Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Lapis Linux KDE4 ,Can Anything be more pretty than this?

Erkan Kaplan is a workaholic , never tiring guy who is on the pursuit of something interesting and pure from GNU/Linux.

I installed the GNOME version of recently release Lapis Linux and installed KDE 4 on it as somehow I am unable to live with GNOME. I was facing problems here and there and Erkan Kaplan was never hesitant to help me with those issues.

He personally prefers KDE 4 than KDE 3 as he believes KDE3 has no more future. I was constantly pushing him for issues I was facing with my Lapis Linux KDE4 and then came a news from him that he is working on a pure KDE4 version of Lapis Linux .

It was hardly a week and here is the KDE 4 Lapis Linux released. I am posting from the Live DVD of it at the moment . I have tested many KDE 4 distributions and nothing could be as pretty as this Lapis Linux KDE4 desktop is.Erkan has put all his best efforts to make this version in a very short time.The Lapis Linux KDE4 can be downloaded from Lapis Linux official site .It is a DVD ISO with size over 700MB so you have to burn it to a DVD.

There is another good news with this release. Those who want Lapis Linux in English are not supposed to worry about setting locales this time. Just press F2 on boot menu and your Lapis system will boot to this nice looking desktop in English language .

Installation is straightforward from the icon Lapis Linux Harddisk Installer with no hassles.The most beautiful part of the Lapis Linux Installer is that it added my BRLIX installation automatically to the GRUB menu so I don`t have to worry about reinstalling GRUB later and chain loading BRLIX.

Once you have installed Lapis Linux you boot into a perfect KDE4 desktop and the only words I can say are " Just enjoy it " :)

I am a big fan of PCLiunxOS, KDE and wanted to use KDE4 and lots of distro-hopping did not satisfy my demands .

I have no hesitation to recommend Lapis Linux to all those who want PCLinxuOS based distribution and want to have KDE4 . There might be some issues but I saw so many issues with openSuse,Fedora 10, Kubuntu 8.10 so these issues seem minor to me.Lapis Linux might not be up to the highest mark and standards but it does need testing and exploration.

I appreciate the devotion of Erkan Kaplan and I will request and urge everybody to test his work and offer him words of appreciation.

I am loving it !

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Famelix is BRLIX Now

Remember Famelix? Famelix was a GNU/Linux distribution developed by Brazilian Faculdade Metropolitana de Guaramirim (FAMEG) and based on the work of famous Kurumin Linux. It particularly stressed in the adaptation of the user interface so that it resembled Window$ as much as possible.

If you have tried recently to access the Famelix GNU/Linux official site you will receive such message " Oops! This link appears broken.Page not found - connection failure." So neither the Famelix official site nor any of their forum works at all and they are dead!

But the project in not dead infact. I sent an email to Diogo V. kersting ,one of the developer of former Famelix project asking him what happened to the fate of Famelix project and he replied me with these words

" We the students and the professor (developer of Famelix), have made a company to continue the development of famelix.But the name Famelix is owned by FAMEG (the University) so we changed the name to BRLIX. The BRLIX have the themes XP and Vista, which you can choose on the Control Panel."

So Famelix is not dead and the project is being run under the new name BRLIX . Their new official site is cool looking with a mascot of a cute looking parrot wearing brlix t-shirt with a Tux sitting next to him.




They offers both free and paid download for the current BRLix 1.0 Release Candidate 1. The paid download is offered with these words " if you want to help the developers to continue the work in the BRlix, you can pay for a pre-release, where you will receive before all the releases of the BRLix, you will have a priority on the support, and you will can suggest new stuff’s to BRLix."

I have an interest in the former Famelix and current BRLIX because my daughter and wife are very Window$ oriented and they get nostalgic without Window$ so I wanted to install a Linux distribution on their computer which resembles as much as possible to Window$ XP and still I am free of hassles to get their computer free of viruses and all Window$ related problems.

So if any of you wants to try this new BRLIX you can access their official site and try the free or paid download whichever suits you. Their site is not working in English and not much help is available at the present but the download link can be easily accessed. For any additional help that you need you can drop an email to me and I will get you through to Diogo V. kersting and he might help you accordingly.

I will urge Ladislav Bodnar of DistroWatch to update the home link for Famelix to BRLIX as many of the people like me might be trying to access the former Famelix page facing that Oops! message at the end.




Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How to set locales-en on Lapis Linux

After I posted about Lapis Linux some of the friends asked me how to set the Locales into English from the scary looking Turkish language.

Well, I know zero of Turkish myself but this is how I set my locales into English and it was quite easy.

1: Locales-en is installed by default in the current testing version 1.0.2 Yavuz (RC4) of Lapis Linux so you don`t have to worry about installing it.

2: Just boot from CD as live, no need to boot in safe mode, press F2 at boot and choose English. For additional settings change language to en from tr in boot command.

3: Once you are at login manager just type root as user and lapis as password , you don`t have to worry about Turkish language here because you had already set language to English at boot time.

4: Once you are on Lapis Linux Desktop just run apt-get update to update all packages list to avoid any conflict of packages later on when you will set locales into English.

5: Open Control center from the menu on top and set locales to English as shown in the screenshots.It will ask you to logout to set the locales so logout and login again as root.





6: Open Synaptic and un install locales-tr as shown in screenshot here.






7: Logout from System menu once again and then login again as root

Your desktop and Lapis Linux system will be all English this time and you can easily install it from the Install Icon on desktop or by running command "draklive-isnatll from shell which will bring the GUI installer running in front of you.

A bit of warning once again. Some of the packages might not work and you might face off & on crashes here and there but please keep in mind this is a testing version so things will gradually settle down. Report back issues at users-mailing list and you will get prompt reply.

At this stage Lapis Linux might not be up to the high expectations for many but it does work and works almost 99 % perfect.

Just test it and have fun from this pearl from Turkey : )

I am loving it guys!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Lapis Linux I Not yet another PCLinuxOS remaster

While PCLinuxOS development is stale and going on behind curtains where no one from the development team is willing to answer any question either at forum , to emails and nor at IRC #pclinuxos help , there is another project lead by Erkan Kaplan a Germany based Turkish who is working tirelessly on Lapis Linux .

Lapis Linux is not just yet another community remastered copy of PCLinuxOS but a total pure work started from scratch. They started their project basing it on Tinyme 2008 but building it from zero ,making and baking every brick themselves. So it is not reinventing wheel again but getting an idea from an existing project but putting all the efforts with their own hard work.

Lapis Linux is purely Turkish Language distribution and GNOME is the main desktop environment. Till version 1.0.1 released on 11/08/2008 it was almost impossible to use it in English but everything was in Turkish and it was impossible to boot it and proceed. But since it is under extremely active development they have moved to 1.0.2 Yavuz (RC4) released on

We are moving forward to lzma supported RPM packages with this version.So, there are lots of packages which should be packaged again. As we see those packages, we'll fix them. And yes there will be English support with this version." it is clear that the development is going on progressively and things will settle down sooner.

There is an active forum for Lapis Linux but since everybody speaks Turkish there so it might not of much help to English speaking people but those interested to participate and report issue can reach the development team on Lapislivecd mailing list & Lapis Linux .

