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.

6 comments:

manmath sahu said...

Overall Vixta was not that usable or stable. But I found the Simplis people have pushed the Vixta principles further. Simplis is better!

Thanks Salim for giving it space on your blog.

Anonymous said...

I learned about Simplis from DistroWatch. So I downloaded the DVD version and gave it a spin.

It seemed to boot OK on my test machine. Took a while to see the desktop but I didn't time it to see how long.

Unfortunately, wireless connection didn't work. Simplis detected and even included the firmware (zd1211) for the Belkin USB Wireless device. For some reason, it failed to make the connection with the passphrase that has been working well with others distros.

I might install it on a different machine with Ethernet connection to test it out further. But the distro looks promising for a Fedora based.

Like you, I am not a Fedora guy. So if I run into a problem, I tend to put it off if I can find a quick solution on my own.

Anonymous said...

Oooops!

I meant to say, "I tend to put it off if I can't find a quick solution on my own."

Dr.Saleem Khan said...

A. Paulo Santos from Simplis Team was kind enough to read my review and reply back to my email in these words:

"the reviews is fine and help us to understand the real needs of comon users!

* we will include the livna yum packages."

I will forward your complaint to him so their team can trace it and fix it.

Dr.Saleem Khan said...

Dear manmath sahu,

Thanks for dropping by.

Simplis looks better and if they keep working on it I am sure it will be a good distribution for home users.

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