Friday, 29 July 2011

A new Skinny

A beta for a Wheezy and Squeeze compatible SkinnyDebbie is available.

I just finished making a very painful upgrade of my main laptop’s OS. The upside of this is that it essentially forced me to tie up a number of loose ends with the SD I’ve been using for the last couple years.

My new OS is Wheezy, and so far I’ve only had a chance to test SD on that target. But I don’t think there’s anything that should cause any problems with Squeeze.

The new Skinny is hugely different from the originals. Rather than being IceWM and ROX-filer centric, it is Openbox+fbpanel and Thunar centric. Installation is via tarballs with Makefiles. There’s no “Control Panel” to speak of.

To install the latest SD, you’ll need to install two tarballs:

You may also want to check out skinny-update-manager — but it’s a bit more rough than I’d like at the moment.

Given the similarity of this to other recentish developments in the lightweight desktop environment area, this will probably be the last Skinny. While the prototype for this release predates both Crunchbang Linux and LXDE, it’s profoundly amazing how similar this effort is to those two.[1] I’ll maintain this release as long as I use it, but I think the whole SD project has probably outlived its usefulness.

I’ll update the main site soonish.

[1] In case you think I’m suggesting that either of these projects were in any way influenced by mine, I am 99.9999% percent sure this is not the case. It’s just a matter of spontaneous convergence. As for influence in the other direction, let me also say for the record that I shamelessly ripped off the taskbar clock/date format from Crunchbang Linux. There are some significant differences between SD and CBL and LXDE which I will document later. However, the differences are probably not big enough to warrant keeping an additional and hugely obscure DE in the field.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Squeeze is released

Debian Squeeze was released today!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Debian Squeeze imminent

Debian Squeeze is slated for release on the weekend of the 5th-6th of February. This is good news because a new Debian release is always a good thing. It’s bad news because it means that I now have beat my SD for Squeeze betas into good enough shape to release.

Note that SD for Lenny will not work with Squeeze as a number of critical packages were dropped in Squeeze.

To check the status of SD for Squeeze, the best source to follow is the SkinnyDevie blog.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Skinny Update Manager

I’ve started a new project that’s related to SD but has sufficient application potential beyond SD that I decided to host its development apart from SD.

One of the challenges for SD has been getting a decent update/upgrade deal going. Skinny Update Manager tries to fix that.

Sunday, 24 October 2010


The default /etc/sudoers file in Squeeze has a new directive:

#includedir /etc/sudoers.d 

that lets you make changes to sudo without editing the stock /etc/sudoers file.

There are a few gotchas about using it:

  1. Files in /etc/sudoers.d that end in ~ (that’s a tilde in case it tenders as a dash) or contain a . (period) character will be ignored.
  2. Files in /etc/sudoers.d must have 0440 permissions. So after you create your file, do a
    chmod 0440 {filename}
    on it.
  3. The directive itself in /etc/sudoers should be the last line. Otherwise it seems to get overridden by whatever follows.

At this point I don’t know in what order the files are read, but I suspect it’s in alphabetical order. So, for the moment I am using numbers (e.g., 99shutdown) to enforce the desired order.

Complete info at