Seduced by Sidux Linux: Before my wife thinks that I’m being tempted, perhaps she should read this first: Sidux is a desktop-oriented Linux distribution based on the “unstable” but most modern and up-to-date Debian branch called Sid (from the Toy Story character). The main aim of Sidux is to enhance and stabilize Sid, using its very own packages and scripts to allow a hassle-free use of Debian’s latest and cutting edge software. This unique aspiration enticed me to try out Sidux (2007-04 Pre 2).
The latest version of Sidux code named “Eros” is still under development, currently on its second preview release. It is available on a LiveCD installer which I got from here. I also found out that Sidux is hot in Distrowatch ranking because it is currently listed at number 22. Now, I'm going to share to you my full experience using this one of a kind distro.
Test Machine Specs:
Board: Intel Corporation D102GGC2
Processor: 3.40 GHz Intel Pentium D
Hard Drive: Samsung 80GB ATA with 8GB allocated to VM disk
Memory: 2GB DDR2 RAM with 512MB allocated to VM memory
Display: RADEON X300/X550 Series [Display adapter]
I loaded the ISO and just booted the normal way without passing any parameter whatsoever. Then without delay, I was taken to the Sidux KDE desktop in a matter of seconds. I clicked on the “Sidux-installer” icon, and so began the installation process. By the way, Sidux comes with its own tabbed-style installer which I find easy to use. But for the new-to-Linux users, the disk partitioning part can be a little bit tricky. The hard drive installation using VMware virtualization software merely took 5 minutes to complete. However, no prompt appeared that would supposedly ask the user to reboot the system after the install. So, I just did it manually using the K menu.
It was a successful installation as audio, video, CD-ROM, USB, and Ethernet were properly detected and worked just fine.
Look and Feel:
Sidux is fast at boot/start-up and is very responsive. The overall look is pretty sleek; the artworks from GRUB menu to the main desktop has a pleasant aura. Sidux uses KDE, but there is a Fluxbox (see fast and lightweight window managers) option for geeks, and for those who want an even lighter desktop. For those of us who are familiar with KDE, we can say that it is very easy to use and very newbie-friendly. Sidux also comes with its own “Control Center” for a trouble-free hardware and software configuration.
The pre-installed software applications in Sidux are strictly free/open source. Therefore, proprietary programs like Flash and Java are not available out-of-the-box. There is a "metapackage installer" that can be used for downloading and installing additional packages from Sidux’s repository. But, I can’t seem to find any GUI for uninstalling and updating software applications. I would love to see Synaptic Package Manager installed by default on the final release version.
I can’t say much about the stability of Eros because it is still under development. However, I can tell that it is on the right track of becoming a quality Linux desktop operating system based on its ability to properly detect and support my hardware configuration.
For a development release, I find Sidux quite good and steady. The absence of a graphical package manager is a big drawback to Linux newbies, but its speed, responsiveness and light footprint makes it an ideal OS for older computer machines.
Sidux may have successfully seduced me, but I have to wait and try the Distribution Release so that I can properly and fully express my desire for this fine distro.