The current development version of Lapis Linux 1.0.2 RC4 can be downloaded from Lapis Linux main website for testing purpose.The development team can also be reached at IRC Freenode #turklug & #lapislinux but many of them don`t speak English so that might not of much help.

Lapis Linux is indeed a great news for those who want to use PCLinuxOS and are not happy with their development pace. Lapis Linux is a good alternate and a pure work .

I urge all to give it a try, they might be disappointed currently if it did not work but will not be once it comes up with another stable release which does not look too far with their fast development work going on tirelessly.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Distro Lost!

PCLinuxOS is stale and nobody from PCLinuxOS is willing to say anything about the repositories which are frozen despite the fact that it was said "just few days" on their forum.
It is the time to move on to something other than PCLinuxOS and I have two distributions in my list.
1: SIDUX
2:KANOTIX
I request all those who drop by here to suggest pros and cons of both and which one is superior to other in different aspects.
I am patiently waiting for your kind suggestions and remarks.
Regards,

Monday, November 17, 2008

Arch Linux I Arch-live Development Blog

Godane, a rather quiet natured young man who is always present at IRC #archlinux is doing an amazing job of making custom made ISO files of Arch Linux, one of the notorious newbies "non-friendly" distribution regarding installation and configuration.

Arch-live Development Blog & Godane’s Development Blog are two main sites with all the info and ISO files download links released by Godane till now.

I am in the process of " learning Arch Linux" way myself these days and Godane`s ISO are of real help indeed.

Anybody interested in straight forward & simple Arch Linux installation other than pure Arch way should check Godane`s work.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Desktop Linux Distributions | Expectations of a home user

Here is my fresh article, which can be read at Raiden`s Realm too.

Desktop Linux Distribution is getting fame in every day use among home users and even office users. Given the choice to select from a huge list of Desktop Linux Distributions home users are ought to get confused and it`s not unusual that they do distro-hopping in the quest of what is so called "the best" for them.

I have discussed these issues on various occasions in my previous articles and I still believe that home users need a clear demarcation of what they are looking for when they select a desktop Linux for their home and office needs.

There might be many reasons according to everybody`s own desires and requirements leading to a home user`s selection of a Linux distribution but I am highlighting those which I have learned with my own quest of a desktop Linux distribution and I consider them of the factual importance.

Rock Solid Stability

Nothing can be literally and truly "rock solid" in Linux world or in that case in any other operating system but this is the only thing that really matters when a desktop Linux is selected. The notion of "latest and greatest" might sound appealing but home user needs stability more than the latest softwares on a desktop Linux. Well tested, bugs free softwares with stable and a fully functional system is of utmost importance. Frequent crashes, packages failures or popping up bugs are both annoying and hush away home users who are trying to adopt to something different that their traditional operating systems they had before.


Well Populated Repositories

Give me a base system, an APT and a large pool of well tested, stable packages and updates and I am all happy with a desktop Linux distribution. I remember occasions when I could not find some package in one distribution's repositories and found it on another distribution and vice versa. I know it takes great resources and lots of hard work to have a huge and well maintained repository for a desktop Linux distribution but I personally believe that it is really mandatory.

Hardware Compatibility

One of the major reason that distracts away a home user from one to another Linux distribution is lack of compatibility with common or in some cases a special hardware. This is indeed a huge task for the developers of Linux distributions to test and make sure that their distribution works flawlessly with every hardware available in the market. All major Linux distributions are offering full support for common hardware but still home users sometimes complain about support for some of their hardware at forums and IRC support rooms.

Customizability

For a beginner home user a preconfigured desktop Linux distribution with all the commonly used packages installed sounds a working idea so that they don`t have to worry about how and where to get them. But for a seasoned home user a base system only with full control over the customization according to one own needs is the best policy to be adopted by the Linux distributions projects. Open Source gives a huge variety of options and choices and I feel the home user should be allowed the choice to get whatever they like e.g. Abiword in place of Open Office. I am a true fan of "remasterme "option offered and fully working by PCLinuxOS and Ubuntu projects. I personally feel that if I want any control over my system, I would ask for how can I back up my custom made system with even my personal favorites and wallpapers. I wish we have such back up and remasterme system on all major desktop distribution e.g. Debian GNU/Linux and Fedora.

Desktop Linux Beautification

This is the least important aspect that one has to consider as a desktop Linux user but since home users are not technical people they should be given abundance of beautification options for their chosen distributions so that home computing is both fun and ease. Beautification also includes desktop environments and the home users need a provision to get a working desktop environment from repositories along with the one already installed by default. I remember having problem getting open box on PCLinuxOS even though the packages were available from repositories but they never worked. I was forced to get Tinyme just because the open box packages did not work on PCLinuxOS.

Documentation

Regularly updated, easy and comprehensive documentations are of great help to resolve the issues and to work around a desktop Linux distribution. Documentation are important, I wish all the major desktop Linux distributions projects add "read before you proceed" sentence to the documentations part and put it on top along with download links for their distributions ISO files as this will lessen the problems of home users and burden on developers at IRC rooms where users come asking for small problems when the solution is already there in documentations.

Online Help

IRC help rooms play a major role in the learning and fixing of Linux problems for most of the user. This trend is growing but unfortunately the help is at the cost of personal insults and degrading remarks by many of the developers and regulars at these IRC rooms to the home users and other help seekers along with useless, childish questions put by users who come asking for help without doing any home work on their problems. If we have good documentation and those with problems have read them well, I am sure half of the problems will already be fixed before they come to IRC room seeking help for minor issues. We need a professional environment and code of ethics for all these rooms to be maintained both by help seekers and the helpers and it will help to improve the outlook of desktop Linux distribution for everyone

Conclusion

Much has been said, read and done in the field of desktop Linux distribution. If we want to reach our target users for desktop Linux we have to address the core needs and requirements of a home user. I have tried my best to pin point what I see as my own requirement being a home user. I wish everyone else shares what they think will improve this vision of a desktop Linux.

CCux Linux 0.9.9 | Dawn of New Era or a Promise Broken Again?

CCux Linux is an Open Source i686 RPM Linux distribution and is not based upon any other distribution. It offers graphical installer and is optimized for speed.

News are that CCux Linux 0.9.9 has been released today on Monday, 04 August 2008 , this time as a DVD ISO as compared to previous version 0.9.8 released 2 years back .
Amazingly there are no public test releases for this version , so I wonder if it`s a bug-fix release of 0.9.8 with some major updates?

This release is reported to sport Kernel 2.6.26 , KDE 4.1.0 ,Gnome, XFCE and Fluxbox as Desktop environments through the installer.

Talking of the Installer this distribution was a total disappointment regards to installer in previous version.

The developers are promising that the installer and the whole installation process has been overhauled this time with major improvements. Hope these work as they promise as I had to try installing the previous version almost 4 times with no success.

Also reported on their website that the current version is available in English too once again.

CCux Linux is claimed to be designed for desktop use and for inexperienced users but my bitter experience with the previous version makes me little paranoid to get this version and even try it.It was a release in haste previously and I hope the history is not repeated once again this time.

I wonder if somebody will be ahead of me to try and review it or do I have to do it myself and know how it works this time with so many promises being made by the CCux Linux project.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

More Articles on Raiden`s Realm

If you like my articles you can read the rest at Raiden`s Realm.

