Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Stx 1.0 r2: He Wanted Testers!...

Filed under
Linux
Reviews
-s

To quote DistroWatch, "STX Linux is a Slackware-based distribution featuring the light-weight Equinox Desktop Environment and suitable for installation on older computers." Stibs released version 1.0 rc2 yesterday as announced on DistroWatch and PcLinuxOnline. They state:

* Mostly complete Linux Desktop
* Lightweight (about 1.1 GB installed, 368 MB ISO)
* Slackware 10.2 based (Slax Kernel 2.6.13.2) with Slapt-Get and Gslapt
* EDE 1.0.4 desktop w/ Gnome system tools (FRGnome base) * Works nicely on old Hardware (Oldest system tested so far: K5/75, 64 MB RAM, 130 MB Swap ... very slow but works)
* Harddisk Installer from Pocketlinux
* Very much like Windows(TM) 98/2000 - means easy switching.

I was a slightly intrigued when I saw the announcement on DistroWatch for Stx, but I was quite a bit behind in my projects for the weekend so I didn't really pay much attention to it until I saw the announcement on PcLinuxOnline. There STIBS posted his announcement as a request for "Distro testers wanted ..." This got my attention. When I read the information posted, all other reviews like Frugalware and Foresight would have to wait. This project sounded very interesting.

And very interesting it was. The installer was very much like the slackware installer I've seen numerous times now. The project page speaks of a livecd, but this iso came in the form of a hard drive installer. It was an easy install asking only a few question and none about package choices. There was no user setup or network config or any of the advance options we saw with KateOS. However, the system does come with a "demo" user, so you can still use it right away. If all hardware detection goes as planned and if you don't have a video chipset not properly supported by Xorg, one is booted to a graphical login manager. Type in the username: demo with the password: demo and you're off to the races. Once inside you can set up your normal user if desired. But I'm getting ahead of myself. ...The install was a no brainer.

Booting goes really well and the hardware detection was excellent. Although sitting on a 2.4 kernel, everything functioned as hoped, except that same nasty 'detecting my add-in ethernet card first' again. I'm going to have to yank that joker outta here! But printer detection went well and my scanner was auto-configured for me. Sound worked - really well, as did xmms (which sometimes doesn't in some of these distros).

After login, one is pleasantly ushered into the Equinox Desktop Environment. I got my first taste of ede when I installed it on my LFS install. I liked it then, and I like it now. It's very cute, lightweight, and very functional - a lot of nice options. I often wondered why more distros didn't choose this desktop and I think it was an excellent choice for Stx. And because it is so badly overlooked, it's a welcome change. ...Something different. It was very stable with nary a crash or freeze experienced. Kudos! Another good thing, the reboot and shutdown options worked in the logoff dialog of ede. Mine were grayed out in that same mentioned LFS.

The list of available applications was quite impressive for a 350mb download. It included the whole suite of mozilla. Mozilla is being thrown over these days for counterparts like Firefox and Flock, however, Mozilla is still the only one that comes with a complete suite of applications like a webpage builder, address book, irc client, and mail and newgroup. Again an excellent choice I think.

        

The gaming suite of The Ace of Penguins is included to help waste your valuable time. I think this was another intuitive choice in that it offers so much in one complete and uniform package. One can play mojahnog, minesweeper, solitaire, Freecell, or pegged.

The office catagory is headlined by TextMaker and PlanMaker as we similarly saw in Berry. As stated then, I really like Textmaker because of its lightweight and rock solid performance. Another insightful choice on the part of Stibs. Perusing the forums, I saw this information concerning TextMaker.

Textmaker 2002 which is included is freeware, Planmaker is crippleware free to use. You can only edit 1 sheet but I haven't found something better yet which doesn't require half of Gnome ...

STIBS

This is either a new development, or something I overlooked when putting together my LFS install. In addition, it may be possible this is the case with Berry, that I reported as a time-limited demo. In any case, this is a wonderful development. No more deleting the /textmaker directory and reinstalling every 30 days for me now. Big Grin (oppps, did I just say that?)

Some of the graphic applications include a pdf viewer, Xfi image viewer, Inkscape, flphoto picture album. Others include gimp and xsane. I thought gimp wasn't included, but saw it in the slapt-get repositories. But then was confused by it's offer to "re-install" it instead of installing. I installed (upgraded to) 2.3.5 before I saw the errata:

I missed a Symlink for Gimp: After login to STX, open a terminal, su to root and: ln -s /usr/bin/gimp-2.3 /usr/bin/gimp .

