If you’re a first-time user of antiX — welcome!

Instead of a heavy common Desktop Environment, antiX uses window managers to control what the end-user can see and do. We hope these FAQs will give you a basic orientation to antiX and its window managers, and provide the means to explore further on your own.

antiX comes in three flavours for 32 and 64 bit boxes. antiX comes as a full distro (c700MB), a base distro (c400MB) and a core distro (c140MB) all with a kernel that will boot "antique" PI, PII and K5/K6 AMD as well as the latest "modern" processors.

By default, antiX loads into a Rox-icewm desktop (antiX-base into a Rox-fluxbox desktop) with a few icons on the desktop. Use F6 at the boot menu screen to choose your desktop. What you choose running live will automatically transfer if/when installed.

antiX is a very flexible linux distribution. You can run it live from a cd, live from a usb stick (with persistence ie changes are saved on reboot) as well as setting up a frugal-install from an internal or external hard drive. Of course, you can install to internal and external drives, sticks, cards etc. You can even run it live, add/remove applications, customize it, remaster it and then install. All your changes will carry over to install!

antiX is based on Debian Testing and comes with a custom kernel. antiX also has its own custom scripts and repository to enhance user experience. antiX is a rolling release distro ie you should be able to keep your applications up to date by regularly upgrading. If you wish you can enable the Debian unstable repositories and live on the bleeding-edge! For those that prefer stability, keep to the Debian Stable/Wheezy repositories.

A further feature of antiX is that you can install kernels from a variety of sources including MEPIS, Debian, siduction, aptosid and liquorix. This is especially useful if you have a new box as newer hardware is more likely to be detected and work with newer kernels.

System requirements.

So what are the minimum and suggested requirements to run antiX?

antiX should run on most computers, ranging from 64MB old PII 266 systems with pre-configured 128MB swap to the latest powerful boxes.

antiX-core and antiX-base will run with 64MB RAM plus swap, but don’t expect miracles!

128MB RAM is the recommended minimum for antiX. 256MB RAM and above is preferred especially for antiX-full.

antiX-full needs a 2.8GB minimum hard disk size. antiX-base needs 1.5GB and antiX-core needs 0.7GB.


Which flavour should I use?

Most users will be happy to use antiX-full as it offers a full desktop experience on legacy and modern computers.

If you have a very old desktop/laptop with less than 256MB RAM (PI,PII, PIII or K5/6), or you want a desktop with "the basics", it is probably best to use antiX-base.

If you want complete control over what applications to install and know the Debian system fairly well, then use antiX-core.

Why are there so many options in the boot menu?

Choice! antiX tries to make it easy to boot on any hardware ranging from old boxes where booting with xvesa is needed to boxes with nvidia, radeon and intel drivers.

I don’t want icons on the desktop, how do I disable them?

Use F6 to set the desktop.

Can I install applications when running live?

Yes you can and if you decide to install during that live session, they will carry over to installation.


I have an old laptop with very low RAM, what should I do?

If you have less than 128MB RAM, it is best to use the cli-installer from the boot menu to install.

It is also a good idea to create a swap partition before installation.

Why is antiX still using grub-legacy?

At the moment, grub-legacy is much easier to edit than grub2 for those that need to edit the boot menu.lst

Where should I install grub?

If users are happy with their present bootloader, grub-legacy, grub2 or whatever else, then it is best to install grub to the root partition or don’t install it at all and then make the necessary changes after installation.

If you are installing only antiX over another OS, or dual booting with windows, then install grub to the MBR. You may have to edit /boot/grub/menu.lst to correctly boot Windows.

Will the language, keyboard settings I chose at boot menu carry over to install?

Yes, in fact this is the best way to install your localised antiX.

Set your options via the F keys and if you use a writable device, use F7 to save your choices.

Alernatively, you can do this manually by setting a variety of cheats. For example: lang=en kbd=us,gr tz=Europe/Athens will give a US English desktop, a toggled Greek, English keyboard and the timezone set to Athens, Greece.

Post Installation.

How to Setup nvidia/ATI graphics drivers?

antiX suggests using the smxi tools. See smxi section.

How to autologin?

Control Centre-→Session-→Set auto-login You will need to reboot for changes to take effect.

How to set the correct date and time?

There are 3 possible issues:

1) wrong timezone 2) wrong selection of UTC versus local time 3) BIOS clock set wrong

The first issue is addressed with sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata. Do this first. You should also be able to just check the current value with cat /etc/timezone.

Once you are sure the timezone is correct, you can work on setting your BIOS clock. Do this with the hwclock command. First do a man hwclock and then run hwclock --show to see what it is set to. It always reports in localtime which is why you need to first make sure your timezone is set correctly.

Use hwclock --localtime or hwclock --utc depending on whether you want your hardware clock to be set to localtime or utc. Most pure Linux systems use utc. Most dual boot systems use localtime.

Then, after you get your date command working via the sudo command you posted, you can use hwclock --systohc to set the hardware clock so it matches your system time. Again, you need the timezone and localtime/utc choice set correctly first (although if you want to assume they are set correctly already then this is the only command you need to run to get your changes to the date command to stick. If you assumed incorrectly then you will likely get mysteriously screwed by DST a few times per year).

Finally, if you are having problems with hwclock drift or if you are a perfectionist then you can install the ntp package which will use time servers on the net to keep your clock exactly on time. But you have to first go through the steps above before ntp will work correctly.

How to edit sources list?

Either via synaptic (for antiX-full) Control Centre-→ System-→ Manage Packages-→ Settings-→ Repositories or edit individual files in /etc/apt/sources.d/ (for antiX-base and antiX-core)

How to enable the Firewall?

