Linked by James LaRue on Mon 14th Jun 2004 06:35 UTC
Linux Recently, I got my hands on version 0.2 of Cobind, a Linux lite desktop, based on Red Hat/Fedora Core 1, from a software company in Pittsburgh. Not yet in general release, Cobind is a one disc wonder.
Order by: Score:
FC2 base
by John Blink on Mon 14th Jun 2004 06:51 UTC

I wonder when they are going to begin using the FC2 core as the base?

Sounds a lot like Vector Linux
by Blaine Lupulack on Mon 14th Jun 2004 07:09 UTC

I remember the install was basically "Create and format a partition , bunzip2 and untar the archive, run lilo". There were no choices for software or preferred desktop. It was simple , it was quick and it tended to work very well.

Of course I this was some time ago , I can't speak for the most recent versions. I hope it's stayed true to its roots though. Oh , the one difference I see is that Vector is based on Slackware while Cobind is based on Fedora Core. But choice is good I suppose.

RE: Unable to execute mozilla
by Moritz Heiber on Mon 14th Jun 2004 08:38 UTC

Once you're fed up with that ^^ message above you might want to set the $BROWSER variable (to f.e. 'firefox') in order to let Xfce use 'firefox' for opening any internal or help-system related urls.

Thanks for your kind review.

Regards,

Moritz Heiber

perfect
by pieter on Mon 14th Jun 2004 09:18 UTC

There are a lot of people who use their old pc, just for surfing, mail and occasional writing a text and sending it strait to the printer.

Seems Cobind adds a bit more to that, gnucash for instance.
I also hope they keep the concept, integrate it all, don't ask questions, make it run faster and in less memory. Then I know what to answer next time someone says that they tried linux on an old computer but the gui would not work fast enough.

By the way, A girlfriend of me has an PI with 32M that they use to surf the web with an ISDN modem, would it work with so litle ram?

Re: perfect
by Don Cox on Mon 14th Jun 2004 09:26 UTC

"By the way, A girlfriend of me has an PI with 32M that they use to surf the web with an ISDN modem, would it work with so litle ram?"

Older PCs are much more likely to have 32 Megs than 128, and it is not easy to find old types of RAM.

There is a real need for a simple distro that would work well in 32 Megs. It would be ideal for the kind of machine that gets given to charities (or dumped).

RE: Re: perfect
by Grant Sewell on Mon 14th Jun 2004 09:50 UTC

I find that the setup given with DamnSmallLinux (FluxBox + XTDesk, and others) works very well on machines with only a small amount of RAM. Apart from the "slit", most don't find it too un-intuitive either.

Nice to see a distro using XFce by default once in a while, though. And certainly nice to see it using later versions of it... I always found XFce to look a little "clunky", but the new XFce looks as good as it functions.

obsolete hardware
by hgm on Mon 14th Jun 2004 10:18 UTC

Installing a linuxdistro on crap/obsolete hardware will give
most of the time a fustrating experience with Linux.

Version 0.2 ?
by Offer Kaye on Mon 14th Jun 2004 11:52 UTC

Recently, I got my hands on version 0.2 of Cobind

Don't you mean version 0.1? There is no version 0.2 mentioned on the Cobind site, as far as I could see...

Re: peiter
by Adya on Mon 14th Jun 2004 12:59 UTC

"By the way, A girlfriend of me has an PI with 32M that they use to surf the web with an ISDN modem, would it work with so litle ram?"

I know I might get lots of complains but the best thing to do with such old machine would be to install Win98+AVG Free Antivirus & you have a very usable & fast system.

Oops
by Adya on Mon 14th Jun 2004 13:02 UTC

I ment install Win 95

Yeah!
by Adam Scheinberg on Mon 14th Jun 2004 13:05 UTC

Recently, I got my hands on version 0.2 of Cobind

Don't you mean version 0.1? There is no version 0.2 mentioned on the Cobind site, as far as I could see...


Yeah, if you have 0.2, send us some download links!

