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Improve HandyLinux

HandyLinux is a Debian-based distribution. Therefore it has the potential to become the distribution you want.

As I have said on several forums and blogs… HandyLinux is “training wheels” on a Debian bike. :)

Remove noobTools

While training wheels are useful when you are first learning, they soon become annoying when you know how to ride.

Replace HandyMenu with regular XFCE menu

  • Right-click on the HandyMenu icon, select “Remove” and then confirm the action in the window that appears :
  • Right-click on the bar (where you want), select “Panel” then “Add New Items…”.
    In the window that appears, select “Applications Menu” then “Add”. You can close this window immediately after :

  • Your new menu will be placed right in your bar (like all new plugin added). A right-click on the icon allows you to move the menu where you want and/or configure. You can now enjoy the XFCE full menu:

Replace HandyMenu with WhiskerMenu

HandyLinux includes the plugin whiskermenu offering a “Windows”-like alternative for your Menu.
The procedure is the same as described in the previous paragraph, but choose “Whisker Menu” ;)

Add buttons : the easy way

In the same way you added the XFCE menu application, you can add more launchers to your taskbar for quick access to your favorite applications:

  1. In the XFCE menu, select “Accessories”, “Application Finder”. You can also go through the HandyMenu > Raiders > “Applications List”.
  2. Drag and drop the application of your choice in the panel to create a launcher automatically :

Add buttons : advanced config

You can also add launchers in a way that you can change them and choose the applications that the software library does not sometimes see (some applications to scan made by the manufacturer or a personal script).

  • Right-click on the XFCE panel (the task bar that takes the bottom of the screen) in an empty area and select Panel/Add new Items. Then select “Launcher” in preferences window. Press “Add”, which will add a launcher icon at the bottom right of your screen in the XFCE panel (Screen icon at the bottom right) :

  • Right-click the icon and select “Properties”:
  • In the Launcher window, you can add a listed launcher (with + button) or a custom launcher (with +sheet button) :
    • listed launcher process :

  • custom launcher process (you can even chose your icon) :

If you add multiple programs in your launcher, take a look in the Advanced tab of the launcher window. You can change the arrow place (witnessed several applications at the same launcher) and the launchers list order. Finally you can move your icon wherever you want in the XFCE panel with a right click by choosing “Move” like in the previous chapters.
et voilà :-)

Add a Dock

The “Dock” or “rapid application launcher” is in the wind, XFCE allows you to create your very simply own to achieve a result of this type:

  • Start by moving the existing panel: right-click the panel, choose “Panel” then “Panel Preferences” :
  • In the window that appears, Unlock the panel to move it. By unchecking the “Lock …” two “handles” appear on both sides of the panel :
  • Place your mouse pointer over one of the handles and slide the panel to the top of the screen. Now you can lock the panel.
    In the same preferences panel window, click on the “+” to add a panel :
  • Your future “Dock” appears on the screen, ready to be configured and identified as “Panel 2”:
  • Place your pointer over one of the handles and move the new panel bottom of your screen.
    Sliding panel at the bottom of the screen, you “feel” a resiliance on the middle of the screen. Release your mouse here to center your Dock :
    You can now configure your dock from the preferences window on screen. For example, here is a centered 50px high with a transparent background dock. Only handles are displayed :
  • Let's add launchers. Simply apply the method explained in previous chapter to successively add your favorite applications. Close first the preferences window and then drag your applications :
  • Finally, you can set and lock autohiding in “Panel 2” preferences and get a functional Dock for your available applications in one click.
  • The last optional step: align icons to get a nice look :) … you have to edit the properties of the launcher with a right-click> Properties. Then in the window of the “Launcher”, click on the “edit” icon and then click on the “icon” for each launcher to choose an icon for you. Here, I went looking HandyMenu icons through drop-down menu > image files :

Of course you can align according to your preferred icon theme or have fun putting photos;)

Handy2Debian : the definitive one

HandyLinux has no more secrets for you ? You want to go further in GNU/Linux world ? So move to Debian !! .
Handy2Debian is a simplified tool made to help you to move from HandyLinux to Debian in 1 minute.
Handy2Debian is not included by default as it's not a “noob-tool”… to install it, search for “handy2debian” in your Synaptic package manager or more quickly with your terminal (as you want to move to “Debian classique”).

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install handy2debian

Then launch Handy2Debian from the applications list, in “accessories” category. here is a little video in french but easily understandable:

What Handy2Debian does:

  • reset default configuration for XFCE & Thunar (your desktop, your themes, your wallpaper, file manager preferences, your panel, your launchers …)
  • reset GRUB & Login Screen (Slim or LightDM) configuration
  • reset default user (in /etc/skel)
  • unsinstall handylinux meta-packages
  • delete HandyLinux specific folder(/usr/share/handylinux: the beginners guide, the welcome message)

What Handy2Debian does not:

  • h2d doesn't change your repositories: handylinux repositories are still here to let you enjoy our tolls like m_partage or redshift-config.
  • h2d doesn't uninstall applications, only meta-packages: your will not longer be part of the handylinux config&packages evolution, but your applications will be maintained and updated.
  • h2d doesn't delete your personnal files or directories, only confiuguration folders as mentioned in previous section.

What you have to do to finish the process:

  • change your navigator startpage
  • uninstalle handy2debian
    sudo apt-get remove --purge handy2debian

Welcome to Debian “classic” ! ;)

Complete Applications

And if you plan to graphic with Gimp, 3D with Blender…
And why not change agenda, web browser, email client…

As you can see, it is here that explains how to turn everything upside down in your HandyLinux !

Feel free to visit the recommended softwares section (fr) on our forum.

Find Softwares

To add a software, you must find it. You can find software :

Some proprietary softwares do not exist on Linux, this is the case of the Adobe suite (Photo editing, video editing …).
There are many software more or less equal and accessible. Here are some tips: full list on LinuxPédia.fr, on wikipedia.fr or with the search tool awesomecow.com

Those softwares allow you to enhance your distribution and gain new features. These applications are usually available in the Debian repository.
For more information or advice on the proposed applications, visit the dedicated section of our forum.

Web Browser


  • Ooolight : A simplified and scalable adult office suite.
  • Grisbi : manage bank accounts
  • Lightning : the agenda of your email Icedove.
    To install go to your mail, click Tools > Add-ons > Extensions > Lightning


  • Shotwell : minimalist album manager
  • Gthumb : Edit photos and manage albums
  • The Gimp : Full image editing program


Here you'll find some ideas, but a evoluting applications list (fr) is beautifully maintained by our friend/blogger fibi from HandyLinux team.
You can also find in the forum a list of links to improve accessibility (fr).

  • Voice asssistance : VoxOoFox assisted reading in LibreOffice
  • Give speak (difficult to install)
  • Brightside : makes the screen corners active
  • Software for colorblinds: FIXME
  • Lexidys : beginning readers and dyslexics
  • Tux Typing : initiation keyboard

Softwares for kids

  • Oookids : A simplified and scalable office suite.
  • GCompris : the must have !
  • La Suite logicielle Education (fr) from Ordi-solidaire : language learning, mathematics, computer skills, educational suites, drawing, music, games and educational puzzles, software for teachers)


  • Fslint : Sort duplicate files to save hard drive space !
  • BleachBit : admin service software : use with precautions .
en/evolution.txt · Dernière modification: 2016/01/21 23:54 par arpinux