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MakuluLinux Xfce 5 Release notes

Posted by raymerjacque on February 12, 2014 at 11:10 AM

MakuluLinux XFCE 5.0, built on a strong debian base, offers users not only stability and speed, but now also provides a much more effective modern "eye candy" animated desktop environment.

 

Pre-compiled with hundreds of themes and wallpapers, users can really take full advantage of configuring their desktop to their liking. Dual Menu's now allow users to either click bottom left of the desktop to make use of the familiar whisker menu or click bottom right and make use of the fancy mouse driven slingshot launcher. New features enable users to receive wallpapers, themes and icon packs and news without the need for any user interaction. MakuluLinux Xfce 5.0 is also the first release to show off the newly revamped Makulu Installer. 

 

Based on Debian Testing and Kernel : 3.12.x PAE enabled. 

 

Major Software changes : 

  • Gimp replaced by the latest version of mypaint 1.1
  • Wine 1.4.1 replaced by Wine 1.6.x
  • Tickr has been removed
  • Mintstick has been removed
  • XfceThemeManager has been removed

 

New software : 

  • Alienblaster
  • Compiz
  • Emerald
  • Screenlets
  • Iceweasel
  • Lots of Makalu Specific Packages

 

ALL software have been updated to latest versions, more than 500mb worth of updates and bug fixes applied throughout the distro. 

 

The following folders have been moved and a symlink has been added to their original

  • /home/user/.emerald <-> usr/share/.emerald
  • /home/user/Desktop <-> usr/share/Desktop

New Installer : 

As per user requests I have tried to incorporate easier navigation menu's, I have also included a configure Timezone, Locales and Keyboard. The new installer included with Makululinux now has a much easier to use step by step interface, users should no longer get lost in all the menu's and options, each menu now has a much more specific description to guide installation. However if new users do struggle, there is a easy to follow video guide on the desktop of live mode.

 

Create New User : 

Creation of additional user has been fixed, now when users create an additional user via the "user and groups" in the menu it will now change the new users desktop to the default Makulu settings from live mode and not default back to standard XFCE settings.

  

Interface : 

Fixed a issue where the user would set the panel to auto hide or move panel to top and the windows would show a gap in the bottom of the screen, this was a margin setting in workspaces which has been corrected. 

 

User Guide Icon : 

I have replaced the install guide with a user guide icon on desktop, this icon will not be removed after installation, simply because it points to the FAQ ( frequently asked questions ) part of the site and in the long run as the section fills up will be useful for new users to find their feet in linux. If you get stuck with anything, be it installation, changing user password, installing drivers or whatever the problem, check the user guide to see if there is a guide to your issue, if not post on the forum and i will make a guide to add to the section.

 

Dual Menu's : 

Dual Menu's now allow users to either click bottom left of the desktop panel to make use of the familiar whisker menu or click bottom right on the panel and make use of the fancy mouse driven slingshot launcher. Slingshot launcher is easy to navigate, is mouse driven and looks great. It runs very smooth with mouse scrolling and even sports a search function.


Compiz Animation : 

There is plenty animation offered in MakuluLinux Xfce 5.0, We have integrated both Compiz and Emerald into Makululinux XFCE edition. Compiz providing the pre-enabled animation ( Wobbly Windows, 3D Cube, Window Previews, Animated effects ) and emerald providing the beautiful window borders. Please note that setting your theme in XFCE theme manager will change the theme, but not the window borders, these are now controlled via Emerald theme manager. to use the cube simply hold CTRL+ALT and drag your screen left or right with your mouse pointer. Please bare in mind that now that compiz is pre installed the default window Manager and window Manager tweaks in control center will no longer work since the window manager is set to "Marco" by default now. This is not a bug !

 

Wallpapers, themes and icon packs : 

MakuluLinux XFCE edition now sports a total of 79 beautiful wallpapers at the users disposal, these range from abstract, architecture, nature, animated, wildlife, environment, cartoons and so forth, we have tried to cater for a wide variety of taste. Wallpapers are managed by "Variety Wallpaper changer" and are automatically changed every 1 hour. In addition users have more than 100 theme combinations and 10 Icon packs at their finger tips. Many themes have been updated, fixed and options have been much more refined. Unlike the previous version of Xfce, User must now use "Apearance" to change the default theme and not "Xfce Theme Manager".

 

Wallpaper and theme streaming : 

We have added a new feature to MakuluLinux XFCE that will allow us to send through new wallpaper and themes to user without the need for user interaction, New wallpapers and Themes will come through via the update manager and simply just show up in theme manager and background properties. These also include emerald themes.

 

Emerald themes :

Default path changed from /home/user/.emerald to /usr/share/.emerald, if you install custom emerald themes please make sure to install them to correct directory. Please do not edit directory structure or you will not receive theme updates automatically. there is a nice variety of themes included by default in emerald, More will be streamed through to user from time to time.

 

Repository : 

MakuluLinux repository now hosts a abundance of software found on no other debian repo, We specifically host software that is not available anywhere else or is extremely outdated on other repo's ( at the time of this article ). The repository will send through updates for software, any patches as well as stream through extra eye candy and even news to user desktops. I want to be clear, since i can hear some users already screaming "security risks ?", let me assure you, we use a secured signed repository, there is no security risks involved, anything that gets streamed to the users desktop is carefully selected or approved by me and since it comes through via the update manager the user has the ability to deselect the package.

 

SourcesList : 

sources list has been modified, MakuluLinux repo has been added. In addition the Debian repo's are now pointing to a re-director online script to search for the fastest mirror nearest your location to ensure top speed and availability. I have also added a “sources list editor” entry in the menu under the system tab that will allow you to open and edit your sourceslist with a single click.

 

News Streaming : 

Tickr will no longer stream news, News and important notes will now be sent via the update manager to the users desktop in notepad format, meaning after you do an update you might just find a file on the desktop labeled "Makulu News" or "important please read", this file you can read and then delete. Whenever there is news, or any important information we would like to send to the user, this is the method we will use, the updates may even be in the form of links, for example if there is a new teaser video, we may send you a html shortcut to your desktop. Please take note that if multiple users are created on a system, only the first initial user created apon installation will receive the news stream.

 

Back-porting : 

As of the 5 series, all wallpapers and themes will be backported to previous releases, what this means is when future version 6 and on-wards get released, wallpapers and themes will be automatically backported to previous versions without the need for user interaction. For version 4.4 users that wish to receive version 5 wallpapers and themes, you can find these in the synaptic package manager under "makuluwallpapersxfce" and "makuluthemesxfce" ( provided you have added makulu repository to your sources list ). XFCE 4.4 Users that want Compiz and emerald can grab it from the MakuluLinux repository.

 

Known Issues : 

Compiz settings manager, the text on some darker themes does not display. <-- This has been fixed, just run update manager on makulu and the fix will be applied.

 

There seems to be a bug with latest version of chromium that randomly freezes in virtualbox if 3D acceleration is enabled, this seems to affect certain virtual machines only and is only limited to virtualbox. If you are one of the effected just use "Chromium 4 vbox" in the internet catagory in your menu to run chromium.


Lastly : 

I consider every release of XFCE before this one a "Beta" release really, because for the first time since ive started this project I actually feel good about a release, I have alot more control with our own Repo, and I am finally in a place where my skills as a developer can show in my work in the way i want it to. that does not mean it is perfect, there is always room for improvement, It simply means that I deem this release ready for daily use and not simply a "testing" distro anymore.

