Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Symphony OS 2006-05 Beta (act 5)

Filed under
Linux
Reviews
-s

I've always followed SymphonyOS with great enthusiam. I admire folks who march to a different, or even moreso, their own beat. Symphony has always done that. They have few rivals for the title of Most Unique Desktop. Each release builds more and more excitement as things begin to shape up and improve. Symphony OS 2006-05 BETA is upon us and just like its predecessors, it's still different and ever improving. This time they have some great new features to introduce as well as some underlying code changes to announce. All this comes together to provide the greatest Symphony OS yet.

Even the boot splash is new and improved. This time featuring a lovely blue background with the Symphony Logo and matching the gdm background and desktop wallpaper. The cheatcodes include: debug, copy2ram, floppy (which enables floppy automounting during startup), and memtest. The boot itself is text output, but one might notice a bit of a change. I still spot linuxlive startup script output, but it doesn't seem to be booting a knoppix clone. This is because Symphony is now based on Debian unstable. It boots in good time detecting hardware as it goes. In short order, one is greeted by a new theme-able GDM login manager. Again matching the whole Symphony 2006-05 theme, it looks great. To avoid confusion, they have listed the default username and password as well as the root password in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. Log-in as symphony and admire the great looking desktop.

        

The desktop might be somewhat familiar to you, but this time we have the lovely new wallpaper mentioned earlier, but also the desklet widgets are updated for a more defined appearance and distinctive look. The desktop still features the 4-corner menu system, from which you can navigate to other broad menus. As per usual, we have an icon in the upper right corner that takes us to a Files desktop. From here we can easily navigate thru our Favorite Locations, New & Recent Files, and Tasks. Under Favorite Locations there are the default folders of My Files, Documents, Music, Pictures, and Downloads. Under Tasks, we have a link that allows us to Browse Files. In the lower right corner is the TrashCan.

        

In the lower left-hand corner is an icon for opening the Programs desktop. On there we find menu boxes for Favorite Programs, All Programs, and Tasks. Under Favorites we have as default Web Browser (which is Firefox), Email (Thunderbird), Instant Messenger (gaim), Terminal, and Desktop Manager. Under All Programs is the listings for all applications installed. And under Tasks we find Run Programs and One-Click Software.

On this desktop we've found at least two new goodies to examine. The Desktop Manager and One-Click Software. These are a couple of the nice major improvements hinted at earlier. The Desktop Manager is as the name implies, and it allows one to configure their desktop to a more personalize or customize appearance and functionality. Inside the Desktop Manager are categories for setting up or changing Desklets & Launchers in any of 9 pre-designated areas, the Background Image, and editing your Favorite Programs and Favorite Locations menus.

As you can see some of the desklets already enabled include Yahoo News and Newsforge news feeds as well as Favorite Programs and Favorite Folders. Of particular interest is the desklet for Google search, which works great by opening up Firefox at your search terms's google results page. Some of the others included in the dropdown menus to choose are weather and a battery monitor. The weather applet is easily configured by clicking edit, which brings up a dialogue box for you to input your city and state abbreviation. No obscure weather station or zip codes needed. You can also click for forecase, which opens firefox to wunderground weather forecasts for your chosen area. The only glitch experienced here was trying to disable the battery applet that I started. It wouldn't go away for me.

    

The next thing we can edit is our Background Image. Symphony comes with several nice images we can use, or you can browse to a wallpaper of your own to use. Make your choice and click the clock applet to refresh the desktop.

        

For now editing your Favorite menus consists of an editor. The screen hints at bigger and better things to come in the future. I suffered a bit of a glitch here as well. When I discovered the Email menu item was incorrectly linked, my attempts to edit it failed. The Desktop Manager goes blank when pressing Apply Changes and doesn't update the menu. But you can launch the Email app from the Run dialog or from a Terminal by typing thunderbird.

&    

At the bottom of the Desktop Manager are two more links. One is Install a New Desklet and the other is Download new Desklet. The Install a New Desklet is a broken link and Download new Desklet opens the symphony discussion forum where new desktop desklets are introduced and discussed.

