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How to entirely replace Rox with a different File-Manager?
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mikeslr


Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 764
Location: Union New Jersey USA

PostPosted: Fri 29 Nov 2013, 23:55    Post subject:  How to entirely replace Rox with a different File-Manager?
Subject description: Openbox with lxpanel being used
 

Hi All,

I got tired of suggesting what others should do, and decided to do some real work. Easier said then done.(redface.gif --emoticons not working). Having suggested a couple of times that we should be considering substituting either pacman or spacefm for Rox, and having read some posts recently of someone who was making such change and received advice as to what files had to be edited, I decided to install spacefm, edits files, test it out, and then do a remaster removing rox. Naturally, I can't find the thread on which the advice was given.
I am using Open-box with lxpanel, so I think most of the things Rox does beyond just file-management are already covered. But that's a guess. I know that there's what I believe iguleder referred to as a "sloppy hack" in the Guydog thread. But that's not what I want to use.
So I'd appreciate receiving advice regarding what changes need to be made to entirely replace Rox as File-manager.
Thanks in advance,

mikesLr
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sunburnt


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 4978
Location: Arizona, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Sat 30 Nov 2013, 01:42    Post subject:  

HI mikeslr; Replacing it doesn`t seem so important as just having another one.
Who cares if it`s still there? I don`t like the Rox-Filer, but it is good for doing some things.

I have a SFS file of Xfe, it`s probably the most feature packed filer of the bunch.

Also... Rox runs the desktop in most Puppy variants.
So any replacement won`t interact with the desktop the way Rox`s desktop and filer do.
.
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peebee


Joined: 21 Sep 2008
Posts: 1272
Location: Malvern, Worcs, UK

PostPosted: Sat 30 Nov 2013, 03:59    Post subject: Re: How to Entirely Replace Rox as File-Manager
Subject description: Openbox with lxpanel being used
 

mikeslr wrote:
So I'd appreciate receiving advice regarding what changes need to be made to entirely replace Rox as File-manager.
Thanks in advance,mikesLr


Hi mikesLr

I agree with sunburnt - you don't want to get rid of rox completely - just ensure that your new fm is the default for all user interactions.

If you want to see how I did it for LxPup (pcmanfm replaces rox) then look inside one of the lxpupsetup pets - e.g. lxpupsetup-s.5.6.041.pet
http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=728981#728981

They probably count as sloppy hacks!! But the technique used is to have both rox and Rox where rox=pcmanfm and Rox=old rox then do a relatively small number of edits to replace rox by Rox in key places.

Remember to look for hidden .xxx files....

Cheers
peebee

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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 7164

PostPosted: Sat 30 Nov 2013, 08:04    Post subject:  

Yes its very rox centered.... lots of scripts call it.

Desktop mainly...there are some nice binary drive icons around here ...work so much better and do away with puppy_frontend_d so that helps and also gives drive shortcuts in most filemanagers too which is very convenient.
Also lobbing rox tends to mean a different window manager eg xfce4 and thunar ...that also takes care of menus, mimetypes and desktop icons....such things as fixmenus can be scrapped (enjoy fast package handling Smile ) and jwm in that case.
One thing your alternative file manager might not have is a -d like parameter to close any browser windows when an unmount is performed but then only rox seems to want to hang onto folders anyway...eg I cannot unmount NFS shares without rox being closed first.

Some tray/taskbar applets may need alternative handling though your chosen WM may already have nice alternatives.

A link or miniscript to handle rox calls probably fine for most scripts if not all.

Suck it and see how it behaves without rox to tidy up loose ends.
Enjoy the isolation of being different.
Then your model T Ford with have Porsch bodywork Wink

then do a tap dance while wearing a tutu
mike
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cimarron

Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 51

PostPosted: Sat 30 Nov 2013, 16:44    Post subject:  

It can be done; I'm glad to be rid of rox (and using SpaceFM instead, with Openbox and tint2 in Iguleder's excellent GuyDog). But it may not be worth it to most people. One big loss is the desktop pinboard. Unless you provide a replacement, you won't be able to put any icons on the desktop. (SpaceFM can apparently provide a pinboard if compiled to do so, but I have not tried it.) Also, the drive icons on the desktop use the rox pinboard, I believe. I'm sure you know all this, but others might need the warning. Personally, I'm happy with a clean desktop.

Several basic puppy functions use rox, so removing rox would require editing the code of those functions to provide a replacement. Ones I know of are pmount (which opens a file manager when mounting drives) and filemnt (which opens sfs files in a file manager). I also use edit-sfs, which opens a file manager to edit sfs files. There are probably others.

