SLAMPP 2.0 Linux Server on your PC in Minutes – Review and Screenshots

An Instant Home Server

SLAMPP 2.0 is a “simple solution for home server” based on Zenwalk 6.0 and using the Slackware package repository.  Slampp is released as a Live DVD that can also be installed on your hard drive.  Slampp claims to enable users to install an ‘instant home server’.  Slampp v.2.0 – (Kalinda) was released on July 28, 2009.

Slampp download mirrors –  The 1.9 GB download went rather smoothly.  Slampp currently has a handful of mirror sites, and I expect that will grow as the popularity of the distro increases.

Installation

The live DVD booted up but didn’t recognize my keyboard at first, and went to a default boot after 30 seconds. The installation is the same as Zenwalk, and if you are familiar with that distro, you will feel at home here.  The installation asks you if you need to install any proprietary software drivers.  I said No, and the computer hang.  I then rebooted, got to that screen again, and said Yes, and the installation continued with the X11 session manager.  After about 3 minutes, the Xfce desktop appeared.

First Impressions

desktop

Slampp looks alot like Zenwalk, which makes sense, since it’s based upon it.  The Xfce 4 desktop is clean and quite easy to navigate.  Slampp is loaded with many installed packages (see gallery screenshots) which adds to the bulk of the download.

The quick launch menu bar at the bottom center is user-friendly and there are quick luanch icons on the left bottom for network settings and file manager.  Slampp borrows much of its good looks from Zenwalk, and its power from Slackware – both of which are worthy bases from which to draw.

Who Needs This?  New users or webmasters?

Slampp’s website says this distro is intended for first-time Linux users to experience a non-Windows OS from the Live DVD.  However, the headline of the website is that Slampp is for an easy home server implementation.

Those two goals seem to collide.  Most Windows users looking for a Linux joy-ride would not also want to implement a server from a live-DVD.  It seems like they are trying to cater to two distinct user types.

I was initially turned on to the easy home server setup concept.  I was somewhat dismayed to realize  what that meant is there are server tools in the networking section.  I did not see the expected quick-link icon on the desktop telling first-time users to click on this button to  “Create a Home Server”.

Packages Installed

Slampp is like Zenwalk on steroids.  This is a 1.8GB download, and they’ve stuffed a whole bunch of packages into this distro that aren’t usually added due to size restrictions.  The networking section is loaded with server tools, such as SSH server, NX Session Admin, DHCP server, etc…  The application toolset it filled with goodies, including a full open office installation.

Gallery of Screenshots

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Vector Linux 6.0 Gold – Review and Screenshots

Vector Linux is a popular Linux Distro whose motto is “speed, performance, stability”.

Version 6.0 was released in February 2009.  Their stated goal is to “Keep it simple, keep it small and let the end user decide.”  Having said that, this end user decided to see what was cooking at Vector.

Xfce Desktop – GNOME packages

The modest but pleasant Xfce Desktop is complemented with a nice array of GNOME packages.

Download

The 700 MB ISO download directly from their website http://vectorlinux.com/downloads was fast and without incident.

Vector also offers a deluxe version, which includes installation support and costs $22.99, available for purchase online at their website  (Note: We are not associated with Vector in any way).

Vector also comes in a KDE version.  The Xfce version reviewed here is targeted at the power user and at users with older hardware looking for a fast Linux that will work without bells and whistles.

Tricky Installation

There is no live CD, so you’ll have to install Vector Linux to begin testing its capabilities.  The installation screens are pretty straight forward for active linux users.  First-timers and users new to Linux may find the installation a bit daunting.  Vector has been around for about 10 years, and the process is polished, however, it’s roots are in Slackware (A Linux distro for advanced users), and it sometimes shows.

Install 3

Most of the questions should be familiar to users who have installed Windows, such as configuring your time zone and language.  You will have to configure a Linux partition on which to install the OS.  There is an automatic configuration option for those who find it too confusing to configure it manually.

Pleasant Desktop, Nice Selection of Installed Apps

Desktop
Desktop

Installed internet browsers include Sea Monkey, Opera, and Firefox.

Open Office is not installed on the basic version (it is included in the Deluxe edition). Instead you’ll have Gnumeric Spreadsheet, Abiword, and Calendar.

Multimedia includes the great VLC player, Mplayer, Xine, XMMS, and others.

Configure your system with the VASM Control Center.

Gallery of Screenshots

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