Sunday, October 07, 2007

from Puppy to wild dogs, Linux is still Linux

It's Sunday and I am off to church, but before I go I have to comment. There are far too many Linux versions to explore, so little time. Many of the versions are of no special use for me. Many Linux versions don't get much press because they are not "popular" or is it they are not "popular" because they don't get much press? The Debian based distros are reigning right now and the .rpm distros are coming in next. Even Puppy has generated a following. One of the earliest distros is called Slackware, it is the "grand daddy" of Linuxes. When I first encountered it I was a newbie. It was difficult to understand all the details required to get it running. I should check it out again to see how it has improved. And to see how much my own understanding has grown. In the mean time I am checking out a Slackware based distro called Wolvix. From Puppy to the wild dogs, I go. Wolvix is not a huge distro but neither is it a small one. As I see it you could possibly put it on a larger jump drive. But still it is a liveCD with provisions to save configs and personal files on a hard drive or jump drive. It has all the stuff you could want in a portable Linux and still be small both in size and resource use. This means it will run on older machines and run like crazy on new machines. Slackware is a kit builders dream, if you like to control every aspect of what goes into your system. Wolvix is a nice combination of Linux stuff and still allows you to build on if you must. Wolvix can be "remastered" which means that modules can be added then a new liveCD.iso created. Also it can be installed to hard drive and use standard Slackware application packages. I don't know what to do now, I have Kubuntu and these other equally able Linuxes. Let's say it together, a Linux is a Linux is a Linux. Which one is best is highly subjective. Wolvix uses Xfce and Fluxbox window managers which I appreciated through using Puppy Linux. Wolvix, because it is Slackware, is traditional Linux. You log in as root, create user accounts and the file system is standard Linux. It is comical how I can like every Linux I try. I really like Linux. Makes it hard to recommend one version over another, especially to new users. Folks have gone out of their way to make Linux accessible. Believe me, if you had to download and install MS Windows (any flavor), you would not be so forth coming either. This is why the liveCD is so great. Imagine you get to try Linux on your machine without changing a single thing on it. Just insert, reboot and be amazed. Then ask your local nerd, geek, techie or knowledgeable friend for help (provided they have experience with Linux). As for Wolvix, it makes Slackware very friendly, even a newbie can use it. I may have to stop reviewing distros as I need to live with my choices a while so that I can dig into them. You can't learn if you just skim the surface and run off to something else. From the bark of the dog to the howl of the wolf, and it's all Linux.

No comments: