Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23
  1. #1
    Overclockix Snake Charming Senior
    Alt OS Content Editor
    Stratus_ss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    3,874
    OVERVIEW

    I am always trying out new Linux distrobutions for one reason or another. Some of them I like, others get little more then passing interest. More often then not though, I download a distro, seed it back to a 1:1 ratio, install it in VirtualBox and there it sits until I need it. That’s if I am slightly interested in it. Otherwise the space gets recycled for some other purpose.

    Generally speaking, I tend to be laptop focused as I am a “road warrior” so to speak. Sure I have a few desktops as any enthusiast/IT professional does. In fact I have some 3 TB’s spread across a few machines. However since my laptop is “attached to my hip” my main concern with Linux is laptops. Particularly important is the built in wireless support. Some have erroneously attributed this solely to the operating system, yet any seasoned kernel compiler can tell you thats not always the case. As such, a big factor for me is how current the kernel is. With Debian Lenny making a huge splash in the last few weeks I decided to try it out. Sadly the kernel was too old for my liking and while I understand they are going for stability, it simply did not suit my needs.

    Enter DreamLinux. This ambitious project was taken on by 3 [EDITED from 4 to 3 as per the info below] developers from Brazil. I have tried to install this distro in the past with little success but nevertheless, I downloaded DreamLinux 3.5 and attempted to put it in a VM. This failed miserably. Normally this would have been where I stopped, but something prompted me to boot into the live environment. It booted fast enough for a liveCD. At first glance it doesn’t seem all that impressive. Its a basic gnome interface with a handful of default programs. It did have Avant-Window-Navigator to function as its’ dock which added to the style.

    INSTALLATION - PERSISTENT DREAM

    I set out to try the “Persistent Dream” install option for my USB key. This is a pretty striaght forward layout.


    The first thing the user has to do is determing how to partition the USB device. You can either use the existing scheme or let the app prepare it for you. If you choose to let the app prepare it for you, the next screen asks you how much space you want to allocate to DreamLinux. If there is any unused space, it will be left to interact with as if it didn’t have anything installed on it.


    If you choose to install from a live environment, the next screen offers you the choice of installing from an ISO, the live session, or off of a root partition elsewhere on the network or local hard drive. (Note that I took the screen shot from a working environment so the live session option isn't present)


    All in all I found these options to be far above par for what I have run across thus far. However, I had the installer apparently hang on me twice before it finally installed on the third time. The live environment itself was unaffected, just the installer. NOTE: this could have been due to the fact that I was using the liveCD to watch YouTube videos and check my email (and by that i mean I had perhaps 15 tabs open in firefox)

    At any rate I was up and running, or so I thought. The Persistent Dream does not install anything to your MBR so if you have Windows installed, it will not effect this at all. You will, however, have to tell your computer to boot off the USB key. At any rate, I tried to get into my first boot I got all excited when I saw “GRUB” posted on my screen... Until it just sat there doing nothing. At this point, any “Joe-six-pack” user would probably not have known what to do. I however, work with Linux for a living so I simply booted into my regular install of Linux Mint 5 (with custom 2.6.27.10 kernel) and chrooted into the USB key and reinstalled GRUB. Now for all those who may be new to Linux, don’t be scared off by the lingo, it’s not that complicated, yet I can see this being a deal breaker for a large majority of people out there.

    I would, however like to point out that small errors of this type happen to Windows as well, and before a “Windows is better” discussion breaks out, I would ask you to consider the fact that almost all computers come preconfigured with Windows, therefore judgment should be reserved until Linux, any distribution, is installed for the end user

    At any rate, after fixing GRUB I was back in business and booted into the Persistent Dream in a flash. It’s much faster to demo off of a USB drive then a liveCD/DVD. Everything showed up with the default blue DreamLinux background.


    The time zone was auto-detected wrong which was not that big of a deal and the network did not connect automatically. However thanks to both the implementation of Ndiswrapper and the 2.6.28.5 kernel my broadcom wireless worked out of the box which was a pleasant surprise.

