Sunday, October 26, 2008

MilaX - Wow!

I've been playing around on my laptop today. It's a fairly basic model - with a pretty large screen - that I normally just use for simple connectivity. So the fact that it's running Vista doesn't bother me, as it can launch firefox, VNC, and putty just fine.

I wanted to play around with OpenSolaris on it, which is a bit tricky - it doesn't work right on the metal (I can manually get the wired network to function, but never got the wireless going). So I'm back to running stuff under VirtualBox. Which would be easy if I had a decent amount of memory to play with, but the laptop has 768M and Sun's OpenSolaris distro needs pretty much all of that, so it's not going to work.

Enter Milax. Not only is the download tiny, but it claims to boot graphically in 256M, and CLI in 128M. So I gave it 384M in VirtualBox, and it works just fine!

It's a fabulous little distro. There's no room in that footprint for all the bloat we're used to - no desktop environment, no office suite, no java - but it works, and is really very slick.

In many ways I feel right at home: a standalone window manager and individual applications, all very lightweight, and reminds me of the energy of the 90s before the big desktop environments turned computing into a desolate wasteland.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter,
I've also played a bit with MilaX (I've left a link here : http://www.drzz.net/articles.php?id=102 - in French). I fully agree with you : that's the kind of distribution which gets back to the egg. Everything you need to work and do some sysadmin and more without the bloated side.
Jean-Claude

Chris said...

What's the resource meter thing in the top-right hand corner called?

Thanks

Chris Morgan

Peter Tribble said...

Chris,

That's conky (http://conky.sourceforge.net/) in action. Although I think the MilaX version had to be modified a bit - see http://www.milax.org/?p=18