Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Wolvix: Leader of the Pack

Filed under
Linux
Reviews
-s

A new distribution is in our midst and it clearly deserves some attention. Wolvix is a Linux distribution livecd based on Slax and is available as a 456M download. The site says, "It's a desktop oriented distribution made to fit the needs from regular to advanced desktop users." When the head developer wrote and asked me to take a look, I said, "sure." But I was not expecting quite what I found.

To quote the site, "With Wolvix you can: Surf the internet, read email, chat with friends over ICQ, MSN, Jabber, Yahoo, IRC, etc. Watch movies in various file formats including DVD. Listen to your favorite music. Create graphics and webpages. Hook up to Windows networks with Samba. Transfer files over FTP or BitTorrent. And the best of all. It's free.

Along with the applications you'll get some of the best free Linux games. (No 3D gfx card required) - All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. =)"

Indeed I found Wolvix 1.0.2 to be this and much more. It is based on the 143MB Slax, so this means it is derived from Slackware. Using Linux Live boot scripts, all hardware is detected and appropriate modules loaded. The boot is a fast text boot and being based on Slax, it comes with several nice boot options. Some include: gui, which tells it to boot straight into X without stopping at a console for login, nohd, that tells it not to mount all your partitions automagically, and copy2ram. Copy2ram is a nice feature that loads the entire cd into ramdisk for faster operation. The options screen states that it requires 256 MB of ram to work, but this is the only option or feature found in Wolvix that did not work for me. At 512 MB ram, I still ran out of memory when trying that boot option. However, I found in the default mode as a livecd, the system functioned quite well and responsively. The desktops and the applications performed fast and was stable as well. The nohd option is worth the author's weight in gold. And the gui option is rather nice as well.

        

When either using the gui option or booting to the console for logging in, one has only a root account to use. I suppose in a livecd environment and as long as coupled with the nohd option, it's not entirely a bad thing. The only application that had a problem with it was Xchat that warned one shouldn't hook up to irc network as root.

One of the options at the log in screen is xconf. This is as it looks, a configuration for X. One can set up glx through this option if desired. Left alone, X uses vesa as default and I always find that a wonderfully sensible choice for developers. As such, there were no problems encountered when starting the x server and gui. Even in vesa mode, the 2D games functioned quite well. In fact I wasted almost a 1/2 hour playing Lbreakout.

        

Other log in options include: startx = which starts the default Xfce4 (4.2.2) window manager; flux, which starts the fluxbox (0.9.13) window manager; and ice, which starts the icewm (1.2.23pre1) window manager. All the light and fast desktop choices are unified by using the same wallpaper, very similar looks as well as a very consistant menu. The wallpaper is this tasteful background in a grayish hue embossed with a paw print. I'm guessing that is a wolf paw print. Coupled with that is tormso in xfce4 and what looks like a calender adesklet across the board. Fluxbox comes with a nice monitoring application setup as well in the form of the dockapps wmcpuload, wmmemmon, wmclockmon, wmix, and fbpager. The menu is almost identical across the board. All desktops feature a quicklaunch to a transparent aterm - another feature adding consistency as well as similar windec for each as possible. These few little added details give the whole system a more polished and planned feel. It adds to the user experience in such a manner as to promote comfort and ease of use.

        

Aside from the window manager choice, comes a whole plethora of software for productivity, entertainment, and internet. Not only does Wolvix come with some nice gui applications, it also includes a whole suite of useful commandline/console applications as well as menu items to start them. Some of these include mp3blaster, mc, centericq, and mutt. Neato!

    

Well, if console apps aren't your thing, have no fear. Wolvix comes with a whole stack of wonderful and useful graphical applications to complete your given task. It features abiword for word processing, gnumeric for spread sheets, and the firefox/thunderbird team. It has a real nice selection of games as well as several applications for image viewing and manipulation. One of them being blender, and of course another, the gimp.

        

        

Wolvix also includes applications to make your internet experience complete as well as mucho multimedia enjoyment. It comes with gaim, XChat, Audacity, Beep, mplayer and xine. ...really just way to much to list.

        

Speaking of mplayer, it comes all nicely equipped with all the libs and codecs to play just about any media file you throw at it.

        

Another wonderful feature of Wolvix is the inclusion of gslapt (slapt-get). This is a package manager for the slackware distribution in the same strain as synaptic. It comes with repository already set up to download and install from a slackware 10.1 mirror. Although I'm not sure of the uses of it in a livecd environment, perhaps this is an indication of a harddrive installer in the near future. I didn't see one as of yet, nor any mention of it on the Wolvix site.