    Getting down to it, I went in search of the Easy Install button which is right on the desktop.


    Inside I immediately spotted the Nvidia Drivers button. Unfortunately, it did not do anything except pop up a box with instructions. As you can see, the instructions are simple and easy to follow.


    The default install script worked perfectly and had me back up and going in no time. However, the thought of facing the terminal scares most new users and this, I feel, is a bit of a drawback since it is quite obvious that DreamLinux is targeting user friendliness. Still, other then that all of the other Easy Install apps went forward without a hitch and it was just a matter of putting a little mark in the radio button and clicking next. I did find that Firefox 3 crashed a lot, but after using the Easy Install to update to 3.1, all of the crashing stopped.

    So far I was quite impressed. Sound, networking and basic video with a basic compositor worked right off the bat and the Nvidia install script brought my video card up to speed. So I decided to try out the dual monitor support. Currnetly this laptop is running an Nvidia 7900GS with DVI, S-video and VGA outs. In Linux Mint there is virtually no issues with multiple monitor support. Firing up the DreamLinux Control Panel yielded some promising icons, specifically a Multiscreen option.


    Too bad it didnt work for me. I tried plugging in a Dell 24 inch LCD screen to the dvi with no luck. The Nvidia-Settings manager also did not detect the additional monitor. After logging out and back in with the same result I decided to reboot. This is when, to my surprise, I found that only settings stored in what would normally be /home actually persisted. For those who may be newer to Linux, this means that things like backgrounds, your documents, music, task bar, themes etc. all stayed as you would expect. However, Nvidia drivers had to be reinstalled, passwords reset and a few other annoyances were reset as they would be in a live session. Now if you are just looking for a portable OS without the eye candy, simply to have your own desktop then Persistent Dream is fantastic! However, I want compiz up and running if I ever want to show someone what Compiz can do so this was not satisfactory.

    INSTALLATION - FULL INSTALL


    So I booted back into the liveDVD and did a regular install option.


    As you can see, this too, may be overwhelming for a new Linux user. There is no fancy partitioner built into the install process which means you have to have your disks already partitioned the way you like them. While it does come with an OEM install which, from my understanding, takes over the entire drive, those wishing to section off a part of the disk as they can with say, Ubuntu, will not find this very inviting. In fairness, the dev’s have explicitly said that they are not competing with Ubuntu. But from a new user point of view, I still think it is a relevent criticism.

    After the install completed, I rebooted once again. And once again GRUB failed to install properly. I wonder if this is a case of the USB install rather then the fault of the installer itself. When Grub initially installs it sees my internal hard drive (sda) and automatically calls the USB (sdb) effectively calling it hard drive 2. However when you boot off the USB key, since I installed GRUB to the USB, it effectively thinks that the USB key is then hard drive 1, thus the confusion with grub. Be that as it may, it still presented a problem that the average user could not, without some some googling and getting their hands dirty, fix on their own.

    SOFTWARE - MAKING THE OS TICK

    After straightening out grub yet again, I actually get a chance to delve into everything that makes up DreamLinux. By default none of the codecs or dvd support is installed due to legal reasons. This was easily remedied by the Easy Install button again.


    After a short delay all of my media files now work without a hitch. In fact, DreamLinux installs Xbox Media Center by default. This is a handy port of a mod for the Xbox which grabs artwork, synopsises and episode descriptions. You can search several online databases for information on TV shows, movies that you have backed up to your hard drive or a host of other media related functions. This is a bonus for those looking for a nice, simple media center solution.


    From my personal experience, XBMC did not play well with any Ubuntu past 7.1. It works well enough with Linux Mint 5 with some tweaking but has some serious bugs in Linux Mint 6. Out side of handful of distro’s I haven’t explored this application’s compatibility at length. Still, I find it a nice surprise that it is installed by default.

