February 22, 2013

Porteus 2.0 Final Released


Porteus has released its long awaited v2.0 of its live OS. Porteus is a fork of SLAX and when Tomas went into hibernation mode after SLAX 6.1.2, Fanthom (a prominant user on the SLAX forums) forked the distro. It was first called SLAX Remix, and then later with its own website and all, it changed to Porteus.

Unlike SLAX which is basically a one man operation, Porteus is completely community run, with multiple developers working on different aspects of the distro. It helps for better cohesiveness in the production of the releases thats for sure and all the users contribute actively to the betterment of the distro with the developers paying close heed to the needs of the users.

I suppose Tomas’ idea creating SLAX was mainly for his own use and decided to share what he had to others. It that situation, he more often than not disregards what users suggest when the suggestions are not in line with what he wants to do. Can’t fault him for that, its his distro, but it annoys users to no end and tends to pull them towards other distros.

Porteus is light (under 300MB) and has a lot of bells and whistles like the GUI installer and package manager which makes it easy for novices to handle installations to the system. It has multiple desktop environments (DEs) to choose from such as KDE, LXDE and RazorQT with Gnome and Cinnamon coming soon. Bad point (one so far) is that it doesn’t have a Live Kit installer like SLAX has – as in theres no application that will allow one to create a Porteus live distro from a customized porteus setup. Its got to be done manuall, which from what I understand from Fanthom, is exactly how each release of Porteus is made.

So, all the pluses and just one very minor, insignificant minus, which makes it no mystery why I’m seriously considering Porteus as a base now for BioSLAX 8. After the dissapointments in SLAX 7, Porteus seems like a very likely answer. The actual mystery, is what I’m waiting for.

Porteus is close enough to SLAX for me to know the inner workings and customize it so why am I hesitant about making the switch? Seriously I don’t know. Maybe its a sentimental attraction to SLAX or perhaps the fact that my disto does have the term SLAX in it, but whatever the reason, I find myself silently waiting for SLAX7 to get better.

Initially I could say I was waiting because Porteus v2.0 was only released as RCs, but that can’t hold up any more since they just put out the final version. I am particularly interested in having Cinnamon as a DE which Porteus is going to do and I hear Tomas is going to release a newer version of SLAX 7 with KDE 4.10 and the 3.8 kernel. So at least for now, I still have a reason to hold off on jumping to Porteus, but I’m seriously running out of excuses. Heres hoping Tomas gives me a good enough reason with the next version of SLAX.

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