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keyboard centric e17 user: need advise to install & config elive 1.0

Posted by jtwdyp 
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keyboard centric e17 user: need advise to install & config elive 1.0
November 08, 2009 02:20AM

Hello, I'm new to elive though I've been playing with e16 and e17 ever since kde4x chased me away from my former preferred desktop environment...

First about my computer... Currently the only one I have is:

a Gateway laptop (MT6451 Notebook PC) It has AMD Turion 64x2 processor and a 120 gig HD I use an usb enclosure with an ide drive salvaged from an old dead pc for backup/archive and music storage. Unfortunately for me this laptop had a synaptic touchpad for which I always need to disable all tapping and scroll functions before my fat fingers can make the durned rodent do anything for me... I get real tired of unintentional clicks and drastic scrollable field changes that I didn't see happen because I accidentally touched the wrong part of the touchpad or the right part, a bit to firmly... It used to be that I could mostly fix that by adding lines like:

Option "MaxTapTime" "0"
Option "MaxTapMove" "0"

to the xorg.conf file. But ever since kde4 invaded Kubuntu and/or Sabayon, I've had to muck about with <shudder> hal policy files to get a usable mouse.

Now about my problem:

I may be a bit dense, but I think I missed something on how to install elive to a harddrive. I saw some topics about doing this with a more advanced version than the one I downloaded several months ago but couldn't determine if the advise I saw there would be applicable to elive 1.0...

I also may have easily missed something on the livecd because it's hard for me to play with it much until I've radically changed several key/mouse bindings, and of course figured out how to disable all advanced synaptic functions so I can click on things like:

settings panel->input->(key/mouse)bindings

to make the drastic changes to what my fingers need in order for me to actually do things.

Such changes are usually better done on an installed version (unless the installer is smart enough to copy the CURRENT configuration of such things from the running copy of the livecd rather than to install the default values. But what installer does that???)

Anyway, aways back somebody suggested elive to me. I thought it sounded good enough to be worth the cost to pay for a download of the stable version. (is 1.0 still the current stable release????) But at the time I only got to look at it briefly before my old pc (which had room for many extra test installations of new distros...) suddenly and catastrophically died... It's taken me awhile to be sure I'm not going to continue using openSuSE as a back-up distro on my laptop, which frees up a partition to install elive on. So I booted the cd and couldn't find an "install choice" in it's [grub?] menu. so I booted it live.

It looks good BTW, it even has one of my favorite browsers (firefox) ready to go, though I can't even poke around google with it without winding up on the wrong page due to my touchpad mouse issue...

When I got to the e17 desktop I looked for anything on the desktop that looked like an install how-to. Or perhaps a link to an installer. didn't see one...

After a bit of head scratching I remembered that the default way to pop the main menu was to point at some empty desktop area and click (shudder I use <alt><F1> for that...) But once it's open I can use the arrow keys to move around the menu I looked all over the place for a choice that sounded like a hard disk installer. Failed to find it there either. (am I blind, or is it just that I don't know something???)

1) How do I actually install elive 1.0 from the livecd?

2)Which method will I need to use the keyboard to permanently disable all synaptic touchpad enhancements to the basic mouse functions I need to access vi the touchpad? (and would the method change if I installed something like say okular that pulled in kde4 ???(if it's even available for elive of course) )

3)Once elive is installed to hd, will I need to configure the sources lists before I can expect something like:
#apt-get update
#apt-get install mc vim alpine fetchmail procmail lyx 

to get the things I depend on installed?

4)Are the above short package names what I want? or do I need, for example, something more like:
#apt-get install vim-full 

I probably wouldn't even really want to bother with kde itself except that without it I doubt that my favorite terminal prog "konsole" would work, And then of course there's yakuake which depends on konsole to provide a quake style virtual konsole that I've grown accustomed too...

I don't suppose that:
	#apt-get install yakuake 

would pull in konsole and enough kde to run them???

