• UPDATE: See the “Special July 2022 series” on the Porteus Linux page for my new recommended installation method, especially for the new Porteus 5.0 Linux. See Part 1Part 2Part 3 for an easier way to install it.

I have learned more about Linux ‘n other Open Source software in the 3 years ‘n 3 months since starting this Blog on 1/6/2019 than I had from 1996 thru 2018. As noted on the About page, this blog is always Under Construction ‘n what I thought about a Linux Distro in 2019 or 2020 or even last year may have changed yesterday.

Linus Torvalds has said: “One of the problems Desktop” Linux has is it’s not made for “normal people, and by normal people I mean, obviously nontechnical people…”‘ A brief update to that, i.e. to now define ‘Technical people‘ as Developers, Programmers, IT Specialists, Maintainers, etc.

The rising popularity of Chromebook (‘n its Chrome OS) vs the dwindling Linux “Desktop” user base reflects the truth in Linus Torvalds’ words. He has also said: Chromebooks and Android are the paths towards the desktop” (meaning Linux “Desktop”). However, I have tried Chrome OS, Android OS for PC’s & the Google CloudReady OS and really don’t care for any of those. Sure, Android is great on my phone, but their “Desktop” versions suk, IMHO.

Some of the unbeatable options that most Linux OSes can offer are: Portability (USB, SD Card, etc.) and/or as a Companion OS to Windows 10/11 and/or as a Special Purpose (Specialty) OS. The Special Purpose (Specialty) OSes cover a *WIDE* range of choices (including the ‘Portability’ OSes & ‘Companion’ OSes) – from restoring old PCs to rescuing PCs to just creating your own Jukebox or Music Server to etcetera etcetera etcetera.

I created the Special *PURPOSE* Linuxes page as a way to possibly attract Windows 10 & Windows 11 users to some of the excellent uses of Linux, and I feel Porteus Linux belongs on that page also.

Porteus Linux

Have 20-21 pics for this post, so not much room for a lot of chatter. Too Password Dependent for my taste, so far, but some of the unstableness in root user section of 5.0 may be caused from being a RC (release candidate). I have gotten the Fulltime Linux Root User section working, but at some point it always breaks.

Will test the stable 4.0 version soon, and if it has a stable root user section then I would probably add Porteus to the Karmi’s Top 10 Linux Distros page. Why promote it being a small ‘lightweight, fast and portable‘ if it just another Linux Distro for Submissive OS users?

Puppy Linux is small, lightweight, extremely fast, excellent hardware recognition, portable, totally stable, automatically saves everything (if you want), and comes wid *LOADS* of software_plus it has never asked me for a password. However, Puppy Linux doesn’t offer my two favorite DE’s – Cinnamon & KDE Plasma.

Definitely see some great potential wid Porteus, which is why I have been testing it for three days wid more testing planned. And, it is MODULAR:

Another nice feature of Porteus is the modular design. Unlike other distros where one has a package manager that connects the internet and downloads a package (program), Porteus uses modules. These are pre compiled packages that you activate and deactivate. The traditional ‘installation’ of a program is now redundant as simply double clicking on a module, causes it to be mounted and injected into the file system ready for use. This happens in a fraction of a second and the application is ready for use. Double click on it again and the module is deactivated and removed from the directory structure. This means that you are only using a program as you need it, and the system is not bogged down with thousands of files that are rarely used. Modules can be downloaded and stored somewhere locally for activation as you require it.

I am still trying to learn what Modular means, what it is about, how to use it, etc. Have seen other Distros mentioning that they have also moved to “Modular,” but for now Modular is just Greek to me. 😕

Porteus (formerly Slax Remix) is also based on Slackware.

Installing Porteus 5.0-rc3

Official Porteus Installation Guide is somewhat helpful.

Have mainly tested the 5.0-rc3 KDE version, but also tried the Cinnamon version. Downloaded the Porteus-KDE-v5.0rc3-x86_64.iso @ 428 MB & Porteus-CINNAMON-v5.0rc3-x86_64.iso @ 356 MB.

Created a ‘Live’ USB by copying the ISO’s included folders (‘boot’ & ‘EFI’ & ‘porteus’) to a 16 GB USB. Universal USB Installer (UUI) also worked.

Used Samsung 32 GB USB’s as the target devices. See the Linux ‘n USB Flash Drives page for more info on fully installing Linux to a USB.

Open Porteus Installer, which is under System.

Yes, it has lots of annoying Authenticate” popups or other ‘Pesky Passwords. “toor” is the root password, i.e. root = toor & guest = guest.

Make sure you pick the right Target Device!

Be sure to check “Install bootloader.”

A small Konsole windows pops up…expect it at this point_since it is small & I had to enlarge it on every test. Type ‘ok’

It’s fast…just a few seconds. Hit enter ‘n then reboot into new desktop.

That’s the new Porteus KDE Plasma information. We’re on the installed OS now, and you will see this:

Porteus doesn’t automatically save sessions, settings, etc. so you need to create a savefile.dat container.

Porteus SaveFile Manager

The Porteus SaveFile Manager is under System. Open it and you get this:

We want to create a new savefile…click it.

Name the file. Size you want the Savefile? Location – my target device was Fat32 formatted so make sure you select the correct device from dropdown menu here. Skip “advanced users” and click OK.

After clicking OK you’ll that popup. Just like it says, you need to do some editing at this point, and it’s automatically easy…so to speak whilst smiling. Click OK in the popup.

The right porteus.cfg opens up automatically. You’ll scroll down a little and see: APPEND changes=/porteus. You edit it to: APPEND changes=/mnt/sda1/Saved.dat

Once you have made sure of the editing, then just save the porteus.cfg file and close the window. Reboot…

The new Save.dat folder is now in sda1, and all settings, changes, added apps (whatever Modular ‘Stuff’ is called!?), etc. get saved automatically now.

There are no Office Suites, so I am still working on how to install one modularly. I had help installing a browser…yes, no Browser is installed either. 😉

Browser Selection and Update Tool

Browser Selection and Update Tool is located under Internet. Porteus has lots of apps, e.g. GParted, KDE Spectacle (Screenshot in Cinnamon DE), but no word processor or browsers!?! Linux in not my primary OS (Win11 Pro is), so I don’t really need an Office Suite installed for testing; however, if I add the Distro permanently then I will want an Office Suite or at least some kind of word processor.

I only tried adding Firefox during the tests.

Select “y” for the premade module from their server…I had problems wid ESR & Current.

I missed a photo…bummer! There’s a popup or notification after Firefox finishes downloading. It tells you to move that firefox-98.0.1 download from tmp – Dolphin to modules – Dolphin before rebooting. Like this…

Now you can reboot! 😉

Conclusion

I’ve been looking for a fast lightweight Distro wid either a KDE Plasma or Cinnamon DE to replace Puppy Linux wid for a long long time. It has to at least offer a Fulltime Linux Root User choice tho.

I’ll test the Porteus stable 4.0 version soon. I don’t mind one password to login as root, sorta like Chrome OS does it…and most of the RHEL based Distros. Heck, Fedora Cinnamon Spin doesn’t even need the standard user to be created, and can be set to boot right into the root DE without ever seeing an annoying Authenticate” popups or other ‘Pesky Passwords.

I’m still going to add this to the Special *PURPOSE* Linuxes page…maybe as a ‘Teacher‘ of MODULARStuff‘! 😉

  • 4/7/2022 UPDATE: Have added this post to new Porteus Linux page…

LINUX IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES – you never know what you’re gonna get!