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Calculate Linux is designed for small and medium businesses that prefer open-source to proprietary solutions. You are welcome to choose between several flavours: Server, Desktop (featuring KDE, GNOME, or XFCE), Media Center. Support has been added for PXE network booting. From now on, you can specify the domain and the domain password when booting from a LiveCD or a LiveUSB or via PXE. Updating the portage trees has become much faster since we migrated on Git. Binary repositories are better handled now that all changes are synchronized with Portage updates.
Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 5
Gentoo with a usable installer
but without the documentation
Calculate is a rolling release distro, so this is not a new version, but a snapshot for installation. I tried the Xfce version. There was no link to to this, and I had to create a url from the Gnome one by replacing 2 Gs with Xs.
The live disk has initial options to choose language, keyboard, timezone, and video, and can be run from RAM. Partitioning should be done with Gparted before running the installer. The latter is not for beginners and the guide supplied tells you little. Filing systems are listed alphabetically, so if you accept the ‘default’ you get btrfs, which is not suitable for a production system. Similarly, a video driver has to be chosen. There are a good selection of open source and proprietary ones, but if you just take the ‘default’ you’ll get an ATI driver. Despite my having set the keyboard and language in the live session, this was not carried over into the installation. Very strangely, it created a second user ‘guest’.
Software included LibreOffice, Gimp, Chromium, Claws-mail, Pidgin, Skype, Xchat, Gnome-mplayer, and Audacious in up-to-date versions. Gimp, Chromium, and LibreOffice all had warnings, but everything worked, including the media codecs and flash plugin.
There’s no GUI tool for installing extra software. Despite the reference to binary repositories in the release announcement, it seems that these are only for updates. I cannot see the point of using source code for extra programs when the main ones have been installed from binary. If source installation is so good, surely it should be used for important things like LibreOffice. I tried installing Wine with emerge; it took over an hour, and left me with with no menu entry and no man file.
It’s difficult to see who would benefit from this distro. If you believe in the value of source-based distros, you’ll want the real Gentoo. If you don’t speak Russian, you won’t want a distro where most of the forum is in that language. If you want a business system, you don't want rolling release.