Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

A New Year, A New Kwort

Filed under

It was just about a year ago that I first tested slackware-based Kwort Linux. At that time I was impressed with its customized appearance and exclusive kpkg. Then kpkg wasn't included in the install image and I recall hoping it would be with later releases. I also recall being quite intrigued by the unique mascot of Kwort Linux, a creature I never quite defined. So, it was with great pleasure and anticipation that I began downloading their newest release, Kwort Linux 2.2.

Kwort is a slackware-based operating system featuring the Xfce4 desktop with Kwort's own Network Manager and kpkg package manager. Its minimum requirements are:

  • Processor: PC i486 or above.

  • RAM: 16Mb for base system (minimum). 32Mb for desktop (minimum), 64Mb recommended.
  • Disk Space: 200Mb for base system, 1.5Mb for full desktop (Openoffice 2.0 included).

Downloading the 486mb Kwort iso took a bit longer than one might wish, but it arrived and burnt without issue. Booting the disk brings one to a slightly modified slackware installer. It's not your more common mouse-driven framebuffered graphical installer, but still the nostalgically simple keyboard-driven ascii-graphical. There are but a few question to be answered in order to install Kwort, with the most difficult step for newcomers probably being partitioning if needed. Kwort has support for the ext2 and ext3 filesystems. This is a smart decision on their part as it will not require the use of an initrd image that be a bit difficult for newcomers to complete. Personally, my install went like clockwork and finished in very short order without issue. I could hardly wait to boot my new Kwort desktop. I admit, my fascination with the mascot was very motivating. What would I find on my desktop this time?

Seems Kwort Linux does have a new mascot this year. The new mascot appears to be a customized penguin in blue. He's pretty cute, but when I first saw it I thought to myself that his name must be Edward Scissorfins. I was disappointed he didn't reside on the desktop, but had to console myself with him on the start button. Kwort opted for more subtle wallpaper this time. Their new default background looks like a cross between KDE's and openSUSE's default. Looking through the settings one finds it's called aqua. The window decoration and style is just called xfce, but it looks very much like the one found as default in DreamLinux. In any case, the combination looks really pretty and polished.

Last year Kwort featured a 2.6.14 kernel, Xorg 6.9.0, gcc 3.3.6 and xfce with Firefox 1.5 and 2.0. This year they have progressed to a 2.6.19 kernel, Xorg is still 6.9.0, gcc is 3.4.6, xfce4 is the 4.4.0 final, is version 2.0.4, and Firefox is Some other interesting packages include wireless tool, ndiswrapper, openssl, iptables, wget, and bind. Also found are Gaim 2.0b6, Gimp, Sylpheed, graveman, ffmedia, and more.



Of course Kwort comes with all the great little modules found in Xfce4's settings center as well as the Xfce4 panel applet module. In addition, Kwort has added their own Kwort Network Manager to the Xfce settings manager. In it one can configure their network connection to suite their needs, including hostname, domainname server, gateway, and supposedly their ethernet or wireless specifics. I had a bit of trouble with the later mentioned. The wireless tool didn't open and the lan configuration opened the Xdialog box instead of the target app. However, the net connection is configured during install and remains afterwards. This whole app is a nice addition and I look forward to its future refinements and capabilities.


But I think one of the best things about Kwort is their package management system. Kpkg is a simple easy way to search for packages, install or uninstall individual or groups of packages, or upgrade the system over a net connection from a remote mirror. At this time it is still a commandline tool very much in the same ilk as apt-get. In fact, the operations mimic apt-get very closely. Some of the more common uses include:

  • kpkg update
  • kpkg install <package/app name>
  • kpkg search <package/app name>

There are more advanced options as well. In fact, they have some wonderful documention online at their site. I did run into a glitch or two when installing some packages. The first being dependencies. For example, I installed MPlayer and it installed without error and even put an entry in the menu. However it wouldn't open. Seems it needed libspeex and libsdl. Trying to start it from the commandline revealed the problems and the needed libraries were just a kpkg install away. Another was problems installing a package or two. I thought there might be a more major problem at first, but I think now it was due to Kwort's slow mirror. Rerunning the request a second time completed it just fine. So, there may be little hiccups along the way, but overall the kpkg system seems to function really well. I think Kwort could really use a faster mirror. If anyone knows of someone who might be able to mirror the Kwort isos and packages I imagine they'd like to hear of it. Please keep them in mind.

So, after figuring out the dependency issue with MPlayer and issuing a kpkg install win32codecs I was able to watch any of my video files on hand. Flash and java aren't included on the iso, but Flash is in the repository. I didn't find cups or xsane backends. Removeable media isn't automatically mounted upon insertion, but that is on the lead developer's wish-list.

Overall I really like this little light-weight system. It seemed very easy to install and use. It was stable and fast, even opened in a mere 2 or 3 seconds. It looks better than ever and includes a nice selection of apps to get one started. In addition, their package repository is being enhanced everyday. If you'd like a nice slackware based system with Xfce4 as the desktop, Kwort is a viable option. It's just a really cool little system.

