Chris J Powell

OS Sunday – By the Clear and Running Fountain…

The great country of Canada was mapped, explored and built by many brave people.  These French Canadians were called the Voyageurs and their story was one of hardship, exploration and travelling with only what they could carry on their backs and in their canoes.  They serve as the inspiration for this weeks look into the world of the Linux OS with the Xubuntu based distro called Voyager Live!

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As always for OS Sunday I am testing the Operating System in an Oracle Virtualbox environment that has 4 GB of RAM and a 20 GB HDD but considering that this customized version of Xubuntu is designed to run with much lower specs, it should be able to run like a top.  The download is just shy of 1 GB which is about 50 MB more than what the Xubuntu 14.04 that it is based on runs so it will be interesting to see what choices and changes were made to the overall setup and configuration.

Off the bat, the Live Disk booted up to a crisp desktop with a well appointed docking bar at the bottom of the screen, an understated desktop wallpaper and a properly configured action bar across the top of the screen all of which made it look and feel very “Mac-lite” which I must say suits this sveldt little OS.

Installation was simple as it runs the base line Ubuntu Installer that I have been using for years, it is very easy to use and the defaults are for the most part what I want when it comes to installing an OS like this.  There were no surprises and all said and done from the click to download to a fully functioning Desktop Environment on first boot I was looking at 25 minutes.  Done and Done.  No Muss, No Fuss and Easy Peasy!

The first real difference between the stock Xubuntu and Voyager (beyond the Docking Bar) that I noticed was that this OS was really designed for people who consume online content like YouTube but also offers some interesting connections to the world of content creation as will be evidenced when we look at what you get by default with the included software.

Office:

  • AbiWord (Word Processor)
  • Orage Calendar
  • Gnumeric (Spreadsheet)
  • Document Viewer

Graphics:

  • The Gimp (Image Editor)
  • Darktable
  • MComix (Comic Viewer)

Internet:

  • Firefox Browser
  • Thunderbird Email
  • Transmission (Torrent Client)
  • Pidgin Chat Client

Multimedia:

  • Clementine (Audio Player)
  • FreeTux TV
  • VLC Media Player
  • SMPlayer YouTube Browser
  • Pitivi (Video Client)

All in all a pretty robust line up but even better, Voyager maintains its loyalty to the Ubuntu Family and includes a connection to the Ubuntu Software Centre for full access to all of the Applications available through the main Xubuntu Repositories (which means nearly unlimited access to the world of Free Software).

The only problem that I experienced with the installation is that I failed to be able to extend the display beyond 680×480 (which is why no screenshots) once the OS was installed.  In the Live Environment I had full control…so I will be upgrading my VirtualBox install this week. (Note: I tried to install this as a dual boot and this problem went away completely).

Overall though, this OS would be a great solution for someone wanting a thrifty and responsive OS that gives a great selection of default programs while still allowing for further customization.  If your Computer is running a bit slow, you are still holding on to your glory days of Windows XP or heavens forbid Windows Vista, then give Voyager a try.

Cheers,

Krispy

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