Another option for 32MB Pentium 1's
by Terrell Prude', Jr. on Mon 14th Jun 2004 13:34 UTC

There' s another option for those old Pentium 1's w/ 32MB DRAM. Use them as LTSP clients, or, if you want a turnkey system, use the K12LTSP variant (http://www.k12ltsp.org). I have twenty-five such old machines (P-166's and P-233's) running as thin clients off of a single K12LTSP server, and these old machines now feel like they're PIII-900's with gobs of DRAM. Yes, twenty-five of them. The server to do this cost me just under $2000 to build. Thus, I effectively upgraded twenty-five machines for $2000, and I could easily have done forty for that same amount. Just think about that.

That said, I think it's great that distros like Cobind and Damn Small Linux exist. For students looking for a cheap computer (say, a US$99 special), like a 128MB PII-333, Cobind sounds like it'd be great, especially for writing papers and such. My one concern would be with printers. As a college student, I of course had to print out many a paper and turn it in. That's very easy to do with Red Hat's printconf utility. Does Cobind include something like printconf (say, CUPS), or even the actual printconf itself?

--TP

Re: old hardware
by Don Cox on Mon 14th Jun 2004 13:39 UTC

"Installing a linuxdistro on crap/obsolete hardware will give
most of the time a fustrating experience with Linux."

But so will the Win95 that is on them already, and Microsoft tend to be difficult about people using Windows on charity machines without buying a new license.

There really does need to be a distro specially tailored for old machines.

RE: Version 0.2?
by Anonymous on Mon 14th Jun 2004 13:47 UTC

> Don't you mean version 0.1? There is no version 0.2 mentioned on the Cobind site, as far as I could see...

On the following page it shows that you can download version 0.1 (alpha) or version 0.2 (beta).

http://www.cobind.com/download_yumgui.html

re: Version 0.2?
by Anonymous on Mon 14th Jun 2004 13:50 UTC

"On the following page it shows that you can download version 0.1 (alpha) or version 0.2 (beta)."

Isn't that the Cobind Software Manager download page (the yum gui front end?)

Here is the download page for the Cobind Desktop and a quick check of a couple of the ftp sites it seems that it is still version 0.1:

http://www.cobind.com/download.html

Re: old hardware
by Anonymous on Mon 14th Jun 2004 14:22 UTC

Win95 becomes a non-option even for an old computer if you've got some newer hardware (printers, monitors, network cards, etc) added afterwards. Also the software that works with Win95 is becoming obsolete. In this respect, buying more RAM and installing a light-weight Linux distro, such as Cobind or Vector, can give new life to an old computer.

Cobind has made some interesting decisions, marrying XFCE4 with Nautilus and streamlining the application choices. They have apparently given some thought on what users actually need and this is a refreshing attitude.

In general, I like the "BSD approach" where the distribution provides just the basic operating system and offers users an easy way to install additional applications. Linux distros, being more desktop-oriented than *BSDs, might do well in providing users with a basic desktop and giving a GUI that makes it easy to download and install the other applications that users may want to add to their system.

Smart thinking, Cobind!

RE: Linux Lite: Cobind and the Simpler Life
by Ronald on Mon 14th Jun 2004 14:51 UTC

The target user of Cobind is the Linux newcomer, particularly one moving away from Windows.

Does that means the installation includes the Linux OS option in the Flexboot menu in NT/2K/XP?

BSD approach, why not Linux ?
by Joćo Amaro on Mon 14th Jun 2004 14:54 UTC

Nowadays Linux distros are becoming more and more “FAT”, I remember once when I installed RedHat 9 default packages, loads and loads of software that I will never use!, since then I decided to make my Linux from scratch, building something like an OS, not a desktop environment.

yes, version 0.2
by James LaRue on Mon 14th Jun 2004 15:02 UTC

Sorry for the timing glitch, people. I did indeed have version 0.2 -- which, according to Cobind, "we expect to have ... available within one week, owing to the delay in release to manufacturing (RTM) and mirror propagation." Frankly, when I sent my article to OS News, I didn't realize they'd move so fast! Keep an eye on the Cobind website, they're moving as fast as they can. And the product really is good.

P133/32 suggestions
by CdBee on Mon 14th Jun 2004 15:55 UTC

From my own experience, a P133 will run Windows NT4 SP6A, which unlike 95 is still supported for drivers. Disable all unnecessary services and it'll be reasonably fast.. or BeOS 5, which will run very fast but suffer compatibility problems and a shortage of available software.

