New release Ultima Linux 8 was announced this morning and we thought we'd try again. Given our past track record with Ultima, we were a bit leary. To quote the Ultima site, "Ultima Linux is a free distribution of the Linux operating system designed for stability, ease of use, and lots of penguin eye-candy. With Ultima Linux, you get a complete desktop system with everything you?ve come to expect from a computer ? Web browsing, e-mail, word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, image manipulation, and multimedia, for starters ? absolutely free." Well, we're hoping the "third time's a charm," or is it going to be "three strikes - you're out?"
Rubix is a Linux distribution forked from Slackware Linux. It differs from its parent in that Rubix uses Arch Linux's 'pacman' for simplified package management with dependency resolution. They released rc2 for their upcoming version 1.0 and we took it for a little spin.
Woohoo, Suse 10.1 Beta 1 is here, one of the milestones in the development of a new release. It came a bit later than expected, at least for me. I had picked out a coupla fast mirrors before hand and began my download before announcements were made. As soon as OSNews and Distrowatch reported its release, the mirrors slowed to a crawl. It took the better part of the 20th to download SUSE 10.1 beta1. All this to say, SUSE, even in beta, has got to be one of the most popular distros available. And with good reason. I've been following the development of SUSE since the formation of OpenSuse and I have acquired quite a liking to its polish and completeness, its great tools and little extras, and its fast performance and stability. As has become the norm here at Tuxmachines, we installed the new beta to look around and see what we see. This is our report.
VLOS 1.2.1 was released yesterday with lots of changes and upgrades. Most notable for me was the new Anaconda version updated to FC5 Test1. In addition, other versions include GCC 4.0.1, glibc 2.3.5, GNOME 2.12.1. Their announcement claimed version 7.0 of Xorg, but I got 6.8.2. Anyway, with all these great sounding updates, how can we go wrong? We installed VLOS today and this is our report.
Sam is an installable livecd based on Mandriva Cooker and uses xfce4 as its desktop. I tested Sam about a year ago back when it was still a mini distro of approximately 200mb. At that time it wouldn't stay running long enough to permit us taking some screenshots. They released a full 700 mb preview of their upcoming 2006 release and we at Tuxmachines thought we'd check it out. How did Sam do this time?
SimplyMEPIS 3.4-3rc1 was offered for consumption recently and it was asked if it was soup yet? It'd been quite a few years since I had looked at Mepis, and I thought this was the perfect time to get reacquainted. The announcement used such enticements as a 2.6.15 kernel, Firefox 1.5, and udev. We downloaded and burnt said distro in record time and was off to the races with great hast. What did we find?
With the release of the new Ultima LiveCD, Tuxmachines felt this distro deserved a second chance (third actually, I just didn't write about the 2nd failed test a while back). Since its hard drive install didn't fair real well here, we'd hoped some updates and bug fixes would show vast improvement for this slack-based distro. How did Ultima Linux do this time?
Stx Linux is a small lightweight operating system for the x86 arch. It is based on Slackware and slackware derivatives. One of the key features of Stx is it's ability to perform admirably on older hardware, and it's minimum requirements are a pentium 1 with 32 mb ram. Tuxmachines has covered some of the developmental releases, RC2 and RC3, but since final was released today, we felt it deserved yet another look. Today we'll look at an upgrade as well as a fresh install.
Free Upgrade Southtyrol's Schools (FUSS) is a project aimed at providing a system of only free software to it's teachers, students, and parents. It may emphasize educational programs, but it is also a full distro based on morphix and featuring the gnome desktop environment. Soledad-live-1.0, was released on Dec. 22, 2005 and is currently on Distrowatch's waiting list. Today Tuxmachines took Soledad 1.0 for a spin and here is a summary of what we found.
"VectorLinux is a small, fast, Linux operating system for Intel, AMD and x86 compatible systems, based on one of the original Linux distributions, Slackware." The developers put out released candidate 2 of the small office - home office edition on Jan. 4, 2006, and since we've never tested any Vector, we thought it was time. The soho edition, "as its name implies, is a distro aimed at Small Office and Home Office users."