        

Multimedia was hit and miss. Xmms worked wonderfully, but I had trouble with xine wanting to play any movie files I had. I messed around in the config for a while, but didn't have much luck. Stx comes with aumix and ede has its own mixer as well. Graveman is included for cd and dvd burning. There wasn't much in the way of browser plugin support, however jre is installable thru gslapt.

Internet applications include gaim, putty, gFTP, D4X, and LinNeighborhood among a few others as well as the above mentioned mozilla suite for irc, contacts, and such.

Another great find was XFE, X File Explorer, a file manager. Where was this when I was setting up my LFS? Big Grin But it's a real nice file manager for its size and fits in with ede really well as if it was a native app. In fact, it may be now, I need to check on that. (note to self: check on that.)

Then there's all this other neato stuff, in the areas of utilities, system tools and whatnot.

        

Amongst the many regular user applications found in Stx, is one stand-out, their own Stx Control Center. This is a really nice looking application that contains many useful system utilities, monitors, and configuration tools. Included inside the control center as well as alone in the menu is gslapt. If you haven't heard of it, it's a package manager for the slackware system based on, resembling, and functioning similarly to synaptic. It uses slapt-get for the back-end, again a slackware counterpart to Debian's apt-get. I'm not sure what was up with it, but it had slackware/current repositories setup for use, but many applications I searched for didn't show up. I'm going to have to add some more repositories to mine here I guess. In addition, from the control center one can add users, configure their net connection (dsl or dial-up), their display, monitor their system and so much more. Here's but a taste, other screenshots in the gallery.

        

        

One big drawback of the system was no compiler. In addition, with the repositories provided, there wasn't one in gslapt either. I think this is one area Stibs might seriously need to give some thought. A slack-based system, even with slapt-get, needs to come with a compiler. They don't always install from a package manager completely functional. Given the current size of the iso of ~350mb, I don't think the added mbs required would make much difference and it's really needed. (hint hint)

Another, perhaps personal preference, is the name. Stx needs an updated name. I kept pronouncing it "stux" and we already have a stux. s-t-x don't exactly roll off the tongue either and just didn't stick in my head. I think Stibs' Linux would be cool. Well... just a thought...

So, I guess you can probably tell that I, as a representative of Tuxmachines, can say that Tuxmachines really liked Stx Linux. ...We really really liked Stx Linux. ...a lot. It was an easy install, required little user configuration, complete for its size, light, fast, stable, fun and the fonts were gorgeous. I think his choices in applications show an almost eerie insightfulness rare in small distro developers. He states that he had it running on a p1 with 64 mb ram, if I can find or make a boot floppy for it, I'm gonna test this baby on my old laptop. Great job Stibs, I loooved it!

Download yours.

My Screenshots and Theirs.

Stx Linux Homepage.

slight corrections:

- Kernel is 2.6.13.2 from Slax
- boot floppy image is in /bootfloppy on the CDROM 2gether w/ rawrite (give your old laptop a spin =)

What really interests me, is what problems did you have with videos? In Moz is the GXine plugin registered, Flash is also installed (about:plugins). I played mpegs and wmv's from my harddisk and it didn't mutter (didn't test ram's and mov's). Maybe we can solve this 4 u quickly if you tell me a bit more about it =).
Thanx for this great review!
STIBS
PS:atang1, thx for pointing out the compressed fs option!

Re: slight corrections:

stibs wrote:

- Kernel is 2.6.13.2 from Slax

I coulda swore when I did a uname -a, it came back 2.4.something like 29. I'll double check when I get back from work this afternoon.

stibs wrote:

- boot floppy image is in /bootfloppy on the CDROM 2gether w/ rawrite (give your old laptop a spin =)

Cool! I haven't had time to look to hard yet, but was gonna check out the iso directories in hope. wonderful. I need a binary replacement for gentoo on that old laptop. It just can't handle all the compiling anymore. :D[/quote]

stibs wrote:

What really interests me, is what problems did you have with videos? In Moz is the GXine plugin registered, Flash is also installed (about:plugins). I played mpegs and wmv's from my harddisk and it didn't mutter (didn't test ram's and mov's). Maybe we can solve this 4 u quickly if you tell me a bit more about it =).

