Jump to content
abarbarian

Linux Fringe distros.

Recommended Posts

abarbarian

Window Maker Live: Cool Retro Look, Even Cooler Performance

 

 

 

WindowMaker itself has been around since 1997. It is an X11 window manager originally designed to provide integration support for the GNUstep Desktop Environment, a free adaptation of Cocoa (formerly OpenStep).

A framework with application development tools for Unix-like operating systems and Microsoft Windows, Window Maker is part of the GNU Project.

If you are into retro computing, you will marvel at Window Maker's success in reproducing the cool look and feel of the Nextstep user interface. That nostalgia is reminiscent of Thinkpad T61 technology.

If that level of computing nostalgia is not your passion, WML's user interface can bring you a productivity boost without the excessive GUI bloat of modern-day Linux desktop environments.

The window manager is loaded with features and speed. It is easy to configure. It is easy to use.

 

A luverly article on probably the best WM ever. :breakfast:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
securitybreach

Windowmaker is neat but I do not understand why the developer does not want to modernize the environment. I bet that it would be much more popular if it looked like it had been updated in the last 20 years. I am not knocking it in any way but why keep the 1995 look and feel? Linux has come a long way in the last 23 years. B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
saturnian

Window Maker Live, that's a cool-looking distro: http://wmlive.sourceforge.net/

 

I'm guessing that the Window Maker dev doesn't care so much about popularity and simply wants to keep that retro look alive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
abarbarian

Windowmaker is neat but I do not understand why the developer does not want to modernize the environment. I bet that it would be much more popular if it looked like it had been updated in the last 20 years. I am not knocking it in any way but why keep the 1995 look and feel? Linux has come a long way in the last 23 years. B)

 

This is from the Live CD folk but the WM developers have a similar outlook I think. In that it works has tons of features is light on resources and you can customise it to suit easily.

 

 

The Window Maker Live CD applies the Window Maker window manager as default graphical user interface, and successfully manages to integrate well known standard open source components in a very attractive and usable user interface.

This is of special interest for Linux users, who are not really happy with the recent graphic user interface developments of the more commonly applied Linux distributions. As Window Maker provides a very good balance between usability and a light interface, there is no reason to bother with the overhead of a full blown desktop environment.

 

:breakfast:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
abarbarian

50+ Best Lightweight Linux Distros for 2018

 

 

Bonus Lightweight Linux Distros List

 

 

 

With the feedback and requests we got from our Best Linux Distros for Gaming list, we had to do another list of the best lightweight Linux distros. Actually, some of them fit both our categories. Sure, there are other similar lists our there, but this one has up-to-date info and we’ve personally tried and tested (almost) every distro on our old laptops. It took us 7 months to compile this list and a few weeks to update it with new data! We’ve seen new lists that included distros with their latest update being in 2005. Come on, how is that distro still relevant and good in 2018? And don’t get us started on how each list is just a rehashed version of the same 5 distros. We purposefully included many distros in our list so you have more options to choose from. All distros are free and can run on ~512MB RAM or less. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, just pick any distro.

You don’t have to throw away your old PCs and laptops. Install a lightweight Linux distro on them and they’re as good as new. Lightweight distros don’t even have to be used on old hardware. You can install them on some bleeding-edge hardware and get the ultimate performance. Most distros are portable and can run on a Live CD/USB, without a hard drive. Why should you use other OSes full of bloatware and unnecessary stuff when you can use a perfectly fine Linux alternative?

 

I did a little research on several of the distros mentioned. On visiting the home pages of some of them it looks like the distro has not been updated for several years. However looking into the forums I saw new posts and information on 2018 downloads.

So it looks like all or nearly all the distros mentioned in the lists will be upto date which is not the case with a lot of other lists. I have wasted loads of time over the years reading a current article on some neat sounding distro and the visited the distros home site to find that there is no current download or that the project had been abandoned years ago.

I have a spare Toughbook CF-19 so I think I will try out some of the more unusual offerings over the coming year.

