On the DVD

On the DVD

Article from Issue 271/2023

SystemRescue 10.0 and Linux Lite 6.4

SystemRescue 10.0 (64-bit)

Like KNOPPIX, SystemRescue is a recovery tool. Unlike KNOPPIX, SystemRescue can be installed on a drive for everyday use. However, doing that can make its tools unavailable at precisely the time you need them most. Consequently, SystemRescue is most safely run from a Live device.

SystemRescue's kernel supports standard filesystems such as ext4 and XFS, but also older filesystems such as VFAT and NTFS, newer ones such as Btrfs, and network ones such as Samba and NFS. SystemRecue's tools include GParted for disk partitioning and FSArchiver for saving a filesystem's contents to a compressed file, as well as more mundane tools such as Midnight Commander for file management and a selection of text editors. Just as importantly, SystemRescue's documentation can be a useful resource during troubleshooting – even more useful if you read it beforehand.

Keep a current copy of both SystemRescue and KNOPPIX; between the two you will have all the resources you need in emergencies.

Linux Lite 6.4 (64-bit)

How do you make the transition from Windows to Linux easier? Since 2012, one of the most thorough answers has been the Debian-derivative Linux Lite. Using a modified version of Xfce, the Linux Lite distro offers a desktop that is as familiar as possible to newcomers.

To achieve this goal, Linux Lite uses several strategies. To start with, it includes cross-platform applications such as Skype, Steam, Kodi, and Spotify. At times, the app name is not used. For example, LibreOffice is listed in the menu simply as Office, Writer as Word Processer, and Calc as Spreadsheet, in order to not overwhelm users with new names. Other menu items are worded according to function, rather than project name, and a few are borrowed directly from the Windows tradition, such as My Computer. Moreover, to further simplify, except for large industry standards such as Gimp, most included apps are designed to do one thing well. Just as importantly, the desktop has the standard features of most desktops on any operating system. New users may not have previously seen this particular desktop, but they have probably seen similar menus, panels, and file managers with the same default positions.

At the same time, Linux Lite has the support and security you would expect in any distribution, including active user forums and regular updates. Whether Linux Lite is seen as a lightweight distribution in its own right or as a gateway to more traditional distributions, it is as painless an introduction to Linux as anyone could want.

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