Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Venture into the Fox's Den

Filed under
Linux
Reviews
-s

Finally an old fashioned install iso to break the chain of livecds. Fox 0.8 was released on the 24th, and I've decided to venture into the Fox's Den. Based on Fedora Core, FoX Linux's claim to fame is it's Smart package manager, a custom application for installing and uninstalling software in FoX Linux. Also touted is their revolutionary graphical utility for checking and installing security and bug fix updates. Called FoX PowerUp, this utility installs directly from Fox Linux servers.

According the changelog, new this release:

  • Based on Fedora Core 3
  • KDE 3.4
  • SELinux
  • Firefox (1.0.4) can be enabled with pango rendering support
  • Kernel (2.6.11-1.14_FC3) and e2fsprogs support
  • Support for NTFS Microsoft filesystem
  • Smb4k
  • KOffice (OpenOffice moved to the Pack)
  • FoX Control Center
  • Smart 0.30.2 package manager
  • FoX PowerUP 0.2 install/uninstall/update with a click!
  • SuperKaramba 0.36
  • Kdebluetooth 1.0_beta 1
  • KdeAddons

One is given a choice of methods for install, text or graphical. I chose graphical and could tell right away this was based on Fedora, an offspring of Redhat. It was dressed up and prettier version with Fox graphics of the anaconda front-end I remember from my last Redhat install. It seems quite polished and professional looking. It included all the choices one needs to install Fox Linux in short order with little fuss including root and user setup, network setup and lilo. I think it took 20/25 minutes from boot to boot.

Upon login, one finds an attractive professional looking KDE desktop. "Kicker is divided in two parts: the first at the top with three menu to fast access the application, some link to the most used applications. The second with the systray and the clock." I find the menu at the top a little more work having to move my mouse a couple inches to reach it, but it does make for an attractive layout. They also separate the traditional KDE menu in 3 submenu that is reminiscent of gnome that can be unsettling at first, but after a few minutes of clicking around, one can acclimate sufficiently. The default theme: icons, wallpaper, colors and window decorations are quite attractive. Also included is this cool pager application.

My usual first order of business of any operating system test is to install the Nvidia graphic drivers. Even if I'm not interested in gaming, under default xserver drivers I usually get a nice hour-glass shaped desktop that can be made usable with fiddling with the monitor adjustments, but something I prefer not to do. As punishment from the gods of Linux for choosing package groups instead of individual packages during install, the installation of the graphic drivers was hindered by the absence of a compiler. What's up with that? I did choose the development group and it did install the kernel sources. No matter, off to apt-get to get it installed. Fortunately after setting up a repository, gcc installed with no fuss or muss and I quickly had my nvidia drivers installed with no further errors under the 2.6.11-1.14_FC3 kernel.

This lead to a reminder of the main petpeeve I find in redhat and derivatives: starting the users and groups with id 500 instead of 501 like every other linux I regularly use. I wanted to pull up my fox linux article file saved on another partition, but didn't have proper permissions. So, I set off change the -uid and -gid of my usual username. This was hindered because I forgot redhats don't set up secure binary paths in root's PATH (another petpeeve). teehee, so I didn't find the usual user tools. I employed the graphical user manager. Then a few minutes later, when using modprobe & friends, I remembered about the path thing. I guess it's a good thing security-wise. <konk>

Knowing the smart package manager was Fox Linux's main claim to fame, I was kicking myself for not having used it to install gcc, and set off to test it and grab some screenshots. First thing one needs to do is update the sources. Click the refresh looking icon and it goes to work. After updating the package cache, one can choose to install software packages. Hmmm, just like a package manager huh? Big Grin One can hide installed and other groups, which can make choosing packages easier. Also luckily for the user, there is a search tool (find). Double-click your package, click okay to the dependencies, and click apply changes, and the packages are fetched and installed. So, in summary, with Smart Package Manager, one can be watching their favorite tv programs in just a few clicks. Smile In essence, it works.

