Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Goodgoat - A shortcut to Gentoo?

Filed under
Linux
Reviews
-s

Continuing my search for an easy shortcut to gentoo, tuxmachines has taken a little looksee at GoodGoat. Goodgoat Linux is an installable liveCD that uses the portage (gentoo) package manager. It is presently on DistroWatch's waiting list, yet I had high hopes. Would this be the one?

Goodgoat's site states, "The goal of goodgoat is to make an easy to use Linux that has few duplicated applications so that you don't have to dig through the menus to find the program that you want. If you like gentoo all you have to do is install goodgoat and run su -; emerge sync from the xterm and you have a gentoo system. I add a few additional applications that are not included with gentoo and I installed newer applications than gentoo supports by default." In fact they outline their goals quite succinctly:

  1. Keep it Simple Stupid
  2. Cover the needs for a desktop for most people
  3. Limit the app list to less than 100 instead of thousands
  4. The distro is zero install
    1. Hit the button to install (less choices)
  5. upgrades are monothic
    1. tar the home directory (/home/ben) and copy the new version over
  6. Some security
    1. desktop runs as user not root
    2. the usr and opt directoies can be compressed and read-only
  7. In compressed mode it can run with less hard drive space
  8. able to be upgraded to full gentoo
  9. fork new functionality instead of trying to do too much
  10. use stable but current versions of the software

The download was fast making for a pleasant experience, rare these days, especially for a relatively unknown distro. md5sums checked out and the burn was uneventful. Now it was time to boot.

Good gawd, it's goats! That was my first thought. The developer says he named this distro goodgoat because "I live on a small farm and we have goats, chickens, horses, and dogs. My wife and I started saying what a good goat one day and it sounded cool. I thought goodgoat would be easy to remember and no one had taken the domain." The wallpaper reflects this. It is a close-up of two garden variety goats. It's distinctive, if not particularly attractive, and it does adhere to the overall naming scheme.

        

But my first problem is the lack of a menu. The developer, whose name I ascertained from the home directory of the system is Ben, says he trimmed the distro to about one application per task to avoid the user having to dig through menus, but I didn't realize that meant having no menu at all. At your fingertips are "shortcuts" for popular applications on the xfce panel.

Booting the livecd brings up a xfce4 (4.0.6) desktop with the usual launcher and a task bar at the top. Located on the desktop panel are launchers for a web browser (firefox), filemanager (xfce4fm), gimp, bluefish, a skype client, evolution, xine, xmms inkscape and gaim. Some didn't work like the gftp (which actually needs a terminal and the launcher is setup like a gui application), realplayer, and the manual icon launches firefox, but leads to the firefox site instead of any 'help'. I did find emerge in the /usr/bin directory as well as the hard drive installer.

        

However, the hard drive installer couldn't be tested as the readme states, "This cd can help you install Linux or you can just run the distro on the CD. Be careful, the installer is setup to format (erase) the whole hard drive." Thanks Ben for the warning, I'da been terribly upset to discover this on my own thru trial and error.

This iso was released in March of this year, so many of the apps and base system are quite dated by now. The kernel is 2.6.10-gentoo-r6, with X version 6.8.0 from Sept. 2004, and gcc 3.3.5.

In the binaries directory we find abiword, cdrecord, fortune, gentoo (file manager), gnumeric, links & lynx, lp, mplayer, qemu, samba tools, ssh & telnet, wvdial, xscreensaver, and zip & unzip amongst the built ins and other command line tools/utilities. So there really is more to Goodgoat than meets the eye.

The bad points: no menu to speak of, only a few launchers, and a hard drive installer that will wipe out your entire hard drive. On the good side it was stable and fast, will result in gentoo, and has a few more applications than is obvious. I suppose if you had a spare hard drive, or no system you cared about, this could indeed be a shortcut to gentoo. But for me, the search continues...

More in Tux Machines

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

PLASMA ACTIVE PORTED TO KF5

The GSoC might have come to an end, but I am very happy with the progress that we have made porting the Plasma Active to KF5. In my previous blogposts i have describe some of the stuff which they have been ported. So at the moment a lot of the basic features have come back to the Plasma Active, so yes it is at a usable state :) One of the big changes is that Nepomuk has been replaced with Baloo. Despite the fact that a lot of the Nepomuk stuff has been ported, there are still some things left, for example the timeline and tag support on the active-filebrowser. Read more