Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

When Choice Matters: VectorLinux SOHO 5.1 rc2

Filed under
Linux
Reviews
-s

"VectorLinux is a small, fast, Linux operating system for Intel, AMD and x86 compatible systems, based on one of the original Linux distributions, Slackware." The developers unleashed released candidate 2 of the small office - home office edition on Jan. 4, 2006, and since we've never tested any Vector, we thought it was time. The soho edition, "as its name implies, is a distro aimed at Small Office and Home Office users."

Some of the features of the Soho version include:

  • OpenOffice productivity suite.

  • Business applications for personal information, finances, and database work.
  • Powerful web development tools, including a local server.
  • Graphics editors, from simple to advanced.
  • Complete Internet applications pack, including Firefox web browser with preconfigured PDF, MPlayer, FlashPlayer and Java plugins
  • Multimedia and entertainment, for music and video playing and even web content streaming.
  • Internet and local Network connectivity.
  • Support for peripherals including printers, scanners, digital cameras, fax/modems.

The Install:

The installer appears to be based on Slackware's ascii-graphic installer. If not, it certainly shares a similar appearance. The installer worked flawlessly and walked me through a complete install and setup. It includes some great extra configurations, such as specific keyboards, without overkill or adding confusion for the user. The only problem I saw with it was during choosing from a list of a few extra packages of libraries and drivers. This list included such as rt2004 and zd1201. As I didn't know what they were, I figured I didn't need them. Whereas this method works for me, it may not work for a new comer who hasn't heard what their drivers are called or what libraries they'll needed for their given needs. Otherwise the installer was straight-forward and can practically guarantee a successful install. One of the cute extras I observed was at the start of the system/package installation phase, a message was offered stating, "You may leave if you want." teehee But if you do, you'll miss the scrolling message above the progress bar first giving the forum ip addy and then the nicks of the developers. The rest was fairly standard giving the user a chance to setup a hostname, root password and user account(s). Given the opportunity to install lilo, make a boot floppy or skip this step was appreciated here. It appears one is given the choice of two kernels: a 2.4.29 or 2.6.13. I chose 2.6.13.

During the install you are given your choice of type of login:

  • Text Server
  • Text Desktop
  • Graphical Server
  • Graphical Desktop

First boot stops to check the filesystem, or it did in my case as I chose ext3. Then I looked away to make a note and the system rebooted. I expected a failure. Second boot it updated libraries and did some last minute configuration, then I was taken to my chosen graphical login. At that point I surmised the initial reboot was normal.

The System:

The graphical login is quite pretty with a theme that I will come to discover matches the desktop. One is given a choice between KDE and XFCE4. Both desktops were quite pretty, although KDE defaults the plastic theme and default kde colors. Xfce4 was plain gorgeous, using the same VectorLinux wallpaper as KDE and utilizing a lovely theme. The default wallpaper is a pretty yet professional looking background in shades of blue featuring the Vector logo. Included are the standard kde wallpapers as well as at least a couple variations of the Vector background.

        

        

The menus are quite healthy with many application for most all of your small or home office needs. There are text editors, word processors and desktop publishing. There are image viewers, photo viewers, and image capture and manipulation. There are finance applications, spreadsheets, and mobile device synchronization. And of course there are plenty of internet and multimedia applications as well.

        

        

There are quite a few system tools as well. Besides the usual SysV editor and popular system monitoring applications, one finds gkrellm, gslapt, and Vasm (Vector's own Administration System & Menu). Inside this Vasm one finds a plethora of modules for configuring hardware, services, and system setup.

    

Upon the desktop is an icon labeled vector-help. That opens firefox to a local index file that can lead one to local help files, online documentation or the vector forums for example.

        

Multimedia isn't neglected in this office version of Vector. In the menus we can find ogle dvd player, xine media player, and xmms. Ogle played an encrypted dvd here with no problems and xine did a wonderful job playing mpegs and avis here. Xmms had no problems with music cds either. You may think this is a given, but I've tested several distros in which xmms refused to work. Mplayer is in the package list, although I didn't see it in the menu.

        

And true to their claims, browser plugins worked out-of-the-box here as well.

        

Some little problems encountered here include a lack of mysql (although sqlite is listed in packages as well). I figure a distro for small office and server use should probably contain mysql. In fact, I couldn't even find it available in slapt-get. Speaking of server, I wasn't able to find this small local web server mentioned as included either. That doesn't mean it's not really there somewhere, I just gave up looking for it before I found it. My scanner functioned only after editing the usual /etc/sane.d file. Gslapt is listed in the menus and a binary is available in /usr/sbin, althought I could not get it to open here (cli slapt-get worked fine). As root I got display errors and as user I got permission problems. Bearing in mind this is still a release candidate, I have high hopes this matter will be resolved before final.

Some version numbers of interest include:

  • gcc-3.3.4
  • alsa-1.0.9
  • xorg-6.8.2
  • kernel-source 2.6.13
  • kdebase-3.4.2
  • xfce4-4.2.0
  • gimp-2.2.1
  • openoffice-2.0
  • mozilla-firefox-1.5
  • gaim-1.3.0
  • perl-5.8.6
  • python-2.4.1
  • rp-pppoe-3.5
  • rpm-4.2.1
  • Full list

My Conclusion:

I liked VectorLinux very much. I found it to be quite stable and functional with great performance. The desktops were very pretty, polished and professional with limited but very nicely rendered fonts. The list of included applications was more than adequate for just about any generic office needs, or at least a solid foundation. I can envision my small office running Vector on a daily basis. I thought it was a wonderful binary distribution and I don't hesitate to recommend it for a second.

More Screenshots HERE.

    

Re: desktop

sennachie wrote:

hey, which desktop are the screenshots from? kde or xfce?

