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

GNU, GTK/GNOME, and More Development News

  • GNU Emacs 27.1 Adds HarfBuzz Text Shaping, Native JSON Parsing

    GNU Emacs 27.1 is the latest feature release for this very extensible text editor. With Emacs 27.1 there is support for utilizing the HarfBuzz library for text shaping. HarfBuzz is also what's already used extensively by GNOME, KDE, Android, LibreOffice, and many other open-source applications. Emacs 27.1 also adds built-in support for arbitrary-size integers, native support for JSON parsing, better support for Cairo drawing, support for XDG conventions for init files, the lexical binding is now used by default, built-in support for tab bar and tab-line, and support for resizing/rotating images without ImageMagick, among other changes.

  • Philip Withnall: Controlling safety vs speed when writing files

    g_file_set_contents() has worked fine for many years (and will continue to do so). However, it doesn’t provide much flexibility. When writing a file out on Linux there are various ways to do it, some slower but safer — and some faster, but less safe, in the sense that if your program or the system crashes part-way through writing the file, the file might be left in an indeterminate state. It might be garbled, missing, empty, or contain only the old contents. g_file_set_contents() chose a fairly safe (but not the fastest) approach to writing out files: write the new contents to a temporary file, fsync() it, and then atomically rename() the temporary file over the top of the old file. This approach means that other processes only ever see the old file contents or the new file contents (but not the partially-written new file contents); and it means that if there’s a crash, either the old file will exist or the new file will exist. However, it doesn’t guarantee that the new file will be safely stored on disk by the time g_file_set_contents() returns. It also has fewer guarantees if the old file didn’t exist (i.e. if the file is being written out for the first time).

  • Daniel Espinosa: Training Maintainers

    Is not just help others to help you, is a matter of responsibility with Open Source Community. Your life have wonders and should change for better, so you will be lost opportunities or simple can’t work on your favorite open source project. Prepare your self to be a maintainer professor, change your mind for the beginning and help others, that is also a great contribution to open source software. Be kind. Your potential contributors will take over when required. Making sure they have the abilities and use best practices in the project, is not just good for your project, is good for all others out there; they will use them to help other projects.

  • nanotime 0.3.1: Misc Build Fixes for Yuge New Features!

    The nanotime 0.3.0 release four days ago was so exciting that we decided to do it again! Kidding aside, and fairly extensive tests notwithstanding we were bitten by a few build errors: who knew clang on macOS needed extra curlies to be happy, another manifestation of Solaris having no idea what a timezone setting “America/New_York” is, plus some extra pickyness from the SAN tests and whatnot. So Leonardo and I gave it some extra care over the weekend, uploaded it late yesterday and here we are with 0.3.1. Thanks again to CRAN for prompt processing even though they are clearly deluged shortly before their (brief) summer break.

  • Explore 10 popular open source development tools

    There is no shortage of closed-source development tools on the market, and most of them work quite well. However, developers who opt for open source tools stand to gain a number of benefits. In this piece, we'll take a quick look at the specific benefits of open source development tools, and then examine 10 of today's most popular tooling options. [...] Git is a distributed code management and version-control system, often used with web-based code management platforms like GitHub and GitLab. The integration with these platforms makes it easy for teams to contribute and collaborate, however getting the most out of Git will require some kind of third-party platform. Some claim, however, that Git support for Windows is not as robust as it is for Linux, which is potentially a turnoff for Windows-centric developers. [...] NetBeans is a Java-based IDE similar to Eclipse, and also supports development in a wide range of programming languages. However, NetBeans focuses on providing functionality out of the box, whereas Eclipse leans heavily on its plugin ecosystem to help developers set up needed features.

  • Andre Roberge: Rich + Friendly-traceback: first look

    After a couple of hours of work, I have been able to use Rich to add colour to Friendly-traceback. Rich is a fantastic project, which has already gotten a fair bit of attention and deserves even more. The following is just a preview of things to come; it is just a quick proof of concept.

  • Growing Dask To Make Scaling Python Data Science Easier At Coiled

    Python is a leading choice for data science due to the immense number of libraries and frameworks readily available to support it, but it is still difficult to scale. Dask is a framework designed to transparently run your data analysis across multiple CPU cores and multiple servers. Using Dask lifts a limitation for scaling your analytical workloads, but brings with it the complexity of server administration, deployment, and security. In this episode Matthew Rocklin and Hugo Bowne-Anderson discuss their recently formed company Coiled and how they are working to make use and maintenance of Dask in production. The share the goals for the business, their approach to building a profitable company based on open source, and the difficulties they face while growing a new team during a global pandemic.

today's howtos and instructional sessions/videos

TDF Annual Report and LibreOffice Latest

  • TDF Annual Report 2019

    The Annual Report of The Document Foundation for the year 2019 is now available in PDF format from TDF Nextcloud in two different versions: low resolution (6.4MB) and high resolution (53.2MB). The annual report is based on the German version presented to the authorities in April. The 54 page document has been entirely created with free open source software: written contents have obviously been developed with LibreOffice Writer (desktop) and collaboratively modified with LibreOffice Writer (online), charts have been created with LibreOffice Calc and prepared for publishing with LibreOffice Draw, drawings and tables have been developed or modified (from legacy PDF originals) with LibreOffice Draw, images have been prepared for publishing with GIMP, and the layout has been created with Scribus based on the existing templates.

  • LibreOffice QA/Dev Report: July 2020

    LibreOffice 6.4.5 was announced on July, 2

  • Physics Based Animation Effects Week#10

    This week, I was mainly working on cleaning up and migrating the patches from my experimental branch to LO master.

Better Than Top: 7 System Monitoring Tools for Linux to Keep an Eye on Vital System Stats

Top command is good but there are better alternatives to Top. Take a look at these system monitoring tools in Linux that are similar to top but are actually better. Read more