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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
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Today the project announced the release of AgiliaLinux 8.0.0. It features Linux kernel 3.0.4, glibc 2.12.2, GCC 4.5.2, X.Org Server 1.10.2 and Mesa 7.10.3, while supported desktop environments and window managers include KDE 4.7.1, GNOME 2.32.1, Xfce 4.8.3, LXDE 0.5.0, Openbox 3.5.0 and Fluxbox 1.3.1. With this release the project has also officially changed the development style of the distribution to a "rolling-release model with periodic stable releases". The software updates are fully automated without the need of any manual intervention, but for those who need new ISO images for fresh installation new point releases will be made available every three months. On a lighter note, the project has now also chosen a mascot - a girl nicknamed Sammy.
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 7
Flexible installation options, very stable for a rolling release
Only suitable for Russian speakers or users who can do without support
The Agailia live session uses the OpenBox window manager. This works well enough, save that the last two entries in the menu are still in Russian. To shut down, choose the second item in the last entry.
The installer will run in 128MB plus swap. Each step has help available, and you can watch a log output. Partitioning is done with Gparted. You get a choice of installations: KDE, Gnome 2, OpenBox, Fluxbox, LXDE, XFCE, server, or minimal. I tested the Xfce version. For each one there’s a brief description, including system requirements. These are more realistic than usual: for KDE it recommends 2GB and a dual-core CPU. The only problem with the installer is that there’s no provision for encryption.
The software installed varies according to the environment chosen. All GUIs get Firefox, LibreOffice, and Gimp, but the email client is Evolution for Gnome, Thunderbird for Xfce, and Claws for Openbox. Codecs and Flash are installed but libdvdcss has to be downloaded. All my test media files and a commercial DVD played perfectly.
The software has no serious problems, but the repository has quite a few gaps, lacking an English dictionary for LibreOffice. Contrary to the tag, this is an independent distro; it was MOPSLinux that was Slackware based.
To configure the daemons, run “services” in a terminal. The keyboard configuration tool allowed me to set a compose key, but it forgot it every time I rebooted; this could obviously be fixed using setxkbmap. I never found how to enable xim with gtk, though. To enable my USB speakers, I had to create ~/.asoundrc.
They warn against using the graphical package manager, which has bugs and will be replaced, but it worked for me. For the CLI there is mpkg: it has no man page, but “mpkg --help” will tell you everything. Before using either, you need to get the repository database with either “mpkg-update” or the GUI manager.
The documentation and the forums are all in Russian, but a reasonably experienced user can get by without help. If you’re not a Russian speaker, there are more convenient distros available for the main desktops; but if you want Openbox, a server, or a minimal install, then you may still find Agilia useful.