Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Wolvix: Leader of the Pack

Filed under
Linux
Reviews
-s

A new distribution is in our midst and it clearly deserves some attention. Wolvix is a Linux distribution livecd based on Slax and is available as a 456M download. The site says, "It's a desktop oriented distribution made to fit the needs from regular to advanced desktop users." When the head developer wrote and asked me to take a look, I said, "sure." But I was not expecting quite what I found.

To quote the site, "With Wolvix you can: Surf the internet, read email, chat with friends over ICQ, MSN, Jabber, Yahoo, IRC, etc. Watch movies in various file formats including DVD. Listen to your favorite music. Create graphics and webpages. Hook up to Windows networks with Samba. Transfer files over FTP or BitTorrent. And the best of all. It's free.

Along with the applications you'll get some of the best free Linux games. (No 3D gfx card required) - All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. =)"

Indeed I found Wolvix 1.0.2 to be this and much more. It is based on the 143MB Slax, so this means it is derived from Slackware. Using Linux Live boot scripts, all hardware is detected and appropriate modules loaded. The boot is a fast text boot and being based on Slax, it comes with several nice boot options. Some include: gui, which tells it to boot straight into X without stopping at a console for login, nohd, that tells it not to mount all your partitions automagically, and copy2ram. Copy2ram is a nice feature that loads the entire cd into ramdisk for faster operation. The options screen states that it requires 256 MB of ram to work, but this is the only option or feature found in Wolvix that did not work for me. At 512 MB ram, I still ran out of memory when trying that boot option. However, I found in the default mode as a livecd, the system functioned quite well and responsively. The desktops and the applications performed fast and was stable as well. The nohd option is worth the author's weight in gold. And the gui option is rather nice as well.

        

When either using the gui option or booting to the console for logging in, one has only a root account to use. I suppose in a livecd environment and as long as coupled with the nohd option, it's not entirely a bad thing. The only application that had a problem with it was Xchat that warned one shouldn't hook up to irc network as root.

One of the options at the log in screen is xconf. This is as it looks, a configuration for X. One can set up glx through this option if desired. Left alone, X uses vesa as default and I always find that a wonderfully sensible choice for developers. As such, there were no problems encountered when starting the x server and gui. Even in vesa mode, the 2D games functioned quite well. In fact I wasted almost a 1/2 hour playing Lbreakout.

        

Other log in options include: startx = which starts the default Xfce4 (4.2.2) window manager; flux, which starts the fluxbox (0.9.13) window manager; and ice, which starts the icewm (1.2.23pre1) window manager. All the light and fast desktop choices are unified by using the same wallpaper, very similar looks as well as a very consistant menu. The wallpaper is this tasteful background in a grayish hue embossed with a paw print. I'm guessing that is a wolf paw print. Coupled with that is tormso in xfce4 and what looks like a calender adesklet across the board. Fluxbox comes with a nice monitoring application setup as well in the form of the dockapps wmcpuload, wmmemmon, wmclockmon, wmix, and fbpager. The menu is almost identical across the board. All desktops feature a quicklaunch to a transparent aterm - another feature adding consistency as well as similar windec for each as possible. These few little added details give the whole system a more polished and planned feel. It adds to the user experience in such a manner as to promote comfort and ease of use.

        

Aside from the window manager choice, comes a whole plethora of software for productivity, entertainment, and internet. Not only does Wolvix come with some nice gui applications, it also includes a whole suite of useful commandline/console applications as well as menu items to start them. Some of these include mp3blaster, mc, centericq, and mutt. Neato!

    

Well, if console apps aren't your thing, have no fear. Wolvix comes with a whole stack of wonderful and useful graphical applications to complete your given task. It features abiword for word processing, gnumeric for spread sheets, and the firefox/thunderbird team. It has a real nice selection of games as well as several applications for image viewing and manipulation. One of them being blender, and of course another, the gimp.

        

        

Wolvix also includes applications to make your internet experience complete as well as mucho multimedia enjoyment. It comes with gaim, XChat, Audacity, Beep, mplayer and xine. ...really just way to much to list.

        

Speaking of mplayer, it comes all nicely equipped with all the libs and codecs to play just about any media file you throw at it.

        

Another wonderful feature of Wolvix is the inclusion of gslapt (slapt-get). This is a package manager for the slackware distribution in the same strain as synaptic. It comes with repository already set up to download and install from a slackware 10.1 mirror. Although I'm not sure of the uses of it in a livecd environment, perhaps this is an indication of a harddrive installer in the near future. I didn't see one as of yet, nor any mention of it on the Wolvix site.

        

Wolvix is in its third release, the original 1.0 only released August 31. Wolvix 1.0.2 was announced yesterday, September 20. The changelog can be viewed HERE, and many version numbers are reported there. Wolvix comes on a linux-2.6.12-2 kernel and with Xorg 6.8.2.

