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I used to use kanotix (which used to be described as "polished Knoppix" optimised for hard disc install).
All of a sudden, there were changes afoot. I learned that the lead kanotix developer wanted to use different repositories and that had caused a "political spat" amongst the other developers.
This resulted in the founding of Sidux.
It's debian based - well it's described as "pure debian SID". Which anyone can find out, is the debian unstable branch (which shouldn't frighten people off - however "scarey" that might sound).
As it's still reasonably new, I understand that there have been some reports at places like distrowatch.
At the moment, there is no ISO for it, but I believe that "they" are working on that.
The easiest way of installing it, is to get a copy of a recent version of kanotix (theres a 2006 version that works just fine), and then download "h2's script" (see below) install and run it
"h2" is for d-u of 2005-04 onwards: http://techpatterns.com/forums/about736.html - for new sidux users converting from Kanotix, please download the script, and the first time you run it, you will be asked to change your sources to sidux. Answer y to this question. This will remove your kanotix sources and install sidux keyrings
I understand that this can also be done but using a debian etch netinstall and then doing the script stuff above.
Once you have it installed, you can either keep it updated with the script (a series of reasonably painless Q & A) or by using the "usual debian tools" like apt and synaptic etc.
They have their own forums though I suspect you will also find relevant info here at LQ's debian forum.
They also have their own IRC channel. Being forked from kanotix, the forums are mainly in English and German.
Oh and the script mentioned above (h2's script is maintained by "h2" - strangely enough).
Currently, it gets my vote. A good, usable distro. Loads of help and assistance at the forums and IRC channel. It's made it so that even a nugget like me can manage it.
p.s. Oh and no, this isn't an advert, just my suggestion for someone who wants to try something thats a bit further on from the new user type stuff. I've been running it for between a month and six weeks. Debian unstable ? it hasn't crashed on me yet. Plus it keeps me up to date with stuff.
The thing I don't get is this; if Sidux is pure Debian Sid then why not just install Debian Sid in the first place (it would seem less involved) and have the very considerable support of the Debian community proper? Or to put it succinctly, what is the point of this distro?
Well as I understand it, the idea is "to make debian unstable - stable". Plus to have (eventually) a live version that will be installable (like the *buntus - but without the limitations of the *buntus).
A larger number of "us" were refugee's from Kanotix - i.e. when kano decided about the changes of repositories - ubuntu ones being mooted, a considerable number of the developers preferred to have a similar facility to what they'd had under kanotix but using the SID ones.
I certainly can't say for the others, but try as I might I never did manage to install _ANY_ version of "proper" Debian all the way to GUI. I invariably would stumble at some of the early fences. It was the same motivation for having a go at Gentoo - Just because it was supposed to be a bugger to install but a dream to manage, shouldn't preclude users like myself (not natural Techie types) from having an easy to manage, though oft considered "Advanced" distro to use, particularly if it's easy to manage.
Debian Sid does indeed fulfill that. Though I suspect that installing it as "proper" would have me swearing at my monitor (Ha ha! not unusual in my case).
So in summary, as far as I can see, it's Debian Sid, but without the hassles of debian - obviously it's all relative as to whether you follow my meaning as to the "hassles".
Besides, what was the point of kanotix in the first place? It was a "polished" version of knoppix, more aimed at hard disc install and using a far greater number of proper debian repo's/mirrors and not the knoppix ones. Even just as a live disc, I much prefered it.
I don't see it as any different to deciding which version of an rpm based distro. With the original fork of Mandrake from Redhat - the point was kde instead of gnome - if you then factor in SuSE, does that mean that either the relevance of SuSE or Mandrake (whichever came first) was diminished by the second ??? Don't know really but doubt it.
I'm just happy that it's helping me learn, is easy to install and manage.
Just wish they would hurry up and come out with an iso.
My Etch install is very unstable and freezes for no reason that I can ascertain.
One of the reasons for running Kanotix/Sidux is the friendly community and support you get while running Debian Sid. Try asking in #debian about a problem and telling them you run Sid. The Sidux team put together a very nice Manual, h2's d-u and backup scripts are fantastic, and slh's kernels rock.
It's been a while since our latest status report, now I have the pleasure to announce the first public preview for sidux 2007-01. Please note this is not the final release. The full featured final release of sidux-2007-01 "Chaos" will be ready in 1-2 weeks (i686 and amd64), intermediate xdeltas will be provided as needed until then.
This release mostly is a proof of concept for the sidux building environment, the co-operation of our teams and to discuss the final packages list with our users - now is the time to discuss and lobby for meta tasks to install additional software for the final release. It's completely based on Debian Sid and enriched & stabilized with sidux own packages and scripts. It comes with kernel 188.8.131.52, which is based on the most recent vanilla kernel together with several patches for improved hardware support. Other special purpose kernels are available from the sidux servers and will be accompanied by experimental 2.6.20-rc variants for testing soon.
