Swift Linux: antiX -> LMDE base

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swiftlinuxcreator
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Swift Linux: antiX -> LMDE base

Post by swiftlinuxcreator »

Linux Mint reminds me of those early Lexus commercials, especially the ad with the wine glasses stacked on the hood even as the engine races at the equivalent of 145 mph and the ad demonstrating the tight tolerances with the ball bearing test. In my opinion, Linux Mint is the BEST distro for first-time Linux users. And it's no surprise to me that Linux Mint was #6 on DistroWatch in 2007 (even though it only began in 2006) and is closing in on Ubuntu. Linux Mint is the distro that sets the standards against which other distros should be judged.

I'm currently using LMDE with Xfce as my main distro, and it has won me over. DVDs play out-of-the-box, and LMDE has the same feel and user-friendliness of the classic Ubuntu-based Mint without the overhead of the Ubuntu base. LMDE is ready for prime time.

Late last year, I started a new Linux distro called Swift Linux (http://www.swiftlinux.org). Target markets include users of Windows XP, Ubuntu, and Puppy Linux. The idea is to provide the unique combination of user-friendliness, a LARGE repository (which Puppy Linux lacks), and lightweight performance (which Ubuntu and the Ubuntu-based Mint lack). So far, Swift Linux been based on antiX Linux, a lightweight version of MEPIS. Both MEPIS and LMDE are Debian-derived and are marketed as user-friendly. MEPIS is good, but LMDE blows it away. LMDE has accomplished far more in 1 year than MEPIS has in 8.

As a result, I have decided that the next version of Swift Linux (0.2.0) will be based on LMDE instead of antiX Linux. antiX/MEPIS has served well as the basis of Swift Linux, but LMDE has emerged as a better alternative. Given that everyone working on the upstream distros is indirectly working on Swift Linux, I'd rather have the LMDE team working on the under-the-hood stuff that I can't do.

Swift Linux will retain the spirit of antiX Linux. antiX Linux proves that it's possible to lighten a heavier distro and compete with Puppy Linux on lightweight performance. I'm going on a similar mission but with LMDE instead of MEPIS as a base. The new Swift Linux will offer most of the benefits of LMDE in a lighter package that fits onto a CD and works on 10-year-old computers just as well as antiX Linux and Puppy Linux do. Obviously, I'll be replacing the login manager, Xfce desktop, and web browser with lighter alternatives. I'll also be cutting redundant packages and packages that I think only a small percentage of my target market uses. I still intend to offer Diet Swift Linux (no LibreOffice), Regular Swift Linux (with some but not all LibreOffice apps), and special editions (Regular + special wallpaper + special startup sound clip).
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xenopeek
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Re: Swift Linux: antiX -> LMDE base

Post by xenopeek »

Thanks for sharing, this sounds like praise to the LMDE team :wink: I don't have a system at home that is a target for this, but it would be interesting to see your first release based on LMDE. This may indeed be an option for people with very old systems.

Will you be tracking the LMDE Latest repository? And will you then also do update packs, or how will you handle the rolling-release thing? (As antiX has also switched to rolling-release earlier this year I understand--though based on Debian Stable instead of Testing.)
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anticapitalista
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Re: Swift Linux: antiX -> LMDE base

Post by anticapitalista »

Vincent Vermeulen wrote: ... (As antiX has also switched to rolling-release earlier this year I understand--though based on Debian Stable instead of Testing.)
antiX has always been 'rolling' and based on Debian Testing.
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Re: Swift Linux: antiX -> LMDE base

Post by exploder »

anticapitalista, very nice to hear from you! :)
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Re: Swift Linux: antiX -> LMDE base

Post by Gnarly »

So instead of creating a new version of Mint, why not take over the Fluxbox version? Kendall doesn't seem to have the time and or the desire to get a new version out.
swiftlinuxcreator
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Re: Swift Linux: antiX -> LMDE base

Post by swiftlinuxcreator »

Gnarly: I don't like the Fluxbox window manager, but I do like JWM (used in Puppy Linux) and IceWM (used in the full version of antiX Linux). I know I sound like I should be working for Linux Mint, but my vision for Swift Linux isn't quite the same. One is that I want to make the desktop and menu of Swift Linux look and feel similar to Puppy Linux. Another is that I want to keep the Swift Linux ISO small enough to fit onto a CD for years to come, and this will require cutting things that make Mint what it is. I know Swift Linux will require a DVD someday, but I want to push that someday far enough into the future that DVD burners are universal even on 10-year old computers, and the only distros that hold out longer are Puppy Linux, SliTaz, TinyCore, antiX Base, antiX Core, etc. Finally, I want to continue making Taylor Swift Linux, Minnesota Swift Linux, Chicago Swift Linux, and other special editions. (Yes, these special editions are inspired by Hannah Montana Linux.)

anticapitalista: Thanks for your support on the antiX forums. I'll be giving LMDE the antiX treatment. I wonder if there will ever be an antiX Linux of Fedora, openSUSE, PCLinuxOS, CentOS, Mandriva, and other popular distros. Unlike the other lightweight distros, yours has a huge software repository. I think the Ubuntu/Unity controversy, the bloating of the leading distros, the GNOME 3 controversy, and the upcoming termination of Windows XP support make today an unprecedented opportunity for lightweight distros and DEs (ROX, IceWM, JWM, etc.). Lightweight distros help minimize e-waste by allowing people to keep old computers running. Lightweight distros can also be a boon for bridging the digital divide, as they revive old computers with little or no resale value. Just think of how many of the poor could use these old computers that would otherwise be junked. Thus, lightweight distros are of great value for not one but TWO great social causes of our time.
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