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

Google, IBM and Microsoft

  • Five Common Chromebook Myths Debunked
    When Chromebooks first came out in 2011, they were basically just low-spec laptops that could access web apps – fine for students maybe, but not to be regarded as serious computers. While they’ve become more popular (the low cost, simplicity, and dependability appeal to businesses and education systems), as of 2018 Chromebooks still haven’t managed to become widely accepted as a Windows/Apple/Linux alternative. That may be about to change. The humble Chromebook has gotten a lot of upgrades, so let’s get ourselves up to speed on some things that just aren’t true anymore. [...] The 2011 Chrome OS was pretty bare-bones, but it’s gone to the opposite extreme since then. Not only is it steadily blurring the line between Chrome and Android, it can now install and run some Windows programs as well, at the same time as a Chrome and an Android app, if you like. And hey, while you’re at it, why not open a Linux app as well? You can already install Linux on a Chromebook if you want, but one of the next versions of Chrome OS is going to include a Linux virtual machine accessible right from your desktop (which is already possible, just not built-in and user-friendly). In sum, Chrome OS has gone from barely being an operating system to one that can run apps from four other OSes at the same time.
  • Like “IBM’s Work During the Holocaust”: Inside Microsoft, Growing Outrage Over a Contract with ICE
  • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S11E15 – Fifteen Minutes - Ubuntu Podcast
    ...Microsoft getting into hot water over their work with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Plus we round up the community news.

KDE on Android: CI, CD & SDK

I guess we all agree that one of the biggest stoppers to get a contribution out is the ability to get the system ready to start working on the contribution. Today I want to talk a bit about generating Android binaries from our machine. In the KDE Edu sprint we had the blatant realisation that it’s very frustrating to keep pushing the project while not being swift at delivering fresh packages of our applications in different systems. We looked into windows, flatpak, snap and, personally, I looked into Android once again. Nowadays, KDE developers develop the applications on their systems and then create the binaries on their systems as well. Usually it’s a team effort where possibly just one person in the team will be familiar with Android and have the development combo in place: Android SDK, Android NDK, Qt binaries and often several KDE Frameworks precompiled. Not fun and a fairly complex premise. Read more Also:

today's howtos

Linux Kernel and Security: LVM2, Containers, AMD

  • LVM2 Begins Work On Major Changes To Logical Volume Management
    LVM2 as the user-space tools for Logical Volume Management (LVM) on Linux is in the process of going through a big re-work.
  • Containers and Cloud Security
    The idea behind this blog post is to take a new look at how cloud security is measured and what its impact is on the various actors in the cloud ecosystem. From the measurement point of view, we look at the vertical stack: all code that is traversed to provide a service all the way from input web request to database update to output response potentially contains bugs; the bug density is variable for the different components but the more code you traverse the higher your chance of exposure to exploitable vulnerabilities. We’ll call this the Vertical Attack Profile (VAP) of the stack. However, even this axis is too narrow because the primary actors are the cloud tenant and the cloud service provider (CSP). In an IaaS cloud, part of the vertical profile belongs to the tenant (The guest kernel, guest OS and application) and part (the hypervisor and host OS) belong to the CSP. However, the CSP vertical has the additional problem that any exploit in this piece of the stack can be used to jump into either the host itself or any of the other tenant virtual machines running on the host. We’ll call this exploit causing a failure of containment the Horizontal Attack Profile (HAP). We should also note that any Horizontal Security failure is a potentially business destroying event for the CSP, so they care deeply about preventing them. Conversely any exploit occurring in the VAP owned by the Tenant can be seen by the CSP as a tenant only problem and one which the Tenant is responsible for locating and fixing. We correlate size of profile with attack risk, so the large the profile the greater the probability of being exploited.
  • Canonical Releases AMD Microcode Updates for All Ubuntu Users to Fix Spectre V2
    Canonical released a microcode update for all Ubuntu users with AMD processors to address the well-known Spectre security vulnerability. The Spectre microprocessor side-channel vulnerabilities were publicly disclosed earlier this year and discovered to affect billions of devices made in the past two decades. Unearthed by Jann Horn of Google Project Zero, the second variant (CVE-2017-5715) of the Spectre vulnerability is described as a branch target injection attack.