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I started with Ubuntu 12.04 minimal and added a couple of applications via apt.

Since these applications require GUI, I used sudo apt-get install xinit
And to start the applications I am doing startx application-name

Now I am facing few problems:

  • Not having a proper mouse pointer. Just have a "cross" instead.
  • Key combination Alt+Tab is not working; I cannot switch b/w open windows.
  • The windows are not having minimize, maximize, close buttons.
  • PS2 mouse works well, however USB mouse is not being detected.
  • The System does not output the sound. (Videos on youtube runs but w/o sound).
  • OPTIONAL: I am also looking for a way out to use mouse keys, i.e control mouse pointer using "Keyboard Numeric Pad

May someone please suggest me what all I need to install to rectify these issues.

PS: Since I require more of a server environment, I am not willing to install a Desktop manager.

share|improve this question
Why exactly are you watching youtube on a server? – Darael Jun 16 '12 at 17:19
Unrelated: For the mouse, do you get anything if you tailf /var/log/kern.log and plug in the mouse? That would tell us whether it was at least picking up the usb device. – Darael Jun 16 '12 at 17:21
@Darael This is the only system in hand.. Its server for personal use, thus I can go for some personal tasks over it... I am looking for generic sound drivers.. Since when i boot up with a live CD, i get the sound. This install is from minimal.. – Z9iT Jun 16 '12 at 18:45
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You may not be willing to install a full desktop environment, but in order to get window decorations (including window controls) and the ability to switch between windows, you will still need a window manager. A good WM should help give you a nice cursor, too.

There are all sorts of lightweight window managers out there: fluxbox, openbox, and similar are very light indeed, but you may also want to look at Enlightenment, which is not quite as light but extremely full-featured.

I am not entirely sure about your sound problem, but the place to start looking would be ALSA packages. At a guess, you'll need at least alsa-base and alsa-utils. You may also need some pulseaudio stuff and/or alsa-oss; I forget which framework the Flash player uses.

share|improve this answer
isn't their any way out to use alt+tab functionality beside this? – Z9iT Jun 16 '12 at 18:45
That's window management too, which is not done by X, so you need to install a window manager. – user244 Jun 16 '12 at 19:22
Some of the various window managers are very light indeed - but you can't get your alt+tabbing without one. EDIT: edited original for further info on sound. – Darael Jun 16 '12 at 21:16
@Darael If i add metacity, will it serve the purpose? how can i achieve mouse-keys and sound functionality. if i pull up google-chrome via xinitrc i never get sound, everything else works fine – Z9iT Jul 3 '12 at 8:20
@Z9iT If you add metacity, you'll get window-management, which will certainly provide alt-tabbing, the ability to raise windows, &c., and possibly mouse-keys, though I'm not sure about that bit. You won't get sound from metacity - as mentioned in the answer, you'll want to look at ALSA packages. In addition, if you really want lightweight, you should seriously consider using *box (fluxbox, openbox...) rather than metacity. – Darael Jul 5 '12 at 15:50

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