Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

NimbleX 2007 - As the Name Implies...

Filed under
Linux
Reviews
-s

NimbleX is a small slackware-based distribution that made its way onto DistroWatch's Waiting List last September. While many on the list seem to stop development and disappear off the net, it appears NimbleX is progressing onward. Their site has undergone a recent update as well as their distro. NimbleX 2007 was released on Christmas Day and I decided it sounded like an interesting project to test. In NimbleX I found a wonderful candidate for your small linux needs.

To quote the site:

"NimbleX is a small but versatile operating system which is able to boot from a small 8 cm CD, from flash memory like USB pens or Mp3 players and even from the network. Because it runs entirely from a CD, USB or network it doesn't require installation or even much hardware.

Most of the advantages are related to the small size, the combination of software packages and a pretty good hardware support. You can easily carry it with you and with the right combination of parameters you can make it do some interesting stuff. NimbleX is very customizable and can be easily made to satisfy your needs."

Continuing in quoting:

Some of the most obvious things are:

  • Access data on other computers without knowing the pass.

  • Surf the Internet, download files using various protocols
  • Chat with friends using a very nice IM application
  • Play movies because most of the codecs are supported
  • Play music either in the graphical interface and the CLI
  • Make NimbleX always save you data very easily
  • Use the built-in BlueTooth support to transfer files
  • Use a pretty good office suite - KOffice 1.6.1
  • Get organized with a very powerful app. - Kontact !
  • Debug other operating systems with NimbleX
  • Back-up data easily using various methods.
  • Make NimbleX boot on other computers over the LAN
  • Play some of the various KDE Games
  • Install software over the Internet using GSlapt
  • Control remotely Windows machines with rdesktop
  • Browse Windows networks with no complications
  • Read PDF documents with the built-in software
  • NimbleX can be made to boot form anything bootable
  • NimbleX can be very fast if you boot it from HDD / USB
  • You can use several graphical interfaces (KDE, IceWM, Fluxbox)
  • The command line has the most common commands so...
  • Extend NimbleX easily by adding new modules to it:
    • Firefox 2
    • Opera 9.1
    • GIMP
    • Gaim
    • NVidia 3D Drivers
    • EMU
    • Xara LX
    • KTorrent
    • KMobileTools
    • KOffice - full
    • KDE Web Dev
    • Bluefish
    • ISO Master

Recommended Requirements are:

  • CLI
    • Pentium II or better
    • 128 MB
  • GUI
    • Pentium III or better
    • 512 MB

Minimum:

  • CLI
    • Pentium or better
    • 64 MB
  • GUI
    • Pentium II or better
    • 128 MB

I didn't have a low spec machine on which to test NimbleX, so I tested it on my usual desktop and my newly acquired laptop. The grub splash screen kinda reminds me of one openSUSE used to use, but it's updated and customized. It has several boot option such as Boot into KDE, Boot to Commandline, or KDE in limba romana. The rest of the boot is in text mode and the next graphic seen is the customized KDE splash screen. The boot process itself isn't particularly speedy, but it's acceptable.

        

At the desktop one finds an original background of off-white with a large glossy gray X. I thought it was fairly nice in that it's not gaudy and does reflect the current system somewhat. If that background doesn't suit you, there are about 7 or 8 other original nimbleX wallpapers included in several tasteful colors. Although, it seems the developers or their graphic artists are partial to black and white (or off-white and gray).

The menus aren't exactly chocked full of applications, but it's sufficient to do most of your daily tasks. However, considering the download size of 200 mb (on the nose), one wonders how they managed to include KDE, not to mention the other apps. KDE may be slimmed down to meet this size requirement, but I didn't find a whole lot missing. There are even a few screensavers present. Large applications like OpenOffice.org and Firefox are not included, but it does of course have Konqueror and it does include Koffice.

        

Some of the other included applications are Kopete, MPlayer, Juk, K3b, tvtime, Transmission (a bittorrent client), Kasablanca (ftp client), Nmap, Kontact, and several games. I found all applications tested to function very well. I had no problems with any of them. Most opened very quickly as well. One extra of note is the multimedia support included. NimbleX had no trouble playing any of the media files asked of it.

        

If one is in need of other software, one can "extend" NimbleX with modules as similarly found in Slax. They have modules for many of the most popular applications today like OpenOffice.org, Firefox, and Gimp. They even have a module for the Nvidia 3D drivers. See above for the full list. In addition, Gslapt is included. There are several software repositories already set up and I had no problems installing a few test packages.

