What is Ubuntu GTK1.2 Remix?
Ubuntu GTK1.2 Remix is a revision of an Ubuntu 8.04 live CD that is intended to run on old, outdated hardware, with a target in the sub-300Mhz range.
It relies almost entirely on GTK1.2-based software, which means it should prove both fast and ugly in equal measures, on almost any computer that can run the i386 version of an Ubuntu command-line system.
This version is free to download and modify by any user.
There are no plans to update Ubuntu GTK1.2 Remix in the future. The current ISO is “final,” and aside from core updates to the Ubuntu 8.04 system software, don’t look for improvements or rereleases. This is mostly because my own philosophy toward very-low-end hardware has changed somewhat, and the project is no longer appealing to me.
Please feel free to modify and rerelease the ISO if you like, or to use parts of it in your own creations.
What is a remix?
A remix is a ‘respun’ version of Ubuntu built for a specific purpose. Ubuntu GTK1.2 Remix is a variation on the standard command-line installation, with additional packages available, and others removed entirely. You may have some compatibility issues, depending on your hardware profile. For now Ubuntu GTK1.2 Remix is recommended only for intermediate or advanced Linux users.
Minimum hardware requirements:
- Processor: Any machine that can handle the i386 command-line version of Ubuntu should suffice; pre-Pentium Pro systems may suffer
- RAM: Between 32-128Mb should suffice
- Optical: Booting from CD is, of course, a requirement; if you’re using a machine that does not naturally boot from CD, look into Smart Boot Manager, as Mikko suggests below.
Major open source applications included:
Additional packages include alsa-utils, readahead, preload, localepurge, debfoster, scrot and now feh.
The ISO is available from Filefront here, or from this mirror, graciously provided by chris4585. A torrent is available on LinuxTracker.org. The ISO also includes packages of Beaver 0.2.7, as well as a recompiled version of Dillo that removes antialiasing, and a copy of the Hardy rebuild of XMMS available from Launchpad.
How do I find out more?
Add a comment here and I will entertain your thoughts. However, I probably will not acquiesce to
- Complaints about the appearance. If you don’t like it, change it.
- Suggestions about alternative software. If you want to use Firefox, install it.
- Insults against my person.
Bug reports or difficulties with configuration, etc., should be handled through the usual channels, such as the Ubuntu Forums or Launchpad.net. If you have problems with the two packages that were recompiled specifically for this remix — dillo-0.8.6-i18n-misc or beaver-0.2.7 — post a reply here or send me an e-mail.
- An enormous amount of software has been yanked out, including most of ubuntu-standard and ubuntu-minimal. Video drivers for xorg have been left in, but things like the Wacom package have been removed.
- Most of the internationalization packages have been removed, including low-level packages like util-linux-locales.
- Locales have been set to en_US and ja_JP, and everything else has been purged out. The sources.list file points at the University of Toyama repositories, which are probably inconvenient for you. All source repositories have been disabled.
- The sysctl.conf file has been hotwired for performance. vm_swappiness is set to 0, kernel.threads_max is 512, and vm.vfs_cache_pressure is at 50. In /etc/init.d/rc, CONCURRENCY is set to “shell.” Networking settings are adjusted for high-end broadband access, and ipv6 is blacklisted. Unnecessary references in the /etc/rc.? directories have been removed.
- ~/.profile has been adjusted to automatically start X after logging in at the terminal prompt on tty1. You have only two active console screens — tty1 and tty2.
- The X desktop uses IceWM-lite as the window manager, has the GTK1.2 theme set to Mist, and sets the /etc/gtk/gtkrc.utf-8 file to use a slightly smaller font than a default Ubuntu system. The window manager theme is IceSimple, from box-look.org.
- If you want to install this system, run “sudo ./install.sh” from the command line. Please be aware that the installer is intended only for a single-drive system, and creates only one kind of partition scheme. There is no allowance for multiple drives or unusual system arrangements.
- Post-installation, I suggest reprofiling your boot, adjusting the /boot/grub/menu.lst file and optimizing the directory trees, since the filesystem allows it.
- The right-click reboot and shutdown commands don’t work; it’s possible that the sudoers file is somehow changed between the live environment and the installed system.
- The hosts file still makes reference to 127.0.1.1 as ubuntu, which I don’t think should be there. That should be easy to clip out.
- Text-mode boot doesn’t work; it still jumps to the graphical environment. I think this might be in part due to the addition of the startx command to the default .profile, so no matter what “mode” is started, it goes graphical. I’ll think about this one, but I’m tempted to leave it as it is. It’s not meant to be a command-line live CD, so text-mode boots are tertiary, in my mind.