Saluki Linux is a lightweight distro of about 130 Mb. That IS very little these days! If you know about dogs, you might realize that Saluki is indeed a dog breed...and that very knowledge will also give you a clue about the origin of this little distro: Puppy Linux!
Unlike Puppy, which is aimed at older hardware, Saluki, the Egyptian dog, looks to be the faithful companion of newer hardware. I tested my Seagate USB3 external drive and Saluki had no problem mounting it. The same goes for the other partitions I have. Although my ATI SBx00 Azalia sound card did not want to cooperate at first, the good old AlsaMixer trick did the job!
As another member of the Puppy family, Saluki is able to run totally from RAM, so you can take your live CD out of the tray once it is loaded.
Some people might think that lightweight distros are ugly. Is that the case for Saluki? I don't think so. Take a look:
The installer is very friendly. Yes, I did install it! I had a small
partition sitting there, empty on my hard drive. The Puppy Installer
lets you choose if you want to install on USB or your hard drive and
offers useful explanations.
Maybe the part of the part of GRUB at the end of the installation will potentially be the most confusing step: if you have GRUB already installed, it asks you to copy some lines and paste them to your GRUB "menu.lst" file. No big deal, but some people simply freak out if they have to go beyond pointing and clicking!
Saluki comes equipped with basic software for working: it has Gnumeric for spreadsheets, and Abiword for word processing. For presentations, it comes with an interesting application that turns Pdf files into a 3D cube thing:
The demo presentation is its own tutorial so you are set to go with Abiword and the 3D cube presentation.
For image editing, this distro comes with mtPaint. It may not be the greatest graphic editor out there, but it's functional. You can also download Fotoxx for extra editing and retouching. The extra software comes from the Puppy Package Manager:
What about Internet software? Claws mail, gFTP, Pidgin, Midori, and Transmission are installed. When you run Midori, though, you get a warning that it is unstable and you are thus encouraged to download another browser. I downloaded Firefox.
For fun, the Egyptian dog comes with Gweled and GtkTetris. There are other games available for download, although this may not be this distro's strongest point. I went with a DOS Box download.
In terms of settings, the control panel is very easy to use. Localization, however, needs a bit more polishing: I got a mixture of English menus with those in my native language. Again, no big deal but this could be a downside for people who don't speak English. I am thinking especially about schoolchildren who might benefit greatly from this distro.
This may be totally beside the point...Can you type Japanese on Saluki? (This is vital for me!) Well, I don't know yet. I just went with JWPCe through WINE. That's the easy way out! :P
One thing that caught my eye about this distro is that you are logged in as root. I don't know if it's the safest choice, but I'd rather type passwords! :P
Well, I still have to get used to Saluki Linux. It's my first time using XFCe, by the way...
If you want a lightweight, but powerful distro that handles current hardware, give Saluki a try...it surely is not an underdog!
Hats off to Jemimah, Saluki's developer, for her hard work and accomplishments with this interesting distro!
(I made this entry on my brand new Saluki install)