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Exploring the outer limits

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Linux
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Released over the weekend, aLinux 12.5 is looking good. Not only is it looking good, but it's fast, stable, and 'just works'. There are many distros I like, but only a few excite. Tuxmachines is extremely excited about aLinux 12.5.


aLinux is a wonderfully integrated desktop experience. The first thing I noticed was all the eyecandy in aLinux 12.5. From the install background splash to the desktop wallpapers, windecs, and assorted goodies, aLinux is "Pulling all the stops".

        

One can't help but notice all the extra handy dandy applications from securing your system to enjoying the full internet experience to playing media to graphic work. And what's more handy than containing many of them in a nice central menu location?

        

Under the hood is a 2.6.12 kernel, installable gcc 3.3.3 and xorg 6.8.2 from April which brings a nice compromise between bleeding edge and stability. aLinux features many extras to make your computing experience completely enjoyable. One of the things not included in most other distros is the ready-to-go mozilla. I could click on movie files and actually watch them, I could browse ecards without having to download and install flash first and the java tested out perfectly.

        

In addition aLinux has multimedia covered as well. They offer several audio players, tv apps and movie players. Mplayer handled any movie (demo) files I threw at it, albeit one looked as tho the scaling was off which probably could be adjusted by someone with the desire to review the options. At default I was quite please although I had to install the nvidia drivers to get the correct playback speed.

    

Installing the nvidia drivers required a bit of linux voodoo on my part. Fortunately the required packages were available thru synaptic/apt-get to install in order to accomplish this. Oh how I wish I had seen aLinux's offering of nvidia drivers prior to coaxing kernel sources, gcc-devel, binutils-devel, and glibc-devel on there. However, these tools are quite important and will be needed in the future. Too bad aLinux doesn't have room to ship with them.

Once you get the system installed it's a eye pleasing treat. It ships with KDE version 3.4.1 and comes with many extra KDE apps and eyecandy not included in the basic tarballs.

The installer works wonderfully, however I found it a little less intuitive than desired. I'm an old hack at installing Linux distributions, but I had to pause and think about some of the options in the installer. It looks a bit like Slackware's, but it's a little less friendly in spots. For example the screen with the choices for parted_magic, stage_1, or re-configure. Now I know, but it took pressing on all three before I figured out that stage_1 was what I was looking for to just pick an already prepared partition to name as root, and I didn't seem to find a way to back up. Each desired "back" ended up being a restart for me. So, I think the installer could be a bit more user-friendly.

The hardware detection was accurate, save that same bttv card with which all distros have trouble, and the later configuration was easy enough. The given choices of auto-detect/set up of a few things, intermediate to allow the user to set up a few other things, and the expert to set up most everything on your system work well. Then finally the choice of installing lilo was presented.

The little personal issue I had with the installer is not enough to detract from this wonderful distro. Having started out a mini at about 200mb (if memory serves), it is now a full size ~700mb download. But in the 700 megabytes is a plethora of beautiful eyecandy, useful applications and handy utilities. I was really impressed and as stated previously quite excited about aLinux. They have done a wonderful job!

Some improvements this release include:

  1. Desktop GUI - Cosmetically enriched/cleaner design. Includes:

    • [KBFX Start/Launch - K Menu button replacement. Supports animation w/ XP style menus].

    • [SuSE - K Window decoration replacement].
    • [Linspire Crystal Clear - K Widget set replacement for both QT/GTK2 unity].
    • [MTaskbar/TaskbarV2 - K Taskbar replacement. Translucent support w/ image tooltips].
    • [Icons - K CrystalSVG replacement/addition. Picked from 17 beautiful icon sets].
    • [New Wallpapers, etc.]
  2. Hundred more - true type fonts added.
  3. Konqueror load time efficiently quicker - Now cached before each log-in.
  4. Koffice v1.4.1. New addition 'Krita' - Gimp like image manipulation program.
  5. K3b v0.12.3 CD/DVD Burning - Easier than ever to use - simply beautiful.
  6. ImageMagick v6.2.3 added.
  7. Kernel updated v2.6.12.2, etc.

More Screenshots in the gallery and on the aLinux site. Download your copy today!

More in Tux Machines

Release of PyPy 7.2

  • PyPy v7.2 released

    As always, this release is 100% compatible with the previous one and fixed several issues and bugs raised by the growing community of PyPy users. We strongly recommend updating. Many of the fixes are the direct result of end-user bug reports, so please continue reporting issues as they crop up.

  • PyPy 7.2 released

    Version 7.2 of PyPy, an implementation of the Python language, is out.

  • PyPy 7.2 Released With Full 64-bit AArch64 Support, PyPy 3.6 Beyond Beta

    PyPy 7.2 is out today as a big update for this alternative Python implementation that currently provides interpreters for compatibility with Python 2.7 and Python 3.6. In cooperation with Arm and Crossbar.io, PyPy developers have been working on complete 64-bit ARM (AArch64) support and this summer they achieved getting the PyPy JIT running on 64-bit ARM. PyPy 7.2 is the first release with this 64-bit ARM support now in good standing.

today's leftovers

  • Intel Firmware Binaries Land For AX200/AX201 Bluetooth Linux Support

    With devices beginning to hit store shelves using the new Intel WiFi 6 AX200 series chipsets, the firmware binaries have landed in linux-firmware.git for rounding out support for these latest WiFi/Bluetooth adapters. For a few kernel releases now since earlier this year these new Intel wireless chipsets have been supported by the mainline kernel but the firmware hasn't been part of the de facto linux-firmware.git tree that houses the various firmware binaries for different hardware component support under Linux.

  • Improving distfile mirror structure

    The Gentoo distfile mirror network is essential in distributing sources to our users. It offloads upstream download locations, improves throughput and reliability, guarantees distfile persistency. The current structure of distfile mirrors dates back to 2002. It might have worked well back when we mirrored around 2500 files but it proved not to scale well. Today, mirrors hold almost 70 000 files, and this number has been causing problems for mirror admins.

  • LibreOffice 6.2.7 packages available for Slackware 14.2

    There was a recent update in my repository of LibreOffice packages, but that libreoffice-6.3.2 was just for slackware-current. There’s a recent release in the LibreOffice 6.2 stable series as well (ok… five weeks ago, not that recent…), and so I decided to use my build box’s free weekend to come up with packages for LibreOffice 6.2.7. This release has a security improvement over previous versions, in that it will popup a warning to the user if a document tries to run an embedded script (similar to existing warning mechanism for embedded macros).

Graphics and Standards

  • SHADERed 1.2.3 Released With Support For 3D Textures & Audio Shaders

    SHADERed is the open-source, cross-platform project for creating and testing HLSL/GLSL shaders. While a version number of 1.2.3 may not seem like a big update, some notable additions can be found within this new SHADERed release.

  • Vulkan 1.1.125 Released With SPIR-V 1.4 Support

    Succeeding Vulkan 1.1.124 one week later is now Vulkan 1.1.125 with a lone new extension. Vulkan 1.1.125 has its usual clarifications and corrections to this graphics API specification. Meanwhile the new extension introduced in the overnight v1.1.125 release is VK_KHR_spirv_1_4.

  • Making Movies Accessible for Everyone

    For the first time, people who are deaf or hard of hearing will be able to enjoy the Nairobi leg of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, opening on October 15.

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