 

:breakfast:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
securitybreach

Very neat, thanks for the share :thumbup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
saturnian

A "fringe" distro I've been toying around with a bit over the past few months: SalentOS

 

At Distrowatch: https://www.distrowa...bution=salentos

 

Home page: http://www.salentos.it/

 

It's just Debian Stable with Openbox, and a few other things tossed in. Nice setup. I've got it on my "test" computer in a dual-boot with BunsenLabs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
abarbarian

A "fringe" distro I've been toying around with a bit over the past few months: SalentOS

 

At Distrowatch: https://www.distrowa...bution=salentos

 

Home page: http://www.salentos.it/

 

It's just Debian Stable with Openbox, and a few other things tossed in. Nice setup. I've got it on my "test" computer in a dual-boot with BunsenLabs.

 

I have had a look at the distro before in passing as it always looks so neat and clean. The top task bar has always put me of exploring further though. :breakfast:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
saturnian
The top task bar has always put me of exploring further though. :breakfast:

 

I changed all that right away, using only a left-side vertical tint2 panel.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
abarbarian

This offering is probably the easiest way to gain some experience of a linux operating system I have ever come across.

 

 
Endless OS uses a read-only root file system managed by
and
. Many of its applications are available offline, so Endless has everything you need to take full advantage of your computer.

Endless OS 3.4.0 | Release Notes

 

 

May 15, 2018

 

 

 

As with all of our major releases, Endless OS 3.4 also brings many stability and performance improvements since we’ve updated our open source core. With all of these great new features and improvements, we hope that you will enjoy this new version of Endless OS as the best release to date.

 

Read on for more details on what’s new in Endless OS 3.4!

 

 

https://endless-global.myshopify.com/#

 

I was pretty impressed with all I read about Endless OS so as I had a spare 4 GB stick lying around I decided to give it a whirl.

I could have used ETCHERbut I used the "dd" command to install to the usb stick. The image booted up on my UEFI system with no problems. The desktop is very slick and modern and ran very smoothly and quickly.

My internet connection was found and ran without any fiddling about as did sound and the desktop automatically found the best settings for my 24" monitor.

I downloaded the VLC and WolfenDoom Blade of Agony flatpaks and they both installed and ran flawlessly.

For anyone wishing to try out a linux os or indeed anyone wishing to run a linux os then Endless OS is probably the easiest way to go.

All of the extra programs offered come as flatpaks which are basically programs in a container which includes everything needed to run the program. So with a couple of clicks you can install a program and be assured that it will run without any fiddling around. The Flatpak hub has almost every type of common program that a ordinary user would need to have a full and decent computing experience.

If you have a spare half an hour then why not give Endless OS a whirl. cool.gif

 

I just came across this excellent article on Endless OS which details installing and running the os much better than I can.

They state that you need to buy codecs due to USA legallities which is true for the included Totem player. However if you install VLC you do not need to purchase codecs as they are included with VLC.

 

Endless OS: A Unique Take on Linux That’s Perfect for New Users

 

If you think Mint is an easy to install and use linux os then you will be blown away by the simpicity of Endless OS. tongue.gif laughing.gif

 

I realise that there is some concern around using Flatpak's. However the folk developing this seem decent and I am sure they have paid some attention to security. As an os for older folk changing over from Windows this looks like a winner to me.

:breakfast:

 

Endless OS Home site

 

The operating system that comes with everything your family needs. Download Endless OS to access a world of knowledge.

 

Endless is designed to feel natural and intuitive, making it easy to use even if you have little or no computer experience.

Edited by abarbarian
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
abarbarian

Debian-Based Slax 9.5.0 Released, Now Available on Hardware-Encrypted USB Keys

 

 

 

Slax developer Tomas Matejicek announced today the release and immediate availability of the Slax 9.5.0 release with the latest updates and security patches.

Since it's been rebased on the Debian GNU/Linux operating system, Slax saw two releases, versions 9.3.0 and 9.4.0, which introduced numerous enhancements and new features, including one-click-to-install launchers, support for various Wi-Fi devices, EXT4 and NTFS support, and persistent support enabled by default when booting from USB flash drives.

