[nflug] Distros

Boice evrgreen at netsync.net
Fri Sep 22 14:00:27 EDT 2006

[nflug] Distro's
<sacred at adelphia.net>
Wed, 20 Sep 2006 4:44:53 -0700

nflug at nflug.org

I would like to know if any of you have had experience with any of 

> > the lesser known distro's like.   Zenwalk,  Frugalware and Mepis.


1]  Zenwalk is a Slackware-based distro with XFCE as a GUI, or else you
can install a Zenwalk-Core version with no gui.  I believe the
developers are based in France, but the English interface & documentaion
is fine. I've played around with it, but currently haven't gotten around
to installing the latest version. I DL'd  the ISO  a couple weeks ago,
but have been busy with other things. From what I've seen of earlier
versions I like it.

2]  Never tried Frugalware, sorry.

3]  **MEPIS!**
Mepis rocks!
One of their slogans is : "Mepis: it just works!" 
And in fact, it does. Since the install CD is a also a LiveCD, you can
play with it before installing. In the past I've used the Mepis LiveCD
instead of Knoppix or Kanotix on some occasions to bail people out of
trouble when a Linux LiveCD session was the way to do it.  Just this
week I used Mepis LiveCD to dd a bootable WindowsXP partition to another
HDD on a computer I was working on.

I use Mepis 6.0 as my main everyday OS.  While Mepis has always been
based on debian, version 6 has been  designed to be compatible with
Ubuntu 6 repos, so you can use Synaptic with debian repositories and
Ubuntu repos as well. Also, for the impatient [of whom do I speak but
myself?] there is now a Mepis-oriented version of Automatix, so if one
desires to get *all* the audio & video libs, including Microsoft codecs,
installed in one fell swoop, it is easy.

There are a couple things about it I don't like so well, but those are
mostly personal preferences others might not find significant. But it is
absolutely stabler, quicker and easier to install than Ubuntu and much
more traditionally Linux-like in several ways.  Hardware detection is
very good to excellent. The only problem I've found is that my HP
scanner/printer combo will print OK, but SANE won't scan on it.
According to what I've researched, though, that is due to lack of SANE
support for this model, so it would probably not work with any other
Linux distro either.

While you don't get the custom-compiled kernel as in Gentoo, you get a
reasonably quick OS with KDE as the standard desktop --although that can
be changed if you want XFCE or even Gnome.  Since you can log in as root
both in CLI and GUI --unlike in Ubuntu-- you can do admin chores however
you choose. Of course in KDE there are some admin tasks unavailable
through the GUI, so you can't be  totally ignorant of CLI.  In summary,
you can be as point-and-click as you wish without forgoing the
underlying ability to log in as root and just keyboard everything.

Do I sound like a Mepis fanatic?  Yup! But here's a review you can also

Do yourself a favor & try it out. If you don't have a broadband
connection, I'll mail you a disk. Same on Zenwalk, if you want to try that.

MyahOS and DreamLinux have just come out with new releases this week. 
Both are worthy of downloading and playing around with. I liked the
first release of DreamLinux but it had some work that needed to be done
on it. [from Brazil, btw. Runs OK in English, but unless you speak
Portuguese, forget about getting much info by visiting their web forum!]
Perhaps this new release makes it a really hot distro. A country that
produced Bossa Nova might be worth watching. . .
Go to distrowatch.com for links.

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