Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Beta Review: Kanotix 2007 "Thorhammer" RC5B

Filed under
Reviews

The last Kanotix release (based on Debian Sid), KANOTIX-2006-01-RC4, came out in October, 2006. Shortly thereafter, a Kanotix co-developer (and many of Kanotix's other developers) left the project and founded their own, mainly due to a disagreement over whether Kanotix should be based on Sid (Debian's unstable branch) or something less volatile, like Etch (Debian's current stable branch) or Ubuntu.

Kanotix's founder, Jörg Schirottke (aka Kano), now has a new, Etch-based version of Kanotix in development, code-named "Thorhammer." It's not yet publicly available, but if you catch Kano in the #kanotix IRC channel on freenode.net and ask, he'll give you a download link. (Note: Only Kano himeslf can give you the download link. Also, there's a link to a Web-based IRC interface to #kanotix on Kanotix's main page for your convenience.)

Most of the forum discussion about Thorhammer's in German (not surprising), so it's a bit difficult for us English-only speakers to keep up with what's going on. When the final version's released, discussion in the English forums will undoubtedly pick up.

Thorhammer's based on Debian Etch, with around 40 backports and a patched Ubuntu kernel (v2.6.22-10-kanotix). Packages include:

  • Xorg v7.1.1 and Beryl v0.2.0
  • Video Disk Recorder v1.5.2
  • KDE v3.5.5a; OpenOffice.org v2.0.4; Iceweasel (aka Firefox) v2.0.0.6; Icedove (aka Thunderbird) v1.5.0.12
  • GParted v0.3.3 (with the ability to resize NTFS partitions); ntfs-3g (for mounting NTFS partitions in read/write mode)

...and many more. Of course, you can install your own from the regular Debian repositories.

Thorhammer runs (and installs) from a live CD, which has the same excellent hardware detection that Kanotix has been known for. (If, when the live CD starts X, the screen blanks — which is probably due to the time being set and power management thinking it needs to kick in — just wiggle the mouse to get it back.) It uses Cathbard's nice artwork.

   

It includes a slew of custom scripts (I call them "convenience scripts") that make, for example, installing the current NVIDIA driver as simple as running "install-nvidia-debian.sh" as root. (Afterwards, xorg.conf is properly configured for Beryl, and Beryl's ready to run.) It adds some custom applets to the KDE Control Center, in order to allow you to more easily administer your computer. It also comes with a comprehensive user manual (which, as of this writing, only seems to be missing a few screenshots of the installer).

(One difference between Kanotix and "stock" Debian is that Debian runs X in runlevel 2. Kanotix uses runlevel 3 for console mode (with networking but without X), and runlevel 5 for X. With Kanotix, you're encouraged to use runlevel 3 when installing packages (and, of course, video drivers).)

Kanotix comes with ndiswrapper, and a custom script to configure it, but you will need to find the Windows drivers (*.sys and *.inf) for your particular wireless chipset yourself. They're not included with Kanotix.

Installation on an external (USB) HDD went smoothly. The installer's named "AcritoxInstaller" (after its author), and is available in the "Kanotix" menu (in the K menu). The one glitch I found with it was that it stalled out when installing GRUB to the external drive's MBR when run straight from the Kanotix menu. It worked fine when I ran it from a console as root with X privileges: starting up Konsole; typing "sux" to log in as root with X privileges; and issuing the "acritoxinstaller" command.

Post-installation, the only glitch I encountered was that the installer set the keyboard in Xorg's configuration file to German, which made it a bit hard to log in. Changing the line

Option          "XkbLayout"             "de"

to

Option          "XkbLayout"             "us"

in the keyboard's "InputDevice" section fixed the problem.

Otherwise, Thorhammer works well, and seems quite stable.

Although I'll probably stick with my existing Debian testing installation for now, I'm thrilled to see Kano and crew back in operation. From the looks of things, it shouldn't be too long before the final version's out.

Edit: Iceweasel version corrected to 2.0.0.6

Comment viewing options

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

Kanotix 2007 "Thorhammer" RC6 now publicly available

As of today, Kanotix 2007 Thorhammer RC6 is publicly available for download. So if you're a fan of Debian stable, or a previous Kanotix fan, check it out.

(The way Kano works, "RC6" actually means it's about the 10th version he's come out with, just the first one he's offering for public consumption. Smile )

More in Tux Machines

ACPI and Power Management Updates Merged into Linux 4.19, Partitions on Linux

  • ACPI and Power Management Updates Merged into Linux 4.19
    ACPI and power management updates are never ending work, and today Intel’s Rafael Wysocki has submitted some note worthy updates for the Linux 4.19 kernel, which were merged thereafter by Linus Torvalds. For starters, this adds a new framework for CPU idle time injection, which will be used by all of the idle injection code in the kernel in the future. It also fixes a few issues and adds a number of fairly small extensions in a few places.
  • Examining partitions on Linux systems
    Linux systems provide many ways to examine partition information. Which is best depends on what you're looking for. Some commands look only at mounted file systems, while others provide copious details on the hardware.