A new project has come to my attention and it sounds really interesting. Well, I say new, but I actually mean "new to me." Apparently the UTUTO project has been around since 2000. The site states, "Its first version, massively distributed in October of year 2000 in Argentina by Diego Saravia of the National University of Salta, was very simple to use. It worked from CD-ROM with no need of installation. It was one of the first "lives" of the planet." Distrowatch tells us, "Ututo GNU/Linux is a CD-based Linux distribution developed by Diego Saravia at the Universidad Nacional de Salta in Argentina, based on Gentoo Linux, and designed to be used by home/office users, developers, organisations and government users." What's more, it appears they develop versions for several architectures, install or livecd, available thru ftp, http, or bittorent. Their community consists of forums, irc channels, and a mailing list. Their site and irc channels are available for IPv4 or IPv6 and the site is available in five languages. They even have radio and tv broadcasts. This is either a large project or these guys never sleep! They released test version 2 of 2006 for the i686 on January 1 and we thought it'd be a good time to take a look-see at this exciting project.
Stx released a new release candidate a few days back and just in time for my dying harddrive. Fortunately I received a new bigger harddrive for Christmas. ...unfortunately, I hadn't copied all of my partitions/installs to it before it completely gave up the ghost last night. Another good thing tho, I already had stx-1.0-rc3.iso sitting on my gentoo desktop (that I did ghost over the first day of installing said new hardware). So, this morning I installed stx-1.0-rc3 and figured why waste the experience. Here's a little update since our last look.
With all the changes in Mandrivaland this year, it was nice that one thing remained the same, Mandriva's tradition of releasing a Christmas Cooker Snapshot. We had heard rumors of a release for club members, so Tuxmachines is particularly thrilled Mandriva released something for the general public too. Glancing through the changelog we see a lot of bug fixes and software updates. Should you upgrade? This is what we found when we booted up our sparking new 2006.1-0.3 install.
A brand new distro has been released and Tuxmachines is on the case. NepaLinux is a Debian-based live and installation CD localised into the Nepali language, complete with Nepali fonts, input method, spell and grammar checker, dictionary, and GNOME theme. It was said, "With the launching of the software, Nepali people who are using pirated software can use Nepali software free of cost." Well, any purpose that produces a new linux distro is good enough for me. But can NepaLinux persuade windows pirates to switch?
An updated version of Linux XP was released on December 21 and since then I had been waiting for an English release. There was an English directory on the mirror, so I thought one would be forthcoming. I gave up. I downloaded the Russian version and was able to get it to display in English with a few mouse clicks. So don't let the fact it's a Russian distro throw you off. Test it out anyway... if you want a distro that is based on Fedora/Redhat, comes with a 2.6.10 kernel, Xorg 6.8.1, and gnome 2.12, yet looks remarkably like KDE meets Windows.
2005 has been an exciting year on the Linux distribution front. For some of us, every year is an exciting year in Linux, but 2005 was undoubtedly a banner year for open source and Linux to be sure. We've seen a lot of technological progress as well as some philosophical, personnel, and directional changes. I think it's only fitting to look at some of Tuxmachines' Top Distro Picks of 2005.
Almost a month ago I attempted an install of Gentoo using Kororaa and it didn't quite go as hoped. About a week ago Chris, of Kororaa, writes to mention that he released Beta2-r1. He stated that he was finally able to find a machine that would reproduce my error and thought he had fixed it. He asked if I could test it, and I apologize for the delay, but today I finally did. So, what happened this time?
Kat is purring louder than ever, and folks are hearing. Not long ago Kat was a new technology brought to my attention by being included in a beta of the last Mandriva release. Not much later I interviewed Roberto Cappuccio and found out much more about him and his exciting project. Recently an article by Roberto was published in one of the largest Linux magazines in existence today. Now Robert Cappuccio celebrates a new site, a new logo and fund raiser.
OpenSuSE's SUSE Linux 10.1 alpha4 was released right on schedule December 15 and as usual those developers have been hard at work. No big visual changes, but plenty under-the-hood serve as testament to their dedication. Again some key features this release include superior performance, unparalleled stability, and unrivaled software availability. Weelll, almost...