Forums » wattOS R8

Microwatt Tidbits

    • 563 posts
    May 11, 2014 2:57 AM PDT

    1. Right click on the desktop for menus. (they have been customized them a lot) They are also mostly static (like most of crunchbang's are). Which means you have to add things to it to have them show natively in the menu (which is VERY easy). I have done two things to ease this however.


    a. We are using PCManFM creatively in that at the top of each menu entry is an "All Applications" choice in each category. Selecting this launches an instance of PCManFM in ICON mode showing a "menu" of all apps in the category. These are driven by the well known ".desktop" files that many-many applications use and install automatically upon installing from synaptic or command line (its how the LXDE menu's are created).


    b. We included a GUI menu editor that is easy to use and has lots of references as you can look at the existing entries. (The GUI editor for the menu is located under "Preferences-Configure the Menu(GUI) -


    2. We have added a menu entry called "additional software" that has additional things that are most common to be added (and was the same on the previous version of Microwatt). Like printing, flash, etc. Not to be obvious, but you have to be connected to the internet obviously, and you really need to run the first menu item called "Update Software Sources(Do First)" so the shell scripts can successfully download the packages. You dont have to use this menu obivously and synaptic is present, but I put it there for now.


    3. We added some simple keybindings and put them on the desktop so you dont have to remember them. Also included is gmrun which is a nice launcher to run programs. It also "looks ahead" and has tab completion, so you could launch it (either the run command in the menu or "WindowsKey+r") and start leafpad for example by typing "lea" then hit tab and it will complete. If there are similar ones, it will list them in a drop down to choose from.


    4. The distro is largely Debian wheezy, but there is a tiny bit of Jessie there also as we installed Qupzilla from the repos rather than from a direct download as I preferred a known upstream source. Unfortunately of course that pulled in a few things, but the Jessie repo is not included in the sources, and all packages will show up to date and in sync with Wheezy when you check for updates.


    We have forgone the small ISO for the sake of convienience of the average user so they have things like the ability to browse network shares natively without having to install anything, and using the easier/faster installer.


    I am relatively happy with the memory usage. It sits around 66MB idle and thats including things like the network manager, power manager, etc. The liveCD sits below 128MB


    I also included all the same wireless packages from LXDE with the hope of a broad range of wireless compatibility without a ton of pain. (knowing they never all work).