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Installation FAQ

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I'm new to Linux... which distribution should I get?

There are many to choose from: Ubuntu, Mandriva (formerly Mandrake), Fedora and SuSE all have good reputations for being user friendly. See below for some more.

What are the minimum versions of the system libraries needed to run ROX?

ROX-Filer itself only requires GTK 2.4. For the whole desktop, see the Base platform page.

How do these version numbers work? Which releases are stable?

When a new release is made, it is a 'testing' version. After a week or so without major problems, it becomes the new stable version. Most releases are pretty stable, so please try the testing versions if you can and report any problems you find.

If you're using AddApp to install programs, there is a check box in the main window to let you decide whether you want the latest 'testing' version or the latest 'stable' version.

Are there any Linux distributions which package everything as application directories?

  • Zero Install removes the need to install anything, letting you run software (typically packaged in application directories) directly from the author's site, including all dependant libraries. Caching makes this as fast as running software normally, but is much easier.
  • GoboLinux organises its filesystem into package directories, and these are easily turned into ROX applications.
  • RoxOS (in the early planning stages) aims to use ROX applications for everything.
  • LinuxSTEP is trying to achieve something similar, but not based on ROX. It is no longer under development.

How can I get back to GNOME or KDE after running ROX-Session?

There will normally be a menu of desktops on the login screen. After entering your username (and before entering your password) select the one you want from the menu.
If that doesn't work, you can rename the .xsession file in your home directory to something like .xsession.backup.
(Do mv -iv .xsession .xsession.backup in your home directory.)
You can also run the KDE or GNOME panel from within ROX. Type 'panel' in the filer's 'Shell Command...' minibuffer to get the GNOME stuff, or 'kde2' to get KDE.

When running ROX-Session how do I change the panel and pinboard options?

In the Desktop section of ROX-Filer's options box you can choose whether to have ROX-Filer manage a panel, the desktop background, or both. You can use the panel's configuration dialog box to choose which side of the screen it goes on.

ROX-Session contains a file called RunROX which it executes to start ROX-Filer. Read the start of this file, it contains instructions on customizing the file which you can follow if you need more flexibility.

# This gets run after ROX-Session is loaded and running as your 
# session manager, before Login is run.
# It is used to run ROX-Filer. If this process terminates, 
# ROX-Session will offer to rerun it.
# $1 is the ROX-Session application directory.
# If you want to modify this file, you should first copy it as
# <Choices>/ROX-Session/RunROX so that upgrading ROX-Session 
# will not overwrite your changes. This also allows per-user 
# modifications.

What other distributions are there?

Besides the main ones listed above (which are best for beginners), some of the other more notable ones are:

  • Gentoo Linux is a great distro for the advanced user.
  • Vector Linux uses ROX-Filer as its default file manager.
  • Knoppix is a live CD; it boots directly into a Linux desktop without needing to be installed. It doesn't have ROX, but it can be modified. It has very good automatic hardware detection.
  • CoolLinux also boots directly from the CD, and it has ROX-Filer running by default.
  • CRUX is ideal for people who want a fast and small Linux system but don't want to make a Linux from scratch. ROX is included in the contrib section of the CRUX ports from CLC (CRUX Linux Community)
  • LuitLinux
    A Live CD Distro < 50 MB, based on KNOPPIX and DSL uses ROX-Filer as one of its file managers. It has XFCE-4 as the Desktop Manager.
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