Install Fvwm Crystal On Debian

easy way to install fvwm-crystal on debian on low memory system.

fvwm-crystal (imho) is the perfect choice for low memory system (especially, old computers). it's using fvwm which is well known for low resources usage and very fast on old computers with low ram.
may be as light as any *box wm and as cute as xfce.

there's many distros already available for low ram system, like feather, dsl, and my favorite puppy, etc. why do i do this?

because this is a true debian installation. you have 100% debian system. period.

i'm using it now on my old laptop, writing this guide so that i can replicate it on other machine.

someone upload the video to youtube:

WARNING: this will erase everything in your hard drive. so, prepare a new harddrive or the one that you dont mind everything in it to be formatted into new system.


  • fast internet connection
  • or, slow internet connection if you dont mind taking hours to download stuffs. ;p

here's how:

vi /etc/apt/sources.list
  • add these lines
deb etch main contrib non-free
deb-src etch main contrib non-free
  • put # to beginning of 'deb cdrom' line
  • save the file and back to prompt and type:
apt-get update
apt-get install xserver-xorg-core xorg gdm fvwm python rox-filer imagemagick xscreensaver gksu trayer xmms
  • if you're on slow internet connection, take a nap! :) otherwise, boiled some tea/coffee
  • get the latest fvwm-crystal
tar -zxvf fvwm-crystal-x.x.x.tar.gz
cd fvwm-crystal-x.x.x
make install
  • that should be all it. reboot and get into your new fvwm-crystal. you've got yourself full debian system which you can do apt-get or use aptitude to install/update/upgrade any apps or the whole system.

wondering how it looks like? see some shots


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