The Windows machine would need a firewall and AV though, which adds to the bloat. Win98SE tweaked will run on a P133/32 reasonably well, though, as long as you can live with using Opera 5.12 instead of Internet Explorer (Opera 6 or later is painfully slow in 32mb and Mozilla is out of the question)

Older Systems
by AV on Mon 14th Jun 2004 17:51 UTC

I installed Debian with FBPANEL, ROX Desktop, and Metacity.

Right now, all that is installed on the machine aside from that is Firefox and GEdit. I'm hoping I can make a good shell script to download/setup my configuration. After that I want to make a tool that edits FBPANEL's .default file for as few Icon themes. Right now it's a gnome look alike, but with the right icons it can look like KDE, Windows, or whatever else I want it to. I also intend to install Xfe along side Rox Filer, since it has a nice Explorer-like interface.

It keeps bloat to a minimal, and provides a very sleek and polished looking desktop.

@Adya
by Brian Hawley on Mon 14th Jun 2004 18:51 UTC

Adya: I know I might get lots of complains but the best thing to do with such old machine would be to install Win98+AVG Free Antivirus & you have a very usable & fast system. Oops, I meant install Win 95.

For an even more usable and fast system, install Win98SE, ROM IIse or 98lite, and H+BDEV AntiVir.

Win98SE has much better driver support and is more powerful, and can be made to use Win95-level resources with ROM IIse or 98lite (they also get rid of Outlook Express). You should reinstall IE 5.5 if you want to access Windows Update, but since it doesn't integrate into Windows Explorer it only uses resources when it's running. If you prefer you can install another less resource-intensive web browser to be the primary.

I've found H+BDEV AntiVir to be more stable and less system-intrusive than AVG, and the price is the same, free (see http://www.free-av.com/ ).

Low-resource live CD
by Brian Hawley on Mon 14th Jun 2004 19:00 UTC

On a more on-topic note, I notice on the Cobind site that they are developing a live CD version. It would be very useful to me to have a live-cd Linux that can put its home directory on a USB flash drive but can run on computers with as little as 32-48MB RAM. I really just need the functions listed in this review, plus maybe some network or development tools that I could store on the flash if I need to. Is this possible?

Promising...
by Anonymous on Mon 14th Jun 2004 19:14 UTC

Cobind seems to be quite promising... It seems to do that what it does well... For some people, it can be really good... (No, it is NOT distro for me.)

Re:
by hypebot on Mon 14th Jun 2004 19:51 UTC

There are already quite a few "light" distros out there: DSL, Feather and Puppy Linux are among the better known of that type.

But besides configuration heebie-jeebies, many newbies will be put off by an interface that looks uncomfortably "basic" (read: booty) vs the MS look-feel that they're used to.

A gui interface that looks sharp right out of the box is the best sales tool. Cobind, Vector (based on rock-solid and super-speedy Slackware), and Morphix LG (which also uses XFCE4 out of the box)lead the way for good looking lightweight distros.

I find it amazing/embarrassing tho after many yrs of bashing MS re bloat, that it turns out it's way faster on old machines than Linux (if X Window is in use). And looks cooler doin' it, too. Eep.

RE: Low-resource live CD
by Julian on Mon 14th Jun 2004 20:49 UTC

"a live-cd Linux that can put its home directory on a USB flash drive but can run on computers with as little as 32-48MB RAM"

Nearly impossible. You would need a really slim desktop environment for that (no X server) or a linux swap partition on a HD. SuSE's live CDs is creating loopback swap files on FAT partitions. On a 32 Meg machine, well it could work (unbelievably slow, though) with swap, but without swap, erm... NO.

RE: RE: Low-resource live CD @ Julian
by Edward on Mon 14th Jun 2004 22:13 UTC

I believe he is talking about the home directory, not the entire distro.

munjoy
by punkass on Tue 15th Jun 2004 01:10 UTC

another sort of lite 1-disc Distro is Munjoy, I did a quick install, it was painless, nice fonts, nice look, firefox, thunderbird default. Uses KDE 3.2.2, and is Debian based.

