Quirky Linux: Pleasingly Peculiar | Reviews

Quirky Linux: Pleasingly Peculiar | Reviews

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Quirky Linux: Pleasingly Peculiar

Quirky Linux is a basic instance of what makes Linux such a diverse and helpful working system.

Pet Linux developer Barry Kauler earlier this month launched Quirky Xerus 64 model Eight.6, which comes filled with the newest improvements for doing Linux stuff in another way.

This newest within the “Xerus” collection is a must-try in case you wish to push your computing expertise envelope. It affords a barely totally different method to mixing a standard Linux desktop with the newest in usability choices.

Quirky Xerus64 Welcome screen

Quirky Xerus64 is a far stretch from the appear and feel of Home windows 10. Its Welcome display screen simplifies desktop setup.

Quirky is expounded to the Pet Linux household of distros, however it isn’t a mainline Pet Linux launch. Moderately, it’s a distinct distro in its personal proper. Its web site is minimalist, however you may get hold of technical help for Quirky within the Pet Linux boards.

Model Eight.6 is an incremental launch with package deal upgrades and architectural enhancements, together with the Linux kernel four.14.63. Considered one of its latest tips is offering help for file sharing with an Android telephone through the EasyShare community file and printer sharing software.

I’m a long-time Pet Linux fan. I’ve relied on it for years as a pocket Linux software. Quirky goes a number of steps additional with improvements for enhanced productiveness.

Quirky Xerus64 tools

The principle menu in Quirky Linux is filled with lots of the instruments and purposes present in its cousin distro, Pet Linux.

Totally different Strokes

Kauler forked Pet Linux into Quirky Linux again in 2009 so as to discover new ideas. He had stepped down as Pet Linux’s lead developer a couple of years earlier, solely to return with a brand new dogpound of concepts within the Quirky distro offshoot.

Quirky is binary-compatible with x86_64 Ubuntu 16.04.5 LTS. In any other case, it’s nothing in any respect like Ubuntu. It’s architecturally very totally different.

Quirky is an experimental distribution that boots from a USB stick or CD and runs in system RAM for lightning-fast efficiency. Like its Pet cousin, Quirky is a light-weight distro that gives a powerhouse of options and usefulness.

It seems like a Pet Linux clone, however Quirky Linux follows a special path than its Pet distro cousin. Quirky Xerus explores some new concepts whereas persevering with the Pet Linux custom of offering a full suite of optimized purposes, drivers and utilities in a really small dimension.

Frequent Floor

Quirky Linux’s desktop construction and look are much like Pet Linux.

Below the hood, Quirky is way totally different than Pet, however its purposes, utilities and person interface point out a powerful connection to Pet.

Quirky makes use of Joe’s Window Supervisor for its desktop setting. JWM is a extra compact desktop interface than present in GNOME or Xfce or LXDE. Each distros are designed to run on legacy, low-powered desktops and laptops.

Nonetheless, Kauler didn’t cease at light-weight. He shoehorned plenty of heavyweight efficiency into Quirky. For example, he succeeded in hunting down typical light-weight purposes in favor of full-featured heavyweights like GIMP and LibreOffice.

Pet Linux isn’t meant to be totally put in on a tough drive. It helps you to do a partial or frugal onerous drive set up. That’s the place the persistent storage comes from by utilizing a particular private financial savings file on the onerous disk or a 2-GB USB stick.

Quirky Linux is kind of structured to operate in reverse. It’s designed to be totally put in. Nonetheless, it doesn’t should be. You’ll be able to run it from a CD or USB drive and keep configuration updates for a pocket Linux system with a setup choice.

In case you are actually adventurous and your helps an SD card, you can also run Quirky from that storage gadget.

Unusually Useful

Quirky Linux is aptly named. It’s peculiar in comparison with no matter working system you employ. Nonetheless, it has conventional panel bars, familiar-looking menus, and many configuration choices.

Quirky Xerus64 main control panel

Quirky Linux is configured from a essential management panel and plenty of menu instruments. You’ll be able to entry the menu from the button on the left of the panel bar or by right-clicking on the desktop.

I’ve a protracted satisfying historical past with Pet Linux. I began utilizing it a decade in the past on a USB drive once I traveled round ceaselessly and was engaged on banks of Home windows containers in no matter workplace I visited.

So Quirky Linux matches proper into my computing routines. It affords the following era of moveable Linux energy and productiveness. It takes the Pet Linux idea to the following degree. That familiarity makes working with Quirky a snug expertise.

What’s Inside

Quirky isn’t a dumbed-down Linux distro crammed onto a USB drive. It comes full with a full set of kernel, printing, scanning and digital camera drivers. It has an ample provide of multimedia libraries. The Adobe Flash participant is included as an optionally available set up. Quirky affords a fast set up choice of some widespread packages.

Quirky additionally doesn’t skimp on purposes. It features a full suite of top-rated packages. The present launch sheds a number of the earlier software program baggage reminiscent of Ami Phrase and Gnumeric spreadsheet.

