Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Stx released a new release candidate a few days back and just in time for my dying harddrive. Fortunately I received a new bigger harddrive for Christmas. ...unfortunately, I hadn't copied all of my partitions/installs to it before it completely gave up the ghost last night. Another good thing tho, I already had stx-1.0-rc3.iso sitting on my gentoo desktop (that I did ghost over the first day of installing said new hardware). So, this morning I installed stx-1.0-rc3 and figured why waste the experience. Here's a little update since our last look.
For those who haven't heard of stx, it's a smaller, lighter-weight distro based on slax/slackware that features the Equinox Desktop Environment. It comes with handy tools and utilities and many useful applications. The prize application being the Stx Control Center, from which one can configure many of the aspects of one's system. Being based on slackware, it comes with installpkg and they have added the slapt-get graphical software management system to mix. This is a wonderful alternative to slackware, with a more modern kernel, nice configuration tools and a cool desktop. I really like this little distro a lot.
Stibbs listed many of the changes in this post on PCLO. So I had an inkling what to expect. Many bugs I don't find cuz of the way I install. I have a set pattern no matter the distro. For example, "* Dialup and DSL Connection setup work now". I never get to test those as I have my dsl connection setup thru my server and I just always go for dhcp eth0 connection. So I would have no way of knowing that module didn't function. Fortunately, Stibbs knew and fixed it this release. The same with "* Wifi setup gui and network profile manager added." I'm afraid I have no hardware to test this, so we must rely on other sources of information.
"* HJlxSplit with GUI added" is new. I'm not sure if that's the "file splitter" in the menu or not, but the menu item didn't work, stating that gtklxsplit wasn't installed. So, either case, the menu item could be fixed to point to the new application or make sure it's included or whatever.
Another weird thing that kept happening was during my taking of screenshots using gimp. On a fresh install with clean home directories, gimp complained that for every jpg I wanted to save, there was already a file named that. That was a weird one. I'd never seen that before. I just clicked "replace" and my files were saved as desired, so no biggie I guess.
"* Gnumeric replaces Planmaker" was another obvious change. Although neither was an application I use very much, gnumeric has a big following and is a popular application. I suppose I can see the sense in this decision, but I liked the spreadsheet matching the word processor myself. Growing up American I believe in 'majority rules', so whatever the most folks want is okay with me too.
Yippee, the developers did include a compiler this time, gcc 3.3.6, so that's wonderful. However the kernel source was not and not present in the slapt-get software installer. So, we're getting there. But still no nvidia drivers for me. Fortunately vesa works good here and I get a cloned setup on my dual monitor system. I'm anxious to try the dual monitor settings in the video catagory of the Stx Control Settings. I could probably hunt them down manually, but I'm too laz^H^H^Hbusy for that. So, if we could just get him to include the kernel-sources we'd be almost fixed up. One pleasant kernel note worth mentioning, he did have the foresight to build direct support for reiser into the kernel. So, no problem booting stx on a reiserfs partition without all the fuss and muss of trying to create an initrd. Thanks stibbsy ole boy, good show.
Stibbs mentions a new logo in that same post. Although it is apparent on the stx site, thank goodness it has not showed up in the distro yet. I hope it doesn't. But go to the site and check it out. I can see the wit behind the choice, but... well... perhaps he should have picked like a pain killer as stx is painless or perhaps some kind of speed of some sort as this baby flies. Even old mozilla fires up in a mere 2 seconds.
"* Pterm replaces gnome-terminal." I noticed they now use pterm as the terminal emulator. I don't know any pros or cons for the decision, just noting the change.
A few changes, lot of application updates, and some bug fixes make this release of stx better than ever. It's still a wonderfully easy install and great os, and the developers are working hard to make it even better. I've grown quite fond of this system and can recommend it to just about anyone. You don't need to have an extensive knowledge of the commandline or the latest expensive hardware to run stx linux, you just need the iso!