Testing something new

Whilst Simplicity Linux is free, has always been free and will always be free, it’s not free to create it.  There are hosting fees, domain name fees, etc.  So we are trying a hybrid of something we saw CheckMate do and our own spin on things.

From now on, if you want access to our alphas and betas, you can have them, free as always, it’s just that there will be an advert before the download.  Full releases will always be available advert free.  It’s just a way of us making a little bit of money to support Simplicity Linux without you, our wonderful users having to do anything or spend anything.

The first bunch of ad supported Alpha images are here:

Simplicity Linux 13.7 Desktop Alpha
Simplicity Linux 13.7 Media Alpha
Simplicity Linux 13.7 Netbook Alpha
Simplicity Linux 13.7 Obsidian Alpha

Review of Simplicity Linux Desktop 13.7 Alpha

Once again, our good friend Sneeky Linux has reviewed Simplicity.  He makes a very good point about a bug we didn’t realise we had (the installing bug) and we’re going to work on fixing that before the Beta release in a few weeks time.

So, here is the review, enjoy, because, well, Sneeky is an awesome reviewer!  What more do you need?

Simplicity Linux 13.7 Alpha images are now available

So, after a month or so of work on Simplicity Linux 13.7, we are proud to announce that the Alpha releases are now available for download from SourceForge:

Obsidian 13.7 Alpha

Netbook 13.7 Alpha

Media 13.7 Alpha

Desktop 13.7 Alpha

These are very rough versions.  Some stuff might not work, other stuff might work unexpectedly, and you may need an upgrade for Firefox.  We’re planning a lot of very cool stuff for 13.7, so there may be new features added between now and the release.

But anyway, enjoy the new images, and have fun with them!  And remember, if you do enjoy them, consider donating.  Even $1 helps!

Simplicity Linux 13.7 Alpha images available today!

As I type this, the Alpha images for Simplicity Linux 13.7 are being uploaded to SourceForge.  At the moment, it’s a staged tree, so it’s not publicly accessible.  But once all the ISO images are uploaded, you will be able to get your hands on them.

For those new to Simplicity Linux, here is a handy introduction –

Obsidian is our heavily cut down edition.  If you want networking and a browser only, Obsidian is a great choice.  If you want more software, you can add it using the package manager, but from the start, you just get a browser and a way to connect to the Internet.

If you want something light, but with a few bells and whistles, Netbook is the place to be.  You get web apps preloaded on the dock.  There isn’t much in the way of local apps, but this is designed for use if you’re online most of the time.

If you need a fast yet full featured Linux, this is where Simplicity Desktop fits in.  You get a whole load of great, locally installed applications.  This is what we use on our desktops personally from a USB key.  We have LibreOffice, Skype, Clementine, VLC, and a whole bunch of other apps.

Planning on using Simplicity to power a lounge or bedroom computer?  Media can help you do that.  It comes with XBMC as an interface, so there is no playing around with tiny pointers and huge icons.  This was designed to be used from a distance.  We’ve also played with XBMC a little and given you a whole load of pre-installed software to find media if you don’t have any on your machine just yet.  Plus, you can get back to XFCE and switch back to XBMC whenever you want very easily.

Windows 8.1 has new features. So do we!

Just a really quick post.

So, as we get ready to unleash our new alpha releases upon an unsuspecting world, we read today that Windows 8.1 will have new features.  These new features include a start button, wallpaper, and you can boot to desktop.

We have all three of those features.  We’ve always had all three of those features.  Well, okay, Media Edition no longer boots to desktop, but that is something we’re waiting to unveil to you all in a few days (maybe tomorrow?)

Watch this space.  13.7 is probably going to be the best Simplicity Linux we’ve released, and 13.7 Media Edition has blown away our non computer using member of the team.  It’s quite special 😉

A rough version of Simplicity Linux Media 13.7

So, at Simplicity Linux, we like media.  And we’ve neglected Simplicity Linux Media Edition for a while now.  But now we’re changing that, big style.  Those who follow our Twitter account (@SimplicityLinux) will know that we had a bit of a party last night for our latest release.

However, the party was powered by a very, very rough version of Media Edition 13.7.  You could barely even call it an alpha.  So this afternoon I have been working on it, polishing it a little bit.  The biggest change is the interface.  The problem is, if you’re connecting your machine to a TV, you’re not going to want to use a desktop.  You want something bigger, bolder, easier.  Something like XBMC.  Which is why we’ve bolted XBMC onto the base image we use for Simplicity Linux.