I am placing their names and link to them here.

2. GNU/Linux Vs Windows: Myths and Realities
3. How to Quit Windows and cope with Windows Withdrawal Syndrome
4. Why do we use Linux as Home Users?
5. Best Linux Desktop Distribution for Home Users

I have tried to contribute to GNU/Linux and Open Source by conveying the message as a home user by writing these articles.

Enjoy reading them.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Distro hopping by Linux Newbies

I am posting my previous articles published at Raiden`s Realm for my readers here one by one.

"Distro hopping by Linux Newbies" was published on 10.15.2007.
So much is happening in the world of Linux and Open Source every day. New versions of all the major Linux distributions are released regularly throughout the year, with new versions of some distributions croping up almost every week. And then there are also the new distributions introduced from around the world as well. On one hand, it is great that development is so active, but on the other it can be disastrous for Linux newbies to choose amongst such a huge list of Linux distributions and to find out which is the one that suits them best.
Some people, mostly the newbies, hop from one distribution to another, downloading and trying out one after another endlessly, resulting in huge piles of burned media in their shelves like a pack rat. I remember how I suffered myself from this phenomenon in the early days of my Linux experience. I only realized that I have this obsessive problem of distribution hopping when I had already tried out more than 50 Linux distributions.

I believe Linux distribution hopping is a frenzied state of mind which possess GNU/Linux newbies to download and try out any new Linux distribution about which they come to hear about, not considering whether they really need it or not, or if it will fulfill their requirements. Downloading, installing and trashing away a Linux distribution recklessly without giving it much time for testing and exploration are the salient land marks of distribution hopping.

Causes of distributions hopping
Striving for the best
"I am always in search of the best distribution for me. Maybe their isn't one and I am doomed to distribution hop until I die."
I feel that one of the biggest reasons for Linux distribution hopping is the desire to look for the best, 100 percent perfect distribution. This is a fanatic and non realistic approach as there is no one perfect operating system out there let alone a best Linux distribution. But this illusion of its existance keeps distribution hopping alive and growing obsessionally.
Freedom of choice
After years of sticking with Windows, once a newbie has discovered that he/she could download a free Linux ISO, burn it to a bootable CD/DVD and run a whole new operating system, distribution hopping begins. Out of the 366 active Linux distributions it is really not unexpected to see distribution hopping as they all look so tempting and attractive, and cry to be tried out.

Curiosity
Curiosity is the mother of distribution hopping. Most of the Linux newbies are ready to try out any new Linux distribution out of curiosity. Release notes and screenshots of new distributions add to this curiosity and excitement. It's just the background thinking that every new distribution might be better than the previous ones and so newbies start collecting distributions at a constant pace.

Experimentation
Experimentation and fiddling with every new Linux distribution is lots of fun for a Linux newbie. He/she moves on non-stop from one distribution to another. It is just a causal and non serious approach rather than a serious attempt to try out a new distribution. It is like a challenge to test and experiment with every new distribution.

Eye Candy
A distribution that looks nice and cool always attracts newbies, they will get hold of it just because of its looks, and later throw it away, as looks are not always the true reflector of a Linux distribution's real potential. Boredom with the looks of one distribution will lead to jumping to another one.

Hardware Incompatibility
Some people face difficulties configuring their hardware, such as modems, web cams, sound cards, printers, etc. on various distributions. So they drop distributions endlessly in hope that the next one will work for them.

Trying out rare distributions
Some people like to discover those rare and non famous distributions amongst the huge list of available distributions just to feel unique. Having a rare distribution on your system sounds quite appealing and so they keep on hunting for those rare distributions.

What is so bad about distribution hopping?

Wastage of bandwidth
It's a waste of bandwidth for both for the end user and the hosting servers. The greater the amount of unnecessary traffic, the slower the hosting servers get. Plus the download bandwidth used to download the distribution gets wasted when the distribution is trashed soon after.

Wastage of media
Unnecessary burning of distribution CDs/DVDs without ever using them leads to huge piles of media both at home and later at dumpsters when those media are dumped, leading to environmental pollution.

Wastage of money
Purchasing Linux CDs/DVDs from different organizations without utilizing them properly is a waste of money which could be better spent on something more productive e.g. purchasing some hardware accessories for a PC or purchasing a small system for the kids.

Little learning
Not much is learned about Linux or a specific distribution by superficially going through it and then throwing it away.

Little or no contribution to Open Source
When a Linux distribution is just hopped, nothing is gained from it and hence no positive feedback is created in regards to bugs or hardware issues that would normally be reported back to the developers as the newbie just moves on to another distribution quickly. This doesn't help the spirit of Open Source by voicing out your opinion about a distribution over which the developers spent so much time and energies.
How to cope with Linux distribution hopping
From my own experience with distribution hopping I have found that the following points help to overcome distribution hopping.
Choose free Open Source Linux distributions. The commercial versions offer not as much as the free versions do, but if you opt for commercial versions then there are many which offer full support upon payment.

Next, if you are a Linux newbie, it is better to choose a main streamline distribution rather than non famous and unknown ones.

Select Linux distributions which offer live CD/DVDs. Run live sessions of a distribution and thoroughly checkout it's hardware support, your favorite programs and system performance in general. This will help you get a feel for the Linux distribution you are about to choose and install for your use. Currently many desktop Linux distributions (DLDs) offer live CD/DVDs.

Install the Linux distribution you have chosen for yourself knowing that it will accomplish your requirements as you have checked them out in a live cd session. Installation is mandatory, live sessions will not let you enjoy all the benefits of a specific Linux distribution.

Once you have installed your selected Linux distribution it is the time to dissect it stepwise. It's your system now; explore it as much as you like, nobody will mind.

I personally keep a few things in my check list for selecting a Linux distribution for my personal use which are given below.

Hardware support
Does it support all the hardware on my system such as video, sound card, modems, mouse, monitor, key board, etc?

Aesthetics
I choose the desktop environment of my choice i.e. KDE. I look for fonts, icons and themes, system menus, tool bars etc. I prefer a distribution which visually appeals to me because I don't like working on a dull looking Linux distribution.
Applications
I prefer a Linux distribution that has all the required tools such as AbiWord, Firefox, gFTP, GIMP, Xpdf, etc., plus offers java run time environment, flash and other necessary plug-ins available out of the box.

Multimedia
I am a multimedia fan, whenever I choose a Linux distribution I thoroughly check whether it plays all the multimedia formats I use out of box or after a little tinkering around. Kaffeine, VLC media player, MPlayer, Amarok and XMMS are my favorite media players.

GUI configuration tools
For system management I am personally in favor of graphical front end tools. Life is much easier with graphical installers, control centers and system management tools.

Package management
I thoroughly check what front-end package manager comes on my chosen Linux distribution and how does that package manager behave on my system. I am big fan of the Synaptic package manager myself.

Repositories
Do I get lots of working repositories with many tools and packages and do they work properly for me for getting things I want.

Overall system performance
I closely observe how a Linux distribution works on my system from bootup to shut down. Does it run slow? Do applications work properly? Do I have any issues with any hardware or tools? I use a Linux distribution with the eyes of an anatomist, looking for every single component I can.

