Linux Mint 15 Olivia MATE Review – A Reblog from Linux and Life

Linux Mint 15 Olivia MATE Review from Linux and Life

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Last year, I installed and wrote a review for Linux Mint 13 Maya, the MATE version. It had worked really well on my laptop so even when Linux Mint 14 “Nadia” was released, I still kept using Maya. But after a year, I think its the time for an upgrade, and on the same occasion that Linux Mint 15 Olivia was recently out, I decided to download and install the new Linux Mint 15, MATE version.

Read the rest of this excellent review HERE.

Later…

~Eric


Today’s Featured Distribution – Salix OS

Salix is a GNU/Linux distribution based on Slackware that is simple, fast and easy to use.

As many of you know, I’m partial to distributions with the Slackware pedigree. Salix is one that I had not tried before. My favorites up to now have been Zenwalk, Absolute Linux, and Vector Linux. However, I haven’t had any of those on any of my systems for quite some time. I’m patiently waiting for the 64 bit versions.

Now with Salix OS, I find a nice 64 bit version all ready to go. I installed it with the Xfce desktop. Installation was fast and easy using their familiar installer. No surprises here, folks. It just works. I had to do a couple custom tweaks here and there to get the system up and running, though.

After installation, I first booted into Salix using the kernel line alone. On my main system, Arch (my secondary OS) controls the MBR, and its GRUB rules. I had to modify Arch’s menu.lst to boot Salix. Once I was in Salix, I created an initrd using the README.initrd that you can find in most Slack derivatives. Nothing new here either. For you Slack veterans, this will all look very familiar to you. I re-edited Arch’s menu.lst to include the newly created initrd.gz line and away we went. Anyway, most of you will just use the LILO boot loader provided by Salix.

Salix booted up without a burp or hiss. I updated right off using the tried and true slapt-get command line package manager. Anyone who’s ever run Vector or Absolute Linux would be familiar with slapt-get. It’s a cool PM. The GUI frontend in Salix is gslapt. You can set up auto-updates with it. Makes you feel like you’re running Ubuntu, almost. ;)

After updating, I performed my usual Xfce customizations and then took a little screenie for you to look at:

Photobucket

Salix OS has the legendary stability of its parent Slackware along with some ease-of-use features, like the GUI package manager gslapt, more often found in more graphically oriented distributions. You grizzled Slackers will feel comfortable with it. You folks who’ve always wanted to run Slackware, but were afraid to, will love Salix OS. It’s not as hardcore as Slackware. It’s perfect for someone with only minimal GNU/Linux experience. That doesn’t mean it’s a minimal or hand-holding distro. Salix OS is a full-powered GNU/Linux operating system, fully capable of running your little laptop or that business server.

Go visit the excellent Salix OS website and download a copy for yourself. Give it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised. While you’re there, check out the Salix Team of hardworking individuals whose passion and labors have made this wonderful distribution possible.

Later…

~Eric

Image credits: Salix OS logo owned by Salix OS


Today’s Featured Distribution – Foresight Linux

Once upon a time, when I was a relative newcomer to GNU/Linux, I found a wonderful little distribution, which was also new at the time.

Tomas Forsman, a member of the Foresight Linux team, probably doesn’t even remember me from back then. I frequented the old support forums for Foresight Linux back when it was in version 1.0. I think that was sometime back in 2006. I remember FL creator Ken Vandeen from back then. I found Foresight, a fork of rPath Linux, while perusing Distrowatch one evening. It looked intriguing. Besides, I liked the green color theme. Green is my favorite color, you know.

I’ve had Foresight on many of my systems over the years since v1.0. It’s never been my primary operating system. You all know that I’m a Slacker, but that doesn’t stop me from experimenting with other distros. I have my favorites that are never far from one of my systems. I can usually be found tweaking (often breaking) these distros on any given day.

I did a major system overhaul a year or so ago and never was able to get a working copy of Foresight installed. It wasn’t Foresight’s fault, though. Tomas knows that I’m an Xfce fan, so he provided me with an alpha of their Xfce version. It didn’t seem to like my hardware for some reason. Well, that was a while ago, anyway. Their Xfce 64 bit version is in final release now and installs and runs perfectly.

I know this because I just installed it  a couple nights ago. I didn’t have any issues during installation. For any of you who have ever installed a GNU/Linux distribution on your system, you’ll not find any surprises with the Foresight installer. It’s pretty straight-forward and relatively easy.

Once I had FL installed, I did my usual tweaks here and there under the hood and with the Xfce interface. All went well. I have a completely updated and usable Foresight Linux installation on my system now. I made a quick custom wallpaper for it and took a nice screenshot for you folks.

If you’d like to give Foresight a tryout, you’ll find that the distribution has excellent documentation and a helpful support community. Tomas also visits Scot’s Newsletter Forums – Bruno’s All Things Linux quite often. You can catch up with him there occasionally. Foresight is a stable, full-featured distribution with a sterling pedigree (RedHat, rPath). It’s suitable for a home system or a business server.

Stop on by the Foresight forums. Tell Tomas I sent you. He’ll get you up and running with Foresight in no time at all.

Have fun with it! :)

Later…

~Eric

Image credits: Foresight Linux “eye” logo owned by Foresight Linux.


Today’s Featured Distribution – Ark Linux (Revisited)

As you can see from the Linux Family Tree, Ark Linux is a main branch distribution (with a little inbreeding from cousin Redhat) that’s been around since 2003.

I ran Ark as an experimental on my system a couple times in the past few years. I was always impressed with it. It’s simple. It’s not bloated or overloaded with fluff. It’s a working man’s (or woman’s) Linux. For those of you concerned about these things, Ark is a 100% FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) distribution.

The Ark Linux team is a small group of dedicated souls working to keep the distribution viable and as pure to their goals as possible. I’ve noticed that there have been inconsistencies with updates and upgrades over the past year or so. There is still an active presence, so I know Ark is alive and well. It’s just that I’ve become used to some of the more “commercial” distributions that update and upgrade every time their lead devs change underwear. Ark’s foundation is solid. They may not need to do as the others do in this regard.

You can download current and older versions of Ark from Oregon State University’s server (osuosl.org). The information you need to download is on Ark’s download page.

You’ll find Ark familiar and easy to use. It comes with KDE as the default desktop environment. It uses the familiar RPM and Apt as package managers. Most of your favorite Linux apps and tools will run fine on Ark. Their repos have the standard fare found in most distributions’ repositories.

Give Ark Linux a try, folks. You might find something here you really like. I did.

Until next time… learn something, and have FUN doing it!

~Eric

Note: This article originally appeared on my Nocturnal Slacker/Lockergnome blog (now defunct).


Review: Pandora Radio

Recently, friend Amenditman from Scot’s Newsletter Forums – Bruno’s All Things Linux turned me on to a really cool Internet radio site called Pandora Radio.

I have been jammin’ pretty good since setting up my account the other day. This site uses suggestive software and technology to anticipate your next track choice based on parameters you set up. So far for me, it’s been right on the money. I’m listening to my “Hard Rock Radio” station right now as I type this. Stevie Ray Vaughn is twisting the hell out of the strings on his old Fender Strat as he plays Hendrix’ Voodoo Child. Awesome shit, man!

Pandora is free. Go on over there and sign yourself up an account and start jammin’

Rock on!

~Eric

Image credits:

Rockin’ smiley courtesy of http://www.vvdrienerlo.nl/allsmileys.php


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