sábado, 10 de febrero de 2018

Seven Days with Elive 2.9.26 (Beta)

If there is a distro release that I have been waiting for, that is surely Elive 3.0.


I had Elive 2.9.8 Beta installed, so I used the same partition for this upgrade.  After downloading the image of this new beta (2.9.26) and copying it to a USB drive with ROSA image writer, I was ready to test it.  I wanted to see if this distro is OK for a rather non-technical Linux user like me, who has not used the Enlightenment DE regularly.  I also wanted to see its Japanese IME capabilities.

When I installed version 2.9.8, I encountered a frustrating problem: There is an issue with my graphic card. The distro booted correctly, but, when I installed it, the DE froze and complained about Enlightenment crashing because of a module problem.  However, one can circumvent this by booting the distro using the "graphics problems" option, so, after it is installed, Elive works perfectly.  Although the Elive installer bypassed that situation this time because it remembered my settings (awesome!), Megatotoro, who performed a clean install, was not that lucky and stumbled with the issue. 

This is Elive 2.9.8, a previous release
Once in the DE, one can see the beauty of this distro.  It is fast and very stable and the live wallpaper and menu both look classy.

I added iBus IME with Synaptic to try the Japanese capabilities of this beautiful distro.  The results are more than satisfying!

iBus Japanese IME with Anthy

As promised, the clock is sitting on the desktop and one can re-position and re-size it. Clicking on it displays the calendar, as usual.  I resized the clock and moved it to a different position.  Then , I resized the pager (yes, Elive gives you 12 virtual desktops by default) and changed some of the wallpapers.  Contrary to KDE's Plasma, which ditched multiple wallpapers to favor Activities, Enlightenment lets you have independent wallpapers.

A significant detail is that, in Elive, you will not find a launcher button on the lower left corner.  As a matter of fact, you will not find it anywhere: it simply pops up wherever you click on the screen.



I could add the Insync application to sync files with Google Drive in a snap.  Adding the printer, however, was a different story.

Even when I got the drivers for the Epson XP-231, getting the multifunction printer to work was not easy.  Elive has a graphical printer administrator, but, after dectecting the USB printer and selecting the driver, the tool does not continue when you press "next."  To solve this, I added the printer using CUPS (with Firefox).


So, the printer worked, but, as in Fedora 26, I haven't been able to get the scanner to work yet. That and the fact that the GRUB fails to see some of my distros: Mageia, OpenMandriva, and Fedora.  It sees PCLinuxOS, PiSi, and PicarOS Diego. I suppose that is a problem derived from having a hepta-boot laptop.  Still, I recovered my other distros with Super GRUB, a nice piece of advice that Thanatermesis, the developer of Elive, gave me.  (Yes, the support of this distro is immediate with a chat room where the developer himself kindly helps you).  Aside from those two problems, the distro is working as a final release, not a beta.

I guess that one can also speak about the installer and how helpful it is.  I mean, while it basically does everything and tells you about the process in great detail, a window with a Mario game for you to play for a while opens... That is something I have not seen in any other installer.  You cannot play for a long time, though, because the installation is quite fast. 

One has to learn certain tricks, like adding users to a group with Terminology, the colorful terminal, or where files are stored.  Understanding what .edj files are will surely be useful, too.  But that comes later... First, one needs to play with this distro to see and enjoy all the possibilities.
This string of buttons is hidden in the border. I am still learning what the buttons do.


All in all, this distro is a keeper.  I will keep supporting it to see the final release.

viernes, 2 de febrero de 2018

January 2018 is gone

January 2018 is gone.
It was a pretty hectic month for me... so much, in fact, that the 31 days passed and I could not post a single entry on this blog.

It is not that there were not interesting topics to write about.  I could have posted, for example, about the release of the Elive beta 2.9.22, which promised Korean and Japanese support. However, I could not even get the release.

Or I could have posted about LibreOffice, or Firefox Quantum, or the Microsoft-wants-Valve horror...

To be honest, January flew.  I was busy with a writing project on the first two weeks of the month.  Almost simultaneously, my daughter started her summer courses in preparation for her new school.

The weather got crazy and temperature dropped.  I got sick.

Then, during the third week, more courses.  And another writing project with a very close deadline popped up. I had a relapse on the last week.

Now, I am getting better and January is gone, so this is my first post of the year:

The beta 2.9. 26 of Elive is now available!


According to the release announcement, this new version includes:
  • Greatly improved designs for clock and battery, clock is shown by default, the battery includes intuitive colors useful for show the status
  • Improved initial configurations for hardware accelerated features with optimal autodetections and skipping in not supported ones like virtualmachines
  • Lock screen: greatly improved design and a small fix included for wrong passwords attempts
  • Massive rewrite of keyboard bindings greatly improved for a stable and productive system, all the media keys from special keyboards are assigned to the best launchers and features
  • Desktop application launchers improvements, fixes and new includes, a new application is included to restart to a new clean desktop configuration, improved ebook support
  • Persistence: improved speed disabling some disk usage
  • Public folder sharing fixed
 I am presently downloading it.

(Interesting... My last post of 2017 and the first post of 2018 are on Elive...)