Home > AntiX, Debian, Fluxbuntu, Mepis, Ubuntu > Eight Distros a Week: Fluxbuntu 7.10

Eight Distros a Week: Fluxbuntu 7.10

February 12, 2008

[This is the fourth in an eight-part series on distros I use. These observations are based on distros running on one or more of the following hardware: Dell Inspiron 5000 laptop, an brandless Pentium III-based desktop, an IBM PL 300 Pentium II, an iMac G3 (Indigo) and an iBook G3. As the auto commercials say, your mileage may vary.]

Take the massively popular and versatile Ubuntu distro and minimize the impact on system resources so newer machines are raised to a higher level of performance while older machines can utilize it. What would you call it?

Fluxbuntu — Ubuntu under the hood with a Fluxbox desktop.

Fluxbuntu, which is based on Ubuntu (and, therefore, has its roots in Debian), is a wise choice for users who seek a low profile operating system, which would include a wide variety of users ranging from those who crave performance in their newer machines to those who wish to revive an older computer (something we’re fond of here — in the same way some folks would like to keep their ’57 Chevy or ’65 Mustang in top condition).

Fluxbuntu, like its distant cousin AntiX (which is based on Mepis, and also traces its roots to Debian), provides users with a lean, efficient operating system that accents performance and reliability. This was evident when we ran Fluxbuntu 7.10 — which was released at the same time Ubuntu’s Gutsy Gibbon saw the public light of day — on an IBM PL 300 (384MB RAM, Pentium II), which if you worked in an office in the 1990s was the machine with which you shared the most face time.

A minor caveat here was the boot time: While it took slightly longer to boot than AntiX on the same machine — Fluxbuntu provides a numberless stopwatch on the start-up screen in its green and gold motif that hung at what would have been the 4 o’clock position had there been numbers on it — but once over that minor hurdle, the distro and the programs associated with it ran without a hitch. The performance of programs on this office workhorse of decades past was flawless, and provides an exclamation point to the testament to Fluxbuntu’s versatility.

On a Pentium III-based laptop, the paces at which Fluxbuntu runs — and I do mean run, as in sprint — are nothing short of optimal. Multiple programs run seamlessly both together in the same window as well as in different windows (a GNU/Linux gimme, I know, but something I find incredibly endearing).

On the whole, Fluxbuntu conceivably could be all distros to all people, and Joe Jackson (not the musician/composer, but developer Joe Jackson IV, aka JoeJaxx) and his team have done a remarkable job with Fluxbuntu.

However — and I have to mention this — I am a little taken aback by my inability to sign up on the Fluxbuntu forum list. While this does not reflect on the distro’s performance or usability, it is a little annoying. In their defense, I know there was a problem sometime in the middle of 2007 which may have wiped out my account, but signing up should not be so difficult. In addition, personally my hopes were high that the PowerPC version of Fluxbuntu — discussed in the late spring of last year — would show up somewhere along the line, and it hasn’t. If one is forthcoming, those of us PowerPC users would like to know; and if not, that’s okay too.

Coming tomorrow: gNewSense 1.1

[FSF Associate Member](Larry Cafiero, editor/publisher of Open Source and Free Software Reporter, is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)

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Categories: AntiX, Debian, Fluxbuntu, Mepis, Ubuntu
  1. February 12, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    I agree Fluxbuntu and PPC sound like a perfect fit, it would be nice to see a comminment from the Fluxbuntu team.

  2. February 12, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    Yes! I am one of the ones that has asked about it last spring, and still nothing. Bear in mind that I understand that bringing a distro into the world is a huge undertaking — I realize that — but if you’re going to say/imply/whatever that you’re doing a PowerPC version, you should either follow through with it or say, “Oops, we spoke too soon.”

    Rant alert: I rant often about the need for distros other than Debian to make PowerPC versions of their OS, if for no other reason that the quality of Mac hardware (in particular) far outlasts the Mac OS that it can run. So there’s thousands, if not millions, of Mac users still using flavored iMacs, for example, who can’t run anything past Mac OS 10.2.x but can run Debian or Ubuntu (up to 6.10 — and still Ubuntu blew it by ceasing PowerPC development). Yellow Dog is an option, too, but on older machines (like the PowerBook G3 Wallstreet, for example), you have to boot from BootX, which is a waste of space, IMO. So Fluxbuntu’s glimmer of hope to have a Fluxbox-based distro running on PowerPC, frankly, had me acting like Pavlov’s dog when I first heard about it.

    March 4, 2008 at 11:41 am

    I feel exactly the same way Larry. I have a tweaked B&W G3 and it’s sitting there in all it’s console glory waiting for the first release of fluxbuntu for PPC 🙂

  4. January 27, 2010 at 7:10 am

    Just installing a sweet old wallstreet 300mhz 128mb ram with a karmic koala server ppc and waiting to digit sudo aptitude install fluxbox xorg xdm dillo


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