Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Alternative GUIs: GoblinX

Filed under
Linux

GoblinX is a live Linux distribution based on Slackware 11, written by a Brazilian developer who goes by the pseudonym Grobsch. (You can contact Grobsch on the GoblinX forum.) GoblinX differs from other live distributions in two main ways. First, it manages to pack five different window managers/GUIs into a 305 MB ISO image, and uses custom artwork for each of them that's quite unlike anything you've seen before.

Second, it takes the concept of a modular live CD about as far as it can. You can always buy GoblinX 2007 Premium from On-Disk.com, which is always a good idea, as it gives money back to the developer. But, if you like, you can also download the GoblinX Standard CD, mount it as a loopback file, extract its contents to your hard disk, download any extra modules you want, put them in the correct directories, and use a script (provided for you) to build a customized version of the CD. There's also a way to accomplish the same thing while running from the live CD itself.


The GoblinX Experience

When you start up the live CD, the initial splash screen indicates how different things will look and feel. After the boot screen (that, like most live CDs, takes cheatcodes), you view a screen with a progress bar, and finally end up at a console-based prompt.

      

After logging in as root, you now have a choice between window managers. The miniature screenshots to the left of the console window give you an idea of what to expect. You can use the following commands:

  • go starts XFCE 4
  • gok starts KDE 3.5.4
  • goe starts Enlightenment 16
  • gof starts Fluxbox
  • gow starts WindowMaker 0.92

You may have used KDE before, but you've probably never seen it looking like this. There's a custom splash screen; a custom icon set; a custom color scheme, and a custom style.

         


Here's what XFCE 4 looks like in GoblinX:

      


Here are screenshots of Fluxbox and WindowMaker. WindowMaker is particularly striking.

            


And finally, Enlightenment 16. These screenshots include many of the custom utilities included on the CD. (Note the box in the upper right-hand corner; when windows are minimized, there's an animated "flip" into that space. The same animation occurs when they're clicked to restore them.)

            


Under The Hood

There are many custom utilities (written by the developer) on the CD. They include:

  • Magic Center, a control panel-like utility for general system configuration
  • Software Control, which allows you to customize software while running the live CD
  • The GoblinX Installer, which allows you to install GoblinX to your hard disk
  • There are many other utilities (some of which are accessed through the Magic Center and Software Control), too numerous to list here, which fall into two general categories:
    • Those that allow you to manipulate packages and modules in the live CD environment. For example, one lets you convert Slackware packages into modules that can be used with the live CD, and another allows you to create an ISO image of the live CD you're running, after you've made modifications.
    • Those that are general "helper" utilities. For example, there's one that allows you to split files so they'll fit on floppy diskettes; there's another that allows you to enable and disable system daemons.

(Note that all of these utilities also have customized artwork.)

When installed to hard disk, all of the included GUIs, except for Enlightenment, are available through kdm, and appear just as the developer set them up. (In order to get to Enlightenment the way it was set up by the developer, it seems easiest just to use the "goe" script from runlevel 3.)

Installing this distro to my hard disk was the easy part. After that, things got difficult. I admittedly have next to no experience with Slackware (which brought back that old feeling, so familiar from the time I first began playing with Linux, of banging my head against a wall). Doing such things as learning how to add the correct repositories to GSlapt; installing the proprietary NVIDIA driver; getting kdm to work correctly in runlevel 4, and getting the "su" command to work properly were challenging. (IMHO, Linux isn't just an operating system; it's a learning experience.)

Also, this distro's scripts, and the default permissions it has set on various directories and files, make it fairly clear that it was meant to be run from a CD, as the root user, rather than from your hard disk, with a normal user account. So I'm not sure I'd recommend this distro for day-to-day use, except to someone already very familiar with Slackware's "plumbing." (Fortunately, Slackware is very well-documented. There are also some useful tutorials on the GoblinX site.)

   


In the end, GoblinX is not just an operating system, it's an artistic statement — and that's something you don't see very often. Check it out.


