My Mabox Linux – a work in progress

Is it maboxlinux or mabox linux or Mabox Linux or MaBox Linux or MaBoxLinux? I’m not entirely sure. I’m going to call it MaBox Linux.

This is what my customized MaBox Linux desktop looks like on my ultrawide curved monitor.

It’s a work in progress.

So let’s get to the name: mabox. This is a distribution that’s based on Manjaro Linux which in turn is based on Arch Linux. On top of that a highly customized desktop using Openbox gives it a lot of flare. So Ma(njaro)+(Open)box=mabox. I think the whole “don’t capitalize the name” thing is pretty lame. Also, should the word “Linux” be without a space or with a space? Is it maboxlinux or mabox linux or Mabox Linux or MaBox Linux or MaBoxLinux? I’m not entirely sure. I’m going to call it MaBox Linux.

I like it, even though I’ve not been a fan of Manjaro Linux for a long time now. I’m more of an Arch Linux kinda guy, and I find the Manjaro people have been less than inviting and I don’t like what they’ve done overall to good ol’ Arch. When I was using Manjaro some years ago I said some things I probably shouldn’t have said in their forums and some of them said something back to me and I just decided never to talk to them again and moved on. I’ve been doing this Linux thing since 1998.

Nonetheless, I recognized Manjaro is a solid Linux distro based on Archlinux, and I like what the MaBox Linux people have done to build on that. So although I’m no fan of Manjaro per se, I’m willing to run a distro built upon Manjaro, and that’s maboxlinux.

Underneath there are still aspects of Manjaro that I just don’t like. For example, don’t try to run grub-customizer with Manjaro. You’ll break it because the Manjaro people just had to mess with Arch’s grub in ways that wasn’t at all necessary. If you ask them why they kind of look down their noses at you because “their” version of Arch Linux is better. It’s not. In fact, half the time the Manjaro installer breaks a system, but the Manjaro people don’t seem to hear about that.

I digress. Pushing Manjaro more to the background, along comes MaBox, a distribution based on Manjaro that uses Openbox as the display manager and desktop environment, and they’ve done a pretty good job. I’ve even gone so far as to make it my main distro that I live in on my desktop.

You can take a look at MaBox Linux here.

Sabayon – Gentoo Linux for the masses

As the Sabayon slogan goes “Simplicity is sophistication”

SabayonGnomeDesktop#linux #gentoo #sabayon #Pixel2 #Pixel3
A different kind of Gentoo distribution

Gentoo Linux differs from many other Linux distributions in that packages are not pre-configured. Rather, the source code of those packages is downloaded and compiled locally. This is time-consuming and a real hassle for people like me who are just not that tech-savvy.

Along Comes Sabayon Linux

Sabayon is a Gentoo based Linux distribution that is user-friendly. There is a GUI installer to ease the whole process.

Go to the Sabayon website to get it. I downloaded the gnome version. Here are my notes of installation inside a virtualbox running on a Fedora host.

Process of Installation

After the liveCD boots up you will be inside a Gnome DE. (“Gnome,” in the Linux world, is pronounced “Ga-Nome” not “Nome.”) Finding the actual installation program takes some searching. Once you find it you can begin the installation process. I’ll leave the process of finding it to you. The installation is fairly friendly, but has some hitches if you’re like me.

The first thing you encounter when you start the installer is a welcome to Sabayon 18.04 message with a choice of languages to choose from. Naturally, I chose English (United States) and pressed continue.

Next I was confronted with a somewhat confusing screen of installation summary. There are four items on the screen. Keyboard, installation destination, time and date, and finally “network and hostname.” The “installation destination” selection indicates there is an error and that I should probably click that. I didn’t have to mess with any of the others.

I was then confronted with another confusing screen called “installation destination.” Immediately under that there is a button called done which can be selected. Below that you have to select how and where you want to install Sabayon Linux. Since my ATA vbox hard disk is pre-selected I just click done. This will automatically configure partitioning of my virtualbox hard disk.

After clicking done I have to wait about 20 seconds before it returned to the installation summary screen which caused me some concern that it might not be working. Furthermore, after returning to that screen the “begin installation” button was greyed out indicating that something was still amiss.

However after another wait of several seconds the “begin installation” button finally became clickable and I clicked it.

After that I came to the configuration screen for which I have been provided two options, set the root password and create a user. I did both, as should you. As an aside make sure when creating a user for yourself that you select make this user administrator. Then click “done.”

Meanwhile, as you do all this, installation is progressing in the background. You just have to sit back and wait until it’s done.

Meanwhile if you want to play around with gnome inside the live CD, you just have to press Ctrl alt down arrow. To go back press Ctrl alt up Arrow to watch the installation progress.

After installation is complete there will be a tiny notification at the bottom of your screen which says “Complete!” It’s really hard to notice. On the right side of the screen it says “Sabayon is now successfully installed and ready for you to use. Go ahead and reboot to start using it.”

So although I was worried about my installation media still being in place I went ahead and clicked quit. I did expect the system to reboot at that point, but apparently it just ends the installation program. To restart the system and boot into the new operating system you have to go to the upper right hand corner of the screen and click once you return to the desktop.

