Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

A New Year, A New Kwort

Filed under
Linux
Reviews
-s

It was just about a year ago that I first tested slackware-based Kwort Linux. At that time I was impressed with its customized appearance and exclusive kpkg. Then kpkg wasn't included in the install image and I recall hoping it would be with later releases. I also recall being quite intrigued by the unique mascot of Kwort Linux, a creature I never quite defined. So, it was with great pleasure and anticipation that I began downloading their newest release, Kwort Linux 2.2.

Kwort is a slackware-based operating system featuring the Xfce4 desktop with Kwort's own Network Manager and kpkg package manager. Its minimum requirements are:

  • Processor: PC i486 or above.

  • RAM: 16Mb for base system (minimum). 32Mb for desktop (minimum), 64Mb recommended.
  • Disk Space: 200Mb for base system, 1.5Mb for full desktop (Openoffice 2.0 included).

Downloading the 486mb Kwort iso took a bit longer than one might wish, but it arrived and burnt without issue. Booting the disk brings one to a slightly modified slackware installer. It's not your more common mouse-driven framebuffered graphical installer, but still the nostalgically simple keyboard-driven ascii-graphical. There are but a few question to be answered in order to install Kwort, with the most difficult step for newcomers probably being partitioning if needed. Kwort has support for the ext2 and ext3 filesystems. This is a smart decision on their part as it will not require the use of an initrd image that be a bit difficult for newcomers to complete. Personally, my install went like clockwork and finished in very short order without issue. I could hardly wait to boot my new Kwort desktop. I admit, my fascination with the mascot was very motivating. What would I find on my desktop this time?

Seems Kwort Linux does have a new mascot this year. The new mascot appears to be a customized penguin in blue. He's pretty cute, but when I first saw it I thought to myself that his name must be Edward Scissorfins. I was disappointed he didn't reside on the desktop, but had to console myself with him on the start button. Kwort opted for more subtle wallpaper this time. Their new default background looks like a cross between KDE's and openSUSE's default. Looking through the settings one finds it's called aqua. The window decoration and style is just called xfce, but it looks very much like the one found as default in DreamLinux. In any case, the combination looks really pretty and polished.

Last year Kwort featured a 2.6.14 kernel, Xorg 6.9.0, gcc 3.3.6 and xfce 4.2.3.2 with Firefox 1.5 and OpenOffice.org 2.0. This year they have progressed to a 2.6.19 kernel, Xorg is still 6.9.0, gcc is 3.4.6, xfce4 is the 4.4.0 final, OpenOffice.org is version 2.0.4, and Firefox is 2.0.0.2. Some other interesting packages include wireless tool, ndiswrapper, openssl, iptables, wget, and bind. Also found are Gaim 2.0b6, Gimp 2.2.1.3, Sylpheed, graveman, ffmedia, and more.

        


        


Of course Kwort comes with all the great little modules found in Xfce4's settings center as well as the Xfce4 panel applet module. In addition, Kwort has added their own Kwort Network Manager to the Xfce settings manager. In it one can configure their network connection to suite their needs, including hostname, domainname server, gateway, and supposedly their ethernet or wireless specifics. I had a bit of trouble with the later mentioned. The wireless tool didn't open and the lan configuration opened the Xdialog box instead of the target app. However, the net connection is configured during install and remains afterwards. This whole app is a nice addition and I look forward to its future refinements and capabilities.

        


But I think one of the best things about Kwort is their package management system. Kpkg is a simple easy way to search for packages, install or uninstall individual or groups of packages, or upgrade the system over a net connection from a remote mirror. At this time it is still a commandline tool very much in the same ilk as apt-get. In fact, the operations mimic apt-get very closely. Some of the more common uses include:

  • kpkg update
  • kpkg install <package/app name>
  • kpkg search <package/app name>

There are more advanced options as well. In fact, they have some wonderful documention online at their site. I did run into a glitch or two when installing some packages. The first being dependencies. For example, I installed MPlayer and it installed without error and even put an entry in the menu. However it wouldn't open. Seems it needed libspeex and libsdl. Trying to start it from the commandline revealed the problems and the needed libraries were just a kpkg install away. Another was problems installing a package or two. I thought there might be a more major problem at first, but I think now it was due to Kwort's slow mirror. Rerunning the request a second time completed it just fine. So, there may be little hiccups along the way, but overall the kpkg system seems to function really well. I think Kwort could really use a faster mirror. If anyone knows of someone who might be able to mirror the Kwort isos and packages I imagine they'd like to hear of it. Please keep them in mind.

So, after figuring out the dependency issue with MPlayer and issuing a kpkg install win32codecs I was able to watch any of my video files on hand. Flash and java aren't included on the iso, but Flash is in the repository. I didn't find cups or xsane backends. Removeable media isn't automatically mounted upon insertion, but that is on the lead developer's wish-list.

Overall I really like this little light-weight system. It seemed very easy to install and use. It was stable and fast, even OpenOffice.org opened in a mere 2 or 3 seconds. It looks better than ever and includes a nice selection of apps to get one started. In addition, their package repository is being enhanced everyday. If you'd like a nice slackware based system with Xfce4 as the desktop, Kwort is a viable option. It's just a really cool little system.

More in Tux Machines

Today in Techrights

Security Leftovers

  • Chinese hackers backdoor chat app with new Linux, macOS malware [Ed: Nowadays the Microsofters in the media are calling "backdoors" things that are simply malware and one has to actually install; of course they like to blame "Linux" (because the user can add malware on top of it). Saying Linux isn't secure because it doesn't prevent you installing malware is like saying bridges are dangerous because you may commit suicide by jumping off them.]

