To steal the intro from distrowatch, "Litrix-3.0 has been released. Unlike the distribution's previous releases, which were based on Slackware, the latest release is based on Gentoo Linux. This brings the power of Portage to Litrix, together with easy installation of software, better language support, excellent documentation, and a possibility to re-master the live CD with a simple script." I found this idea quite intriguing and spent today installing, testing, ...playing with it. What I found was a wonderful livecd and a great installed os.
I downloaded, burnt, and booted Litrix. The boot splash was attractive and distinctive and the boot was fast. I found it a little strange that it would not boot from my /dev/cdrom and I had to boot from /dev/cdrom1. It gave a "/mnt/cdrom/livecd/cdrom" directory doesn't exist error. But it did boot fine from my second cdrom drive. It booted straight into kde-3.3.2 as root after mounting all partitions (grumble grumble) and loading the included nvidia drivers. One is presented with the kde config where thankfully one can first choose their language. It comes in Portuguese and even after choosing Estades Unidos da America and Ingles dos EUA, much of the standard output and docs still present in Portuguese. It used the default kde window decorations and colors, but did substitute a cute wallpaper in an attractive color.
I found a few interesting things in the menu, one of which was the znes emulator and another was the gens emulator. I don't have too much experience with those and didn't have any games readily available to test them, but now I'm on a mission to find some. In addition the Litrix team includes mplayer all codec'd out and ready to play. It had no problems with any of the movie files I had on hand.
Also in the kde menu is the installcd item. This opens a terminal window for the interactive installer. It provides choices, but I found them a little limited. Seems any of the double digit numbered partitions weren't available. I thought it was the graphical representation and after examining the perl installer script, one finds it uses a grep of fdisk -l to compile its choice list. I chose what I thought might be hda12, but the installer still installed on hda1. I think if one chooses any of the hda1 choices - it literally means hda1. No biggie, I still hadn't re-installed xp from when astrumi wiped it out. I went throught the install and it seemed to mostly do a copy of the booted virtual root filesystem to the chosen partition, then it exited. It does not walk you through installing or editing your boot loader. So, I copied the boot files from the /boot directory to my main boot partition, edited my main lilo config and ran lilo from my everyday desktop - Gentoo. But the install is still not ready to boot. One needs (I advise chroot'n in) to make a user account and their home directory, change the root password, and put your user in the wheel group (so you can su to root when you get there) and the audio group (so you can use the sound devices). The install will still boot straight into kde as root unless you edit a few files. I don't like autologin to a X, so I chose the rc-update del xdm default route. You may also want to edit /etc/hostname and /etc/hosts for your machine as I did. I also chose to edit the xorg config file to more my liking.
Now you're ready to boot into your fresh Litrix install. Log in as your user and startx, then one is greeted by the cute wallpaper and great looking desktop. Sure enough, one can emerge --sync and emerge -u world. Mirrors are set up for you as well as some conservative compile settings. It does include nptl, but defaults to the stable branch of software. I sync'd to today's mirrors and installed xawtv. KDE 3.4.1 is in unstable, I may install it later.
So, in summation, I found Litrix to be a stable and fairly fast performing distribution. It's a wonderful shortcut to a Gentoo install. This method could get you into gentoo within a couple of hours, then you could edit the /etc/make.conf and rebuild packages for your machine setup at your leisure. Despite some small issues, it's still a wonderful effort and can be shaped up into a nice operating system. I liked it and give it a thumbs up.
- Gentoo's Portage - easy software installation
- stable and fast
- nice looking
- great hardware detection
- has harddrive installer and remaster script
- nvidia graphic drivers included
- modern kernel (2.6.11-r8)
- mult-language support in kde
- Not really newbie friendly
- some docs and stdout in Portuguese (a con for some)
- installer still in infancy (limited)
- comes with kde 3.3.2 instead of 3.4(.1)