Beta

Simplicity Linux 14.7 Beta Released

Simplicity Linux 14.7 Beta has been released today!  You can find Desktop edition here (639.3mb).  And you can find Netbook edition here (366.9mb).  There is no X edition in our Beta release cycle because we have changed direction on it significantly recently, and there is no ISO ready yet.  It is based on Puppy Linux, and uses the excellent LXPup By SFS by PeaBee, which we get from here.

For the uninitiated, Desktop is our full fat Edition.  It has locally installed apps rather than cloud based apps, such as Dropbox, Skype, and LibreOffice.  As such it weighs in at a hefty 639.3mb.  As with all our recent releases, it uses the LXDE window environement.

There is also Netbook Edition which is a cut down version of Simplicity Linux which features a few local applications, and a browser so you can concentrate on working with cloud based applications rather than having to deal with local applications.

It should also be noted that these is a beta releases and should not be considered finished as yet.  We know there are problems with it, and we are working on them.

We hope you enjoy using them as much as we enjoyed working on them, and any feedback would be hugely appriciated in the comments section below.

SImplicity LInux 14.4 Beta Now Available

The latest Beta release of Simplicity Linux 14.4 is now available for download.  Simplicity Linux 14.4 is based on Slacko 5.6.5.6 by 01micko from the Puppy Linux community.

Simplicity Linux 14.4 uses LXDE as the Window Manager for Netbook and Desktop Editions, and uses KDE 4.10 as the Window Manager for Simplicity X 14.4.  As usual, Netbook is a heavily cut down Linux distro which gives access to a browser, e-mail, and a few local based applications.  Netbook is designed for those who want to browse, check their e-mails, and perhaps look at a few photos or watch downloaded movies on their machines, but little else.  Desktop is designed for a fuller experience, and as such includes Dropbox, LibreOffice, Skype, and more local applications.  X is our experimental release.  It is designed to see what else we can do with Linux, with the intention being that features we like will filter down into the stable releases.  X should generally work, but should be considered highly experimental, and highly unstable; it is not really designed for day to day use.

Simplicity Linux Netbook 14.4 Beta is available for download here: 246.4mb
http://sourceforge.net/projects/simplicitylinux/files/simplicity14.4beta/NetbookBeta144.iso/download

Simplicity Linux Desktop 14.4 Beta is available for download here: 559.4mb
http://sourceforge.net/projects/simplicitylinux/files/simplicity14.4beta/DesktopBeta144.iso/download

Simplicity Linux X 14.4 Beta is available for download here: 672.4mb
http://sourceforge.net/projects/simplicitylinux/files/simplicity14.4beta/x144Beta.iso/download

 

Simplicity Linux 14.1 Beta Now Available!

So, we have finally released Simplicity Linux 14.1 Beta!  You can download the Desktop version here (548.5mb) and the Netbook version here (244.8).  For those wanting MD5 sums, they are available on the Sourceforge page by clicking the i icon next to the files.  Media and X versions will follow very soon once we’ve finished tweaking them.

One of the big changes we have made this time around is that we have changed the default browser from Firefox to Chromium.  This is based on what we have observed from CPU usage.  Whilst Chromium may create a new instance per tab, we have noticed that Firefox uses far more CPU resources, which goes against what we are working towards – an efficient Linux distribution.

As per usual for Desktop, you get LibreOffice, Skype, Dropbox, OnLive (for all your gaming needs) and WINE.  We have also included Java, which does make the Desktop version a lot heavier than before, but we think that it’s worth the added size.

Another change we have made is not to include VLC or any other media player.  There are a few reasons for this.  Firstly, we think there is a shift in how people use media these days from files being stored on their computers to streaming.  With Spotify, Grooveshark, Pandora and Google Music all having web based access, we’re not sure there is any need for a seperate media player.  Also, if you want a media player, you can take your pick from the media players in the repositories.

Oh, and 14.1 has fixed the shutdown problems everyone encountered in 13.10!  We hope you enjoy using this beta release, which as always is offered for free but with no guarantees that it will work 100% or that it will work at all on your system.  Such is the nature of beta software.

Simplicity Linux 14.1 Betas available soon!

So, despite saying we were going to blog more and use social media more…we kinda got lost in November with NaNoWriMo!  But now work is back on track with Simplicity Linux 14.1.  There will be no Alpha this release cycle, we’re going to go straight into Beta.  We’ve been doing a lot of testing as we used the base system for our NaNoWriMo release and were running it on two machines for November.

The biggest changes are that the shutdown problem from 13.10 is fixed in 14.1, and we are trialling something we’ve been using for a month or so.  Cocoon, a plugin for Firefox.  It is installed by default, but it’s completely up to you whether you use it or not.  If you choose not to sign up for a free account, it won’t do anything.  We don’t get anything from this.  We personally use it because we like the additional security it offers in public wifi areas.

We will let you know more when we’ve finished with the Beta releases and they are available.

Simplicity Linux 13.10 Beta Releases are go!

Simplicity 13.10 Beta releases are now available for download.  As with all beta releases, they’re still not the finished product, but they’re a lot closer to it than the alpha releases.  We wouldn’t recommend you use this as your day to day OS (we do, but we’re used to the bugs!) but you can download it, use unetbootin to install it to a USB key and play with it without affecting your computer.

