Salix OS Ratpoison

14.0.1 GPL (GNU General Public License)    
3.7/5 3
A lightweight edition of the Salix OS distribution with the Ratpoison window manager

editor's review





Salix OS Ratpoison is an open source operating system, a special edition of the Salix OS distribution that uses the Ratpoison window manager, which provides users with a desktop environment that has no fancy graphics, no window decorations, no rodent dependence, and no fat library dependencies.

It can only be installed on a local drive

This special Salix OS edition can be downloaded as 32-bit and 64-bit bootable ISO images that can only be installed on a local drive. The user must write the ISOs to CD discs or USB flash drives in order to boot them from the BIOS of a computer.

Basic boot options

The ISO images come with a basic boot prompt that allows the user to quickly access the text-mode installer or enter custom kernel parameters. In addition, the ISOs can be used as system rescue CDs by exiting the installer after choosing the keyboard mapping.

Salix OS’ not so scary text-mode installer

The text-mode installer is not so scary as users might think, as it requires them to choose a keyboard layout, select an installation method (AUTOINSTALL is the recommended option), choose the target drive, select the installation source and the installation mode (FULL is the recommended option).

It is also a must to configure and install the bootloader, enter a root (system administrator) password, create a new user, and setup the clock and timezone after all packages have been installed.

A window manager for skilled programmers

Ratpoison is a window manager for advanced users or programmers who are looking for a desktop environment that can only be controlled with the keyboard. After installation, you will be dropped to a shell prompt, where you must login with the user created during the installation process and run the “startx” command to start the graphical desktop interface.

Bottom line

Summing up, the Ratpoison edition of Salix OS is the first ever Linux distribution that features Ratpoison as its default and only window manager/desktop environment where all interaction is done through keystrokes.

Salix OS Ratpoison was reviewed by Marius Nestor
Last updated on June 2nd, 2014
Salix OS Ratpoison - The default Ratpoison desktop of the Salix OS Ratpoison distribution

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