 

Slax author's Blog

 

 

I am also happy to announce that it is now possible to purchase Slax preinstalled on an USB flash drive with hardware-based AES encryption. This device is universally usable because the encryption is performed directly by the drive itself, there is no software to install needed. Once disconnected, the USB drive automatically locks itself again. Payment is possible only with Bitcoin, because I truly wish to see PayPal and credit card companies to cease to exist soon.

 

Here is some information on the Data Traveller 2000,

 

Kingston DataTraveler 2000 Encrypted Flash Drive Review

 

 

The DataTraveler 2000 has several interesting factors that might make it one of the best secure flash drives around. The first is that it includes AES-256 in XTS mode and is hardware based rather than software based. Next, while some hardware encrypted flash drives partition the drive and use software to unlock the main data portion of the drive, the DataTraveler 2000 uses an alphanumeric keypad to unlock the drive. Finally, it includes an automatic data wipe after 10 failed PIN entries.

 

I had never seen a usb stick with a key pad before so went hunting for further information. It appears that here in the UK You can get a iStorage stick for quite a bit less than the Kingston one, although they do run at slightly slower speeds.

I really like that they run on anything that supports usb or usb2go.

 

:breakfast:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
V.T. Eric Layton

Hmm... Slax went to Debian, huh? Traitors! :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
abarbarian

Hmm... Slax went to Debian, huh? Traitors! :(

 

Well according to elsewhere on Softpedia it has a Slackware base.

 

https://linux.softpe...SLAX-1001.shtml

 

Mind you I am prepared to believe the developers statement that it is based on Debian :breakfast:

 

It looks darn popular according to download figures,

 

https://linux.softpe...adTag/Slackware

 

not as popular as

 

Wifislax 4.12 339,296 downloads

 

 

But can you trust the figures :whistling:

Edited by abarbarian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
V.T. Eric Layton

There are three kinds of lies... lies, d4mned lies, and statistics.

 

~Samuel Clemons AKA Mark Twain

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wa4chq

WOMP! I remember burning this to a disk and using it back in the day when I was having problems configuring mplayer. Can't say I used it a lot but it did save the day now and then.

http://womp.sourceforge.net/

And here I have it running on Virtualbox.....now I gotta find my favorite movie, "How the Bubbles were really made....Behind the scenes of Larry Welk"

womp.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
abarbarian

I guess this is sort of a fringe distribution. At least it was when it was in development as Atomic Workstation. Now it is called Silverblue and may very well be the template for all desktop os's.

 

Immutable Linux with Silverblue: My favorite superpower

 

 

 
Silverblue is basically a version of Fedora. There’s one key difference, however, which is that the operating system is mounted read-only, meaning that it’s immutable.

 

What does "immutable" mean? It means that it can’t be changed. To be more accurate, in a software context, it generally means that something can’t be changed during run time.

 

 
In Silverblue’s case, it’s the operating system that’s immutable. You install applications in containers (more on this later) using
, rather than onto the root filesystem. This means not only that the installation of applications is isolated from the core filesystem, but also that the ability for malicious applications to compromise your system is significantly reduced.

 

 
This approach also makes it easy to maintain different versions of an operating system or installations with different sets of packages. If you need to test an application in a particular environment, you boot into the image that reflects that environment and do the testing. Another environment? Another image.

Silverblue Fedora 30 has been released today!

 

 

 

 
Before we chose the name Team Silverblue, the team was the Fedora Atomic Workstation SIG, and the Atomic Workstation is what we are producing, now under its new name,
Silverblue
. At its core, it is a variant of the Fedora Workstation which uses rpm-ostree to provide an immutable OS image with reliable updates and easy rollbacks.

 

 
The concrete goals of the Team Silverblue project are to provide excellent support for container-based workflows and make Silverblue the preferred variant of Fedora Workstation.

This is a very interesting development by Fedora.