Community support
I go for a Linux distribution which has documentations, man pages, an IRC room, a live forum, a bugzilla and a users mailing list as these factors help me to figure out and get support for any issues I might encounter.

The benefits of fully exploring a Linux distribution
Exploring a Linux distribution for some time is better than throwing it away instantly just because it did not work for you out of the box. Exploration will help you and Open source community as.

It helps you learn by doing common tasks on your system e.g. if you find that your system has no sound and you have checked that it wasn't muted from the sound mixer then running a simple command like "alsaconf" will let you explore and tinker with your sound card further. If you face any issue, by exploring, you will know whether is it just a configuration problem or if it is that the Linux distribution doesn't actually support your hardware.
Report bugs if you find any on a Linux distribution, or if it did not support some of your specific hardware or any tool you wanted that didn't work. The developers of that Linux distribution will strive to rectify that problem by releasing fixes/updates for that or they will fix them in the next release.

GNU/Linux is a wonderful experience and offers so much more everyday. We all want to enjoy all those new enhancements but not at the cost of our precious resources. Being faithful to one Linux distribution makes it fun and educational. I urge everybody to stick to one distribution for at least some time, say three months, before you move on to another distribution. I am positive that if you choose the right Linux distribution for yourself and stay with it for some time you will not move to another one unless it is really needed.




Saturday, July 26, 2008

My Chinese made Mobile Phone | Adevnture with Linux Mobile Tools

Recently I purchased a new Chinese made GSM Mobile Phone by Microtech. It is ¨ MT6227 MTK1 Media Player¨ , a rather funny named but nice looking GSM mobile phone .I like it because it offers so many functions than my previous ancient Nokia 66010i mobile phone. But beauty always brings problems with it ! So did my new Chinese made moobile phone.

It was a great mystry for me how to access it and update and customize my various data as the Chinese did not bother to pack a PC suite software CD with my set . Even their website does not offer any download link for this software.

Windows mounted it as a mass storage device and I could only access the ¨memory card ¨ data . I found a software called ¨PCSyncManager¨ with USB driver for my mobile phone but after full ¨normal¨ installation it refused to access my phone.

So it was time to look around for some open source alternatives on my Linux system. Searching on synaptic I found gammu and wammu and I immediately installed them on my PCLinuxOS . Through online search I found about a kde project known as KmobileTools but unfortunately PCLinuxOS repositories did not contain this package.

Kurumin NG 8.06 was a pleasant surprize because I could get both the gammu/wammu and KmoblieTools easily from the repositories .

Gammu & Wammu

Gammu is mobile phone manager running on Linux. The communication is made by Gammu library. Wammu is a Mobile phone manager using Gammu as it's backend.

It was easy to configure and browse my phone book,messages ,contacts and calender. Wammu worked flawlessly to work around and clean various menus on my phone.

KmoblieTools

KmobileTools work similarly with few additional fuctions like signals levels and battery levels.


GmobileMedia

gMobileMedia is a simple GTK based tool used to browse and handle a mobile phone filesystem. You can easily upload and download images, ringtones, photos, and applications to & from your mobile phone through a data cable . I installed gMobileMedia from synaptic but unfortunaely it did not support my mobile phone.

Mount as a ¨mass storage media¨

My mobile fone can be easily mounted just like any storage media e.g a flash drive and I can upload and download different files to and from my computer to my mobile phone.

I was really disappointed to purchase a chinese mobile phone initially because I thought I could never access it and modify or retrieve its contents. But just a little effort and search on Linux gave me so many options to enjoy and customize my mobile phone and I am really enjoying it now.Thanks to Open Source and GNU/Linux :)



Sunday, July 20, 2008

Simplis GNU/Linux: A new face in GNU/Linux Town

We see many new Linux distributions released on regular basis. Some are based upon already existing major Linux distributions while others are independent projects. But not all will attract your attention until there is something really unique about them.

I read about the new release (Vixta.org 3D 9.03) of Vixta.org which is an easy-to-use, Fedora-based distribution with a user interface that resembles Window$ Vista. In the live session of
Vixta.org I ran Firefox and off the tradition and routine the home page was set on a flash based cool looking website LINUX Technology than on Vixta.org. Out of curiosity I browsed around the various menus as I thought the Vixta.org has migrated to a new home page despite the fact that the home page of Vixta.org is same as before. Browsing through the pages I came to realize that this is in fact a new Linux project which is being promoted by Vixta.org: what is the relationship between the two is still not clear to me.

The LINUX Technology website defines only the basic about this new distribution at the moment .This project is run by Portuguese & Swiss IT Professors, IT Engineers and IT Students. They call themselves as “a group of Open Source Addicts “and define the aims and objectives of their project in very simple words :

“We all think the way UP to spread LINUX Technology is to make it SIMPLE! “

So this clarifies the rationale of choosing the name “Simplis” for this distribution. They further extend the aims of this project by stating that they strive for these two goals :

FREE and SIMPLE: This is the main goal of simplis!
Everybody should "play" with it, from sysadmins to Desktop users!

SECURE and FAST: The other 2 main goals!
Secure: LINUX TECHNOLGY doesn’t suffer from virus and instability!
Fast: 5 min to INSTALL!

So as I stated in the start some “uniqueness” about a new Linux distribution will make you stop and look into details about it.

Let’s take a brief look into Simplis Linux here.

Since their website does not tell much about Simplis Linux I emailed the Simplis people and asked what is Simplis based upon and whether it is a sister project of Vixta.org ? A. Paulo Santos from LINUX Technology is kind enough to reply back and inform me that it is based upon Fedora with KDE 4.0 and that these two are different project in fact. .

Simplis is currently offering simplis 9.0.1 Eng CD & DVD ISO which can be downloaded from simplis sourceforge.net page.

LiveDVD Session

The Live DVD ran smoothly and all my system’s hardware was configured properly without any errors. The Simplis desktop is typical desktop of latest Vixta.org 3D 9.03 with the graphics added by Simplis team which make it look more appealing to eyes. Multimedia and Internet work out of the box on Live session.


3D Desktop ScreenShot


Installation

It is a straight forward Fedora installation with anaconda installer and upon reboot all the Windows FAT32 & NTFS partitions are auto mounted without the need to edit fstab.


So what is good about Simplis?

It offers all the fedora 9 packages with KDE 4.0.5 and Multimedia and all the other packages included by default to facilitate home users to use Simplis out of the box both as Live and installed system.

Problem I faced with Simplis

I had to install the Livna repository manually and upon the command su -c 'yum update' in shell I would get repeated error of failure to load update from mirrors and yum would start looking for another mirror. Another problem I faced that some mirrors would do get the updates but then I would get the error that package md5sums is not matching. Since I am not a Fedora guy I was literally lost what kind of error this is.


Overall Impression

For the first public release of Simplis it is almost a perfectly stable distribution with some small issues with package management which I think can be easily fixed.

Relationship with Vixta.org

I personally feel that Simplis team has adopted Vixta.org as base and added their own graphics and included the commonly used packages and multimedia support so that the end users don’t have to worry getting these later. There is an additional point to note here that Simplis team has avoided saying that Simplis resembles in looks to Window$ which identifies them from Vixta.org. I will recommend Simplis to those who want to have Fedora system with everything working out of the box.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Virus : A paralysed object on GNU/Linux

Recently I faced two incidents when I had to format my flash drive as it would simply refuse to open at all just because it was infected with some nasty viruses ( New Folder.exe Virus ) from my office computers.