Booting into your new Linux installation

The boot screen features three small question marks that are highlighted one after another indicating that something’s happening in the background of an otherwise black screen. However after a not too long wait you’ll come to the welcome to Sabayon greeter screen on the main desktop. Installation and booting into the new system seemed fairly easy and quick. Booting the system once installed seem to go very fast.

Don’t close this welcome screen! It’s more than a standard welcome screen apparently. It has options to establish a password for a keyring, and installation of new software which you will probably want to have.

What you wind up with

One of the things I noticed right away was that Sabayon Linux is very compatible with virtualbox mode running full screen. That’s a great plus for people wanting to check it out without actually installing it directly to your hard drive.

Another thing I noticed was that it will play YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon videos, right out of the box. That is, as long as you use Google Chrome as your preferred browser which comes pre-installed. That’s another plus. No hassle there.

In my past experience with this operating system I know that you can get in trouble with dependencies when installing various software since software is compiled locally from the source code. However, if you’re the kind of person that likes to fiddle with your computer but not a real techy, who wants to be off the beaten path, and be different than a lot of people, then this Linux installation is easy to use, practical, and fun.

NOTE: This entire article was dictated using the WordPress App on a Google Pixel 2XL phone.

Upgrading to Fedora 28 from Fedora 27

Upgrading is slow but definitely worth it.

I am presently upgrading from Fedora 27 to Fedora 28, which as of writing just came out.

At the stage I am at now I have already undertaken all of the command line instructions and have rebooted the computer. The system has started the upgrade process in the reboot. It’s taking a while but I think it will be worth it.

In the meantime, I am without my computer. So I’m using my new Pixel 2XL phone to dictate this article. It makes a few mistakes but that’s ok.
I was once a big fan of rolling Linux distributions but sometimes found them unstable. Sometimes certain programs would just stop working, or the whole OS, which is part of the deal with rolling distributions. I always thought I wanted the bleeding edge of Linux software, something you can get with rolling distributions.

What what I found, however, was that I really didn’t have the stomach or patience to wait for those programs that stopped working to start working again or go through tedious and confusing steps to get the program that stopped working to work again, or get the whole OS up and going again.
I am no newbie to Linux. I’ve been using Linux since 1998. So in these 20 years I have used most of the major distributions, if not all. Pretty much you name it, I’ve run it.

What I’m using now is Fedora Linux. The reason I decided to go with Fedora is that Linus Torvalds uses it and he is the creator of Linux.

Furthermore, I discovered, unlike some other non-rolling distributions, Fedora Linux can be upgraded to the next version without reinstalling the whole software. Meanwhile, you get regular updates so your programs stay fairly bleeding edge.

Upgrading Fedora from one version to the next can be done easily either from the command line or from inside the desktop environment, (which in my case is KDE).

That’s what I’m doing now. I’ve upgraded, or rather am still upgrading, Fedora 27 to 28, all from the command line. It’s easy to find instructions how to do this by a simple Google search, or if you prefer, DuckDuckGo.

At a certain point in the installation procedure the computer automatically restarts to begin the actual update process. That takes time. Be prepared not to be able to use your computer for about 45 minutes or so, which explains why I’m dictating this article on my phone rather than typing it on my computer.

So if you’re thinking of upgrading, by all means do so. Just search Google for “upgrade Fedora 27 to Fedora 28.” Be prepared that this will take some time but it will be worth it in the end.

The process is now complete. My computer is back to normal. Everything is as it was but under the hood is the new Fedora 28 version of Linux.


Members of the Arch, Antergos and (especially) Manjaro communities will probably be happy to learn that I’m over here now. Xubuntu.
I was at a point where I thought to experiment and I reformatted with Sabayon Linux. What I learned is that Gentoo based distributions take forever to compile and use simple software downloads.
Alas, after a few days I thought to go back to the safety net of Antergos OS. At the time, I didn’t know, Cnchi, the Antergos installer, was broken. To have broken software on a rolling distribution of Linux is normal. To have that happen to the installer was unfortunate to me.
I had no computer! This wasn’t a VM box install. This was the real deal. I needed something to use until Cnchi repaired itself.
Even though some people in the Manjaro forum have been very “good riddance” to me when I suggested an April Fools prank they did was not funny, I reinstalled Manjaro.
It turns out my ISP was having problems at the time. I didn’t know. No fault to Manjaro. I could not update the system once it was installed.
My wife suggested, “Go back to Ubuntu.”
Well, not exactly. I hate Unity and even though Unity is out the door it’s still here for now. I did, however, have a DVD install of Xubuntu, the Xfce version of Ubuntu.
That’s where I am.
It’s not a rolling distribution, but it is solid and I don’t have to reinstall because I can keep the system up to date, apparently, with the click of a mouse.
I loved Arch/Antergos/Manjaro and the now discontinued Apricity. I still belong to their forums. I am now back with Ubuntu.
Everything works. Codecs, YouTube, Netflix, all functional out of the box. That helps a lot!

Revenge: Installer for Arch Linux

Even though I’ve said senior Arch Linux forum members have palpable antagonism toward Arch derivatives Antergos, Apricity and Manjaro Linux, you can still easily install Arch yourself and have a regular, pure Arch system.

