The graphical software manager is Synaptic Package Manager. It has been around for along time and still very reliable. Other distributions, like Ubuntu and its derivatives, that previously relied on it, have since replaced it with their own package manager. Notwithstanding, I still find it to be a very capable package manager. The main interface is shown below. Aside from Synaptic Package Manager, an old version of Ubuntu’s Software Center is in the repository.
In terms of installed applications, SalineOS 1.6 comes with the right set that most users will need. Some of the main installed applications are:
- LibreOffice 3.4.3
- Chromium browser 6
- Ice weasel 3.5
- Parole Media Player
- Cheese webcam
- Rhythmbox Music Player
- Icedove Email client
- Pidgin Internet Messenger
These are besides the standard Xfce system utilities and desktop accessories. If you took advantage of the option to install patent-encumbered and non-free applications during the installation process, your experience with the system will be a lot more pleasant. This is so because the installed packages will enable you to play encrypted video DVDs, and view Flash and Java content on the Web. Another good aspect of this distribution is that a connected printer with an entry in the printer database is automatically configured. That puts it, at least in that regard, one step better than Chakra.
A major weakness of this distribution is the lack of any significant physical security features. I am, of course, referring to disk encryption and boot loader password protection. They are very important components in the security profile of any operating system. On the network security front, the IPTables package is installed, but there is not init script to manage it. In essence, the firewall is not enabled, which constitutes a major (network) security fail. Keep that in mind if you are using this distribution and want to install a server application like OpenSSH.
A default installation of SalineOS has its pluses, but the network security posture is very bad. While that problem can be overcome easily, the lack of support for disk encryption during installation, is a major minus. But if you are looking for a desktop distribution with stable but “old” applications, and have no need for disk encryption, then SalineOS is worth considering.
Screen Shots: View more screen shots from test installations of SalineOS 1.6.
The desktop with the menu showing installed applications in the Network menu category.
The desktop with the menu showing installed applications in the Office menu category.
All the scripts in the /etc/init.d directory.
A screen shot showing Osmo, a calendar application for the Xfce desktop.