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

Leftovers: Software

  • mpv Is a Media Player with No UI That Runs From Terminal
    mpv, an open source media player that has been forked from mplayer2 and MPlayer and that works only from the command line, has been upgraded to version 0.7.3 and is ready for download.
  • unhtml: Peeling away the layers
    unhtml is one of probably two or three (or four or five …) html-strippers that I’ve seen since the start of this silly little site, and while it’s not the most elegant or flexible, it might be the oldest.
  • List Of Tools To Monitor The Health Of Your Linux System
    Achieving good performance from a computer or network is an important part of system administration.The monitoring and maintenance of the system is the most important task listed in the checklists for daily tasks of a system and network administrator. There are many commands line utilities created for this purpose.
  • Clamping down on users with rbash
    For the first thing, it's an optional feature of bash. It can be included in bash if the --enable-restricted option is used with the configure command when bash is built. To make it usable, you (assuming you're the admin now) create a symbolic link to bash and call is rbash. It's as simple as that. And if you're not sure if a system that you use or administer provides the rbash functionality, try this:
  • What is a good command-line IRC client on Linux
    Now replaced more and more by forums, social networks, or mailing lists, IRC was once the method of communication of the web. And if it stands today as the last bastion of hackers and bearded Linux users, it remains one of the fastest and most specific channel of communication. If you have a technical difficulty, or just want some company, there is an appropriate IRC channel for you. And if you are tired of the YouTube comment section and its torrent of hate, IRC people are in general much more behaved (and moderated). So in short, here is a non-exhaustive list of IRC console clients. Why console? Because if you go down there, you might as well do it in style.
  • AppStream 0.8 released!
    Yesterday I released version 0.8 of AppStream, the cross-distribution standard for software metadata, that is currently used by GNOME-Software, Muon and Apper in to display rich metadata about applications and other software components.
  • AppStream 0.8 Works On Improving Open-Source Software Metadata
  • Centreon: A Free Alternative To Nagios Xi Monitoring Platform
  • imgflo 0.3: GEGL metaoperations++
    GEGL has for a long time supported meta-operations: operations which are built as a sub-graph of other operations. However, they had to be built programatically using the C API which limited tooling support and the platform-specific nature made them hard to distribute. [...] This makes Flowhub+imgflo a useful tool also outside the web-based processing workflow it is primarily built for. Feature is available in GEGL and GIMP master as of last week, and will be released in GIMP 2.10 / GEGL 0.3.
  • Opera Founder Builds a New, Fast and Powerful Browser Called Vivaldi – Gallery
    Vivaldi is a web browser based on Chromium, developed by an Opera founder and his team. They want to provide a browser that is aimed at power users and that makes no compromises regarding its functionality.

today's howtos

Leftovers: Gaming