On July 15th sidux 2009.2 was released. I was looking forward to this release because it’s the first one with KDE4 as I didn’t wanted to go through the hassle of updating from KDE3… For those who haven’t heard of sidux: it’s a Debian sid (the unstable branch of Debian) based distro and 100% compatible with Debian sid. In fact it uses sid’s repositories together with sidux’ own repositories. The latter provide bugfixes to some broken packages in sid, sidux artwork, some tools unique to sidux and of course the sidux kernel (which might update quite frequently). sidux has a rolling release cycle which means, you may update to each next “release” by just updating through Debian’s apt-get. As the homepage says: sidux is “Debian hot and spicy!”. But most of all it makes running the unstable Debian sid quite stable!
Debian has one of the largest software repositories around but also has a very strict policy (which I respect) when it comes to legal stuff concerning free software or copyrights. I guess this is the reason why some multimedia software packages are missing. If you stick with Debian you have to install them manually, or – if you want the easy way – you could of course add some third party respositories or change for example to Ubuntu which doesn’t seem to share Debian’s concerns. As I’m running sidux (which is based on Debian Sid) I wanted to go for the manual installation (I don’t like to add repositories other than Debian’s). Debian comes with an MPlayer package but it lacks menconder. If you need menconder you’ll have to install from sources. lame, transcode, xvid and dvd::rip are not part of Debian repositories at all, so we’ll have to install them from sources, too. In this HOWTO I’ll explain how this worked for me (running sidux on amd64). I guess it should be similar to Debian testing or even stable.
Since yesterday the new sidux release “erebos” is available! As sidux follows a rolling release cycle you can always update your running sidux to the latest release via regular dist-upgrades. erebos comes with kernel 22.214.171.124 and KDE 3.5.9, all software is up to date as of Debian sid on June 25th. You can read the full release notes here.
If you want to use “smxi”, the sidux maintenance script, you have to install it manually because it is not part of “sidux-scripts” anymore. Read this post on sidux forum for more info. To install smxi follow h2′s advise and run as root:
cd /usr/local/bin; wget techpatterns.com/smxi.zip; unzip smxi.zip
I’d strongly recommend using smxi for updating sidux – it’s a lot safer!
Installing erebos is as simple as with previous sidux releases: boot the live cd, run the installer and 5-10 minutes later it’ll be on your hard disk and greets you with a new elegant art theme:
So, if you’re interested, download sidux, install it, have fun!
As already mentioned, sidux is a pretty nice Linux distro and I’m beginning to like it a lot! I was running sidux for quite a while and thought I’d share some of my experiences. So, this is how I installed sidux on my 64bit AMD box and how it worked for me:
As ever, download the image (if you do a fresh install, always get the latest image!), check it’s md5 sum and burn it. The sidux manual says it’s very important to burn the image in DAO mode and not faster than 8x! Yes, they really stress on that!
Once the CD is ready, boot from it. Important: choose your desired language by pressing “F4″ at the boot screen, because this will become your default language setting. If you need any extra kernel options just add them to the boot options. Then press “Enter” and watch the live CD boot. Once KDE is started the show begins. You may just click the installation icon on the desktop (here is an excellent description in the sidux manual) or – like me – get through some pre-installation tasks. They could be done from within the installer, I just prefer it this way:
I was playing a little distro-hopping lately and – having a big favor for Debian – came across “sidux“. This distro is released by former “Kanotix” developers and is based on Debian sid. Sid being the “unstable” branch of Debian is a bit of risk when used as main OS. Though it may be more stable than some other released distro you’re still having chances it’ll break after one update or the other – and if you don’t know how to fix it you may run into trouble. This is where sidux comes in. sidux includes a script called “smxi” which handles most of the system’s maintenance. Agreed, you’ll have to use the command line, but it has never been easier! This script get’s you through system updates, installs proprietary Nvidia/Ati drivers and other third party software if desired. If some very new software releases come to sid repositories and are causing major trouble, smxi puts this software “on hold” which means that it’s not going to be installed. For example: Xorg 7.3 just hit Debian unstable and users are having a lot of problems with it. When updating sidux via smxi, you’ll receive a warning and Xorg will not be updated. You should not do a “normal” Debian dist-upgrade, because then you won’t benefit of the advanced features of sidux’ smxi script.
Besides those very nice features of smxi, sidux is very fast. In fact, it’s the fastest booting OS ever on my desktop. I think this is due to it’s kernel, which isn’t standard Debian but a customized sidux kernel (which is also updated via smxi).
sidux is equipped with it’s own “Control-Center”, that helps managing services and has an option to remove old and unused kernels – very nice! And being based on Debian sid you’ll always have the latest software.
sidux benefits from the excellent work of both: the Debian community and those guys from sidux. If you’re interested in sidux, here’s a very good documentation and a nice forum. Or stay tuned, there’s an installation HOWTO following up these days!