Now, those who know us personally know that we’re big fans of Linux Outlaws.  We’ve been to two OggCamps, and met Fab and Dan at Linuxtag too.  So when we wanted to test the audio and video components of Media Edition 13.7, we opted to listen to the live version of Linux Outlaws from YouTube:


Like so.  That is Simplicity Linux 13.7 Media Edition (albeit VERY rough) outputting Linux Outlaws 309 from YouTube.  You can do that out of the box if you want, because we’ve shoved an absolute ton of pre-installed goodies in there.  You can watch 4OD, listen to iTunes podcasts, watch YouTube, watch TED talks, and listen to free audiobooks.

We like it.  And when we release the alpha in a few weeks, we hope you like it too.

A Review Of Simplicity Linux 12.10 Desktop Alpha

Not that we like to blow our own trumpet (toot) but check out this review of Simplicity Linux Desktop 12.10 Alpha.

We won’t give you any spoilers, because, well, Mr Sneekylinux deserves to have his video viewed!  They’re very, very good and we personally love his presentation style.  If you want to see Simplicity Linux 12.10 Desktop Alpha in action, with a Linux expert showing you around, kicking the tyres and taking it for a test drive (on a real machine) then you can’t really go wrong with this vid.

Want An Alpha? How About Four?

So, we know we’re not the best in the world at putting out Alpha releases of our stuff.  This is largely because uploading is very slow on our connection.  But now we’ve discovered, a rather wonderful little project which makes sharing files ridiculously easy.

You can download Simplicity Linux Netbook 12.10 Alpha here.  As per usual, this is aimed at Netbook users with an “always on” Internet connection.  Whilst there are a few apps preinstalled, we will remove most of these before the final release.  It’s around 200mb and works very well from a USB key (we were using it at OggCamp 12 for the entire weekend without a single issue).

You can also download Simplicity Linux Desktop 12.10 Alpha here.  This is the big daddy of the mix and weighs in at around 640mb.  But for this you do get applications like Skype, Libre Office (latest and full version), Clementine, VLC, Wine, OnLive and many other applications.  And as an additional, this is not just for desktop machines.  It runs very happily on our old Dell Mini 9 from a USB key.

For those who love music, movies and TV (me!) you can download Simplicity Linux Media 12.10 Alpha here.  This is our version of Simplicity Linux for those who want a lounge PC or a bedroom PC to watch things on.  You can get music, movies, and TV very easily using Media. and it is around 290mb  Please note, there are a LOT of features missing on this Alpha compared to the final version.  The final version will have shortcuts for Kindle Web Reader and come with get_iplayer.

Lastly in the mix is Subdivision 12.10 Alpha.  You can get it here.  Subdivision is our Linux for Windows users who don’t “get” Linux.  You can just download this, and get stuff done.  It comes with a preconfigured firewall, an anti-virus, instant messaging, Firefox, and lots of other things you will recognise from Windows.  It also comes with OnLive and Wine, so you can play games and you can run Windows applications.  At the moment you can only use get_libreoffice for installations, BUT, we’re working on that!  I have 10 days off at the end of September and I plan on hacking the hell out of the get_libreoffice script at some point during that time off.  Subdivision is around 290mb, and still very experimental.

Please bear in mind these are Alpha releases.  Stuff might be broken, half work, or straight not work at all.  And we know that Desktop is far too big.  We’re working on that!  If you have any comments or feedback, please let us know and we will do our darnedest to act on it.

Subdivision 12.10 Alpha Screenshot

So, last release cycle, a lot of people got excited about Subdivision – our respin of Simplicity Linux for Windows users.  We have decided to continue with Subdivision, and here is a screenshot of Subdivision 12.10 Alpha.  It fixes a lot of problems in the previous release (namely the compositing issue which lead to title bars being removed) and we replaced the Windows style icon and replaced it with something less controversial.  We’ve got a screenshot for you too!  And an ISO will be available tomorrow.

We also have another feature, which will be implemented in Netbook and Desktop too.  Get Office.  This amazing little script finds and downloads the latest version of LibreOffice and installs it.  It does automatically what we used to do manually (and loathed!)  It downloads then installs the latest .deb files.

Simplicity Linux 12.10 Alpha Screenshot

ISO to follow today or tomorrow.

Please note: We have stopped using Blinkbox as our streaming movies provider because apparently, they hate Linux.  We’ve also discontinued the Gaikai link because they won’t let us play in the UK.

Tilt this screenshot