    Other programs installed by default are OpenOffice Suite 3.0, TextMaker (which I am using to write this review) and PlanMaker. On the graphics side of things, there is a program called Cheese to handle your webcam needs, as well as Get Photos for your digital camera. For scanning, Xsane is also installed by default, as is gThumb and The Gimp 2.6.

    For the media enthusiast, there are a multitude of options off the bat. AviDemux, Brasero, HjSplitLX, EasyTag, RhythemBox, Totem, Sound Converter, Sound Juicer, Sound Recorder and SPDIF round out this lineup. Outside of RythemBox and Totem, I have not tested these programs extensively but they seem to work just fine.

    EYE CANDY - MAKING IT PRETTY

    Now for the eye candy. Compiz is installed but not enabled by default. This can be fixed with a quick trip to the DreamLinux Control Panel. The standard Compiz packages work without a hitch, however a large number of the plugins from the “extras” package do not function such as 3d windows, Cube Deformation, Snow etc. I also found that while they have a “dogde” effect that I do not have in Linx Mint, DreamLinux is missing the burnoff effect (where when you close a window it litterally burns off the screen). All in all Compiz works without bugs with the default install. It is, as Compiz has been for a long while, very user friendly, simple check boxes to turn options on and off. This makes it easy for a Windows user to jump right in and be able to say “look what I can make Linux do!”

    AWN, the dock, also workes out of the box, and the magnify effect does not require 3D accelerated drivers. Once the Nvidia drivers are installed you are allowed to add and remove icons from your dock through right-clicking or dragging and dropping. With the Go SX theme available in the preinstalled themes, this can make your Linux install look like a Mac if that suites your tastes.
    Last edited by Stratus_ss; 03-13-09 at 11:22 AM.
    HEAT
    Those wishing to contribute to the AltOS section front page please PM me.

    Leviathan41: "Playing with a controller because the mouse and keyboard is too easy is like racing with a bicycle because a car is too fast."

    Chris Fisher "Windows is like Administration with training wheels"

  2. #2
    Overclockix Snake Charming Senior
    Alt OS Content Editor
    Stratus_ss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    3,874

    DreamLinux 3.5 Review

    CONCLUSION - DREAMLINUX SHOWS PROMISE


    Overall, once it is up and working, DreamLinux is one of the most user friendly distrobutions that I have ever used. It’s based on Debian which gives it a measure of stability and a solid user base. As well, it shares a lot of solutions in common with Ubuntu. This means that it has the possible support of one of the most activity Linux communities on the internet. While Gnome is my preference (interestingly enough DreamLinux uses XFCE as the window manager thanks to its Flexiboost technology) I can see how the XFCE version would appeal to Windows users thinking of migrating due to the “Start Button” feel. The inclusion of the Easy Install feature make the most common application installations effortless. Familiar programs such as Firefox and to a lesser extent OpenOffice will make the transition that much easier.

    For Linux users, DreamLinux gives you the flexibility of Debian while at the same time giving you a simple layout. For those who want to tweak, there is a multitude of administration tools including a “Services” button which allows you to manage the servicces that startup with your computer. Granted you have to know what each of these things does, but it is meant for the more advanced users.


    Stability is coming along nicely, I haven’t experienced any other crashes besides Firefox which, as mentioned before, was solved with an update. One thing I would have liked to see was an update manager similar to Ubuntu. Still, relying on Synaptic or the command line is not bad for someone with moderate Linux experience. The inclusion of a “root filebrowser” is another nice addition for those wishing to get more into the guts of the system as well.

    On the surface the end user is protected from all the nitty-gritty that I love about Linux. However, with Debian as its’ backing, the settings and tweaking are not far out of reach. DreamLinux has the potential to be a really solid OS in a few releases. As it stands now it is my portable OS of choice but isn't quite up to being my every day distro. Still overall an amazing effort by 4 guys from Brazil


    Overall
    7/10

    Installation and Setup
    4/10

    Persistent Dream
    8/10

    Full Install
    7/10

    Usability/Ease of Use
    8/10

    Tweakability
    9/10

    Multimedia
    8/10

    Network
    9/10
    Last edited by Stratus_ss; 03-06-09 at 05:53 AM.
    HEAT
    Those wishing to contribute to the AltOS section front page please PM me.

