Recently NuTyX, a Linux distribution from Switzerland, released a new stable version. What it grabbed my attention from this distribution that I did not know yet, is that it is not based in a major distribution such as Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu, etc: it has been build based in the documentation from Linux from Scratch. Therefore I thought it would be a bit different from many distribution out there that mainly focus on customizing other well established distros.
Therefore, I decided to set up a virtual machine, install NuTyX, and have a peek to the system to see what it was all about.
Downloading the NuTyX iso
My first stop was the NuTyX site where I downloaded the NuTyX iso: unlike other distros, NuTyX does not offer differents isos based on the desktop environment to use, or a full 4GB, software packed version. No LiveCD, either, to have a look at the distro before installing it. On the plus site, the CD is quite small, less than 300MB, and the installation process is unbelievingly fast.
As for the installation process itself it is simple, fast, and straightforward, as we we’ll shortly see, but the DOS style installer, similar to the one we found in the likes of FreeBSD might scare away the less tech-savvy users.
For starters we boot to a console: we press enter to jump to the installation menu.
Next we are asked to select our regional.
A pop up help message follows, which warns us that NuTyX goes on one only partition, the only exception being a separated partition, that we are encouraged to create, for GRUB.
I do not bother with multiple partitions on a desktop home system (except for the home, or boot partition), but I was a bit surprised nonetheless, since it is not the set up I found usually in servers.
The reasons behind this choice are explained int he FAQ section of the NuTyX site:
If you have a distribution (NuTyX or any other) with personal data and the system on the same partition, the installer will tell you during the installation process that there is already a distribution there but will not offer to format the partition. You will need to delete the /var, /proc, /sys, /usr, /sbin, and /etc folders, but other folders such as /home and /MP3 will not be touched. So your data are safe.
Today it is very easy to configure a file server based on NFS, so that users could have their home folders on a remote server.
Since I have started with a clean virtual machine, the first thing should be creating some partitions. NuTyX lets us choose between fdisk, and cfdisk to create the partition scheme.
cfdisk, is a very simple, and intuitive partition tool. I selected it, and created a swap partition, and a partition for NuTyX.
Next we can format the partition we just created; we can choose from a variety of the most popular file systems
The most complicated part of the installation process is now over. We can finally select the Install NuTyX option, and proceed to install the system.
Choose the keyboard layout.
Select the Ethernet card …
and configure it. The option of getting the IP automatically from the DHCP server will be good enough for most users.
Configure the time settings.
Add a non-administrator user, and set the password.
Lastly we are offered the chance to enable automatic updates.
The installation process is now complete, and we can log into the system, using the user/password we created before.
The system out of the box is quite minimalist: we find ourselves in a console based environment. Each user must decide where to go from here: is going to customize the system as a server? a home Desktop? a software developing machine?
At this point the system is giving me a feeling similar to Arch/Slackware: a system with a philosophy of keeping things simple, and geared to users that like to tinker, and learn how the operating system works.
Enabling the root account
Out of the box NuTyX comes with the root user disabled: if you would rather to activate it, this is how you do it:
Run the nu comand: a window to add a new user to the system will appear. As user name introduce root.
Next provide a password for the root user:
Done. You have now the root account active 🙂 .
Check available updates
We can use cards, NuTyX package manager, to check if the packages in our system are up to date:
cards sync cards diff
Or more quickly using the predefined alias, – check – for the above commands.
Install a Desktop
Time to install a desktop: once again we turn to cards to install first xorg, and then the mate desktop :
get xorg get mate mate-extra get gvfs
To start the mate desktop more easily, I will also install a display manager. For example, LXDM, the display manager of the LXDE desktop, that can also be used outside the LXDE desktop.
We have completed a basic installation of NuTyX. If you want to be notified of new posts (like NuTyX post install review), you can use the follow button at the bottom of the site. Thanks for reading.