Open Source Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Roger Strukhoff, Felix Xavier, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Linux, Open Source

Linux: Article

Former FreeBSD Project Releases Linux Live CD Alpha

Fledgling Distro Uses a 2.6.16 Kernel and KDE 3.5.3 Desktop Environment

The GNU-HALO project team has released its first edition, GNU-HALO Alpha 0.1 Linux live CD.

The fledgling distro uses a 2.6.16 kernel and the KDE 3.5.3 desktop. The initial build is based on SLAX Standard Edition v 5.1.6 and is available as either a SLAX module (to be released shortly) or a fully bootable Live CD iso image file -- which is available for download now.

"If you're not familiar with SLAX, go check [it] out. The architecture of the distro not only lends itself well to the GNU-HALO Project, but it makes it easy to customize your own live CD environment," said a team member.

"GNU-HALO Alpha 0.1 now uses Linux 2.6/L4Linux in place of FreeBSD/Mach. This will allow for a larger software and driver base for end users, and faster development due to the ability to leverage and work with other Linux distros to better obtain the goals of the HALO project," he added.

Key features include:
• 2.6.16 kernel
• KDE 3.5.3
• KOffice 1.5.1
• SendMail 8.13.1
• X.org.6.9

The new Linux-based distro also aims for the following goals, according to the project:
• A slim and modular core operating system -- The OS will have a set core of libraries, making standardized support and development easier for everyone on an open source platform.
• A secure operating system -- The core OS will install as a read-only environment to any bootable storage device that it will fit onto. All applications will be located outside of the core OS and will be read/writable under root permission for ease of update.
• Firewall whitelists -- Under a default configuration, no traffic in or out of the system unless it's for a pre-approved application, only when the application is open, and only on the port(s) for which the application has been approved.
• Software whitelists -- Under a default configuration, no application can run on the system unless it's been properly registered as an authorized application.
• Portable user profiles -- Create user profiles that can not only be easily backed up, but its files and address book can be used to instantly customize any portable electronics device to the user with the portable profile.
• Optimized user interface -- Placement of the most important desktop elements will be located in screen corners and on screen edges for faster mouse targeting. Full keyboard commands will be supported as well. Additional elements that aren't located on screen will be in menus no deeper than two levels.

Language and dexterity sensitive desktop layout -- Various window and desktop elements will be placed according to the end user's language settings and hand dominance. This will help the interface to be more intuitive to the end user.

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