I've always followed SymphonyOS with great enthusiam. I admire folks who march to a different, or even moreso, their own beat. Symphony has always done that. They have few rivals for the title of Most Unique Desktop. Each release builds more and more excitement as things begin to shape up and improve. Symphony OS 2006-05 BETA is upon us and just like its predecessors, it's still different and ever improving. This time they have some great new features to introduce as well as some underlying code changes to announce. All this comes together to provide the greatest Symphony OS yet.
I saw a thread on the pclinuxos forum discussing this new livecd based on PCLinuxOS called Wizard's Kid-Safe Livecd and it sounded a bit interesting. It is a remaster of PCLinuxOS .93 MiniME made for kids of all ages. The re-Master has taken out many applications and added a few, stirred, let rise, and baked at 350 degrees to produce a wonderful distro containing games, educational programs and a nice safe web interface. So now there's an alternative to using the Disney Channel for a babysitter.
It is certainly no secret that OpenSUSE released their SUSE Linux 10.1 Final yesterday. The news was carried on about every computer news site in existence. It was big news and just about everyone was excited. I'd like to know how many downloads have actually occurred. The site had to be minimized early in the morning and downloads from all the mirrors I tried moved like molasses. I'm not sure, but it seems this release has generated even more interest than the landmark 10.0 last October. Perhaps I can understand that, given that this release has some exciting new features. I would speculate that on the top of many people's list is the inclusion of the XGL desktop. We at tuxmachines have tried to keep you abreast of the changes coming forth from the SUSE team, but the final was even better than we dared to predict. This is our final report on the development cycle of 10.1.
The folks at Austrumi released version 1.2.0 of their tenny tiny distro today and since we hadn't tested Austrumi since the .9.x days, we though we might better see what was new. It's still the same great-performing feature-rich system, but there were some significant changes.
A milestone was reached on April 29 and I couldn't let it pass without a look. I'm speaking of the release of PC-BSD 1.0, their very first stable release. Almost a year ago Tuxmachines tested 0.6 of PC-BSD, considered a beta release, and was quite impressed then as I recall. I saw .7, .8, .9 and increments get released, but I just had to revisit the user-friendly bsd again on this wonderful occasion. How did PC-BSD stack up on this their "new era of stability and simplicity?"
Litrix 6.0 was released a few days ago and as a big gentoo fan, I was very anxious to test this livecd and install. Tuxmachines tested version 3.0 and figured 6.0 would probably be the cat's meow! Despite many pros, I'm afraid the cons overtook our experiences with Litrix this time. Here is our report.
OpenSuSE released rc3 of their upcoming SuSE Linux 10.1 yesterday right on target as planned and reported on the Roadmap. I thought rc2 was just about gold worthy myself and was anxious to see the changelog for rc3. Well, they disappointed me on a few issues but all in all, they are probably getting closer to that final release.
Wolvix Media Edition 1.0.4 was released Monday after many months of long hard work for Wolven. We testdrove a beta of his Media Edition back in February and although he was onto a wonderful idea, it was a beta. Tuxmachines was excited to hear of his final 1.0.4 release and was quite anxious to test it. I've always been quite the fan of the Wolvix offerings, with each being better than the last. I've been testing Media Edition over the last few days and can report Wolven has done a remarkable job.
I got brave and updated my beloved gentoo's xorg from 6.8.2-rsomething to the modular 7.0 this morning. Among many others, I tested my gimp, openoffice, mozilla, and my games. Nothing seemed broken. In fact, things seemed just fine. ...Until I fired up my trusted xawtv-3.95. It had problems. I was desperate enough to download the cvs snapshot of xawtv4 from February to test.
In my spare time last several days, I've been test driving the latest xfce4.4 beta1 desktop enviroment. It's pretty nice. For those who don't know about xfce4, it's a wonderful graphical interface that I think of as falling somewhere in-between Fluxbox and KDE in ease-of-use and functionality. Many aspects of your xfce4 desktop can be configured by graphical tools with menus, drop down boxes, icons and all. However, many aspects are hard coded and aren't adjustable even through configuration files. But it's getting there and we can see a major step forward with xfce4.4.
Release Candidate 2 of SuSE Linux 10.1 was released early in the morning of April 22. This release doesn't bring too many new features, but everything is really starting to come together. This release we decided to test the upgrade option and tested the software management system fairly extensively including the non-oss add-on packages. Does it look like OpenSuSE is on-track?
Texstar has announced that a new version of PCLinuxOS is available for downloading and testing. But don't expect the same distro you might be used to. No, this version is a scaled down version of 287 mb called interestingly enough: The PCLinuxOS 0.93 MiniME. It consists of a 2.6.15-oci3 kernel, Basic KDE 3.5.2 desktop (kdebase and kdelibs only) , PCLOS Control Center, and the Synaptic Software Installer.
Today brings another wonderful development from the world of Linux and open source software with the release of Damn Small Linux - Not. This is a distribution based on the famous Damn Small Linux, but adds welcome features and enhancements making it a more modern and complete operating sytem, yet still weights in at a meager 84mb. Tuxmachines took their alpha release for a livecd test drive and is here to report the findings.
Sun has released a new version of it's Project Looking Glass platform, LG3D LiveCD 2.4 Test 1. I was a bit excited to test this new release as it's been 6 months since 2.3 was released. I tried to imagine what might be awaiting during download, burn and boot. LG3D was so unique at the time of it's last release, but it has some real competition now in other's offering, such as those featuring XGL. What did Sun do to set themselves apart from the rest?
The beta cycle is history! I'm still sweeping up confetti here. OpenSUSE announced the availability of 10.1 release candidate 1 early this morning. I've actually been downloading the deltas lately and even though they come in fairly slow, it is much nicer downloading 300 mbs rather than 3 gigs. I highly recommend that method. I am in the process of downloading the full x86_64 version as well. It's coming in at a snails pace too, but hopefully I will be able to report on it before rc2 comes out. But back to the topic at hand. How did the release candidate do? Will this phase go as planned or will final have to be delayed? Here is my report.
Yesterday Mepis announced the alpha1 release of SimplyMEPIS 6.0. This is the first release publically available for Mepis after integrating some Ubuntu components into their system. As with many alphas, there wasn't enough changed from the last stable release to cause massive instability. There were just a few changes and new goodies in store for the user in this release. Tuxmachines downloaded and installed it last night. What did we find?
"If wishes were horses, then dreamers would ride." I've heard those bars of music in my head more times than I can count during my life. So many times, that's the only possible response if you set your dreams on pots of gold or handsome princes on massive white steeds. However, if your wishes are more realistic, they sometimes come true. Such is the case today when Kororaa released version 0.2 of their wonderful XGL Livecd. In my original article I wished for a hard drive installer more than once. Today my wish was granted. As a Part 2 to that introductory story, today we test that hard drive installer and the performance of the installed system on my sparkling new tuxmachine. These are the results.
Phaeronix is a "gentoo love-sources RR4 CD with reiser4 enabled grub, auto hardware detection with nvidia 3D support , ready for multimedia, internet, and arabic. It is optimised for i686." Once upon a time it featured a harddrive installer, that option has been pulled for at least now, although one can still manually install it very much like a stage 3 gentoo install. Since the site states on about every page that "This is not the final version. Please don't attempt to install it on your harddrive" we looked at Phaeronix today in its intended livecd format.