After reading about the new antiX release I decided I had to give it a try. A Debian based distro with Fluxbox is just what I’ve been wanting. Once I got it installed I realized there was a lot more to it. First thing I found, which is really cool, is you can switch the desktop on the fly. No logging out need to switch between IceWM, Fluxbox, and JWM. Being a fan of Fluxbox I spent the majority of my time there. I didn’t love the way it looked but some tweaking got it to a point where I rather like it. The next thing I found was there is a ton of junk installed. While some people may like this, I don’t. This meant time spent removing programs. However, another cool thing I found is the metapackage installer. It makes a nice, simple way to get the programs most people want installed quick and easy including things like Spotify, Google Chrome, Steam, etc. I then jumped into the Control Panel, it is a nice central spot to edit most things. It is so-so though. While it puts most things you need to edit in one spot, it is very basic in what it does. The most noticeable thing I found was the wallpaper picker was quite spare and didn’t even have an option for tiling. Back to the good stuff, iso-snapshot. It is more or less a Remastersys for antiX. This is one of those things I wish every distro had. Let me tweak things to exactly where I want them then I’ll create and backup or distribution ISO that I can install on other PCs. I’ve used Remastersys for years and started using PinguyBuilder in the last few distro release cycles. For benchmarking hardware these can be great as it removes OS differences from the equation making it so you can compare machines apples to apples.
One thing I can say is every new Manjaro JWM release looks different from the last. This release isn’t bad but it does have a few issues. While it is labeled Manjaro JWM 16.10, it actually runs on the Manjaro 16.08 release. It also lacks the fakeroot and build-devel packages out-of-the-box. Neither of these are major issues and can be fixed/updated quite easily. I also needed to make a couple adjustments to the conky config but again, not a big deal. After getting this distro up-to-date nitrogen stopped automatically starting. It was still in JWM’s autostart file but I had to add sleep 5s to get it work again. While I do like this distro, the number of little quirks are a bit irritating. Even with the quirks I could see myself using this distro if my Manjaro Fluxbox install broke.
If you have been following the Manjaro JWM releases you will notice the theme has changed again. I have used the last 3 releases and it has gone from red, to orange, and now green. This time though it now fits in with the other Manjaro spins. Unlike most of the Manjaro versions, JWM still uses the Thus installer rather than Calamares. This doesn’t bother me as I actually like Thus better. What I don’t like though is the Conky widget. It’s not a bad widget but it lacks an easy way to set the weather. I comes set to Brazil and in Celsius. After some digging to find out the code for a nearby NOAA station I got it set where it needed to be. Unfortunately at this point I was irritated and didn’t feel like figuring out what needed to be done to get it switched to Fahrenheit. While on minor gripes, why isn’t fakeroot installed by default? I was getting annoyed try to get Chrome to install from yaourt when it kept failing (if you bother to read the error it only takes a minute to fix). These are minor though. I can replace the Conky widget and install fakeroot on my own. Big issues? There are none. I had the up and in use in no time. The only issue I have with this distro is do I upgrade my old Manjaro JWM physical install or start clean and get the new theme. Oh and the cursor blends into the background…