Re: Obsolete Hardware
by Rho on Tue 15th Jun 2004 03:40 UTC

You realize how many people have 'obsolete hardware'? Not everyone has a 3ghz computer with 1gb ram. Many people are still on old computers in the 200-400mhz range. Some seem to forget them, to pretend that they don't matter. They DO matter. And as software bloats and bloats, adds kitchen sinks and whatnots, someone is needed to fill the gap. I'm glad there are distros out there that haven'ts forgotten this. There are also some of us that prefer this streamlined version instead of the many-disk monster of Linux distro X that fills your HD and ram with uneeded crap. If all you ever do is browse a couple sites online, read and send a few emails, why do you NEED anything as fast as current computers? You don't. And thankfully, with software like this, you arent' forced to.

RE:Obsolete Hardware
by painter on Tue 15th Jun 2004 04:42 UTC

Well said Rho:)

Re Re: peiter
by DS on Tue 15th Jun 2004 16:13 UTC

I have such an configuration on my laptop. If you install explorer 5 of 6 it slows down the whole system and remains the only usable component. If you don't, alternative browsers (e.g opera 7) don't run on it in a satisfactory way. I presume this hardware is just too weak to be usefull in an internet age.

Beta 0.2 available
by Paul on Tue 15th Jun 2004 16:27 UTC

Hi,

just found the Beta 0.2 Cobind ISO is now available from ibiblo (fttp://ibiblio.org/pub/linux/distributions/cobind/cobind_desktop_0.2b eta-disc1.iso).

expect more mirrors soon :-)

RE: Beta 0.2 available
by Paul on Tue 15th Jun 2004 16:29 UTC
Some other light & useful programs
by Eero on Tue 15th Jun 2004 18:51 UTC

I thought that the distro might profit also from a couple of other light programs (based on the list of apps from the article):
- Dia, for making diagrams
- XPDF
- Some image viewer/editor for digicam pictures. Gimp might be too featurebloated for this
(- lightweight calendar & addressbook)

A couple of lightweight games might be nice too. E.g.:
- Rocks an' diamonds
- LBreakout
- LTris / Lmarbles
- GNUchess + XBoard
- Enigma

Also, Matchbox (http://matchbox.handhelds.org/) could be used if somebody wants an even lighter and easier to use (= Palmtop) environment. :-)

RE: Beta 0.2 available
by Rod on Wed 16th Jun 2004 07:23 UTC

It looks to me like those 2 mirrors have a truncated (or otherwise corrupted) file.

Downloaded file is the same size but does not md5 the same and the size is not a multiple of 2048.

Forced burn results in a bootable CD that cannot find itself to mount when the source of the install is set to be the CD.

A cursory look shows expected files but that is not a guide to where the error lies. The 2 mirrors have identical file copies.

Just a heads up. If I have it wrong I'll see the answer here, no doubt.

Pity the mirrors have junk
by Rod on Thu 17th Jun 2004 11:08 UTC

It has been reported here that various mirrors have beta2 ready for download.

At great expense I have done 3 downloads and no .iso checksummed to the value in the .md5 on the same server (they all agree on the content) and none made a CD that I could install from.

Searching the Cobind website I found a link about how to burn CDs from ISOs. It didn't inspire any confidence as it said that (using Nero) you should ignore the warning about wrong block size. That is bad advice. ISOs should all use 2048 blocksize and should be a multiple of 2048 in size.

Even if the ISO builder is careless the md5 check should agree.

Cobind does neither. I suggest caution until they get their act together. Perhaps they need the $10 sales to do it properly?

sadly.....

beta 2
by perpendiqular on Sat 19th Jun 2004 05:15 UTC

so, any available mirror with an functional iso for cobind 0.2 ?????????

anyway, for light desktops my recommandations goes to www.morphix.org check it.

.2 is out and available
by James LaRue on Wed 23rd Jun 2004 13:43 UTC

Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2004 05:51:06 -0000
From: "davidthewatson" <davidthewatson@yahoo.com>
Subject: ANNC: Cobind Desktop 0.2 beta released

Hello Eveyone:

We have released Cobind Desktop 0.2 beta today. You can read all about
it here:

http://cobind.com/news/0008.html

We would like to thank the Cobind Desktop Community for working with us to improve Cobind Desktop.

We are still testing a fix for compatibility with 386, 486, and first generation Pentium machines. We will release another version with that fix shortly.

Cheers,
David