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Saturday, 9 April 2011

Salix Xfce 13.37-beta2 - first impressions and screenshots

On 05/04 the second beta of the Salix main Xfce version was made available, and being one of my favorite distributions I just had to give it a quick spin and opted for a basic install. First impressions are excellent.  Things haven't changed much, and except a lovely fresh new wallpaper and login screen 13.37 looks exactly like the previous two. Good for when you actually want to get down to business and not relearn the interface every few months.


Well, everything except one addition to the Xfce System menu - the Sourcery SlackBuild Manager. This is a custom Salix tool as far as I gather, written by George Vlahas, or Gapan, one of the main guys behind the Salix OS. This is described as

"A graphical frontend to slapt-src, a utility to build and install packages from source using SlackBuilds and/or SLKBUILDs."

This makes it fill the same niche as sbopkg for Slackware but with a graphical frontend. You will have to update initially and the tool will download a list of available package build scripts from Slackbuilds.org. Most interesting for many I presume, it also claims to resolve dependencies which it will also download and compile. So now everybody can compile from source, and will not be left wondering about missing dependencies.
Gslapt, and with it slapt-get behind the scenes, is of course also still available for traditional package management.


Salix 13.37-beta2 was installed into a virtual machine with 512 MB RAM and it's faaast. Kernel sources are included and the guest additions installed without complications using VirtualBox 4.0.4. After the reboot I just had to edit Xorg.conf to add my laptops apparently somewhat unusual screen resolution of 1366x768, otherwise I would have got a basic resolution or the bottom panel would have dropped off the screen in the larger widescreen ones. Thankfully Salix still honors Xorg.conf. All in all I'm very happy and excited and can't wait for this release.
Unfortunately Xfce is still at version 4.6.2 and not 4.8, but that was to be expected given how close the Salix team are sticking to upstream, and that is a good thing. There are unofficial packages and workarounds even on how to get 4.8 in 13.1, might try this as we can't mess up much in this VM.

Now to move my Arch system to fully encrypted LUKS...

Firefox 4 is the default browser in Salix 13.37

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