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Devuan without D-Bus

This document describes how to remove D-Bus from Devuan incorporating changing to a lightweight window manager, choosing a browser and an alternative solution to D-Bus dependent auto-mounting.

Choosing a window manager

Unlike desktop environments most window managers do not depend on D-Bus, so you should choose to install a window manager.

  • blackbox
  • fluxbox
  • fvwm
  • fvwm-crystal
  • openbox

Installing and configuring Fluxbox

We will be using Fluxbox as it is simple and intuitive.

root@devuan:~# apt-get install fluxbox

Make Fluxbox the default window manager for your user when using the startx script.

user@devuan:~@ echo "exec fluxbox" >> .xinitrc

You can now invoke the startx script to use fluxbox.

user@devuan:~@ startx

A good option for a display manager is WDM.

root@devuan:~# apt-get install wdm

Choosing a web browser

There are few web browsers not depending on dbus components. Some will fit your needs well and some will not.

  • midori
  • surf
  • links2
  • dillo
  • lynx

One of the best known and well featured browsers not relying on dbus is midori.

root@devuan:~# apt-get install midori

Removing D-Bus from Devuan

We can now remove dbus from Devuan.

root@devuan:~# apt-get purge dbus

We should also remove any packages orphaned by dbus removal.

root@devuan:~# apt-get autoremove --purge

A simple alternative to auto-mounting

Without D-Bus you will not have auto-mounting available for most file managers, because those parts require D-Bus and simpler methods of mounting are not always implemented. We will set up mount points for ourselves, so that more sensible file managers can mount the volumes with just a few clicks.

Manual mount points

Make a directory for the new mount point.

root@devuan:~# mkdir /media/usb0

Backup your fstab before proceeding.

root@devuan:~# cp /etc/fstab /etc/fstab.backup

Now we can edit the fstab.

root@devuan:~# editor /etc/fstab

We need to add a mount point for a USB drive at the end of the fstab. Be sure to set the user option so that non-root users can mount the drive.

/dev/sdb1       /media/usb0     auto    user,noauto     0 0

The device nodes for usb disks will vary depending on your setup. You can find out which device nodes will be used by plugging in the drive and using the lsblk utility.

Plug in a USB drive to test your work.

user@devuan:~$ mount -v /media/usb0
user@devuan:~$ umount -v /media/usb0

Choosing a file manager

For a graphical file manager that can mount and umount drives based on your fstab you can use Xfe.

root@devuan:~# apt-get install xfe

An interesting and minimalistic file manager is the ncurses based Midnight Commander.

root@devuan:~# apt-get install mc

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