In summation, Wolvix is all that it claims and more. I found the entire experience quite enjoyable and easy. Despite its small size, it's complete with wonderful assortment of included applications and utilities. It's fast and stable! I didn't experience one lockup, freeze, or crash. The unified desktop experience gives it polished look and feel. I was highly impressed with this offering and can recommend it to anyone. In fact, I suggest you download and try it out for yourself today. It is definitely at least a 9 out of 10!

Screenshots here.

Distrowatch has added this distribution to is lineup as of this morning.


Thank you very much for the nice review.

I had some initial problems with the new release, as I found an issue
with Gaim and MSN. (SSL problem) The issue has been fixed and I've
uploaded the new ISO.
As I was uploading the fix my distro appeared on DistroWatch and I got
lots of hits on the website, which slowed down the process. I hope I
didn't upset too many people with the upload and change of ISOs.

Thanks again. =)

Edit:
There is a guest account too. The login/password is guest/guest, but it has a few problems: PySol and glHack does not work and there is an issue with the soundmixer causing SnackAmp to refuse starting.

re: review

Oh, there's no real need to thank me, but thank you for saying. Just as with the reviews that get me nasty emails and mean comments, I just tell it like it is. You've done a real nice job here. I plan to keep an eye on your announcements page. Smile

----
You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

re: wonderful mini

Yeah, I'm working with one stick of 512mb 333ddr, corsair mmx.

----
You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

Slack- based distros are always interesting.

Because of its simple, straightforward design, Slackware has been the basis of some really interesting and creative second and third generation dikstros, including Slax, Vector Linux, and Zenwalk. I really want to try Wolvix.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Red Hat and Fedora

Red Hat Fedora
  • Fedora LiveUSB Creator artwork
    As my first job as Red Hat design intern I received from Mo a task to create some icons for Fedora LiveUSB Creator. The liveusb-creator is a cross-platform tool for easily installing live operating systems on to USB flash drives. A Live USB system stored on flash memory, sometimes called a stick, lets you boot any USB-bootable computer into a Fedora operating system environment without writing to that computer’s hard disk.
  • LINE Messenger on Linux
  • Bodhi in Fedora 23 is Ready
  • Got the issue resolved and back to work after exams :)
    And also according to the feedback it has also been suggested to use a footer similar to the one in getfedora.org. Hence the modified design of the footer is also depicted in the mockups below. And as always feedback on these are welcome.
  • Please sign off your patches
    One aspect of open source that appeals to many people is the idea that anyone can contribute. All it takes is a great idea, a little bit of work, and you can have fame, glory, and more conference t-shirts than you know what to do with. The reality is often not quite as simple for many reasons. A common complication is software licencing. There are plenty of other locations talking about open source software licencing and the complications there of so this one will be narrowly focused and have a simple request: When submitting patches for the Linux kernel, whether to official kernel mailings lists or to Fedora, please remember sign off your patches.

Open source is the only way to operate, Accuvant researchers to release open source RFID access tool

  • VA Secretary: Open source is the only way to operate
    Veterans Affairs Department Secretary Bob McDonald voiced his support for open source technology July 30, as he outlined a broad reform plan that includes streamlining information technology and taking a more "holistic" look at customer service. "We have over 200 databases with customer information. That means if you want to change your address, you have to go to at least nine places to change your address at VA," said McDonald during a morning keynote July 30 at a conference in Bethesda, Md.
  • Accuvant researchers to release open source RFID access tool
    Security researchers have long known about the vulnerabilities of the RFID readers that many buildings use instead of door locks, but facilities managers have been slow to upgrade to more secure systems. To draw attention to the problem, at next week's Black Hat conference, Accuvant researchers will be releasing an open source piece of hardware that can be used to circumvent these readers.
  • OpenDaylight Project Picks Up Steam

LaaS (Linux as a Service) -- What you can expect when you build a Linux server in the cloud

Now, before I go any further with this, I should say that LaaS (Linux as a Service) is really not one of the acknowledged ?aaS acronyms. Linux servers in the cloud are generally considered PaaS (platform as a service) or IaaS (infrastructure as a service) offerings depending on how much control you need to exert over their configuration (the more you have to do, the more likely they're IaaS). The distinction may not matter unless you're setting up multiple systems in the cloud that need to interract with each other. In fact, Amazon doesn't even use these terms to describe its EC2 offerings. Read more

Migrate from Proprietary Software to Linux to Create Cost Savings

Amongst the top IT trends of the moment is the development of Linux Containers. Financial and technical investors, Linux software programmers and customers believe that Linux Containers will transform the way organisations manage their Linux environments from deployment to maintenance. A recent survey by Red Hat and Techvalidate says that 56% of the respondents plan to use Linux containers as vehicles for rolling out web and eCommerce over the next two years. The respondents included a number of Fortune 500 companies and public sector organisations. Any development in the world of e-Commerce is definitely worth taking a look. Read more