In some cases, you can just search the code for "rox" and replace it with "spacefm" (or whatever file manager you use). But it isn't always that simple. What I had trouble with is the places where rox options are used that SpaceFM doesn't use, like -d and -D. The -d, for opening a directory in rox, could just be removed (it is unneeded, and does something different in SpaceFM). -D in rox closes a directory (when unmounting, for example), and that was trickier. I eventually found that this would work (for example):
Code:
#rox -D $MNTPT
 pkill -f $MNTPT #kills spacefm for mounted device

That closes the SpaceFM tab with the unmounted directory, or closes SpaceFM completely if it had opened automatically when mounting the directory (such as plugging in a flash drive). Now everything works for me, and I don't need rox at all.

That's what I remember off the top of my head. If you run into problems, I'll try to check for changes or code edits that I might have forgotten about.

Last edited by cimarron on Mon 02 Dec 2013, 11:23; edited 1 time in total
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sunburnt


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 4978
Location: Arizona, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Sun 01 Dec 2013, 01:06    Post subject:  

mikeb; Isn`t Puppy`s WM handled by JWM ( it is a window manager ).
I think the WM and task-bar are JWM, and desktop is Rox.
But maybe there`s more interaction going on that JWM relies on to do it`s work.

I don`t care for Rox or JWM very much, and that goes for the HotPup drive mount system too.
.
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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 7164

PostPosted: Sun 01 Dec 2013, 08:50    Post subject:  

Well if rox goes then JWM would be left high and dry in terms of the desktop...so might as well dump the ugly unstable thing. Other window managers/desktop enviroments tesnd to do the lot an no more menu hacks and bodges.

mike
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mikeslr


Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 764
Location: Union New Jersey USA

PostPosted: Sun 01 Dec 2013, 19:01    Post subject: Can Rox be replaced? -- Not without committing heresy  

Thanks sunburnt, peebee, mikeb and cimarron,

Occasionally cars will pull over and their drivers will ask for directions. I'll take a moment to carefully study their eyes for signs of utter exhaustion or madness before (with a straight face ) responding, "You can't get there from here." As soon as I notice incredulity appearing, I'll smile and continue, "Well, actually you can if you...". There had been no “Well, actually” follow-up before cimarron's, by which time I decided to re-examine the question.
Lest anyone think that the first three responders sought to slip by with what in the legal profession is referred to as a “non-responsive answer” please be assured to the contrary. I entered the legal profession with a background in the “hard sciences,” history, and an appreciation of the great length of time it took for Galileo's heretical idea of testing-observation-and-analysis to supplant reliance on the Prophet Aristotle's word. So on the rare occasions when my mind works at all, it adopts as a working premise the second most sensible thing Ronald Reagan ever said: “Trust, but verify.” The first being, “Facts are stupid things.” I associate that premise with a technique advised by a client. “When the front door is locked, try the upstairs bathroom window.” Together, they combine into what I refer to as “Tossing out the Big Net”: generalize search parameters, see what turns up and whether that can suggest, by analogy, a solution.
Googling variations on “replace file-manager” produces variations of the advice given by our initial responders. But I'll only refer to one post primarily as it (a) ended by discussing spaceFm, which was my goal, and because, having thought of rg66's x-precise and x-slacko which use Xfce-thunar rather than jwm-rox, I wondered if it could provide my upstairs bathroom window.
http://askubuntu.com/questions/303734/how-to-replace-thunar-with-pcmanfm:
“If you are using XFCE like I do, there remains one caveat. Links on the desktop will continue to open with Thunar. (Thunar cannot be uninstalled because of other dependant packages.) It seems that this behaviour for opening desktop links is hard-wired in XFCE 4.8.” Of course, Xfce is now at version 4.12, and there were some posts indicating the possibility of entirely replacing Thunar with spaceFm when Xfce was at 4.10. So I figured I'd try a “brain substitute” on x-precise.
Booting into a fresh frugal, pfix=ram, install of x-precise, the first thing I searched for was whether any Rox files were present. I found 3. That, and rg66's discussions on the x-slacko thread, suggested that like peebee's Lxpup, x-precise came into existence as a remaster of a jwm-rox Pup. But having gone that far, I figured I'd install vicmz's OpenboxPlus 1.6.1 first with lxpanel, the second time, after deleting the SaveFile, with Tint2. Switch-wm's did nothing. With lxpanel and dropping out of X and typing “xwin openbox-session” gave me the equivalent of blackbox: an unadorned gray screen from which you could get a drop-down menu. Using the menu I was able to invoke Openbox's configuration wizard, which went thru the motion of accepting settings, and then did nothing. With Tint2, it was almost the same, the difference being that it did have a panel.
It had been my intent to report back that while I suspect that it may now be possible to entirely replace an OS's built in file-manager, that's not the case if the OS was built originally expecting that file-manager to be Rox, perhaps because rox isn't entirely xdg-compliant. Logging in, I found that cimarron had posted his experience with Guydog. I don't believe it constitutes an “exception proving the rule.”
Wondering if there was something different about Guydog, I recalled that Guydog 5.0.0 was built with emelFM2 as its file-manager. Soon after it was published, I commented about having to learn how to work without Rox as the default file-manager. http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=573555#573555.
Iguleder later discussed the absence of Rox:
“There are four reasons why ROX-Filer is not included:
1) Everybody loves choice and freedom - the distribution should include a sufficient file manager (well, since you can't do anything without a proper file manager, unless you're a true Linux haxx0r) that is enough for basic tasks, but always have the door open for alternatives.
2) ROX-Filer is so deeply integrated into Puppy - the only way to cut those ties is to remove it. I'm talking about things like desktop icons - you can't build a Puppy without ROX-Filer unless you modify all scripts that use it, replace /usr/bin/rox (what I did in 5.0.0) or provide another file manager with a placeholder at /usr/bin/rox (what we have in 5.0.1). “
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=575334#575334 , http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=574779#574779

