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Ultilex is still alive

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ULTILEX, the ultimate linux experienceThe Ultilex project is still alive, this is the most important news. We were really worried, since the last official live CD image (version 5.0.0) was released on November 7, 2009 and the last post in their forum is from January 05, 2010. The same goes for their LinkedIn group, which does not show any activity either since over 4 months. A bit lazy for such an interesting project, thus we suspected there should be more activity behind this silent project. So we decided to contact the author -Ivan Davidov-, who resides in Sofia (Bulgaria) and asked him about current project activity and ways for adding updated releases to the live CD without having to wait for a new release in the project.

He told us that the project is alive, but due to the slow development of Slax which is used as backbone Linux distribution for Ultilex, he has not updated the releases. He started thinking about moving to Puppy Linux as the backbone distribution, but thinks that this would cause severe impact on some of the usability features. The most noticeable one is that Puppy allows to create a bootable USB flash drive but the way it does it is not compatible with the the current scripts. Therefore he needs to ‘merge’ the two approaches in one. Else many people will abandon Ultilex, since they don’t use CDs but USB flash drives instead.

On top of that there are neither news about when Slax 7 will be available (in order to use it again as backbone distribution), nor news whether the new version of Slax will be backwards compatible (especially the ‘bootinst.*’ scripts). This is another reason why he is currently investigating Puppy Linux and researching whether it can be used as ‘backbone distribution’. The bottom line is that there is no problem updating Ultilex with the latest versions of the embedded Linux distributions. The problem is that the backbone distribution is getting rather old, it is not updated regularly and this is causing the delay in the Ultilex schedule.

He is even comfident to be able to publish a new version which most probably will be better than the previous version! For those who have not tried ULTILEX yet, the “Ultimate Linux Experience” is not a new distribution, but a live Linux CD compilation which in turn contains several live Linux distributions. You can boot ULTILEX from CD/DVD and USB flash devices. When you boot ULTILEX, the first thing you’ll see is a startup screen with a menu from which you can choose the exact live Linux distribution to run. The current version of ULTILEX (5.0.0) can be downloaded here; it contains the following live Linux distributions:

  • Slax version 6.1.2
  • Puppy Linux version 4.3.1
  • Tiny Core version 2.4.1
  • System Rescue CD version 1.3.1
  • Parted Magic version 4.5
  • boot.kernel.org (BKO)

One interesting feature of ULTILEX is that you can install it with ease on USB flash device and save the changes you’ve made durign the live session on it. You can modify files and even install/remove modules and all your changes are saved on the USB flash.

To install on USB flash device, follow these steps (applied from Slax):

  • Copy all files and folders from the CD to the root folder of your USB flash device.
  • Execute “/boot/bootinst.sh” (for Linux), or “\boot\bootinst.bat” (for Windows).

That’s all. You are ready to boot ULTILEX from your USB flash device! We hope to see more of this project soon.

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  1. July 12, 2010 at 08:59

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