Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

SaxenOS 1.1 rc2

Filed under
Linux
Reviews
-s

It's been over a year since I tested the origins of SaxenOS, but when rc2 of version 1.1 was announced I thought it was time to see what was new. There have been changes afoot within the SaxenOS project, some major changes. Yet some of the fundamentals remained the same. It was easy to see the roots of Saxen while appreciating the new.

When last we visited SaxenOS it was known as STX. It was a small lightweight distro, based on Slackware and designed for low-spec machines. The iso came in a mere 390mb download and featured the cute Equinox Desktop environment. It was fast and stable and featured its own STX Control Center for setting up some hardware and other basic configurations.

Today STX is SaxenOS. It is still based on Zenwalk 4.2 (which is based on Slackware 11) and it is still perfect for older hardware. The iso has grown to a full 614mb but now features the wonderful XFCE 4.4 desktop with the Thunar file manager. It's still fast and stable and features lots of great software choices. However, missing is the STX Control Center. There seems to be individual utilities to accomodate those configuration chores now.

The installer is still the same slackware derived ascii-graphical, somewhat simpified and super-fast. The whole install took about 15 minutes here, although your mileage may vary dependent upon your hardware. The installer itself couldn't be much easier unless it read your mind as to the partitioning. This could be the most difficult step for newcomers, but cfdisk is included should resizing and making partitions be necessary. After that it is a cakewalk. ADDSWAP, pick TARGET partition, sit through the INSTALL, set root password, (optionally) install bootloader, and it's over.

Despite the change in desktop environments, it still looks very similar to STX 1.0. The background is blue with the "pill" logo in the upper right corner. There's a panel monitor-width at the bottom with a few quick launchers next to the menu button on the left and some task indicators on the right. Active windows have their buttons in the taskbar. It's a practical and utilitarian setup with the added bonus of being familiar to previous users of STX or even Windows.

SaxenOS 1.1 rc2 is using a 2.6.18.6 kernel, gcc 3.4.6, and Xorg 7.1.1. Some of the software choices include SeaMonkey webrowser/email suite, TextMaker & PlanMaker, Gaim, gxine, streamtuner, Ace of Penguins (games), The Gimp, gThumb, gedit, gFTP, Transmission, Realbasic 2006, InstallJammer, and VirtualBox. There's a whole menu of configuration tools as well. They include utilities to install wireless windows drivers, add users, customize your login screen, manage your disks and partitions, setup the bootloader, activating services, and search for files or apps. Also noteworthy is gslapt. It is your choice for package management with repos already setup.

        

        

Hardware detection was quite good. Upon first boot one is asked to configure some of their hardware like sound, video, and keyboard. For me, all was detected and offered as a choice. All I did was highlight the correct option and click ok. My netcard is detected and the correct module loaded, but I did have to manually run dhcpcd after boot to connect. My scanner was detected and configured correctly, all I had to do was open xsane to scan. The printer configuration was just a matter of two clicks confirming the auto-detection.

        

Another thing that hasn't changed with the new and improved STX/SaxenOS is how much I like it. It is quick and nimble without sacrificing stability. All apps opened quickly and functioned very well. I found the software choices ample and intuitive. I think it could be "prettied" up a bit more, but as it is, it isn't distracting and leaves plenty of room for personal customization. I congratulate Stibs et.al. for the wonderful progress and 1.1 looks like it's going to be a great release. I encourage all to try it out, especially if you are a slack or xfce fan.

More in Tux Machines

Linux/FOSS Events

  • The Linux Foundation Announces Session Lineup for ApacheCon(TM) Europe
  • OpenShift Commons Gathering event preview
    We're just two months out from the OpenShift Commons Gathering coming up on November 7, 2016 in Seattle, Washington, co-located with KubeCon and CloudNativeCon. OpenShift Origin is a distribution of Kubernetes optimized for continuous application development and multi-tenant deployment. Origin adds developer and operations-centric tools on top of Kubernetes to enable rapid application development, easy deployment and scaling, and long-term lifecycle maintenance for small and large teams. And we're excited to say, the 1.3 GA release of OpenShift Origin, which includes Kubernetes 1.3, is out the door! Hear more about the release from Lead Architect for OpenShift Origin, Clayton Coleman.

Security News

  • Report: Linux security must be upgraded to protect future tech
    The summit was used to expose a number of flaws in Linux's design that make it increasingly unsuitable to power modern devices. Linux is the operating system that runs most of the modern world. It is behind everything from web servers and supercomputers to mobile phones. Increasingly, it's also being used to run connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices, including products like cars and intelligent robots.
  • security things in Linux v4.6
    Hector Marco-Gisbert removed a long-standing limitation to mmap ASLR on 32-bit x86, where setting an unlimited stack (e.g. “ulimit -s unlimited“) would turn off mmap ASLR (which provided a way to bypass ASLR when executing setuid processes). Given that ASLR entropy can now be controlled directly (see the v4.5 post), and that the cases where this created an actual problem are very rare, means that if a system sees collisions between unlimited stack and mmap ASLR, they can just adjust the 32-bit ASLR entropy instead.

Raspberry Pi PIXEL and More Improvements

Trainline creates open source platform to help developers deploy apps and environments in AWS