Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

SaxenOS 1.1 rc2

Filed under
Linux
Reviews
-s

It's been over a year since I tested the origins of SaxenOS, but when rc2 of version 1.1 was announced I thought it was time to see what was new. There have been changes afoot within the SaxenOS project, some major changes. Yet some of the fundamentals remained the same. It was easy to see the roots of Saxen while appreciating the new.

When last we visited SaxenOS it was known as STX. It was a small lightweight distro, based on Slackware and designed for low-spec machines. The iso came in a mere 390mb download and featured the cute Equinox Desktop environment. It was fast and stable and featured its own STX Control Center for setting up some hardware and other basic configurations.

Today STX is SaxenOS. It is still based on Zenwalk 4.2 (which is based on Slackware 11) and it is still perfect for older hardware. The iso has grown to a full 614mb but now features the wonderful XFCE 4.4 desktop with the Thunar file manager. It's still fast and stable and features lots of great software choices. However, missing is the STX Control Center. There seems to be individual utilities to accomodate those configuration chores now.

The installer is still the same slackware derived ascii-graphical, somewhat simpified and super-fast. The whole install took about 15 minutes here, although your mileage may vary dependent upon your hardware. The installer itself couldn't be much easier unless it read your mind as to the partitioning. This could be the most difficult step for newcomers, but cfdisk is included should resizing and making partitions be necessary. After that it is a cakewalk. ADDSWAP, pick TARGET partition, sit through the INSTALL, set root password, (optionally) install bootloader, and it's over.

Despite the change in desktop environments, it still looks very similar to STX 1.0. The background is blue with the "pill" logo in the upper right corner. There's a panel monitor-width at the bottom with a few quick launchers next to the menu button on the left and some task indicators on the right. Active windows have their buttons in the taskbar. It's a practical and utilitarian setup with the added bonus of being familiar to previous users of STX or even Windows.

SaxenOS 1.1 rc2 is using a 2.6.18.6 kernel, gcc 3.4.6, and Xorg 7.1.1. Some of the software choices include SeaMonkey webrowser/email suite, TextMaker & PlanMaker, Gaim, gxine, streamtuner, Ace of Penguins (games), The Gimp, gThumb, gedit, gFTP, Transmission, Realbasic 2006, InstallJammer, and VirtualBox. There's a whole menu of configuration tools as well. They include utilities to install wireless windows drivers, add users, customize your login screen, manage your disks and partitions, setup the bootloader, activating services, and search for files or apps. Also noteworthy is gslapt. It is your choice for package management with repos already setup.

        

        

Hardware detection was quite good. Upon first boot one is asked to configure some of their hardware like sound, video, and keyboard. For me, all was detected and offered as a choice. All I did was highlight the correct option and click ok. My netcard is detected and the correct module loaded, but I did have to manually run dhcpcd after boot to connect. My scanner was detected and configured correctly, all I had to do was open xsane to scan. The printer configuration was just a matter of two clicks confirming the auto-detection.

        

Another thing that hasn't changed with the new and improved STX/SaxenOS is how much I like it. It is quick and nimble without sacrificing stability. All apps opened quickly and functioned very well. I found the software choices ample and intuitive. I think it could be "prettied" up a bit more, but as it is, it isn't distracting and leaves plenty of room for personal customization. I congratulate Stibs et.al. for the wonderful progress and 1.1 looks like it's going to be a great release. I encourage all to try it out, especially if you are a slack or xfce fan.

More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

KDE/Qt

  • Device Tailored Compositors with Qt Wayland at CLAAS E-Systems
    Have you heard about software in cars that run on embedded devices? Do you think that creating such software might be challenging? Well, welcome to a complete new world of complexity, welcome to the world of agriculture machines! For many years, automatic steering (on fields), terminals to control the complex mechanical operations of a self-driving 16 ton combine harvester on a soft ground, and self-optimization systems to optimize any tiny bit of your harvester, are key demands from customers. I, myself, am working at CLAAS E-Systems, the electronics and software department within the CLAAS group. Our group is well known for being among the leading manufacturers for combine harvesters, tractors and forage harvesters.
  • Qt Wayland Is Next Appearing On Tractors & Farm Equipment
    With Qt 5.8's Qt Wayland Compositor Framework taking shape, more developers are beginning to tailor a Qt Wayland compositor to their use-cases. One of those is a company specializing in farm equipment like combine harvesters, tractors, and harvesters. As a guest post on the official Qt blog, developer Andreas Cord-Landwehr of CLAAS E-Systems talked up Qt Wayland for their purposes in the highly-regulated agriculture industry.
  • KDevelop 5.1 Open-Source IDE Launches with LLDB and OpenCL Support, Many Changes
    The development team behind the popular, open-source, cross-platform, free and powerful KDevelop IDE (Integrated Development Environment) were proud to announce the official release and general availability of KDevelop 5.1. KDevelop 5.1 is now the most advanced stable version of the application, which is written entirely in Qt and designed to be used on various GNU/Linux distributions that usually ship with the KDE Plasma desktop environment, but also on the latest releases of the Microsoft Windows operating system.

Leftovers: Gaming

GNOME News: GNOME 3.24 Everywhere

  • GNOME 3.24 released
    The GNOME Project is proud to announce the release of GNOME 3.24, "Portland".
  • GNOME 3.24 Released, This Is What’s New
    Hurrah! GNOME 3.24 is now available to download. The latest stable release of the open-source GNOME desktop, GNOME 3.24 brings a number of new features and improvements to the proverbial table, including one that might even help you sleep better!
  • GNOME 3.24 Linux desktop environment is here
    My absolute favorite desktop environment for Linux is GNOME. Quite frankly, if the DE went away tomorrow, I might have to rethink my use of Linux entirely. Yeah, I am that passionate about it. Environment aside, the GNOME experience also includes a collection of applications, creating a coherent user experience.
  • GNOME 3.24 Released
    GNOME 3.24, the latest version of GNOME 3, is now available. Introducing an updated platform and applications, the release includes a number of major new features and enhancements, as well as many smaller improvements and bug fixes. 3.24 represents another step forward for GNOME, and has much to offer both users and developers.