Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Underground Desktop 021 - it rocks!

Yes, I am really excited about this one! Underground Desktop 021 might be an early development version, but it already works very well, and that despite using some really cutting edge features: Reiser4 as the only filesystem, KDE 3.5 as the only desktop, and the kernel is 2.6.14 with archck patchset. (Archck includes Con Kolivas' patches, plus support for a few new filesystems, for example Reiserfs4 and shfs, and a few other bits).

Underground is based on Arch Linux and it inherits all that is great about Arch - pacman for package management, optimisation for i686 architecture, and above all, my personal favourite: Arch's beautiful, simple and effective rc.config holding most of system settings.

Underground adds its own installer, which is very, very simple. Perhaps even too simple, because the only choice the user gets to make is the root password (and creating two partitions with cfdisk). Beware, Underground *will* install its Lilo in MBR, no questions asked! I believe Lilo is neccessary, because Grub has trouble booting Reiser4 partitions, and Underground uses Reiser4 whether you like that or not - no other choices are offered. I would also like to be able to add a non-root user during the installation, but that option is missing as well. However, it was easy enough to add a user later, with KDE user manager. Underground did a great job configuring my display, and initially got the network settings with DCHP. Again, it was simple to change them to static IP I wanted with KDE tools. The desktop includes a link to short, but useful Post Install Notes which mentions setting up the network as well as several useful steps required to bring the system up to speed in the multimedia department because video codecs, flash and Java are not installed by default. But they are easy to add with pacman, no other work required.

I am not usually too worried about booting speed, but I couldn't help noticing Underground gets from Lilo to the login screen remarkably quickly, even on my rather obsolete system (AMD 800Mhz, 256 Mb of RAM). From that point on, starting KDE does take a while, though my system might be to blame for that. In fact I think the booting process could be speeded up even further by disabling hardware detection and loading required modules through config files instead, but I don't think I will bother - it is quite fast enough for me.

This is an early development version, and there are some small glitches here and there. Initial installation had very ugly and jaggy fonts, but apparently the fix was already available, because running pacman -Syu fixed the problem before I had a chance to go on the forum to ask about it. I also noticed virtual consoles seem absent. And I would like more choices in KDM login screen - such as the menu to shutdown/reboot, and to select other window managers (KDE is the only choice out of the box, but I think there is E17 available in the repos, I still have to investigate this more closely).

But this really nitpicking for any system, let alone the second development version! I think Underground Desktop is quite amazing and I hope it will become more popular. In my book it fully deserves one of top spots on Distrowatch Smile

Comment viewing options

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

Underground

I tried to install 020 to review, but the installer had problems. I saw on the forum where the developer said the bug seemed to be show up on systems with 2 hard drive installed. But when removing one, the installer hung at another spot soon after.

Yeah, I saw where he was gonna push out an updated version soon. I downloaded it and was gonna try to get to it this weekend. I'm so behind, what with having to work for a living and all. Tongue

The one I did review was pretty nice, but that was back when it was still based on Debian. I never find a reason why they decided to switch to arch.

Glad you liked it and thanks for the mini review.

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

More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Software

  • diction: The words you choose and why
  • style: Similar idea, different direction
  • SMS based Cosmos Browser for the developing countries
    Browsing the internet has different meaning to different people. While to some the web is a source of entertainment, to others it is a valuable and source of learning. Sadly enough, the internet is not widely available and easily affordable everywhere in the globe. Slow network speed is another problem. Developer Stefan Aleksic of ColdSauce tries to find a solution in an SMS (text) based browser for the third world countries which are yet to see the internet as we know it. He has named it the Cosmos Browser. If you ever used elinks on Linux, you know how efficient and low-bandwidth text only browsing can be. Of course, it is not meant for visiting a website for downloading wallpapers, but it is more than sufficient if you want to read some information from the web. Cosmos will work on text and will not need any data plan or WiFi.
  • Keyboard Modifiers State indicator For Ubuntu: Xkbmod Indicator

today's howtos

Leftovers: Gaming

Sorry, Windows 9 Fans, This Is How Multiple Desktops Should Work – Video

The Linux platform has always taken pride in this cool feature. Having multiple desktops is a great way to increase the productivity and there are numerous means to implement it. Lots of Linux distributions have this option, which is used in various ways. Read more