[idea] Bundle less software by default (at least on the minimal version)

Manjaro seems to have two main user groups: people switching from ubuntu/mint/other beginner distro and arch veterans who are tired of the long install process and just want an arch based system that works.
The newbies (and I say this from experience as I clearly remember being one myself) see things like the avahi and v4l2 utilities, as well as yakuake and gsmartcontrol (just as a few examples) and think of them as tools they will not use that are cluttering up their workspace, or utilities for more advanced users that may even go as far as to turn them away from manjaro thinking it it too advanced for them.
The arch migrants are also used to minimal distros where they install any software they wish to use themselves, so it would make sense to let them choose their own programs.

And also something I have observed for all operating systems, Linux or not, is that installing a program that is not included by default can be easily overlooked, however having to go through one’s device and remove applications that they do not want or use leaves a bad impression on users.

Well that is my opinion anyway, feel free to disregard it, although I feel it would help the growth and spread of Manjaro as a popular Linux distribution.

I mostly agree…
But I do feel the minimal editions are … suitably minimal. Could maybe use a bit more of a diet.
On the other hand … you can also use something like Architect to build up a custom install rather easily.

4 Likes

You mentioned

For avahi please read this and also look in the archived forum why is not possible to be removed:


v4l2 - is a requirement for ffmpeg and a make depend for qt5-base
yakuake - is a 1,8 MB - mostly useful if Plasma crashes but yakuake works, so you don’t have to switch TTY :wink:
gsmartcontrol - is only installed in Gnome and Xfce editions

People that migrate from Windows or MacOS do not know what to expect, and don’t know what the above packages do, so, with or without them, they will still have to test at least a Live Session.
Also, how those packages influence Manjaro popularity?
Thanks for your feedback.

3 Likes

as @cscs told, using Architect and selecting Unconfigured Desktop you may get a very minimal install
I talk regarding Plasma, others versions I don’t know, I think this is close to Arch

How minimal is minimal in your opinion?

I ask because I maintain the editions based on Openbox and have experimented with Openbox to evaluate how much I can strip off without sacrificing too much functionality.

If I look at the desktop profile for KDE as an example

I might remove the following:

modemmanager
android-tools
android-udev
gvfs
gvfs-afc
gvfs-gphoto2
gvfs-mtp
gvfs-nfs
gvfs-smb
kamera
pamac-gtk
pamac-tray-icon-plasma
pamac-cli
bluedevil
kdeplasma-addons
konversation
gwenview
p7zip
unarchiver
kdegraphics-thumbnailers
ffmpegthumbs
ruby
kaccounts-providers
sshfs
poppler-data
firefox
manjaro-hello
manjaro-settings-manager-knotifier
powertop
screenfetch
yakuake

(not all of those are on the same level … but from a quick look at the list those are some of the ones with some reasonable argument to be unlisted in my opinion)

( oops … PS … heres where you can find such a list: manjaro/kde/Packages-Desktop Β· master Β· Profiles & Settings / iso-profiles Β· GitLab )

4 Likes

An elegant solution could be to make a total minimal with just the core system and to add to the installer a script like this one that is already nicely structured :

But with an even more structured structure :

  • do you use a printer? --> core packages plus options (that is cups plus do you want hplip?)
  • do you use wifi?
  • do you want audio?
  • do you work on audio files?
  • do you want flatpaks?
    and so on…

(and for the lazy, just like the script I mention, have one or several possible presets)

That would be pretty universal ! :wink:

This topic and some before it has been the primary idea behind the Manjaro Application Utility which was created to facilitate a minimal interface for adding/removing popular applications. It is integrated into Manjaro Hello but can be used standalone as well.

It draws data from a json datafile - which describes which package to install making it easy to adjust. e.g. making hplip an option instead of dependency

I’ve not any experience in Openbox, so I might not give any suggestion…
my plasma, starting from Unconfigured Desktop, removing few more things not needed for my hw and my activities, and adding the sw I need, includind 4 from AUR, I think I’ve reached the minimum packgages for my use

screenfetch

 β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆ  β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆ     computer@computer-pc
 β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆ  β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆ     OS: Manjaro 20.1.1 Mikah
 β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆ  β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆ     Kernel: x86_64 Linux 5.8.11-1-MANJARO
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 β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆ  β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆ  β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆ     WM: KWin
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 β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆ  β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆ  β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆ     Icon Theme: Breeze KDE-Story-Dark
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 β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆ  β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆ  β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆ     CPU: Intel Core i7-7700HQ @ 8x 3.8GHz [44.0Β°C]
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                                  RAM: 1392MiB / 15477MiB

the official KDE minimal has more 12xx pakgages

ahh, that makes sense, although other distros don’t seem to have it, so maybe even if it can’t be removed would it be possible to hide the desktop file in the launcher? it would just help to be less cluttered. (same goes for v4l2)

huh, never thought of that before. Although Plasma doesn’t crash for me at least enough to warrant an application specifically for handling it. Plus yakuake is pretty intrusive (for lack of a better word) as it pops up a notification every time you login and is easily called accidentally with a random keypress.

strange, because I seem to remember seeing it on my kde minimal install.

I was meaning in relation to other distros as opposed to windows or macos, as people switching from them usually have other larger concerns such as if their favourite application will or will not run.
I don’t expect it to have a large or even necessarily noticeable impact on manjaro’s popularity (at least in the short term) but in my opinion it makes Manjaro more appealing to people who want their system to be clean and bloat free. (which is something that I know many people look for in their linux distros)

Yes, I am aware, although it would be nice to have it by default with calamares as well.

I just feel that a lot of applications installed by default are not going to be used in day to day work for most people. For example while many users may love the idea of a drop down terminal and an IRC client, there is a substantial amount of those who have no use for these kinds of things, and the people who do I’m sure wouldn’t mind quickly grabbing them from whichever package manager they prefer which can take literal seconds on modern hardware. It’s just nice for the rest of us to worry about the software we do want rather than the software we don’t

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Not sure how will you do that once the MSN and MHWD will be part of it … it seems the tendency is to suggest Manjaro to provide and Arch bare system, no branding, just the easiness of install.

That can be done, but then people will ask why there is installed and no desktop file provided for it, why … etc … etc? I’m sure it can’t be removed, so please take a look again to those distros that β€œdo not provide it” …

There are options to disable that.

Not arguing about how we remember things, is not installed with the minimal ISO.

I specifically included branding in my example, and …

$pacman -Qi manjaro-hello
...
Required By     : None

Is true for now, but @LordTermor is working on new version of them: Hello/MHWD/MSM :slight_smile:

mk … well … as it is now … it can easily be removed … is not used by proficient users, not needed after early days for new users … and thus probably has little place ina β€˜minimal’ profile.
I cant speak to some other octopus of manjaro tools in the future :wink:

We plan to implement more granular package selection at install time, which should fill this need nicely.

I just noticed that while qt5-tools is listed as a dependency of kdeconnect, it isn’t actually required, as I ran pacman -Rdd on it and kdeconnect still runs fine, so that might be at least one thing that could be slimmed down.

just tried the minimal kde 20.2 testing version, gsmartcontrol is there.

Is the minimal of the KDE Git or the normal KDE ?