Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Because Beauty is Basic

Filed under
Linux
Reviews
-s

GoblinX Mini 1.2.0 was released yesterday and it sounded very interesting to me. It's described as "a son of GoblinX and contains only XFCE as windows manager and GTK/GTK2 based applications," while "GoblinX is a Live-CD that is based on the excellent Slackware distribution." The most intriguing thing to tuxmachines however, is the small size. Many of you might know of my soft spot for mini distributions, GoblinX Mini Edition weighs in at 150 mb. This is my first look at GoblinX. Let's see whad'up.

I downloaded and burnt GoblinX, then booted the livecd to find a distinctive splash screen. Featuring a silouette of a goblin, it gives a haloweenish macabre feel. The booting progress splash is predominately yellowish-orangy in color, it sets the tone for the whole theme, as we will soon discover. However, the verbose background, while quite attractive and obviously original, doesn't seem to fit in with the theme of the system.

        

After accurate hardware detection and setup one is presented with a login screen and given the instructions to start X. Login as root with the given password and start X in one of several ways. This is a wonderful feature as some folks' video cards may not yet be supported by xorg/XFree86, and some livecds can't work for them. Fortunately for nvidia graphics users, GoblinX comes with nvidia drivers and after it detects an nvidia chip, sets up nvidia as the driver. The window manager chooser must be a left over from the full sized livecd as it contains several choices including KDE and fluxbox, however xfce is the only one available on the mini.

    

The desktop is a unique experience due to the original theme and color scheme chosen by the developers. The color scheme could almost be described as pumpkin and the default theme is dominated by a yellow-orange hue. The default wallpaper contains enough yellow to compliment the theme and colors accomplishing continuity probably intended. There's a convenient launcher located at the bottom of the screen, containing shortcuts to popular apps and useful utilities, while a taskbar resides at the top autohide. The overall look is effective yet refreshingly different.

The menus contain many carefully chosen, useful, and popular applications for accomplishing any number of day to day requirements. I found most if not all of the applications quite stable. Some of the highlights include Firefox, gimp, gaim, xmms, and abiword.

    

The internet connection isn't enabled by default although a firewall is. There is an adsl and dial-up configurations in the menu. I didn't see an entry for dhcp, although the binaries dhcpcd and dhclient were available. In executing dhcpcd on the cli, I obtained a lease and was surfing as desired.

    

One drawback I encountered was the mounting of all partitions on my computer. I've mentioned several times in past reviews that I think this is not the best practise of livecds. Although GoblinX is stable and I encountered no problems, it still could result in data loss due to any number of reasons.

GoblinX ships with a hard drive installer and the interface is simple and user-friendly. I tried the installer a few times over the course of the past two days and never did get a hard drive install. It seemed a little buggy, as sometimes I would be given a xdialogue debug looking screen instead of the second step of choosing a partition. Sometimes it just skipped right to the unpacking and coping the image to some alleged partition. I did complete a full install routine (while getting screenshots), however, the net result of several attempts was no hard drive install. I was able to ascertain that the installer was installing the system to the booted ramfs. I gather this is perhaps a bug of unionfs or could even be perhaps in the installer code itself. I didn't investigate any further.

One seems to be able to save any user settings to a file on a partition or floppy and although the booting livecd declares its search and application of user configurations, it does not ask where the file is nor does it seem to actually access the default locations. In any case user settings are not restored.

Also in the menu are applications for installing and uninstalling packages as well as the conversion of one package format to another, presumably for installation. However, seems moot for the livecd mode.

Overall, this livecd is rich with inimitable characteristics making for a refreshing user experience. The solid foundation found in Slackware makes this experience pleasant and fun. The included application choices are adequate to perform everyday computing needs of the general user. It's a treat having nvidia graphic drivers included. I dare recommend to the developers not mounting all partitions at boot, removing menu items for inoperative functions, and perhaps adding dhcp internet connection during boot.

        

For these and other full screenshots, please visit the gallery.

