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

Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" Installer Updated with Linux Kernel 4.16 Support

Developed under the Debian Testing umbrella, the forthcoming Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" operating system series just received today the third alpha milestone of its installer, which lets people install the Linux-based operating system on their personal computers, servers, and IoT devices, such as the Raspberry Pi. One of the most interesting changes that caught out eyes is the bump of the kernel support from Linux kernel 4.13, which was used in the second alpha build, to Linux kernel 4.16. Of course, this means that there's better hardware support, so chances are you'll be able to install the development version of Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" on newer machines or if you have some exotic components on your PC. Read more

The New Microsoft

  • Microsoft ICE Contract Draws Fire

    “ICE’s decision to accelerate IT modernization using Azure Government will help them innovate faster while reducing the burden of legacy IT. The agency is currently implementing transformative technologies for homeland security and public safety, and we’re proud to support this work with our mission-critical cloud,” he wrote.

  • Microsoft faces outrage for blog post touting ICE contract

    As outrage grew online, a Microsoft employee quietly removed mention of ICE from the January press release this morning. Social media users noticed that, too. The company has since restored the press release's original language, and called its removal a "mistake."

  • Microsoft Removes Mention of ICE Cloud Work After Protests

    Microsoft Corp. scrubbed an online reference to its work for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as the agency faces criticism for its role in separating families at the U.S.-Mexican border.

  • Microsoft briefly removes blog post mentioning ICE contract after backlash
  • Microsoft's Ethical Reckoning Is Here

    Tech Workers Coalition, a labor group for tech industry employees, urged Microsoft employees to coordinate their opposition. “If you are a worker building these tools or others at Microsoft, decide now that you will not be complicit,” the group tweeted.

Android Leftovers

First Ubuntu Touch OTA-4 Release Candidate Based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Is Here

The latest Ubuntu Touch update from UBports, OTA-3, was released last year near the Christmas holidays, but it was still based on Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet), so if you though Ubuntu Phones are dead, think again, because the UBports team has been hard at work to bring you the OTA-4, which will be the first to rebase the operating system on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus). "The main reason why the arrival of OTA-4 seemed to take so long is because Ubuntu Touch switched its base to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Xenial Xerus. This is a mammoth milestone for the project, because it allowed us to transition from the unsupported Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet to a Long Term Support (LTS) base," reads today's announcement. Read more Also: UBports' Ubuntu Touch OTA-4 RC Released, Upgrades To Ubuntu 16.04 LTS