Of course, there are some distros which account themselves as multimedia-oriented. They appeared not today and not yesterday. They started to appear as soon as multimedia applications and hardware became available for Linux. This post will be about one of these multimedia-oriented Linux distros – Dynebolic.
Latest version of Dynebolic 2.5.2 DHORUBA was released in December 2007. History wise, this is just peanuts. But in terms of Linux history, that is “ages ago”. ISO weights just under 700 Mb, in other terms OS was developed to be used from CD image. It is Live CD which means you can run it without installation.
It is announced on the official page that it supports wide range of hardware and contains wide range of multimedia applications. Let’s check if this is true or not.
I did not create CD with the image, instead Live USB was created by Unetbootin. USB stick is in the port. Reboot. Chose to boot from USB. Let’s go!
Maybe that is an issue of Unetbootin, maybe that’s a Dynebolic built-in feature, but start menu is confusing. There are 3 options available: "Default", "Dyne: II DHORUBA" and "Linux". Guess what?
|Guess which option works?|
Anyway, system is booted from USB. It works extremely fast, as you can expect for USB image.
Dynebolic uses XFCE desktop environment with 6 desktops available. Not sure who needs that much, honestly. But that is easy customizable if you need to.
Taskbar is at the bottom of the screen, as in many other systems. But main menu and dock bar is located in unusual place – in the top-right corner. It takes only half of the screen, but automatically expands if you add items.
Dynebolic contains lots of themes for windows manager. To be honest, I lost myself trying to find most suitable for myself. And stopped searches at one which more or less suited me fine.
Window manager itself is same as in Puppy Linux.
Unfortunately, I have found no option to configure Russian keyboard layout. I assume this is common issue for XFCE – it is not anywhere in configuration menu. There is a workaround which I found in Linux Mint XFCE, but I have not tried it in Dynebolic.
As soon as Dynebolic was released about 1 yest after my Compaq C300 laptop’s purchase date, chances to get WiFi card (Broadcom 4311) working were very weak. But why not to try? WiFi card was listed in lspci, but Dynebolic contains no driver for it. Of course, commands ifup wlan0 or ifconfig wlan0 up do not work. Network is down. No wonders here, I am afraid.
When I flipped through the menu, I noticed that Samba is included into default package, but I could not check it without network.
Dynebolic easily mounts all local partitions, including formatted with NTFS, but without support of Russian characters.
Other than multimedia tools, Dynebolic contains bare minimum of software. This can be expected from single-purpose oriented operating system.
Browser is Firefox (Bon echo) with version 2.0.2. There are lots of other net tools actually: IRC, Instant messaging, FTP etc. Developers cared not only about multimedia component of their system, but also about communication with other people who might be interested in multimedia content.
Office applications are represented by lone AbiWord 2.4.6. No spreasheet tool. No presentation tool. Sure, Dynebolic is not office-oriented OS.
Dynebolic has an option to add more modules. List of available modules is available on the web site, but is far not impressive. But at least it includes Open Office and one package called "games".
What are my thoughts about Dynebolic? This system is abandoned and not being developed any more, does not support more or less modern hardware. Interface is outdated. Whole system is oriented on multimedia users in English-speaking countries. Does it deserve further development? I am not sure.