Vector Linux 5.8.6rc1 Released

by Caitlyn Martin

It appears that Vector Linux is moving to a faster release schedule. Vector Linux SOHO 5.8 is only a few months old but the first release candidate of Vector Linux SOHO 5.8.6 has been announced:

VectorLinux is pleased to announce the availability of the rc-1 release of 5.8.6 for the VectorLinux SOHO product. This RC release includes the following improvements: upgrade to Xorg-7.2 from the previous 6.9 series which adds many gui improvements and 3D enhancements: rebuilt many core packages so they install properly in new Xorg-7.2 file structure: rebuilt the core font subsystem to take advantage of the new Xorg release: Updated many packages such as pidgin (including spellcheck) and Xscreensaver..., general bug fixing and driver updates. Beryl is an installable option for those wishing the ultimate 3D desktop experience. There are many other enhancements to numerous to mention.

I think this is the first time they've had a release of the KDE-based SOHO without a Standard or Deluxe release. This appears to be part of a general change in direction for Vector that's been happening for the last year. They seem to have moved well away from being a specialty distro for older hardware to being a full featured, general purpose distro. The recent move to begin selling commercial support echoes that transition as does their recent appeal for volunteer testers and developers for a future 64-bit version. I see this shift as entirely positive provided the lightweight Standard version continues to be developed and supported.


Roy Schestowitz
2007-08-04 22:27:17

Wolvix 1.1 was finalised yesterday.

2007-08-05 00:48:01
Caitlyn Martin wrote:
I see this shift as entirely positive provided the lightweight Standard version continues to be developed and supported.

That almost seems to be a big IF and may very well end up being less positive than predicted. Maybe YOU have few older hardware around, but many others in fact DO have such hardware around.

You of course will disagree, however, even from the last half-dozen years since MS-Windows XP was released (and BTW, when Linux kernels in the mid 2.4.x's were more mainstream!), plenty of persons have simply discarded or illegally dumped their old PC's and monitors creating something of an electronics hazard. This rather than upgrading their PC's, primarily by lazy, less hardware-aware PC users in the MS-Windows camp. Just look at the whole general issue of electronics recycling and the lack of such leading to the release of toxic chemicals into the environment (e.g., landfill, groundwater, lakes/oceans, atmosphere... etc.)!!!

For those recycling PC's for good uses such as running a simple desktop or even simpler one-horse tasks such as running a dedicated DNS server or firewall, those Linux distros specifically directed at older hardware are ABSOLUTELY WELCOME!! Caitlyn, would you like to see how many posts come up on Linux forums -- other than within your fine O'Reilly Linux DevCenter Blog -- from persons requesting a Linux distro recommendation or two for older hardware !!??

It would certainly seem that Vector and other Linux distros would do well to keep trying to attract users who have such older hardware or else lose the attraction of such users to their distro. The loss of the low-end unintentionally could even result in the loss of the high-end intentionally, of which VectorLinux is certainly not striving for regardless of any Xandros/Linspire -like IP Patent-deal aspirations it may wish to carry out with Microsoft.

Another very interesting Slackware based distro that's moving forward rapidly and yet still remains highly "friendly" towards lower-end hardware is Zenwalk,
Surprisingly, however, the current Slackware 12.0 itself no longer offers a zipslack install designed for such low-hardware systems which have neither a CD-ROM drive nor a working network connection besides the historically SLOWWWW modem dialup. Perhaps this decision by Slackware itself is also, like VectorLinux, a sign of general overall improvement, but at the same time an indicator of a possibly disturbing trend to eventually abandon Slack's low-end-hardware users.
What might be your guesses on this?

Caitlyn Martin
2007-08-05 09:08:18
@Roy: Thanks. I'll download both Hunter and Cub. I've been quite impressed with Wolvix so far.

Caitlyn Martin
2007-08-05 09:11:23
@vainrveenr: Vector Linux is definitely NOT abandoning the low end. Vector Linux 5.8.6 Standard will be released (I did ask the question) but the order of release was reversed. I guess there is just more demand for SOHO.

Even if Vector did abandon the low end there are MANY distributions dedicated to it, such as Damn Small Linux and Puppy Linux at the very low end to the new Fluxbuntu project above that. Vector hasn't really supported the bottom with the 5.8 series due to the relatively large minimum footprint in any case. I don't feel you have anything to worry about. There will always be a distro for you.

Caitlyn Martin
2007-08-07 11:09:14

The bugs reported so far are minor and few. This release candidate is remarkably ready for prime time.