Category Archives: Linux Updates


Ubuntu based Wolfer is pretty good Linux distribution which boots up fast and breezy.
It is Gnome but appearance is sleek and looks like KDE.
It does not have Cloud Utility and Abiword.
Installation is easy and has some Sinhala capability.
Software download is easy and has Abiword as the first package under office.
It has open office as a base.
It is a pretty good distribution but point to point download took over one day.
I hope they leave a torrent file at Linuxtracker in future.

Absolute Linux-Install Only

I had some allergy to this distribution but any more.
Allergy is due to——->
In the early days of my Live CD distribution testing, I downloaded Absolute Linux and by shear accident I said yes to a command and it took over my hard disk and installed it and wiped everything. 
That was long time ago and I wrote Microsoft Killer on the CD and never tried it again till today.
Almost everybody in the University on token strike (remind me of the old days when we had to strike demanding bread, milk, rice and not coconuts) I decided to try this on one of my old computers in office which  I had messed up including the boot record and its mouse PS/2 mouse was fidgety.
I plugged in a USB mouse and started installing.
Installing was on write mode which I like very much and it was like using Debian where everything was configured step by step.
It took a little extra time fearing it will destroy my FAT partitions used for storing some archived material which i have already forgotten.
True to the statements below which I copied from its home page it does write and reported the faulty on board sound and gave me opportunity to configure USB external sound card I plugged in.
It is very light on the old computer and had everything including K3B, AbiWord and Libre Office.
I have no hesitation of recommending it for dual booting.
It uses LiLo and could not detect Peppermint I had already installed.
Apart from that glitch it is an excellent distribution for a newbie learning Linux.
Another admirable feature is that when you first time boot it tells you what ought to be done including using a user account.
I had some difficulty finding the control center which is the first entry in the menu because it gives neither Gnome or KDE desktop appearance which is in fact is a remarkable feature what i like the most.
It gets one out of the regimented routine and frees you with new found linux independence.
Well done guys an girls at Absolute Linux.
Mind you it took 11 days to download (the longest but Hanthana Sinhala Linux did not finish after 14 days) by torrent.
Please use the point to point download and I am currently downloading its latest version.
It cannot be listed in  my Live CD/DVD list since only thing it lacks is a live sfs script an I hope in future it is included by default with UnetBootIn for USB booting.
Desktop oriented, as opposed to use as a server
All-at-once installer with the packages I wanted. Sifting through everything on the Slackware installer was hell.
Lightweight. Had some older equiptment and also wanted to incorporate use of my modified version into my PC repair business — installing it on older machines for customers.
Like to play. Want the latest, best software. Slackware was perfect for this as all the headers are left in the packages/libraries so I can compile what I like. Since I like to script/program, I made myself many little utilities and shortcuts to configure the system more easily.
I want complete control. 

But I want the operating system to stay out of my way.

Is a modification of Slackware.

Fast, stay-out-of-your-way desktop. No Gnome or KDE. Uses well integrated collection of the best lightweight software to give you most of the things the “big desktops” give you, only at at much, much faster pace.

The software folks use on a desktop: Firefox, OpenOffice, LibreOffice, Pidgin chat, GIMP image editor, WPClipart, Thunderbird mail, K3B CD/DVD burning, Frostwire P2P, Deluge BitTorrent, 2 dictionaries, a bunch of games — basically any of the latest, most popular Open Source software.

Many script utilities (with friendly little GUIs) to make configuration and maintenance of system easier and still allows manual (text-file based) configuration, if desired.

Package compatible with Slackware minor versions. (ex. Absolute 12.2 -> Slackware-12.2), with a few exceptions: kernel packages, KDE-libs, madwifi, ndiswrapper, svga-helper, a/etc.

Root user can install software or set system configurations. That’s it. Perfect for parents and IT guys. If you want to do something root user is allowed to do, log in as root. That’s what the account is for.

Mandriva Update

Mandriva is a good idea very badly implemented.

The good idea is resurrecting once one of my favorite (I could not wait for the next release) distributions from bankruptcy.

