Dreamlinux 2.2 MME — When Dreams Come True

[ Monday, 15 January 2007, riklaunim ]


Dreamlinux is an operating system that boots from a Live-CD with the option to install on a hard drive as well. Dreamlinux is not just another Live-CD based on Debian, it’s not another distro coming with XFCE 4.4. Dreamlinux 2.2 MME is a polished multimedia system from which Xubuntu developers could really learn a lot and which has the potential to demolish Windows Multimedia Center as far as the functionality is concerned. This review concerns Dreamlinux 2.2 Multimedia Edition.

Let’s start the adventure!

The first thing to do is to download the ISO and burn it on a CD. If that was successful, we can put the CD in our drive and boot the live system to see what it has to offer. The OS comes with 3 localizations: English, German and French. If you don’t know any of these languages, better look for another distro :)

When the OS boots, we’ll be able to choose the screen resolution and after doing so, X.org shows up with a brand new XFCE version 4.4 RC2 as the desktop environment. What is interesting, the root account in the system has been disabled (just like in Ubuntu) and the only way to gain the administrative rights is to use sudo.

Dreamlinux just after booting
Pic.1 Dreamlinux just after booting

Among the dreams

Dreamlinux comes with a slightly modified XFCE. The styling is inspired by MacOS X. It’s hard to miss the completely new panel for application icons. This is an independent version of engage, an app developed withing the e17 desktop environment. Another change is DCP – Dreamlinux Control Panel for organizing multiple utilities. DCP consists of apps for Internet access configuration, system configuration as well as native XFCE wizards.

Dreamlinux is (as the name implies) a multimedia distro and it does indeed a great job in multimedia handling. There is Gimp, GQview and Gtkam for pixel graphics, Inkscape and XaraLX for vector graphics, and Blender along with YafRay for 3D. For audio-video you can find such applications as MPlayer, XMMS, Gxine, AviDemux, Kino, Audacity and many more. Apart from these, on the CD there are also regular desktop programs like OpenOffice.org office suite, Scribus, Evince (a general document viewer), Wine, GnomeBaker for CD burning, and Firefox with lots of plugins for web browsing.

Firefox -- first run
Pic.2 Firefox — first run

The system is stable and I have not encountered any problems with the mentioned apps. Additional codecs enable for viewing multimedia in restricted/non-free formats like QuickTime, Windows Media or Real. The only thing that may disturb us a little is the first time with each application. Firefox or Gimp need to create their configuration files and it takes a bit more that a moment.

Dreamlinux apps in action
Pic.3 Dreamlinux apps in action

Dreams engineering

When it comes to hardware detection and handling, it’s hard to complain as well. DCP helps to configure Internet connection with simple graphical wizards. Ndiswrapper manager enables for easy configuration of unsupported wireless cards that require Windows drivers. The OS also makes ADSL configuration easy with a handful wizard. Dream can read and write to NTFS partitions used by the Microsoft systems, so dual-booting in not an issue anymore.

As it was mentioned before, Dreamlinux is based on Debian so after the installation of hard drive (using a fast and friendly installer) we have access to a number of repositories offered by the mother distro. The Dreamlinux Live-CD is built using the Morphix tools, thus being very easy to tune and modify to better suit your personal needs. A great description of the Lice-CD building process and the tools used can be found on the project’s website.

DCP -- system configuration
Pic.4 DCP — system configuration

Back to reality

Dreamlinux is a fine distribution for a desktop multimedia center. It can already be a good competitor for other multimedia-centered distros like dyne:bolic or the Ubuntu clones like Linux Mint or Ubuntu Multimedia Center. If you are an experienced Linux user, Dreamlinux probably won’t offer you any extra value. But you may still consider recommending it for your non-geek friends that care for stability and great multimedia support out-of-the-box.

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29 Comments

fold this thread Gauvain Pocentek  Tuesday, 16 January 2007 o godz. 12:48 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  --1

What exactly Xubuntu devs could learn?
I don’t get it.