 

The goal/drive behind MakuluLinux XFCE 5.0 was to enhance the user desktop experience, not simply just offer more themes and wallpapers but to enhance features as well, modernize the desktop, bring it more up to par with other environments and make the user feel good and proud of his XFCE desktop environment. One of Xfce's biggest flaws is that altho it is stable and fast, it doesn't offer much eye candy out the box and users that like eye candy are easily put off with its dullness and difficulty setting up the eye candy. We also wanted to get more involved with the users desktop experience in the 5 series of MakuluLinux, thus was born the idea to stream through content to users, with this new feature we can stream through via the update manager new themes, wallpapers, icons and even important sticky notes that we can place right on the users desktop. I have been chatting to some devlopers from other distro's and there has been talk of us possibly starting a monthly podcast and even these podcasts we can stream straight to the users desktop, the possibilities are endless. It is also the first time in history that something like this is even being done on a linux distribution to my knowledge, that alone makes all the work on this new distro worthwhile. To put it simply, I think we have now entered the Arena of the big leagues. On that note, I am Always open to ideas or suggestions on things users would like streamed to their desktops, as long as it is legal, if you have any suggestions on certain themes or found a awesome wallpaper you want to add to our collection please post it in the forums and if approved, I will do the rest. from here on out i would consider our distro's a true rolling release with us having full control of content, Users can expect allot of updates and interaction from developers.

 

I would like to end with a very big thank you to everyone involved in assisting me with this project.

 

To the guys at OLC, you guys are awesome, This build would not have been possible without your guidance and assistance, I very much appreciate everything you guys have done, you have made me feel welcome from the moment I entered your community and helped me so much when you didn’t have to. I highly recommend that makulu users pop into the OLC group via mumble and say hello to this awesome crowd.

 

To the refracta team, thank you for assisting me with the rewrite of the installer, very much appreciate your patience with me.


Finally to the users, You guys have given me valuable feedback and criticism that has allowed me to evolve and mature the project at a steady pace to what it is today, I thank you guys all for your support and patience, and remember to keep giving me your input, Makulu is built on the input of its user base and will continue to follow on that principle.


I apologize for the lengthy release notes, I really hope users enjoy this release, MANY hours of labor went into making this, and most of these features will be ported to the other builds which will be due soon ...


Grab your copy from our download section.






Categories: Released

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21 Comments

Reply c00ter
10:52 AM on February 13, 2014 
Congrats on the 5.0 release, Jacque. I look forward to watching it climbing the ranks of Distrowatch!

-Ken
Reply raymerjacque
10:55 AM on February 13, 2014 
c00ter says...
Congrats on the 5.0 release, Jacque. I look forward to watching it climbing the ranks of Distrowatch!

-Ken


Thank you cooter, I am sure it will, Alot of work into it. This version is newer than the one i sent you, you might want to re-download this build.
Reply Pablo
11:18 AM on February 13, 2014 
ExcelLent :)
Reply Kafshiel
11:48 AM on February 13, 2014 
I was only trying to know if Makulu 5 XFCE uses Grub 2.00 or the old 1.99... You don't get any info on 5 from Distrowatch. I'll download it and install anyway because I really love XFCE (I'm testing Xubuntu 14.04) and it has Grub Customizer pre-installed which is very good for us multi-boot guys (it also has an excellent selection of pre-installed apps). I only hope it's Grub 2.00. I will test it and get back at this post to say how it went. Anyway many thanks for the distro, since I love a bit of Eye-Candy and most of all the level of customization that you get with XFCE.
Reply raymerjacque
11:51 AM on February 13, 2014 
Kafshiel says...
I was only trying to know if Makulu 5 XFCE uses Grub 2.00 or the old 1.99... You don't get any info on 5 from Distrowatch. I'll download it and install anyway because I really love XFCE (I'm testing Xubuntu 14.04) and it has Grub Customizer pre-installed which is very good for us multi-boot guys (it also has an excellent selection of pre-installed apps). I only hope it's Grub 2.00. I will test it and get back at this post to say how it went. Anyway many thanks for the distro, since I love a bit of Eye-Candy and most of all the level of customization that you get with XFCE.


