Vector Linux - An interesting choice

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by Mrkvonic, Aug 28, 2009.

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  1. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    If you're interested:

    I've written a review of Vector Linux, a Slackware-based distibution, including installation, overview of Xfce, LXDE and Openbox desktops, applications, looks, Samba sharing, multimedia support (Flash, Windows video, MP3), and more.

    http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/vector.html


    Enjoy,
    Mrk
     
  2. Beavenburt

    Beavenburt Registered Member

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    Good review, as always Mrk. After trialing Puppy for a couple of weeks i've found a love for jwm and Vector offers a light version with jwm. It's one of the few distros I've not yet tried so i'm looking forward to see how this fairs on my machine.
    jwm is a bit of a pain to configure but Vector apparently offers a script to update menus after installing software which is very appealing to me. In Arch you have to manual configure the jwmrc to update menus which does become tiresome.
     
  3. Vector... I tried this a while ago. Thought it had the potential to be an interesting Linux distro, but some of the stuff I saw (outdated and unpatched packages, mismatched kernel and kernel headers, completely broken graphical installer) just smacked too much of shear laziness.

    Maybe it's gotten better since last year, I don't know...

    (What I find amusing, though, is that so many Slackware-based distros show such a lack of professionalism. SLAX is well maintained, and last I checked that's pretty much it. Slackware itself, by comparison, is one of the most maniacally well-kept distros out there.)
     
  4. GlobalForce

    GlobalForce Regular Poster

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  5. Beavenburt

    Beavenburt Registered Member

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    Installed the light livecd on an old laptop. Installation is not the same graphical install as the full cd. I would not recommend for newbs as it involves setting up your partitions manually first. Installation took about half an hour in total.

    It defaults to icewm which has a pleasing to the eye glossy black theme. Very easy to navigate and of course light and snappy. I prefer jwm so chose to log back in with jwm as default wm. Again, extremely light (idleing at around 35mb RAM!!) and responsive.

    Vector has the usual apps - browsers (inc opera), burning tools, system admin etc, etc including wmv, flash and mp3. Surprisingly though, no office apps apart from a calculator!!

    To my surprise it recognises the crappy old bt voyager wireless card. To have wireless working "out of the box" is always a big bonus.

    Package management was a let down. No matter what repos or mirrors I chose I could not get a good download speed. Downloading abiword maxed at 50kbs and then dropped to less than 1 k/bs! And I have a 10mb connection! There's probably something i've overlooked but I just couldn't get good download speeds.

    Generally I like Vector Light and would recommend for intermediate users with low end machines. I just hope you get better speeds than me.
     
  6. Beavenburt

    Beavenburt Registered Member

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    Edit:

    Poor download speeds due to router problems. Firmware upgrade and reboot later and getting better speeds. Not great (2-300k) but certainly better. Taking this into account Vector certainly is a capable distro. Thumbs up.
     
  7. Beavenburt

    Beavenburt Registered Member

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    I'm still playing around with this on the lappy and it really is quite a nice little distro. If you're looking for something light for an old pc this rivals the usual suspects such as puppy and slitaz. It's idling nicely at under 50mb RAM while only running 31 processes! My custom so called light Arch install has over 100 running at idle.

    This isn't particularly newbie friendly to install, however it is worth the pain. Once installed it's very easy to configure with a good selection of admin tools.

    I must say i'm impressed. I think I would take this over any of the mini distros. Wireless working out the box is a major success on this lappy where all the others failed.

    Gotta love those Slackware distros eh? It's rare they let you down.
     
  8. That's probably due to Arch's using -O2 optimization for everything, which bloats up binaries and increases their performance at the expense of higher RAM consumption. I find that, in practice, the higher RAM consumption is the only thing you notice.
     
  9. Beavenburt

    Beavenburt Registered Member

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    Thank you for the informed answer. Of course you are right, there's no noticable speed or performance difference between the two. They're both lightening.
     
  10. Beavenburt

    Beavenburt Registered Member

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    I've spoke too soon. Puppy 4.3 released today, time to play!
     
  11. Beavenburt

    Beavenburt Registered Member

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