VortexBox is an open source, minimal and free distribution of Linux based on the well known and highly acclaimed Fedora operating system. It has been designed from the ground up to transform an old, low spec computer into a feature rich media server.
Availability, boot options, installation
It is distributed as a single, CD-size ISO image that supports both 32-bit and 64-bit hardware platforms. It’s not a Live CD, which means that it has no graphical interface and can only be installed.
There are two installation options on the boot prompt, one for installing the operating system on a local hard disk drive and a second one for deploying it onto a USB flash drive or any other portable storage device.
The installation process is text-based only, but fully automatic. At first, it will download a few GB of packages, a process that will take some time, depending on your Internet speed. After that, it will start the main processes, configure network connections, set the timezone, and partition the drive.
The third step in the installation process is to install all the packages, which should be around 300-400 hundreds on a minimal install (2GB - the second option on the boot prompt).
Features at the glance
Key features include the ability to rip Audio-CDs to digital formats, such as MP3, Ogg Vorbis or FLAC, automatically tag converted files using the CDDB (Compact Disc Database) service, and automatically download album artwork.
In addition, it allows users to share and stream files to Windows or Mac OS X computers via the Samba protocol, as well as to any other DLNA compliant device, including Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Sonos, and Apple TV.
Summing up, VortexBox is an interesting project that will transform any machine into a dedicated NAS (Network-attached storage), jukebox or Audio-CD ripper system in less than 20 minutes.