The default window manager is ICEWM, but BlackBox, FluxBox, XFCE4, and WindowMaker also come pre-installed. Integrated versions of both GNOME and KDE are available on the Buffalo-Extras CD.
McAlesterLinux is the home of the Mustang Linux distribution
Mustang is a very small client workstation linux operating station designed to run memory resident. It does NOT require installation on your hard drive. Mustang comes in two formats:
Mustang Linux MiniCD
Mustang Flash Drive
Mustang Flash Drive includes a copy of the MiniCD. At a minimum a 1GB USB flash drive is needed as a target drive. The flash drive version comes with Firefox, Thunderbird, Gimp, and Wine (with Internet Explorer 6) pre-installed. Mustang minimum system requirements are a Pentium III CPU with 256MB.
To install Mustang Flash Drive the USB drive needs to be formated to ext2, the above Mustang-Flash.tgz file uncompressed into place, and LILO run. Steps are as follows:
$ mkfs -t ext2 /dev/sda1 (check for correct device this is what MiniCD Mustang calls it)
$ mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/sda1 (or simply click through the Mustang destop mounter for sda1)
$ tar xzf Mustang-Flash.tgz -C /mnt/sda1
$ cd /mnt/sda1
$ lilo -r .
As implied, the Mustang MiniCD can be used to install the flash version on an USB drive.
Mustang is an ongoing incremental project. Updates will be provided as needed. If problems are
encountered please report to Support .
When Buffalo loaded at first boot it displayed a simple reminder of the usual administrative tasks that people forget to perform after a new install, such as changing the root password (which is blank by default, so be sure to follow the directions). Some of these tasks are done by most distros' installer, but not Buffalo's. I completed those tasks quickly and had a working desktop system a mere 45 minutes after I burned the CD. Not only was it a working system, but almost all the programs I needed were already installed.
One of the first things I noticed after I started using Buffalo is that while clicking the scroll wheel on my mouse worked, scrolling with the wheel didn't. I'm not certain if the window manager (IceWM) couldn't handle it or if it wasn't properly configured, but I had to use the scroll bar. It has been a long time since I've had to use one, and I had forgotten what a pain they are. A small matter, but a large annoyance. Another annoyance came about when a quick check of the menu revealed that there were no programs installed to watch movies with besides RealPlayer. RealPlayer, however, wasn't able to play a single one of the video files I have. Buffalo seems to have failed to include many codecs.
Video player aside, Buffalo came with a wide selection of programs, including:
|Firefox 1.0.4||Thunderbird 1.0.2|
|NEdit 5.5||The GIMP 2.2.4|
|Opera 8.0||Scribus 1.2.1|
|Bluefish 1.0.1||AbiWord 2.2.7|
ftpprogram wrapped in Xdialog to make use of a GUI. It worked, but I didn't see the major advantage to having it when gFTP, a much better graphical client, is also included.
|The Buffalo Linux Desktop - click to enlarge|
|Open applications, Buffalo update - click to enlarge|
I was anxious to see how Buffalo fared when I began installing new software. Since I'm a Debian fan and Buffalo is Debian-based, my first inclination was to use
apt-get. This basic command, however, proved to be missing. So I downloaded the .deb package myself and attempted to install it with
dpkg, which I thought must be included. It wasn't -- or at least, not under that name. I looked through the menu until I found a shortcut labelled "Buffalo Software." Clicking on that opened a list of all the packages that were currently installed as well as packages available to be installed. The .deb I had downloaded was the only package available to be installed, but I hadn't told it the location. The program must have searched my home directory to find it. I selected the package, clicked OK, and it worked.
I tested a range of different installation packages: Red Hat RPMs, Debian debs and Slackware tgzs. For the most part, everything worked as expected, but several RPM packages failed to install even when their Debian and Slackware counterparts worked.
One worrisome aspect of Buffalo package management is that there is no dependency checking at all, or so it would seem. I installed a great deal many packages that depended on other packages that were not installed. The installer claimed they'd been installed properly, but the programs didn't work until I found and installed all the proper dependencies manually. This is one area that clearly needs work. The ability to handle the different package types is nice, but dependency checking is essential. With installation utilities such as apt, yum, and swaret, the days of having to manually handle dependencies should be in the past.
Despite there being several small problems with Buffalo, my overall experience was positive. It was a fun distribution to install and use, as well as being one of the easiest to get working. Doubtless if you try you'll run into a problem or two, as I did, but with a little effort you can have a nice Debian-based distribution.