        

As I ran through the KDE Control Center and tested the included applications I became more and more impressed. If nothing else sets NimbleX apart from the crowd, the shear performance of their system should. This has got to be the fastest implementation of KDE I've ever experienced. I don't know how they did it, but they did it. That thing is just blazing fast. I've never seen anything like it. It made me wish I had an old machine laying around on which to test it.

NimbleX runs on a 2.6.16 kernel and uses Xorg 6.9.0. The KDE version included is 3.5.4, but that's not too bad considering 3.5.6 was just tagged yesterday.

Hardware detection was acceptable. Most of my hardware was detected and a start up sound greeted me on both the desktop and laptop. The desktop boots to a 1024x768 screen using vesa. My tv card is incorrectly configured (as all Linux distributions do) and my printer is detected. My scanner was completely ignored. My network card was detected and internet connectivity was available upon boot.

On my laptop the graphics were also set up to be 1024x768, while 1200x800 is desired. As stated, sound worked. The battery monitor and power saver seemed to work fine. The touchpad responded immediately and accurately. However, despite having Kwifimanager and Wireless Assistant in the menu, I wasn't able to get my wireless card working. Ndiswrapper seemed to install the driver, but using the ndiswrapper module left an error in the logs and no wlan (or other) device appeared. Of course this is a Broadcom 4311 card, and it only works in about 1/2 the distros I've tried. Those with natively supported cards should be much happier, given the included gui apps.

NimbleX mounts all detected partitions during boot. I also didn't find a hard drive installer. However, there are instructions for manual installation on the NimbleX site. Those instructions are sparce and not very newbie friendly.

In the end I still really liked NimbleX on my desktop machine from the livecd. It was cool looking, performed well above average, with acceptable software and hardware support. The harddrive install seems like too much trouble for me in these fast paced times, but the system fits on one of those small 8cm cdroms and would be wonderful to carry along for any livecd purpose. It might be similar to Slax in some ways, but I think it distinguishes itself by coming in such a small package and delivering awesome performance. NimbleX is accurately named.

NimbleX Homepage
Download NimbleX
NimbleX Manual

Their Screenshots

My Screenshots

Small Distros

As Texstar has proven with PCLinuxOS, and Warren Woodford with Mepis, it is still possible for the little startup/hobby distros to grow into real prominence and mingle and compete with the for-profit/heavily-subsidized distros. I love this dynamic variety.

Will NimbleX become one of the biggies? Who knows? But thanks, Susan, for showcasing another beginning distro.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Richard Hughes: fwupd 1.5.2

If you’re running 1.5.0 or 1.5.1 you probably want to update to this release now as it fixes a hard-to-debug hang we introduced in 1.5.0. If you’re running 1.4.x you might want to let the libcurl changes settle, although we’ve been using it without issue for more than a week on a ton of hardware here. Expect 1.5.3 in a few weeks time, assuming we’re all still alive by then. Read more

Xfce Virtual Machine Images For Development

The openSUSE distributions offer a variety of graphical desktop environments, one of them being the popular and lightweight Xfce. Up to now there was the stable tested branch available in Tumbleweed already during install. Furthermore, for interested users the development OBS repository xfce:next offered a preview state of what’s coming up next to Tumbleweed. Xfce Development in openSUSE Thanks to the hard work of openSUSE’s Xfce team there is a third option: Xfce Development Repository aka RAT In a playful way, a rat is meant to represent the unpolished nature of this release: a rat is scruffy looking compared to a mouse (the cute and beloved mascot of Xfce). And the RAT repository provides packages automatically built right from the Git Master Branch of Xfce upstream development. The goal of this project is to test and preview the new software so that bugs can be spotted and fixed ahead of time by contributing upstream. The packages pull in source code state on a daily basis and offer a quite convenient way to test and eventually help development. So this is where the team builds and tests the latest and unstable releases of Xfce Desktop Environment for openSUSE. Read more

