Linked by Howard Fosdick on Fri 13th Apr 2012 02:48 UTC
Linux VectorLinux is one of those useful but lesser-known Linux distros. It's been around since 1999 and I've used it since 2006, off and on, in the role of a secondary OS. Now, with the disruptive changes Ubuntu forces on its user base with each new release, I've found myself increasingly attracted to Vector's stability and convenience. This article introduces "VL" to those who may not be familiar with it.
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Frequency of Updates?
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 13th Apr 2012 05:31 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

I can live with a distro not being a rolling one like arch, gentoo or SUSE tumbleweed, but FOSS changes a a dramatic pace, I need to stay some what current with developments.

So, what's the average time between releases?
How drastic of a change in software do they have?
How good are they at keeping up with security updates?
What is special about the non free versions, what justifies the cost?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Frequency of Updates?
by lemur2 on Fri 13th Apr 2012 08:51 UTC in reply to "Frequency of Updates?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I can live with a distro not being a rolling one like arch, gentoo or SUSE tumbleweed, but FOSS changes a a dramatic pace, I need to stay some what current with developments.


Slackware is traditionally a KDE distribution. It would seem that a good KDE distribution is increasingly being sought after by users:

http://www.muktware.com/articles/3518/kde-voted-most-popular-deskto...

If you want the latest KDE desktop within a distro based on Slackware:

http://www.slackel.gr/slackelmulti/xoops20171/htdocs/modules/pico4/...

http://distrowatch.com/?newsid=07200

This features the newly-released Calligra Suite 2.4.

It seems to have better tools for package management, as a bonus:

The graphical Salix system tools are present too, making administrative tasks easy for everyone. Package management, as always, is done using slapt-get and its graphical frontend Gslapt. Sourcery (from salix), a new graphical tool for managing and installing packages from SlackBuilds is included. This is a graphical frontend to slapt-src and complements gslapt, the default graphical package manager.

Edited 2012-04-13 08:55 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by marcp
by marcp on Fri 13th Apr 2012 07:49 UTC
marcp
Member since:
2007-11-23

I was using it for some time in the past, but it seemed like a stalled project at times, so I eventually dumped it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by marcp
by gan17 on Fri 13th Apr 2012 13:23 UTC in reply to "Comment by marcp"
gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

I used to run Vector around 4 years ago, but sometime around then (may 3 yrs ago, iirc), they tried to introduce a paid version of sorts and start a paying-members club/forum or something. The devs/team took a bit of stick from their users and things were in limbo for a while. No idea what's going on now, though.

Somewhere within that timeframe, I recall their project website getting hacked a couple of times as well.

Edited 2012-04-13 13:30 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by marcp
by Barnabyh on Fri 13th Apr 2012 14:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by marcp"
Barnabyh Member since:
2006-02-06

Oh yes, the VL club was hot on the heels of the Mandriva Club. Both didn't take off. I think it was around 2006/7 or so.

Reply Score: 2

Used it....
by csynt on Fri 13th Apr 2012 07:54 UTC
csynt
Member since:
2006-03-19

Not too bad, but then I went to SalixOS x64, as I wanted a x64 Slackware based.

Reply Score: 1

Aww
by NuxRo on Fri 13th Apr 2012 08:48 UTC
NuxRo
Member since:
2010-09-25

Glad to see VectorLinux is still alive and kicking. It did wonders for me 7-8 years ago on really modest hardware; actually enabled me to use the only computer I could afford at the time.
If you need something really light on your hardware but still a full fledged OS, forget the so called "light" Ubuntu and Fedora remixes - VectorLinux is the one for it (that or slackware :> ).

Reply Score: 1

Doc Pain
Member since:
2006-10-08

The article (and the review it points to) are really interesting. Turning "waste PCs" into productive parts of the society again. However, I'm interested in how good the language support is. German language is mandatory for cases where I would use this Linux distro. The article does not mention anything about foreign (non-english) languages, and the review mentions English, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish in a picture. Is there a way to make this Linux installable and usable by german users?

The second thing I'm a bit sceptical is the multimedia support. "Multimedia that runs right out of the box" sounds nice, but does this cover things like all the strange "Windows" formats, stuff like MP3 and OGG/Vorbis, non-mainstream formats like Matroska, up to "Flash"? I know a full-featured {k|g|s}mplayer can play them all (because mplayer can play everything), but has this been selected for the packages part of the distro? I assume there could be licensing problems because it's illegal to listen to MP3 in the US. The review is a bit more elaborate (mentioning VLC), but of course it doesn't cover all cases "typical users" would encounter today. And in case this Linux is run on hardware with lower power (e. g. P4, ~1.2 GHz with 16 MB GPU, because that's what the article's "A distro for older hardware" could be supposed to mean), how well does "Flash" or fullscreen video perform?

Anyway, I'm giving this Linux a try, because it sounds promising. Thanks for the article, it's an inspiration to try something new.

Reply Score: 2

NuxRo Member since:
2010-09-25

Doc,

I would imagine Norwegian (or whatever) support is as good as XFCE/KDE/IceWM/etc provides.

