Thursday, May 19, 2011

The latest changes - appearance and distro changes

Blogspot recently made some additional themes available, so I decided to mess around with them for a while. I am not sure the one I just selected is going to hang around long - unless I get some feedback in its favor, but I thought it would at least present a topic of conversation for five minutes before we tire of it and go on to something else.

One "Something else" that I spend a lot of time on is distribution testing. Today, right from the start, I fired up the system where I have what I refer to as the "Test Systems": Sabayon 5.5, Linux Mint Xfce 201104 Debian Edition (or LMDE Xfce for short), Mageia 1 - now a release candidate, Swift Linux 0.1.0, with the "Taylor Swift" art work, (creator Jason Hsu's concession to the fact he liked what developers did a year ago, creating a "Hannah Montana" derivative of Ubuntu for their children), Absolute Linux 13.37, openSUSE 11.4 with the newly added "Tumbleweed" rolling release repositories, which turn the 11.4 release into a perpetual rolling release (which works GREAT), Joli OS 1.2, and Xubuntu 11.04, plus the "dark horse" that I run three times a week for my part time evening job, Windows 7.

Today I spent most of the time with Mageia. This morning I went to upgrade it, thinking that if I ran upgrades I would get the current Release Candidate. I was surprised to find no upgrades, and I did not notice any Release Candidate wallpapers or other art work, so I went to get the RC 1 ISO image. The US Mirror, ibiblio, did not have them yet, but at least two of the German mirror sites and a French site DID have it; the German sites had better throughput for me today, so that's where I got the image. 3.7 GB later, I found it filled up the disk, and I discovered that the Mageia partition that I am using right now "only" has 12 GB, whereas the partition where I have Swift Linux (which is where Mandriva USED to be, has around 20 GB. I had originally intended to install Mageia over Mandriva, but I installed it over LMDE instead, which had been on sda5. I wanted to wipe it anyway, but I ended up bringing in LMDE Xfce later. So a future project will probably be to wipe sda8 where Swift Linux is now, and maybe I will do some kind of partition to partition copy, so that I can write about it and tell newcomers some innovative (but possibly complicated for them) ways to accomplish this quickly.

Anyway, after essentially two nearly 4 GB downloads, I got the new Mageia, and then I did the long DVD burn, then finally the install. I then spent some time over at Sabayon 5.5, which I have currently given the task of managing the Master Boot Record (MBR) for booting up multiple systems (the aptosid that used to be in its place previously had this responsibility). So I spent some time with Sabayon 5.5, updated the GRUB boot loader and updated the system, then went back to Mageia. I also spent some time with Linux Mint Xfce and updated it while I was there, because it's partition also has a lot of free space, enough to handle that big DVD, so that's where I created my Mageia DVD image. Mint Xfce is behaving well in Debian rolling release form, much better than the previous LMDE, in fact. Prior to Mint coming out with a Xfce Edition, I had added Xfce to my version, and used it instead of GNOME on my desktop.

So I used Mageia, Sabayon 5.5, and LMDE Xfce Edition in my testing work today. Just prior to switching to Windows 7 tonight for my evening job, I started up Absolute Linux 13.37, a Slackware 13.37 derivative, and this is a nice, light, fast distributtion, a slam it in place and use it type of distribution. The installer looks very plain, just like Slackware, but the installed software looks much nicer than Slackware in its default appearance.

A few comments on Absolute Linux. Several creators of small distributions, especially those who use IceWM in their work, lift ideas and techniques from Paul Sherman's Absolute Linux work, and they frequently comment with highly complementary words on his work. I can echo their sentiments, and tell you that Absolute Linux and antiX (and its remasters) are among the finest in their implementation of IceWM. I think antiX and Absolute Linux are very close in their implementation, but we have to give the nod to Absolute, not antiX, in this regard, for leading the pack, because antiX got several of its ideas from earlier works in Absolute Linux and a few of the helpers on the antiX project encouraged anticapitalista to include IceWM. I also lobbied to make IceWM the default Window Manager in antiX, reasoning that beginners might have a slightly easier time with it, and veterans can easily switch to the Fluxbox that they often prefer.

Anyway, that is enough rambling from my Absolute Linux system; Windows 7 and the evening mailing list are calling! :-)

If I have any readers, let me know if you'd like a dark theme or this loud background theme that I am using right now.


Tim said...

heh, I should create Kate Voegele Linux ;)

Brian Masinick said...

If you did, I promise I would at least try the distro! :-)