Radeon RX 6800 Series Performance Comes Out Even Faster With Newest Linux Code

Last week we delivered AMD Radeon RX 6800 / RX 6800 XT Linux benchmarks and the performance was great both for Linux gaming as well as the OpenCL compute performance. But for as good as those Big Navi numbers were on the open-source Linux graphics driver stack, they are now even better. That launch-day testing was based on the Linux state in the second-half of October when the cards arrived and initial (re-)testing began in preparing for the Radeon RX 6800 series reviews -- not only the Radeon RX 6800 series but re-testing all of the other AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards for the comparison too. Thanks to the rate of the open-source graphics driver progression and the newest code always being available, now just days after launch the numbers are even more compelling for Linux gamers with the slightly newer Linux 5.10 and Mesa Git compared to just weeks ago. In particular were the last minute NGG fixes and other Big Navi tweaks along with an important Radeon RX 6800 (non-XT) fix. There has also been other RADV improvements and more that accumulated in Mesa 21.0-devel this month. On the kernel side, Linux 5.10 is still at play. Both the old and newer Mesa snapshots were also on LLVM 11.0. Read more Also: Intel: AMD Gimps On Battery-Powered Laptop Performance - But DPTF On Linux Still Sucks - Phoronix

today's howtos

  • How to Install and Configure Hadoop on Ubuntu 20.04 – TecAdmin

    Hadoop is a free, open-source and Java-based software framework used for storage and processing of large datasets on clusters of machines. It uses HDFS to store its data and process these data using MapReduce. It is an ecosystem of Big Data tools that are primarily used for data mining and machine learning. Apache Hadoop 3.3 come with noticeable improvements any many bug fixes over the previous releases. It has four major components such as Hadoop Common, HDFS, YARN, and MapReduce.

  • How to create a Cloudwatch Event Rule in AWS

    A near-real-time stream of system events that describe changes in AWS resources is delivered by CloudWatch Events. We can create a rule that matches events and route them to one or more target functions. We can use CloudWatch Events to schedule automated actions. These actions can be self-triggered at certain times using cron or rate expressions. We can have EC2 instances, Lambda functions, Kinesis Data Streams, ECS tasks, Batch jobs, SNS topics, SQS queues, and a few more services as target endpoints for CloudWatch Events. To know more about Cloudwatch events, visit the official AWS documentation here.

  • How to use Bash file test operators in Linux

    File Test Operators are used in Linux to check and verify attributes of files like ownership or if they are a symlink. Every Test operator has a specific purpose. The most important operators are -e and -s. In this article, you will learn to test files using the if statement followed by some important test operators in Linux.

  • How To Install Wireguard on CentOS 8 - idroot

    In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Wireguard on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Wireguard is an open-source, dependable, advanced, VPN tunneling software you can install and use right now to create a secure, point-to-point connection to a server. It is cross-platform and can run almost anywhere, including Linux, Windows, Android, and macOS. Wireguard is a peer-to-peer VPN. it does not use the client-server model. Depending on its configuration, a peer can act as a traditional server or client. This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of the Wireguard VPN on CentOS 8.

  • How To Install NVM on CentOS/RHEL 7 – TecAdmin

    NVM stands for Node Version Manager is a command-line utility for managing Node versions. Sometimes you required to deploy multiple node application with different-2 versions. Managing the multiple Node.js versions for differnt-2 projects are a pain for the developers. But NVM helped to easily manage multiple active Node.js versions on a single system. This tutorial will explain you to install NVM on CentOS/RHEL 7/6 systems and manage multiple Node.js versions.

  • How to install Kali Linux 2020.4 - YouTube

    In this video, I am going to show how to install Kali Linux 2020.4.

  • How to make your own personal VPN in under 30 minutes

    In the Distribution box, choose the newest available Ubuntu LTS release — as of the time of writing, that's 20.04 LTS. Below that, pick the region you want your VPN to be located in. It's possible to change the location later, but you'll have to contact Linode support. For the plan, select 'Nanode 1GB' from the list of Shared CPU options. VPNs don't need much processing power, so this low-spec option will work just fine.

  • Use nnn as a File Manager for Linux Terminal - Make Tech Easier

    If you have used the Linux terminal for an extended period of time, you probably know some of the useful commands, like cd to move into and out of folders, create new ones, and copy or move files. Still, you may prefer how desktop file managers are more user-friendly and quicker for some tasks. In that case, you’ll love nnn. nnn is the equivalent of a desktop file manager for the terminal. Although not an ultra-complex solution like Midnight Commander, nnn is light on resources, fast, and allows you to navigate your file system without having to type commands.