 

cool.gif

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
securitybreach

Personally I think we're going back to the days of dumb terminals as the OS of the Future will be web-based. We're just waiting on the bandwidth to catch up with cloud computing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sunrat

Personally I think we're going back to the days of dumb terminals as the OS of the Future will be web-based. We're just waiting on the bandwidth to catch up with cloud computing.

Can't see that happening soon. Currently we have in Australia what's known as the NBN debacle. NBN is National Broadband Network which was initially designed to bring FTTP to most of Australia. Then the government changed, scrapped that idea, and is now trying to mix up fibre-to-the-node which is a *******ised scheme of having neighbourhood boxes with fibre then distributed by the old copper phone lines to premises. Add that to coaxial cable being reused in some neighbourhoods (like mine) and it's a real mess which will eventually cost billions more than the original fibre plan and need major regular maintenance and upgrades.

Currently I get ~18mb/s on ADSL2 but NBN has been installed to my street and ADSL2 will be turned off some time. I pay $50/m now and the cheapest offer for NBN is $65/m with speed of 10mb/s. Sorry for the rant and OT but I'm really annoyed about this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
securitybreach

Wow, that is very crappy.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
abarbarian

TROMjaro Updates Deliver Lighter, Better Manjaro

 

Quote

 

The current version of TROMjaro is as close as it gets to being a Manjaro clone. However, a much different philosophy gives users something more than the Manjaro distro itself offers.

The latest ISO release, issued Nov. 11, is labeled "version 11.11.2019" and is based on Manjaro 18.1.2 "Juhraya." As such, TROMjaro is part of the Arch Linux family. However, thanks to TROMjaro's frequent rolling release update schedule, the distro already has advanced beyond the features baked into the almost three-month old ISO.

TROMJaro offers a new twist on open source freedom in Linux. This relatively new distro is a custom-built version of the popular Manjaro Linux.

To Arch Linux devotees, Manjaro goes a few steps further in providing users with flexibility and convenience. It runs on a heavily tweaked design of the GNOME desktop. It also modifies some of the system offerings and software choices.

 

 

I may be a tad dumb but I can not see TROMjaro or Manjaro  going "a few steps further in providing users with flexibility and convenience." if anything they are to my mind heading in the opposite direction.  😎

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
securitybreach

Plus they are not part of "the Arch Linux family". The only things that Manjaro have in common with Arch is the package manager and AUR.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
abarbarian
4 hours ago, securitybreach said:

Plus they are not part of "the Arch Linux family". The only things that Manjaro have in common with Arch is the package manager and AUR.

 

There is no Arch family as far as I can see. The way I see it is there is Arch and the developers  are only interested in the Arch os, all well and good. Then there are the Arch based distros that try to make the install and use of Arch easier for folk, all well and good and as far as I can see they do not try to be anything else. Then there is Manjaro , thrown into the spotlight by popular choice and a case all on its own.I am not really a fan of the Manjaro way but each to their own.

 

This TROMjaro is a pretty strange fish though.

 

TROM-Jaro: A New Twist on Open Source Freedom

 

Quote

 

Trade-Free vs. Sort-of-Free

Information on the identities of the software developers is not available. They identify themselves only as a team of volunteers who frequent the Manjaro Linux forum. They also are aligned with the concepts of the TROM Project.

TROM is supposedly a global organization that aims to showcase in detail what it claims is the root cause of most of today's problems -- the lack of a trade-free social structure.

Trade-Free advocates propose what they say are realistic solutions to solve those problems. However, the Trade-Free movement is also about challenging peoples' values, explaining in simple language how the world works, according to details provided on the TROM-Jaro website.

The TROM organization also provides free educational materials and tools related to the movement. It publishes books, videos and a mixed bag of media tools to further explain and track trade-free concepts around the globe.

Trade-Free Linux

TROM-Jaro developers created its customized Manjaro Linux distro to further that purpose. As applied to the software industry, so-called "free" software, such as Android and Google services considered free, actually come at a steep price. Users must surrender their personal information to feed the monetizing that developers impose to maintain cash flow.

