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

today's leftovers

F2FS Tools Gain FSCK Support

The F2FS Tools v1.4.0 release introduces fsck.f2fs for fixing corrupted images/partitions for Samsung's Flash-Friendly File-System. There's also now dump.f2fs for retrieving a specific file. Additionally, the f2fs-tools 1.4 update also has bug-fixes for the stat and fibmap utilities. Last but not least is some code refactoring for the Android build. The release was mentioned today on the kernel mailing list by Samsung's Jaegeuk Kim. Read more

xorg-server 1.16.1

xorg-server 1.16.1 is now available. A single fix since Monday's 1.16.0.901, to address an issue when building Xwayland from the tarball. Julien Cristau (2): xwayland: always include drm.xml in tarballs Bump to 1.16.1 git tag: xorg-server-1.16.1 Read more

Geary Email Client Receives Major Overhaul and New Features

Geary, a lightweight email program designed around conversations and built for the GNOME desktop by the Yorba software group, has reached version 0.8 and it comes with a ton of new features. Read more