Welcome to another episode of "As the Beta Turns." When last we left our illustrious hero we found that many improvements were made and obvious bugs were down to a minimum. Software Manager was heard saying, "pacman-1.001 was successfully installed." We pick up in today's episode when Software Manager says, "Can't read installation sources!" <dum dum duummm>
Well, well, right in the midst of waiting on new parts for my main test machine, Damn Small Linux releases version 2.3. My favorite mini-Linux that can be tested on my antique p1 laptop, this release is an example of perfect timing. In fact, even if my desktop wasn't down for the count, my laptop is where my interest is for this release. The last several versions of DSL I tested proved to disappoint in the area of wireless support. So, how did Damn Small Linux 2.3 perform on this lovely Spring Day?
I was recently informed of the new release of MyahOS 2.0. I began my download last night and tested the system today. I more or less quoted the developer, Jeremiah Cheatham, when I typed in our announcement. As was said, MyahOS 2.0 is a completely new system rebuilt from the ground up using Slackware Current packages. It features the 188.8.131.52 test kernel and has patched in squashfs, unionfs, and bootsplash. It also sports the latest KDE 3.5.1 with the latest qt and xorg 6.9.0.
Well, it's that time of year again. Buttercups are blooming, little birds are making their way back, and a beta 8 of SUSE is released... BETA 8? Wow. Have you ever known a release to go through so many betas? According to the Roadmap, there may only be one or two release candidates though, and we can expect some kind of word as to the final release date sometime around April 13. But these things tend to change often and we'll be right here to keep you posted. We weren't privy to the beta7, so could we expect some major improvements this public release? Well, let's find out.
Kwort is a linux distribution based on Slackware Linux and has recently been added to the Distrowatch waiting list. It comes with kernel 184.108.40.206, Xorg 6.9.0, gcc 3.3.6 and xfce 220.127.116.11. Their site states, "Kwort's desktop and applications are completely based on the gtk2 toolkit." Tuxmachines took Kwort for a spin around the block, and this is what we discovered.
Distrowatch reported, "The Kororaa project has released a live CD demonstrating the new Xgl technology for 3D window manipulation and other unusual effects: "Today I am happy to release a Kororaa live CD showcasing Xgl technology. If you would like to find out what it's all about, then download the CD and boot up your PC! The Live CD comes with X.Org 7.0, GNOME 2.12.2, 3D support and of course Xgl. Supported drivers are 'nvidia' (NVIDIA) and 'fglrx' (ATI). Minimum recommended configuration is Pentium 3 with NVIDIA GeForce video card."" So, of course we downloaded it and checked it out.
Yoper is a Linux Distribution that takes the best of the best and rolls it into their own 686 optimized system. They released a beta of 3.0, dubbed Blacksand, a few days ago and someone put a little bug in my ear to test it. So we downloaded the iso linked to at Distrowatch and tested it this morning. So, how did Yoper stack up?
SUSE 10.1 beta 6 hit the mirrors yesterday and announcements went up all over the web. Seems everyone is following development of 10.1 with great interest. This release brings lots of improvements and a new surprize or two. Overall, we are starting to see the release the 10.1 will become.
The release of Mandriva Linux One 2006 Beta 2 was announced yesterday. As we didn't have too much luck with the first one and early reports state the boot problems still exist, Tuxmachines almost took a pass on this release. That would have been a mistake. This beta 2 shows the kind of release we've come to expect from Mandriva, even in the beta stage, and we are proud to report we had wonderful results this time.
Distrowatch says, "Japan's Alpha Systems has released Accelerated KNOPPIX 1.0, a fast-booting variant of the popular KNOPPIX live CD. By re-arranging the Cloop file system block and optimising the hardware detection and configuration step, the developers have succeeded in reducing the CD boot time to under 60 seconds, while maintaining the full functionality of the distribution. More details with illustrations of the technology" on their site. Whoohoo. To quote a famous American actor, "I feel the need, the need for speed!"
Why? That one thought kept echoing through my thoughts as I installed and ran SUSE 10.1 Beta 5. Around the net several articles entitled something to the effect of "SUSE releases two betas within 4 days" as if it was an accomplishment of 10.0 proportions! Some progress was made, but it reminded me of the old saying "2 steps forward and 3 steps back."
A livecd from popular Linux distribution company Mandriva hit mirrors and the press yesterday and being a Mandriva fan, I just had to test it. Unfortunately I won't be able to sing its praises this day. It was a disappointing experience from first link click to finally rebooting my machine out of it. It was based on Mandriva 2006, so I suppose I was expecting more usability. Let me recount my experience with this livecd.
Distrowatch says that 'Hedinux is a beginner-friendly, i686-optimised desktop Linux distribution built from scratch.' Hedinux released their 2006.1-alpha recently and Tuxmachines thought, "yippee, freshmeat!" Well, it turns out Hedinux isn't exactly brand new, but they were to us. This is what we found when we booted their livecd.
Beta 4 finally made onto servers yesterday, and onto my machine today. It took some doing, I admit, but I have it installed. I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, and rather than make you wait til the end, I'll state up-front that there is no xgl included. Although rumor had it that was one of the reasons for the delay, the rpm packages needed are not included on the 5 cd set. They are still available from the factory tree repository, but don't expect any fancy screenshots for this "as installed" report.
Elive 0.4: "Serenity", featuring both Enlightenment 16 and 17, was released yesterday. "This version is a stabilization of 0.3, a better release with all bad things fixed, but also with many of new features; new installer, with more file systems supported and a cleaner installation." We tested last week's pre-4 and were disappointed in an inoperative harddrive installer. Did we have any better luck with the distribution release?
Wolvix 1.0.4 Media Edition has reached the beta2 stage as announced on February 13. We took the beta for a test drive and had some mixed results. Tuxmachines still loves Wolvix, but was glad this is just a beta. There is still time to fix the glitches we encountered while testing. Overall, it's still a great little system and this "media edition" is a wonderful idea, but some of the apps need some work.
Dreamlinux is a Brazilian distro based on Morphix and comes with the XFce4 desktop. Dreamlinux 1.0 Studio edition was released yesterday so we took it for a test drive today. Available in English and Portuguese, it defaults to English and offers one of the prettiest implementations of Xfce I've seen. How else does DreamLinux distinguish itself from Morphix or the others?
Grafpup is a tiny distro based on Puppy Linux focused moreso on graphic applications. It comes in a 75 mb download, similarly to Puppy, but it has taken out some of the general purpose, games, and multimedia applications and added more graphic apps. We test drove the newest version, Grafpup Linux 1.0.2, announced just today. Aimed at the professional graphic artist, most applications were quite useful even to a layperson like myself. When a distro comes in 75 mb, is chocked full of useful utilities and apps, and still includes gimp - you know they are doing something right.
With the release of RR4-Linux 3.0 beta0 and considering it didn't work here last release, I just had to try it again. It is a gorgeous liveDVD that comes with KDE 3.5 and nvidia drivers. I was so impressed with its beautiful desktop, I just had to install it onto my harddrive. But how did it do this time?