Slax 3.5 Minimal Live CD
Here’s a nice KDE 3.5 Linux distro with a minimal set of applications and only a 180 MB download. The Live CD took about 5 minutes to fully load and the CD was constantly churning throughout the entire time I demoed the product.
Since it’s a minimal distro, there’s no Gimp, no Firefox, no Open Office. Instead, you have Kplayer, Kopete, K3B, Konquerer, ,Konsole, Kword, Kspread, and Kpresent. Everything worked fine (except for the excessive CD churning).
The desktop is aesthetically pleasing with the tux background spread over the continents. The menus are set pleasingly to the eyes. The folks at Slax have decided not to jump to KDE 4 yet, and I think that’s a great move, until the kinks have been ironed out on the plasma desktop.
Although Slax was pleasing, it didn’t tickle my Linux bone enough to give up Ubuntu in my search for a Kubuntu replacement. The search continues…
Continuing in my quest for a replacement to Kubuntu as discussed here in my previous post. We are looking at KDE distros that can replace the Kubuntu 9.x release, which to me still seems like it’s in beta.
PCLinuxOS 2009 KDE
It’s running on KDE 3.5, which is a good start in my opinion. It took nearly 4 minutes to load the opening screen from the live CD, which seemed like forever. During the whole time I played with the live desktop, the CD was churning and I was afraid it was going to bust a gut.
The PCLinuxOS tagline and philosophy is to make the Linux distro desktop simple and easy to use.
Some notables – They are still using Synaptic for package management, which is better and easier to use than the new Kubuntu package manager. The package selection was quite rich, with a heavy accent on graphics programs and sound and music devices. All told, I think there was a couple dozen programs in those two sub menus. Which brings me to the next point, the menu selection is based on hierarchies. Sometimes, you’ll have to wade through several submenus to get to an application.
Generally speaking, it was a pleasant distro.
Here’s some screenshots of PCLinuxOS 2009 on KDE 3.5
Knoppix 6.01 is running LXDE, that’s a good start in my opinion. I remember using a much earlier version of Knoppix about 8 years ago as a Live CD version of Linux. It was one of the first (correct me if I’m wrong) to push the outer limit of Linux distros and show that you can run an OS from a CD.
Having not used Knoppix in so many years, it was quite nostalgic to hear the nice lady say “initiating startup sequence”, like a 1950s sci-fi TV show. The OS loaded rather quickly and once the KDE main window was up, the CD stopped churning and it didn’t churn again through the entire review. They probably have the best memory-load of the live-cd distros.
Annoying Animation Effect
Someone made a design decision to make the windows and menus have animation. It was cute for about one second. No more. Obviously, this is a configuration option that one could change, but why would you include that as a default? How many people, regardless of age, really want their Firefox browser exploding into blocks when they close the window? I set a capture screen on delay so you can see what I’m writing about.
Knoppix 6.01 Screen Shots
The desktop itself came with no other major surprises. The software selection was a bit different than I’ve seen in other distros. They had Gnome mplayer as the default music tool. Gimp was included, as well as Open Office, and Korganizer.
When I shut down the CD, the nice lady said “Initiating Shutdown Sequence”.
Well, I’ve already left Kubuntu. So far, Mandrive has shown promise. Knoppix is not for me. Onward the search for a replacement continues …