Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
The folks at Austrumi released version 1.2.0 of their tenny tiny distro today and since we hadn't tested Austrumi since the .9.x days, we though we might better see what was new. It's still the same great-performing feature-rich system, but there were some significant changes.
The most obvious and profound improvement is the change from OpenBox to Enlightenment. Enlightenment is an extremely light yet advance window manager/desktop environment. I'm sure everyone has seen the beautiful screenshots of e17 with its fancy animations and pretty decorations. Austrumi makes use of default e theme called Bling Bling featuring golden accents and animations. They've designed a perfectly matching wallpaper of almost khaki or tannish green color with a jean, chino, or canvas texture. A similar appearance backdrops the file manager as well. It's a different look to be sure. In the lower portion, it is highlighted by the astrumi crest/logo. There is a discrete panel of quick launchers at the bottom for a rxvt, firefox, xchat, bluefish and a cd/dvd burner among a few others.
Despite its small download size of 50M, Austrumi comes with a wealth of applications and tools to complete your many computing needs. Among those are games such Atomix, Ltris, GnomeMines, Gtkballs and Chess. Some office apps include Abiword, Bluefish, Gnumeric, and Stardict. The graphics apps even include The Gimp.
There is a multitude of networking and internet applications. Some are nmap, HydraGTK, ANT, AirSnort, ethercap, Firefox, Ghost in the Mail, d4x, and linphone. Also included are some popular servers such as apache or xmail. Multimedia isn't neglected either with applications like mplayer, Sweep and SimpleCDR.
Of course there are plenty of system configuration and monitoring tools. Among these are ihop, Xproc, a passwd frontend, a graphical cron job tool, cups frontend, and date and monitor configurations. In addtion, emelFM2, gtkfind, qemu and mc.
Under the hood one can find a 2.6.16-14 kernel, xorg 6.9.0, and many commandline tools and builtins as expected, but I was a little surprized not to find a vi, emacs, or nano (or joe). This is how I found mc (my first foray into mc). Once I figured out that the 1, 2, 3, 4... at the bottom of the mc screen actually meant F1, F2, F3, I was on my way. The xorg.conf file was writable, but none of the rest of the filesystem was. There is a gtk screenshot application, so import, scrot and even xwd are foregone.
I had a bit of trouble with the start of the gui, but more blame is to be placed on my graphics hardware than austrumi. However, the boot cheatcode for older monitors didn't help. I was able to boot to text mode and edit that xorg file as needed so I could startx. My ethernet connection wasn't autostarted, but easily came up with a few commands. The English option in the menu didn't work this release (for me). Choosing English in the menu usually causes X to restart, but this time, X couldn't restart and instead shot some font errors. It wasn't a major issue as many apps were in English anyway.
Mplayer worked wonderfully, but I had to set the -vo to X11 to get screenshots. This made the replay quite small, but again, it was just for the screenshots. Fullscreen worked well with xv, it just shows as bluescreens in screenshots. There are some preset radio stations in the menu for convenience and enjoyment.
The harddrive installer was still inoperative. Each release its appearance and included options seem to improve, yet its actual functionality doesn't. I'm still waiting tho, I'm not giving up. I'm sure one of these days I'll get this blazing speed racer installed!
Austrumi is still breaking speed records this release. They have upgrade to enlightenment, but enlightenment is still very light and fast performing. Austrumi loads automatically into ram and makes things even faster. There was no delay in operations and applications opened within a second (or two). It's just amazing.
Overall it was a pleasant experience working in Austrumi today despite the language and installer glitches. As always Austrumi performs really well and is very stable. Now with Enlightment and customized wallpaper, Austrumi is one of the prettiest as well. If your motherboard supports it, I imagine Austrumi could be installed onto a usbstick as well. It's small enough! Austrumi is one of our favorites.