Alpha

Simplicity Linux 16.04 Alpha is now available

Simplicity Linux Mini Alpha Edition 16.04 Screenshot (Previously known as Simplicity Linux Netbook Edition)Simplicity Linux 16.04 Alpha releases are now available.  In this release, we have decided to change the name our trusty Simplicity Linux Netbook Edition to Mini.  We feel that this new name more accurately reflects this edition.  We’d love to know what you think about the change.

As it was usual in Simplicity Linux Netbook Edition, Mini is a cut-down version of our Desktop Edition Linux distro.  Most of the local software pre-installed with Desktop is replaced with browser-based versions.

Desktop Edition is our fully featured release, which has software such as LibreOffice and GIMP preinstalled.

We have decided to do something a little different with X in this release cycle.  X will still be a testing ground for experimental features, but it’s now aimed at people moving from Windows to Linux.  It looks a little more like Windows XP, and it comes with a lot of the same software as Desktop, but with additional software like WINE to help users with the transition.

Download Links

You can find the Alpha releases available for download at the following links:

Mini: https://sourceforge.net/…/16.04…/Mini1604Alpha2.iso/download

Desktop: https://sourceforge.net/…/16…/Desktop1604Alpha2.iso/download

X: https://sourceforge.net/…/16.04%20…/X1604Alpha4.iso/download

As always, these are very rough versions of Simplicity Linux 16.04 and may not behave the way you expect them to. This being said, we’ve been using various versions on our production machine for the last couple of weeks without any problems.

Feel free to download any or all of them and play around with them.  And don’t forget to let us know what you think in a comment or if you find any bugs while you try them so we can get them patched before the final release.

Also, don’t forget you can stay up to date with the latest Simplicity Linux news by following us on Twitter or liking our Facebook page.

Simplicity Linux 15.4 Alpha is now available

Simplicity Linux 15.4 Alpha is now available for download.  This release cycle marks the start of a new chapter for Simplicity: You can now get our releases in 32 or 64 bit versions.  The 32 bit version is based on the superb Puppex, and the 64 bit version is based on LXPup64, a distro we have admired for a long time.  At the moment there is no alpha release for the 64 bit Desktop Simplicity Linux because we’ve been having a few issues with it.  However, there will be a 64 bit Desktop edition for the beta releases.

It should also be noted that these alpha releases are very rough and ready.  Things will change between these releases and the beta releases.  Some features aren’t available in the 64 bit versions which are available in the 32 bit version.

As usual, Netbook is aimed more at cloud apps rather than local apps.  It’s designed for people who have an internet connection everywhere, but maybe don’t have the storage space to keep everything on the device.
32 Bit: 456mb (MD5: da265a18a4f4d311c8c7c53691e0bce6)
64 Bit: 383mb (MD5: 8da6487f93b7a153ea89b470ea66ea80)

Desktop is our heavy duty release which contains lots of local apps.  It is designed to be a more fully featured release than the lightweight Netbook edition, and as such features apps like Thunderbird, LibreOffice and Dropbox rather than web based applications.
32 Bit: 676mb (MD5: d240517a82744528ad02611d6e4bc235)

We hope you enjoy using it, and at the end of March we will release the beta version of Simplicity 15.4.

Slight delay in Simplicity 14.10 Alpha releases

You might have noticed that we haven’t been too active on this site lately – that is because we had a catastrophic problem here: nothing was booting, according to the error messages, due to problems with the processor in our production machine and with our backup machine out on loan to a family member.  These problems have been fixed now but unfortunately it has pushed back the release schedule a little bit.

We’re working furiously on playing catchup, and hopefully in the next couple of days there should be Alpha releases.

Simplicity 14.7 Alpha is now available to download

Simplicity Linux 14.7 Alpha is now available for download in Netbook, Desktop and X Editions.  It is based on Precise Puppy and uses the excellent LXPup by SFS to provide LXDE as a desktop environment for Netbook and Desktop Editions.  As usual, Netbook is our cut down version which focuses on web based applications rather than locally installed applications.  Desktop is our heavyweight version with a solid focus on fully featured applications.  X is our experimental release, which may or may not change significantly between release cycles and is intended as a testbed for new ideas we are working on; as such, it’s not recommended for use on a day to day basis, but for those who want to see what the future of Simplicity Linux may look like.

In Netbook 14.7, we have taken user feedback and put web based applications on the dock bar, for ease of access.  Netbook comes bundled with the Chrome web browser because we personally feel it’s faster and more responsive than Firefox.  In Desktop 14.7 we have included Skype, Dropbox and the complete latest version of LibreOffice, along with Chrome.  X 14.7 still uses the KDE desktop environment we tested in 14.4, but we’ve added widgets that we think are handy, such as news RSS feeds, and information on the system.  We are also working on Media Edition for those with lounge PCs and Subdivision for those who have Windows XP machines but are a little nervous about making the jump from Windows to Linux.

