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MitraX in the Matrix

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Linux
Reviews
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MitraX is a mini linux livecd distribution of 48MB and is presently on Distrowatch's waiting list. Based on slackware and linux live, it offers administration level networking and security tools while provding a minimal gui and gui-based tools and apps. I looked version 0.3.1 and although I did not ascertain the exact release date, Mitrax was submitted to Distrowatch on October 15, 2005 and features a 2.6.9 kernel. That places this release anywhere from October 18, 2004 through October 15, 2005.

MitraX say of themselves that they are "the first Serbian Live Linux distribution based on Slackware Linux which can be booted from CD. With its size of 50MB MitraX can be stored on business-card CD and carried anywhere."

The site further states, "MitraX is mainly intended to be used by system and network administrators but it can be easily used by anyone else. You don't need any experience with Linux in order to use it - all important programs have graphic interface.

Features
With MitraX you can:

  • edit text and documents with data sheets

  • view and edit pictures
  • work with vector graphics
  • surf the Internet
  • check security and functionality of entire computer network
  • listen music and watch movies
  • print documents
  • and many other things"

Tuxmachines took MitraX 0.3.1 for a short test drive and found it is all it claims and perhaps a bit more. It caches into ram rather quickly while booting and thus is able to provide a fast and responsive system. It was found to be quite stable and complete for a 48 mb download.

It arrives with a neat and tidy Fvwm window manager and the menu contains many nice applications. In the graphics menu one finds GQView, Inkscape, and Gimp. Under the office menu is gnumeric, abiword, xpdf, bluefish and a calculator. Found in internet is Opera (7.5!), Dillo, gFTP, Ghost in the Machine, traceroute and xwhois.

        

Also found onboard are mplayer, Simplecdrx, and several games. The 2D games played well and mplayer worked for most of my media files out of the box. Although there was some weirdness that prevented capturing screenshots of those two categories, they did function very well in testing. In other menus one can find search tools and configuration applications.

Interestingly, under networking is several tools for setting up, connecting, securing or testing the security of a network. These include nmap, gspoof, hydra, linneighborhood (that works out of the box), and a gui telnet/ssh. In the directories are several other useful utilities, but the most popular have the gui frontend.

        

In addition the apache, vsfptd, and xmail servers are included. I believe the network security tools is what could set mitrax apart from some of the other minis. In fact, some of these tools are known more for their evil uses than their testing abilities. Although no internet was available automagically upon boot, there is netconfig in the menu and the commandline standbys worked well.

This system features a 2.6.9 kernel and xorg 6.8.1. These indicates that this version is more than several months old. It was a solid stable little system that many could find helpful. However, it's becoming dated and the few extra network testing tools may not be enough to compell folks to try it. It looked real nice featuring that lovely blue wallpaper and, as stated, a nice fvwm window manager, but with competition like DSL and Austrumi, it'd be an uphill battle for them at best. With the outdated versions, it's nice to look at and test drive, but I'd personally be running something more up-to-date.

More Screenshots here.

Download.

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