Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

An Austrumi Assessment

Filed under
Linux
Reviews
-s
Austrumi Linux 0.9.5

Austrumi is a Latvian Linux distribution, with support for English, presented in a 48mb iso, based on Slackware Linux using Blin init scripts. Austrumi released version 0.9.5 earlier this month, and included a 2.6.11 kernel and FVWM. It comes with a variety of applications for daily tasks and looks good doing it.

Its requirements include:

  • CPU - Intel-compatible (pentium or later);

  • RAM - at least 96 MB for X implimentation;
  • HD - not needed;
  • CD-ROM - bootable CD-ROM drive.

Some included applications are:

  • Graphic

    • gqview - image browser

    • gimp - Image Manipulation Program
    • inkscape - SVG editor
  • Office
    • gcalctool - graphical calculator

    • abiword - word processor
    • gnumeric - spreadsheet editor
    • stardict - dictionary
    • bluefish - html editor
    • gv - a PostScript and PDF previewer
  • Internet
    • firefox - WWW browser

    • gftp - ftp client
    • skype - free internet telephony
    • gitmail - mail client
    • apache - Web server
    • vsftpd - ftp server
    • xmail - mail server
  • Other
    • emelfm - file manager

    • gtkfind - graphical file finding program
    • rxvt - color VT102 terminal emulator
    • LinNeighborhood - samba client

Austrumi's default language is Latvian but my first look around wasn't hindered a great deal due to the icons and pics included. However, I was quite relieved to discover the English option in the menu. "Sakt"->"Sistema"->"leslegt anglu" to be exact. Once enabled, Austrumi seems more usable to the average English speaking person like myself. Even better than that perhaps was the discovery of how wonderful the fonts look. Do I dare say Austrumi has the best looking default fonts I've seen in a distro since pclos or mandriva? They were just gorgeous, even in Firefox. I tried to discover their secret, but was unsuccessful during my short excursion. I will probably be revisiting that quest by and by.

More strking than the nice desktop or the beautiful fonts was the blazing fast performance. I've never experienced anything like the speed of Austrumi. Even used in it's livecd format, this operating system was breaking landspeed records. When have you ever known gimp or firefox to open in about 2 seconds? My hardware is a 2800+ Barton on a KT400 mobo with 512 mb ddr ram, a mid-performance machine at best. This performance must be in part because Austrumi caches the entire cd into memory. (As an added bonus, this enables Austrumi to release the cd and free up the drive for other uses.) Due to this wonderful discovery, I was quite interested in it's hard drive install application.

One word on that hard drive installer: DON'T! Don't do it. Drop the mouse and step back away from the keyboard. I thought the interface seemed a bit primative and sparce. I felt a sense of foreboding, but being Me, I continued anyway. I chose to use my last unused partition, /dev/hda20. I highlighted it from the menu and told it to put lilo on it's root (as there seemed to be no option to skip it). It preceded to wipe out my hda1 and my windows XP install. Sure, not a major loss and the rest of my data and systems were intact, but still I'd rather had it install where I wanted. In fact, it didn't install at all. All it installed was a lost&found file on hda1. Shame shame shame. A destructive application should not be included in the menu until it's at least almost operative. Austrumi lost major points for this faux pas.

Another strike against Austrumi in my book, and this is perhaps a personal choice, was the mounting all my partitions automagically. I have an aversion to distros doing that. This is a formula for disaster. What if one has to hit reset? And I did.

I had to hit reset one boot tho the system didn't seem entirely unresponsive, none of the menu items worked and commands in the terminal just seemed to stagnate. They just sat there unexecuted. All the usual get-out-unscathed techniques failed. In addition, X crashed more than once and several applications crashed out a few times. One boot, gimp wouldn't open at all.

The boot process is based on the Blin operating system. When I booted the first time, I struggled to recognize it. It was refreshing to see a mini not use knoppix or damn small as their base and noticed it's hardware detection was doing a wonderful job. But I just couldn't put my finger on it. Reading the sparce website, I discovered it credited Blin with it's startup scripts. After boot one can look around and recognize some telltail signs that it has its roots in Slackware. However many basic commandline tools and commands were missing and made things a tad more challenging.

