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Masonux: LXDE-based Ubuntu spinoff that sticks to its roots

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:12 am
by earthpigg
Posted by me, over at

I'd like to share with you folks a project I have been working on, and maybe get some feedback.

Masonux. Current version is 9.04-20090821.

Website is

I'll toss in some copypasta from the website here:
* LXDE. LXDE is somewhat of a new kid on the block, but quickly gaining popularity. Here, and here are a few articles on LXDE written by third parties.

* Lightweight. The heaviest part of Masonux is the installer. After it is installed, that 256mb of RAM will be plenty. A fresh install of Masonux uses about 1 gb of hard drive space and 65 mb of RAM at boot.

* Great to build up from. Some people find it easier to build up to exactly what they want than to strip away bloat they don't want. This is great for people that prefer building something to suit their needs over tearing something down to suit their needs.

* Sticks to its roots. Masonux uses unmodified Ubuntu packages and the default software repositories. Except for the desktop environment, Masonux very much is Ubuntu. Things like the Ubuntu "USB Startup Disk Creator" work flawlessly with it.

* Self-reliance. One-man distributions of GNU/Linux pop up all the time. Because I have included the entire development model in the notes to myself, you yourself can recreate exactly what I have done incredibly easily should I fall off the earth tomorrow.

* Easy Networking. The outstanding network applet included Ubuntu does not work by default with LXDE, but it does work with LXDE in Masonux. This single small modification to a single configuration file, which is well documented in the notes to myself, is the only place where I modified a default setting.
The "blue" screenshot at the website shows memory and hard drive usage on a fresh install of Masonux on the first boot.

The "pink" one shows the default Ubuntu wireless networking in action in LXDE - something that, as far as i know, is completely unique to this project. connecting via command line sucks, so instead of learning how to do it I learned to make nm-applet work in LXDE. This screenshot also shows that LXDE, after about 5 minutes of work, can look quite nice!

What I would like to humbly request from the community:
-Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Technical advice as well.
-Let me know how it runs on your machine! I can test in VM myself, but I only have a few computers laying around that I can actually install it on as the primary operating system.
-If anyone would like to help seed, it would be appreciated. Right now, its just me at a paltry 160kb/s.
-If anyone would like to host the .iso file for direct download, that would be even more appreciated. If you like, I'll use your google adsense stuff on the side bar while I am using your hosting services. It doesn't get much more low-budget than this project, so that is all I have to offer at present.

I am more involved in the Ubuntu community than this one (this is my first post here), but i thought i would share this with you folks as well :D

any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

and, other LXDE users that want Ubuntu's network manager applet to work with LXDE, you may want to look at the 'notes to myself' on the website linked above. (this workaround may already be common knowledge in this community, i do not know.)

Re: Masonux: LXDE-based Ubuntu spinoff that sticks to its roots

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:22 am
by earthpigg
also, the articles i link to about lxde are somewhat dated. does anyone have any recent third party articles (ie: not written by me or an lxde dev) about how nifty lxde is?

Re: Masonux: LXDE-based Ubuntu spinoff that sticks to its roots

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:23 pm
by DixieDancer
I wrote a gloating blog post about LXDE here. As for the network issue, I find that wicd works effortlessly with LXDE better than the Ubuntu default.

My current mixture is minimal Ubuntu with LXDE and my favorite apps. It rawks!


Re: Masonux: LXDE-based Ubuntu spinoff that sticks to its roots

Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:43 am
by earthpigg
i added a link to your blog post to the site, robin. :D