Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

BlueWhite64 Linux pre-11.0-beta

Filed under
Linux
Reviews
-s

Bluewhite64 is an unofficial port of the world famous Slackware Linux distribution built and optimized for the x86_64 architecture. When I first heard of bluewhite64 I was quite anxious to test it. With the release of pre-11.0-beta on July 3rd this seemed like the perfect time.

As stated, pre-11.0-beta was available at the time of our testing and downloading was swift. md5sums checked out and the install went well. The installer is the exact same installer found in Slackware as far as I can see. There may have been some differences in the available packages, but otherwise it contained the same steps presented in the familiar Slackware installer. It does stop during package install and ask for the 2nd cd, then precedes.

First boot went like clockwork as well. The only errors listed were insignificant or concerning extraneous aspects, such as chown /proc/usb/001/002 fails because it didn't exist. I say insignificant because the usb peripherals worked fine. An xorg configuration file is present, if a bit on the conservative side, and a "startx" brings up the KDE 3.5.3 desktop (if chosen as default during install).

The KDE 3.5.3 desktop is a complete but default environment. It sits in xorg 6.9.0 and comes with gcc 3.4.6 and all the KDE applications available from the KDE developers. They are listed as per usual in KDE structured menus. Every application tested seemed to function as designed here except krita that was listed in the menu but would not open. Kooka did fine with my detected and autoconfigured scanner. Also among the full compliment of Kapps is The GIMP.

        

There existed a kernel bug that affects sound and nvidia driver installation, so I headed on over to kernel.org, downloaded linux-2.6.17.2, and built it using Bluewhite's configuration file as a starting point. Not present (or overlooked on my part) in /usr/src/linux-2.6.16.22, but found as /boot/config-generic-2.6.16.22. cp /boot/config-generic-2.6.16.22 /usr/src/linux-2.6.17.2/.config and then make menuconfig. One could probably skip the menuconfig and just do a make oldconfig if they didn't wish to take out a lot of the support developers include for a wider user-base. Kernel configurations can be a bit scary to a new user, but as you go through the menus, you know your sound card or graphics chip. My advice in this case to new users is to not mess with the filesystems, net stuff, block devices, or anything that sounds greek to you. But there's no reason you can uncheck all the hardware you know you don't have. After the configuration (menuconfig), just type make. Next, type make modules_install. The next step might require some thought, but most people can just type make install and boot their new kernel.

        

At that point I had working sound and not only did arts stop complaining, but my multimedia applications blared to life. BlueWhite64 comes with Juk, Amarok, and KsCD for your musical inclinations as well as gxine, noatun, and kaboodle for your viewing pleasure. It also has KAudioCreator for cdripping. I had no trouble with audio cds, avis, or mpegs.

        

Browsing can be handled through Seamonkey 1.0.2, Firefox 1.5.0.4, or Konqueror 3.5.3. Also included, but perhaps not seen in the menu are lynx and links. The browsers function really well and the fonts look good, but there is no flash or java included. Other net apps include gaim, Pan, Thunderbird, NmapFE, gFTP, and XChat.

        

Office applications are handled in the most part by Koffice.

        

If KDE is not your favorite, you also have the choice of xfce4 4.2.3.2. Like KDE it is found in almost its default configuration.

    

All in all it was a good system. It was an easy install and required no configuration (subsequent releases will probably not need the user to upgrade the kernel), although I did tweak my xorg.conf. My usb devices worked out of the box and sound came right up after the kernel upgrade without further configuration. The included apps make for a wonderful foundation and most are of the latest release. The stability wasn't compromised for these bleeding edge improvements. No application or system crashes occurred. However, I didn't notice an amazing speed increase. It seemed to be a bit faster, but not as I imagined. This may be in part to my choice of filesystem. I chose ext3 while the installer seemed to want to default to xfs. Perhaps choosing reiserfs or xfs would have made a difference. Don't get me wrong, there was no delay in any menu operations or window repainting and apps opened promptly enough. It just didn't leave any burn marks as experienced with kubuntu.

