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Vector Linux 4.0
Reviews Views Date of last review
4 38078 11-30-2004
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 8.5

Description: Vector Linux is a distribution based off the very well known distribution Slackware. The main difference that sets these apart is that Vector is even a slimmer distro than Slackware is.
Its definitely source based and also compatible with Slackware compiled packages.
Keywords: Vector Linux 4.0 Slackware Small IceWM

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Old 02-09-2004, 05:33 PM   #1
Registered: Jan 2001
Posts: 24,149

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 8

Pros: Very Fast, Non-bloated, Easy Installer Interface
Cons: Slow install for small distro, No Wireless LAN tools on default install, No package selecion during install.

Vector Linux 4.0 is a slimmed down version based off Slackware.
The installer was a breeze with easy to understand menus. I did however not understand why it needed a reboot after using cfdisk to reconfigure my partitions.
I was also dissappointed that it didn't allow me to customize my install selecting the packages I wanted.

Another thing I did not like was it didn't install wireless tools. I would find this a very useful package to include in the default install as I had to grab the package from one of my Slackware cd's to get myself going online.

Pros: Very fast using IceWM on a 475mhz laptop and 128 megs of RAM, Easy install, detected all of my laptop's hardware.

Cons: Doesn't install wireless tools, slow install for the size that it is, too many default icons on IceWM desktop.

I think this is a perfect distro for those who like Slackware, want a slimmed down version who also don't depend on Gnome or KDE for their desktop. Though it comes with some GUI utilities from what I could see, most who are familiar with the CLI could easily get around and configure this machine to their liking.

It didn't come off with good impressions at first but the more I use it the more I like it.
Old 10-09-2004, 06:03 PM   #2
Registered: Nov 2002
Distribution: Debian Testing
Posts: 19,192

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 7

Pros: Very fast, Slackware based
Cons: More config tools than Slackware

I am running version 4.3, downloaded from Vector. The installation went very well, it's easy to do, basically a cut down Slackware install. I started X and went into Fluxbox. The tweaks on Fluxbox are: icons on the desktop, a wallpaper and their own styles. The 2.6.7 kernel runs very well.

I have just a couple of niggles: the first is that some things need tweaking: running uname -a showed that I am running Slackware 9.1, I would have expected that to have reported Vector.

The second is that there are too many config tools. That sounds strange, I know, but bear with me. In Slackware, everything is done by manually editing config files, it gets you into the right frame of mind and you can get things working. In Mandrake, for example, menus and wizards are used for everything, which gets you into another frame of mind. In Vector, some things are automatic, some are menus and some are hand configure jobs. IMO this cripples you initially because you are not able to set yourself up to use either. Or maybe it's just me.

I believe this is largely aimed at people who want Slackware, but fear the install process. From that perspective it work extremely well and the team are to be congratulated. I would definitely recommend this distro.
Old 11-28-2004, 12:33 AM   #3
Registered: Nov 2004
Distribution: Vector Linux
Posts: 2

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

Pros: Runs fast on old hardware, easy install, based on Slack, automatic WiFI and ethernet NIC configuration.
Cons: Doesn't include kernel source.

>>>>> Vector Linux 4.3 <<<<<

Most of my experience is with Redhat and SuSe. I inherited a Presario 1260 laptop (K-6 II 333Mhz, 64Megs RAM, 4Gig HDD). I tried to install both Fedora Core II and SuSe 9.0. Fedora could only install in text mode. SuSe flat out wouldn't install.

KDE on Fedora was so slow I just couldn't get anything done. After finding some recomendations on the web for Vector Linux I downloaded and installed version 4.3 (kernel 2.6.7).

The install was very easy. Oddly though, some components (like X), while installing, show greater than 100% of that component being installed. It's weird to watch the installer show X at 100% then 140% then 210%! This is strictly a cosmetic problem because everything installed just fine.

The entire installation took up just about 500 Megs of space on the HDD. Not to bad compared to the 3.Something gigs for Fedora.

After logging in and running 'startx' a menu appears which allows one to choose window managers. Fluxbox, Icewm, and Xfce are the choices. I've always used either Gnome or KDE so being able to try the different window managers under Vector is a nice way to get the feel for each one.

I was amazed at how quick my old hardware is with the lighter window managers. There is very little lag time when opening a terminal window or an application. In fact my old Presario seems slippery fast running X on Vector Linux.

An earlier review mentioned that it's a shame that WiFi doesn't run on the stock 4.0. Well on 4.3 my Linksys 802.11b card was set up and the network connection established automatically! Amazing! I switched in a D-Link ethernet card, rebooted and it got me on the wired network without any manual configuration at all!