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fold this thread michuk  Tuesday, 16 January 2007 o godz. 12:59 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +1

What exactly Xubuntu devs could learn?
I don’t get it.

Probably the author means that Xubuntu devs could learn from Dreamlinux how to provide a nice multimedia-friendly distro based on XFCE :)

I personally think that the Xubuntu project has somewhat different goals than Dreamlinux so this argumentation does not convice me, but I may be wrong.

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fold this thread Gauvain Pocentek  Tuesday, 16 January 2007 o godz. 1:26 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

The Xubuntu goals are definitely different, and everything that is available in Dreamlinux is also available in the Ubuntu repos. It’s an Ubuntu choice to not install multimedia codecs and such by default, not a technical issue.

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fold this thread dwilicious  Tuesday, 16 January 2007 o godz. 1:49 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +1

That`s true. I`ts all about choice. *buntu people choose only free software. but for some people have a nice multimedia support out of box is very convenient. Two thumbs up for dreamlinux team :-)

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fold this thread kazuya  Tuesday, 16 January 2007 o godz. 4:16 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

It is a beautiful distro and a worthy contender, but Xubuntu grants its user more control over system usage or configuration. In all they are both good, but as earlier mentioned ; They have different goals. I believe Xubuntu is probably more universal. However, dreamlinux is a very pretty distro. Don’t flame me. It is likened to OSX.

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fold this thread riklaunim  Tuesday, 16 January 2007 o godz. 5:20 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I was thinking about the DCP – gatering all the confis, and overall look and feel – XFCE is not Gnome and it doesn’t require apps like thunderbird or evolution

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fold this thread Wolfwood  Tuesday, 16 January 2007 o godz. 6:54 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +1

Oh, I like that OS X look! :)

I had considered installing Ubuntu, but this may take precedence…

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fold this thread Micah  Wednesday, 17 January 2007 o godz. 10:15 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

this is sort of like the custon XFCE I did for my grandma and grandpa!

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fold this thread Casper  Wednesday, 17 January 2007 o godz. 12:21 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

As a Xubuntu user: “This looks great, I wish I had that desktop!”

Then again, Xubuntu probably does all that already. It will have the positive side-effect of increasing the userbase of XFCE + Debian and in that long term that will benefit both Xubuntu and Dreamlinux!

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fold this thread Keith  Wednesday, 17 January 2007 o godz. 3:58 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

It certainly does look like OS X, but I do feel it’s slower. Perhaps, it might be due to the graphics card.

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fold this thread Corgan  Wednesday, 17 January 2007 o godz. 10:49 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I heard of Dreamlinux short after its release on distrowatch.com and I’m using it on my computer since then.
If all you do is surf the internet, watch videos and check your mailbox, this os is great, plus it has a nice macish look.
Lots of graphic software (which personally I don’t need);
bittornado;
aMSN;
APT package management (+ synaptic).

Thumbs up for Dreamlinux!

P.S. I didn’t need any extra codec for playing mp3 or anything else.

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fold this thread linux user  Wednesday, 17 January 2007 o godz. 10:55 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0
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fold this thread kees  Friday, 19 January 2007 o godz. 10:08 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +1

Sure,
I am a newbie on Linux and tried this distro, looks great, unfortunately I ruined the system by trying to update several parts/programs/components using synaptic.
But thats the life of a Linux-newbie, right?
Same happened with Ubuntu, Kubuntu etc.
The only distro that survived every stupid action I took is PClinuxOS,
But anyway, I like Dreamlinux but it is not for me, perhaps later, when I know more and dont make those mistakes anymore.

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fold this thread linuxme  Friday, 31 August 2007 o godz. 4:29 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

That is an excellent point (and very important)… there is no substitute for TESTING & RESEARCH. I have not tried PCLINUXOS yet, but I have experienced the same problem with different package managers breaking the apps that were bundled with various distros. Even the experienced Windows user who migrates to Linux is lost in a nightmare of software dependencies and incompatibilities. Linux is definitely faster, more stable, more secure, and less memory hungry than Vista (which is all-around-awful), but it’s also more difficult to maintain. Linux has great potential, if the developers can unify to overcome the installer dependency/device-driver-autoconfig/missing-media codec tower-of-babel. Everyone has their own idea of how to accomplish this, but none of those competing “solutions” work 100% on all distros.

