VectorLinux 5

  What is the Dynamite Edition?

Vector Linux DYNAMITE is a small release intended for testing and development only, so the Vectelopers do not have to download a full size distro. However, everybody might enjoy it´s lightness and it´s bleeding edge tricks.

You may play with this Dynamite on a computer with the following specifications:
  • Pentium compatible processor (i586 and up).
  • Memory: 64MB, spare 128 MB for comfort.
  • Harddisk space: 800 - 1000 MB for root partition, plus additional space for swap and home partition.
  • Suitable video card, mouse, keyboard, network card, etc.

Please understand though, this distro was built and heavily used on a Pentium IV, 512 MB RAM and 80 GB Harddisk. That minimum requirements have never been really tried ;-).

To install the distro, download the ISO image (about 250 MB). You may burn the ISO to a bootable CDROM, then start the installation by booting the computer using the CD. But we have some good news. If you have a running Windows or Linux, you can install it directly from the ISO file, and save a CD. Please refer to the Installation Guide.

  Features Illustrated
The main purpose of Vector Linux DYNAMITE is providing a decent base system for the developers. Nevertheless, it includes the X-Window system, and some exciting GTK1 based applications.
Your days with Vector Linux begin with the installation. Don't worry, it's so simple and quick. The installer only asks a few questions, and detects most of the hardware automatically. You may get the system up and running under 15 minutes !
After installation, a graphical menu will be presented by LILO (duh, I wish I could capture the screen). Select "Linux" to boot Vector Linux. The boot process is so quick, it is fanished before you can read the message. What a pity, since the message is colorful and educative.
Anyway, Tux the Penguin will soon greet you. This is the text mode login. You may login here to work with the console applications.
If the GUI mode login is activated, then not only one, but five penguins will greet you. You can select the session, then login to work with X-Window Applications.
VL Dynamite provides only one window manager, the IceWM. However, it has been "queer eyed" with beautifull themes, desktop icons courtessy of vdesk, not to mention the funky Aterms.
The IceWM is accompanied by menu editor, simple yet effective background scanner, and GTK theme switcher. Also included is more than a dozen enhanced IceWM themes (see the shots).
Moreover, there are two cunning menu that allow you to switch the IceWM icons and sounds. (That's right. IceWM has sounds too, so your boss knows that you are doing something).
So arguably, this is the best, lightest WM that will make you settled at home quickly. Although of course, noboby can prevent an eXPerienced user to settle somewhere else ;)
Enough for the eye candy, what is for real? Okay. We have Firefox for browsing the Internet. This is a special Firefox, compiled with xft and gtk1 for optimal speed. Moreover, it comes with plugins, including Flash, MPlayerm and XPDF. Java is not included, but you can easily download it.
For email, Sylpheed-claw is the light-weight options with bleeding edge feature. It is integrated with dillo web browser, another light-weight applications. Though not included, Sylpheed-claw also works with SpamAssassin or ClamAntiVirus.
While working, you may listen to the music played by XMMS. For watching a video, what is better than MPlayer?
There are also RipperX for converting audio CD to mp3 or ogg files. In reverse, use Xcdroast to write data or music into a CD-ROM.
Looks cool, but really. What is for developers?
For starter, artists need tools for image editing. So here is The GIMP, accompanied by GQView. As a bonus, vdesk provides a screen capture menu.
Then the documentors wants HTML editors. This document you are reading was created using Scite, the super one for all editor. However, special for HTM, there is the old Bluefish that can still run with GTK1. Not too bad.
And now, for the core developers ... What else do they need more than a tabbed terminals and the midnight commander ? MC has everything from fast double panel file manager, editor with syntax highlighter, and a menu for common tasks like pack, unpack, install, even play music list. It works on console too.
After the development is done, use gFTP to transfer the result to the site. It supports the secure SFTP. If you need to login into the site, simply use SSH from the terminal. (Have you heard the story of Vectelopers doing hardware testing remotelly using SSH ?).
Administering the system couldn't be easier with VASM. It covers the common configuration for the most of us, including setting up an internet sharing gateway. For advanced users, vi is available ;)
If you still want more, use VLAPT to download and install new packages from the software plaza (FTP site). This is an advanced package manager based on slapt-get.
Ok ... ok ..., no geek will be happy without Fluxbox around. So here it is.
Themed with the latest transparent effects and slits.

Those are normal features. If you are interested in the development of Vector Linux, please take a look at the, so called, dynamite:

  • Installation system. VL Dynamite introduces an improved setup system that implements many suggestions from the community, including: better navigation, bulk install, packages selection, no more partition typing, separate root and /home partiton, two stages install and configuration. There is also a LILO repair menu. Oh yeah, do not miss the flying CREDIT !!! You can fly too for a little contribution ;)
  • VASM and VL Autosetup. Ah ... now we can proudly say that VL is user friendlier than uncle Slackware.
  • VLAPT, the new software plaza that uses slapt-get to download/install/remove packages with their dependencies. Give it a try. You can turn this Dynamite into a VL standard, or even a SOHO !
  • VL-Init system. This is the one that boots your system into action. Simply speaking, VL-Init is a fine blend that gives you the stability of Slackware's classic BSD-Init system, the flexibility of other Linux SysV-Init system, then more over, the speed and color of Vector Linux. Check out how fast and wonderfull VL´s boot process is.

  What is missing?

You don't expect too much from a sub 250MB distro, do you ? These are not included:

  • Office Suite. But you can drop the Open Office tarball and it will work.
  • Windows connectivity (SAMBA). Sorry, Samba3 is way too big.
  • Printing system (CUPS, gimprint, espgs, gsfont, etc).
  • Window managers other than iceWM (Fluxbox, XFCE4, etc).
  • GTK2, GNOME, QT, KDE based applications.

You can download that using the vlapt, or simply get the more complete Vector Linux standard, SOHO, or Deluxe editions.


  About Vector Linux Dynamite

This flavour was created when Kocil was doing the dangerous experimental VL-Init, VASM and setup projects. It paved the way for the better VL 5.x series, but blew up many things here and there. So Vector called it the Dynamite.


© 2005, Vector Linux.