Salix Ratpoison 13.37

Salix Ratpoison 13.37

Postby gapan » 4. Oct 2011, 19:55

Salix Ratpoison 13.37 is released! This is probably the first ever linux distribution release featuring Ratpoison as the main window manager. The aim of the Ratpoison edition is to create a system that is fully usable with the keyboard only, no mouse required! For everyone that is not familiar with Ratpoison, Ratpoison is a window manager for X "with no fat library dependencies, no fancy graphics, no window decorations, and no rodent dependence". Ratpoison uses a workflow that is similar to that of GNU screen, which is very popular in the terminal world. All interaction with the window manager is done through keystrokes.

The application selection for the Ratpoison edition is rather special. The main reasoning behind selecting any of the default applications included in this release is their ability to be used completely with the keyboard, not requiring any mouse interaction. To that effect, a lot of the included applications are actually terminal applications. The default web browser is Vimprobable2, a lightweight webkit-based browser that uses vim-style keybindings. The default mail client is Mutt, the powerful terminal based client with vim-like keybindings. Gnome Commander is the default file manager, while Midnight Commander is also present. You can play music with Music On Console and videos can be played with the Whaaw Media Player, which is not specifically targetted at keyboard users, but can be used only with a keyboard anyway. Gvim is included as text/code editor and Apvlv can be used to view pdf files. Package management is done only using Gslapt, which can be comfortably used only with a keyboard and Sourcery, our home-grown graphical tool to easy install extra software from SlackBuilds has been updated so that it can be used only with a keyboard too. Of course their command line counterparts, slapt-get and slapt-src are also available. A GUI tool to manage mounting of external devices and local partitions has been written from scratch; this is GMountMan and has been designed from the ground up to be used with the keyboard only (although users of other window managers will find that it works fine using a mouse too). There is no office suite included.

A word of warning: this is not your average newbie-friendly distribution. There is no graphical login screen, when you login, you enter the linux terminal. You are expected to run "startx" to start ratpoison itself. Even then, it is not much more newbie-friendly than the linux terminal. You'll have to use keyboard combinations to do anything. Some hints:
* the "Ctrl-t ?" keyboard combination will show a screen with all available keyboard combinations. They all start with "Ctrl-t" and then another key/keyboard combination.
* you can get the ratmenu by hitting "Ctrl-t r". This menu is keyboard driven only as well.
* the Vimprobable2 browser is started with "Ctrl-t v"
* use "f" to follow links in Vimprobable2. Make sure you read the manpage too.
* the terminal is started with "Ctrl-t c"
* all ratpoison configuration is done in your ~/.ratpoisonrc
* the menus themselves are scripts in the ~/.ratmenu directory.
* run "man ratpoison"to get more information on setting up ratpoison. It can really be scripted to do just about anything with keystrokes.

All users are advised to read the Ratpoison section in the Salix Startup Guide, that includes a more complete introduction to Ratpoison and the way it and the included applications work (thanks to mimosa for his hard work on this).

This release is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. You can download the respective iso images either directly from Sourceforge or using a torrent client.

Salix Ratpoison 13.37 (32-bit) (size: 426 MB, md5: c65f40822a6ad087e649b5623f7bf33e)
Sourceforge: http://sourceforge.net/projects/salix/f ... o/download
torrent: http://salix.enialis.net/i486/13.37/iso ... so.torrent

Salix64 Ratpoison 13.37 (64-bit) (size: 406 MB, md5: 0c41e72c19ae4e2df4778315e1b1006d)
Sourceforge: http://sourceforge.net/projects/salix/f ... o/download
torrent: http://salix.enialis.net/x86_64/13.37/i ... so.torrent

As always, a DVD-sized iso image that includes sources and build scripts for all software in this release can be found in our Sourceforge page.

Have fun!

French translation (annonce en français): http://fredgnix.wordpress.com/2011/10/0 ... son-13-37/
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Re: Salix Ratpoison 13.37

Postby fredg » 5. Oct 2011, 08:32

Good job guys, link to the french translation added ;)

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Re: Salix Ratpoison 13.37

Postby maalo » 5. Oct 2011, 08:52

Hello!
Downloading it right now.
Nice work! I'd like other distros starting to get inspired with the idea of using an unusual wm too.
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Re: Salix Ratpoison 13.37

Postby mimosa » 5. Oct 2011, 16:43

The download page shows Ratpoison, but at the top it still says there are only four Salix editions. I tried to edit it, but that part of the page doesn't have a button to do so.
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Re: Salix Ratpoison 13.37

Postby gapan » 5. Oct 2011, 16:48

mimosa wrote:The download page shows Ratpoison, but at the top it still says there are only four Salix editions. I tried to edit it, but that part of the page doesn't have a button to do so.

Not any more. Thanks. :)
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Re: Salix Ratpoison 13.37

Postby ggordon » 5. Oct 2011, 19:43

Have ratpoison installed....use WPA encryption on my wireless....what command do I use to input WPA and bring up my network?
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Re: Salix Ratpoison 13.37

Postby gapan » 5. Oct 2011, 19:47

ggordon wrote:Have ratpoison installed....use WPA encryption on my wireless....what command do I use to input WPA and bring up my network?

You need to run wicd. Find it in the ratmenu, or run wicd-curses from a terminal. That's for a full install. If you did a basic install, you'll have to install all wireless related packages yourself first.
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Re: Salix Ratpoison 13.37

Postby Tim CowChip » 5. Oct 2011, 20:02

I remember when I bought the GEOS (Graphics Environment Operating System) for my Commodore128.
It came with a 5 pound 2 button mouse.
I was able to use what had been basically a game console as a computer for the first time. I still have that mouse. Actually I still have the entire C128 system and it still works.
I was freed from the keyboard as the only input device and I never looked back. I can't understand why someone would intentionally limit themselves to having a keyboard as the only interface with the OS.

EDIT

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I can't see doing everything with just a keyboard for myself.

I "hunt and peck", never taught myself to type.

When I went to school, typewriters weren't yet electric and men didn't type.

I'm just sayin'
Last edited by Tim CowChip on 31. Jul 2012, 08:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Salix Ratpoison 13.37

Postby ggordon » 5. Oct 2011, 20:04

gapan wrote:
ggordon wrote:Have ratpoison installed....use WPA encryption on my wireless....what command do I use to input WPA and bring up my network?

You need to run wicd. Find it in the ratmenu, or run wicd-curses from a terminal. That's for a full install. If you did a basic install, you'll have to install all wireless related packages yourself first.


I've run wicd-curses, but it doesn't give an opportunity to input WPA/WEP code to connect, so need a suggestion to use something else.
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Re: Salix Ratpoison 13.37

Postby mimosa » 5. Oct 2011, 20:48

@ Tim CowChip

There are ergonomic advantages - just as there are to not looking at the keyboard when you type. Of course, it's a matter of taste, and depends on one's computer usage. Not using the mouse forces you to discover different ways of doing things, and sometimes they have unexpected benefits. The initial learning curve is steep, although it makes a difference that Ratpoison (among other tiling WMs) is designed in a way that many people quickly find quite intuitive.

I remember the first time I saw "windows", some time in the early nineties I think. I thought it was just a gimmick that would never catch on. How wrong can you be?
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