Both of the times I lost all my data in the flash because the viruses in it were so nasty that the Avast Pro antivirus on my Window$ totally refused to open it or let me scan it and I was only left with one choice : format my poor little flash drive. After formatting it I had to run R-Studio Network edition data recovery software to retrieve my data. So it was a mess, a frustration and a waste of time .

When for the third the same event hit me, suddenly it sparked in my mind that if there is any solution available to retrieve my data without formatting my flash is to open it in PCLinuxOS.

It was an amazing experience. My drive was picked up and opened up promptly on PCLinuxOS and along with my data files I could see some weird looking files lying around and staring at me with blank eyes! Out of rage and hatred that was flowing through my veins for those nasty virus files because of the sufferings they put on me twice , I just cut and pasted them into a new folder on desktop to deal with them later .

First I copied all my data and saved it at proper place and then went to fix the nasty creatures. Since I have installed Clam AntiVirus on my PCLinuxOS so I scanned my flash drive with it and once it was all clear I safely removed it : it was a rescue this time from yet another format of the poor little flash!

What did I do with those nasty little creatures who would bite me on my carotids in Windwo$ and were looking at me with the looks of "have mercy on us " in PCLinuxOS !

Well, I scanned them , and guaranteed them with Clam AntiVirus and when still my fury and anger was not pacified I shredded them with shredder mercilessly!

Revenge taken, justice done to the innocent looking little evils, thanks to my PCLinuxOS :)

PCLinuxOS : The Best Desktop GNU/Linux


While reading the tuxmachines.org " today's leftovers " I came across two interesting posts :
1: Top Tip: What Linux version for a newcomer to Linux?
2: What version of linux seems to be the least buggiest ?

These both posts point towards two basic and very important factors which play a role in the selection of any GNU/Linux distribution by a newcomer or a home user.

There are many Desktop Linux distributions out there today but the PCLinuxOS by Texstar is one of well known distribution which fulfills both of these criteria. It works both for newcomers and seasoned Linux users and along with its user friendliness it offers the stability and bug free computing environment .

The excellent hardware support , availability of huge number of stable packages at the repositories and pleasant to eyes graphics make PCLinuxOS stand out high of the huge number of currently available Linux distributions.

I have created numerous successful remaster copies of my custom installed PCLinuxOS 2008 Minime and I regularly distribute the copies to my friends and colleagues. There are two amazing facts which come into my observation with my distributed copies of my PCLinuxOS DVD.
1: I have always seen yet another "satisfied" Linux user once they install and use PCLinuxOS.
2: I have yet to see a person out of all of them who reports any issues with PCLinuxOS.

PCLinxOS 2008 final version is pending and impending . I think they will start releasing Test Releases
( TR ) the way they did in case of PCLinuxOS 2007. I am also interested to know if they will continue with KDE 3.5 series in the final release or will adopt KDE 4.1 when it is released.

I have no reservations or doubts of any kind to recommend PCLinxOS to a newcomer or a home user with a reassurance that this distribution will rarely fail upon you. Just go and spin the PCLinuxOS CD and see what wonders it brings for you.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Intux 1.0 A Clone of PCLinuxOS with New Graphics


I heard and read about Intux Linux project many a times. Being a PCLinuxOS fan I do give a try to any distribution which is based upon PCLinuxOS. So when I read and found the ISO of "stable" release of Intux Linux 1.0 named "Orion" from India I downloaded the DVD ISO despite the fact that they offer to send a free DVD to your door step just like Ubuntu Project.
The server doesn`t offer any MD5SUMS for the ISO so you are point blank regarding the health of your downloaded ISO.

The Intux Linux home page is displaying the message of "Intux v 1.0 release notes coming soon" for last many days but still no news about it anywhere.

It was a typical PCLinuxOS 2008 custom made DVD with the addition of Intux Linux team personal graphics, so nothing exciting till that stage.

The Project Leader has reported on PCLinuxOS forum that this release will have both KDE & Gnome but I opted for KDE and went for install straight away.

It was a plain PCLinuxOS installation with nothing additional.

Upon reboot the first thing I faced on running apt-get update was a weird error shown here.




I tried correcting it from repositories settings by enabling direct connect to the Internet but that did not work. I sent an email to the Intux Project Leader Rupesh Kumar Shah regarinding this issue but I have not heard from it till now.

The Intux Control center is graphically modified PCLinuxOS center with no additions. Overall Intux 1.0 is a remaster of PCLinuxOS 2008 with added graphics and theme adopted from Granular Linux 1.0.

Since the repositories error left me with a dead Intux system so I had no choice but to kill it as my excitement was over soon with it.

I read on Granular Linux , it was a suggestion for Intux Project to join and help build Granular Linux rather than to take a solo flight. I believe Intux Project has the right and choice to continue with their efforts but they should consider what they offer to the end users . I have no hesitation to say that it was a waste of bandwidth, a DVD and time that I put in Intux 1.0 as I have a far better working personal custom made PCLinuxOS DVD than what Intux 1.0 offered me.


Monday, June 30, 2008

My three wishes from Elive

Elive is good enough out of all those who offer this windows manager ( like opengeu and pce17os ) , it is stable and it works. Elive is cleanly dissected like you see clean dissected muscles,nerves,vessels,facia etc in Gray`s anatomy diagrams.

I have 3 points to raise for elive

1: The packages, panels ,menus, etc should have at least names/tags....permanent or visible when you point at them.

2: remasterme or mklivecd option: I would be more than happy if somehow i could make my custom made remaster copies of elive.That's the ultimate power an end user have over a distro. You do fine resection, tweaking, selective packages installation , updates and then spin your own iso and just use that at any time.

3: Elive team should not charge whatsoever amount is when end user is downloading it, this hush away so many users who fall for other useless distros.
I might be wrong, but that's what i feel will benefit elive end users.I just want everyone to benefit from elive , it`s worth usage as are Suse and Mandriva and others.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Kurumin NG 8.06 Final | Simply amazing.

Yesterday on 17/06/2008 Leandro.Santos Launched the Kurumin NG 8.06 Final . The first stable version of Kurumin NG is available for download from the Kurumin main download server.
The Link for download by Bittorrent is LinuxTracker



Here is my Kurumin Desktop Screenshot.



Kurumin NG 8.06, is a Brazilian desktop distribution based on Kubuntu 8.04 which can be run Live and installed both in in Portuguese and English. During boot from Live CD the option to choose either of these is given at boot splash or can be activated by pressing F2 button.

Live CD

The Live CD of Kurumin NG 8.06 runs entirely from the CD without the need for installation, although it may well be installed in HD, like any traditional distribution.When it boots with CD, it automatically recognizes all hardware and automatically configures the computer, no matter which configuration, if the components are compatible with Linux will be in charge of the system leaves it running without any intervention from the user.


Installation

There is an icon on the Kurumin NG desktop which gives the option to install the Live CD onto the hard disk. The
Kurumin NG 8.06 installer is a typical Ubuntu installer with the option to install Kurumin in English too,and in about 15 minutes Kurumin NG 8.06 is fairly and squarely installed to the hard drive without any issues.