You can download Netbook Edition (383.6mb) here.  You can download Desktop Edition (599.5mb) here.  And you can download X Edition (749.7mb) here.  And since I am always being bugged for them, here are the MD5 and SHA1 sums:

Netbook 14.7 Alpha MD5: 1056699ae69781e59ef1d196092c9d66  SHA1: d75fa6a0f8bcec8e571e82c4038dcd9a1f430567
Desktop 14.7 Alpha MD5: fb07216ffac88749606e37d28d478489  SHA1: 15220be71bcc2dedfaa020bf670aa8fc59c67a3a
X 14.7 Alpha MD5: 4d46d4d5769c137e6b18439427b6da6b  SHA1: cd82d9c43e94d91505ca88ebd221811dccc4d2cf

Simplicity Nano 13 available now, a Linux for #Nanowrimo contestants!

So, as promised yesterday, Simplicity Nano 13 is now available for download here.  It is designed to help you win NaNoWriMo.  We’ve included links to the Write Or Die web app (stunning way to write), a link to the NaNoWriMo page (so you can update your word count), and LibreOffice so you can save your work.  It comes bundled with Firefox and very little else in the way of apps.  And that is the point.  It is designed to not distract you from writing.

If you’re taking part in NaNoWriMo or not, if you use or enjoy the version of this distro, rather than donating to us, we would like a donation on our official StayClassy page, which ensures all the money goes to NaNoWriMo.  We currently run this from a USB key, storing data on the key and backing it up on Google Docs.  It’s fast, stable and makes doing NaNoWriMo easier, because everything is right there.

We hope you enjoy this mini release!  And for those taking part in NaNoWriMo too, Good Luck!

Simplicity Linux 13.10 Alpha releases have arrived!

Simplicity Linux 13.10 Alphas are now available.  Be warned, these releases are buggy, as is the nature of Alpha releases, but they do generally work.  13.10 is based on Raring Puppy 3.9.9.1 by Pemasu.  The forum link for his release is here.  The kernel is 3.9.9.1, as you might guess, and it is a non PAE kernel, meaning you do not need a machine with PAE to be able to run it.  The window manager is LXDE for all releases except Obsidian which uses Openbox (released tomorrow due to unforseen problems).

As usual, Simplicity Linux 13.10 falls under several catagories:

Netbook:
A stripped down version which comes with very little pre-installed software.  The idea is you get a nice looking light UI, and then a browser and network manager.  If you want more software, just add it from the Puppy Package Manager (and later apt).  You can download Simplicity Netbook 13.10 Alpha here.

Desktop:
Desktop is our big release.  It comes with media players, LibreOffice, and a lot of other software.  Desktop is a full featured Linux distro compared to the cut down versions like Netbook and Obsidian, and less specialised than Media.  It also assumes some familiarity with Linux (you don’t have to be an expert, but having used Linux will help).  You can download Simplicity 13.10 Desktop Alpha here.

Media:
Media is designed to be used in lounges or bedrooms or anywhere else you want a nice looking OS to put on your TV.  It is the one we personally use when we’re partying to manage our music (like for our launch parties) and we also use it around our house for watching stuff on YouTube and other places.  You can download Simplicity Media 13.10 Alpha here.

Known Issues:
As we have said, there are bugs.  There are a couple of big ones we know about.

  • Media has a bug where it will try to help you configure your system on startup, but won’t let you select any options.  Pressing ctrl-alt-backspace will force Media to go to the command line.  From there if you type xwin xbmc it will boot into XBMC without asking the setup questions.
  • Subdivision has a bug (okay, we forgot a script or two!) where it won’t load Wbar or Quickpet on boot.  The easiest way for users to fix this is to just go to the menu at the top of the screen and click on run then type lxterminal from there you can type wbar to launch wbar or quickpet to launch quickpet which will give you access to a lot of very useful software.
  • We have been promising apt as a package manager.  We have it working but not as nicely as we would like, so we didn’t include it in this Alpha release.
  • We know the menus in LXDE are ugly as all sin.  We’ve got a fix for that coming in Beta.

Tomorrow is Simplicity Linux 13.10 Alpha Release Day!

We’ve been working hard for the last month or so on Simplicity Linux 13.10, and now you finally get to see the first fruits of our labours.  As always, the alpha images will be rough around the edges, so don’t expect them to be perfectly formed bits of Linux distro just yet.  And since we created those images, more bugs have been fixed.  At the moment we’re on schedule for Obsidian, Desktop, Media and Subdivision to all have Alpha releases out tomorrow.