    Versions of a cross-platform instant messenger application focused on the Chinese market known as 'MiMi' have been trojanized to deliver a new backdoor (dubbed rshell) that can be used to steal data from Linux and macOS systems.

  • Linux Threats: A Black Hat 2022 Hot Topic? (Video) [Ed: Aside from patent trolling, Blackberry reinvented itself as anti-Linux FUD source in recent years. They intentionally overlook back doors (e.g. Windows) and blame everything on "Linux".]

    There are usually a few cyberthreat trends that seem to emerge as important themes at each year’s Black Hat conference. And this year, the increase in Linux threats may be one of them.

  • #StopRansomware: Zeppelin Ransomware [Ed: Ransomware is predominantly a Microsoft Windows problem]

    CISA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have released a joint Cybersecurity Advisory (CSA), #StopRansomware: Zeppelin Ransomware, to provide information on Zeppelin Ransomware. Actors use Zeppelin Ransomware, a ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS), against a wide range of businesses and critical infrastructure organizations to encrypt victims’ files for financial gain.

  • CISA Adds Two Known Exploited Vulnerabilities to Catalog

    CISA has added two new vulnerabilities to its Known Exploited Vulnerabilities Catalog, based on evidence of active exploitation. These types of vulnerabilities are a frequent attack vector for malicious cyber actors and pose significant risk to the federal enterprise. Note: to view the newly added vulnerabilities in the catalog, click on the arrow in the "Date Added to Catalog" column, which will sort by descending dates. 

  • Cisco Releases Security Update for Multiple Products

    This vulnerability could allow a remote attacker to obtain sensitive information. For updates addressing lower severity vulnerabilities, see the Cisco Security Advisories page.

today's leftovers

  • Portable Computer Pre-History: Portable Before Laptops

    Portability is relative. When former Texas Instruments employees Rod Canion, Jim Harris and Bill Murto created a portable version of the IBM PC in 1982, it was a hulking device that weight 28 pounds and was roughly the size of a sewing machine. If you sold a desktop computer that weighed 28 pounds in 2018, you’d be laughed off the block. But the device, called the Compaq Portable, was revolutionary for its time and thrust the company that made it into the mainstream. It wasn’t too long before then that a portable computer was so embarrassingly large that you would probably break your legs if you used it as a laptop. Tonight’s Tedium ponders a time when portable computing meant something just a little bit bigger.

  • Fedora Sway OSTree Spin name

    The Fedora Sway SIG is working to create an immutable version of the Sway Spin (also work in progress) using OSTree. Those immutable spins of Fedora are becoming more common following Silverblue and Kinoite’s success. As it often happens, one of the most challenging things to do in creating something is to come up with clever names. This task is made even more complex by the relatively small amount of people active in this conversation. For this reason, during the last SIG meeting, it was decided to socialize this decision so that more people could suggest their ideas.

  • Output requirements.txt packages pinned to latest version
  • How to install OpenSCAD on a Chromebook

    Today we are looking at how to install OpenSCAD on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

  • Stupid SMP Tricks: A Review of Locking Engineering Principles and Hierarchy: paulmck — LiveJournal

    Daniel Vetter put together a pair of intriguing blog posts entitled Locking Engineering Principles and Locking Engineering Hierarchy. These appear to be an attempt to establish a set of GPU-wide or perhaps even driver-tree-wide concurrency coding conventions. Which would normally be none of my business. After all, to establish such conventions, Daniel needs to negotiate with the driver subsystem's developers and maintainers, and I am neither. Except that he did call me out on Twitter on this topic. So here I am, as promised, offering color commentary and the occasional suggestion for improvement, both of Daniel's proposal and of the kernel itself. The following sections review his two posts, and then summarize and amplify suggestions for improvement.

  • Ubuntu Unity 22.04 Quick overview #linux #UbuntuUnity - Invidious
  • FOSS Force Open Source News Quiz (8/12/22) - FOSS Force

    How closely did you follow the news about Linux and free and open source software this week? You can get an idea about how well informed you are (and have some fun in the process) by taking our Open Source News Quiz. Once you’re done, scroll down to the comments section and let us know how you did!

elementary Blog: Updates for July, 2022

Firstly, thank you so much for your patience this month! I’ve been out sick with COVID for about 3 weeks, so I haven’t been able to contribute much or organize releases this month. I want to give a special thanks to our volunteer community who has continued to make improvements and move forward on projects in my absence. I’m excited to catch up and get back to work to make the most of the rest of this month. Having said that, this is going to be a very brief updates post. [...] A ton of energy in the community has gone into Gtk 4 porting for OS 7 and beyond. The team is making steady progress on porting System Settings and we landed the Gtk 4 port for Sideload. We’ve also uncovered some style issues and gaps in style constants, so if you’re working on porting your app to our Flatpak Platform 7, know that we’ll be releasing some fixes soon. I want to give some special acknowledgment to Owen Malicsi who has taken a lot of ownership over Gtk4 porting. Owen started contributing to elementary to improve his development skillset in preparation for college, and he’s done an amazing job both in successfully porting components to Gtk 4 as well as identifying blockers and creating discussions around refactoring for Gtk 4 paradigms. I’m super proud of his growth and contribution and we wish him well in his studies! Thanks Owen! Read on