The biggest change we have made is getting rid of the horrible LXDE menu.  We knew it had problems, so we fixed it using XFCEAppFinder.  Personally, I think it’s better than trawling through menus to find what you’re looking for.  It’s not perfect, but we’re working on the bugs. We’ve also updated the repos for you, so they should be up to date when you boot up.  There are a few other refinements too, especially to the stability of the platform.  We personally ran 13.10 Desktop Beta as our main machine OS for 15 days without a single crash or problem, so that gives you an idea about stability…

For those not familiar with our releases, we will explain quickly.  Obsidian is a really cut down version of Simplicity.  You get virtually nothing with it.  So there is no Flash, no browser, no pre-installed apps.  What you do get is Quickpet which lets you add what you want, a network manager, and a nice looking user interface.  Obsidian is 198mb and you can get it here.

Netbook is our next smallest release.  You get Flash, and a few other apps pre-installed.  But not a lot.  Again it has Quickpet, so you can add in things you want and not bother with things you’re not interested in.  Netbook is 213mb and you can get it here.

Desktop is our full featured release.  You get Dropbox, LibreOffice, VLC, Flash and a whole host of other software.  We have opted not to include a browser, because we know some of you love Chrome, some love Firefox and some of you like Opera.  So we give you the choice about which browser you want.  Desktop is 314mb and you can get it from here.

Finally, for now, there is Media.  Media doesn’t use LXDE as it’s interface like our other releases.  Instead it uses XBMC.  This is because Media is designed for computers where you’re not sat right in front of them.  It’s ideal for lounge PCs or bedroom PCs.  It’s kind of big, weighing in at 384mb, but it does come with a lot of plugins and addons pre-installed.  You can get it from here.

Simplicity Linux 13.10 will have a final release around 25th October 2013.  It might be earlier than this though, because we are going to Oggcamp, and we would quite like to have it out before then, so people can come talk to us about it!

Latest Screenshots of Simplicity Linux 13.10 Beta

We are just making the finishing touches to Simplicity 13.10 Beta.  The images aren’t quite ready to be released yet, but we have a screenshot of 13.10 Desktop Beta, showing the task manager.  We’ve decided to post this to show how gentle Simplicity Linux is on a system.  Our day to day laptop is a 2.3ghz dual core machine with 4gb of RAM.  Nothing spectacular by today’s standards.

image-1

But as you can see, it’s using just 6% of the processor, and 161mb of memory.  Because of this, Simplicity 13.10 absolutely flies.  It should be available to download on 25th September 2013.

Simplicity Linux Desktop 13.7 Beta Now Available!

We have officially launched the beta of Simplicity Linux Desktop 13.7.  You can get it here.  We are currently in the process of uploading Simplicity Linux Obsidian and Netbook 13.7 Betas. Media probably won’t get a beta release because we are having some issues with it, but it should be ready to go for release on 28th July.

The biggest change we’ve made from Simplicity Desktop 13.7 between Alpha and Beta is we have officially moved from Carolina Linux as our base to LXPup.  We like XFCE, we’ve been using it for a LONG time, but we think that LXDE is a better window manager, and if nothing else, it’s more energy efficient.  We’ve also made some changes to the ACPI stuff behind the scenes, compared to standard LXPup.

Of course, the biggest change you get because we’ve moved to LXPup is Gslapt.  Personally, I think this is huge for Simplicity Linux that we now have an actual APT based package manager.  PPM is fine and good, but I think APT based systems manage things a lot better, and it’s something I’ve always missed from Puppy.

We hope you enjoy using it as much as we have enjoyed working on it!

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!

Testing something new

Whilst Simplicity Linux is free, has always been free and will always be free, it’s not free to create it.  There are hosting fees, domain name fees, etc.  So we are trying a hybrid of something we saw CheckMate do and our own spin on things.

From now on, if you want access to our alphas and betas, you can have them, free as always, it’s just that there will be an advert before the download.  Full releases will always be available advert free.  It’s just a way of us making a little bit of money to support Simplicity Linux without you, our wonderful users having to do anything or spend anything.

The first bunch of ad supported Alpha images are here:

Simplicity Linux 13.7 Desktop Alpha
Simplicity Linux 13.7 Media Alpha
Simplicity Linux 13.7 Netbook Alpha
Simplicity Linux 13.7 Obsidian Alpha

Simplicity Linux 12.7 Beta Available

Simplicity Linux 12.7 Beta including a link to Gaikai is available at http://sourceforge.net/projects/simplicitylinux/files/12.7Betas/SimplicityDesktop12.7Beta.iso/download  If you want to use Gaikai, just open the package manager on the dock, search for JRE and install it.  Once JRE is installed, you can run Gaikai.  We’ve also got OnLive, Libre Office, Skype, VLC, Clementine, Pidgin, Flash, Thunderbird and Firefox preinstalled and ready to go on the desktop.  It also includes Wine and Compiz, which is why it’s a hefty 562mb.

The SHA1 is a6c9d7f7aba2e4351f2cd038e843806fe804942d
The MD5 is 554f70166497a3fe5a372db791b4b43c

We recommend installing it to a USB key using Netbootin