Both. Mostly KDE, but I threw some of xfce4 in there too. Easiest way to tell is the panel. Big Grin

They're both nice huh?

Comment viewing options

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

More in Tux Machines

Red Hat News

  • Improving Storage Performance with Ceph and Flash
    Ceph is a storage system designed to be used at scale, with clusters of Ceph in deployment in excess of 40 petabytes today. At LinuxCon Europe, Allen Samuels, Engineering Fellow at Western Digital, says that Ceph has been proven to scale out reasonably well. Samuels says, “the most important thing that a storage management system does in the clustered world is to give you availability and durability,” and much of the technology in Ceph focuses on controlling the availability and the durability of your data. In his presentation, Samuels talks not just about some of the performance advantages to deploying Ceph on Flash, but he also goes into detail about what they are doing to optimize Ceph in future releases.
  • Ceph and Flash by Allen Samuels, Western Digital
  • Red Hat Opens Up OpenShift Dedicated to Google Cloud Platform
    When businesses and enterprises begin adopting data center platforms that utilize containerization, then and only then can we finally say that the container trend is sweeping the planet. Red Hat’s starter option for containerization platforms is OpenShift Dedicated — a public cloud-based, mostly preconfigured solution, which launched at this time last year on Amazon AWS.
  • Volatility Numbers in View for Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT)

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Rhizome is working on an open-source tool to help archive digital content
    "The stability of this kind of easy archiving for document storage, review and revision is a great possibility, but the workflow for journalists is very specific, so the grant will allow us to figure out how it could function." Another feature of Webrecorder that journalists might find appealing, and one of the software's core purposes, is to preserve material that might be deleted or become unavailable in time. However, the tool is currently operated under a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Takedown policy. This means any individual can ask for a record of their web presence or materials to be removed, so Rhizome will be working to "answer the more complicated questions and figure out policies" around privacy and copyright with the latest round of funding.
  • An ode to releasing software
    There is one particular moment in every Free and Open Source Software project: it’s the time when the software is about to get released. The software has been totally frozen of course, QA tests have been made, all the lights are green; the website still needs to be updated with the release notes, perhaps some new content and of course the stable builds have to be uploaded. The release time is always a special one. The very day of the release, there is some excitement and often a bit of stress. The release manager(s), as well as everyone working on the project’s infrastructure are busy making sure everything is ready when the upload of the stable version of the software, binaries and source, has been completed. In many cases, some attention is paid to the main project’s mirror servers so that the downloads are fluid and work (mostly) flawlessly as soon as the release has been pushed and published.
  • Diversity Scholarship Series: My Time at CloudNativeCon 2016
    CloudNativeCon 2016 was a wonderful first conference for me and although the whirlwind of a conference is tiring, I left feeling motivated and inspired. The conference made me feel like I was a part of the community and technology I have been working with daily.
  • WordPress 4.7 Content Management System Provides New Design Options
    WordPress is among the most widely used open-source technologies in the world, powering more than 70 million websites. WordPress 4.7 was released Dec. 6, providing a new milestone update including new features for both users and developers. As is typically the case with new WordPress releases, there is also a new default theme in the 4.7 update. The 2017 theme provides users with a number of interesting attributes including the large feature image as well as the ability to have a video as part of the header image. The Theme Customizer feature enables users to more intuitively adjust various elements of a theme, to fit the needs of websites that use will upgrade to WordPress 4.7. In addition, the new custom CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) feature within a theme preview lets users quickly see how style changes will change the look of a site. As an open-source project, WordPress benefits from participation of independent contributors and for the 4.7 release there were 482 contributors. In this slideshow eWEEK takes a look at some of the highlights of the WordPress 4.7 release.
  • Psychology Professor Releases Free, Open-Source, Preprint Software
    The Center for Open Science, directed by University of Virginia psychology professor Brian Nosek, has launched three new services to more quickly share research data as the center continues its mission to press for openness, integrity and reproducibility of scientific research. Typically, researchers send preprint manuscripts detailing their research findings to peer-reviewed academic journals, such as Nature and Science. The review process can take months or even years before publication – if the research is published at all. By contrast, “preprinting,” or sharing non-peer-reviewed research results online, enables crucial data to get out to the community the moment it is completed. That, said Nosek, is critical.
  • Integral Ad Science Launches Open Source SDK to Drive Mobile Innovation for the Advertising Industry
  • Tullett Prebon Information, Quaternion and Columbia University form open source risk collaboration
  • Tullett Prebon Information And Quaternion Risk Management Partner To Enhance Transparency And Standardisation In Risk Modelling – Partnership Fuels Columbia University Research To Improve Understanding Of Systemic Risk
  • Integral Ad Science Partners with Google, Others for Open Source Viewability
  • DoomRL creator makes free roguelike open-source to try and counter Zenimax legal threat
  • DoomRL Goes Open-Source in Face of Copyright Claims
    Earlier this week, ZeniMax Medi hit DoomRL, a popular roguelike version of the original first-person shooter, with a cease-and-desist order. This order instructed producer ChaosForge to remove the free downloadable game to prevent further legal action. Instead of taking it down, co-creator Kornel Kisielewicz turned the game open-source.
  • This Indian software company just partnered with the world’s biggest open source community
    In what can be called a major motivation for Indian tech firms, Amrut Software, an end-to-end Software, BPO services and solutions provider has become a GitHub distributor for India region. GitHub hosts world’s biggest open source community along with the most popular version control systems, configuration management and collaboration tools for software developers. It has some of the largest installations of repositories in the world.
  • Python 3.6 released with many new improvements and features
    Python,the high-level interpreted programming language is now one of the most preferred programming language by beginners and professional-level developers.So,here Python 3.6 is now available with many changes,improvements and of course the ease of Python was not left in the work list.

Security Leftovers