Minimalist Linux to Confuse the Masses

By Mackenzie Morgan
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

Sometimes it’s fun to just make people think “WTF?” when they see your computer. That’s “WTF?” in a good way. It’s not hard on Linux to make people say “woah,”, but it’s even easier, if you know the command line, to make people look at you typing away on your laptop and think you’re some kind of crazy hacker having a go at the Gibson.

The first step is to ditch GNOME or KDE. Get a nice, minimalist window manager. I recommend a window manager over a regular tty for two reasons. The first is that even with screen in a tty, it’s inconvenient. The text is huge unless you sit there rebooting over and over trying to get the right framebuffer settings. The second is so you can have a nice wallpaper. I prefer Fluxbox for this. It’s just like Openbox or Blackbox, except it’s got tabbed windows like pwm and a toolbar. Other possibilities include tiling window managers like Xmonad. Ion2 is a tiling, tabbed window manager, based on pwm. I don’t know about the others, but as a Fluxbox user, I can tell you that there is no really useful menu configured by default. Your Fluxbox menu configuration is in ~/.fluxbox/menu and uses a syntax like this, and no the indentation doesn’t matter:

Linutop: Tiny computing at its best

Tiny computers come in handy pretty often. Whether you need a beefed-up firewall/router or a cool way to store and access your media remotely, a small linux-based computer is the perfect solution. The palm-sized Linutop 2 sports a 500MHz AMD CPU coupled with 512 megs of ram and 1GB of flash-based storage. Four USB ports […]