I’d been using vanilla Debian linux for my main workstation for the past few months. I got some kind of bizarro filesystem corruption a few days ago I couldn’t get myself out of. Missing superblocks and none of the backup blocks seemed to work.
Luckily I’d moved to a separate /home partition recently so I knew a fresh install wouldn’t be too painful.
I’ve been impressed with Antergos (free, open source) linux lately. It’s an Arch-based distro with an install normal mortals can handle. Fast, pretty, and clean. So I slapped it on my workstation. I chose the MATE (“mah-tay”, not “mayt”) desktop environment since I’ve been digging that lately, too.
The install itself went fine but I the login screen went black right after displaying. Turns out it’s some weird mix between lightdm, webkit2, and numix themes particularly for folks with nVidia graphics. Did some reading but didn’t see any quick info on figuring out how to make the default setup work. I needed the box to behave.
Some folks were going over to gdm as greeter; I disabled lightdm and installed/enabled gdm. That displayed fine and I was running again. Except it was gorging on lots of memory. Very strange. It chewed up the 8gb of RAM on this old box and finally started thrashing. Whut?
So back to google. I saw some references to using a gtk-based lightdm greeter so I removed gdm and went back to lightdm. Before rebooting I edited /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf and made this change:
Rebooted and all was well. I was missing the elegant design of the original login screen but at least I could see what I was doing. And RAM usage was back to the original and low levels.
And, oh yeah. Antergos is awesome.