More news regarding this latest release of Kurumin will be coming from me once I test install it.

Pioneer Linux Basic 3.2.0 | A shiny new Release

Technology Alignment has announced the release of Pioneer Linux 3.2, a KDE-based desktop Linux distribution based on the recently released Ubuntu 8.04: today on 17/06/2008 . The detailed press release for this latest version can be read at the The Technalign and Pioneer Linux Press Home Page.

The Technalign and Pioneer Linux has established a forum for posting any queries and getting help for everyone.

The ISO files can be downloaded from The Technalign and Pioneer Linux download page . The torrent of this ISO is expected to be uploaded at THE PIRATE BAY soon.

Dianne Ursini is the CEO of Technalign, Inc. Dianne has been in the IT field since 1971 and she is well seasoned in development, sales, marketing & consulting. Her Blog can be accessed at Technalign's Blog by Dianne Ursini where she writes about Pioneer Linux and everything that goes on at Technalign.

I had a brief email conversation with her about Pioneer Linux and she defines the goal of Pioneer Linux in these simple words very clearly.

" We're not a flashy distribution. We're more of the rock solid, easy to use system people outside of the Linux community want. Our programs folders replace Automatix also, and it's just a solid and unbloated system ".

I ,as a home user clearly understand the importance of this concept because a home user would look more for ease of use, stability and unbloated system than an eye candy and flashy distribution.

I test installed the previous versions of Pioneer Linux and it was a good experience if not an excellent one . I am looking forwards to try this latest release and report back about it sooner.

Monday, June 2, 2008

An Interview with Anurag Bhandari, the Founder of Granular Linux


I am presenting an interview with Anurag Bhandari , the Founder & Project Leader, Granular Linux Project.

Granular Linux Project released Granular 1.0 (Preview) on 15-03-2008. And now as they are heading towards the release candidate of Granular Linux 1.0, I feel it appropriate to present this interview to all of my readers and GNU/Linux community.

Hello Anurag Bhandari , thanks for sparing your time for this interview for my blog page . I will ask you few questions so that we can better understand the Granular Linux and the whole idea of Granular Linux Project.

What exactly is Granular Linux? What does the name Granular signify?
Granular is an easy-to-use Linux distribution aimed at desktop users and newbies in the world of Linux. It can also be a good choice for regular Linux users.
The name "Granular" signifies one of the reasons behind the creation of this distro, that is, "customizability". Granular was intended to be able to get easily customized by the end user. An all over customization can only be achieved by customizing the individual components (granules). And for that, KDE is an excellent option, combined together with the various options provided with Granular. Hence the word "Granular".

Anurag Bhandari, tell us little about yourself please.

I am a Computer Engineering student heading towards my fourth and last year at my college, National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar, India. I am pursuing my B.Tech degree there. I am a resident of Jalandhar, Punjab itself.

Who are the current developers and team members working at Granular Linux?

Please refer to this page: http//

Why did you start the Granular Project? What was the basic Aim of this project when it was incepted?

There were several reasons behind starting the Granular Project:
1) To have a user-friendly distro combined with pleasing (read it "good") looks. Although there were several distros out there at the time the project started, as far as I know, none had both these qualities, some were good looking but lacked stability and some were extremely stable and functional but not user-friendly. Of course, we have some good distros today with both these qualities, like Mint, Sabayon, etc.
2) The first day I used Linux, it was SuSE, I was taken away with the idea of using a free OS that was more cool than Windows with features like good looks, no crashes, supported older hardware, had pre-installed software, multimedia support, etc. At that time, Linux was a word known to a handful of people in India. Most people here didn't even know that Windows was a paid OS. Another perception of Linux they (the guys who at least had heard the word "Linux") had in their mind was that Linux was a very difficult to use and is operatable only through command-line.
So, I wanted to start a new Linux project with roots in India so that more people could get aware of Linux and start using it. I am still powered by the dream of having "a Linux per home". At present, we are not exactly that much ready to achieve that goal, but I believe we'll gradually and eventually get close to that aim.

3) Having an own project would probably benefit me in the future, both in terms of the learning I get from the project and in terms of opportunities.

Why was Granular Linux based upon PCLinuxOS?

Although Granular started off as a distro based on LFS (Linux From Scratch), due to internal and technical reasons the base was shifted on to PCLinuxOS. PCLinuxOS was the most obvious choice at that time as it was modeled according to our needs and boasted off the popular mklivecd tool which could be used to easily create LiveCDs.

Many Linux distributions Projects are supported by Govt and private organizations, does Granular Linux get any such support?

Granular does not get any support from government or private organizations. The only support it gets is in the form of donations and inspiration via happy users' lovely emails and posts on the forum. :)

How does Granular Linux differ from PCLinuxOS and what are the distinguishing features of Granular Linux which you think are beneficial to the end users including home users as compared to PCLinuxOS and other Linux distributions?

This is very much like asking how PCLinuxOS differs from Mandriva. [chuckle]. Anyway, Granular differs from PCLinuxOS and other distros in several ways:
1) We have our own Granular Repository now which is expanding day-by-day. So, some of the major packages are different from those in the PCLinuxOS repository. Our repository also has some packages that are not present in the PCLinuxOS repo.
2) The looks of Granular are very much different from PCLinuxOS. Granular was designed to attract newbies and regular users, and artwork plays a very essential role here. I think our artwork team has done well in that area.
3) Granular comes out with 2 desktop environments. KDE - for full functionality and Enlightenment - for a fast Linux experience coupled with some heavy eye-candy.
4) The application set of Granular differs from that of PCLinuxOS.
5) Granular maintains an independent identity, unlike other PCLinuxOS-derived distros.
As time progresses, the distinguishing features will become larger.

How do you look at the future of Granular Linux when there are so many more Linux distributions sprouting out daily?

I see a bright future for Granular Linux if we keep on going ahead with good spirits. I have some good plans for the future, but we would be needing more developers and contributors for that. Hopefully, we'll get the sufficient amount of members soon.
Granular is currently ranked around 70 in the list of over 300 distros at DistroWatch. I think that shows people do have interest in this distro.

Do you think Granular Linux is only meant for Indian community or do you see any chances that it will be as popular as the other distributions are amongst the masses around the world?

By no means Granular is limited to just the Indian population. In fact, Granular does not have an as wide user base in India as it has in the rest parts of the world. We'll work on spreading the word of "Granular" and "Linux" in India too.

The Granular Project forum seems to be very functional but there is no IRC help room available. Do you have any plans for establishing an IRC room for Granular Linux?

There is no IRC channel for Granular as of yet due to the lack of sufficient members for that area. I certainly would not like to have a "most-of-the-time deserted" IRC channel. I'll rather wait for the sufficient amount of interested contributors here. As soon as we get them, I'll start the channel. So, IRC is also on my list of to-do.