Grub customizer is also pre installed on makulu, it has been since the 3 series.
Reply gcoulthard
2:58 PM on February 13, 2014 
Congratulations on the release - they seem to be coming fast and furious now. My favorite has been the XFCE release, but the KDE is a close runner up. Not too pleased that my graphics editor, GIMP, was removed from 5.0, but I suppose I can add it back. All the best!
Reply raymerjacque
3:04 PM on February 13, 2014 
gcoulthard says...
Congratulations on the release - they seem to be coming fast and furious now. My favorite has been the XFCE release, but the KDE is a close runner up. Not too pleased that my graphics editor, GIMP, was removed from 5.0, but I suppose I can add it back. All the best!


Yes it was a tough decision to replace Gimp, but in the end i had to focus on the fact that most of the Makulu users at this stage are fairly new to linux and gimp can be overwhelming, my paint is far easier to use and less space to install which allows me to keep iso size down. Also this is Mypaint 1.1, which is very rare on debian, other distro's normally use version 0.8

But you are right, you can easily re add Gimp, besides i think you will be surprised how much mypaint and gimp compliment each other, there is no reason to have both installed at same time :)
Reply TransformHumanity
10:45 AM on February 14, 2014 
Thanks for the detailed release notes - no don't feel sorry it was lengthy, it helps make decisions without visiting the rest of the website.

I am going to try Makulu XFCE for a permanent distro - a truly rolling distro.'

Cheers! Will join you soon. And certainly, a big thank you!
Reply Daisy2
12:22 PM on February 15, 2014 
Loved the KDE version. Unfortunately the Enlightment and XFCE after login show a blank screen. KDE was tried on a friends PC. Tried XFCE and Enlightment on IBM ThinkCentre R52 and a Dell Optiplex GX620. Both had same issue after login justa dark screen.
Reply Kafshiel
2:05 PM on February 15, 2014 
Is there something wrong with the login screen? I couldn't write "makulu" in the start of the login, actually I can't write anything in the input box at all. I tried to boot from different modes : "default", copy to ram", etc nothing. I can't write anything in the input box to start the live session. I even tried to change the language to my native Portuguese but I get the same error. I've tried plugging in an external USB keyboard: nothing. I checked the MD5 hash for the ISO and it's ok, verified. I'm sorry but if there's no way to start a session then I can't try Makulu nor install it (I'm certainly not installing a distro that fails at the login screen!). So when you have a solution for this issue post it here or online somewhere. Thanks anyway. Such a pity, I really wanted to try Makulu XFCE.
Reply raymerjacque
2:15 PM on February 15, 2014 
Kafshiel says...
Is there something wrong with the login screen? I couldn't write "makulu" in the start of the login, actually I can't write anything in the input box at all. I tried to boot from different modes : "default", copy to ram", etc nothing. I can't write anything in the input box to start the live session. I even tried to change the language to my native Portuguese but I get the same error. I've tried plugging in an external USB keyboard: nothing. I checked the MD5 hash for the ISO and it's ok, verified. I'm sorry but if there's no way to start a session then I can't try Makulu nor install it (I'm certainly not installing a distro that fails at the login screen!). So when you have a solution for this issue post it here or online somewhere. Thanks anyway. Such a pity, I really wanted to try Makulu XFCE.


Many thousands have installed makulu without problems. so calm down and ill try and assist your problem.

I will need all the details of your system to assist you, but please this is release notes, not a place where you post issues. So make a post in the forums and list the problem with your computer spec's and we will assist you.
Reply George Golden
11:08 PM on February 15, 2014 
raymerjacque says...
If you are on notebook turn off numLk, password should work.

Many thousands have installed makulu without problems. so calm down and ill try and assist your problem.