Thank for the injection of some 3 millions.
Next is is the 3 million well spent.
I do not think so.
It is going to become regimented Russian enterprise (unfortunately we Sri-Lankans including new entrants to the university are getting regimented) without creative inputs.
The idea of using KDE only is horrible to say the least.
It is Incorporated with Unity Type additions and take up all the GiB of my RAM and cannot even get LibreOffice (another good idea) on in a live session. I have only 1 GiB on my workhorse machine.
Even PCLinuxFullMonty which is a Gorilla of a distribution consumes that amount of RAM on a Live Session. With that scenario putting installation separate was a very good idea otherwise few of the RAM cards of poor uses will be consumed or fully burned.
It might become another Linux distribution Like ALT almost Russian based and no use for the third world countries like ours.
I could not even fire up FireFox and gave up and cannot make any further comments.
This is not going to be one my favorites for sometimes and a considerable time in future.
Thanks guys and girts making it little over 1.5 GiB otherwise i would have had a heart attack waiting its full download in this Banana Republic.
I will be promoting UNity Linux (not Ubuntu’s Desktop) from now onwards, since it’s refined concept of bare bone Linux (OpenBox) from which ore useful and custom distributions can be built on.
I am currently downloading Unity’s derivative of musicians edition of HUMANity.
I will be with you soon with comment on that and not anymore of Mandriva for sometime.

SwiftLinux-Regular-An Update

While everybody was focusing on new trends and tablets, I was keeping an eye on SwiftLinux.
My last report of it was unsatisfactory since it did not boot up in my old IBM and fonts were missing.
It is a Debian (Mepis antiX clone) derivative and it has come out with SwiftLinux 0-1-2 and the latest one is sleek fast to boot and work on both my old and new IBM (Relatively).
It is light on your computer and like Puppy very light on the RAM and and amazingly uses less than 100 MIB for the live CD.
That is very good feature of this distribution.

It has AbiWord and OpenOffice (prefer LibreOffice-next time round please) and Python but no Vi.
Its graphic memory usage (Debian terminal memusage is not there- but why should it have both graphic and terminal mem utilities) is revolutionary idea going back to Linux development of Memory part of the kernel. Below is a rough breakdown of the memory usage.
Python less than 4 MiB
Abi Less than 5 MiB.
Open Office from 18 to 25 depending of what part of the suite is used.
Terminal also takes about 12 MiB surprisingly.

Thanks guys and girls of SwiftLinux living up to the reputation for old computers and low memory guys.
Mind you it can be used with new too.
Now i have no hesitation of recommending it and it is going to take lot of points from my point scheme and it will now start rivalling Puppy in a constructive way for newbies.
Puppy of course is my number one.
Knoppix 2 and Debian 3 and when it becomes stable SwiftLinux will certainly occupy the 4th or fifth place if they introduce utilities for visually handicapped who do not need lot of graphic utilities for obvious reasons.
Please think of the days when Linus had the 386 and developing multitasking utilities for his resource poor computer bought on student loan.
There are lot of poor guys in the African and Asian subcontinent.
Ubuntu moving away from the low end and poor end of the market (which is essential for different reasons I have stated elsewhere) we must not lose track of the majority who are poor including senior citizens (pensioners) who will be visually handicapped and struggling to survive with low budget.
Mind you these facts are true for poor Americans too.

Linux Games I Love to Play

Linux Gamers Live, the Arch derivative is top of my list and Linux Ultimate Edition is close second and Knoppix 2008 December edition comes third and i could not find a new version of games in spite of Knoppix 6.7 was out and looks fantastic.Knoppix cannot be installed on hard drive.
Why I choose Linux Gamers Live was simply because its front end just looks like Apple front end and ready for games with icons instead of names.
It also can be installed into hard disk now.
Now instead of trying to outscore these three edition which have done a lot for Linus games, I will list my favorites below.

Even PCLinuxFuillMonty thought they have place for Linux guys and girls.
Indirectly FullMonty comes fourth.

1. Number one is Super Tux 2 and I enjoyed playing hours and hours.
2. Close second is Pingus and its environmental theme is commendable.
3. Number three is Extreme Tux Racer which is sweet and relaxing
4. Number 4 is SuperTuxCart (this is for the racing addict)
5. Number 5 is Tuxcart (This is for the training on racing)
6. Number 6 is Frozen bubble
7. Number 7 is any of the 100 of tiny games
If any of the Linux distributions fail to introduce any of the top 5 of mine selection i thought of giving them minus marks in my rating in future.
Mind you with Wine and getedit one can play windows , DOSand Atari games of the yesteryear.