Reply Score: 1

Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Doc,

I would imagine Norwegian (or whatever) support is as good as XFCE/KDE/IceWM/etc provides.


I'm primarily interested in German support, especially in regards of KDE. In older KDE versions, I was disappointed because of the sloppy and only partial translation of program environments and error messages. At that time, Gnome had much better support for the german language; KDE looked so inferior. Maybe since 4.0 it has been improved - but the article and the review are short on that information.

That's understandable, I admit: The main target audience will have no problem with using English. Being a German myself, I prefer having OS and applications in English (with OpenOffice being the only intended exception). Those who are "smart enough" that they want to use Linux typically can deal with english messages and errors. "Newbies" however are scared by the first "Error" they encounter, and run back to their "good 'Windows'" quickly, leaving the chance of moving to a better OS behind. Sadly, the "first impression effect" has an enormous impact, and it's not just about the colorful icons, the many programs available, the nice background image, the multimedia formats and the printer support; it's also about using the native language from the beginning and throughout the whole "OS experience". It's often hard to tell people that Linux is a multi-language OS that can be in any language you want, but if you want German and you don't get it...

Being able to select German at the beginning of the installation (should be the very first step) and then having all the programs (and errors) in that language would be great.

Reply Score: 2

Geekboula Member since:
2011-03-18

I agree with you! The big problem with Vector linux is not support international language.

Vector is a great linux distro really fast. I use this for last 3 years as a third system.
The only thing why Linux Vector n is not my first system is that we cannot translation completly the system.

There is just a partial translation. Ex: Vector KDE version you can just translate your KDE interface but all other software will still be in English.

In summary: if you are not a native English speaker you can not use it. Unless you are perfectly comfortable in English.

I think, this fact is for all systems based on Slackware. International language support at 100% doesn't exist.

Reply Score: 1

Vector Linux / Trinity TDE
by OSGuy on Fri 13th Apr 2012 11:02 UTC
OSGuy
Member since:
2006-01-01

The only Linux I will ever consider as a viable desktop is if it came with an option to have Trinity Desktop as a desktop environment. So many editions of Vector and yet not one with TDE and this applies to other distributions too!

Edited 2012-04-13 11:03 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Vector Linux / Trinity TDE
by lemur2 on Sat 14th Apr 2012 05:24 UTC in reply to "Vector Linux / Trinity TDE"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

The only Linux I will ever consider as a viable desktop is if it came with an option to have Trinity Desktop as a desktop environment. So many editions of Vector and yet not one with TDE and this applies to other distributions too!


Out of date. Trinity Desktop has been well and truly overtaken by KDE4, and desktop applications written for KDE4.

http://dot.kde.org/2012/04/11/first-version-calligra-released

http://www.calligra.org/tour/calligra-suite/office-applications/

http://www.calligra.org/tour/calligra-suite/graphics-applications/

This is where all the current development effort is going. Wake up and smell the coffee.

Edited 2012-04-14 05:25 UTC

Reply Score: 1

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

I agree with and find many of your posts informative, but while you're stating the facts here, I have to say that I don't fully agree with them. I still like KDE3. The Trinity Desktop is not only familiar, but is fast and runs well with much less memory than KDE4.

Sure, KDE4 is now more familiar since it really has started competing well feature-wise with KDE3, but... it's a massive pig. As impressed as I have been lately with KDE4 (I have accidentally ran it in a virtual machine with 256MB RAM and, amazingly, not only did it run without any crashing, but I was able to open Dolphin and Konsole at the same time), it still eats up too much memory.

I only have 1GB of memory in this piece of shit. I don't know, maybe I should be running a 32-bit operating system (it would use less memory), but at the same time... I have a 64-bit processor, why not make use of it and the extra registers available? Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find much information on how much more memory 64-bit requires compared to 32-bit, other than the Windows Vista/Windows 7 system requirements--but I don't trust Microsoft's recommendations anyway, and I don't know how much memory use differs in 32-bit vs. 64-bit Linux distributions. [Note: Sure, I could look at various 32/64-bit Linux distribution system requirements, but they only give a decent estimate for standard usage, which I do not fall under. They don't say the approximate amount of memory increase per typical program.]

Then again, I have been unable to open as many tabs in Firefox without swapping to hell and back even in Openbox, so maybe my distribution (openSUSE 12.1 64-bit) or, more likely, the included version of Firefox (10.0.2) is to blame. I was running Mozilla's official Linux binary of Firefox in Debian previously with GNOME or Openbox, and the swapping didn't seem quite as bad.

That said, I do always have a shitload of tabs open. I used to have 70-80 or more open at a time before the system became completely responsive; now that number seems to be 55-60. Yeah, I know--in the end, I need more memory. But I have to work with what I have, and KDE4 doesn't allow me to do that. Hell, with openSUSE, even Openbox doesn't allow me to do that.

Edited 2012-04-14 09:00 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Vector Linux / Trinity TDE
by lemur2 on Sat 14th Apr 2012 10:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Vector Linux / Trinity TDE"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I only have 1GB of memory in this piece of shit.