Order a CD from On-disk.com


Comment viewing options

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

Thanks

Thanks for the review eco2geek.
I must say I have not problems with GSlapt and to install NVidia drivers, but I could not help you about su because I do not use it, I do not like to use sudo for nothing. Su and sudo are used by several livecds, but I do not like to give permissions to users, only root... there are no users in GoblinX by default beside root, you can create an user during boot using a cheacode, but he will not have any sudo powers.

The next GoblinX will have both the costumized version and other more common, and YES, I'm an artist... where my deviantart page: http://grobsch.deviantart.com/

K=°]
----------------------------
http://www.goblinx.com.br/en

Slack

BTW, GoblinX is based on Slackware and it's not supposed to be as easy as some other distributions. My idea is always improve Slackware usability without lose its power of costumization.
Many users may not know but some facilities added dislike Slackware fans of the GoblinX... I have to find always a middle term when add options, these are the reasons GoblinX uses a lot cheatcodes, like Slax, boots in text mode, does NOT use sudo, and other features, and also several GUIs can be removed if the user wants a system more like Slackware.

Cheers,
----------------------------
http://www.goblinx.com.br/en

Slackware 12 RC 1's now available

As Distrowatch mentioned, Slackware 12 RC 1 is out now. Unofficial development ISOs are here.

It's easy to install, but you could spend a week configuring it! Smile

More in Tux Machines

OpenShift and Google

  • Red Hat launches 'OpenShift' dedicated on Google Cloud Platform
    World's leading provider of open source solutions Red Hat has announced the general availability of OpenShift Dedicated on Google Cloud Platform.
  • Red Hat and Google join forces on containers
    Red Hat and Google are set to offer enterprise customers a managed OpenShift service hosted on Google's cloud to make the build, launch and management of applications a less time-consuming process. OpenShift Dedicated on Google Cloud Platform will speed up the adoption of containers, according to Red Hat, giving developers the guidance they need to create applications and deploy them faster.
  • Red Hat’s Container Platform Lands on Google Cloud
    Red Hat’s OpenShift Dedicated container platform will now be available on Google Cloud Platform, the companies announced yesterday. OpenShift Dedicated is a managed version of Red Hat’s OpenShift container platform, targeting enterprises. Launched in December, the Dedicated version puts Red Hat in the role of a service provider, taking care of infrastructure and operations.