Which brings us to the other exciting new feature on the Programs desktop: OneClick Software. OneClick Software is an application installer with a nice gui that downloads the software file, installs it and puts an entry in the All Programs menu. It features a browser to peruse several categories of software including Games, Internet, Graphics, Multimedia and Utilities. Some of games include Frozen-Bubble and ace-of-penguins. Under Internet you can find kopete, xchat, and nvu. Multimedia has xmms, amarok, and audacity. Graphics include gimp, inkscape, f-spot and blender. Under Office is openoffice.org, gnumeric, gnucash, and abiword. And there's lots more. There is even an About (or Information) link and a search, although the search wasn't functional at this time.

        

All one needs to do is click upon the name of the application they'd like installed and a downloader begins. After it finishes downloading the app, it installs it and let's you know it was successfully completed. Then one finds a menu entry for it. I tested this process with gimp and it went without a hitch. My newly installed app even found its way onto my harddrive install.

        

        

Since I've let the cat out of the bag, in the upper left corner is our Computer icon which bring you to a "Computer" screen for navigating and configuring your system. On this desktop we find a list of Devices, Settings, and Tasks. Settings include Desktop Manager and Configure Login Screen. Tasks are Install Symphony OS to the Hard Drive, About My Computer, and Shutdown.

        

This Beta brings a functional hard drve installer! In the past we've tried it and it came so close, but this time it worked great. Having dropped the knoppix-style installer, Symphony's all new harddrive installer is easier than ever. Like all Linux installs, you're going to need partitions. Cfdisk is launched if you still need to take care of that and once you tab and enter to quit, the installer continues. It asks 4 simple questions - Source (Symphony CD):, Install Symphony to:, Write MBR to:, and Installation Method. The Source is easy. In fact, it's already filled in for you. Install Symphony to: is the partition on which to install and Write MBR to: either hda or hdb. The Installation Method defaults to Real (Recommended). This is where it installs Symphony to your hard drive like any other Linux system. The Live method is untested and says it's for a compressed image to a USB Mass Storage Device or small disk. I chose Real. Click next and it goes to town. It takes about 10 minutes at most to install and then you can click Close. At this point you can boot your new Symphony OS hard drive install.

        

It worked great here. The only glitch seems to be after boot the partition is reported as hda1 even though it installs and boots wherever you intended. All partitions are mounted by default, but you'll notice your chosen install partition isn't listed. So, it's a mislabel or a link left over from the livecd, but it doesn't affect any functionality that I've been able to find yet. Now you can launch OneClick and start building your system to your liking.

Among the previously mentioned included apps is VLC. Video Lan Client is a media player that I most commonly use for video files. In testing here, Symphony's included version played avis, bins, and mpgs with no problems. That's always a plus!

        

In conclusion, Symphony OS is coming right along. They have improved their interface appearance and functionality to a great extent. They have now added a software installer that makes obtaining and installing your favorite apps as easy as click, click, click. The Desktop Manager is a very promising and exciting utility that enables one to setup their desktop more to their own tastes. And of course, finally a working hard drive installer. The whole package is showing such promise and is quite exciting to test. It is still in Beta, so not everything is perfect, but it's getting there. In fact, it's music to my harddrive.

Related Links:

Here is an excerpt from the announcement that outlines the new features:

  • The OneClick software Installation System - A simple tool which can be used free of charge to install software from the OneClick software store. The OneClick software store is a front end for GUI applications in the Debian Unstable repository. The OneClick client, while designed for Symphony OS will soon be released as a deb package, making it available to all debian based distributions
    and providing a user friendly method of software installation.
  • Debian Unstable Base System - A major change for the project is the move away from the KNOPPIX base system used in previous releases. 2006-05 is based purely on Debian unstable with only minor changes made to accommodate the needs of the project and branding.
  • Linux-Live - Symphony OS 2006-05 BETA is shipped as a LiveCD with a hard drive installer. The LiveCD and Hard drive installer are made possible by the great work of Tomas Matejicek of the Linux-Live and SLAX projects.
  • Multiple Scripting Language support - Some minor changes in the Orchestra server code base are going to make a major difference for developers. Orchestra applications using the .orc file extension can now be written in any scripting language that includes a shebang (#!/usr/bin/something) line.
  • Multiuser - The 2006-05 BETA release is also the first release to be truly multiuser. The system loads to the GDM login manager and allows different users to have different desktops and settings just as any other standard Linux distribution does.