        

Wolvix is in its third release, the original 1.0 only released August 31. Wolvix 1.0.2 was announced yesterday, September 20. The changelog can be viewed HERE, and many version numbers are reported there. Wolvix comes on a linux-2.6.12-2 kernel and with Xorg 6.8.2.

In summation, Wolvix is all that it claims and more. I found the entire experience quite enjoyable and easy. Despite its small size, it's complete with wonderful assortment of included applications and utilities. It's fast and stable! I didn't experience one lockup, freeze, or crash. The unified desktop experience gives it polished look and feel. I was highly impressed with this offering and can recommend it to anyone. In fact, I suggest you download and try it out for yourself today. It is definitely at least a 9 out of 10!

Screenshots here.

Distrowatch has added this distribution to is lineup as of this morning.


Thank you very much for the nice review.

I had some initial problems with the new release, as I found an issue
with Gaim and MSN. (SSL problem) The issue has been fixed and I've
uploaded the new ISO.
As I was uploading the fix my distro appeared on DistroWatch and I got
lots of hits on the website, which slowed down the process. I hope I
didn't upset too many people with the upload and change of ISOs.

Thanks again. =)

Edit:
There is a guest account too. The login/password is guest/guest, but it has a few problems: PySol and glHack does not work and there is an issue with the soundmixer causing SnackAmp to refuse starting.

re: review

Oh, there's no real need to thank me, but thank you for saying. Just as with the reviews that get me nasty emails and mean comments, I just tell it like it is. You've done a real nice job here. I plan to keep an eye on your announcements page. Smile

----
You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

re: wonderful mini

Yeah, I'm working with one stick of 512mb 333ddr, corsair mmx.

----
You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

Slack- based distros are always interesting.

Because of its simple, straightforward design, Slackware has been the basis of some really interesting and creative second and third generation dikstros, including Slax, Vector Linux, and Zenwalk. I really want to try Wolvix.

Comment viewing options

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

More in Tux Machines

Is Microsoft engaging in digital imperialism?

Windows, the common carrier of Microsoft, is such a sordid mess that it suffers regular glitches and conducts mass surveillance on users. Microsoft knows that without Windows it cannot survive, so dirty tricks resume in a very big way. This is not a beep on the radar but somewhat of a surge. Nothing is going to change in Munich, but Microsoft is trying to maintain an international/universal perception that the migration to GNU/Linux was a disaster. Numerous anonymous blogs were created to attack Munich over this and provocateurs of Microsoft loved citing them, only to be repeatedly proven wrong. Microsoft is trying to make an example out of Munich in all sorts of nefarious ways. We need to defend Munich from this malicious assault by the convicted monopolist and corrupt enterprise that’s acting as though it fights for its very survival (while indeed laying off tens of thousands of employees). Read more

Shortlist of open source software used at NASA lab

Yes! We use a lot of open source. The short list includes Python, GitHub, Processing, VLC, jQuery, D3.js, Blender, VRUI, ImageJ, VMD, ParaView, MeshLab, VNC, ImageMagick, SWIG, Emacs, and many more. We like using open source because it gives us more flexibility because of licensing and allows us the opportunity to contribute back to the community using our expertise. Our favorite open source project that we work on is OpenMDAO. This project is run out of another Division at our Center. Our team provides some programming support. OpenMDAO is an open source Multidisciplinary Design Analysis and Optimization (MDAO) framework, written in Python. You can use it to develop an integrated analysis and design environment for your engineering challenges. Read more

GSoC: Thumping the Malaria and voyaging in cosmos with KStars

Let's talk about my project now. KStars is desktop planetarium application under KDE Education Projects. I developed QML based cool interface to enable users to browse through image database of community of astrophotographers (i.e. astrobin.com) which contains more than 1,20,000 (number is increasing everyday) real time and very high resolution images along with various information related to them (i.e. Date on which image was captured, Bortle Dark-Sky Scale, RA Centre, DEC Centre, Telescope or Camera used, Description added by astrophotographer etc). I am sure that this browser will enthrall school children by showing them real time images of stars and galaxies located at hundreds of light year far from earth. Read more

Meet Cornelius Schumacher - Akademy Keynote Speaker

At Akademy 2014, outgoing KDE e.V. Board President Cornelius Schumacher will give the community keynote. He has attended every Akademy and has been amazed and inspired at every one of them. If you want more of what KDE can bring to your life, Cornelius's talk is the perfect elixir. Here are glimpses of Cornelius that most of us have never seen. They give a sense of what has made him a successful leader of KDE for several years. Read more