New versions of VectorLinux, Foresight and SimplyMEPIS
The VectorLinux developers have released a new version of the Slackware derivative, VectorLinux 6. This version of the lean system is the first to offer installation via a graphical installer, although text-based installation is still supported. VectorLinux Standard is based on Xfce version 4.43 and includes LXDE and Openbox as desktop alternatives. The developer team is offering a commercial deluxe version, with KDE 4.2 and other extras, from the project's online shop. The Gnome desktop environment can be installed using the VectorLinux software repository.
VectorLinux 6.0 is loosely based on Slackware, but adds a number of updated packages to the veteran Linux distribution. Package management is handled by the slapt-get command line tool and the graphical GSlapt interface. The system includes Linux kernel 126.96.36.199, Xorg 7.3 and the Xorg Server 1.4.2. The distribution offers codecs for playing back popular multimedia formats and drivers for graphics cards by Nvidia and AMD/ATI.
The Foresight team has released a new version of its Gnome-based distribution. Foresight 2.1.0 is available for download as a DVD image for the i686 and x86-64 platforms. In addition to the current Gnome 2.24 and kernel version 188.8.131.52, the new release also includes components such as Python 2.6. The developers have now configured the Conary package manager (which was developed by rPath) to download all the available updates before installation, instead of retrieving and installing the packages one at a time.
A week after the release of Debian 5.0 "Lenny", the MEPIS project has followed suit and released the Lenny-based SimplyMEPIS 8.0. The release includes kernel version 184.108.40.206 and is offered as an installable live CD. Like Debian, MEPIS chooses the tried and tested KDE 3.5.10 over the more current version 4 of the popular desktop environment. Also included are OpenOffice 3.0 and the current version 3.0.6 of Firefox. Packages are managed via the graphical Synaptic front end, familiar from Ubuntu, while the Debian tool apt-get does its work in the background. SimplyMEPIS is available for download for i686 and x86-64 systems.