Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

A Quick Look at that Windows site's Linux Distro

Filed under
Linux
Reviews
-s

When I read of this Windows site working on their own Linux distribution, not only did I wonder why, but I also wondered what it might be like. It was stated that it was based on Morphix, so that was a clue, but I still wanted to take a quick look. I share my quick look with you.

Shift Linux is a 337 MB download. It's only a livecd at this point, but a hard drive installer is in future plans. The story I read (and linked to) mentioned a version 0.3, but looking at the site, it seems it's not ready. I downloaded 0.2 Flux edition, (and I understand a Gnome version to either be available or in the works). It boots up to what I think would be the familiar Morphix grub splash, but it didn't render properly on my machine. It did show up well enough that I could pick out a boot option that worked. The grub menu contains all of the options found in Morphix and Morphix based distros, but some of them don't work. For example, choosing "Boot using NVIDIA proprietary graphic drivers" doesn't work because those drivers aren't included.

The system boots with a few non-lethal warnings here and there and automagically starts X with the Fluxbox window manager. Shift uses what I assume to be an original wallpaper, tho it kinda reminds me of one I had seen in Linspire. It consists of a medium blue background with a logo or graphic of opposing arrows. The theme used in Fluxbox is the default Fluxbox theme of Meta. Booting into X using a resolution of higher than 1024x768 left one with black space to the right and bottom of provided png wallpaper. I'm not sure if this is a limitation of Fluxbox, but I don't recall ever encountering it before.

        

The menus are sparsely populated, but contain a few applications for common tasks. For example we find Abiword for word processing, XMMS for audio enjoyment, and Firefox/Thunderbird for internet surfing/email. Also included is kb3, The Gimp, and Synaptic. Most of the applications seemed to open, but Aptitude and Synaptic both opened phantom windows and did not work. The synaptic window would not close for anything short of rebooting. There are a few system and administration tools in the menu, but many are no good really unless you know the livecd root password. That's probably posted somewhere on the site. Running many applications requiring root privileges is possible with sudo at the command prompt.

        

Hardware detection was probably passable considering the applications provided. I had to run dhclient manually after start in order to activate the internet connection. Fortunately, that was all that was required. Performance was again passable. It wasn't anything to write home about, but it wasn't overly slow either. There is the option to load system into ram at boot, but I didn't test that feature to see if it was one of the boot options that worked or not.

All in all, it was merely an ok experience. Shift isn't impressive, but it did boot and work. At this point I know what it looks like and what it offers, but I'm still left to wonder why.

That story with all the Links to the site.

Thanks for the review

As Project Leader for Shift Linux, I appreciate that you took the time to look at our newly created project. It is in it's early Alpha phase, so there is plenty missing. We are updating and adding packages as well as themes with each release.

The reason we developed this project is to create our own Neowin Linux brand, and more importantly, to create a community project that all of our members can participate in and feel a sense of accomplishment in being part of it. This second part of our mission is the most important of all.

As far as Shift goes, we will release two versions (when they are ready). Both will be a Live CD that is installable. One is Shift Linux Flux for machines with less resources or smaller capacity processors, and the second is Shift Linux Gnome a more heavy GUI based distro. Once versions are finalized, we will probably release a combined version that has a choice of either on one CD. This third one will be the public release version, Shift 0.5.

Thanks again for your interest in our distro.

BarneyT.

Comment viewing options

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

More in Tux Machines

Desktop GNU/Linux

  • Entroware have unleashed the 'Aether' laptop for Linux enthusiasts featuring Intel's 7th generation CPUs
  • New Entroware Aether Laptop Pairs Intel Kaby Lake with Ubuntu
    The new Entroware Aether is the latest Linux powered laptop from British company Entroware, and is powered by the latest Intel Kaby Lake processors.
  • Freedom From Microsoft v1.01
    But we can be Free from Microsoft! As we saw above, there is a powerful – and now popular movement afoot to make alternative software available. The Free Software Foundation, and the GNU Project, both founded by Richard Stallman, provide Free software to users with licenses that guarantee users rights: the rights to view, modify, and distribute the software source code. With GNU-licensed software, such as Linux, the user is in complete control over the software they employ. And as people contribute to modify Free Software source code, and are required to share those modifications again, the aggregate creative acts give rise to the availability of many more, much more useful results. Value is created beyond what anyone thought possible, and our freedom multiplies.
  • Review of the week 2017/08
    This week we had to cancel a couple snapshots, as a regression in grub was detected, that caused issues on chain-loading bootloaders. But thanks to our genius maintainers, the issue could be found, fixed and integrated into Tumbleweed (and this despite being busy with hackweek! A great THANK YOU!). Despite those canceled snapshots, this review will still span 4 revisions: 0216, 0218, 0219 and 0224. And believe me, there have been quite some things coming your way.

