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Siduction 2013.2 review

That was all about sidu-installer, what about the desktops? Before I get to that, a paragraph or two about systemd, the new init system that the distribution has adopted. On Fedora, the distribution I’m using right now, my interaction with systemd has been from the command-line. I have no problem with that, but a good graphical interface for managing services on a system is always welcome.

And that’s one of the good points about Siduction 2013.2. It comes with a graphical interface for managing systemd services. It doesn’t have a fancy interface, but it works, and that’s the most important feature. The best part, or one of the best part, about systemd is Systemd Journal. Tail-ing system logs has never been more fun. But more on that at a later date. For the record, this screen shot shows that the SSH server is running. And that’s by default. An option during installation allows you to disable it, otherwise, it is enabled by default.
Siduction 2013.2 Systemd

The negative part about SSH server (sshd) enabled out of the box, is that the firewall is disabled on a fresh installation of Siduction 2013.2. So the box is wide open. Not even the basic security service is enabled on a default installation of Siduction 2013.2. That’s bad, very bad.
Siduction 2013.2 IPTables firewall

We like to say that Linux is more secure than the Windows operating system, and while that is largely true, for some Linux distributions, that statement has to be qualified. A few hours before I started putting the finishing touches to this review, I had the opportunity to play with a brand new Lenovo IdeaCenter K450 desktop that a friend just bought. I unboxed the box myself. This screen shot shows the default security setting of the unit, which came with Windows 8 with Restricted Boot (Secure Boot) enabled. But some Linux distributions refuse or fail to do the same for their distribution. While on this subject, you might want to read Why your computer needs a firewall enabled.
Windows 8 Firewall Lenovo IdeaCenter K450

Now to the desktops.

The KDE edition shipped with KDE 4.11.4, and a default installation of the KDE desktop comes with a generous selection of applications that take up just about 3.8 GB of disk space. This screen shot shows the default desktop. That wallpaper does not appeal to me, but that’s personal and not very important.
Siduction 2013.2 KDE Kickoff menu

Even though it comes with a wide variety of production and system applications, a graphical package manager is not part of the installed software selection. It doesn’t make sense and I don’t know why, but that’s the way it is on Siduction 2013.2. What that means is all software management actions have to be executed from the command line.

Aside from the absence of a graphical package manager in the default installation, this distribution’s KDE edition is the first I’ve reviewed in which access to the Plasma Netbook interface is disabled. Knowing that not very many users care about that interface anymore, this is nothing to worry about, and I didn’t even bother to find out how to enable it. The Plasma Netbook interface was cool at a time when it seemed that Netbooks were going to be the next big thing, but that didn’t happen.
Siduction KDE Workspaces

Whenever I review a KDE desktop, I try to see if I can install a menu style other than the KickOff and Classic style, and so I tried to do just that on the KDE edition of Siduction 2013.2. But no luck. Homerun and Lancelot are not installed and are not in the repository. If you are new to our space and have not used Homerun and Lancelot, see Homerun: Quite possibly the best app launcher for your desktop and Lancelot menu.

Click on any image below to view a gallery from the test installation of Siduction 2013.2 KDE.

The GNOME 3 desktop offers GNOME 3.8.4, with the default GNOME Shell. Like the KDE edition, it comes with a generous selection of applications installed by default. But unlike the KDE desktop, which has no Office suite installed (by default), LibreOffice is installed on the GNOME 3 desktop. To make it easy to customize GNOME Shell, GNOME Tweak Tool is installed by default.

This gallery feature images that give an idea what to expect on the GNOME 3 edition of Siduction 2013.2.

To sum, I think this has given you an idea of what Siduction 2013.2 has to offer. As desktop distributions go, it doesn’t meet my expectations, especially with regards to the installer and the default network and physical security posture.

Resources: You may read the Release Notes here and download an installation image of your choice from here.

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