Thank you very much Anurag Bhandari. This small but informative talk with you will bring forth Granular Linux both in the whole Open Source and GNU/Linux community and the end users who think Granular Linux is just another PCLinuxOS remastered clone.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Litrix 8.5 | Brazilian Desktop GNU/Linux Distribution for Home Users

Brazil is rich in GNU/Linux production and I have noticed innovativeness in the Linux Distributions developed in Brazil. Kurumin, Epidemic GNU/Linux and Litrix Linux are good examples. Litrix Linux is based on Gentoo Linux . I never had a chance to try the previous versions partly because the English language support was not available by default and partly because it is based on the "scary" Gentoo Linux which looks threatening to home users because of its manual configuration.

Litrix 8.5 - International edition was released on Tuesday, 20 May 2008 and is available for download as a single Live DVD of 1.2 GB from the Litrix Linux Home Page . The salient features of this release are KDE 3.5.9, Firefox 2.0.0.14, GNOME 2.22.0 as an alternative desktop, win32codecs & WINE 0.9.61. The NVIDIA driver is removed, but the users can download both the NVIDIA and ATI driver from their official web sites.

The Litrix Linux home page does not provide much of information or documentation so it was my blind ride to boot my system from the DVD and see how it goes.

After approximately 2-3 minutes of booting and reading the hard ware I was on Litrix Live session. During the boot process Litrix did report some kind of hardware failure errors but ultimately it was a clean boot into the Live desktop.

You will hold your breaths for a while when you look at the nicely created desktop and beautiful Oxygen Icon theme along with the soothing blue wall paper with water drops on it. The black Kicker KDE panel is also nice looking on this latest release of Litrix Linux.












Litrix Central

The most interesting and well designed feature of Litrix Linux is its control central. It works flwalessly and the first two things that I set using Litrix Central were Network Configuration and Locale Configuration.

Network setting was easy and my DSL router was all set go in less than 2 minutes and I was online.

There are many interesting features available in Litrix Central and it makes it easy for a home user to easily configure Litrix Linux according to their needs .

Litrix Linux Installer



It is a simple and flawless installer that guides a home user along with every step. OK, the installer takes ages to install but it is acceptable. My installation went smooth till final stage when I removed the DVD and rebooted.












There is a small trick here that will help those who face problem with Litrix Linux 8.5 after installation . Susan Linton reported that her /etc directory was empty and I faced it too but the little trick worked and I could easily overcome it.
During installation choose qtparted and format the partition where you want to install the Litrix Linux either with Ext3 or ReiserFS and then go ahead for installation as some how if the installer is asked to format the partition itself you will end up with this error.

There is another small issue with installer. Once your installation is complete you get message of its completion but the installer doesn`t close and you have to close it yourself.

Litrix Desktop

As I mentioned above the Litrix 8.5 desktop is highly polished and gives a professional looks. The K menu is neatly displaying different programs and Litrix comes with a huge list of pre installed softwares.

Multimedia

Litrix 8.5 comes bundled with all audio and video packages and I could play both audio and video files smoothly.


Internet

Litrix Linux 8.5 comes with pre installed Kopete, XChat,Skyphe ,AMSN and they work out of the box for me.


Litrix Linux Package Manager

Kuroo is the GUI of Litrix package manager . You can also use emerge in command line to synchronize and update with Gentoo portage by running emerge --sync & emerge -up.
I ran Kuroo to sync it with repositories for ports .It takes quite sometime to synchronize but once you are done with that it works flawlessly to get you updates and install/remove packages.

Since I am always more interested in having a custom made system with one package per task so I trimmed down the packages installed by default on Litrix 8.5 to make it adjust for my requirements. I am interested in making my custom made Litrix Linux Live DVD and Catalyst from Gentoo looks to be the package for this purpose but I need to probe more into before I actually try it.

I installed Litrix 8.5 as dual boot with my Granular Linux and LILO loaded both my installed distributions smoothly.

In my first ever experience with my most dreaded Gentoo based Linux distribution I am much more at ease and confident using Litrix 8.5 and I have no doubts to recommend it to everybody and especially to home users who would like to have a beautiful eye candy desktop Linux distribution along with the power of Gentoo.

I will look more in depth into Litrix Linux 8.5 and would love to have Compiz working on it. I have not tried installing NVIDIA driver as yet and once I am done with that I will definitely try installing Compiz on my Litrix Linux.

Happy Litrix Linux experience to all of you.

Don`t feel scared by Gentoo, try Litrix Linux :)

Granular 1.0 RC coming soon


Anurag Bhindari from Granular Linux reports that the release of Granular Linux 1.0 RC is almost ready and is expected in first week of June 2008.


Read more about it at the Granular Team blog page here.


Waiting for the exciting new release myself, thanks to the Granular Linux Project.

SaxenOS 2008 beta 2 Final Report

Working for few more hours on newly concepted SaxenOS 2008 after being based on PCLinuxOS I have a clear feeling in my mind that only basing it on PCLinuxOS will not raise its standards but lots of efforts are still needed to bring SaxenOS up to daily usable levels for end users.

stibs is current single developer of SaxenOS and in response to one question on SaxenOS forum he says

"Aim: A Linux desktop for our education institute and general office work."

This sounds fair enough in the light that XFCE is a good alternate to KDE for home users but I am sure stibs and his team members at BdH Dresden have to put lots of efforts to bring SaxenOS to a working level.

I reported few issues that I faced with SaxenOS 2008 at their forum but till this time I see no reply .

1: PC will refuse to auto shut down and needs manual interference for that.
2: Mklivecd doesn`t work.
3: SMPlayer , it works fine but wont show in menu in multimedia section.
4: Xfmedia refuse to play anything at all.

so the status of affairs looks like locked down at the moment.

STIBS is planning to release SaxenOS RC1 in a 2 weeks time , lets hope he finds some time to do some more testing before he goes for RC1.

I am not disappointed with SaxenOS , It will get better provided there is a dedication behind it as I see in Texstar and his team members at PCLinuxOS.

Friday, May 30, 2008

My SaxenOS 2008











OK as I promised, I installed the recently released SaxenOS 2008 beta today.

The installation was typical PCLinuxOS. Choosing English in place of German was not difficult ; at boot pressing F2 brings English.

Also at boot splash you can change and set English as your default language.

SaxenOS 2008 desktop gives the feelings of a KDE desktop from its layout .

It has nicely set menu and once you have set the language to English and installed the system you get a clear picture.

I set my time zone, display and changed the PCLinuxOS repository from the default to another one as it was unreachable.

Getting the available upgrades was smooth. Then I removed some packages I did not want. Nvidia driver and compiz setting works out of the box once installed.

Once I was all set I rebooted the system and upon re login my desktop settings were gone but I easily recovered them back with Desktop Settings for XFCE .

I noticed one weird problem though, when I tried to shut down the system it went through all the processes smoothly but at the end wont shutdown automatically and I had to press the power off button to shut it down manually.

Over all SaxenOS 2008 looks promising and quite stable at this early beta stage and I am sure it will be robust and stable enough once it reaches to the final version.

I will keep on probing into it more and report back any issues if I find any.

I would urge all my readers to try SaxenOS 2008 and I am sure they will like it.

SaxenOS goes PCLinuxOS

SaxenOS from Germany once based on Slackware and Zenwalk-based distribution with the Xfce desktop and designed for older, low-specification computers adopts PCLinuxOS as its base and Xfce desktop

SaxenOS 2008 beta 2 has been released and can downloaded from their home page.

This is a major change and looks promising .

