Vine Linux is an open source and totally free Linux-based operating system that features a highly customized Japanese desktop environment and various applications that support Kanji-Strings.
Distributed as installable only DVD and CD images
The distribution can be downloaded from its official website or via Softpedia as installable only CD ISO images of approximately 700MB in size, as well as DVD ISO images of approximately 2GB in size. Please note that you must write them on DVD, CD or USB media in order to boot them from the BIOS of a PC.
Boot options and installation instructions
From the boot menu, users can start the graphical installer, which will require them to select a language for the installation process (Japanese and English), select a keyboard layout, select an installation type (Everything, Desktop, Server, Base System or Custom), partition the disk, configure the network, select the default language for the system, choose a timezone, set up users and passwords, and choose software packages to be installed.
Beautiful graphical desktop session customized for Japanese-speaking users
While the default desktop environment of Vine Linux is GNOME, it also includes the Window Maker window manager, where the menus and dockable apps can be customized. Moreover, users will be able to select Canna or FreeWnn as a Kanji input method.
Default applications include the Leafpad text editor, Rhythmbox music player, Totem video player, Brasero CD/DVD burning software, Cheese webcam viewer, Meld diff and merge utility, Adobe Reader, LibreOffice office suite, gFTP file transfer client, Mozilla Firefox web browser, Transmission torrent downloader, Pidgin instant messenger and Sylpheed email client.
In addition, the GIMP image editor, Inkscape vector graphics editor, Shotwell image viewer and organizer and gThumb image viewer are also included in the distribution. Many of the basic applications and commands in Vine Linux have Japanese localization, which can be easily changed by modifying the environment variable.
In conclusion, Vine Linux appears to be a great distribution of Linux that runs fast on low-end machine, mostly because of the optimized GNOME and Window Maker desktop environments. However, its main target are Japanese-speaking users!