Ubuntu Linux, which my regular readers know I love, has been producing variations like mushrooms in spring including two Christian variations which I think are a waste of time, a proposed Jewish variation (though I wonder if this isn't a jape) and a Satanic theme, to dress up one of the more conventional versions.
I am more patient with localizations, which makes this or another distribution of Linux (Ubuntu Linux or not) more relevant to a particular ethnic or linguistic group, particularly new users, and versions that make the best use of old or limited computers. I keep looking for ideal Linux distributions for old machines -- heck, my own is looking towards its sixth birthday -- but localizations impress me now. Some good ones come from Spain, sponsored by regional governments, for use in schools, government and by private citizens.
The oldest of these, I think, is Guadalinex, from Andalucia; LliureX from Valencia, EHUX from the University of the Basque Country (EHU in Basque), gnuLinEx from Extremadura, and MAX from Madrid are other examples.
But I first downloaded Molinux (Engish Wikipedia stub; more detail at Spanish Wikipedia) because it was based on Ubuntu Linux and because of the clever branding. It hales from Castilla-La Mancha, and is careful to evoke that molino-fighting favorite son, Don Quixote. But the distribution is anything but quixotic.
More, including screenshots, after the break.
I downloaded the 644 Mb image -- version 2.2, Rocinante Live; named for Don Quixote's horse -- and burned it to a single CD-ROM, and kept it in my CD drive. Shut down my operating system and rebooted it. Molinux booted from the CD-ROM in less than two minutes (but I wasn't timing it.) Like other Ubuntu live CDs, the essential software you need was there, including the Firefox browser, OpenOffice.org office suite, an RSS (news) reader, a CD burner, music and video players, HTML editor and the silly office games that infect computers worldwide.
I would have wanted Thunderbird Mail rather than Evolution, but the later includes calendaring that Thunderbird doesn't, so my personal preferences aren't likely the majority interest. But even so, the simple software addition feature -- at the bottom of the main menu -- would have set me up. I prefer the VCL video player, but this wasn't an option at all; Totem would do.
My wireless keyboard and mouse, USB thumb drive (see lower right corner, image above), and network connection came up automatically. So did the correct date and time (in Spain) and I didn't try to correct this for local time. I do fault the dictionary for being an English dictionary; the most I could change it to was a Castillian Spanish-English dictionary, but perhaps there are more options once it is install. Or perhaps that's a work in progress.
I did like how icons for the most basic applications -- four of the five being the browser, chat, email and help -- were pre-configured on the top tool bar, including a control center (see center, above image) that would comfort novices and be a convenience to others. The bookmarks in Firefox include convenient links to regional government and the Molinux project.
I would have been happy to work all day on this live installation of Molinux, but I didn't have the password to get back into this blog, so how would I have told you about it? On the whole, a great introduction to Linux.
One last thing: it seems a waste of bandwidth to keep this disc to myself. If you're in the US, don't have broadband, and would prefer a Spanish (Castillian) language Linux disc, I'd be happy to send you this one. (You can even set it to use English if you prefer a bilingual set up.) Just email me at bitb -- at -- boyinthebands.com.