Which led to the question, “Had any other Pups been built with the intent not to use rox as file-manager?” Whatever its quirks, rox goes beyond being file-manager to provide several window-management (may not be the accurate term) functions. It seemed a logical hypothesis that if someone sets out to build an OS using rox as file-manager, he or she would have to have a good reason –especially if one of the goals was to keep size to a minimum-- to include other structures/applications to accomplish what could already be done using rox: removing rox not only removes it as file-manager, but would removes those structures as well.
I recalled that Saluki/Carolina started as a remaster of jwm-rox Racy, and that the Lupus, the Slackos and FatDog64 use rox. With two “exceptions”, not being able to recall any, I took a chance and booted into jejy69's most radical departure from the standard Pup in that it included a fully working synaptic package manager, lxpup-apget-test. It, as well, had as its core the jwm-rox combination. Jejy69 built window-managers adapted to work in previously existing Pups, creating new derivatives by remastering. My guess is that every Pup now using a window-manager derived from jejy69's work still has built into its structure an expectation that rox will be present.
The two “exceptions”, were stifling's Archpup and AlphaOS. Apparently, Barry K didn't consider Archpup a “pup” because (a) it wasn't a woof build; (b) it didn't use ppm, and (c) it didn't employ the jwm-rox combo. http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=692279&sid=f7bdc717789276fa34dd42eb4698dbb4#692279 Accordingly, Simargl's AlphaOS suffered the same “flaws.” http://alphaos.tuxfamily.org/.
Which leads to the following considerations:
(1) Has woof and/or the devs understanding of it sufficiently progressed that a Pup can be woofed which is not build around the jwm-rox combo? Or requiring substantial “work-arounds” in order to entirely replace rox?
(2) Whether the techniques cimarron employed on Guydog 5.0.1 are equally amenable to employment in other Pups, or by reason of its peculiarities was Guydog unique? The answer to this question could be had through testing, which I'll do. But, as I lack cimarron's skills, only success would be significant. Failure would only be personal.
(3) Is a Pup only a Pup if it (a) is built using woof; (b) uses ppm; and (c) employs the jwm-rox combo?
I don't think so. By that definition, every Pup prior to Series 5 wasn't a Pup. To suggest that an OS is only a Pup if it uses ppm ties Puppy's future to its weakest link. That's analogous to declaring that a cottage is not a cottage if the material to build it isn't brought by horse and wagon. That ppm is inadequate is one of the few things people who understand Puppy sufficiently to compare it to other distros can actually agree on. While it currently can check whether a pet itself is missing dependencies, it can't check whether necessarily elements are already on a system, or if its installation will break something already there. The installation of pets is blissfully unaware whether necessary foundations –such as perl, qt, or java-- are already on the system. And while nobody doubts that jwm can be superseded with another window-manager, must Puppy's fate be linked to rox?
If you ask my opinion, what makes a Pup a Pup is that, as far as I know, it is still the only Operating System which can be run from one folder, and easily customized and then remastered to produce an OS which itself can be run from one folder. But maybe I'm wrong. It won't be the first time.