Congratulations to Symphony OS

The Symphony OS, even though I've never tested it, it's one of my favorite projects because the idea of change the default and BAD desktop used by the rest of the world. And now it's using Tomas's linux live scripts... It seems very promissed...
It's nice to see there are also other developer around the world trying change the desktop...

Congratulations to Symphony OS

BTW, in my personal opinion, there is no good livecd using the old method of Knoppix.

On the contrary...

On the contrary, I find Symphony's approach weird and counterproductive. Maybe I don't want all the time to refer to the four corners.

Also, the Programs menus like in http://www.tuxmachines.org/gallery/symphony2006/desktop2 are simply idiotic. I can _not_ read this!!! And I don't want to HAVE TO look on the WHOLE screen for a damned menu!! ("All programs" will never be just 6-7, but 40-50.)

If I want stupid things I'd go with Vista.

Great Revirew for great distro ! (but where we can download it ?

I can not find the download link for 2006-05 Beta.

Where is it ?

Re: Great Revirew for great distro ! (but where we can download

heri wrote:

I can not find the download link for 2006-05 Beta.

Where is it ?

Ryan said there was a little trouble with the rsync server earlier this morning. If it hasn't already, it will show up at that download link shortly.

I got it

here it is Smile

http://archive.progeny.com/symphonyos/apt/ISO-Current/symphonyos-2006-05.iso

Comment viewing options

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

More in Tux Machines

Horde vs Roundcube vs Squirrelmail - Which Works Best

Webmail is a great way to access your emails from different devices and when you are away from your home. Now, most web hosting companies include email with their server plans. And all of them offer the same three, webmail clients as well: RoundCube, Horde, and SquirrelMail. They are part of the cPanel - most popular hosting control panel. Read more

Android Leftovers

today's leftovers

  • Hardware Review - The ZaReason Virtus 9200 Desktop
  • Chrome OS 76 will disable Crostini Linux backups by default
    Essentially, this is still a work in progress feature. And I shouldn’t be terribly surprised by that, even though in my experience, the functionality hasn’t failed me yet. That’s because we know that the Chromium team is considering on a way to backup and restore Linux containers directly from the Files app on a Chromebook. That proposal is targeted for Chrome OS 78, so this gives the team more time to work that out, as well as any other nits that might not be quite right with the current implementation.
  • Andrei Lisita: Something to show for
    Unfortunately along with the progress that was made we also encountered a bug with the NintendoDS core that causes Games to crash if we attempt to load a savestate. We are not yet 100% sure if the bug is caused by my changes or by the NintendoDS core itself. I hope we are able to fix it by the end of the summer although I am not even sure where to start since savestates are working perfectly fine with other cores. Another confusing matter about this is that the Restart/Resume Dialog works fine with the NintendoDS core and it also uses savestates. This led me to believe that perhaps cores can be used to load savestates only once, but this can’t be the problem since we re-instantiate the core every time we load a savestate. In the worst case we might just have to make a special case for the NintendoDS core and not use savestates with it, except for the Resume/Restart dialog. This would sadden me deeply since there are plenty of NintendoDS games which could benefit from this feature.
  • OSMC's June update is here with Kodi v18.3
    Team Kodi recently announced the 18.3 point release of Kodi Leia. We have now prepared this for all supported OSMC devices and added some improvements and fixes. Here's what's new:

