For so long time, I've used Ubuntu as my main Linux desktop and almost never took another distros a try. Several years ago, I ever used a Slackware based distro called KateOS. Also, I'd tried another popular distros such as Fedora, openSUSE, Mandriva, and PCLinuxOS.
Strangely, I was so impressed by KateOS, a Slackware based distro. It is solid, and ultimately stable. And now, after has been tired by “a consolidation” with Unity and Gnome 3 issues, I want to take a rest with another distro and my mind suddenly reminds me about Slackware based distros. I then google to find the right distro and finally I found Vector Linux, a Slackware based distro.
Go to the homepage, and I got its newest release : Vector Linux 7 Standar GOLD, based on newest Slackware release (13.37). This distro offers two edition : Standard and SOHO. Standard version is a single free full-featured installation CD, and SOHO is a non-free edition that we must purchase. SOHO offers dual CD : an installation and an extra-apps CD. My choice is of course Standard version, but apparently it is not just “a standard” CD. It is amazing!
These are all I got in Vector Linux 7 Standard GOLD :
1. Kernel Linux 3.0.8
2. XFCE 4.8
3. GNOME Mplayer, UMPlayer, Xine, Exaile, Brasero
4. Firefox 8, Opera 11, Flashplugin 11, JRE 1.6, Pidgin, gFTP
5. Geany, Cmake, Glade
6. Abiword, Gnumeric, J-Pilot
7. GIMP 2.6.11, Inkscape 0.48, Shotwell
8. Cairo Dock with OS X like theme :)
9. Gslapt Package Manager (GUI toolkit for slapt-get, an apt implementation in Slackware)
10. and so many usable stuffs
With a 696,4 MB iso, I got almost all I need to work with a Linux desktop. Also, if we have internet connection, we could install another apps easily by Gslapt. Yes, Vector Linux has its own repository with thousands of useful apps and easily installable by either Gslapt or slapt-get.
But, I found a missing and enough crucial thing that is not included in the distro : Bluetooth front-end (Gnome Bluetooth, Blueman).
Default iso file for VL 7 STD GOLD is 696,4 MB. I ever got one experience, burning a close-to-700MB image into a CD could gave an error CD so I decided to use DVD instead of CD. For now, there is no way to install Vector Linux using USB like another linux distro (but it is OK).
VL 7 STD has already had GUI Installer. But I got a problem : the GUI installer didn’t work well, so I repeat the installation and I chose the older text installer. Installation process took about 30 minutes long. After installation is done, I was asked about basic system configuration including : bootloader installation, root password, user creation etc. Then, once reboot, I was asked one more time about last system configuration. After once more reboot, I got my amazing Vector Linux desktop :)