    Leviathan41: "Playing with a controller because the mouse and keyboard is too easy is like racing with a bicycle because a car is too fast."

    Chris Fisher "Windows is like Administration with training wheels"

  3. #3
    Member Trombe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,084
    Wow, that looks fantastic. I'll give it a shot on a new build of mine coming up over spring break.

  4. #4
    Member Neuromancer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Tau'ri
    Posts
    8,159
    Very nice looking.

    Love playing with Linux just do not have enough time anymore I start looking at distros and feel like a kid in a candy store, this distro definitly looks like it has possibilities.
    All rants I produce are sole property of 127.0.0.1.
    10 types of people understand binary.
    Suck iiiiiitttttttttt. -Shawn Spencer
    Linux is the stepchild of the OS world. "You told me to set 192.168.0.266 ip address", okay >>>Kernel PANIC - Me

  5. #5
    Seor Senior Member
    ihrsetrdr's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    just on the edge of civilization, in the Mojave Desert
    Posts
    5,435
    I'll see how well it plays with my Everex(Via chipset) laptop.
    Folding User Stats

    ihrsetrdr aka Tim

    Be strong when you are weak, brave when you are scared, and humble when you are victorious.
    - Unknown

  6. #6
    Member SeanBest's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Harrisonburg, VA
    Posts
    2,065
    Nice review. Looks interesting, might have to give it a shot.
    HEAT
    Motherboard --------- BIOSTAR TPower I45
    CPU ------------------- Intel E8600 @ 4GHz
    Memory -------------- 4GB Corsair Dominator DDR2 1066
    Cooling --------------- Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme
    HDDs ----------------- Western Digital Velociraptor 300GB 10k RPM
    Graphics Card ------- MSI HD4870 OC Edition
    Soundcard ----------- Creative X-Fi Xtremegamer
    Case ------------------ Antec Nine Hundered
    Power Supply -------- OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W
    OS -------------------- Win 7 Pro x64, Mint Debian x64

  7. #7
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1
    Hello everybody,
    I admin the forums and help test/develop Dreamlinux. I just signed up to thank Stratus_ss for e very honest well written review. Expect a few hits as I proudly post this link everywhere.

    A couple of things I wished to point out is that this release was actually only 3 guys as main devs. (nelsongs "head dev", andrefelipe "dev + graphical artist" and tinde "kernel") which kind of makes us feel proud when we see Dreamlinux in the Top 10 on Distrowatch with the big boys.

    This encarnation (pure Debian) is only just over a year old, so it can be cosidered a fairly new project, which shows how far it has come in such a short time. As you can see, 3.5 isn't perfect but is getting there. There are 3 very skillful guys working on this, and behind them a support team who also provide testing along with the Forum Community who are absolutely amazing.
    This link was posted on our dev board by a developer. We don't get shirty over constructive criticism, but use it to make Dreamlinux better so thank you Stratus_ss for providing valuable feedback on how Dreamlinux can be improved.

    To finish, Dreamlinux (default Xfce) aims to provide a light, fast, good looking Debian with all firware and drivers out-of-the-box. It is not a newbie distro, Ubuntu have that niche covered, and we do stress that you will have to learn, read, ask, and use the command line. Yes there are guis and scripts, but it isn't our focus to provide for the point 'n' click crowd. We aim for stability (hence Debian), choice of applications (Debian repos) and pleasing to the eye (Hence andrefelipe's icons, artwork + Engage Mac-Dock and A.W.N). Our gallery is also full of Wallpaper designs by Ruud Kuin who is an awesome artist and although a regular dev-team contributor, prefers to stay out of the limelight. I'll mention him here as I personally think his designs are second to none.

