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01 August 2012, 15:14

CentOS gets a desktop remix with Stella 6.3

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Stella logo Stella 6.3 is a remix, aimed at desktop users, of the CentOS enterprise-class Linux distribution. Stella takes the server-oriented CentOS, itself a clone of Red Hat's Enterprise Linux (RHEL), and adds in a GNOME 2 desktop environment, office suite and other desktop components. The developer, "Nux", started the project earlier this year, working with CentOS 6.2 to produce a number of test versions of the distribution. With the recent 6.3 release of CentOS, "Nux" has now produced the first stable release, Stella 6.3.

Programs bundled with Stella include Firefox and Thunderbird ESR 10.0.6, the Pidgin IM client, version 2.6.9 of the GIMP image editor, LibreOffice 3.4.5 and the Transmission BitTorrent client. Stella includes additional third-party repositories such as Fedora's Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) and the ELRepo RPM repository for Enterprise Linux packages. Two repositories – nux-dextop and nux-libreoffice – contain the additional desktop components, applications and the LibreOffice productivity suite that have been added to Stella.

Zoom Stella 6.3 in action
The desktop-focused operating system runs as an installable Live system and, because it uses the older 2.x branch of GNOME, is described as "slightly outdated but stable" by its developer. Stella replaces CentOS's artwork and naming with its own branding, and includes extra multimedia and desktop additions; its developer notes that Stella does not overwrite the CentOS base, saying "what you get under the hood is basically CentOS".

Further information about the new version, including download links, can be found in the release announcement. Nux asks those running Stella 6.3 to provide feedback and report any bugs they find in the project's forums.

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