The installer I have enjoyed is called Revenge. It is a fancy installer that draws what it needs only from the Arch repositories in the installation process and leaves you with an Arch installation, nothing more nothing less. There are no forums, wiki or special repositories. Revenge is not a distro or derivative. It’s an installer.
I have a theory why the creator of Revenge calls it Revenge. It’s revenge against the Arch hard-liners who want you to install Arch only using the Wiki method. Now you can install Arch in 10 minutes – graphically.
Many of these YouTube trolls who go around installing and reviewing Linux distros in Virtualbox claim that Antergos itself is only an installer. I run Antergos and this is not true. Antergos is in fact a derivative of Arch with it’s own repositories, wiki and forums.
Revenge, however, is none of that.
It’s an installer. You download it, you do put it on a DVD to install, and you wind up with nothing more or less than a pure Arch installation of Linux which you can then play with and refine on your own using pacman and yaourt to install software as you require.
Why anyone would prefer an Arch installation over Antergos is beyond me, though. I still use Antergos on my main machine and still feel absolutely secure and safe. I like that they have their (friendlier) forums, as does Manjaro Linux, and their own repositories and graphical software installer and updater.
That being said, get the Revenge installer here: download and read a detailed article about the Revenge installer by clicking here.

Bad Blood and Help Vampires in Linux Forums

by Wayne Boyd

April 3, 2017

As you probably know there are about a hundred billion versions of GNU/Linux freely available for download that you can install on your computer, wiping out Windows altogether (or keeping it if you like too).

Some of these versions were started from scratch using the Linux kernel developed and maintained by Linus Travalds in the early 1990’s. It also includes various other pieces of software from GNU and even sometimes proprietary sources. (Android is one of these Linux branches and runs on many, many smart phones.)

There are charts you can look at on Wikipedia about the history of the development of these many Linux distributions (herein called distros), but many of them branched out from some older and often still maintained distros.

The largest family tree is Debian. From Debian come so many versions of Linux it takes up have the chart on Wikipedia. It includes Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Ubuntu Studios, Linux Mint, Linux Debian, SolyDX, Bodhi,  ad infinitum. No way to do it justice here.

Then there’s the Red Hat branch, and that’s the next big branch. It includes dozens and dozens of offshoots, including openSuse, Fedora, and Lord knows what.

Slackware is a distro with many active branches.

More recently Arch and then later Android (developed by Google) came along.

Arch is a gloves off roll up your sleeves operating system that you install from the ground up with certain command line tools. Unlike other popular distros, after you install Arch on your computer, you wind up with a command line. What you do from there is partition your hard drives with fdisk and start installing the bits and pieces that eventually will give you some kind of functioning desktop computer down the line.

These Arch people are hard core. They have little time for fools like you and me who they call Help Vampires come to suck the life blood out of their efforts. Honestly, though, as someone who has used Linux since the turn of the century (exclusively since 2002), and somewhat familiar with how a Linux system is put together and works, I just don’t want to build a version of Linux from the ground up anymore.

There’s no need.

So along came some branches off of Arch, most notable but not exclusively, CineArch and Manjaro. CineArch was an Arch based distro with a graphical install and which provided the Cinnamon desktop environment. Thus the name: Cinnamon + Arch: CineArch. But when Cinnamon was dropped by CineArch and they went with Gnome 3, they need to change the name of the distro. Thus Antergos was born.

I’ve used both Manjaro and Antergos now, and they are great operating systems that give you a wonderful graphical experience and you don’t have to worry how it was put together underneath the hood.

The Arch people are very quick to point out, despite so many YouTube videos and forum claims, Arch is not 100% Antergos. Antergos has their own repositories and software, their own wiki, their own forums and their own administrators. It is not true that Antergos is just a graphical installation of Arch. Antergos is a full-fledged Linux distro in it’s own right using the Arch framework plus their own tools to build their own operating system.

The Antergos community and their forums are not as populated as the Arch forums, and so a lot of Antergos users, thinking Antergos is just Arch, go to their forum and ask questions. This makes some in that community upset. Many of the original Arch developers have stated their feeling that they should not help Antergos. Antergos should provide their own help on their own forums to their own users.

Life is a two way street, and although much less so, there’s a similar mood from Antergos diehards about the Manjaro people that come to their forums and ask questions about their Arch based distro.

Arch forum moderators get all hot headed and have no tolerance for what they are calling Help Vampires. Help Vampires, they say, come in swarms and completely distract and destroy a well developed online community.

That’s what they think of us – the Antergos community.

So I found bad blood and calls of Help Vampires after reading a prominent article tonight on the Arch user forums. Now I don’t want to go there anymore. Let them have their world all to themselves. Power to them.

I just want a computer that works pretty good, is fun to fiddle with, looks pretty and functions effectively. I’ve got that with Antergos. I recommend it.

That’s my two cents worth. I came here to get away from politics, not to find it.

Footnote: Now, a year and a half later, my situation has changed. I have three hard disks and three operating systems on each one. They include Arch, my main one, Tumbleweed and Fedora Gnome.