Linux Gamers and IgLive/Knoppix

Knoppix had a Game DVD in December 2008 but quiet since then but the new Knoppix 6.4 and 6.7 with support for visually handicap are fantastic. Knoppix gamers cannot be installed.
This was the same scenario with Linux gamers Live the Arch derivative.
Their 0.9.7 (CD/DVD) has remedied this and have install and persistent facility.
Ubuntu based Ultimate Edition is out with Light and Full version and I have not downloaded it yet (point to point download is damn slow in thus part of the world).
I am waiting and expecting them to place a torrent copy at Linux Tracker.
Thanks guys and girls you are doing a wonderful service and this is the only area Linux is still lagging behind.
I do not mind developers placing the games for purchase and that will make cash available for more ambitious work and developers also should need to survive at a time of debt crisis.
The idea is for you to be able to carry a decent amount of high-quality Linux games with you where ever you go for purposes of demonstration, gaming or parties. Your computer will remain completely unchanged as everything will run live.
It can boot this distribution from a CD, DVD or USB flash drive.

Knoppix Update-Clear Front Runner

Knoppix stands tall and scores 2410 which is well above Ubuntu and Unity on the threshold of becoming a Gold Standard on its own.
Good old days when it was difficult to find a distribution and DEMO CDs were hard to come by Knoppix started the revolution of Live Cds.
I have used it from its 3.1 versions and up and it was available even in Sri-Lanka.

Its significant features apart from Live CD running on RAM are
1. Good hardware detection
2. Sound configuration and unique start up with sound script.
3. Ability to compress lot of programs into a CD.
4. Enormous number of packages
5. Partition tool and many more
6. ORCAs that is fun for visually handicapped user and is as good as Vinux.
It was way ahead until Puppy Linux came into the scene and took another twist by making Live CD under 100 MiB soon which I became a convert.
its weakness was it could not be installed into the hard disk and I found a way to mount it on FAT partition. I always had a copy mounted on my hard disk when the LXDE came into the available.
The came the 10th anniversary release which was big hit by itself both CD and DVD versions. Now it can be installed and administrative right can be restored after installing.
There is Knoppix for Kids and Games DVD which was something lacking in 95% of the Linux Distributions.
If you do not use any other Linux distributions this is the one one should always have.
I cannot find anything wrong with this distribution when I format my hard disk it is the first one goes in as the flag bearer of Linux and other are installed afterward.

Sabayon-6.0-Sinhala Linux Update

Sabayon which is Gentoo derivative with XMBC media center as a good product is coming out like PCLinux with all the little little distribution including E!7-Enlightenment. While Gentoo is wasting time producing a huge Live DVD without an install script, Sabayon is doing a yeoman service to the Linux Community.

It is even one better than PCLinux for Sri-Lankans and it has Sinhala capability too. I hope Sinhala translators will help it to get Sinhlaa Unicode (Tamil too) in robust form now that tabloids are hitting the market.

Had I not got used to PCLinux and FullMonty, this is one I will use for sure on a regular basis.

I have only little caution XBMC is graphic intensive and if you have RAM less than 1 GiB the big version is not for you.

XMBC that comes with KDE version did not configure with my old Graphic Card and it has touch creen capability for new LCV monitors and (tabloid ready) laptops which is keeping with new hardware.

The LXDE version is pretty good and it runs well in my old IBM NetVista.

Unlike PCLinux it has both 32 and 64 bit versions and i am still waiting for PCLinux 64 bit version.

Sabyon is keeping it promise to the dream we believe on.

Well done guys and girls at the Sabayon Community.

Go ahead and enjoy Sabayon.

Debian Collection-Sinhala Capability

I am afraid you are not going to hear, I relate, any good dreams for a while and I was under the weather, this time not due to verbal diarrhoea of a political variety but really runny bottoms which virtually dehydrated me and the forced starvation had caused even hypoglyaemia to the extent, I have a slight headache even interfering my prolonged sleep on a Poya Day.
What usually happen is I have a good invigorating dream on Pre-poya day and I go straight to the computer and an email to Maha Brhma who virtually responds instantaneously to my dreams.
You may remember, we had an agreement unless the dream content has some humour, both ways my actual dreaming of it and its interpretation by Maha which makes the earthling practically starving of a good laugh, keep amused away from our boring politicians.
Suffice is to say I had some little fragmented dreams of no significance but a good one is long due.
Probably our cricket team’s poor performance and Sanga’s muted Revelations of Sri-Lankan Cricket would get no Sri-Lankan into a good mood awake or in dreams.
I have to agree with Sanga that Cricket was not something alienated with power politics or racial overtones whether it is South, North, East, West of in the Central Hills in the past but it seems under the present regime it has become alienated to extent one who is a Buddhist and coming from deep south only will get a chance to play for Sri-Lankan team as a newcomer and  s/he should be in the ruling party as a member of the parliament or avid supporter to get some contracts to fatten his or her foreign exchange illegally.