OSS Leftovers

  • Former OSS Executive Eren Niazi Named Open Source Evolution CTO
    Open Source Evolution, visionaries and creators of enterprise custom software, announced today that former OSS founder, Eren Niazi has been named CTO. A 20-year technology veteran, Niazi has been focused on developing custom enterprise open source software for corporate transformations to open source. Eren is the original visionary/creator who pioneered the OSS movement and envisioned a world where the enterprises used open source software for large scale data center deployments. Consequently, the OSS technologies Niazi developed have become the model for global industry storage solutions.
  • How To Get An Open Source Developer Job In 2018
  • Tesla to make driverless software open source
    Tesla CEO Elon Musk has told a hacker conference in Las Vegas that he plans to “open source” the software his company uses to secure autonomous-driving features from hacks or takeovers, eventually allowing other carmakers to use it. Musk tweeted, “Great Q&A @defcon last night. Thanks for helping make Tesla & SpaceX more secure! Planning to open-source Tesla vehicle security software for free use by other car makers. Extremely important to a safe self-driving future for all.”
  • DarkHydrus Relies on Open-Source Tools for Phishing Attacks [Ed: If there was reliance on something proprietary, the headline would not even mention it; that's because its sole goal is to demonise Open Source, associating it with criminal activity. This actually impacts proprietary software from Microsoft, complete with NSA back doors.]
  • Progress Open Sources ABL Code with Release of Spark Toolkit
    Previously only available from Progress Services, the Spark Toolkit was created in collaboration with the Progress Common Component Specification (CCS) project, a group of Progress® OpenEdge® customers and partners defining a standard set of specifications for the common components for building modern business applications. By engaging the community, Progress has leveraged best practices in the development of these standards-based components and tools to enable new levels of interoperability, flexibility, efficiencies and effectiveness. [...] It is compatible with the latest version of OpenEdge, 11.7, and is available under Apache License 2.0. More components are expected to be added in the future.
  •  
  • Musical Space: Open Source Music
    The term “open source” was coined 20 years ago this month by some software engineers who had the radical idea of allowing their code to be freely shared, copied and modified by anyone else. They realized they could make more money by giving away their product instead of selling it, and selling the support services instead. The open source model is a growing part of the arts, and nowhere more than in music. Recordings make so little money that creators now offer them for free and make their money from live shows instead.
  • Hobbyist 3D prints open source CNC machine for under $200
    Hobbyist and Reddit 3D printing community contributor Marioarm has built an “almost fully” 3D printed CNC machine for milling electronic chipboards. Marioarm built the Cyclone PCB CNC machine with 3D printed parts downloaded from file sharing sites such as Thingiverse and the GitHub repository Cyclone PCB Factory. With minimal, prefabricated parts, the project in total cost Marioarm under $200 to build.

Programming Leftovers

  • [Older] Julia 1.0 release Opens the Doors for a Connected World
    Today Julia Computing announced the Julia 1.0 programming language release, “the most important Julia milestone since Julia was introduced in February 2012.” As the first complete, reliable, stable and forward-compatible Julia release, version 1.0 is the fastest, simplest and most productive open-source programming language for scientific, numeric and mathematical computing.
  • This Week in Rust 247
  • BARR-C Aims to Make Us Better Programmers
    Look up “panacea” and you’ll find a bunch of C programming tools. Everyone and his dog has ideas about how to create better, more reliable C code. Use an ISO-certified compiler. Follow MISRA C guidelines. Write the comments first. Agile Programming. Energy crystals. The late-night remedies never end. Or, you could learn from the master. Michael Barr does embedded programming. He’s got a Masters in electrical engineering; was an adjunct professor of EE/CS; was Editor-in-Chief of Embedded Systems Programming magazine; founded consulting company Netrino to teach people how to write better code; then founded Barr Group to do it again. The man knows a few things about writing embedded software, mostly by watching his clients and students doing it badly. There’s no substitute for experience, and this guy has collected decades worth of it.   So it’s no surprise that he’s come up with his own little black book of programming pointers. These are the rules, guidelines, and suggestions gleaned from years of reviewing other peoples’ bad code and then fixing it. Best of all, a PDF download of the book is free. If you’re a traditionalist, you can buy the paperback version from Amazon.

Security: Sonatype, Microsoft, Oracle and Linux