I will need all the details of your system to assist you, but please this is release notes, not a place where you post issues. So make a post in the forums and list the problem with your computer spec's and we will assist you.
Reply Kafshiel
4:06 AM on February 17, 2014 
[George Golden] Perhaps is indeed NumLk that is causing the problem so I'll try again to boot it with NumLk disabled. Many thanks for this reply.
Reply Phil Mulley
3:32 AM on February 19, 2014 
I'm having trouble booting as well. I thought I would try this out on Virtualbox but I only get as far as the grub boot screen. Once you select a boot mode you can get no further. I'm sure that others have this going in Virtualbox so there is probably something about my environment which is the issue, trouble is : not sure what! Are there any VM settings I should be aware of? Have tried with numlock off.
Reply raymerjacque
3:41 AM on February 19, 2014 
Phil Mulley says...
I'm having trouble booting as well. I thought I would try this out on Virtualbox but I only get as far as the grub boot screen. Once you select a boot mode you can get no further. I'm sure that others have this going in Virtualbox so there is probably something about my environment which is the issue, trouble is : not sure what! Are there any VM settings I should be aware of? Have tried with numlock off.


It is a PAE kernel, it clearly states it in the release notes. So make sure you enable PAE support in the virtualbox settings. it should be somewhere in the processor settings. that should fix your problem :)
Reply Peter
11:05 AM on February 19, 2014 
Kafshiel says...
Is there something wrong with the login screen? I couldn't write "makulu" in the start of the login, actually I can't write anything in the input box at all. I tried to boot from different modes : "default", copy to ram", etc nothing. I can't write anything in the input box to start the live session. I even tried to change the language to my native Portuguese but I get the same error. I've tried plugging in an external USB keyboard: nothing. I checked the MD5 hash for the ISO and it's ok, verified. I'm sorry but if there's no way to start a session then I can't try Makulu nor install it (I'm certainly not installing a distro that fails at the login screen!). So when you have a solution for this issue post it here or online somewhere. Thanks anyway. Such a pity, I really wanted to try Makulu XFCE.



What I've experience is that on my desktop (QuadCore+GS8400) the login window doesn't print out the "Makulu" user, though if I click on blank users rectangle and type in the password, it starts normally. Funny enough, on a DualCore+intel945 laptop, the "Makulu" is visible. Will test with an old P4+Radeon 9250 and tell you....if it works well, and I can get Pipelight to run shockwave in Chromium, it will be given to a relative...so Makulu will be traveling the spanish countryside. Cheers
Reply Phil Mulley
3:22 AM on February 20, 2014 
It was the PAE kernel, once that was set it installed just fine.
Reply raymerjacque
6:32 AM on February 20, 2014 
Phil Mulley says...
It was the PAE kernel, once that was set it installed just fine.


thought so :)
Reply l3r0g4N
7:35 PM on February 24, 2014 
Jacque,

Thank you for the work you put into this Linux distribution. I've used many off-shoots of Debian and Ubuntu in the past. My alma mater used Fedora primarily -- made us have to fix things more ;) . I happened upon your distro by chance on distrowatch and what drew me in was hippo logo.

I am really impressed. This is full of goodies and yet feels lightweight. I have not used your previous iterations/distributions so this is my first run with Makulu. I'm enjoying it and I hope the user base grows more popular.
Reply genea
6:21 PM on April 3, 2014 
I am downloading this xfce 5 version as it looks like it has everything I want that I have not found anywhere else. First off, this is either the first distro to embrace xfce5 or one of very few... only one I know of.. and I have been looking for a Testing based Debian rolling release version of linux for a bit now..... and this seems to be the right mix of cutting edge tech, and still as much stability as that allows. I just read a smallish review the other day about this distro, but that was mostly about the KDE release, and I have always thought that xfce was close to where it could be, and not a total resource hog. I can only imagine the amount of time, study and effort you have put into this distro, and only hope that you don't burn out and drop the whole thing. Now I must go and download this distro RIGHT NOW.

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