Just got Gentoo, want advice on programs...

I’ve just installed Gentoo from Stage 1 on my machine and I am left with a nice, bare install. I’ve put X, Enlightenment DR16, Firefox and Blender (of course) on, will put on the Gimp and am looking for recommendations for the following pieces of software:

Audio player
Video player (I like to keep the two seperate)
Simple word processor (not text editor)
Mail application
MSN compatible instant messenger application
Anti virus (is this needed under linux?)
Image viewer (v. simple, no editing capacity required)
File manager
DVD/CD burning/copying (need data disc, image burning and copy capacity)

I’m running a 64-bit kernel 2.6 install, and simple is usually better in my mind for these programs.

With all of these set up all I’ll need my XP boot for is gaming! (and with WINE, possibly not even this for most games!(once a stable RT2500 driver comes out for my WIFI!))

Any help would be most appreciated…


firewall: if you want a gui, try firestarter.
audio player: xmms.
video player: mplayer or vlc.
simple word processor: abiword.
msn compatible messenger: my personal favorite is amsn, but gaim is also very popular.
image viewer: gqview.

Have fun with linux :D.



Firewall: Dunno, I always did that by hand with iptable :wink: there must be an automatic way.
Audio player: BMP (beep media player) is xmms runnig on GTK2.
Video player (I like to keep the two seperate) Keep xine AND mplayer, so your sure to read all of them!
Simple word processor (not text editor) mmm openoffice, though if it’s too large the default from kde can do the job too.
Mail application: Thunderbird !
MSN compatible instant messenger application: Gaim
Anti virus (is this needed under linux?) : No!, well is AVG doing linux version? if so go for it!
Image viewer (v. simple, no editing capacity required) come with gnome or KDE 3.4 now
File manager I use KDE 3.4 my taste. Though Xfce is my option no 2 for quick system and server(when needed).
DVD/CD burning/copying (need data disc, image burning and copy capacity)
K3B, only one I know, very well.

Thanks, though in the pursuit of minimalism I have experimentally compiled with no support for either gnome or KDE! My experience with both has left me non-plussed.


ajc, i’m with you about not using KDE or Gnome. I yanked both out of my machine a loooong time ago. Have you tried XFCE? incredible DE that is light, yet still nice and functional! :slight_smile: And it lets you load parts of gnome or kde as needed if you still want to use those apps.

block01 pretty much nailed it. those are the great standard apps you will want to start with for sure (except for apt, which should be first :wink: ).

of course, my favorite word processor is vim, but thats just a matter of taste (not really so much a word processor as it is a text-editor.).

I second again, the mail app: Thunderbird

File manager: hrm. i don’t really use one. maybe midnight commander if you want minimal (its not pretty). XFCE has xffm, but apart from that i am not sure. how about cli?

DVD burning: gtoaster, or k3b. k3b seems fairly popular, and i have used it a bit with good success. i love the plugin that will allow k3b to decode my mp3’s on the fly to cd-audio while it is burning.

enjoy your neeew gentooo!

i dont mean to highjack your thread, but i have a question about xfce.

is it possible to make it so when you first boot up, instead of loading gdm to log in, it will load xfce? can xfce do that?

BTW, congrats on your successful installation! i did a stage 1 install once. man, that took a while…

I’ve just setup and finalised my gentoo box. It was a stage3, but I’ve already done a stage1 on this machine before and couldn’t be arsed with the wait.

I went with the new KDE split ebuilds. They allowed me to install exactly what I needed and nothing else. Very good idea from the gentoo admins! I wanted to keep GTK stuff to a minimum so I stuck with Konq. and KMail for web duties. On a similar vein, K3B was my burner of choice. I don’t think anything else can beat it feature wise.

If you want a decent iTunes 'alike media play give amarok a shot. It’s the best player that I’ve come across.

Mr Wonka

I’ll second the vote for amarok, been using it for a week now, very satisfied with the features set.


Firewall - iptables
Audio player - xmms or bmp (beep media player, gtk2 fork of xmms, basically xmms but nicer looking)
Video player - can’t go wrong with mplayer+gui (gmplayer)+mencoder(helpful with blender)
Simple word processor - I use mousepad even for complex stuff, but looks like you want abiword
Mail application = thunderbird, I use web based, so ths seems to be the best option I guess
MSN compatible instant messenger application - gaim
Anti virus - not needed
Image viewer - gqview
File manager - rox (takes a while to get used to, but very fast and efficient) or wait till thunar is out (thunar will be xfce’s new file manager, but it’s dep’s will be in the sub .5mb range, has the same deps mousepad does, so you save there)
DVD/CD burning/copying - cdrecord/dvdrecord+misc. apps that they work with, commandline, but uber powerful, and not too hard to use.

