DistributionWatch Review: Elfstone Linux
A Distribution Geared Toward Programmers and Network Administrators
Is the Linux pie large enough for vendors to focus on a very specific segment? Apparently so, if Elfstone Linux is any indication. Elfstone Linux is a specialized distribution designed for programmers, engineers, and network administrators. As such, Elfstone Linux succeeds--albeit with some noticeable limitations that should keep Elfstone Linux within its target audience.
Elfstone Linux is designed solely as a server operating system. That means that no unnecessary software is included in the distribution: no KDE, no GNOME, no gewgaws that could possibly impair performance or get in the way of ultimate system performance. The creators of Elfstone Linux describe it as the most UNIX-like of the commercial Linux distributions, and based on our scanning of the installed directories, we can't argue with that assessment. As Linux moves into the enterprise, there's a great virtue in a Linux distribution that closely hews to UNIX conventions (Slackware Linux is renowned for this capability), and this capability certainly distinguishes Elfstone Linux.
In fact, Elfstone Linux is so server-oriented that it's not designed to co-exist with another operating system on a machine: when you install it, you install it to take over a machine's entire hard drive. No choices for partitioning or dual booting here: your box goes straight into Elfstone Linux. The assumption is that your system will not be going down any time soon: when you boot an Elfstone Linux system, your entire hardware configuration is scanned to make sure that no new components like RAID arrays were installed. This auto-sensing wouldn't make sense for a consumer distribution that might be booted daily, but makes sense for a Linux server situation where reboots are much less frequent. (It's also not very appropriate for situations where you want a standalone, non-networked Linux box: it takes forever to boot a non-networked Elfstone Linux box, and in the end Elfstone Linux ended up repeatedly crashing on us when booted without a network connection.) The hardware support extends to USB support, and Elfstone Linux did indeed detect a USB device attached to a test system.
We reviewed the Sabre beta release of Elfstone Linux and used it both as a Web server and as a desktop system for creating applications. Elfstone Linux is based on Linux 2.2.6 and includes XFree86, the GNU gcc compiler, Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.0, GIMP, Netscape Navigator 4.6, and other assorted X Window and OSF/Motif utilities not included as part of the core XFree86 release. It also includes RPM as a tool for adding new packages.
- Skip Ahead
- 1. A Distribution Geared Toward Programmers and Network Administrators
- 2. A Distribution Geared Toward Programmers and Network Administrators
Solid state disks (SSDs) made a splash in consumer technology, and now the technology has its eyes on the enterprise storage market. Download this eBook to see what SSDs can do for your infrastructure and review the pros and cons of this potentially game-changing storage technology.
- 1Linux Top 3: GNOME 3.12 and New Betas for Ubuntu 14.04 and OpenMandriva Lx 2014.0
- 2Linux Top 3: Linus Lashes out, Linux 3.14 Gets PIE and Ubuntu One is Done.
- 3Linux Top 3: Ubuntu 14.04, Debian Gives Squeeze More Life and Red Hat Goes Atomic
- 4Linux Top 3: CoreOS, Oracle Enterprise Linux 7 and Ubuntu 14.10
- 5Linux Top 3: Debian Dumps SPARC, Ubuntu Takes Over Linux 3.13 and the Core Infrastructure Initiative