    That's about it, sorry if I bored you all Lol! And please feel free to visit us at DLF or PM, email me any queries, opinions, suggestions. We take them seriously and they all get back the the devs.

    Thanks

    richs-lxh

  8. #8
    Glorious Leader I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Rootstown, OH
    Posts
    25,172
    I also enjoyed the review. Have you done this for other distro's and do you have links to them?
    The OC Forums Way
    We are a team. We are a community. We are a fellowship made strong by mutual respect and shared dedication to the task of enriching all who come here.
    The OC Forums Thank You Thread
    Put your computer to work for our OC Forum Teams!
    Try out our POST TEMPLATES, they save you time answering common questions!

    I spend half my money on CPUs, GPUs, and Liquid Nitrogen. The other half I waste.

  9. #9
    Overclockix Snake Charming Senior
    Alt OS Content Editor
    Stratus_ss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    3,874
    No this was the first one I have done, however I plan to work on reviews for OpenGEU and MoonOS. I tend to try out some of the "smaller" distro's to give them some advertisement if they deserve or need it.

    Particularly I couldn't find a review of DL 3.5 that wasn't an Alpha/Beta release. If you like this I can devote some more time to doing some linux reviews
    HEAT
    Those wishing to contribute to the AltOS section front page please PM me.

    Leviathan41: "Playing with a controller because the mouse and keyboard is too easy is like racing with a bicycle because a car is too fast."

    Chris Fisher "Windows is like Administration with training wheels"

  10. #10
    Member Jayws's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    C:\
    Posts
    864
    Cool review, doesn't look like the most ideal OS for my setup but I am also interested in other reviews that you might've done. I'm currently using Ubuntu 8.04 on my netbook, it works nice but I'm looking for alternatives that are smoother/faster.
    Heat
    Asus P8P67
    Intel i5 2500k @ 4.0GHz
    30c Idle / 50c Full Load w/ TRUE U120
    8GB DDR3-1866 -- 9-10-9-27-1T
    MSI GTX 460 1GB
    2TB Total HD / Antec 902 / Corsair 550VX

  11. #11
    Glorious Leader I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Rootstown, OH
    Posts
    25,172
    Quote Originally Posted by Stratus_ss View Post
    No this was the first one I have done, however I plan to work on reviews for OpenGEU and MoonOS. I tend to try out some of the "smaller" distro's to give them some advertisement if they deserve or need it.

    Particularly I couldn't find a review of DL 3.5 that wasn't an Alpha/Beta release. If you like this I can devote some more time to doing some linux reviews

    Definitely. I'd also recommend you submit it to Joe for overclockers.com, he'll post it.
    The OC Forums Way
    We are a team. We are a community. We are a fellowship made strong by mutual respect and shared dedication to the task of enriching all who come here.
    The OC Forums Thank You Thread
    Put your computer to work for our OC Forum Teams!
    Try out our POST TEMPLATES, they save you time answering common questions!

    I spend half my money on CPUs, GPUs, and Liquid Nitrogen. The other half I waste.

  12. #12
    Glorious Leader I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Rootstown, OH
    Posts
    25,172
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayws View Post
    Cool review, doesn't look like the most ideal OS for my setup but I am also interested in other reviews that you might've done. I'm currently using Ubuntu 8.04 on my netbook, it works nice but I'm looking for alternatives that are smoother/faster.
    I'd recommend something from this list. Specifically since you are familiar with Ubuntu, you may like Xubuntu. It should be familiar from what your used to, and it should be faster because XFCE is a lot lighter than the gnome included with Ubuntu.

    http://www.xfce.org/download/distros
    The OC Forums Way
    We are a team. We are a community. We are a fellowship made strong by mutual respect and shared dedication to the task of enriching all who come here.
    The OC Forums Thank You Thread
    Put your computer to work for our OC Forum Teams!
    Try out our POST TEMPLATES, they save you time answering common questions!

