bugs, too old so things doesn't compile, things are not compatible with new systems and so not working, etc

basically e23 is a better option EXCEPT (big except here) for the Compiz (ecomorph) special effects features that we will not have them anymore, since e18 :frowning_face:

@stoppy98 (im not reading all the posts) if you have prolbems with your e16 try the "restart desktop configurations" entry in your menus (will crash your desktop)

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yup made things go properly

I'm on xfce now just out of curiosity. I have never been an xfce fan, and comparing it to e16 amkes things kinda worse honestly. I have a almost 400mb ram consumption that i did not have before. But i can make this (for the love of @Rebel450):

It's not perfect yet but following all the steps in:

It will be indeed. But ofc i will not ruin elive for the sake of a theme and do it on some old ugly desktop pc i have lying around in a corner. Kward (slackaware based) claims to run on a 32mb i486 PC with xfce running. I could try it on my pentium overdrive and this theme would be absolutely perfect for it!

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Hello guys. I see I have started a thread, with many opinions following. I am sure Elive is a 'unique distro'. But, with no clear user targets, and it being a one-man-show, and destined for limited use by geeks and hobbyists, then it cannot be exopected to get broader appeal. I am not talking about competign with the linux distro giants who DO have such goals. But, to make it more broader appeal, especially for disenchnated ex Wondoze folks, then i thibnk "xfce-like-components" and ease of use would help elive a lot. NOT converting elive to xfce! But, familiar things like a panel, instead of stupid right-click desktop menus that follow your cursor off the scree, if you are too close! And, how about simple, light weight docky (or plank) instead of cairo belle&whistles? (seeing ecomorph bells&whistles are out). I would love to work with elive in more familiar surroundings, like so many out there. And, why not get away from this elive one-man-show-development and get a group of develpers happening. As much as we really appreciate all the hard yards Samual Baggen puts in. Without considering some of my suggestions then Elive has not future, at all. It will remain - a nice hobby distro.

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Actually Elive is in the first place: "Enlightenment on Debian in live mode" so that's a clear enough statement on what DE would be in use.

As to right-clicking on the desktop to get to applications: I think you've got some stuff mixed there as E16 as well as e23 requires left-click to do so.

Plank (and such) is not usable on a new Debian system due to lack of maintenance, leaving only Cairo-dock as an acceptable E16 substitute ..... E23 has it's own iBar which is not such a memory hog.

Just copying what all other mainstream distros do, is a sure fire way to fade into to oblivion IMO. :thinking:

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Yes, thank you for reply. I much prefer the traditional 'panel' with plugins and a proper menu' and better configurability. Left/right click to get to menu and things is a pain, as they move around and offscreen with the mouse. Anyways, "horses for courses". I cannot use Elive like it is and has been. It's not a practical, intuitive or a reliable workhorse for me, so will stick with stable, 'just works' Debian MX18. When I have time I will 'play' with noce Elive, like many others . . .

And, I love 'docky'. - scaled down Cairo.

@Thanatermesis what about making a configuration menu like in Q4OS that allows you to install more DEs if the user wills (the default one is TDE)? Maybe with some edit to make them more elive-like. I could take care of writing it, and it may be displayed at boot right before the "do you want cairo and conky" dialog!
Elive would stay elive but if someone really needs to modify it...

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