Security News

  • A 'mystery device' is letting thieves break into cars and drive off with them, insurance group says
    Insurance crime investigators are raising alarms over a device that not only lets thieves break into cars that use keyless entry systems but also helps start and steal them. Investigators from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, a not-for-profit organization, said in an interview they obtained what they called the “mystery device” from a third-party security expert at an overseas company. So far, the threat here may be mostly theoretical. The crime bureau said it heard of the device being used in Europe and had reports that it had entered the U.S., but said there are no law enforcement reports of a car being stolen using it in the United States.
  • Turkish hacking group offers tiered points rewards program for DoS attacks
    A TURKISH HACKING GANG is taking an unusual approach to funding denial of service attacks, and is soliciting for, and offering hackers rewards for taking down chosen pages. This is unusual, as far as we know, and it has led to the creation of comment from the security industry. Often these things do.
  • German judges explain why Adblock Plus is legal
    Last month, Adblock Plus maker Eyeo GmbH won its sixth legal victory in German courts, with a panel of district court judges deciding that ad-blocking software is legal despite German newsmagazine Der Spiegel's arguments to the contrary. Now, the reasoning of the Hamburg-based panel of judges has been made public. According to an unofficial English-translated copy (PDF) of the judgment, Spiegel Online argued it was making a "unified offer" to online consumers. Essentially, that offer is: read the news content for free and view some ads. While Internet users have the freedom "not to access this unified offer," neither they nor Adblock Plus have the right to "dismantle" it. Eyeo's behavior thus amounted to unfair competition, and it could even wipe the offer out, Spiegel claimed. "The Claimant [Spiegel] argues that the Defendant’s [Eyeo's] business model endangers the Claimant’s existence," reads the judgment, which isn't final because it can be appealed by Spiegel. Because users aren't willing to pay for editorial content on the Web, "it is not economically viable for the Claimant to switch to this business model." Spiegel asked for an accounting of all the blocked views on its website and a fine to be paid—or even for managers Wladimir Palant and Till Faida to be placed in "coercive detention" of up to two years.
  • Op-ed: I’m throwing in the towel on PGP, and I work in security [Ed: Onlya tool would drop PGP for Facebook-controlled Whatsapp. The company back-doors everything under gag orders.]
    In the coming weeks I'll import all signatures I received, make all the signatures I promised, and then publish revocations to the keyservers. I'll rotate my Keybase key. Eventually, I'll destroy the private keys.
  • 90 per cent of NHS Trusts are still running Windows XP machines
    90 PER CENT of the NHS continues to run Windows XP machines, two and a half years after Microsoft ditched support for the ageing OS. It's Citrix who is ringing the alarm bells, having learnt that 90 per cent of NHS Trusts are still running Windows XP PCs. The firm sent Freedom of Information (FoI) requests to 63 NHS Trusts, 42 of which responded. The data also revealed that 24 Trusts are still not sure when they'll migrate from Windows XP to a newer version of Microsoft's OS. 14 per cent said they would be transitioning to a new operating system by the end of this year, while 29 per cent pledged to make the move sometime next year.
  • Ransomware blamed for attack that caused Lincolnshire NHS Trust shutdown
    RANSOMWARE is to blame for an attack which saw an NHS Trust in Lincolnshire that forced to cancel operations for four days in October. In a statement, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust said that a ransomware variant called Globe2 was to blame for the incident.
  • Researchers Find Fresh Fodder for IoT Attack Cannons
    New research published this week could provide plenty of fresh fodder for Mirai, a malware strain that enslaves poorly-secured Internet of Things (IoT) devices for use in powerful online attacks. Researchers in Austria have unearthed a pair of backdoor accounts in more than 80 different IP camera models made by Sony Corp. Separately, Israeli security experts have discovered trivially exploitable weaknesses in nearly a half-million white-labeled IP camera models that are not currently sought out by Mirai.
  • Your data is not safe. Here's how to lock it down
    But some people worry that government surveillance will expand under a Donald Trump presidency, especially because he tapped Mike Pompeo, who supports mass surveillance, for CIA chief.
  • Tor at the Heart: Library Freedom Project
    Library Freedom Project is an initiative that aims to make real the promise of intellectual freedom in libraries by teaching librarians and their local communities about surveillance threats, privacy rights and responsibilities, and privacy-enhancing technologies to help safeguard digital freedoms.
  • PowerShell security threats greater than ever, researchers warn
    Administrators should upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft PowerShell and enable extended logging and monitoring capabilities in the light of a surge in related security threats, warn researchers [...] Now more than 95% of PowerShell scripts analysed by Symantec researchers have been found to be malicious, with 111 threat families using PowerShell.
  • Five-Year-Old Bait-and-Switch Linux Security Flaw Patched
    Maintainers of the Linux Kernel project have fixed three security flaws this week, among which there was a serious bug that lingered in the kernel for the past five years and allowed attackers to bypass some OS security systems and open a root shell.
  • The Internet of Dangerous Auction Sites
    Ok, I know this is kind of old news now, but Bruce Schneier gave testimony to the House of Representatives’ Energy & Commerce Committee about computer security after the Dyn attack. I’m including this quote because I feel it sets the scene nicely for what follows here. Last week, I was browsing the popular online auction site eBay and I noticed that there was no TLS. For a moment, I considered that maybe my traffic was being intercepted deliberately, there’s no way that eBay as a global company would be deliberately risking users in this way. I was wrong. There is not and has never been TLS for large swathes of the eBay site. In fact, the only point at which I’ve found TLS is in their help pages and when it comes to entering card details (although it’ll give you back the last 4 digits of your card over a plaintext channel).

Android Leftovers

Linux 4.8.14

Turns out I'm going to be on a very long flight early tomorrow morning, so I figured it would be good to get this kernel out now, instead of delaying it by an extra day. So, I'm announcing the release of the 4.8.14 kernel. All users of the 4.8 kernel series must upgrade. The updated 4.8.y git tree can be found at: git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.8.y and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser: http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-st... Read more Also: Linux 4.4.38 Linux Kernel 4.8.14 Hits the Streets with Numerous Networking Improvements, More