Desktop & Server


Parsix“Parsix GNU/Linux is a live and installation CD derived from KANOTIX and based on Debian. It is a complete GNOME-centric desktop-oriented distribution. Besides the dozens of supported languages, Parsix GNU/Linux also supports Persian keyboard and users can switch to Persian with Alt+Shift keys.”

Origin – Home Page: Iran – Parsix

Desktop: Gnome, Compiz, and Beryl

Price: Free and open source

Installer: Parsix boots into a LiveCD Gnome desktop from which you may then install into your PC’s hard disk. The installer follows a basic 7-step process similar in some respects to that of Zenwalk. LVM disk partitioning and RAID are not supported, and there are no “advanced” user-configurable option. You do have a choice of Ext3, Reiserfs (3.6), and JFS file systems. At the end of an installation, Linux installers will inform you via a dialog window that the installation has ended and to remove the disc and press enter for reboot. Not so for the Parsix installer. It just informs you that it has finished its job. Rebooting and removing the disc is up to you.

Multimedia/Internet: By default, Parsix ships with a reasonable selection of multimedia applications. Sound Juicer is the preferred audio player, but Exaile, a more feature-rich audio player, is also installed. With VLC and libdvdcss2 installed, you can play your commercial DVD movies on a default installation of Parsix.

Iceweasel 3, a re-branded version of Firefox, is the only browser installed, and by default, it will properly play flash content, but not quicktime, real, or other multimedia content. You will need to use the Synaptics, the package manager, to install plugins needed to handle these multimedia files. The only email client installed is Balsa – a simple email application, but you may use Synaptics to install Evolution, a personal information manager similar to Microsoft Outlook.

Productivity/Utilities:, a free and open source office suite just like Micosoft Office, is installed. Grisbi, a free and open source accounting package for managing financial transactions, is installed. You will also find a wide range of desktop utilities – from the simple desktop calculator, to CHM Viewer, a viewer for Compressed HTML help archives.

Security: The Linux kernel has a built-in firewall, but not all Linux distros ship with a graphical frontend to configure and manage it. Parsix comes pre-installed with FireStarter, which makes it easy to configure and manage iptables, the Linux firewall. Firestarter, however is not active by default. So be sure to start it before putting you newly installed Parsix system on the Internet. Firestarter is accessible from the menu (Application > Internet > Firestarter Desktop Firewall).

Unlike Ubuntu which uses sudo to gain admin privileges, Parsix uses the traditional root user account system, a much better system than sudo.

Games/Graphics: Parsix ships with the default 2D games that comes with a standard Gnome desktop. If you have 3D-capable hardware, you can use Synaptics to install any number of 3D games available in the default repository: Alien-arena; Dream chess; Enemy Lines 3; Glest; Open City; Scorched 3D (similar to Scorched Earth); Slune (racing and car-crashing game with multi-player mode); etc.

For graphic packages, you will find GIMP, the GNU Image Manipulation Program, Inkscape, a vector graphics software, XSane, an image scanning program (works out of the box), and Cheese, a webcam application.

Administration: Like all Debian-based Linux distros, installing and/or removing software is simple. You may opt to use apt-get from the command line, or Synaptics, the gui frontend. User management, and access to administrative rights is accomplished via a root-user account.

Miscellanea: The latest version of Parsix, which this snapshot review is based on, fairs a lot better than gNewSense, another Linux distro recently reviewed on this site. Hardware detection is excellent, but we expect IceWeasel, the installed Internet browser, to ship with (all the) plugins necessary to properly render multimedia files. For those with the required hardware, VirtualBox, an operating system virtualization solution recently acquired by Sun Microsystems, Inc, in installed and ready to roll.

Download: Live CD iso images for Parsix may be download here.

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