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sidux sidux 2007 Christmas Edition
Reviews Views Date of last review
1 32994 04-24-2008
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 10.0

Description: Hard to believe that you can get so much cutting edge software on a single CD. Harder still to believe that it works reliably! The sidux distribution - all lower case - is based on Debian Sid, the so-called "unstable" branch of Debian. The purpose of sidux is to smooth out those instabilities, provide an easier installation experience, and provide a superior set of system management tools.

The sidux project suceeds in all of these objectives. It would be difficult to find a more cutting edge system that works as well as sidux does, but it is equally difficult to find systems that provide useful value-added tools and utilities that do not detract or take away from the more commonly used standard tools. The sidux project provides siduxcc, the control center, smxi, the system management packaging interface, svxi, the virtualization packaging interface, and ceni, the network setup interface. None of these tools preclude you in any way from using plain Debian tools, but they increase the reliability of the standard tools by providing best practice use of thoes standard tools. The sidux tools are not fancy at all but they are extremely functional in typical Debian style.

I cannot say enough positive thngs about sidux other than the fact that if you want a solid, rolling upgrade kind of a system, this is the one to use. I give it a ten as the best cutting edge system available today.
Keywords: sidux Debian fast stable cutting edge rolling upgrade

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Old 04-24-2008, 03:48 PM   #1
Registered: Apr 2002
Distribution: Debian, antiX, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and many others
Posts: 598

Rep: Reputation:
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10

Pros: Cutting edge, fast, great hardware support
Cons: console upgrade

I give sidux - any version, my top rating. This review is for the Christmas Edition, sidux 2007-04.5. I have installed this software on three systems, an old Dell Dimension 4100, and two somewhat newer, but still aging systems, a Dell Latitude D600, a laptop computer, which is now my main home system, and a Compaq/HP D530 desktop system.

The sidux software is quite easy to install. You begin by booting it as a Live CD, then you install the software from the Live CD. It is not the best Live CD in the world; it is really intended to be an installed system. You can install the software either to USB or to a hard disk drive, or you can at least run some features from the Live CD. I found that things like wireless support, at least in the Christmas Edition, were not set up for me in Live mode but they work exceptionally well once installed.

There are a couple of administrative tools that are extremely valuable. The first is the siduxcc, the sidux control center. You can install additional software from here and configure your system. Most of the functions can be invoked from your user account within the graphical user interface. However, because sidux is based upon Debian Sid, and packages occasionally break, sidux has chosen to create a console based tool called smxi, which is used to manage and upgrade the software. While this option is available from siduxcc, in reality, it is best to run it directly from the console. I have found that the easiest way to do this is to allow sidux to manage GRUB, the boot loader. When booting, append a 3 to the sidux boot command line and press Enter, and you will go straight to a console instead of booting completely into the Graphical User Interface (GUI). From there, login as root, then run smxi to update your software. When you are done, select option 9, which returns you to "init 5", which is the standard GUI.

It would be difficult indeed to find any software that is more cutting edge that actually works reliably. sidux has been 100% reliable. Since the Christmas release, Debian Sid has been, true to its name, "Unstable" on several occasions as they migrate from one version of major components to another. Recently there were major changes to Python, which also affect many of the menu based applications and tools. Debian Sid was a bit erratic at times, but on all occasions, sidux carefully and correctly navigated through those rough waters, and never once created instability in the desktop software.

I highly recommend sidux for cutting edge software that works!


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