Gufw is installed, but not enabled. Open Control Centre-→ Network-→ Manage Firewall

How do I find which applications to install?

antiX-full comes with synaptic so searching for applications is easy. To search for applications in antiX-base and antiX-core use apt-cache search in a terminal.

For example: apt-cache search video player

How do I keep the system up-to-date?

antiX is set up using Debian Testing repositories by default. This allows users to keep their system up to date with regular upgrades. antiX recommends using apt-get update followed by apt-get dist-upgrade. Alternatively, use smxi.

DVD videos don’t play. How come?

You will need to install libdvdcss2 and maybe some codecs by enabling the deb-multimedia repository (see above how to do this) and then either search for libdvdcss2 in synaptic and then install or use the command line.

  • apt-get update

  • apt-get install libdvdcss2

Alternatively, use the meta-installer application.

antiX strongly advises users not to keep the deb-multimedia repository enabled as there may be conflicts.

What window managers are available in antiX?

These window manager options come installed and ready to use (no IceWM in antiX-base):

  • the lightweight Rox-IceWM (default) (antiX-full only)

  • the lightweight IceWM (antiX-full only)

  • the lightweight SpaceFM-IceWM (antiX-full only)

  • the minimalist manager Rox-Fluxbox

  • the minimalist manager Fluxbox

  • the minimalist manager SpaceFM-Fluxbox

  • the very minimalist manager Rox-JWM

  • the very minimalist manager JWM.

  • the very minimalist manager SpaceFM-JWM.

All window managers can be run with or without the ROX or SpaceFM Desktop environment that provides drag-and-drop functionality or the Conky system monitor that displays real-time information.

antiX also comes with wmii, which support classic and tiling windows.

How do I change from one WM to another?

In IceWM:

You can switch from the default IceWM by right clicking anywhere on the desktop -→ Logout -→ Logout, which will take you back to the slim login box. Toggle F1 until you see the wmm of choice, then log in.

In Fluxbox:

You can switch from Fluxbox to IceWM by right clicking on the desktop -→Exit-→Log Out, which will return you to the slim login box, the default is for IceWM, simply login and your back to IceWM. F1 toggles the WM choices, other than IceWM and Fluxbox, you will not be able to login into one of these until you install those WMs. The metapackage installer will install a number of WMs.


You can switch from JWM by clicking on the menu -→ Logout -→ Logout, which will take you back to the slim login box. Toggle F1 until you see the wmm of choice, then log in.

And how to set the default one?

antiX CC -→ Session -→ Edit Login Options.

Toggling Conky on/off:

In IceWM:

Right click on Desktop -→ Desktop-→ Settings-→ Conky on/off

In Fluxbox:

Right click on Desktop -→ Desktop -→ Conky on/off


Right click on Desktop -→ Desktop -→ Settings-→ Conky on/off

How do I get out of antiX?


On the toolbar you will see an icon (red) that is the quit icon, with same choices as below. Also if you right click on the Desktop-→Logout there are several options including shutdown.


Right Click anywhere on the Desktop -→ Exit, which will present you with the choice to lock screen, hibernate, reboot, logout, suspend, or shut down.


On the toolbar you will see an icon (red) that is the quit icon, with same choices as below. Also if you right click on the Desktop-→Logout there are several options including shutdown.

Some Great Features in antiX


For those familiar with the option in Puppy for persistent home via live USB, liveCD or fromiso: welcome! antiX now has a similar feature called antiX2usb and it is found in Control Centre-→ Disks. You can use fromiso live to install antiX to a USB stick via antiX2usb and you can choose to have a liveusb with persistence. You can do the same from a live cd/live usb or an installed system using an antiX, MEPIS or Debian iso file.


Located in Menu-→ Applications-→ Accessories-→ metapackage-installer You can install packages for Disk-Recovery, Web Browsers, Graphics, Kids, Language, LaTex, Network, Non-free, Office, Server, WindowManager . . . simply choose the package you want, and the installer will do the rest. (internet connection required)


Can be found in Control Centre-→ Disks-→ Backup Your System or in Menu-→ Applications-→System Tools-→ luckyBackup


Want to make a live iso backup of what you have installed on your hard drive? Then, this is for you! Simple, but effective.

Remaster and Persistence:

Not only have we made it easy to set up antiX live with persistence, we also make it easy to create a remaster of the running live system!

Customised gfxboot menu:

Use the F keys to set up how you want antiX to boot in live mode and F7 to save the changes for future live boots!


So, what’s new in antiX-13?

Lots! Explore!

  • 64 bit flavour as well as 32 bit.

  • iceweasel-22.0 browser.

  • LibreOffice-4.

  • improved boot times, particularly when running live.

  • safer and faster shutdown, especially in live use.

  • customised live boot menu.

  • SpaceFM desktop integration.

  • live remaster scripts improved.

  • improvements to the antiX snapshot application.

  • dynamic fstab when running live.

  • xfs, jfs, ext2, btrfs file systems available in installers.

  • mupdf, a very fast and light pdf reader, included.

  • more options in meta-installer.

  • all ISO files built using antiX-build scripts to enable consistency and freshness.

  • many more!

Why is antiX-13 using an old kernel?

Since antiX is designed to work on old boxes, our tests have shown that some users cannot boot with a newer kernel.

Latest 3.9 series kernel (including the free gnu version) is available in the antiX repositories.

Does flash work?

Yes, OOTB! For some PII/PIII boxes, the latest flash will not work so antiX-13 32 bit isos ship with a working older version as default.

The default Debian repository is set to Wheezy. Does this mean antiX is no longer based on Debian Testing?

antiX remains a rolling release distro based on Debian Testing. Since Wheezy/Stable has just been released we have decided to give our users the option of sticking to Stable with this release or upgrading to Testing or Sid. Future releases eg antiX-13.1 will default to Debian Testing.