As an alternative, you get the LibreOffice 5 workplace suite and much extra enterprise and multimedia software program headliners. The default Internet browser is SeaMonkey model 2.49.four, however different selections can be found within the PETget Package deal Supervisor.

Additionally included are Leafpad textual content editor and Geany IDE/editor. Different normal apps are ROX-filer file supervisor, the MPlayer media participant and CUPS (Frequent Unix Printing System) help for printing. General, the software program obtainable by the Quirky repository will deal with most, if not all, of the standard person’s wants.

Look and Really feel

In case you are aware of Pet Linux, you may be proper at house working Quirky Linux. If any of the Ubuntu Linux desktop flavors, you’ll need a while shifting in and getting cozy with Quirky.

The menu is sort of overwhelming. The classes are filled with purposes that seem overseas. You’ll acknowledge some basic software program titles. Principally, although, you’ll have to click on round to see what the Pet/Quirky titles do.

Like Pet Linux variants, Quirky’s software program format is the Pet file construction. The Pet repository has its distinctive traits. It provides you entry to quite a few Ubuntu software program warehouses, however these purposes are packaged within the Pet format.

As is typical for light-weight desktops, the JWN setting is bereft of glitz, glitter and animations. However the pace and the vary of performance will impress you.

Quirky Xerus64 background images

Quirky Linux has just a few background photos. Its Qwallpaper switcher app lacks a random or timed show operate.

Utilizing Quirky

I final reviewed Quirky Linux in January of 2014. I used to be happy with its efficiency then, but it surely did not displace my well-worn earlier model of Pet Linux put in on a USB drive.

Quirky Linux succeeded this time round in changing that well-worn Pet distro. After testing this newest launch, it was a straightforward resolution to maintain utilizing it fairly than course of an upgraded set up of a newer Pet Linux launch.

Being aware of how Quirky operates, I used to be extra involved with newly developed variations Quirky Xerus Eight.6 displayed in organising and working its varied choices for full and partial operation. Considered one of its chief benefits is utilizing it as a reside session OS with the power to keep up persistent reminiscence simply.

Putting in an OS to a USB stick is a possible dogfight. The variables contain each the appliance that burns the system to the USB drive and the standard of the USB drive itself. The drive’s switch pace is a consider how nicely Quirky on a Stick performs.

Decisions and Workarounds

As I anticipated, Quirky booted up from CD with none points. Nonetheless, working the OS from CD (or DVD) includes a protracted ready interval for the code to switch to system RAM.

You’ll be able to proceed to run Quirky from the CD in case you are happy with the default settings and software program. Or you may click on the SAVE button on the desktop to retailer your configuration settings and software program updates in a particular file wherever you want on the onerous drive.

This method provides you a computing answer that quantities to a reside session on steroids. This methodology is an effective way to run a first-class Linux OS in your Home windows laptop in a dual-boot setting with out the onerous drive partitioning points.

From the reside session startup, you may click on the INSTALL button on the desktop to do a full set up of Quirky Linux to a tough drive. Do you might have an exterior USB onerous drive hanging round? Use that and take the complete set up to any laptop, however plug it into the exterior drive.

Be ready for some troubleshooting in case you go for the USB stick set up methodology. You might need to strive a number of totally different USB gadgets. It appears that evidently the set up course of for Quirky Linux generally is a bit quirky.

Making It Work

The developer gives detailed
directions for putting in Quirky Linux to a USB stick in addition to different storage choices.

One of many instruments for putting in Quirky to a USB stick is the dd utility — however that didn’t work nicely. Neither did a couple of different instruments.

What did work was doing the set up from the working reside session utilizing the Setup choice in the primary menu. I clicked on the Straightforward DD Frontend for dd software and had Quirky put in on an Eight-GB (really helpful minimal dimension) USB thumb drive.

It’s a lot simpler — and apparently simpler with Quirky Linux — than utilizing the dd instructions in a console window. The appliance requested me to click on on the situation to the picture file after which click on on the situation of the USB drive getting the set up.

It’s a lengthy course of — it took 30 minutes — but it surely labored.

Backside Line

Get Quirky Linux right here. You’ve two selections. One is the usual ISO to burn to CD. The opposite is the gz archived package deal used for putting in Quirky Linux to a USB drive.

Quirky Linux isn’t a distro that meets everybody’s computing wants. In contrast to different distros, reminiscent of Linux Mint or Zorin, Quirky Linux doesn’t have the appear and feel of a Home windows desktop.

Wish to Counsel a Evaluation?

Is there a Linux software program utility or distro you’d wish to recommend for evaluation? One thing you like or wish to get to know?

electronic mail your concepts to me, and I will contemplate them for a future Linux Picks and Pans column.

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Jack M. Germain has been an ECT Information Community reporter since 2003. His essential areas of focus are enterprise IT, Linux and open supply applied sciences. He has written quite a few opinions of Linux distros and different open supply software program.
Electronic mail Jack.

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