I couldn't say. All it kept saying was something like, 'this file ain't an asx format.' I just kinda figured the libraries weren't present. I was using vesa, so perhaps that had something to do with it. But then again, on the other hand, vesa usually does video just fine, even if sometimes in some distros, the player may drop frames. I've always found xine to be hit or miss. Mplayer almost always works.

I'll double check those browser plugins as well. I didn't look at the list or anything, I just went to a couple sites and got that 'place holder' image deal like when a plugin is needed.

stibs wrote:

Thanx for this great review!

STIBS


PS:atang1, thx for pointing out the compressed fs option!

Thank you.

Re: slight corrections:

srlinuxx wrote:
stibs wrote:

- Kernel is 2.6.13.2 from Slax

I coulda swore when I did a uname -a, it came back 2.4.something like 29. I'll double check when I get back from work this afternoon.

Ohhh, ok, I see where I musta got that impression... the (stripped down) kernel source is 2.4.31 in /usr/src. Well, I'm redfaced now. Big Grin

Sorry.

One of these days I'll post a review without major mistakes. Big Grin

Re: Difficulties...

> Wizzards in the instalation script

An FLTK based installer for graphical installation process is in the making. When I use xvesa it should perform on most hardware quite nicely. Screenshots: http://blog.mikeasoft.com/2005/09/23/stx-installer/

> several versions of STX can be selectively installed on different vintage of computers.

Problem for me is, I don't have enough resources and I don't want to make it too commercial that I need a company behind me as well as I don't want it become a BIG open source project.

> If hardware is more advanced, then more programs from a kpackage repository or CnR warehouse can add more power like Linspire.

Something like that is planned as well as FTP install facilities, even for low spec hardware.

Thx for all your suggestions =)
STIBS

Re: Difficulties...

stibs wrote:

> Wizzards in the instalation script

An FLTK based installer for graphical installation process is in the making. When I use xvesa it should perform on most hardware quite nicely. Screenshots: http://blog.mikeasoft.com/2005/09/23/stx-installer/

wooosh! that looks slick! ...can't wait.

Re: Open source or proprietary for STX ?

atang1 wrote:
If you are near San Francisco, talk to some venture capital people who will steal your company.

Rofl, thank goodness I'm at the opposite side of the world. Germany here. /me doesn't have to beat the Bushes, we can ignore them mostly.

atang1 wrote:
If you do get big money, don't forget us at Tuxmachines who work with you to make better Linux thru proprietary information technology.

Never =)