Corruption is ripe and only difference is unlike Indians our officers are cushioned by political maneuvers.

This is what Sanga could not state (not the 9 O’clock News item) but his resignation at a time when we had not groomed a viable successor, is an indication of his disgust how cricket is manged here in Sri-Lanka.

Well done Sanga, you come from the hill capital was the only one like our  Late Kadhiragarman who value principles of good governance. 
I suppose you should  now concentrate on law rather than cricket. 

Be a chip of the old block.

Time will tell who with the political backing will get the baton but who ever who comes with political baton will be sure to fail, since cricket is the only game where power politics has no place.
England has shown us how it is done with transparency and I won’t be surprised if England will lift the Cup next time around if they persevere with combination of youth with talent and senors with grit.
Just for record the criticism of of Trot was unwarranted and he is the one who helped to lift the cup and silenced English armchair critics.
Well done Trot you have more to offer as a Senior Player, if Sanath can play at 41 plus you should be playing at 38 plus if you keep your fitness, technique and solid temperament to win the game for your country right, in the shorter version of the game.
But if you are not up to it don’t wait like Peterson but follow the Thescovic example and play for your county till 40 plus and enjoy the gentleman game.
I hope you will be in the team which lift the next world cup and I will be following you very closely if not the others in your team and if you need a push I will certainly give it, far away from your home from the East.
Make sure you beat Indians this time round in summer like what you did in Australia.
Indian money and politicians are ruining the game and only English can save the game from disgrace, IPL included. 
We should never allow Bolliwood to fashion the game!

Please do not follow Chandimal and Mathews methods and they have learned these very, very bad habits from our politicians who have nothing but using fallen soldiers for their grandiose acts posthumously.

I am far off the target from Linux and Debian in particular.
Reason for diversion is nothing but I am waiting for the download of the last two DVDs in 386 version (I have 64 bit version) which is pretty fast due to so many seeders.
Now I have array of CDs/DVDs to promote Sinhala Linux and devoting my time for Debian during our industrial action which has given me ample time to sit in front of the computer.
Debian has produced bug fixes and I have downloaded them too.
I am gland they have followed my advice to break the distributions into Bonobo to Gorilla versions and Light Weight Chimp Versions of 500 MiB is the one that is going to rule the world for next 20 years with “Cloud Computing” on the horizon and Tabloids invading the market with very very cheap hardware.
I think Deann fork should follow Unity experience while maintaining Linux Mint under Debian fold.

Next 10 years should be the Linux Penetration Decade (LPD) of the masses which is only 1% currently. If Linux can make it to 10%, it is going to be a market force and the other 90% should be the “Cloud Servers” which will dominate the next 20 years until another innovation hits the web.

Linux Mint Debian Included -An Update

Linux mint is trying to forge away from Ubuntu, Kubuntu derivatives and that is a very encouraging change since they are going back to basics.
Go back to Debian base and forge ahead.
Reason being the change of canonicals to Unity.
I am one who is in favour of mark Shuttleworth’s smart move.
Yes it is a smart move by him.
He is doing a Bill Gate to Linux Community.

I wish him success.

Linux missed the opportunity for netbooks and I do not want to see it misses on tabloid too.
Like iPads, tabloid is the future.
We must not let only Apple to dominate the market.
Google’s Android has shown the way and Ubunbtu should not miss this opportunity come what it may.
I am highlighting Linux Mint here since it overtook Ubuntu head and a nose recently in downloads at DistroWatch and Ubuntu in the last week or so putting its nose ahead again.
Linux Mint did not miss time in promoting both Ubuntu 10 and Ubuntu 11 base.
Not only that it did not forget the Debian and out came Debian Mint in Last December.
Linux Mint was thinking ahead and getting ready for all the consequences resulting from Unity experience and not forgetting the community they were with.
Like PCLinux Linux Mint gave variety of options and Long Term (LTS) support and rolling editions and also brand new version based on Debian for the newcomers and the newbies.
This is what was lacking with Ubuntu.
They did not have two versions but with too much enthusiasm promoted Unity only.
They can reverse this by supporting their community who were with them when Microsoft was dominating the field.
It is not too late, let the user decides the trends of the future what canonicals and Mint and Debian should do is to be ready for all the eventualities including brickbats were call in our country.
God Luck to everybody in Linux and especially the developers and without you we do not have a customer base,too.

In any case innovation is the future for IT both hardware and software.