    I spend half my money on CPUs, GPUs, and Liquid Nitrogen. The other half I waste.

  13. #13
    Overclockix Snake Charming Senior
    Alt OS Content Editor
    Stratus_ss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    3,874
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayws View Post
    Cool review, doesn't look like the most ideal OS for my setup but I am also interested in other reviews that you might've done. I'm currently using Ubuntu 8.04 on my netbook, it works nice but I'm looking for alternatives that are smoother/faster.
    Actually check back in the next 2 days when I have had a chance to do a couple more reviews. OpenGEU or MoonOS might be something you are interested in. I personally don't care for Xfce that much, particularly the xfce mint or xubuntu versions.

    Both of the coming reviews are based on the E17 enlightenment desktops, they are slick, lightweight and have either debian or ubuntu base which keeps your familiarity
    HEAT
    Those wishing to contribute to the AltOS section front page please PM me.

    Leviathan41: "Playing with a controller because the mouse and keyboard is too easy is like racing with a bicycle because a car is too fast."

    Chris Fisher "Windows is like Administration with training wheels"

  14. #14
    Seor Senior Member
    ihrsetrdr's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    just on the edge of civilization, in the Mojave Desert
    Posts
    5,435
    Give Knoppix 6 a look-see, if you haven't already; the default DE is LXDE, which I thought was kinda nice.
    Folding User Stats

    ihrsetrdr aka Tim

    Be strong when you are weak, brave when you are scared, and humble when you are victorious.
    - Unknown

  15. #15
    Member Jayws's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    C:\
    Posts
    864
    I gave LXDE a try and it took quite a bit of strong arming to get things to work. It's not too bad but man is it stripped down. I haven't given up on it yet but I've sunk about all the free time I have this weekend into playing with it so it's now on the back burner. I also took a look at XFCE again and I have to say that while it is nice in some regards, one problem that keeps coming up is the custom scripts that need to be run for my lappy for hotkeys, OSD features, etc. It really isn't a big deal but I feel like I'm stepping from something that works fairly well (gnome) to something that is faster but incomplete. I guess I would just like to sample a few more options before I pick one to really sink my time into.

    @Stratus_ss - Can't wait, I'll keep an eye out.
    Heat
    Asus P8P67
    Intel i5 2500k @ 4.0GHz
    30c Idle / 50c Full Load w/ TRUE U120
    8GB DDR3-1866 -- 9-10-9-27-1T
    MSI GTX 460 1GB
    2TB Total HD / Antec 902 / Corsair 550VX

  16. #16
    Mr.Guvernment's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Costa Rica - and toronto sometimes
    Posts
    14,854
    Sorry i have to say it "ANOTHER *nix variation....

    ,`, Poor Planning On Your Part Does Not Constitute An Emergency On My Part ,`,
    ,`, The trouble with life is theres no background music ,`,
    ,`, Life isnt short, you're just dead for too long,`,



  17. #17
    Overclockix Snake Charming Senior
    Alt OS Content Editor
    Stratus_ss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    3,874
    @Jayws

    OpenGEU review was posted friday
    HEAT
    Those wishing to contribute to the AltOS section front page please PM me.

    Leviathan41: "Playing with a controller because the mouse and keyboard is too easy is like racing with a bicycle because a car is too fast."

    Chris Fisher "Windows is like Administration with training wheels"

  18. #18
    Mr.Guvernment's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Costa Rica - and toronto sometimes
    Posts
    14,854
    Why cant all thes great minds just work on a similar project instead of each thinking they can do better then the last hundred, it would help the linux world so much!

    ,`, Poor Planning On Your Part Does Not Constitute An Emergency On My Part ,`,
    ,`, The trouble with life is theres no background music ,`,
    ,`, Life isnt short, you're just dead for too long,`,



  19. #19
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    35
    Nice review

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Gone Racing
    Posts
    7,229
    looks nice. Very OS X looking.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •