Home > Linux > VectorLinux 5 SOHO Review VectorLinux 5 SOHO Review Eugenia Loli 2005-03-11 Linux 33 Comments MadPenguin published a two-page review on VectorLinux 5 SOHO. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 33 Comments 2005-03-11 7:12 am Vector is great..by far the easiest AND fastest(lowest in latency) distro I have ever used. It doesn’t have quite the flexibility of its big brother Slackware which can install on XFS and JFS partions but as a desktop it can’t be beat on my old PII 128 My only complaint is that it configured sound and X windows automatically thus robbing me of my geek fun 2005-03-11 8:28 am Vector installed on a Celeron 300 / 384 M/B ram and the thing ROCKS !!! Even with KDE and all the extras. It made that old box live again !!! Thanks Vector 😉 2005-03-11 8:32 am Good application choice (in one CD), polished desktop, and fastest distribution of all I tried (Mandrake, Fedora, Ubuntu, Yoper). It’s the first distro which boots as fast as windoze XP. Maybe Yoper is a bit faster after boot. Slackware never was my prefered distro and I still prefer RPM for package management but apart of that Vector is the best choice for me. If you like KDE, you should definitely try it. 2005-03-11 8:54 am Seriously, I am also fed up with people complaining about reviews. Why on earth do you browse a site like osnews if you are not interested in this kind of stuff and even feel compelled to read a story and comment on it if you are not interested in it in the first place? 2005-03-11 8:59 am Ok people, If you don’t like Gnome, KDE screen shots or distro reviews, then don’t read the articles. Why login and comment on something that you have no interst in reading in the first place. The whole purpose of posting comments is about discussing the article. If you have no interest in the article, then do post a comment. If you prefer to make inane comments, slashdot is waiting for your comments. 2005-03-11 9:28 am One thing the reviewer didn’t mention is that KDE is not the only desktop available in SOHO – there is also a very nicely customised IceWM. In fact, I find myself in IceWM most of the time even though my machine is quite capable of running KDE… I’ll have to try E17 though! 2005-03-11 9:39 am Well i’ve tried a lot of distros on my machines (Mandrake, Redhat, Fedora, SuSE, Slackware & finally Vector). I’ve always found it difficult to find a decent one for my laptop, I like Slack, but it takes a lot of TLC after install to get running properly (it still runs on my server!) but eventually chose SuSE for my Tecra as it “just worked” – however one down side was that despite my machine being a P3-1.2Ghz it was SLOW – boot times were forever, and it was far less responsive than Windows XP. I installed Vector, and it just rocks, it has the “just works” feel of SuSE but is *much* *much* faster – it strangely also creates the best sound quality of any linux distro i’ve tried on it (I have no idea why). However – on my old laptop (P2-400 192Mb) X-window just wouldn’t install *at all* – no matter what settings I tried (manually configuring) it just plainly refused to work. I believe that this issue has already been reported and is known to the vector developers, I just hope it’s fixed soon, as i’m sure it’ll be great on that machine. Rob 2005-03-11 11:37 am I installed yesterday, VECTOR Linux for the First time. And i couldn’t make it work over 640×480 no matter what i tried… Deceiving. 2005-03-11 12:00 pm I had not used Vector in the past because they had charged for usage (AFAICT). I might give this a try, I am not sure yet because I have my network set up just right and have a backup script that works the way I want it to. The thought of having to set up the box to accept the way my network runs makes me think twice. 2005-03-11 1:02 pm But why is it called Vector Linux, and why is it so fast? Just because it it lean? At least it looks good . But I don’t think you’ll get me away from gentoo ant time soom 2005-03-11 1:10 pm Never tried VectorLinux, but i seems like a distro that can make my old machines resurect from the land of dead computers. http://bitsofnews.com 2005-03-11 2:03 pm so what does vector do to its kernel/OS to make is faster? 2005-03-11 2:26 pm Version 5.0 still suffers from the video detection issue I described in my RC2 review (the same fix worked, naturally.) I hope that’s something they fix soon. But they did get the swap working right, which is good. Clearly, even from this review, there are some thing needing to be worked on with VL SOHO 5.0, but it’s still a damn good distro if you are willing to fix some of the minor annoyances that pop up. (like the duped icons or the video issue or the icons that serve no purpose…) Other than that, I think they’ve done a helluva job with it, and in a revision or so it should be damn near flawless. I still give it a solid “B” grade, though. 2005-03-11 3:38 pm “so what does vector do to its kernel/OS to make is faster?” They added racing stripes. I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist. Feel free to delete. Seriously, I think the “fasterness” of it is simply that the presinstalled programs are fairly light and best of all it comes with ICEwm by default which runs great on a pentium 200mmx with 256mb of ram (128 is a stretch with KDE or Gnome.) 2005-03-11 3:48 pm I think one thing that Slackware based distro’s have their modified the “Run Levels”. This would be one facet. 2005-03-11 3:59 pm So graphical installers are bad because they can crash during installation and force you to restart? How does this differ from text based installers? 2005-03-11 4:17 pm I downloaded this and it refused to install when I set the BIOS to boot from cd.Checked the cd in my windows pc and it autoran to the HTML help file.Admittedly I didn’t do the md5 checksum procedure. Could be it that the download is corrupted or that I need to reburn the iso at a slower speed. I am pressed for time too as I had to sneak and burn the download from the workplace’s T1 line since they dont condone downloads or software installs on their Dells. Thanks much. Peace 2005-03-11 4:30 pm In Explorer , do you see One large file, or a whole bunch ? If only one won’t install – can re-run the burn to make a diff CD w/all files listed. Never had a coaster w/small ,free DeepBurner (several with the giant Roxio). Might help to to a md5 to make sure 1st. 2005-03-11 4:34 pm FWIW, it was an extremely fast, responsive, snappy, distro last time I tried it (quite a while ago..) – not sure why, just found the snappiness quite refreshing – good to see it’s carved out a niche – quite deservedly really – and good luck to the Vector team 2005-03-11 4:38 pm My experiences with Vector Linux are very positive. I tried Gentoo because some of the equpiment I run is older and slower. Short story, took me a week to compile and configure everything in Gentoo and even then there were a few nagging things that weren’t quite right. I’ve been a UNIX Programmer and/or UNIX sysadmin for 15 years so I know my way around config and makefile. I pulled down Vector and it quickly installed and “just worked.” Everything was right on the first try and no week of compiling everything. Gentoo might be faster to a stopwatch but interactively Vector feels just as fast to me. I am going to revisit Gentoo at a later date because their approach does make a lot of sense to me but for the time being I’m happier with Vector. 2005-03-11 4:40 pm inquiring minds really want to know why.. – why it boots so much faster than most distros.. or in other words, what the hell most other distros spend so much of their init time on.. (and why) – why, in the exact same environment–kde in vl soho 5 vs. kde in suse 9.2 pro–is it much more responsive in vl. for example, the kde control panel applet takes a few whole seconds to launch in suse, even when all the i/o is cached (down to 3 – 4 *whole* seconds at best) when it takes at most 1 second on vl 5 on the same hardware? 2005-03-11 4:56 pm “In Explorer , do you see One large file, or a whole bunch ?” All the files were there.I burned it using Easy cd creator on a cd/rw disc.Dont know if that would make a difference.Will reburn and see how it goes.Thanks. Peace. 2005-03-11 5:08 pm Try http://www.burnatonce.com/index.htm?features 2005-03-11 5:11 pm I don’t mind the shell whoami hint. There’s not a day when i don’t miss in a shell for not being root. But the semitransparent colored shells were a visual pain in RC2. I’ve got 10.1 download already and seeing as how you people reminded my that xfs is in Slack only. Enjoy Your Vector n the other end of the scale I found Suse 9.2 to be the slowest beast Linux Distro Yet. Bet their going to make significant inroads in the consumer desktop arena.–Suse /Novel 2005-03-11 5:18 pm did you mean the plural files as in multiple files? there should only be one .iso file which you use as an image to burn from. .. or were you looking at the contents of the image? if you do have the .iso file, you should make sure to burn the image to cd rather than copying the .iso file itself to cd. also, it would be wise to make sure the file isn’t corrupted by checking the md5 sum (there are free tools for windows) as one of the very few times i’ve had such a thing happen to me is with this vectorlinux iso. the only other thing i can think of is trying a regular cd-r instead of cd-rw. 2005-03-11 5:19 pm Thanks sard but one small problem.I cant install software on the machine at work and my cd burner is in the machine I am installing Vector on. I will retry the burn and if that dont work then I will re-download doing the checksum. Peace. 2005-03-11 5:27 pm “did you mean the plural files as in multiple files? there should only be one .iso file which you use as an image to burn from. .. or were you looking at the contents of the image?” Saw the .iso file before burning and then when it autoran to the help file, saw the contents of the image after burning. I will try the re-burn using a cd-r. I suspected that was the culprit.Thanks. Peace 2005-03-11 7:10 pm ” I downloaded this and it refused to install when I set the BIOS to boot from cd” Did you actually get the screen from CD-ROM ? for sometimes I had to force the PC to boot from CD by holding down Ctrl – for it would fly to HD boot even though Cd-ROM was 1st Boot option–even went as far as disabling other but CD to boot from to prevent BIOS optimized fast boot (jumping to HD boot faster than CD-ROM got a chance to “show it’s stuff “. Did you get a installation stall , or it boots flying past CD-ROM ? Now, did anyone have any success recognizing/powering a Netgear WG511 g ? I’ve got D-link 10/100 working great , and same Netgear that wouldn’t power on Vector -got online with Ubuntu before even finished install, and also PCLinux 8.1 got my wireless working automatically. I’d like to get the Netgear card working in Vector to use it on the old laptop since it is zippy even on an old PII300. some dmesg : root@vector:# dmesg Linux version 2.4.27 (root@tree) (gcc version 3.3.4) #6 Thu Sep 16 20:35:47 PDT2004 CPU: L1 I cache: 16K, L1 D cache: 16K CPU: L2 cache: 512K CPU: After generic, caps: 0183f9ff 00000000 00000000 00000000 CPU: Common caps: 0183f9ff 00000000 00000000 00000000 CPU: Intel Pentium II (Deschutes) stepping 02 Enabling fast FPU save and restore… done. hda: TOSHIBA MK2016GAP, ATA DISK drive blk: queue c03ad360, I/O limit 4095Mb (mask 0xffffffff) hdc: TOSHIBA DVD-ROM SD-C2102, ATAPI CD/DVD-ROM drive hdd: LS-120 SLIM 00 UHD Floppy, ATAPI FLOPPY drive Partition check: hda: hda1 hda2 – hda5 hda6 hda7 hda8 2005-03-11 7:37 pm “Did you actually get the screen from CD-ROM ? for sometimes I had to force the PC to boot from CD by holding down Ctrl – for it would fly to HD boot even though Cd-ROM was 1st Boot option–even went as far as disabling other but CD to boot from to prevent BIOS optimized fast boot (jumping to HD boot faster than CD-ROM got a chance to “show it’s stuff “. Did you get a installation stall , or it boots flying past CD-ROM ?” Its an Asrock motherboard.So all I have to do is hold down the F8 button on bootup and I get a boot menu and select the device.Had no problems when installing Vector Linux 4.3. There is no install output ..just Lilo from my 4.3 install coming on screen from the hard drive being the next device in the boot order. Peace 2005-03-11 8:05 pm It is possible to install it having the iso file stored in a secondary filesystem, without burning (yet another) CD. There are instructions for this in the Manuals section of the website. hth 2005-03-11 8:27 pm ” just Lilo from my 4.3 install coming on screen from the hard drive being the next device in the boot order ” Sometime Lilo comes too fast before the CD is up to speed, so it could get in the way- you want BIOS booting CD-ROM 1st . Botloader is of no use – if it doesn’t include * Boot from CD-ROM . When I got tired of Ctl Alt Del restarting system only for Lilo ,Grub or whatever getting in the way when the CD was just beginning to spin, had to make the CD-ROM the only device in BIOS- then if the CD is no good -get an error message like missing media to boot from. 2005-03-11 9:03 pm “Sometime Lilo comes too fast before the CD is up to speed” Thats very interesting now coming to think of it because the cd drive is an old, LG 12X 8X 32X. “When I got tired of Ctl Alt Del restarting system only for Lilo” I had the same experience and got fed up and didn’t want to damage my system with the constant restarts. “Grub or whatever getting in the way when the CD was just beginning to spin,” True, because there was a flicker in the drive’s LED but never fully caught on to start spinning. “had to make the CD-ROM the only device in BIOS- then if the CD is no good -get an error message like missing media to boot from.” Sound advice and will do.Thanks alot.Really looking forward to using this since using 4.3 was a blast. Peace 2005-03-11 9:39 pm Vectot Linux is a very nice distro . Fast and light . Some days ago I installed Vector 4.3 on a P200 64MB just for the record and it looks very nice and responsive . IceWM works fast enough . Really a great distro … Nothing more to say .