Stunning Linux Distro Continues Development

Posted by dcparris on Apr 18, 2006 7:26 AM EDT; By helios
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Far from the finished product, Elive still captures the essence of Linux and the user's imagination. The "tweak-ability" of Elive seems endless, and the surprises it holds in store for the new Elive User are unique. has been active in an attempt to not only simplify Linux, but to incorporate an easier menu and help system. We have described what this "Linux on Training Wheels" or "Linux-Lite" would look like. In our search for such a distro, we stumbled across Elive. Elive is a Debian-based distro that incorporates both the E-16 and E-17 Enlightenment environments.

This isn't the distro we were looking for...but that's a good thing, because it's one that seasoned Linux Users will love.

From first boot, Elive shows the promise of an excellent Linux distribution. The graphical presentation is nothing less than stunning. If you are a fan of the Enlightenment desktop, you really have to see this distro. If you have no idea of what I am talking really have to see this distro. Far from being a finished product, Elive still captures the essence of Linux and the user's imagination. The "tweak-ability" of Elive seems endless, and the surprises it holds in store for the new Elive User are unique.

We have the good fortune to interview the developer of Elive. Having received the interview questions answered, Thanatermesis apologized profusely for his poor English. I assured him that I would "fix" any problems I found and present it to the public in a proper format.

I can't do it.

No matter how I try to "fix" Thanatermesis' English, I end up taking away the essence of his words, and that is not reporting, that is editorializing. (Insert your deity of choice here) knows, I do enough of that already. No, I am going to present this to you in his own words, and please...for the cruel among us...those who would kick the cane from beneath a crippled woman, keep your mean comments about his English to yourself. I realize that no one fitting this character flaw would read this, it is just being said in case someone should. He has given us something good.

You can go to the homepage of Elive by clicking this link. The Live CD is no less stunning than the installed version and the screenshots from the website shows that clearly. As this distro develops, I grow more and more excited. I believe this will be a "keeper" on many Linux partitions.

L4L: Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from, is that your home now, and how did you become interested in Linux?

I'm from Spain, Barcelona, but because the poor life spain actually has, I have go to another country to seek a better life. I'm living in Belgium now. I have been interested in linux a long time, because I'm too tired to use an incompatible operating system that only has errors, bugs, caused a loss of important data, virus etc... I have wanted a better system and I have found Linux. I have found that "all is possible in linux" and I'm happy working on it now, I don't need any other operating system and there is nothing I cannot do in linux.

L4L: Tell us about your development team. How many people are involved in the development of Elive and what parts do they play in the development?

About the "pure developement", I'm the only developer of Elive, but Elive has a team where some people work on it. For example Chris 'Roxville' Tidestrom makes good icons and miscellaneous graphics. He has also made the introductory music for Elive. Josef 'cornelius' Vybiral has made the Bootsplash and boot menu themes. Mariano 'Dererk' Velez and Alexandre 'pr0t0cod7' Dhaussy work in the website maintenance and the translations. pr0t0cod7 has actually made a big work with the Content Management System. Blake 'shadoi' Barnett gave the hosting and server for the site of Elive. A new person has recently joined the team. Tim 'GPLGeek' Woods, he is a very good tester and community supporter and has very good miscellaneous ideas. Elive is very happy and very thankful to this team.

L4L: Why did you choose the Enlightenment desktop as your default and was it difficult to offer both E16 and E17 on the same disk? How closely do you work with the Authors of Elive? <--- (I suppose to you have mistake with the authors of 'enlightenment')

I have chosen Enlightenment for various reasons. All the other distros use the same destkop, KDE or gnome... I like to offer a diferent thing, a different experience. Enlightenment is fast, perfectly stable, and the customizations are infinite. It is a really powerful and optimized desktop, and I try to tell people to understand it is not just beautiful. For the next version of elive I have written a basic interactive tutorial - a funny toy - to give users a good first impresion, the real light of Enlightenment. I'm very close and in a perfect contact with the developers of Enlightenment, but not part of the actual development - we work separately.

L4L: With this latest release, tell us what the strongest points of the distro are. What are the things that are missing and when can we expect to see them in the distro?

This is a hard question, because I'm turning to another base system for the liveCD mode. Elive is more an installable distribution than a liveCD actually; but I'm searching another way to make the liveCD mode work. I'm trying to search the perfection, and I think that I'm very close for the next release. The actual release of Elive is in one part "the stabilization and the better release of Elive" for now. If you want a good Elive system installed, Elive 0.4.2 is the better version for this. I would like to release this version before starting to work on the next system.

L4L: Who is funding your effort? If no one, how can people help you financially? Are you looking for other developers to join your Elive team?

No one is helping with the Elive developement. The only way to help financially is making donations, but people don't understand that a donation of just $5 could be very helpful, if many people do it. I don't work actually and I lost my daily full-time developing Elive. But I need to start searching for a real job soon because I need money. I don't have sufficient funds to buy a new machine for the high-level developement of Elive. people are asking for a future amd64 version of Elive but don't make the minimum donation for me to be able to buy this machine. I'm not really searching another developers. I like to control all the development parts of Elive and not have other people discussing my ideas. I don't really seek people to join the Elive team; a person joins the team just if they look like a good candidate for it, without search. If a person has good qualities that maybe we need, then they are invited.

L4L: Tell us about the file system and other items in Elive that are specific to Elive. Is sound handled differently in Elive? How about multimedia.

The filesystem recommended by default on Elive is ReiserFS, because it is fast, stable, with journaling, recovers very good after a possible crash, and is designed for good performance. For the home partition, the recomended is XFS, because is the most fast filesystem and the better for any type of work, specially multimedia, this filesystem supports very hard things. For example, since another filesystem supports maximum 2 GB for one file, XFS supports perfectly 1 terabyte. XFS supports very hard ways to work, and is specially designed for supercomputers, but I recommend to use it also for desktop computers. It is a very fast filesystem and a perfect work of it is guaranteed.

The multimedia is one of the better points that Elive likes to have. Elive has very good multimedia programs. Mplayer is the better multimedia center, not only for playing videos, the possibilites of mplayer and mencoder are infinite, you just need to take a look at 'man' to obtain an example. Elive has also Cinelerra2 and Zynaddsubfx which is not possible to describe; you need to look at it. With elive, you can possibly work in any multimedia related thing. You also have other multimedia programs in the elive repository. The CD alone is not the complete Elive system :) Actually, Elive has more than 220 of their own packages in their repository.


-- Do you want a new linux experience? Just follow my legacy...

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