IntroductionI own an old Compaq Armada e500. This portable used to have 512 MB of RAM, but the other month, half of it failed on me and died. So, this left the portable quite useless. Running Ubuntu with Gnome is quite painful, because you spent most of the time waiting. Even the so claimed lightweight Ubuntu, Xubuntu, doesn't run as smooth as it should.
The other week I came across a post on the dutch Ubuntu forums, talking about fluxbuntu. This Ubuntu version claims being more lightweight than Xubuntu, so I decided to take it for a spin.
Installationfluxbuntu boots in a non graphical installer. If you ever installed Debian, this installer will look very familiar. I think Ubuntu's alternate install CD also uses this "ncurses" based installer. Although the installer is text based, installing fluxbuntu is not more difficult than installing any other distro using a graphical installer. It also has the same basic questions; what's your keyboard layout?, where do you live?, where do you want to put it?. It even did a good job detecting the correct settings for XWindows.
SLIM login managerAfter the necessary reboot, I was presented a nice splash screen and a simple, but nice login manager. fluxbuntu does not use xdm (Xubuntu) or gdm (Ubuntu, Gnome) but the very lightweight: Simple LogIn Manager (or SLIM). Being lightweight is the only advantage I can see for this login manager. One major disadvantage is that the version shipped with fluxbuntu (1.2.something) does not support PAM. So if you're authenticating against NIS or LDAP, you can kiss this login manager goodbye :)
After searching the web for a while, I discovered that the most recent version (1.3.0) supports PAM. I couldn't find any Debian package though, so I had to compile it myself. SLIM does not include a configure script, so you'll need to read the INSTALL to find out and install the necessary dependencies. If I recall correctly, you'll need xorg-dev, libpng-dev, g++ and libjpg-dev. After doing a make install, just reboot (or init 1 and CTRL+D) and you're up and running the latest SLIM :)