When I installed Freespire, it did a better job of configuring device drivers than Ubuntu, but did not install the accelerated nVidia driver automatically, and half of the following third-party software installation methods failed in cryptic ways (or failed with no error message at all, such as “Klik” -which, when it works, should be one of the easiest methods).* The installation methods that did work only worked half the time… and the Freespire CNR warehouse did not work at all. This sort of thing makes a bad first impression on those who desperately WANT to switch to Linux. I think many new Linux users really wish they could combine the best features of various distros such as Linspire/Freespire, PCLINUXOS and DreamLinux.
_______________________

*SOFTWARE INSTALLATION METHODS

CNR
CNR Warehouse
Apt-Get
Package managers
Debian .DEB Packages
Klik
Autopackage
The Zero Install system
RPM Packages
LOKI Installer and Scripts

http://wiki.freespire.org/index.php/Installing_programs

I’m not picking on Freespire here, since it is based on Ubuntu like many others. kUbuntu could not even get the video driver working in 1024×768 for my geforce 6600 card. I know Linux developers are working furiously to overcome these obstacles, but they are often working at cross-purposes. Maybe it’s time that people started voting things into some kind of unified distro on the basis of what works best, without regard for egos. Why can’t Linux cater to both the power-user and the novice? -It’s only for lack of vision and cooperation between developers. Yes, they really do need to “polish” Linux (pun!). It looks like PCLINUXOS and DreamLinux have a good idea of where to go with this… and best regards to them. In human society, the most popular “leaders” and the dominant paradigms rarely represent the greatest wisdom & talent. Maybe the same is true for Linux distros.
_______________________

MacOS = good stable OS tied to overpriced, proprietary hardware (fascism)

Windows = crappy, unstable OS shackled by proprietary software standards (fascism)

Linux = good stable OS with no consensus, principles or constructive long-term strategy (failed democracy)

 
 
fold this thread mike1  Saturday, 20 January 2007 o godz. 1:44 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

This looks a nice distro, chic design,
but like others, what you see is not the super-whizzo distro one expects

when you try updating or using it, it is far too slow, slow to boot up
It returns errors in synaptic, apt

The repos they provide, you cannot connect to the servers.

Best to stay with Suse 10.2 or slackware 11 less of a headache

What a shame

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fold this thread Thai  Monday, 22 January 2007 o godz. 11:22 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I intended to install it at home because I like its beryl+aiglx and the osx look (I can do the OSX look with Ubuntu, but the beryl … I gave up). Then I saw what mike1 said about not being a super-whizzo distro (slow, error-prone updating …), I thought or it’s better to wait for Feisty …

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fold this thread Dan  Wednesday, 31 January 2007 o godz. 4:29 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

a nice distro and I am surprise to see how few people know it.
I have tried famous distros who are not at this level.
It simple guys, I want to surf on internet, listen songs, work on photographies, check my email, write a letter, work on my web site…so…no Vista needed….wait a minute…I need security updates…
simple… :-)

congratulations guys…nice shoot !!!

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fold this thread bobert  Saturday, 3 February 2007 o godz. 1:56 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

it looks amazing i am currently downloading it.

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fold this thread Rawls  Sunday, 4 February 2007 o godz. 10:50 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I like Dreamlinux very much, but would like to do a “frugal install” on my hard drive using the Dreamlinux 2.2 iso. How
can I do this? Thanks.

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fold this thread mantis3dfx  Thursday, 22 February 2007 o godz. 11:12 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I tried DreamLinux on my Desktop PC and love it. Only problem is I really want it on my Tecra S1. Of all the live CD’s Ive tried, morphix xandros ubuntu puppy linux plus all sors of partitioning and rescue CD’s, they all boot off the live CD with no problem EXCEPT DreamLinux, I’ve tried three independant live CD iso’s all work on the desktop PC but NOT the laptop: (*^*%R%#@!!! I cant sign up on the DreamLinux english forums for help either, because you have to sign up in brazilian I think it is, and I don’t know any other languages. Anyone able to point me in the right direction here would be good.

