LiteStep v. 0.24.6 documentation

written by the LiteStep Documentation Effort, August 2000
Changes.TXT

  .: introduction   .: configuration   .: installation   .: theme installation   .: theme creation   .: development   .: glossary   .: links  
  .: command   .: desktop   .: hotkey   .: litestep   .: lstime   .: popup   .: shortcut   .: systray   .: taskbar   .: vwm   .: wharf  

Installing LiteStep
There are basically two methods to installing LiteStep. With the first method you need to download the official distribution. This distribution contains an installer that will automatically setup LiteStep as your shell for you. You will have the option to change this later, so don't be worried about being stuck with LiteStep if it just isn't your thing.

The second method to installing LiteStep is to download a theme containing all the files you need to run the theme. This can be a bit more complicated so if you are new to LiteStep or text based configuration please install the distribution.

Note: Themes do not necessarily come with the LiteStep release that you may need, however if they do not look in the Readme.txt for which release or Dev Build you may need.

Running LiteStep over another shell
Some users find the Explorer interface extremely intuitive and just want to run LiteStep on top of Explorer in order to combine the functionality of both shells. Believe it or not, this is extremely popular for many users and very simple to do. To do this, configure the LiteStep Step.RC as normal using the instructions on the following pages and run LiteStep as an application by executing LiteStep.exe. It is not recommended to use desktop2.dll, systray2.dll and taskbar.dll when running LiteStep because these modules' functionality is already provided by the Explorer shell. Also, LiteStep will give you a warning that the Explorer shell is already running; to avoid this, use the LSNoShellWarning command described on the LiteStep page.
Configuring Windows 95/98/ME for LiteStep
Installing LiteStep on a machine built on the standards of Windows 95 is by far the simplest system to install LiteStep on. In a few easy steps any user can take their boring Explorer interface and turn it into a lean mean fighting machine. In the instructions below you will notice that we mention LiteStep as being in the C:\LiteStep directory and Windows being in the C:\Windows directory. Your machine may differ from these directories so make sure you use the correct information instead.

First you want to start up your text editor (ie notepad, editpad, ultra edit) and open your c:\windows\system.ini file. If you set your windows directory to something other than c:\windows\, look for it in that directory and you'll find the system.ini.

Next you will want to find the line shell=explorer.exe in your system.ini file, this line is normally found near the top. You are going to want to comment out your shell=explorer.exe line by placing a semi-colon, ";", in front of it. Then on the next line enter a line as follows;

   shell=c:\litestep\litestep.exe

Save your system.ini and reboot and should find yourself in the wonderful world of LiteStep.

Note: Many users, both during the installation and un-installation process receive a message stating that you "Cannot find (insert executable), You must Re-install windows." By no means is this necessary. Just reboot your computer and check your shell= line. You didn't spell something right or missed a character. This by far is one of the most common complaints brought up in the IRC Channels, don't be fooled.

If for some reason you do not find yourself in LiteStep when you reboot you are going to want to look in your system.ini file for another shell= line. Windows does allow for multiple configurations for the shell, however, it will only load one of them.

Configuring Windows NT for LiteStep
The most common problem that happens during a LiteStep install on a Windows NT machine is that most of the time users don't have administrative privileges on their machine and can't use a shell swapper. There is, however, a way to get around this.

You will need to modify a few registry entries, don't be afraid, so fire up regedit and lets get started.

HKey_Local_Machine\Software\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\IniFileMapping\system.ini\boot>SYS:Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

change this to USR:Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

HKey_Current_User\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon>Shell

change the value of Shell to c:\litestep\litestep.exe to add LiteStep.

HKey_Current_User\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced>SeperateProcess - if this DWORD is set to "1" explorer won't load as the shell when triggered inside another shell, if this key is set to "0" it will. This key effects LiteStep if you are using Internet Explorer 4 and up, if you have an earlier version of Internet Explorer, use a STRING named DesktopProcess, with a value of "1" instead of the DWORD. Basically you need this set to yes if you don't want to have explorer setting itself as shell everytime you access it.

Note: You can make LiteStep restart automatically after a crash in Window NT. This was taken from the LiteStep b24 Manual written by TheMAN.

"The command SetAsShell makes LiteStep behave as the Official shell and it notifies Windows of this fact. This does seem to create some problems with Windows at times (especially with IE and quite often when running NT) and it has been found that if you do use StepAsShell in your Step.Rc,you might have to set the

HKEY_LOCAL_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Explorer\DesktopProcess

key's value in your registry to 1 to get IE (and Windows) to work properly. The only advantage to using SetAsShell is that LiteStep is automatically started when it crashes, like Explorer normally does. As setting LiteStep as the shell seems to create strange problems on different machines, it is suggested that you don't set this value in your Step.Rc. If you do use SetAsShell and decide to take it out after a while, remember that you will have to reboot (not Recycle as is the normal case with a Step.Rc change) and that you may have to set the

HKEY_LOCAL_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Explorer\DesktopProcess

registry value back to 0 to get everything working properly."

So basically, if you want to try this - take a risk, worst thing that can happen is that you will have problems with explorer until you change the key back.

Configuring Windows 2K for LiteStep
The most common problem that happens during a LiteStep install on a Windows NT machine is that most of the time users don't have administrative privileges on their machine and can't use a shell swapper. There is, however, a way to get around this.