STIBS

Comment viewing options

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

More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • #MyOpenHA Part 1 -Philosophy
    Home Automation. The holy hipster and geek grail. I have played with it. I have tried. I have failed. But today I am proud to have a solution I can truly endorse. So join me on this journey. This series will explain my solution, in excruciating detail. In the hope that I can learn from you while I am explaining. This series will be filled over time with more and more articles. But now, let’s talk about philosophy. The Why. Soon you will see the What and How. One promise, or the TL;DR: It is all 100% Open Source. Well, almost. I have integrated some quite non-open things but always in an Open Source Way.
  • Disable the new Firefox 48 location bar - Tutorial
    Here we are. Seven minutes later, our life is bearable again, but not perfect. Thank you Mozilla, thank you very much. This is exactly what I needed to enrich my life. After all, we all know, cosmetic changes are good, because that's what plants crave. Stop with these idiotic tweaks please. No one cares. It won't make the browser better. It won't change the market share. It will not attract idiots, as idiots are happy. It will only alienate diehard users who keep on using your browser because they have no alternative. From a loved favorite to the least of evils choice. That's what Firefox has become.
  • What’s Happening in OpenStack-Ansible (WHOA) – August 2016
    My goal with these posts is to inform more people about what we’re doing in the OpenStack-Ansible community and bring on more contributors to the project.
  • PowerShell on Linux? No, Thank You [comic]
  • LLVM Might Get An AAP Back-End (Altruistic Processor)
    There's an active proposal to incorporate a back-end into LLVM for AAP, a processor ISA for deeply-embedded Harvard architectures. AAP is designed for FPGA usage and there is an open-source soft-core with commercial deployments also being available. AAP is short for the Altruistic Processor and is described in technical detail here. AAP is said to be an original design but inspired by the OpenRISC / RISC-V projects.
  • UK-French Data Taskforce publishes joint report
    "Invest in and share experiences building core data registers, learning from the French National Address Database experience”; “develop initiatives to bring basic data literacy into primary and secondary education”; and “commission research into algorithmic transparency and accountability” are among the recommendations listed in a report published in July by the joint French-UK Data Taskforce.
  • Tuscany: how to promote the economy of sharing and collaboration
    In June, the region of Tuscany (Italy), in collaboration with Open Toscana and ANCI Toscana, launched a project, the goal of which is to “build a regional policy on the economy of sharing and collaboration”.
  • MS Tries But Just Doesn’t Get FLOSS
    This is what drove me to GNU/Linux so many years ago.
  • Microsoft's maps lost Melbourne because it used bad Wikipedia data
    Microsoft has laid part of the blame for Bing Maps' mis-location of the Australian city of Melbourne by a whole hemisphere on Wikipedia. Yes, Wikipedia, “the free encyclopaedia that anyone can edit.” Microsoft made its admission after your correspondent took to Twitter on Monday to do what we in publishing call “pimping"the story of Melbourne's mis-placement. Ricky Brundritt, a senior program manager at Bing Maps, noticed that pimping and responded as follows.
  • Northern Ireland promotes Open Data in education
    The Northern Ireland Department of Finance has supported a challenge that encourages the re-use of public Open Data in education. Called the OpenDataNI Challenge – Using Open Data for Education” (ODNI4EDU), this project, officially launched on June 14, intends to award two applications or educational tools and resources that make use of at least one dataset published on the portal OpendataNI.
  • Try this handy tool to convert a Web site into a native app with Electron
  • Introducing CloudiumOS [Ed: built on Electron]
    It is a complete multi platform operating system that allows you to manage your documents, access your media files and collaborate with other people on the go. CloudiumOS can work side-by-side with another operating system (either via a VM, a Desktop app or Mobile App) or as a standalone installation.

Opera Data Breach, Security of Personal Data

  • Opera User? Your Stored Passwords May Have Been Stolen
    Barely a week passes without another well-known web company suffering a data breach or hack of some kind. This week it is Opera’s turn. Opera Software, the company behind the web-browser and recently sold to a Chinese consortium for $600 million, reported a ‘server breach incident’ on its blog this weekend.
  • When it comes to protecting personal data, security gurus make their own rules
    Marcin Kleczynski, CEO of a company devoted to protecting people from hackers, has safeguarded his Twitter account with a 14-character password and by turning on two-factor authentication, an extra precaution in case that password is cracked. But Cooper Quintin, a security researcher and chief technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, doesn’t bother running an anti-virus program on his computer. And Bruce Schneier? The prominent cryptography expert and chief technology officer of IBM-owned security company Resilient Systems, won’t even risk talking about what he does to secure his devices and data.

Android Leftovers

FOSS and Linux Events

  • On speaking at community conferences
    Many people reading this have already suffered me talking to them about Prometheus. In personal conversation, or in the talks I gave at DebConf15 in Heidelberg, the Debian SunCamp in Lloret de Mar, BRMlab in Prague, and even at a talk on a different topic at the RABS in Cluj-Napoca.
  • TPM Microconference Accepted into LPC 2016
    Although trusted platform modules (TPMs) have been the subject of some controversy over the years, it is quite likely that they have important roles to play in preventing firmware-based attacks, protecting user keys, and so on. However, some work is required to enable TPMs to successfully play these roles, including getting TPM support into bootloaders, securely distributing known-good hashes, and providing robust and repeatable handling of upgrades. In short, given the ever-more-hostile environments that our systems must operate in, it seems quite likely that much help will be needed, including from TPMs. For more details, see the TPM Microconference wiki page.
  • More translations added to the SFD countdown
    Software Freedom Day is celebrated all around the world and as usual our community helps us to provide marketing materials in their specific languages. While the wiki is rather simple to translate, the Countdown remains a bit more complicated and time consuming to localize. One needs to edit the SVG file and generate roughly a 100 pictures, then upload them to the wiki. Still this doesn’t scare the SFD teams around the world and we are happy to announce three more languages are ready to be used: French, Chinese and German!
feedback