The final strike is its network connection setup. In today's Linux world, one almost expects the internet connection to work upon boot. If the machine is on a lan behind a router, one can set up their connection fairly easily with 3 short commands, or fortunately there is netconfig in the menu. One can setup a static, dhcp, or ppp connection, although the static setup didn't set up the gateway, so the connection didn't work. The dhcp method seems to work just fine.

In summation, Austrumi has some wonderful features going for it, but it also has several issues it needs to address. I found it nice looking with fantastic fonts and speed, but it also seemed a bit buggy and slightly destructive. I'll keep an eye on this distro, but three strikes and you're out this inning. I doubt I'll ever try to install to my harddrive using its installer again. ...now where did I put that xp install disk and my linux boot floppy?

Screenshots in the gallery.

re: Austrumi at a crossroad?

Yes, it was surprizing little distro and I was fairly impressed at the development so far. It wasn't quite ready for prime time at that release, but I expect to be someday soon. I will be keeping my eye on Austrumi.

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

Yep

I already got it downloaded and burnt. I was fixing to fire it up in a bit to test it out and maybe write up a little something on it. I wonder about the hard drive installer. Does it seem fixed?

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

re: English

It's moved release 0.9.7. It's under Desktop, which in latvian .. well, it's the 4th item from the bottom in the menu and then it's the first item in that submenu.

Thank you for saying about the site. Smile

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

Comment viewing options

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

More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

Review: Linuxfx 10.6

The Linuxfx distribution, which is sometimes referred to as "Windowsfx" on the project's website and in various applications, is based on Linux Mint and appears to one have overarching goal: to look and act as much like Microsoft Windows 10 as possible. The distribution does this by adjusting the desktop, theme, icons, and settings panel to look as much like Microsoft's operating system as possible. The project then adds in WINE, a virtual assistant application, and adjusts application launchers to resemble those used by Windows. Under the hood though Linuxfx is still very much running Linux Mint packages as its base with the Cinnamon desktop environment. I was surprised to find the distribution's recent stable release, 10.5, has been removed from the project's download mirrors. The only edition available to me was a new version labablled 10.6 which runs on 64-bit (x86_64) machines exclusively. The download for this live media is 3.8GB in size. Note: Following writing this review, just before publication, the Linuxfx team removed the free downloads for version 10.6 (and earlier versions of the distribution) from their website. The distribution is now a commercial offering. Read more

LibreOffice 10th Anniversary

Today is LibreOffice 10th Anniversary: it is a significant achievement for the project, and a date to remember for all community members. We have created a video based on pictures of community members and a few events, in two versions: a long one, for blogs and websites, and a short version for social media. Read more

Linux 5.9 RC7

  • Linux 5.9-rc7
    So we finally have all the issues I know about sorted out - the fix
    for the VM issue I mentioned in the rc6 announcement is here, as is
    the fix for the slab corruption issue that was separately discussed,
    along with another silly page locking bug one-liner fix.
    
    But while I do now know of any remaining gating issues any more, the
    fixes came in fairly late. So unless I feel insanely optimistic and/or
    a burning bush tells me that everything is bug-free, my plan right now
    is that I'll do another rc next Sunday rather than the final 5.9
    release. And btw, please no more burning bushes. We're kind of
    sensitive about those on the West coast right now.
    
    Anyway, while the MM side is what kept me on my toes last week, most
    of the changes here are actually drivers and networking. And
    networking drivers. With a small smattering of documentation and
    filesystem fixes and other noise thrown in.
    
    Shortlog appended, but what I really hope you all will do is to give
    it a nice good testing. One extra week or rc kernels will help, but
    only if people actually try this out.
    
    So.. Please?
    
                  Linus
    
  • Kernel prepatch 5.9-rc7

    The 5.9-rc7 kernel prepatch is out for testing. "But while I do now know of any remaining gating issues any more, the fixes came in fairly late. So unless I feel insanely optimistic and/or a burning bush tells me that everything is bug-free, my plan right now is that I'll do another rc next Sunday rather than the final 5.9 release. And btw, please no more burning bushes. We're kind of sensitive about those on the West coast right now."

  • Linux 5.9 Stable Expected In Two Weeks, But For Now Is Linux 5.9-rc7

    Linus Torvalds just released Linux 5.9-rc7 as the newest weekly test candidate for Linux 5.9. Due to the regressions encountered this cycle and prominent issues being resolved late, he's looking at releasing Linux 5.9 in two weeks time rather than next week.