More in Tux Machines

Linux Devices, Tizen, and Android

Leftovers: OSS

  • SAP buys into blockchain, joins Hyperledger Project
  • foss-north speaker line-up
    I am extremely pleased to have confirmed the entire speaker line-up for foss north 2017. This will be a really good year!
  • Chromium/Chrome Browser Adds A glTF Parser
    Google's Chrome / Chromium web-browser has added a native glTF 1.0 parser. The GL Transmission Format, of course, being Khronos' "3D asset delivery format" for dealing with compressed scenes and assets by WebGL, OpenGL ES, and other APIs. There are glTF utility libraries in JavaScript and other web-focused languages, but Google adding a native glTF 1.0 parser appears to be related to their VR push with supporting VR content on the web. Their glTF parser was added to Chromium Git on Friday.
  • Sex and Gor and open source
    A few weeks ago, Dries Buytaert, founder of the popular open-source CMS Drupal, asked Larry Garfield, a prominent Drupal contributor and long-time member of the Drupal community, “to leave the Drupal project.” Why did he do this? He refuses to say. A huge furor has erupted in response — not least because the reason clearly has much to do with Garfield’s unconventional sex life. [...] I’ll unpack the first: open-source communities/projects are crucially important to many people’s careers and professional lives — cf “the cornerstone of my career” — so who they allow and deny membership to, and how their codes of conduct are constructed and followed, is highly consequential.
  • Hazelcast Releases 3.8 – The Fastest Open Source In-Memory Data Grid
  • SecureDrop and Alexandre Oliva are 2016 Free Software Awards winners
  • MRRF 17: Lulzbot and IC3D Release Line Of Open Source Filament
    Today at the Midwest RepRap Festival, Lulzbot and IC3D announced the creation of an Open Source filament. While the RepRap project is the best example we have for what can be done with Open Source hardware, the stuff that makes 3D printers work – filament, motors, and to some extent the electronics – are tied up in trade secrets and proprietary processes. As you would expect from most industrial processes, there is an art and a science to making filament and now these secrets will be revealed.
  • RApiDatetime 0.0.2

Security Leftovers

  • NSA: We Disclose 90% of the Flaws We Find
    In the wake of the release of thousands of documents describing CIA hacking tools and techniques earlier this month, there has been a renewed discussion in the security and government communities about whether government agencies should disclose any vulnerabilities they discover. While raw numbers on vulnerability discovery are hard to come by, the NSA, which does much of the country’s offensive security operations, discloses more than nine of every 10 flaws it finds, the agency’s deputy director said.
  • EFF Launches Community Security Training Series
    EFF is pleased to announce a series of community security trainings in partnership with the San Francisco Public Library. High-profile data breaches and hard-fought battles against unlawful mass surveillance programs underscore that the public needs practical information about online security. We know more about potential threats each day, but we also know that encryption works and can help thwart digital spying. Lack of knowledge about best practices puts individuals at risk, so EFF will bring lessons from its comprehensive Surveillance Self-Defense guide to the SFPL. [...] With the Surveillance Self-Defense project and these local events, EFF strives to help make information about online security accessible to beginners as well as seasoned techno-activists and journalists. We hope you will consider our tips on how to protect your digital privacy, but we also hope you will encourage those around you to learn more and make better choices with technology. After all, privacy is a team sport and everyone wins.
  • NextCloud, a security analysis
    First, I would like to scare everyone a little bit in order to have people appreciate the extent of this statement. As the figure that opens the post indicates, there are thousands of vulnerable Owncloud/NextCloud instances out there. It will surprise many just how easy is to detect those by trying out common URL paths during an IP sweep.
  • FedEx will deliver you $5.00 just to install Flash
    Bribes on offer as courier's custom printing service needs Adobe's security sinkhole

GNOME Extensions Website Has A New Look

Every GNOME Shell user will visit the official GNOME Shell Extensions website at least once. And if those users do so this weekend they’ll notice a small difference as the GNOME Shell Extensions website is sporting a minor redesign. This online repo plays host to a stack of terrific add-ons that add additional features and tweak existing ones. Read more