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fold this thread ve3sre  Friday, 23 March 2007 o godz. 11:06 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I tested it on a very old machine because of the xfce desktop…just for fun.

Celeron 333 MHz., 160 MB RAM, 4 GB HDD., 8 MB ATI AGP video

Keeping in mind how old and slow this machine is, Dream Linux 2.2 runs reasonably well. My big complaint though was the broken repositories for synaptic/apt-get. It was a real pain.

Other than that, Dream Linux is certainly a distro to watch and I look forward to future versions. The modified xfce desktop is very cool ;)

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fold this thread ACP Masquerade  Saturday, 31 March 2007 o godz. 1:10 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I have been using linux since a long time, and have been switching between many distros during this time. This time I have installed the DreamLinux 2.2 – Multimedia Edition. It is really a good distro and must say i am fascinated with the design and the inbuilt functionalities of this linux. However,this is based on Morphix and I must say it would be the best one if designed based over Ubuntu distribution..
However, it has a some sorts of misfits..

The first one is is sometimes gets crashed while playing the multimedia .
And the second is it does not provide access to the Logical Volume of Fedora Distributions …
Also , it has a browser , which directly provides root access browsing, without asking the actual root password…

I want to pass these all to the DreamLinux Development Panel…
Its a good distro and must be encouraged …

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fold this thread peter  Monday, 2 April 2007 o godz. 4:14 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I also have dreamlinux running. But im wondering how to save to the hard drive, im currently running off the CD.

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fold this thread riken  Saturday, 14 April 2007 o godz. 9:24 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I would like to try dreamlinux 2.2, was a fast download, but I also like to try linux mint 2.2 . I don’t know if I can dual boot these two linux distro’s?

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fold this thread William  Sunday, 15 April 2007 o godz. 1:58 pm #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

I love this distro, but I sure wish they had more support for multiple MBR installs, for people that have more than one hard drive installed. I believe you can only boot from the Windows drive, or in most cases drive A. It will choose this drive by default, you are not given the option of booting from alternate hard drives, or in most cases from drive B.

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fold this thread |||ate  Monday, 20 August 2007 o godz. 6:09 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +1

Best Linux distro for me.
Glad to see the new release.

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fold this thread nonong  Saturday, 25 August 2007 o godz. 11:02 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

well, I tried different linux operating system,but only Dream Linux which I feel more satisfied with than using Suse linux &
other linux o.s.,in suse linux you cannot play any
movies either in VCD’s & DVD format,unless you will need to hack it’s system in order for it to work & also suse linux has
a link website for installing it’s driver for nvidia graphics card but if you try to install it from the internet nothing’s happened,when I try dream Linux to update my graphics card driver it works already with out any problem,& I can play already so many Windows based games such as NBA 2007,Counter Strike & etc. which I cant do with suse linux,I think suse need’s to improved their o.s. more better.about comparing Dream Linux to Ubuntu, I think ubuntu is very far in terms of graphical user interface & in terms of multimedia functiond,Thumbs up for dream linux Team.

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fold this thread AnimeSkater  Tuesday, 18 December 2007 o godz. 4:35 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +0

this is a great OS, after reading the reviews i thought i well try it, and i can’t be happier with it. great for simple tasks. Great job dream linux team

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fold this thread khibrahnet  Saturday, 31 May 2008 o godz. 5:32 am #  Add karma Subtract karma  +2

after i use live cd dreamslinux.I confiused to use root passwd at terminal…
when i type su
passwd:

what root password for dreamlinux livecd…
please

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About the Author

Piotr Maliński

Programmer, journalist. Creator of the CMS, Linux and PHP libraries. Arch Linux/Gentoo user. Creator of a GNU/Linux distribution based on Gentoo: Plusiaczek Live CD.

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