mikesLr

Last edited by mikeslr on Sun 01 Dec 2013, 20:09; edited 1 time in total
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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 7164

PostPosted: Sun 01 Dec 2013, 19:53    Post subject:  

Quote:
3) Is a Pup only a Pup if it (a) is built using woof; (b) uses ppm; and (c) employs the jwm-rox combo?
I don't think so. By that definition, every Pup prior to Series 5 wasn't a Pup.


well I think that statement out of your very long post stands out the most and does indeed raise some very interesting questions about how we the users are considered in all of this. Since by this definition a large chunk of us are not puppy users where should our loyalties lie? Hard to know as this basically says 'you are on your own unless you comply' and does explain the conformal nature and gradual loss of real inspirational development as time has passed.

It deserves a thread of its own

mike
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greengeek

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 2082
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Mon 02 Dec 2013, 02:27    Post subject: Re: Can Rox be replaced? -- Not without committing heresy  

mikeslr wrote:
Apparently, Barry K didn't consider Archpup a “pup” because (a) it wasn't a woof build; (b) it didn't use ppm, and (c) it didn't employ the jwm-rox combo. http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=692279&sid=f7bdc717789276fa34dd42eb4698dbb4#692279

As far as I understand it Barry has the rights to the name Puppy Linux, so whatever his definition of a Pup is (and that might morph from year to year) it may not be possible (or ethical or whatever...) to call some of the new variations "Puppys".

But does that matter too much? This forum belongs to John Murga and he tolerates other species (Pussy Linux to name just one...)

In any case, a puppy grows up in time to being an adult - related yet different and more mature. While it is a good idea for some developers to take the Woof route and build true-to-kind puppies that way, maybe it is time for other developers to forget the restraints of puppyhood and drive a metamorphosis that produces even more competent distros.

And there are obviously a gratifying number of devs and contributors who have the ability to make a whole kennel full of versions.

Once upon a time we had Puppy Unleashed - now lets have the Hounds Unleashed. I don't think Barry would disapprove.
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cimarron

Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 51

PostPosted: Mon 02 Dec 2013, 09:17    Post subject:  

Quote:
Whether the techniques cimarron employed on Guydog 5.0.1 are equally amenable to employment in other Pups, or by reason of its peculiarities was Guydog unique?

I had previously effectively scrubbed rox from my Lupu 5.1 install using the same techniques. All except for the pinboard, which I chose to keep then (mostly for the desktop drive icons, though I edited the drive_all code so the drive directories opened in SpaceFM not rox). I never saw rox.

If you don't like rox, you can make it effectively invisible and still keep the pinboard and drive icons. Or you can drop those (or use alternatives) and get rid of rox completely.

I'd go step by step, weeding out rox where it annoys you (and always keep a backup savefile). I can help; some of the code that needs to be edited is hard to find. I could even post my edits to give examples.

Last edited by cimarron on Mon 02 Dec 2013, 10:01; edited 1 time in total
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vicmz

Joined: 15 Jan 2012
Posts: 1010

PostPosted: Mon 02 Dec 2013, 09:55    Post subject:  

Remove ROX and put PCManFM? If you want your Puppy alive you don't want to remove ROX. BUT you can set PCManFM as default:

http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=90560

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Last edited by vicmz on Mon 02 Dec 2013, 10:09; edited 2 times in total
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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 7164

PostPosted: Mon 02 Dec 2013, 10:02    Post subject:  

[url] If you want your Puppy alive you don't want to remove ROX. [/url]
microsoft said the same thing about Internet Explorer and Windows Very Happy

mike
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vicmz

Joined: 15 Jan 2012
Posts: 1010

PostPosted: Mon 02 Dec 2013, 10:10    Post subject:  

mikeb wrote:
[url] If you want your Puppy alive you don't want to remove ROX. [/url]
microsoft said the same thing about Internet Explorer and Windows Very Happy

mike


Of course, those who really are more experienced can fully replace ROX-Filer by another file manager -- in an ISO file for a Puppy derivative. This is so complex it's just not worth doing into a savefile, for you'd have to save a new session if anything goes wrong, starting from scratch. Even in derivatives, I think it's better to have ROX and to not need it, than to not have it and to need it.

And Puppy Linux is not Windows. Laughing

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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Dec 2013, 10:19    Post subject:  

Just checking .... want to be sure we still have the freedom to do what we like Smile

mike
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