Salix Ratpoison 14.0.1

Salix Ratpoison 14.0.1

Postby gapan » 30. Oct 2013, 12:12

Salix Ratpoison 14.0.1 is ready! This is a very special release for us, as Ratpoison makes for an experience that is completely different. The aim of the Ratpoison edition is to create a system that is fully usable with the keyboard only, no mouse required! For everyone that is not familiar with Ratpoison, Ratpoison is a window manager for X "with no fat library dependencies, no fancy graphics, no window decorations, and no rodent dependence". Ratpoison uses a workflow that is similar to that of GNU screen, which is very popular in the terminal world. All interaction with the window manager is done through keystrokes.

The application selection for the Ratpoison edition is rather special. The main reasoning behind selecting any of the default applications included in this release is their ability to be used completely with the keyboard, not requiring any mouse interaction. To that effect, a lot of the included applications are actually terminal applications.

In terms of bundled applications, some things changed since the 13.37 release. This time we have included Wordgrinder, a word processor that has minimal features but as a command line application, it can be used only with the keyboard. Also the SC spreadsheet is available from the ratmenu as well. Pidgin has been replaced by a combination of the popular IRSSI IRC client and the MCabber Jabber client. Also, Alpine has replaced Mutt as the default mail application, as it is a lot easier to setup than the latter. Otherwise, it's mostly the same applications that were included in previous Ratpoison releases. The default web browser is Vimprobable2, a lightweight webkit-based browser that uses vim-style keybindings. Gnome Commander is the default file manager, while Midnight Commander is also present. You can play music with Music On Console and videos can be played with the Whaaw Media Player, which is not specifically targetted at keyboard users, but can be used only with a keyboard anyway. MPlayer2 is available through the repositories of course and that may even make a better video player as it plays just about anything out there. Gvim is included as text/code editor and Apvlv can be used to view pdf files. Package management is done only using Gslapt, which can be comfortably used only with a keyboard and Sourcery, our home-grown graphical tool to easy install extra software from SlackBuilds has been updated so that it can be used only with a keyboard too. Of course their command line counterparts, slapt-get and slapt-src are also available. Included is also our unique GUI tool to manage mounting of external devices and local partitions that we have written from scratch, GMountMan, and it has been designed from the ground up to be used with the keyboard only (although users of other window managers will find that it works fine using a mouse too).

A new system configuration tool has been included in this release for the first time; reposetup. You can find it in the System section of the ratmenu and it will allow you to easily configure the package manager with a repository mirror that is fast for you. It is recommended that everyone runs this tool after installation, as the repository mirror that is included by default might not be the fastest for everyone. By the way, reposetup is also available to users of all our other editions as well, as long as you have kept up with package upgrades.

With this release, a non-PAE, i486 kernel has be included as well as the i686 PAE kernel included in our Xfce and KDE editions. In order to use the non-PAE, i486 kernel, you'll have to input "huge.s" in the initial prompt you get as soon as the installation medium is booted.

A word of warning: this is not your average newbie-friendly distribution. There is no graphical login screen, when you login, you enter the linux terminal. You are expected to run "startx" to start ratpoison itself. Even then, it is not much more newbie-friendly than the linux terminal. You'll have to use keyboard combinations to do anything. Some hints:
* the "Ctrl-t ?" keyboard combination will show a screen with all available keyboard combinations. They all start with "Ctrl-t" and then another key/keyboard combination.
* you can get the ratmenu by hitting "Ctrl-t r". This menu is keyboard driven only as well.
* the Vimprobable2 browser is started with "Ctrl-t v"
* use "f" to follow links in Vimprobable2. Make sure you read the manpage too.
* the terminal is started with "Ctrl-t c"
* all ratpoison configuration is done in your ~/.ratpoisonrc
* the menus themselves are scripts in the ~/.ratmenu directory.
* run "man ratpoison"to get more information on setting up ratpoison. It can really be scripted to do just about anything with keystrokes.

So, you can download our Ratpoison release either from Sourceforge or by using a torrent client, with the following URLs:

Salix Ratpoison 14.0.1 (i486 and i686, 32-bit):
(size: 535MB, md5: 336bde2de5e763f51ba55ace51c6ec75)
Sourceforge: http://sourceforge.net/projects/salix/f ... o/download
torrent: http://mirror.inode.at/data/salix/i486/ ... so.torrent

Salix64 Ratpoison 14.0.1 (x86_64, 64-bit):
(size: 476MB, md5: 5cc194b3064635c195e8dd74b7321c69)
Sourceforge: http://sourceforge.net/projects/salix/f ... o/download
torrent: http://mirror.inode.at/data/salix/x86_6 ... so.torrent

Have fun!
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Re: Salix Ratpoison 14.0.1

Postby snowpine » 30. Oct 2013, 20:30

Fantasic news! Ratpoison 13.37 was one of my all time favorite distros. Can't wait to try the new release. Congrats! :)
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Re: Salix Ratpoison 14.0.1

Postby mrstordal » 4. Nov 2013, 20:53

Hi!
Hope this is the right place to post this question, if not, please forgive me.
When doing a step by step install, and coming to the cfdisk part, I choose to make a root partition sda1, a swap partition sda3 and then the rest of the disk sda2. I choose to use the file system that the new salix uses. Then the question comes, what the mount point shall be for sda2. I don't know what to answer. usr/local is the suggested example, is that the best mount point?
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Re: Salix Ratpoison 14.0.1

Postby gapan » 4. Nov 2013, 20:57

mrstordal wrote:Hi!
Hope this is the right place to post this question, if not, please forgive me.
When doing a step by step install, and coming to the cfdisk part, I choose to make a root partition sda1, a swap partition sda3 and then the rest of the disk sda2. I choose to use the file system that the new salix uses. Then the question comes, what the mount point shall be for sda2. I don't know what to answer. usr/local is the suggested example, is that the best mount point?

Nobody can answer that question but yourself. What do you want to use it for? People usually put /home in a separate partition, but what do you want to do?
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Re: Salix Ratpoison 14.0.1

Postby mrstordal » 5. Nov 2013, 05:12

ok, thank you Gapan for your reply, that answered my question
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