Fox's PowerUp is their security and bug fix tool. Oh great, an update to the kernel 10 minutes after I build the nvidia drivers for 2.6.11-1.14_FC3. teehee I think I'll pass. But let's test it by letting it upgrade the flash plugin, windows codecs, and the rpm-gpg-keys. The upgrades seem to go smoothly, however, it appears you must do them one at a time. One can click "back" to get to the list, but this could be tiresome if there were too many updates. It seems to function well, but having to click "download" and then "install" is another drawback. I think this application should allow choosing all desired updates at once, one click to download and install, and one final click when it finishes to exit. In addition, perhaps the updates should disappear from the choice list after install, however it does prompt you that the update is already installed and gives you a choice to uninstall it. Second thought, perhaps that might be good in case you needed to back out of one or more.

I played around, changed a few settings, edited a few files and opened and closed applications. I basically put Fox Linux through it's paces and it held up well. It seemed stable, responsive, and fairly complete. Although some kde applications were missing and not listed in Smart Package manager. All in all Fox Linux is a nice dressed-up more ready-to-go version of Redhat/Fedora and can be a suitable starting point for the newbie or a nice desktop for the Redhat/Fedora fan.

Screenshots in the gallery.

More in Tux Machines

Hardware With Linux

  • Raspberry Pi's new computer for industrial applications goes on sale
    The new Raspberry Pi single-board computer is smaller and cheaper than the last, but its makers aren’t expecting the same rush of buyers that previous models have seen. The Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 will be more of a “slow burn,” than last year’s Raspberry Pi 3, its creator Eben Upton predicted. That’s because it’s designed not for school and home use but for industrial applications. To make use of it, buyers will first need to design a product with a slot on the circuit board to accommodate it and that, he said, will take time.
  • ZeroPhone — An Open Source, Dirt Cheap, Linux-powered Smartphone Is Here
    ZeroPhone is an open source smartphone that’s powered by Raspberry Pi Zero. It runs on Linux and you can make one for yourself using parts worth $50. One can use it to make calls and SMS, run apps, and pentesting. Soon, phone’s crowdfunding is also expected to go live.
  • MSI X99A RAIDER Plays Fine With Linux
    This shouldn't be a big surprise though given the Intel X99 chipset is now rather mature and in the past I've successfully tested the MSI X99A WORKSTATION and X99S SLI PLUS motherboards on Linux. The X99A RAIDER is lower cost than these other MSI X99 motherboards I've tested, which led me in its direction, and then sticking with MSI due to the success with these other boards and MSI being a supporter of Phoronix and encouraging our Linux hardware testing compared to some other vendors.
  • First 3.5-inch Kaby Lake SBC reaches market
    Axiomtek’s 3.5-inch CAPA500 SBC taps LGA1151-ready CPUs from Intel’s 7th and 6th Generations, and offers PCIe, dual GbE, and optional “ZIO” expansion. Axiomtek’s CAPA500 is the first 3.5-inch form-factor SBC that we’ve seen that supports Intel’s latest 7th Generation “Kaby Lake” processors. Kaby Lake is similar enough to the 6th Gen “Skylake” family, sharing 14nm fabrication, Intel Gen 9 Graphics, and other features, to enable the CAPA500 to support both 7th and 6th Gen Core i7/i5/i3 CPUs as long as they use an LGA1151 socket. Advantech’s Kaby Lake based AIMB-205 Mini-ITX board supports the same socket. The CAPA500 ships with an Intel H110 chipset, and a Q170 is optional.

