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Lunar Linux 1.3.2 (Captain Raymo)
Reviews Views Date of last review
2 24152 10-15-2003
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 10.0

Description: Lunar Linux started as GPL fork of Sorcerer, one of the first source-based distros. It aims to produce a highly optimized yet stable and easy to manage system. However setting it up is not a job for a complete novice!
Keywords: source-based optimized advanced

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Old 10-12-2003, 10:31 PM   #1
Registered: Jun 2003
Distribution: Ultima, Blag, KateOS, PCLinuxOS, Frugalware
Posts: 216

Rep: Reputation:
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros: (relatively) easy to install and maintain, stable, very fast and completely customized
Cons: small user base, quiet forums, not beginner-friendly

I consider Lunar an excellent product in its category, but let's be clear what that category is: we're talking about source based distro, aimed at experienced users.
Installation is relatively simple, and offers a choice of Lilo or Grub as bootloader. But while installer will write lilo.conf file, setting up Grub will be completely up to the user. In any case, lilo.conf will likely need to be edited by hand anyhow. Then comes selecting optimizations, compiling the kernel, and setting up the network. That's it: if the choices regarding bootloader and kernel were correct, up comes a very bare base system. This is where Lunar management system kicks in: typing "lin packagename" will fetch the sources, compile them and any required dependencies with the selected flags and install the package. If a package has any optional dependencies, they are handled at this stage, by a series of yes/no questions.
One command, "lunar update", will update moonbase (collection of installation scripts) to the current version, and update anything in the system that has newer versions available, again, taking care of all dependencies. It is also possible to put a package on "hold", so it isn't automatically updated.
Need to change configuration after a package was installed? No problem, "lin -r -c packagename" will reconfigure and recompile, probably without downloading the source again, because al downloads are stored in a cache (which can be deleted if the disk gets full). Also stored are previously installed versions, so if update doesn't work it is possible to restore the system to its previous state.
I found overall the system works quite well: installation scripts are put together with care, and most packages compiled without problems. There might be some inevitable glitches, but fewer than I encountered in other source based distros.
The number of packages in moonbase is surely smaller than what's available in Gentoo's portage, but I found everything I needed to set up my desktop system, and available packages are very up to date.
A paper found on their website describes tests in which Lunar system performed much better than Red Hat in server-type tasks. I can only say it feels very, very fast on my desktop.
Lunar provides adequate installation howto, but where it falls short is in the type of information required between installing and creating a useful system. How to enable cd-rom burner? USB? Sound? You're completely on your own there. And since Lunar user base is pretty small, forums and mailing lists are pretty quiet as well. Maybe that will change after this review :)
Old 10-15-2003, 01:16 PM   #2
Registered: Dec 1969
Posts: 0

Rep: Reputation: Reputation:
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros: source-based
Cons: no irc channel

I have not yet tried Lunar linux, I have been messing with sourcemage for the last few days and I find it to be rather nice. still haven't wrapped my head completely enough around it to give a great opinion.

what opinions would you have as far as lunar versus sorcerer and sourcemage?

I have not had any contact with lunar people, however i have found the sourcerer people to have somewhat of a "the other guys just totally suck and i hate them" type of attitude that is somewhat unnerving.

the sourcemage people on the other hand are totally open and really nice when you ask them about other distros. Of course they all say sourcemage is just the coolest of the cool. But i was wondering if you had played with either of them?



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