More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

Linux Kernel News

  • Applying the Linus Torvalds “Good Taste” Coding Requirement
    In a recent interview with Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, at approximately 14:20 in the interview, he made a quick point about coding with “good taste”. Good taste? The interviewer prodded him for details and Linus came prepared with illustrations. He presented a code snippet. But this wasn’t “good taste” code. This snippet was an example of poor taste in order to provide some initial contrast.
  • DTrace for Linux 2016
    With the final major capability for BPF tracing (timed sampling) merging in Linux 4.9-rc1, the Linux kernel now has raw capabilities similar to those provided by DTrace, the advanced tracer from Solaris. As a long time DTrace user and expert, this is an exciting milestone! On Linux, you can now analyze the performance of applications and the kernel using production-safe low-overhead custom tracing, with latency histograms, frequency counts, and more.
  • The initial bus1 patch posting

OSS Leftovers

  • Pitt, partners create open source software for cancer genome data
    Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, UPMC and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center have created software to help investigators more easily navigate genomic cancer data. The free, open-source software, profiled Thursday in the journal PLOS ONE, processes data generated by The Cancer Genome Atlas project. Funding for the new software was provided by the Institute of Precision Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.
  • Starting a Career as an Open Source Developer
    "Disney, John Deere and Walmart. Any idea what these three companies have in common?" The question was asked on Wednesday by Brandon Keepers, GitHub's head of open source. He was about three minutes into a session he was conducting called "Contributing to Your Career" at the All Things Open conference. "All three of these companies are actually software companies," he answered after taking a moment to tease the audience. "They do other things. They build tractors, protect trademarks and build amusement parks, and sell groceraies and things that you need everyday. But they've also become software companies and they've become really active in open source -- and they're not alone."
  • A look at how retail giant Walmart is becoming open source first
    It’s rare that we speak to large, global enterprises that are redesigning their technology stack and culture around an open source first policy. More often than not companies stick to their legacy vendors of choice, or they shift to ‘reliable’ cloud/digital vendors where similar buying rules apply. However, that’s exactly what Walmart is doing. Since acquiring performance lifecycle management start-up OneOps four years ago, in order to implement a DevOps approach to its e-commerce environment, the retailer is also prioritising open source over everything else – with it having made a big investment in OpenStack for its infrastructure.
  • Open source no longer scares the enterprise
    Open source breaks the rules on corporate procurement, but developers never play by the rules and now open source has sneaked in through the back door A study by Vanson Bourne for Rackspace reports that businesses are making big savings by using open source. In the survey of 300 organisations, three out of five respondents cited cost savings as the top benefit, reducing average cost per project by £30,146.
  • Defining MANO: Open Source vs. Standards
    As service providers are working to deploy NFV-based services, they are finding that management and orchestration (MANO) is a pain point. One of the big questions about MANO is how we go from a high-level architecture diagram to interoperable implementations. Do we take the traditional telco path and work through standards bodies? Or do we take a cloud-centric path and focus on open source development projects?
  • Eclipse Kapua IoT Project Gets Code from Eurotech and Red Hat
    The nascent Eclipse Kapua project got a big boost this week from its chief sponsors, open source solutions provider Red Hat and M2M/IoT platform provider Eurotech. The two companies announced their first official code contributions to the recently approved project, through which they are developing a modular, cloud-based platform for managing IoT gateways and smart edge devices. Red Hat and Eurotech collaborated to propose the project last June.

Red Hat and Fedora

  • ESDS Teams Up With Red Hat On Managed Cloud Hosting Services
    ESDS Software Solution has announced that it has joined hands with Red Hat to bring together the benefits of cloud solutions to legacy applications and enterprise databases. Customers can now avail managed data and cloud hosting services on ESDS eNlight Cloud platform that allows vertical auto scaling of virtual machines. ESDS can now offer needed agility to enterprises that may not otherwise reap the benefits of cloud, given the architecture of their systems. eNlight Cloud is a state-of-the-art cloud hosting solution with a built-in ability to automatically scale CPU and RAM on-the fly. Customers can now access the benefits of automatic load sensing and scaling, pay-per-consumption metered billing, root access to enterprise databases and managed OS, database and network services by using Red Hat Enterprise Linux on patented eNlight Cloud. This solution is targeted at customers across several verticals including aviation, banking, manufacturing, oil & gas, shipping and telecommunications.
  • Swisscom, UKCloud Adopt Red Hat OpenStack Platform
    Red Hat announced today that both Swisscom and UKCloud will be leveraging its OpenStack platform as the companies transition toward cloud computing. Swisscom will use the platform to develop its own cloud platform, and UKCloud will provide its customers with the ability to deliver digital services directly to UK citizens.
  • Red Hat Inc. (RHT) Stake Increased by Rail Splitter Capital Management LLC
  • Bodhi 2.3.0 released
    Bodhi 2.3.0 is a feature and bug fix release.
  • Fedora at Ohio Linuxfest 2016
    We arrived at the our hotel around 1PM on Friday. After checking in we headed over to find the new site in the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The first things we noticed was the Columbus Convention Center is doing a major renovation and one of those renovations was they removed the escalators from the food court to the second floor. At first we thought this may be a issue to move the event stuff in but there was an elevator close by. Also no signage for OLF in the Food Court area. After getting off the elevator on the second floor there was a sign pointing around the corner to the Ohio Linuxfest registration table. This year Ohio Linuxfest charged $10 for general attendees (free to students with student ID). We checked in and out our badges (yes insert favorite Blazing Saddles joke here). We walked down to the Vendor Expo hall which this year had a grand total of 28 exhibitors (see website for vendor lists). While the Expo was setup ready for Vendors to move in but the Vendor Expo was not open to the public on Friday.