And finally, for those saints who have the patience to read this far, a bit about me:

I'm a multiboot kind of guy who is never comfortable unless I have at least 2 fully configured linux distos ready to go (with some customized non-standard partition usage) that enables me to simply reboot into an alternate distro and continue working with the same files/emails etc... whenever I myself or some package manager update should trash my system... This is also better than a rescue cd because all my user preferences (especially keybindings) plus a few must haves like mc are already in place so my fingers know what to do... I tend to only use versions of software packages available from distro specific repos because I usually screw up whenever I try to do custom compiled anything. AND I simply can't handle the dependency hell that happens when a distro does something differently than a software author expects... I'm reasonably comfortable with cli methods though I most alway need to spend too much time with "man command" then "info command" and "command --help|less" usually followed by <google> in hopes of trying to figure out the correct syntax for any commands I don't use on at least a weekly basis. (I probably depend too much on examples, and rarely get much from high level descriptions of a command that usually seem to me to be more suitable for reminding a professor which options are currently installed than in helping an average joe get a clue how to avoid total dependence on the gui.... Plus I sometimes think I suffer from CRS (see below) Ad that to the fact that I have difficulty coordinating the mouse pointer, and find more meaning in labels than in what to me are generally meaningless icons, I really want a stable keyboard centric user interface more than I want the latest wizbang gadget or "eye candy. " I do know that keyboard methods aren't the primary focus of enlightenment. But so far (once I manage to get it properly configured.) I've been happier with the keyboarability of e16 and e17 than with any other desktop/window manager I've yet tried.

* CRS : "Can't Remember Sh^Htuff" : In my case this mean that unless I do something the same way every day
* for a LONG time, or have examples of how I did it before (where I can still find them), I usually wind up scratching
* my head the next time I need to do a non-daily task.

update: mostly resolved...
November 14, 2009 08:00AM

I've found some of the answers to my questions...

-> 1) How do I actually install elive 1.0 from the livecd?

I did a better google search and found a simplistic how-to with to many pictures of the install proceedure. It had exactly one piece of info I didn't know. Being a keyboard centric user for whom most icons are meaningless blobs of color, I never would have known that the last unlabled icon on the right at the bottom of the screen was the installer unless I found an instruction... Once started the install process was actualy one of the easiest I've yet seen.

-> 2)How can I use the keyboard to permanently disable all synaptic touchpad
-> enhancements to the basic mouse functions I need to access vi the touchpad?

This one is "resolved" (in a non-standard way...) according to "man synaptics" I should have been able to use:

=> Option "TouchpadOff" "integer"
=> Switch off the touchpad. Valid values are:
=> 0 Touchpad is enabled
=> 1 Touchpad is switched off
=> 2 Only tapping and scrolling is switched off
=> Property: "Synaptics Off"

But adding:
Option "TouchpadOff" "2"
to the "Synaptics Touchpad" section of my xorg.conf didn't *work...

* I tried both with and without the line:
Option "SHMConfig" "true"

Next I installed the gsynaptics package to deal with it... And it "worked" but the changes were not persistant, I had to run gsynaptics to turn off the tapping and scrolling functions again every time I rebooted. And since it uses a point and click interface I couldn't figure a way to automate the process... Then finaly I found another method... There's a cli utility called "synclient" that works. It's also not persistant but can be scripted. I could have simply inserted "synclient TouchpadOff=2" into my ".bash_profile" except that I chhose to boot to text mode and only start the x server with startx if and when I'm ready, so the xserver wouldn't have been there when tried to execute... I could have put it in ".bashrc" so that it would work as soon as I opened a command shell. But it just seemed cleaner to put "synclient TouchpadOff=2" in ~/.xinitrc so that it runs when the xserver is initialized...

As far as those packages go, it wasn't to hard to wing it with apt-get (once I found out how to install elive, that is...) Except that I'm having a problem with lyx. (But that's another thread so...) I do hope I can solve the lyx issue. It's the only "really must have" piece of software that I haven't found a solution too... And aside from that I'm thinking elive is great. It might even become my primary distro...