If you'd like to try BlueWhite64, it can be downloaded from one of the mirrors listed here. You can keep abreast of developments at BlueWhite64's homepage here. If you are a fan of Slackware and have a 64 bit machine, you owe it to yourself to give Bluewhite64 a try.

Can we have ONE review without an Ubuntu reference?

In any case... when I upgrade my lappy to a Turion, I'm definitely doing this. Hopefully, I can finally create that 64-bit Slackware-based livecd I've been talking about.

re: ubuntu reference

<scoffs> Why Noooo! You should know better than that. Silly you! Big Grin

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

Comment viewing options

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

More in Tux Machines

Server Administration

Security News

  • Security advisories for Wednesday
  • Facebook, Uber, Slack, and Pandora Pros Praise Free Security Tools
    Proponents of open source software argue that by letting passionate developers get involved and tweak underlying code, the tools they create are stronger and more reliable. Plus, for companies looking to bolster their digital defenses, the software has the added benefit of being free.
  • LibreSSL 2.5
  • LibreSSL 2.5 Released With New Features, iOS Support
    LibreSSL 2.5.0 is available today as the newest version of this growing fork of OpenSSL led by the OpenBSD project. LibreSSL 2.5's libtls implementation now supports ALPN and SNI while handling four cipher suite groups, there is tightened error handling in some areas, support for OCSP intermediate certificates, initial support for Apple's iOS platform, and a variety of other fixes and functionality improvements.

OSS Leftovers

  • Open source storage hits the mainstream
    Open source storage has gained mainstream acceptance in high performance computing, analytics, object storage, cloud (OpenStack) and NAS use, but can it crack the enterprise?
  • Rogue Wave Improves Support for Open Source Software with IBM
  • Rogue Wave Software to improve open-source software support with IBM
    Rogue Wave Software announces it is working with IBM to help make open source software (OSS) support more available. This will help provide comprehensive, enterprise-grade technical support for OSS packages.
  • Vendors and Customers Gettin' Open Sourcey With It
    Basically, “open source enablement" seems to be about teaching customers how to embrace open source principles, both in terms of internal processes as well as external communities and ecosystems. As I've worked with many engineering and product teams over the years, I've seen many open source initiatives fail to reach their potential because of ingrained cultural obstacles that usually manifest in the form of corporate inertia that blocks forward progress.
  • Digium Announces Asterisk 14 Open Source Communications Software
    Digium®, Inc., the Asterisk® Company, today at its annual AstriCon users and developers conference, announced Asterisk 14, the next major release of the world's most popular open source communications platform. Asterisk 14 continues the track of previous major releases, such as Asterisk 12 and Asterisk 13, by offering developer- and administrator-focused features and capabilities to simplify the scaling and deployment of Asterisk within large, service-based ecosystems.
  • Announcing the open source release of MORI, from Chalkbeat
    In 2014, Chalkbeat developed and started using a WordPress plugin for tracking impact. We called it MORI — Measures of Our Reporting’s Influence. As we wrote then, MORI grew out of one of our key beliefs: Journalists can make a difference, but the ability to measure the difference we make can multiply our impact over time. If we can document how, why, when, and where we made a difference, we are more likely to repeat our success. The quantitative data we track in MORI lets us see the big picture of how our work affects the world, beyond raw readership analytics; the qualitative narrative we record helps us tell the story. Our editorial teams can put important impacts in the hands of our fundraising team and others to turn around and share with the broader education community.
  • ODL: Open Source Hastens Software Usability
    Open Daylight Summit -- Open source is connecting users and developers more intimately, and that's a good thing, OpenDaylight Executive Director Neela Jacques said here today. In kicking off the OpenDaylight Summit, Jacques said the ability of users and developers to work side-by-side is evolving, and helping drive the faster pace at which open source can bring solutions to the industry. "Users can sit next to the developers of the code they use, and the interaction doesn't go one way," he said. "The real difference is the way users interact with developers. This is why we are able to get production-grade solutions so much faster than you ever would in proprietary world."
  • General Electric and Bosch announce IIoT collaboration
  • GE and Bosch to create open-source industrial IoT platform

Apache Spot