Security Leftovers

  • [Older] The Secure Linux OS - Tails
    Some people worry a lot about security issues. Anyone can worry about their personal information, such as credit card numbers, on the Internet. They can also be concerned with someone monitoring their activity on the Internet, such as the websites they visit. To help ease these frustrations about the Internet anyone can use the Internet without having to “look over their shoulder”.
  • Password management made easy as news of CloudFlare leak surfaces
    In the last 24 hours, news broke that a serious Cloudflare bug has been causing sensitive data leaks since September, exposing 5.5 million users across thousands of websites. In addition to login data cached by Google and other search engines, it is possible that some iOS applications have been affected as well. With the scale of this leak, the best course of action is to update every password for every site you have an account for. If there was ever a good time to modernize your password practices, this is it. As consumers and denizens of the Internet, we have a responsibility to be aware of the risks we face and make an attempt to mitigate that risk by taking best-effort precautions. Poor password and authentication hygiene leaves a user open to risks such as credit card fraud and identity theft, just like forgetting to brush your teeth regularly can lead to cavities and gum disease. This leaves us with the question of what good password and authentication hygiene looks like. If we stick with the (admittedly poorly chosen) dentistry analogy, then there are five easily identifiable aspects of good hygiene.
  • Security: You might want to change passwords on sites that use Cloudflare
  • Smoothwall Express
    The award-winning Smoothwall Express open-source firewall—designed specifically to be installed and administered by non-experts—continues its forward development march with a new 3.1 release.

Leftovers: Ubuntu and Derivatives

  • 'Big Bang Theory's' Stuart wears Ubuntu T-shirt
    Am I the only person to notice that comic book shop-owning Stuart (Kevin Sussman) on the "The Big Bang Theory" is wearing an Ubuntu T-shirt on the episode airing Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017? (It's Season 10, Episode 17, if that information helps you.) The T-shirt appearance isn't as overt as Sheldon's mention of the Ubuntu Linux operating system way back in Season 3 (Episode 22, according to one YouTube video title), but it's an unusual return for Ubuntu to the world of "Big Bang."
  • Unity Explained: A Look at Ubuntu’s Default Desktop Environment
    Ubuntu is the most well-known version of Linux around. It’s how millions of people have discovered Linux for the first time, and continues to draw new users into the world of open source operating systems. So the interface Ubuntu uses is one many people are going to see. In this area, Ubuntu is unique. Even as a new user, rarely will you confuse the default Ubuntu desktop for something else. That’s because Ubuntu has its own interface that you can — but probably won’t — find anywhere else. It’s called Unity.
  • A Look at Ubuntu MATE 16.04.2 LTS for Raspberry Pi
    Installing Ubuntu MATE onto my Raspberry Pi 3 was straight forward. You can easily use Etcher to write the image to a microSD card, the partition is automatically resized to fill your microSD card when the pi is powered up for the first time, and then you are sent through a typical guided installer. Installation takes several minutes and finally the system reboots and you arrive at the desktop. A Welcome app provides some good information on Ubuntu MATE, including a section specific for the Raspberry Pi. The Welcome app explains that the while the system is based on Ubuntu MATE and uses Ubuntu armhf base, it is in fact using the same kernel as Raspian. It also turns out that a whole set of Raspian software has been ported over such as raspi-config, rpi.gpio, sonic-pi, python-sent-hat, omxplayer, etc. I got in a very simple couple of tests that showed that GPIO control worked.
  • Zorin OS 12 Business Has Arrived [Ed: Zorin 12.1 has also just been released]
    This new release of Zorin OS Business takes advantage of the new features and enhancements in Zorin OS 12, our biggest release ever. These include an all new desktop environment, a new way to install software, entirely new desktop apps and much more. You can find more information about what’s new in Zorin OS 12 here.

GNU/Linux Events

  • Takeaways from the Open Source Leadership Summit: Mainstream Open Source, Security, Policy, and Business Models
    The 2017 Open Source Leadership Summit, put on by the Linux Foundation, brought together leaders from the open source community in Lake Tahoe last week to discuss timely open source topics. The topics that came up most throughout the conference included: open source becoming mainstream, future open source business models, security in a time where everything is connected, and a call to action to be active in technology policy. Open source is becoming a larger focus for major companies, from Toyota to Disney to Walmart. While open source vendors continue to look to the Red Hat model as one of the most successful open source business models to date, entrepreneurs believe there are new models that can surpass this success. As the world becomes ever more connected to the internet, there are general concerns about security, and a call to take action in policymaking. Read on below to learn more about the conversations at the Open Source Leadership Summit.
  • Persistent Memory Usage within Linux Environment by Maciej Maciejewski & Krzysztof Czurylo, Intel
  • Persistent Memory Usage in Linux
    In most cases, when a machine crashes or fails, we lose whatever we had loaded into memory, which for some applications can result in quite a bit of time and effort to recover when the system comes back online. At LinuxCon Europe, Maciej Maciejewski, Senior Software Engineer at Intel, talked about how persistent memory can be used to retain its contents after a power failure.
  • Amidst Bias, Women Work to Find a Place in Open Source Communities
    Despite efforts to enhance diversity, women continue to be under-represented in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, and open-source software is no different. A talk at the Linux Foundation’s Open Source Leadership Summit (OSLS), held last week in Lake Tahoe, highlighted some of the issues facing women in the open source community, from low participation to gender bias and unequal pay to overall job satisfaction.
  • Engineer Finds Passion and Community With Kids On Computers
    If you love technology, you can find a space for yourself and connect with others around mutual interests, according to Avni Khatri, president of Kids on Computers (KoC), a nonprofit that sets up computer labs using donated hardware and open source software in areas where kids have no other access to technology. During LinuxCon North America 2016, Khatri organized Kids Day, a day-long workshop that’s aimed at helping school-aged children get interested in computer programming. For Khatri, it’s also a way of furthering her dream of giving children unlimited access to education and helping them succeed in technology.
  • Join Hackaday And Tindie At The Southern California Linux Expo
    Do you like Open Source? Join Hackaday and Tindie at the largest community-run Open Source conference in North America. We’ll be at the Southern California Linux Expo next week, and we want to see you there.