Saturday, September 29, 2007

Linux explorations, Linux delight

Linux is a Linux is a Linux. If you look long enough at the 300+ Linux distributions, you begin to realize that there is only one Linux. But that one Linux can be configured to run on anything from a flip phone to a large server farm. Thus are the many configurations of Linux, called distributions, each with a particular focus. What will work on your hardware will take a little looking into. Some distros have compatibility list that document what hardware is known to work with that OS. You can always go to the forums to see what trials, problems and luck other users have encountered.
In my latest trials I have tried to get Mandriva 2007 Spring to run. The liveCD worked great, the install to disk was smooth, but the reboot after the software update proved to be too much for my machine. I have a HP Pavilion a1030e, AMD 32000 Athlon, 64-bit, Nvidia Geforce Fx5200 video card, 512MB memory and a 8 gig partition. So, I really don't have exotic hardware by any means.
It is distressing when things don't go smoothly. My Kubuntu lives!! But I in my Linux curiosity state must explore, some more. I downloaded something called "DreamLinux". Its from Brazil and of course they made an English version. It is a mix of Debian and Morphix with Xfce for the window manager. Its focus is multimedia because it has a lot of programs all set up for multimedia and even the web browsers are setup already with codecs and plugins. Dreamlinux has the icon dock bar from the Enlightenment window manager folks. It is called Engage and dresses up the desktop quite nice. The menus are simpler than in Gnome and KDE. There is less confusion when you click around. But like most desktop distros, the default look is a struggle to look at. A little wallpaper and ah!!, sweetness!! Dreamlinux has the setup for Beryl with Aiglx and requires Nvidia drivers and such. I still don't trust the stability of that setup so I will bypass that for now. Perhaps they will consider Metisse instead for a bang that doesn't require special stuff behind it. Hey, maybe I will construct my own "distro". I want to see a combination of my favorite Linux stuff I haven't seen yet, all on a CD so I don't have to look all over the internet. And that is why there are 300+ distros. Duh, duh duh, the adventure continues..........

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