Solved Xfce4 without dbus and policykit?

Atsuri

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I am currently using two operating systems - FreeBSD and Devuan. The latter is a new project that aims to create a general purpose OS based on Debian that does not contain systemd, yet offers the tried and tested UNIX solutions (user groups, etc.). For instance, the init process is driven by sysvinit at the moment.

We are trying to work out ways to remove dbus and policykit from the desktop environments, as those are currently dependent on (and a part of) systemd. While FreeBSD managed to only take dbus and policykit when necessary, it might be that those packages + many others will be bundled with systemd in the forseable future, which obviously would be a problem for us here at FreeBSD as well.

Hence, my question - does anyone have any experience with Xfce4 or in fact any other full DE (KDE, GNOME, Mate, etc.) and knows whether the requirement for dbus and policykit can be circumvented?

I will also contact the Xfce4 devs and see what is their take on the problem :).

Any help is greatly appreciated!
 

gofer_touch

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Just coming here to say that I hope that you get the necessary feedback for this as it is a very welcome initiative.

I would also mention this to the guys over at PC-BSD because they have created an entire desktop environment (Lumina) aiming to get around these kinds of things. They would likely be keen to work with you on solutions that also allows them to keep the desktop variety on *BSD alive and well.
 
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Atsuri

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Thank you for the support. I will try to keep the initiative and update the thread (also the title) with new information as I proceed :).
 

olivierd

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No, DBus and PolicyKit do not depend of systemd. See the respective code source of each project.
 

garry

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We are trying to work out ways to remove dbus and policykit from the desktop environments, ..... Any help is greatly appreciated!
Perhaps the best resource for information and patches for running a desktop without avahi, consolekit, policykit, pulseaudio, etc. is Gentoo Linux. It has been common in that culture to allow incredible flexibility in the features of the packages (which makes sense there because packages are always built from source). E.g. one of my comments on running a KDE desktop without those dependencies. One way to find out which Gentoo packages can be built without a feature is to check this list of USE flags. In that list clicking on e.g. "policykit" one gets this list of packages which can be built with or without policykit. I see that xfce4 packages are in the list. To see how to exclude policykit from the package just read Gentoo's "ebuild" file for that package. e.g. the xfce4 session ebuild. In the last example it appears to be a simple matter of passing the appropriate option to the configure command.

I don't think you'll need to avoid dbus for now but later kdbus, and subsequent disappearance of what we now know as "dbus", may make life complicated for you. Of course FreeBSD has relative freedom from the linux mess. All of the desktops environments (xfce, kde4, gnome-3.16, cinnamon, mate) run great for me on FreeBSD and the development process and infrastructure for the operating system and for the ports is, by far, the best I know.

It may be very useful to the Devuan project for you to get really deep into running a system on FreeBSD and learn it's ways. Then do Linux as well. (p.s. if you haven't run Void Linux you owe to yourself to install it somewhere to appreciate the beauty and speed of a simple init system (runit).

Best wishes to Devuan!
 
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Atsuri

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garry, thank you kindly for your input. That was very helpful! I once used Gentoo Linux and indeed appreciated it for its immense flexibility. However, the compile times were deadly and back then I found setting up Steam too painful (I don't need Steam now, as I don't game anymore). Void Linux I have not tried yet and I agree I definitely should give it a go.

I didn't mention, but the main difficulty we're facing in Devuan is the fact that packages are not pulled from upstream, but from Debian repos, and only then are the tweaks introduced. Alas, Debian goes for a 'you might need it' approach when creating dependency lists for packages (non-minimalist). I'm guessing that using a different base distribution would make things much easier (for instance, Arch Linux, as Manjaro already has an OpenRC version of its distro).

Back to the topic, though. I will inspect the Gentoo stuff you linked and learn my lesson. I too agree that FreeBSD is great. That's why I'm using it as my main OS after all :).
 

scottro

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As for Devuan, they may have the same thing that Debian has to
set apt to not install recommended packages, which will help with the you might need it issue you mentioned.

Make an /etc/apt/apt.conf if it doesn't exist. In there put

Code:
APT::Install-Recommends "0";
APT::Install-Suggests "0";
 

Crivens

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No, DBus and PolicyKit do not depend of systemd. See the respective code source of each project.
Not yet. Just you wait a little ;)

On topic, I run XFCE4 without HAL or DBUS running, from packages. Works good, I see no problems.
 
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Atsuri

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Not yet. Just you wait a little ;)

On topic, I run XFCE4 without HAL or DBUS running, from packages. Works good, I see no problems.
I satisfied my curiosity and mild paranoia with a similar solution - XFCE4 with dbus as a dependency, but without actually running it (missing dbus_enable="YES" line in /etc/rc.conf). Seems to function fine, only the Trash applet doesn't work (not that I actually use it, heh...). I have to once more praise FreeBSD for allowing the user full control of their systems :).

Topic can be closed as Solved (also, thanks for moving it to the appropriate section! :)). Additional dbus, policykit, hal, etc. related stuff I'd rather discuss on IRC or on my blog. I don't want to clutter the forums and/or incite flame-wars :D.
 
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SirDice

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Topic can be closed as Solved (also, thanks for moving it to the appropriate section! :)).
We don't usually close threads (unless they spiral out of control). I have marked it as solved. For future reference, you can do that yourself, just edit the original post that started the thread.
 
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