This version 2008 was release in cooperation with the BdH Dresden .

I will grab a copy myself and test install this newly re designed distribution soon.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

My custom made Granular 1.0 Preview Desktop

This is a screenshot of my customized Granular Linux 1.0 Preview Desktop.

I am a traditionalist, conventionalist and obsessional....hence I like old , same KDE desktop pattern.

My Granular Linux system is highly customized, one package per task approach so I had to remove many default packages.

Hope Anurag , Chrisz and other Granular team members are not annoyed the way I trimmed and customized Granular.


I am gonna post a remaster story of my Granular system once I am done with that as at present I am facing some difficulties with it and I have reported it to Granular team members.

Monday, May 26, 2008

TinyMe 2008 | Small but Robust



I am PCLinuxOS KDE fan, I like slim and customized installation and desktop.

Openbox is a small and configurable windows manager. TinyMe has adopted this small and fast windows manager.

I have been closely following this nicely crafted distribution since its version 6b. Versiob 2008 was released yesterday and I immediately downloaded and isnatlled it.

TinyMe 2008 offers the solid base of PCLinuxOS with the eye candy and user friendliness of OpenBox specially made for TinyMe, Im Loving it!

Here are some of the tips and tricks to customize your Tinyme 2008 installation . These tips are from my posts/requests at Tinyme Forum.

Compiz-fusion Installation on Tinyme

I tried installing compiz on previous version , it was properly installed but never worked.

Nvidia driver for my geforce Fx 5600 card is running smooth now too.

Can I get a working compiz on Tinyme 2008?

KDulcimer:

Edit ~/.config/openbox/autostart.sh and remove these two lines:

nitrogen --restore &
idesk &
(The lines may differ slightly.)


Rearrange Icons on desktop

Desktop Icons: I like to place various icons on desktop at different spots, in KDE it`s easy but after playing around for quite some time with TinyMe desktop icons I could not figure out how to rearrage them, they are fixed, what`s the clue?

Lord UnR34l & KDulcimer:

To move the icons, you should be able to right-click and drag.

To stop Conky (the system monitor) from appearing on desktop

I dont want the system log being showed on my desktop in right upper corner, is there any way to remove it??

Lord UnR34l:

Go to home->.config (there is a dot in front of " config " - this is a hidden folder (to see them go in pcmanfm to view -> show hidden files)) -> openbox->autostart.sh and from it delete the "conky&" line, save the file and re-log in.

In anycase if you delete something more you can restore theautostart.sh file by copying it from live cd as root and pasting it to openbox directory in home.

I am posting my Tinyme Desktop screenshot taken with ksnapshot here at the top.

Tinyme is simply amazing and radically simple.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Wallpapers for Clive Midwinter


Few Vista Wallpapers. I am uploading these because a friend wanted to have one of these. Have fun with the kool looking M$ wallpapers.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A PCLinuxOS Blog


I was looking for some information regarding PCLinuxOS and a blog page ran by Manmath Sahu popped out in front of me.


This guy is a true Fan of PCLinuxOS and I guess all home users can benefit from his writings.He is collecting important information and write about howtos and much more about PCLinuxOS and GNU/Linux in general .


I will mark it as a "must read" in my favourites.


Remasterme PCLinuxOS I A Gem Tool for Home Users

PCLinuxOS offers a small but nice package called "mklivecd" that will make an identical , and exact clone of your system if ran properly.

This tool will let you make a clean ISO of your custom made PCLinuxOS which you can write to a CD/DVD depending upon the size of the ISO that was generated from your running system.


A simple command "mklivecd new.iso" as root in shell will do the job for you promptly and without much haste. I have tried it many times and my copies of remastered PCLinuxOS are perfectly out of the box on my system in case I ever need to do a fresh install .

PCLinuxOS 2008 Minime comes with a GUI for mklivecd or remaster. It works fine too but the choice of adding extra options in adding advanced configuration of your remaster copy is little confusing and I did not find any documentations for it either. Besides it also failed on me many times while I was trying to make a remaster copy so I quit using it . But I guess it might work for others as Texstar and his team has spent lots of efforts in making this tools with GUI so it has to work or else they won`t include it in PCLinuxOS 2008 Minime.

I urge all home users to try using this nice tool to have a back up of their systems. There are few important points to be borne in mind before you plan to make a remaster of your system.

1: It is better to make a remaster of custom built functional system which worked for you flawlessly.
2. Remove all cache by ~apt-get clean command before you make your remaster as this will clean all unwanted data and lessen the size of your ISO .
3. Remove all data from your home directory because it will be copied into your ISO automatically increasing the size of your ISO.
4. Once you have successfully generated the ISO, do its md5sums and write it down so that you can later compare the md5sums of your burned CD/DVD and your remastered ISO.
5. Use CDRW/DVDRW for burning your remastered ISO as you would be making more and more ISOs later and you can always write them to same media.

I hope these small notes will help a lot of people to benefit from this amazing package that PCLinuxOS offers. I am sure it works for everybody as it does for me.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Eye Candy of Cairo-Dock for Home Users


I often repeat that GNU/Linux Home Users strive for stability ,user friendliness and beauty for their desired and chosen distributions.

Cairo-dock is an animated and very beautiful application launch bar displayed on the desktop comparable to Mac OS X's Dock but offers more options in it.

It is themable , re sizable and can be easily ran and exited at any time. It is compatible with Beryl ,Compiz-fusion and KDE through Kwin .

The Cairo-dock Home Page is offering further details about this light eye-candy tool for any GNU/Linux desktop.

The project page for Cairo-dock is found at BerliOS where the latest binaries are available for download and you can submit your bugs or feature requests.

I installed Cairo-dock on my Pardus 2007.3 desktop through "Pisi" package manager and it works seamlessly.

PCLinuxOS 2008 doesn`t offer Cairo-dock package and I wish that Texstar and his team should not keep us deprived from this beautiful tool when we have almost everything available on PCLinuxOS repositories.

I have also put a request for Cairo-dock Granular Package at the forum of Granular Linux . Lets hope Anurag and Chrisz considers making these packages for Granular 1.0 Final which is to be released sooner I guess.

Monday, April 28, 2008

" my cybershot ventures" I Artististic expressions of a Medical Doctor

I have friends, we all have friends. But then some friends are more than friends, they are life time happening with us.

Samir Rana is a Medical Doctor and a health care administrator but he rarely introduces himself as a doctor ( even his blog page
doesn`t say he is a doctor). He is an artistic mind with artisitc talents and a life time fanaticism and craving for expression of arts.

He is running "my cybershot ventures" blog where he is expressing his artistic talents through the eye of digital photography. He captures the scenes of common happenings around us which we often ignore and brings the beauty that lies hidden in those trivial scenes into our vision.
His artistic potentials were always there, he kept looking for an outlet, a source of expression of his inner world. This took him along a long path of sitting on shrines, practicing "Malang" life and reincarnating as Sidharta Gautama.
It looks like he has found a real canvas of "blogging" this time where he is all ready to paint every single color of his inner artistic turmoil wildly and in a care free manner.
I am sure this will let his mercurial soul calm down a bit and let the whole world know what he always wanted to tell them.

Tux is Looking Good With Firefox !



Nice looking wallapapers of a Tux and Firefox