It's completely based on Debian Sid and enriched & stabilized with sidux own packages and scripts.
So it's not "pure Debian Sid" then. What it is is yet another Debian child. I just hope for the sake of its users that the name of the new release (Chaos) does not prove too descriptive of the experience. These distros with a mixture of sources have a bad history for breaking systems.
Stick with Stable if thats what you want. I have ran both Debian Sid and Kanotix for 2 yrs, the only difference is a couple of packages and a few scripts. Not once has anything broken that couldn't be fixed.
Same goes for Sidux. As for the name "Chaos" all of the release are planned to be based on the names of the Greek gods.
The only thing that is "pure" Debian is Debian itself. Sidux has a few packages just like Kanotix did that make things a little easier while running Debian unstable. 99.9% of the packages are straight from the normal Debian Sid repos.
Craigevil, my choice of Sarge was down to lack of experience with Debian. I'm moving to testing after Etch becomes stable. As for Sid, I still having too little experience of fixing things, but then I'm aware that running distros like Slackware and Debian Sarge isn't going to give me any! Ultimately I need a box I can use without having to spend hours sorting out problems but maybe I need Sid or similar on a separate partition just for the experience.
You seem to be saying that while there are few differences between Sidux and Sid those differences make things easier. In what way? Could you give an example?
It's completely based on Debian Sid and enriched & stabilized with sidux own packages and scripts. It comes with kernel 184.108.40.206, which is based on the most recent vanilla kernel together with several patches for improved hardware support. Other special purpose kernels are available from the sidux servers and will be accompanied by experimental 2.6.20-rc variants for testing soon.
Does that mean they have changed their minds about migrating to Ubuntu or anywhere else for primary sources?
maybe I need Sid or similar on a separate partition just for the experience.
I run the same basic mix of Testing/Unstable (with occasional forays into Experimental) on two different partitions, one 32-bit, one 64-bit. If one breaks, I'd rather it was the 32-bit, so I update that first with anything really questionable. Since the Etch freeze, I've been doing my weekly dist-upgrades from Sid with absolutely zero problems. The Etch freeze also slows down packages moving into Sid, for a couple reasons. Right now Sid is a pretty good indicator of what Lenny will look like when the dust settles.
If you want to set up a separate partition right now, I would do a fresh install whether from Sidux, Etch, or anywhere else. At any rate, I think it's kind of a waste of time to have Stable running on a home desktop. Testing Debian will always be stable enough for that, and if you have a second partition for experimenting, it makes your primary OS safer and better.
Sidux was formed by a group of people who strive to do the impossible: making Debian Sid (aka “Unstable”) stable. The goal is becoming the best Debian Sid based live distro with special focus on clean and easy hard disk install. Strategic milestones and 3–4 planned releases timetabled will give stability and accountability to corporate and home users with a demand for bleeding edge software running on modern hardware, and a definable path over time.
The declared and agreed points are:
1) sidux detects and enables you to instantly use more different pieces of hardware than any other operating system today (including other Linuxes), without the need to search for drivers from the hardware vendors' web sites or complicated installation routines. Everything comes ready on a fast live-CD, and can be installed to your hard drive in just a couple of minutes. Only non-free stuff may require additional action.
2) sidux gives you direct and 100 % compatible access to the world's biggest repository of software packages (more than 17 000 at the moment in Debian Sid), all of them free and open source, many of them in professional quality. No virus, no trojan—and again no complicate searching hundreds of websites for an application and running dubious installers.
3) sidux is free and open source and comes with free & priceless 24/7 support via this forum and chat (the IRC). Our support staff is friendly, helpful and very highly skilled—some of them are developers of this operating system themselves, others are accessible for complicated escalated support issues.
4) sidux is not corporate driven or owned, but community driven. Actually we are a community of volunteers who share a common goal—building the brilliant operating system.
5) sidux is extremely flexible and offers a bulk load of ready made scripts and meta-packages. You may use them to mutate it into a secure server system, a high class music studio, a professional graphics design workstation, a corporate desktop—or whatever you actually need.
6) sidux is always bleeding edge technology, packed into a tested and stable combination which is ready for use. It is moving very fast, and will always bring to you the hippest and most interesting developments first. sidux is also one of the few operating systems where you can get a 64bit system with real 64bit compiled applications—and again providing the 100 % compatible access to Debian Sid.
7) sidux is multilingual—people from all over the world meet here and talk in their native, but also secondary languages. We believe in the power of shared and open communication and therefore don't split the community by countries or languages, but concentrate them. Many people here do speak several languages and are using them when helping you.
Sidux is great. i've used a bunch of Debian Distros, and none of them can compare. The only changes from Debian Sid that I can see is the amount of support you get with the Sidux community. h2's script when run on a regular basis takes the guesswork out of updating your system, and keeps everything running real smooth. theres also extensive support for Beryl, by 'shame'. He keeps it very up to date. I have beryl running with all of the plugins "out of the box" . . . .cleanly! with frequent updates.