As yet, at best we’re looking at a Beta release for Simplicity Linux X 13.10.  For those who follow all things Simplicity, you will know that X is our experimental release.  It’s not designed with a use case in mind, it’s designed to be more like an in house version of Simplicity if we were designing it from the ground up, just for us and no-one else.  Last time it was stripped down, but this time we’re loading it up with eye candy.  And that is the reason there is no Alpha – the eye candy isn’t behaving how we want it to!

In the meantime, between now and tomorrow (probably in the afternoon, during the Spa Grand Prix 😉 ) when we upload the Alpha images, here is a screenshot of Simplicity Linux 13.10 Obsidian loaded up with WBar, VLC and Opera (they don’t come pre-installed) running Openbox as its WM.

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Simplicity Desktop 13.10 pre-alpha screenshot

It hasn’t been a week since we released Simplicity 13.7, and Simplicity 13.10 Alpha is already starting to take shape!  We’re planning to release Simplicity Alpha 13.10 on 26th August, but for now, we have a screenshot of Simplicity Desktop 13.10.

image-1Click to see a larger image

We think a lot of people are going to be surprised when Desktop launches, because it’s defiantly has a few tricks up it’s sleeve!  For a start, there is no browser.  For a long time we’ve heard people asking for Opera, Firefox, Chrome, Chromium, Iron, etc.  We’re not about bloat, so we’re not going to include every browser people ask for.  Instead, we’re using Quickpet, so you can just pick which browser you want.  Secondly, Tor is integrated into Simplicity Desktop.  It runs on boot silently in the background.  If you don’t want to use it, don’t.  If you do, just set your SOCKS proxy to 127.0.0.1 and port 9050 and you’re good to go.  We’re including this because we know some people are worried about three letter organisations spying on what they do online.

But the biggest surprise you might find is the size.  We’re expecting it to get a little bigger (not everything has been added), but right now the pre-alpha is 260.7mb.  Including LibreOffice 4.02.  And Dropbox.  And LXDE.

image-2

As we said, it’s not finished.  We’ve got to add some eye candy, an online games store, and fix a few bugs.  But right now, we think it’s looking really good.

Simplicity Linux 13.10: The journey starts here

So, we released Simplicity Linux 13.7 yesterday, which means today the work on Simplicity 13.10 starts in earnest.  We’ve made rough base image using Slacko 5.5.71 and LXPup by SFS.  We also tweaked the UI fonts and look quite a lot, replaced Firefox 17 ESR with Firefox Aurora 24 and made a few changes to Firefox’s UI too.  Nothing too major or drastic, but enough to make it now look less like a Fisher Price Linux and something more professional.

screenshot2

There is still a lot of work to do on it to make it the Linux distro we want it to be.  But this is a start.  And for those wondering, no, the base image won’t be released.  However, you’ve got just over a month to wait until we release the Alpha.

Two more changes to Simplicity Linux!

So, unlike other distros (yeah, we’re looking at you Ubuntu), we listen to the community.  Sometimes they’re not always vocal.  Sometimes they vote with their feet.  Or rather their mouse clicks.  And we have noticed a massive drop off in downloads since we added advertising to the links for the alpha downloads.

Whilst we’ve made some money (11 cents to be precise) from these adverts, we
1) Don’t think it’s paying off and
2) Would rather have lots of downloads rather than any amount of money

So as of now, the ad sponsored alpha links are gone for good.  We might bring them back, as in you can choose to support us, or you can choose not to support us, but either way, you get a choice.  Perhaps that is the model we should have gone for in the first place, but hey ho, you live and learn.

The second change is more dramatic.  As of now, all Simplicity Linux releases going forward, including the 13.7 Beta and Release editions will contain TOR and Polipo.  They will autoboot, and will be running in the background.  We could include Vidalia, but we don’t want to.  The point is this: if you’re fed up of PRISM, Tempura, and general shenanigans going on with your traffic, you can use TOR to hide yourself a little better.  Whilst TOR and Polipo will be running, we will not enable them in Firefox by default.  That is your call to make.  If you want them, the hostname will be 127.0.0.1 and the port will be 8123.  Just pop that into Firefox’s proxy settings, click apply to all connections, then go and be anonymous.

The Simplicity Linux team strongly oppose PRISM and Tempura and any other method of data collection of the general public on a mass scale.  This is our way of sticking two fingers up at those who snoop, and protecting our users from being snooped on.  Plus, since we dogfood Simplicity Linux, and we like TOR, it makes sense for us to have it right there!