That is the connection between the new TROM-Jaro distro and Manjaro Arch Linux. Numerous Linux distros already provide an option for users to not install non-free software components. The TROM-Jaro community expands that solution by not leaving any such packages in its version of Manjaro.

In accordance with the principles held by the TROM Project, TROM-Jaro developers avoid distributing any software requiring user tracking, payments or ads to be displayed in order for the software to work.

In a nutshell, software that meets that mandate is dubbed as "trade-free." That is what you get in TROM-Jaro Linux.

For example, this distro uses a customized Firefox Web browser to block browsing elements considered not Trade-Free. This approach is perhaps a purer form of the open source concept. Ironically, it falls into line with many of the characteristics that guide the development of Arch Linux.

 


 

 

There is more in the article. It is certainly a different twist on a forked distro. 😎

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
securitybreach
16 minutes ago, abarbarian said:

 

There is no Arch family as far as I can see. The way I see it is there is Arch and the developers  are only interested in the Arch os, all well and good. Then there are the Arch based distros that try to make the install and use of Arch easier for folk, all well and good and as far as I can see they do not try to be anything else. Then there is Manjaro , thrown into the spotlight by popular choice and a case all on its own.I am not really a fan of the Manjaro way but each to their own.

 

 

I completely agree :thumbup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
securitybreach

The whole "TROM" thing sounds very odd.

Quote

TROM is supposedly a global organization that aims to showcase in detail what it claims is the root cause of most of today's problems -- the lack of a trade-free social structure.


Trade-Free advocates propose what they say are realistic solutions to solve those problems. However, the Trade-Free movement is also about challenging peoples' values, explaining in simple language how the world works, according to details provided on the TROM-Jaro website.

 

 

Is this like FSF but with a little added anti-capitalism?

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sunrat

 A bit like Debian but without optional non-free components which are often essential to make your hardware work.

I applaud their idealism but question its practicality.

  • Like 1
  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hedon James
On 8/16/2019 at 6:39 AM, securitybreach said:

Personally I think we're going back to the days of dumb terminals as the OS of the Future will be web-based. We're just waiting on the bandwidth to catch up with cloud computing.

 

Agreed.  One only needs to look at Chrome OS, Android, & the Google infrastructure to see that it's already well underway.  Not a fan of the server/dumb terminal model, as you're giving up control of your data and its format, but it has its strong points to.  But I'll take my smart boxes and LAN drives every day of the week, thank you very much.

 

I think Canonical was onto something with convergence, but was too focused on the uniform APPEARANCE, rather than the uniform accessibility.  That could've been a game changer, IMO...at least for linux and certainly for the 'Buntus.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
securitybreach

Well there will always be enthusiasts who build their own machines (mostly thanks to gamers nowadays) but I do see it all going that way for the majority of people. A lot of the games systems are going this route with Game streaming. This allows you to play high end games on any device as the cpu and gpu processing is done remotely and streamed locally. You could play the most high end game on a underpowered tablet or cheap laptop. 

 

All the big gaming companies are going this route including Sony Playstation Now, Nvidia Shield Geforce Now, Google Stadia, Xbox Project xCloud and Shadow:  https://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/best-game-streaming-services/

 

Steam started this a few years ago with their SteamLink that allowed you to stream your steam games from your PC to your tv in another room using SteamLink hardware device connected to your tv.

 

Sorry to get off topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
V.T. Eric Layton

Pretty soon, the "dumb terminal", as Josh calls it, will just be implanted in your brain. ;)

 

Be the first on your block to get your implant!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
securitybreach
1 minute ago, V.T. Eric Layton said:

Pretty soon, the "dumb terminal", as Josh calls it, will just be implanted in your brain. ;)

 

Be the first on your block to get your implant!

 

 

 

Given the chance, I would be the first to sign up for a direct implant into the net.

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
securitybreach

Just imagine, being able to just think of any topic in a second and know everything about it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...