OSS Leftovers

  • A comparison of open source, real-time data streaming platforms
    A variety of open source, real-time data streaming platforms are available today for enterprises looking to drive business insights from data as quickly as possible. The options include Spark Streaming, Kafka Streams, Flink, Hazelcast Jet, Streamlio, Storm, Samza and Flume -- some of which can be used in tandem with each other. Enterprises are adopting these real-time data streaming platforms for tasks such as making sense of a business marketing campaign, improving financial trading or recommending marketing messages to consumers at critical junctures in the customer journey. These are all time-critical areas that can be used for improving business decisions or baked into applications driven by data from a variety of sources.
  • Amphenol’s Jason Ellison on Signal Integrity Careers and His Free, Open Source PCB Design Software
    Ellison, Senior Staff Signal Integrity Engineer at Amphenol ICC, gives his insight on the importance of networking, giving to the EE community, and his open-source signal integrity project. How does signal integrity engineering compare to other EE fields? What are open-source resources worth these days? What makes for a good work life for an engineer? Learn this and more in this Engineer Spotlight! Jason Ellison started down the path to becoming an electrical engineer because someone told him it was "fun and easy if you're good at math." In this interview with AAC's Mark Hughes, Ellison—a Senior Staff Signal Integrity Engineer at Amphenol ICC—describes how his career has grown from these beginnings into the rewarding and diverse work of signal integrity engineering.
  • Cruise open-sources Webviz, a tool for robotics data analysis [Ed: Releasing a little tool that's part of proprietary software so that it 'feels' more "open"]
    Cruise, the self-driving startup that General Motors acquired for nearly $1 billion in 2016, generates an enormous amount of data by any measure. It orchestrates 200,000 hours of driving simulation jobs daily in Google Cloud Platform, spread across 30,000 virtual cars in an environment running on 300,000 processor cores and 5,000 graphics cards. Both those cars and Cruise’s fleet of over 180 real-world autonomous Chevrolet Bolts make thousands of decisions every second, and they base these decisions on observations captured in binary format from cameras, microphones, radar sensors, and lidar sensors.
  • EWF launches world’s first open source blockchain for the energy industry
    The Energy Web Foundation this week announced that it has launched the world’s first public, open-source, enterprise-grade blockchain tailored to the energy sector: the Energy Web Chain (EW Chain). More than ten Energy Web Foundation (EWF) Affiliates — including utilities, grid operators, and blockchain developers — are hosting validator nodes for the live network, according to the company.
  • Pimcore Releases Pimcore 6.0, Amplifying User-Friendly Digital Experiences Through Open Source
    Pimcore, the leading open-source platform for data and customer experience management, has released the most powerful version of the Pimcore platform, Pimcore 6.0. The updated platform includes a new user interface that seamlessly connects MDM/PIM, DAM, WCM, and digital commerce capabilities to create more advanced and user-friendly experiences quickly and efficiently.
  • VCV Rack reaches version 1.0.0: free and open-source modular synth gets a full release
    VCV Rack is a free, open-source modular software synth that’s been gaining ground for a couple of years, but only now has it reached the significant milestone of version 1.0. Designed to replicate the feeling of having a hardware modular synth on your desktop, VCV Rack enables you to add both free and paid-for modules, and now supports polyphony of up to 16 voices. There’s MIDI Output, too with CV-Gate, CV-MIDI and CV-CC modules enabling you to interface with drum machines, desktop synths and Eurorack gear.
  • Flying Above the Shoulders of Giants
    Thanks to open-source platforms, developers can stand on the shoulders of software giants to build bigger and better things. Linux is probably the biggest...
  • MIT Researchers Open-Source AutoML Visualization Tool ATMSeer
    A research team from MIT, Hong Kong University, and Zhejiang University has open-sourced ATMSeer, a tool for visualizing and controlling automated machine-learning processes. Solving a problem with machine learning (ML) requires more than just a dataset and training. For any given ML tasks, there are a variety of algorithms that could be used, and for each algorithm there can be many hyperparameters that can be tweaked. Because different values of hyperparameters will produce models with different accuracies, ML practitioners usually try out several sets of hyperparameter values on a given dataset to try to find hyperparameters that produce the best model. This can be time-consuming, as a separate training job and model evaluation process must be conducted for each set. Of course, they can be run in parallel, but the jobs must be setup and triggered, and the results recorded. Furthermore, choosing the particular values for hyperparameters can involve a bit of guesswork, especially for ones that can take on any numeric value: if 2.5 and 2.6 produce good results, maybe 2.55 would be even better? What about 2.56 or 2.54?
  • Open-Source Cybersecurity Tool to Enhance Grid Protection
    A revolutionary new cybersecurity tool that can help protect the electric power grid has been released to the public on the code-hosting website GitHub.
  • Quick notes for Mozilla Whistler All Hands 2019
  • Deeper into the data fabric with MongoDB
    However, to gain access to rich search functionality, many organisations pair their database with a search engine such as Elasticsearch or Solr, which MongoDB claims can complicate development and operations — because we end up with two entirely separate systems to learn, maintain and scale.