Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

SAM Linux - Great little OS

Filed under
Linux

While writing my column I was testing SAM Linux to feature as one of the Linux distributions released last month. And in playing around with it, I realized what an untapped treasure it is. Light apps, tasteful eyecandy, handy tools, multimedia and hardware support add up to make this one of the best out-of-the-box desktops available.

SAM is based on PCLOS and as such retains some of the telltale signs - some application splash screens, the PCLOS/Mandriva hard drive installer, Synaptic, and PCLOS' version of the Mandriva Control Center. These are great and probably indispensable, but it's the uniquely SAM characteristics that really seemed to shine.

The DESKTOP

The Xfce4 desktop is really maturing. In fact, being utilized in SAM like it is could convince one that it might be ready to replace KDE 3 on your desktop. But SAM has really dressed it up. The Wbar launcher at the top lends a feel of elegance without overcomplication. The two child panels at either corner give the desktop a touch of unique functionality (one's a screenshot button and the other a few desktop configurations). The Desklets offer added functionality with a shot of cool. My favorite is the Weather applet. Overall, it just feels complete and polished. It looks as though the developers really put a lot of thought and effort in designing their desktop.

APPLICATIONS

SAM ships as a one CD image, but that doesn't mean its shy on apps. While it doesn't come with OpenOffice.org, it does have Abiword. Abiword recently put out a new version and it got several nice reviews. Since I need OOo for one of my jobs, I would have to install it either from repositories or from the OpenOffice.org site.

The other categories might need a bit of padding too depending upon your requirements and likes, but maybe not. For multimedia there's GNOME Mplayer, Kino (creation/editing), recordmydesktop, XMMS, and a mobile format converter. For Internet services there's Firefox 3.5.1, Opera, Pidgin, and p2p and downloaders. For graphics there's The GIMP, gThumb, and gtkam. And like it's cousin, it comes with codecs and plugins for full multimedia enjoyment locally and on the Web.

    

TOOLS

SAM comes with lots and lots of tools and utilities. In the Toolbox folder on the desktop is things like USB and Hard drive installers, Mandriva's graphics configuration, and a nice Introduction/Help file.

Brasero, FlyBack (a system backup and restore tool), BleechBit (file cleaner), and GConf Cleaner (GConf database cleaner) are also found. Don't forget the PCLinuxOS version of Mandriva's Control Center. That really only has one rival in the Linux world and that's OpenSUSE's YAST Control Center. You can configure about anything in that. Also included is the Mandriva Network Manager. SAM inherits the great wireless support added by PCLOS making it convenient to connect to your wireless router. And, of course, who can forget Synaptic? It comes pre-configured with PCLOS repositories and thus has access to all the great applications from that project.

Conclusion

Rarely does a distribution greatly impress me these days. I've tested and written about so many that I've begun to become lethargic. Rarely do I get excited anymore. That's why I was taken with SAM. It brought back some of that old wide-eyed enthusiastic fascination I used to experience.

Too bad it might be short-lived. I hear rumors this is the last release to be based on PCLOS. I'm keeping an open mind, but I fear the worst.

More Screenshots
SAM Website

More in Tux Machines

SUSE: Containers, IBM, Predictions and Openwashing SAP

  • Demystifying Containers – Part III: Container Images

    This series of blog posts and corresponding talks aims to provide you with a pragmatic view on containers from a historic perspective. Together we will discover modern cloud architectures layer by layer, which means we will start at the Linux Kernel level and end up at writing our own secure cloud native applications. Simple examples paired with the historic background will guide you from the beginning with a minimal Linux environment up to crafting secure containers, which fit perfectly into todays’ and futures’ orchestration world. In the end it should be much easier to understand how features within the Linux kernel, container tools, runtimes, software defined networks and orchestration software like Kubernetes are designed and how they work under the hood.

  • Announcing the new IBM LinuxONE III – Combined with SUSE for One of the Most Secure Platforms on the Planet

    Our guest blog writer is Kara Todd, Director of Linux at IBM with an exciting announcement from IBM – with SUSE Linux Enterprise playing an integral role! Announcing the new IBM LinuxONE III – the system you need for the most secure, flexible system to support your initiatives today, and you need that system to grow and evolve with you for tomorrow. The latest LinuxONE system was designed to support your mission-critical initiatives and allow you to be innovative as you design and scale your environment. LinuxONE III provides features for advanced data protection and privacy, enterprise resiliency and scalability, and cloud enablement and integration. These tools set the foundation to enable you to build with flexibility, deliver with confidence, and protect the future.

  • Top 10 Technology Predictions for 2019 Revisited – Here’s my Personal Performance Appraisal

    Open source continues to play a key role in all these other dominant technology trends. That’s why 82% of large organizations are more receptive to open source than they were 5 years ago, and 83% of hiring managers are looking for open source talent as a priority. So, how did I do overall with my predictions? Based on my own appraisal, I scored a creditable 9/10, and I’m feeling pretty good about that. However, I guess I wasn’t taking a huge risk. By way of full disclosure, I track all of these trends as part of my role at SUSE, and as a leading technology partner, SUSE works very closely with all its customers.

  • Introduction to SUSE Linux Enterprise is now available on openSAP

today's howtos

Android Leftovers

The community-led renaissance of open source

With few commercial participants, early free software and open source communities were, by definition, community-led. Software was designed and created organically by communities of users in response to their needs and inspiration. The results, to a degree nobody predicted, were often magical. First-generation open source businesses like Red Hat emerged to respond to these needs. They combined the best of both worlds: the flexibility and control of raw open source with the commercial support that enterprises depend on. These new open source businesses found their opportunity by adding the missing—but necessary—commercial services to community-led open source projects. These services would be costly for organizations to provide on their own and potentially even more costly to do without. One early leader of that era, Cygnus Solutions, even adopted the counter-intuitive tagline "Making free software affordable." But back then, it was always overwhelmingly clear: The commercial vendors were in service of the community, filling in around the edges to enable commercial applications. The community was the star, and the companies were the supporting cast. Read more