You will need to modify a few registry entries, don't be afraid, so fire up regedit and lets get started.

HKey_Local_Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\IniFileMapping\system.ini\boot > Shell

change this to USR:Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

HKey_Current_User\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon>Shell

change the value of Shell to c:\litestep\litestep.exe to add LiteStep.

HKey_Current_User\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer - Create a New vallue called DesktopProcess and set the Data Field to 1.

HKey_Current_User\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\BrowseNewProcess > - Change this value to "yes", it seems to correct a few problems with explorer spawning itself as the shell.

Note: You can make LiteStep restart automatically after a crash in Window NT. This was taken from the LiteStep b24 Manual written by TheMAN.

"The command SetAsShell makes LiteStep behave as the Official shell and it notifies Windows of this fact. This does seem to create some problems with Windows at times (especially with IE and quite often when running NT) and it has been found that if you do use StepAsShell in your Step.Rc,you might have to set the

HKEY_LOCAL_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Explorer\DesktopProcess

key's value in your registry to 1 to get IE (and Windows) to work properly. The only advantage to using SetAsShell is that LiteStep is automatically started when it crashes, like Explorer normally does. As setting LiteStep as the shell seems to create strange problems on different machines, it is suggested that you don't set this value in your Step.Rc. If you do use SetAsShell and decide to take it out after a while, remember that you will have to reboot (not Recycle as is the normal case with a Step.Rc change) and that you may have to set the

HKEY_LOCAL_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Explorer\DesktopProcess

registry value back to 0 to get everything working properly."

So basically, if you want to try this - take a risk, worst thing that can happen is that you will have problems with explorer until you change the key back.

Un-installing LiteStep
Uninstallation of LiteStep should be considered your last resort. However, we do realize that LiteStep is not for everybody, and were really nice people really, so we will tell you how to make it all go away. Before you decide to just uninstall it however, we do suggest either sending an e-mail or dropping by one of the many LiteStep IRC channels and asking questions about your problems. Many times users are overwhelemed by the necesary learning curve, and give up. LiteStep by no means is easy or perfect, but many people have come up with work arounds for many of the problems.
Uninstalling LiteStep from Windows 95/98/ME
So you have decided that LiteStep just is not your thing and want to get rid of it like a bad habbit. First thing you are going to want to do is open your favorite text editor. From your text editor open your c:\windows\system.ini and find the shell=c:\litestep\litestep.exe line. Comment that line out by placing a semi-colon, ";", in front of it and delete the semi-colin in front of your shell=explorer.exe line. If you do not have a shell=explorer.exe line commented out just add it in there. Reboot your computer when you are finished and you're good to go.

For those unfortunate people who can't open their favorite text editor in Windows, DOS edit is gonna have to do. Shutdown your computer and reboot to DOS mode. To do this hold down the F8 key when you see "Strarting Windows 9x" appear on your screen and choose Command Prompt Only from the menu. Once there type "edit c:\windows\system.ini" and then follow the instructions above.

Note: Many users, both during the installation and un-installation process receive a message stating that you "Cannot find (insert executable), You must Re-install windows." By no means is this necessary. Just reboot your computer and check your shell= line. You didn't spell something right or missed a character. This by far is one of the most common complaints I hear, don't be fooled.

Uninstalling LiteStep from Windows NT
The most common problem that happens during a LiteStep uninstall on a Windows NT machine is that most of the time users don't have administrative privileges on their. However, if you do have administrative rights on your machine you will need to modify a few registry entries to get LiteStep uninstalled. So lets fire up regedit and get started on making your LiteStep headache go away.

First find the key:

HKey_Local_Machine\Software\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\IniFileMapping\system.ini\boot>SYS:Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

and change this to USR:Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

HKey_Current_User\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon>Shell

and change the value of Shell to c:\winnt\explorer.exe to put Explorer back in as your shell.

HKey_Current_User\Software\Microsoft\Windows>BrowseNewProcess - Make sure that this DWORD is set to "no" so that explorer loads properly. This key effected LiteStep if you were using Internet Explorer 4 and up, if you have an earlier version of Internet Explorer, use a STRING named DesktopProcess, with a value of "0" instead of the DWORD. Basically you need this set to no if you want to have explorer setting itself as shell everytime you access it.

Uninstalling LiteStep from Windows 2000
The most common problem that happens during a LiteStep uninstall on a Windows 2000 machine is that most of the time users don't have administrative privileges on their. However, if you do have administrative rights on your machine you will need to modify a few registry entries to get LiteStep uninstalled. So lets fire up regedit and get started on making your LiteStep headache go away.

First find the key:

HKey_Local_Machine\Software\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\IniFileMapping\system.ini\boot>SYS:Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

and change this to USR:Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

HKey_Current_User\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon>Shell

and change the value of Shell to c:\winnt\explorer.exe to put Explorer back in as your shell.

HKey_Current_User\Software\Microsoft\Windows>BrowseNewProcess - Make sure that this DWORD is set to "no" so that explorer loads properly. This key effected LiteStep if you were using Internet Explorer 4 and up, if you have an earlier version of Internet Explorer, use a STRING named DesktopProcess, with a value of "0" instead of the DWORD. Basically you need this set to no if you want to have explorer setting itself as shell everytime you access it.