Edit: i chose thhese things for my systme because they have few dependancies, so unlike amarok, which will bring in most of kde, and firestarter, which needs most of gnome, these are truly lightweight.

Edit2: k3b is just a kde(so qt instead of gtk) gui for the cd programs I said

Edit3: orion, xfce will do that, simply edit your .xinitrc file

Here’s what I use:

File Manager: xterm :wink:
window manager: fluxbox
IRC: x-chat
IM: gaim
Video player: xine
Audio player: xmms

Heres what I use

Video player: Kaffiene
Audio player: Amarok (totally rocks!)
virus scanner: antivir (rarely used)
MSN: amsn
Mail application: KMail, (Although I heard Thunderbird was the best option)
File manager: Konquere
Image Viewer: Gwenview
DVD/CD burning: K3B (You can also now get Nero’s burning for linux)
Firewall: Smoothwall
Word processor: OpenOffice 2.0 (Or even KOffice its much smaller than openoffice and loads quicker)

Wine is mainly for Microsoft applications like Microsoft Word, Look up cedega (latest version that I know of is round about 4.4v) cedega is used for the games.

if you look at your /etc/inittab file, you will see a line that looks something like

x:5:respawn:/opt/gnome/bin/gdm -nodaemon

or something similar. if you replace the /opt/gnome/bin/gdm part with whatever the XFCE login manager is, then it will run instead. This is assuming that xfce has a login manager, and if it doesn’t, you may have to figure out how to have the computer automatically log in as a user and then run startx or startxfce.

Sorry to add to the hijackedness of the thread, but there really isn’t much more to add… you can usually tweak KDE or Gnome so that they run pretty well. Personally, I don’t like XFCE much. I would rather use FVWM (I know, it isn’t a desktop environment, but the desktop pinboard whatever isn’t really necessary).

ahem… no, no, no… don’t mess with the initab file on Gentoo, it will just be overwritten everytime you boot.

edit your /etc/rc.conf file… at the bottom you will see a line that says


replace that line with


other than that your nessecary apps might be…

(you will need to install kde-libs… put -kde in your /etc/make.conf USE variable so that you don’t get all of it)

K3b > for cd burning

Amarok > for playing music (trust me it’s the best)

email > Gmail… (can’t help it, it’s my default now… so if you need an invite let me know)

Word Processor > OpenOffice (there is nothing else)

Image viewer > PornView (also plays movies)

file manager: konqueror (emerge kio-slaves and learn how to use them)

You might also want these programs… (links added so you can check them out)

Inkscape > vector based drawing program

Scribus > desktop publisher

Quanta > html editor (similar to codeweaver)

Ardour > hard disk recording studio

Rosegarden > midi

Hydrogen > drums

CinePaint > the Gimp of film editing

Cinelerra > movie editing studio

jahshaka > movie effects editing studio

On another note… you will notice that if you drop out of X ctrl-alt-f1, and log in as root. Then kill xdm like, this “killall xdm”. Then log in on the console as a normal user (don’t render as root) and render using this (replace the name of the .blend file with the name of your .blend file)

blender -b myartwork.blend -f 1

You will notice a huge performance increas in render times…

The other thing you will want is about two times the amount of swap partition as you have memory. Otherwise large renders will die due to lack of memory.

If you are using an Nvidia card write me and I’ll give you the uber settings for the card…

Well, since this thread has been ressurected up I might as well say what I am running. Most of it conforms to the advice above.

Gentoo w/th

DE: Enlightenment DR17 (not entirely stable, but good enough.
Audio: amaroK (I played with about every other audio player before choosing this one, although it still crashes way too much), (used -kde and -gnome, so only the basic libs were installed)
Word Proc. : Abiword (seems very good and fully featured)
Email: Thunderbird (although I still prefer Pegasus Mail for Windowz)
Image Viewer: Entice (comes with DR17 and is really good)
File manager: Xterm! :wink:
Firewall: IPtables
DVD/CD burning/ripping: DVDShrink under wine (works gold star)
Video: GMplayer
MSN: Still deciding, probably Gaim.

I now spend 99% of my time in Gentoo, so this switch has been very successful, and looks set to continue!

I am now a proud L-user! :smiley:

I am running an Nvidia, any advice would be appreciated. If you could direct it to my PM inbox I’d be grateful.