Leftovers: Ubuntu and Debian

  • Debian Project launches updated Debian GNU/Linux 8.7 with bug fixes
    An updated version of Debian, a popular Linux distribution is now available for users to download and install. According to the post on the Debian website by Debian Project, the new version is 8.7. This is the seventh update to the Debian eight distribution, and the update primarily focuses on fixing bugs and security problems. This update also includes some adjustments to fix serious problems present in the previous version.
  • Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, December 2016
    The number of sponsored hours did not increase but a new silver sponsor is in the process of joining. We are only missing another silver sponsor (or two to four bronze sponsors) to reach our objective of funding the equivalent of a full time position.
  • APK, images and other stuff.
    Also, I was pleased to see F-droid Verification Server as a sign of F-droid progress on reproducible builds effort - I hope these changes to diffoscope will help them!
  • Linux Mint 18.1 "Serena" KDE Gets a Beta Release, Ships with KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS
    After landing on the official download channels a few days ago, the Beta version of the upcoming Linux Mint 18.1 "Serena" KDE Edition operating system got today, January 16, 2017, an official announcement. The KDE Edition is the last in the new Linux Mint 18.1 "Serena" stable series to be published, and it was delayed a little bit because Clement Lefebvre and his team wanted it to ship with latest KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS desktop environment from the Kubuntu Backports PPA repository.
  • Linux AIO Ubuntu 16.10 — Ubuntu GNOME, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, and Xubuntu In One ISO
    Linux AIO is a multiboot ISO carrying different flavors of a single Linux distribution and eases you from the pain of keeping different bootable USBs. The latest Linux AIO Ubuntu 16.10 is now available for download in both 64-bit and 32-bit versions. It features various Ubuntu flavors including Ubuntu GNOME, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, and Xubuntu.

Top Ubuntu Editing Apps: Image, Audio, Video

It's been my experience that most people aren't aware of the scope of creative software available for Ubuntu. The reason for this is complicated, but I suspect it mostly comes down to the functional availability provided by each application title for the Linux desktop. In this article, I'm going to give you an introduction to some of the best creative software applications for Ubuntu (and other Linux distros). Read more

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Google's open-source Draco promises to squeeze richer 3D worlds into the web, gaming, and VR
    Google has published a set of open source libraries that should improve the storage and transmission of 3D graphics, which could help deliver more detailed 3D apps.
  • Why every business should consider an open source point of sale system
    Point of sale (POS) systems have come a long way from the days of simple cash registers that rang up purchases. Today, POS systems can be all-in-one solutions that include payment processing, inventory management, marketing tools, and more. Retailers can receive daily reports on their cash flow and labor costs, often from a mobile device. The POS is the lifeblood of a business, and that means you need to choose one carefully. There are a ton of options out there, but if you want to save money, adapt to changing business needs, and keep up with technological advances, you would be wise to consider an open source system. An open source POS, where the source code is exposed for your use, offers significant advantages over a proprietary system that keeps its code rigidly under wraps.
  • Can academic faculty members teach with Wikipedia?
    Since 2010, 29,000 students have completed the Wiki Ed program. They have added 25 million words to Wikipedia, or the equivalent of 85,000 printed pages of content. This is 66% of the total words in the last print edition of Encyclopedia Britannica. When Wiki Ed students are most active, they are contributing 10% of all the content being added to underdeveloped, academic content areas on Wikipedia.
  • AMD HSA IL / BRIG Front-End Still Hoping To Get Into GCC 7
    For many months now there's been work on an AMD HSA IL front-end for GCC with supporting the BRIG binary form of the Heterogeneous System Architecture Intermediate Language (HSA IL). It's getting late into GCC 7 development and onwards to its final development stage while this new front-end has yet to be merged. Developer Pekka Jääskeläinen has been trying to get in the finishing reviews and changes for getting approval to land this BRIG front-end into the GNU Compiler Collection. It's a big addition and with GCC 7 soon just focusing on wrong-code fixes, bug fixes, and documentation fixes starting on 19 January, there would be just a few days left to land this new front-end for GCC 7 to avoid having to wait until next year for it to debut in stable with GCC 8.
  • Rcpp 0.12.9: Next round
    Yesterday afternoon, the nineth update in the 0.12.* series of Rcpp made it to the CRAN network for GNU R. Windows binaries have by now been generated; and the package was updated in Debian too. This 0.12.9 release follows the 0.12.0 release from late July, the 0.12.1 release in September, the 0.12.2 release in November, the 0.12.3 release in January, the 0.12.4 release in March, the 0.12.5 release in May, the 0.12.6 release in July, the 0.12.7 release in September, and the 0.12.8 release in November --- making it the thirteenth release at the steady bi-montly release frequency. Rcpp has become the most popular way of enhancing GNU R with C or C++ code. As of today, 906 packages on CRAN depend on Rcpp for making analytical code go faster and further. That is up by sixthythree packages over the two months since the last release -- or about a package a day!