*One must download and install the kernel source package to modify the kernel. No big deal but it would be nice if it was included with the distro.

*If the kernel is modified then one must download the 'subfs' utility and install it or else neither the floppy nor the the CD-ROM can be mounted.

*I still can't figure out how to change wallpaper in the window managers!

*I still haven't been able to get the sound card to work, but it's an oddball sound card anyway.

If Vector runs this fast on old hardware, my mind boggles at how fast it might run on modern hardware.

The distribution is light and fast, yet fully functional. It doesn't have the bloat of the more popular distros.

Vector Linux is, in my opinion, what Linux should be: Easy to install, fast, and fun. Vector Linux is now my distro. I've always been afraid of Slack because I thought it would be too hard to install and configure. Well now I am running Slack (Vector is based on Slack) and I'm loving it.

I'm giving Vector Linux a 10 despite the gripes I listed. So far I've had fewer problems with it than I've had with other distros regardless of platform. Try it, especially if you want to resurect that old hardware you thought you'd never use again, or if you want the fastest performance possible on your new hardware.
Old 11-30-2004, 01:53 PM   #4
Registered: Apr 2004
Distribution: Debian | CentOS | Arch
Posts: 1,103

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 9

Pros: Very fast, not much configuration after install
Cons: doesn't include firefox

I am reviewing this for VectorLinux 4.3

I tried VectorLinux 4.0 after it's release, installing it on an old e-machine(466 MHz Celeron, 128 MB RAM, 4.6 GB HD) and it was okay... but I didnt really care for it.. maybe I was just too new to linux yet??

Well, I have an old notebook from work. To be exact, it's a Toshiba Satellite 315 CDT (200MHz Pentium MMX, 32 MB RAM, 2.1 GB HD, CD-ROM, Floppy, PCMCIA). It had Windows 98 running dog-slow on it when I pulled it out of a storage cabinet. This was really old hardware so i wanted to try and give it a little bit of life. I tried several things, from an attempted trimmed Slackware 10 install, to DSL HD install, to Feather HD install, and even a Red Hat 6 install. Nothing seemed to work well. The new .8.3 DSL wouldn't even finish booting up, nor would .8.2 so I pulled out an old .8.0 DSL disk and that worked, though it's a little outdated. I still didn't like it, though it ran pretty smoothly.

I heard that Vector 4.3 was out and I thought I'd give it another shot. I was very please to say the least. The install went great, albeit a little slow (to be expeced with 32 MB RAM). I booted up, logged in, set a root password, created a user account, and started X. I chose fluxbox and it loaded quite quickly. the first thing I noticed was the icons, YAY! Flux with icons is one of my favorites! I like that it uses ROX for the icons because changing wallpaper is easy and graphical by right clicking on an icon and changing the backdrop.

I did not think it was advantageous to the VectorLinux goals to include the full mozilla suite. So I quickly downloaded Firefox 1.0 and installed it, and removed the Mozilla Suite as well as X-CDRoast because it's not a burner. I like Sylpheed for mail. It's small and fast, with enough features for the average user. It includes two of my most favorite apps, gaim and xchat. No OpenOffice is fine because it's a little bloated, but the inclusion of Abiword is fantastic, as it is fine for everyday word processing and basic text formatting. It recognized my Linksys WPC11 802.11b wireless card right off the bat, no problems. My 3Com PCMCIA NIC did have an IRQ conflict which was fixed by disabling IrDA and changing the IRQ of the audio in the BIOS. After using it onthis old notebook for a couple hours, i was very impressed. So I installed it on my good notebook. HP Pavilion ze5270 (Pentium 4 2.4 GHz, 512 MB DDR, 40 GB HD, DVD/CD-RW, Floppy, etc..) The install, needless to say was much faster. From start to finish, it was MAYBE 10 min. I am again running fluxbox on here as well. I have installed Firefox and K3B, and this thing is blazing fast. The only thing I need to do is figure out how to get a screensaver system installed and working. I assume I'll need a bunch of KDE libs and xscreensaver for that, no probs though.

I'm giving this a 9 because it is nearly perfect, and I recommend it to anyone who doesn't need all the bloat of something like Fedora and SuSE. My only issue is that there is a lot of manual configuration with the 2.6 kernel for synaptics touchpad. Why has this not been fixed yet?? 2.4 worked fine with it, both tapping and scrolling, but they are both broken in 2.6. Not a big deal, but a pretty irritating bug that should've been fixed.


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