Preston St. Pierre studies computer information systems at the University of the Fraser Valley in Chilliwack, BC, Canada.
Karoshi is an operating system designed for schools. It is a Linux distribution based on PCLinuxOS, itself based on Mandriva Linux.
Karoshi uses prepackaged GUI scripts in order to simplify the install and configuration process for inexperienced users.
Karoshi was originally developed using Red Hat, early in the 2000s with the aim of making Linux adoption easier for schools in the UK. Linux, at the time, was considered difficult to use in educational environments where computing expertise mainly comes from teachers who are not dedicated IT staff.
With version 5.1.x, Karoshi moved to the PCLinuxOS platform. There were a few reasons for this:
* With the Red Hat install, the scripts had to be manually installed on top of an existing 'fresh' install of Red Hat
* PCLinuxOS allowed the Karoshi developers to move to a more streamlined install process, whereby everything required for the system comes on one CD, and step by step instructions could be included.
The current production version of Karoshi is 5.1.3, with version 6.0 currently in beta testing.
Jo Harris just announced the availability of Karoshi 7.0, now an Ubuntu-based server operating system from United Kingdom designed for schools providing a simple graphical interface for easy installation and network maintenance: "What's New? Built on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS; 64bit and 32bit available; choice of server and domain names; wide range of modules available - Email, E-learning, website, proxy, home access, web filtering, printing, and much more; administration of the servers via web management; mobile phone web management; the system expanded with new servers with home areas auto copied; network monitoring with Email / text message alerts."
Check the project's news page.
Download (MD5): karoshiv7_ubuntu32_02-08-10.iso (638MB), karoshiv7_ubuntu64_02-08-10.iso (621MB).
• 2010-08-02: Distribution Release: Karoshi 7.0
• 2007-06-11: Distribution Release: Karoshi 5.1.3
Karoshi is downloadable from the Karoshi homepage. The installation steps require an initial install of PCLinuxOS, which the Live CD prompts to initiate. Following the machine reboot after installation of PCLinuxOS, the install of the Karoshi system is initiated automatically.
Karoshi is primarily aimed at educational environments, but is also suitable for use in a Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) business environment. The included systems are suitable for use as file and print, email, web and e-learning servers. By leveraging these technologies, it is possible to administer a complete network using the integrated web tools and by using some form of remote desktop technology.
Primary Domain Controller Capability.
The Karoshi system is a scalable single or multi server system, comprising many features. Chief among these are the ability to act as a Primary Domain Controller in a Windows network. Karoshi uses built in Samba and LDAP servers to store user, group and computer information, and emulates a Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 server system using these technologies, providing computer and user authentication, along with file and print services on the local network. Karoshi creates a standard Windows domain for the local network, and names it linuxgrid.
Karoshi uses KiXtart scripts to setup Windows XP clients on the domain, providing mandatory profiles to most users on the system. Roaming profiles can be used, but are not recommended, due to the heavy network overhead involved. Using mandatory profiles and folder redirection to mapped file shares on the server, allows every user to store their own files in their "My Documents" folder.
Karoshi includes the Moodle e-learning package, and several website Content Management Systems, including Joomla! and Website Baker. eGroupware and Squirrelmail are built into the system, allowing for full calendar and email facilities. These can be installed on a standalone machine in the DMZ section, thus providing increased security on systems that are directly exposed to the internet.
Particularly interesting is the inclusion of WPKG, which enables the remote installation of software on Windows clients. By using a machine profile stored on the server, it is possible to install software packages, hotfixes, and security updates in the background. It is also very helpful in terms of creating machine profiles, allowing a 'blank' Windows XP machine to be updated automatically to a particular WPKG profile, once the machine is added to the domain.
This type of technology can be compared to the group policy mechanism in Windows Server 2003, particularly from a machine administration perspective. It is by no means a replacement for group policy, but is a step in the right direction.
Karoshi is designed to use a specific Class B Private network IP address space, namely 172.30.0.0, with a 255.255.0.0 subnet mask. It is possible to use other address spaces, but it is not recommended. Karoshi is designed to be scalable, and all of the servers use the same set of IP addresses to simplify network design and implementation.
It is difficult to integrate Karoshi into an existing Windows network, without changing the address space to the standard one that is used by the Karoshi system.