I am a refugee from Arch Linux.
My server provider (Kimsufi) recently stopped supporting Arch as a server distro, so I needed to distro hop and found myself trying a few options. I have used Debian and Centos in the past, but an interest in Astrophotography led me to the Fedora Labs Astronomy but I prefer a more minimalist approach with SpectrWM and Alacritty so I need to improvise.
I have spent a couple of weeks getting used to the Workstation (Gnome) and in particular BTRFS and DNF and I have also been playing around with my remote server which hopped to Fedora Server at the same time as my desktop switched from Arch.
I have decided to reinstall, starting with Fedora Server as my base and build up a minimalist desktop install with SpectrWM and Alacritty as well as my usual tools and applications. I think documenting this process as an alternative to Arch would make an interesting article and possibly attract others to starting minimal rather than going straight to a Desktop based Spin
I am a refugee from Arch Linux.
Hello @nekon ,
Welcome to the Fedora discussion, and in particular the Fedora Magazine discussion category.
+1 from me, I think there are several community members who are likely interested in such an article. Once another editor gives their +1 they can make a tracking card at https://teams.fedoraproject.org/project/asamalik-fedora-magazine/timeline. If you haven’t done so already, would you please follow the directions found at https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/fedora-magazine/contributing/ to get set up to contribute as a writer. Welcome aboard!
I’m in favor, but let’s make sure to not make it come off as negative about Arch or an attack on them.
Most definitely, we don’t do distro bashing here! But an article on how to setup a minimal Fedora Server (or CoreOS) install would be welcomed, and a minimal that reflected the desired state of an Arch Linux installation seems totally in line with using Fedora.
I love Arch, and for your desktop or laptop PC, rolling distros make some good arguments, servers, less so, but thats what I ran anyway, despite the Arch Wiki saying “don’t be stupid!” when it came to Arch as a server distro.
I used Arch, for seven years, so I must have found it pretty useful!
I think the angle would be that starting from Fedora Server is pretty much akin to starting from the Arch ISO, whilst the Workstation (Gnome) is more like Manjaro etc. You install Fedora Server, then configre Xorg, then configure keyboard, Touchpad/mouse, ALSA, arandr etc. Then get yourself a Window Manager (I’ve been through most of them too!) and my terminal emulator of choice is usually uRXVT or Alacritty, although Kitty looks promising and I may give that a try.
Rather than a line by line set of instructions, I think the broad brush strokes are more important, together with hints and gotchas. Plus info sources, problem solving and maybe my reasons for WM over DE.
Its looking increasingly likely to coincide with a new desktop PC build (i7-10700k but onboard graphics, MSI490, 1TB M2) so that would be good from point of view of needing lastest drivers etc…
I like this idea, currently I run the server environment (manually added) from the workstation base image, but the other way around works as well. It is good to show how it is done.
That’s pretty much my usual set-up Jan, a LAMP stack run native for dev, but I use WM instead of DE; Nvim, NerdTree, etc and Terminal instead of Netbeans or VS Code (I once thought I could never leave Netbeans). I then test on a VM identical to my Kimsufi Server (cheap… very cheap, but surprisingly good specs - 2 x Xeon3520, 4c/8t, 2.66GHz, 2 x 240GB SSD). I mess around with the grown-up languages (C and derivatives) but mainly its PHP and Symfony.
I also have a project to try to get .NET running on a Linux server on an existing website for a sports club I belong to, but I keep pushing that one backwards, sounds like far too many square pegs and not even enough round holes to me!
I have packaged a .net project on Linux. It had some challenges but is doable.
As ever, the “real world” gets in the way of stuff you might enjoy doing, so my apologies for not getting more done yet.
I eventually got a basic SpectrWM system up and running with under 2GB and 600 packages which I think is pretty minimal. If I recall correctly, the i3WM Spin comes in at 1100+, so this compares well when talking “minimal”.
I am hoping to reproduce this set-up in a VM this week and next, so that I can screen shot as I go. I need to add audio to my original set up as I only did this after I had installed some additional packages that are not strictly necessary.
My question is that you mention that a “card” has been set up for me, but unsure about how to update the card, where to begin writing the article, etc…
Help and some pointers would be appreciated.
Hello @nekon ,
Yes, in the link posted by @bcotton above you will be taken to the Fedora Magazine Project Kanban, and to the specific card setup for your article, which you have been assigned to as writer (I checked just now). Happy writing! If you have any questions you can post them here or on the comment section of the Taiga card, or goto to the magazines IRC channel at Libera.chat, #fedora-magazine. Please be patient with IRC, I don’t use it regularly so I am not always there to answer.
To add to Stephen’s response, you can start writing your article by going to the Fedora Magazine WordPress site:
and looking in the menu at the left for “Posts”. Select “Add Posts” there and you will be given a “blank” page in which to start your article.
@rlengland has re-assigned this to me at my request.
I would be very grateful if you could provide me with a copy of any materials you have put together to date.
Thanks in advance,
My Apologies on this.
I actually used the Minimal Install version from Fedora Everything and it was great. I had started writing the article, but due to many reasons, including ill health, I was distracted and never got back to it. My original musings should still be a partially completed post.
Then suddenly, in November 2021, an update to the kernel left me with significant driver problems and errors and it was one of those situations where it was important to “just be productive” so I installed the Desktop (Gnome) and simply got on with things using individual terminal windows.
Since then I have reinstalled SpectrWM as an option from Gnome Display Manager and I typically work in SpectrWM (coding) and then switch to the graphical interface (Gnome 3) for things like Darktable, Streaming, Inkscape and astronomy applications. Although Firefox and Inkscape do work well from SpectrWM.
I keep meaning to revisit the more Minimal Approach with just the necessary GTK elements to allow me to run the graphical programs I require. I may have time to do this again later this week and I will send you an outline of my install process.
I have some quite specific input devices (Xtrfy Tenkeyless keyboard and Coolermaster mouse) and I think these are the problem but I can revisit with simpler Logitech input devices.
@nekon Then would you prefer to continue on with this article? In short, should I reassign it to you? @glaringgibbon has two other articles he has expressed interest in so we aren’t eliminating his opportunity to contribute.
Lets say Yes!
I loved my set up via Fedora Minimal from Fedora Everything ISO. It worked great, looked fabulous in my three screen configuration and the problems hit at a time when a couple of days spent trying to bottom a problem of a failed memory location associated with one of my input devices was just a none starter.
I installed a copy of Fedora Workstation and was working within an hour, using full screen Alacritty terminal and splits in Vim.
When I started writing previously, I got bogged down in the why of WM vs DE and I will simply avoid that, saying that its simply my choice and most productive for me; that then allows me to make the article a simple “this is how you do it” tutorial, with all of the command line instructions. I may also cover installing SpectrWM under Gnome Display Manager as thats an easy entry point for those who want to try it out first.
@nekon Okay, I’ve removed the assignee but I believe you will need to login to Pagure here.. I don’t seem to be able to assign the card to you at this time and not having signed in is usually the reason. Your FAS account should allow that. Please let us know when you do and we will assign the article to you.
Logged in to Pagure just fine. Although I must admit that I sometimes find the various Fedora logins and spaces “quite” complex to navigate.
Excited now! I really loved the way that set up worked for me, and now I have a good excuse to take a few hours out from the normal grind and recreate it. #withouttheguilt
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Looking forward to your article. Let us know with a comment on the card when you have the preview ready for the editors to look at.
Embarrassing admission, I dont seem to be able to find the login webpage for Fedora Magazine
The preview link in the discussion doesnt seem to work.