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, 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.


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


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.