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 howtos

Tizen in Bolivia and India

Security Leftovers

  • Security updates for Wednesday
  • Microsoft says its best not to fiddle with its Windows 10 group policies (that don't work)

    On Monday, we revealed that a security researcher had used a packet sniffer to show that many settings designed to prevent access to the internet were being ignored with connections to a range of third party servers including advertising hubs.

  • What's got a vast attack surface and runs on Linux? Windows Defender, of course
    Google Project Zero's Windows bug-hunter and fuzz-boffin Tavis Ormandy has given the world an insight into how he works so fast: he works on Linux, and with the release of a personal project on GitHub, others can too. Ormandy's project is to port Windows DLLs to Linux for his vuln tests (“So that's how he works so fast!” Penguinistas around the world are saying). Typically self-effacing, Ormandy made this simple announcement on Twitter (to a reception mixing admiration, humour, and horror):
  • Hacked in Translation – from Subtitles to Complete Takeover
    Check Point researchers revealed a new attack vector which threatens millions of users worldwide – attack by subtitles. By crafting malicious subtitle files, which are then downloaded by a victim’s media player, attackers can take complete control over any type of device via vulnerabilities found in many popular streaming platforms, including VLC, Kodi (XBMC), Popcorn-Time and strem.io. We estimate there are approximately 200 million video players and streamers that currently run the vulnerable software, making this one of the most widespread, easily accessed and zero-resistance vulnerability reported in recent years.
  • A Samba remote code execution vulnerability
    Distributors are already shipping the fix; there's also a workaround in the advisory for those who cannot update immediately.

KDE, Qt, GTK and GNOME News

  • KDE Plasma 5.8.7 LTS Desktop Environment Released with over 60 Improvements
    KDE has announced today the release and immediate availability of the seventh maintenance update to the long-term supported KDE Plasma 5.8 desktop environment. KDE Plasma 5.8.7 LTS is now considered the latest stable and most advanced version of the KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS (Long Term Support) desktop environment, which some of you out there are probably using on your favorite GNU/Linux distributions instead of a short-lived branch like KDE Plasma 5.9 or the upcoming KDE Plasma 5.10 release.
  • Summer of Coding!
    After a month of dread and panicking about the fact that Google Summer of Code results are announced in the middle of exam season... I'm happy to say I'll be doing the Rust plugin for KDevelop!
  • Qt 5.9 Release Candidate Available For Testing
  • Qt 5.9.0 RC released
    We have released Qt 5.9.0 RC today. You can update it at the top of your Qt 5.9 beta(4) online installation or do clean installation by using qt online installer. Detailed instructions here: https://wiki.qt.io/How_to_get_snapshot_via_online_installer .
  • The Road to GTK+ 4 Continues, New Milestone Adds Initial OS X and Meson Support
    A new milestone was released recently, GTK+ 3.91.0, which adds quite a bunch of improvements and bug fixes, but also some new APIs and compatibility with other supported operating systems besides those based on the Linux kernel. For example, GTK+ 3.91.0 implements initial support for Apple's macOS platform, which will make it possible to run apps written in GTK+ 4 on OS X.
  • Epiphany Browser Updated for GNOME 3.25.2 with New Shortcuts for Switching Tabs
    Ahead of today's GNOME 3.25.2 desktop environment development release, the team of developers behind the Epiphany web browser have released the second milestone towards the Epiphany 3.26 stable series, due out later this year.