Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

A New Year, A New Kwort

Filed under
Linux
Reviews
-s

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 4.2.3.2 with Firefox 1.5 and OpenOffice.org 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, OpenOffice.org is version 2.0.4, and Firefox is 2.0.0.2. Some other interesting packages include wireless tool, ndiswrapper, openssl, iptables, wget, and bind. Also found are Gaim 2.0b6, Gimp 2.2.1.3, 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 OpenOffice.org 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

Red Hat News

  • Improving Storage Performance with Ceph and Flash
    Ceph is a storage system designed to be used at scale, with clusters of Ceph in deployment in excess of 40 petabytes today. At LinuxCon Europe, Allen Samuels, Engineering Fellow at Western Digital, says that Ceph has been proven to scale out reasonably well. Samuels says, “the most important thing that a storage management system does in the clustered world is to give you availability and durability,” and much of the technology in Ceph focuses on controlling the availability and the durability of your data. In his presentation, Samuels talks not just about some of the performance advantages to deploying Ceph on Flash, but he also goes into detail about what they are doing to optimize Ceph in future releases.
  • Ceph and Flash by Allen Samuels, Western Digital
  • Red Hat Opens Up OpenShift Dedicated to Google Cloud Platform
    When businesses and enterprises begin adopting data center platforms that utilize containerization, then and only then can we finally say that the container trend is sweeping the planet. Red Hat’s starter option for containerization platforms is OpenShift Dedicated — a public cloud-based, mostly preconfigured solution, which launched at this time last year on Amazon AWS.
  • Volatility Numbers in View for Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT)

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Rhizome is working on an open-source tool to help archive digital content
    "The stability of this kind of easy archiving for document storage, review and revision is a great possibility, but the workflow for journalists is very specific, so the grant will allow us to figure out how it could function." Another feature of Webrecorder that journalists might find appealing, and one of the software's core purposes, is to preserve material that might be deleted or become unavailable in time. However, the tool is currently operated under a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Takedown policy. This means any individual can ask for a record of their web presence or materials to be removed, so Rhizome will be working to "answer the more complicated questions and figure out policies" around privacy and copyright with the latest round of funding.
  • An ode to releasing software
    There is one particular moment in every Free and Open Source Software project: it’s the time when the software is about to get released. The software has been totally frozen of course, QA tests have been made, all the lights are green; the website still needs to be updated with the release notes, perhaps some new content and of course the stable builds have to be uploaded. The release time is always a special one. The very day of the release, there is some excitement and often a bit of stress. The release manager(s), as well as everyone working on the project’s infrastructure are busy making sure everything is ready when the upload of the stable version of the software, binaries and source, has been completed. In many cases, some attention is paid to the main project’s mirror servers so that the downloads are fluid and work (mostly) flawlessly as soon as the release has been pushed and published.
  • Diversity Scholarship Series: My Time at CloudNativeCon 2016
    CloudNativeCon 2016 was a wonderful first conference for me and although the whirlwind of a conference is tiring, I left feeling motivated and inspired. The conference made me feel like I was a part of the community and technology I have been working with daily.
  • WordPress 4.7 Content Management System Provides New Design Options
    WordPress is among the most widely used open-source technologies in the world, powering more than 70 million websites. WordPress 4.7 was released Dec. 6, providing a new milestone update including new features for both users and developers. As is typically the case with new WordPress releases, there is also a new default theme in the 4.7 update. The 2017 theme provides users with a number of interesting attributes including the large feature image as well as the ability to have a video as part of the header image. The Theme Customizer feature enables users to more intuitively adjust various elements of a theme, to fit the needs of websites that use will upgrade to WordPress 4.7. In addition, the new custom CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) feature within a theme preview lets users quickly see how style changes will change the look of a site. As an open-source project, WordPress benefits from participation of independent contributors and for the 4.7 release there were 482 contributors. In this slideshow eWEEK takes a look at some of the highlights of the WordPress 4.7 release.
  • Psychology Professor Releases Free, Open-Source, Preprint Software
    The Center for Open Science, directed by University of Virginia psychology professor Brian Nosek, has launched three new services to more quickly share research data as the center continues its mission to press for openness, integrity and reproducibility of scientific research. Typically, researchers send preprint manuscripts detailing their research findings to peer-reviewed academic journals, such as Nature and Science. The review process can take months or even years before publication – if the research is published at all. By contrast, “preprinting,” or sharing non-peer-reviewed research results online, enables crucial data to get out to the community the moment it is completed. That, said Nosek, is critical.
  • Integral Ad Science Launches Open Source SDK to Drive Mobile Innovation for the Advertising Industry
  • Tullett Prebon Information, Quaternion and Columbia University form open source risk collaboration
  • Tullett Prebon Information And Quaternion Risk Management Partner To Enhance Transparency And Standardisation In Risk Modelling – Partnership Fuels Columbia University Research To Improve Understanding Of Systemic Risk
  • Integral Ad Science Partners with Google, Others for Open Source Viewability
  • DoomRL creator makes free roguelike open-source to try and counter Zenimax legal threat
  • DoomRL Goes Open-Source in Face of Copyright Claims
    Earlier this week, ZeniMax Medi hit DoomRL, a popular roguelike version of the original first-person shooter, with a cease-and-desist order. This order instructed producer ChaosForge to remove the free downloadable game to prevent further legal action. Instead of taking it down, co-creator Kornel Kisielewicz turned the game open-source.
  • This Indian software company just partnered with the world’s biggest open source community
    In what can be called a major motivation for Indian tech firms, Amrut Software, an end-to-end Software, BPO services and solutions provider has become a GitHub distributor for India region. GitHub hosts world’s biggest open source community along with the most popular version control systems, configuration management and collaboration tools for software developers. It has some of the largest installations of repositories in the world.
  • Python 3.6 released with many new improvements and features
    Python,the high-level interpreted programming language is now one of the most preferred programming language by beginners and professional-level developers.So,here Python 3.6 is now available with many changes,improvements and of course the ease of Python was not left in the work list.

Security Leftovers