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

Best Free and Open Source Linux Guitar Tools

There are three main types of modern acoustic guitar: the classical guitar (Spanish guitar/nylon-string guitar), the steel-string acoustic guitar and the archtop guitar, which is sometimes called a “jazz guitar”. Electric guitars, introduced in the 1930s, use an amplifier and a loudspeaker. Like acoustic guitars, there are various types of electric guitars including hollowbody guitars, archtop guitars (used in jazz guitar, blues and rockabilly) and solid-body guitars. Read more

Audiocasts/Shows and Videos About Python and UNIX

Games: Helheim Hassle, Python Games, Life is Strange 2 and C-Dogs SDL

  • Helheim Hassle is a seriously funny adventure puzzle-platforming mix

    What could take the crown for the funniest Linux game this year, Helheim Hassle released earlier in August and it's a genuine delight to play through. Note: key provided by the developer after the release. Created by Perfectly Paranormal, the same developers who made Manual Samuel, with Helheim Hassle taking place in some weird shared universe they created. You are Bjørn, a pacifist viking who runs away from battle surrounded by those who thirst for a good fight but you end up dying and go to Valhalla.

  • Add throwing mechanics to your Python game

    My previous article was meant to be the final article in this series, and it encouraged you to go program your own additions to this game. Many of you did! I got emails asking for help with a common mechanic that I hadn't yet covered: combat. After all, jumping to avoid baddies is one thing, but sometimes it's awfully satisfying to just make them go away. It's common in video games to throw something at your enemies, whether it's a ball of fire, an arrow, a bolt of lightning, or whatever else fits the game. Unlike anything you have programmed for your platformer game in this series so far, throwable items have a time to live. Once you throw an object, it's expected to travel some distance and then disappear. If it's an arrow or something like that, it may disappear when it passes the edge of the screen. If it's a fireball or a bolt of lightning, it might fizzle out after some amount of time. That means each time a throwable item is spawned, a unique measure of its lifespan must also be spawned. To introduce this concept, this article demonstrates how to throw only one item at a time. (In other words, only one throwable item may exist at a time.) On the one hand, this is a game limitation, but on the other hand, it is a game mechanic in itself. Your player won't be able to throw 50 fireballs at once, since you only allow one at a time, so it becomes a challenge for your player to time when they release a fireball to try to hit an enemy. And behind the scenes, this also keeps your code simple. If you want to enable more throwable items at once, challenge yourself after you finish this tutorial by building on the knowledge you gain.

  • The first Life is Strange 2 episode is now permanently free

    Have you been on the fence about picking up Life is Strange 2? Well, now you have a much better chance to take a look at it. DONTNOD Entertainment have now made the entire first episode permanently free to grab. "After a tragic incident, brothers Sean and Daniel Diaz run away from home. Fearing the police, and dealing with Daniel's newly manifested telekinetic power – the power to move objects with your mind – the boys decide to travel to their father's hometown of Puerto Lobos in Mexico for safety." youtube video thumbnail

  • C-Dogs SDL, the classic run and gun game has a new release

    C-Dogs SDL is something of a classic. A free and open source overhead run-and-gun game that continues being updated and a fresh release is out now. What is it? C-Dogs is the followup to Cyberdogs, a classic from back in 1994 that ended up being really popular. Originally created by Ronny Wester as a freeware DOS game back in 1997, it was later open sourced and now it continues on with it using SDL for more modern platform support. The new C-Dogs SDL 0.9.0 release is a major upgrade, which brings with it a complete Doom campaign filled with secret levels, ammo/health pickups and persistent guns.

Java 15 Reaches General Availability

Oracle has announced that Java 15 is now generally available. The announcement was made in the opening keynote of Oracle Developer Live, an online version of the usual CodeOne and OpenWorld conferences. This is the first release of 'official' Oracle Java following the language’s 25th anniversary in May. Read more Also: Oracle open-sources Java machine learning library