That is more than enough memory. Heaps. Oodles.

As I type this in Firefox 11 running under KDE 4.8.2 (with desktop effects, strigi and nepomuk all running, and nepomuk given twice the normal memory allocation to improve performance), the system monitor is showing only 513 MB memory used. Less than half of your memory.

KDE4 should run faster for you than KDE3 if your system has a GPU. If it doesn't, there still shouldn't be much in it.

KDE4 is now more familiar since it really has started competing well feature-wise with KDE3


KDE4 absolutely spanks KDE3 feature-wise, as well as in supported applications.

Edited 2012-04-14 10:35 UTC

Reply Score: 2

BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

I agree with and find many of your posts informative, but while you're stating the facts here, I have to say that I don't fully agree with them. I still like KDE3. The Trinity Desktop is not only familiar, but is fast and runs well with much less memory than KDE4.


That, and KDE3 doesn't have any major pieces of functionality with names that sound like embarrassing medical conditions.

"Sorry, can't go on that bike trip this weekend - my damn plasmoids are flaring up again."

Reply Score: 2

Review on Muktware
by Barnabyh on Fri 13th Apr 2012 12:21 UTC
Barnabyh
Member since:
2006-02-06

Thanks for the link, but I was only writing about the VASM (main control centre) utility when saying it felt outdated, and it hardly serves any purpose these days other than changing passwords or adding users. I seem to recall it once had more options.

@DocPain: I believe Matroska is supported, and Flash defintely is already in there. VL is one of the most complete distributions I have come across for media codecs ootb. They can probbaly do it because they are located in Canada, not the US.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by scarr
by scarr on Fri 13th Apr 2012 13:59 UTC
scarr
Member since:
2010-11-07

I don't understand why there are so many distributions. In the end, the user experience is usually very similar between them. I took that screen shot tour of Vector Linux, and honestly, it is basically how I have my ubuntu system configured.

You don't use a computer for the OS, you use it to run your Applications. In the Linux world, there are only a handful of good actively supported options for each application category, so all distributions ultimately ship with the same ones. Same Applications == same user experience.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by scarr
by Neolander on Sat 14th Apr 2012 11:17 UTC in reply to "Comment by scarr"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Well, let's just say that when one distribution decides to include some new beta-quality technology that breaks your computer, it's good to have the others. And sadly, the Linux desktop has always had this unstable and experimental side to it which makes such events relatively frequent...

But beyond the biggest Linux distributions (Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSUSE...), which are indeed much alike, there are a lot of differences in the way smaller distros are managed. As an example, some distributions will stick with the traditional "new releases that will break everything" model of Windows and Mac OS X, while others opt for the rolling release model of incremental changes to a constantly updated OS. Some distributions will provide an extremely extensive set of packages on their installation media (Debian, Ultimate, Sabayon...), while others will prefer extreme frugality (Arch, Gentoo, DSL...). Some will include multimedia codecs and Flash Player out of the box (Mint, Pardus...), others won't even include a comfortable set of wireless drivers in their quest for being "pure" free software (Debian, gNewSense...). And so on.

Depending on your needs, one distribution will often be more suitable than others. Which means less time setting things up, a better-tested OS configuration, and overall a better user experience when it comes to using the computer instead of struggling with it.

Edited 2012-04-14 11:25 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Obsidian_ShadowHawk
Member since:
2011-08-02

Vector looks really good in the screenshot gallery. But one thing: can someone tell me what the OS is in this screenshot? I particularly like the sidebar dock and minimalist menu bar. Any help in finding these things?

http://i1-news.softpedia-static.com/images/news2/VectorLinux-7-0-Sc...

Reply Score: 1

righard Member since:
2007-12-26

It is Ubuntu.

Reply Score: 4

VEctor Good but not Great
by kateline on Sat 14th Apr 2012 00:15 UTC
kateline
Member since:
2011-05-19

I've used Vector on an extra Pentium 4 we still have around. It run fast enough but don't count on a repository the size of Ubuntu's. Also not all the programs in the Vector repository are compatible with every release. You can download a program only to find it doesn't run with your version of Vector. Useful yes, but could be better.

Reply Score: 1

I used vector a few years ago
by re_re on Sat 14th Apr 2012 16:27 UTC
re_re
Member since:
2005-07-06

I used vector for a while a few years ago and I was impressed with it. It was quite snappy on my system, actually one of the fastest distros I have tested behind arch and gentoo. Considering it's decent feature set, it was actually quite light weight as well. As I recall media codecs were pretty much all there as well, I believe it played pretty much any video format I threw at it.

Reply Score: 2

Vector resurgam
by Cutterman on Mon 16th Apr 2012 21:35 UTC
Cutterman
Member since:
2006-04-10

Hmm.. Used Vector years ago.

Downloaded this latest & installed on spare old PC.

Very nice indeed. Good interface.

Really quick even on a P4.

Shall explore further

Mac

Reply Score: 1