Subdivision 13.7 to be released tomorrow

Ahead of the Simplicity Linux 13.7 release at the end of the month, our alternative distro, Subdivision 13.7 will be released tomorrow.  Subdivision 13.7 is a distro designed specifically for Windows users looking to get into Linux but find Linux too “different” to Windows.

This is what it looks like:

capture1460Click the image to see the full size

You get WINE, Skype, VLC, the full LibreOffice suite, and Firefox.  We could have included more, but we feel that most Windows users don’t need more.  Plus, we could have included a virus scanner, and previous versions of Subdivision did.  But we think not including it is better than including it, because it shows that if you use Linux, you don’t absolutely need a virus scanner.  Of course, if you want one, you can install it.

We hope you enjoy using Subdivision when it is released tomorrow.  We know people are interested in the latest version, because, well, it keeps coming up time and again in our search logs on!

Two more changes to Simplicity Linux!

So, unlike other distros (yeah, we’re looking at you Ubuntu), we listen to the community.  Sometimes they’re not always vocal.  Sometimes they vote with their feet.  Or rather their mouse clicks.  And we have noticed a massive drop off in downloads since we added advertising to the links for the alpha downloads.

Whilst we’ve made some money (11 cents to be precise) from these adverts, we
1) Don’t think it’s paying off and
2) Would rather have lots of downloads rather than any amount of money

So as of now, the ad sponsored alpha links are gone for good.  We might bring them back, as in you can choose to support us, or you can choose not to support us, but either way, you get a choice.  Perhaps that is the model we should have gone for in the first place, but hey ho, you live and learn.

The second change is more dramatic.  As of now, all Simplicity Linux releases going forward, including the 13.7 Beta and Release editions will contain TOR and Polipo.  They will autoboot, and will be running in the background.  We could include Vidalia, but we don’t want to.  The point is this: if you’re fed up of PRISM, Tempura, and general shenanigans going on with your traffic, you can use TOR to hide yourself a little better.  Whilst TOR and Polipo will be running, we will not enable them in Firefox by default.  That is your call to make.  If you want them, the hostname will be and the port will be 8123.  Just pop that into Firefox’s proxy settings, click apply to all connections, then go and be anonymous.

The Simplicity Linux team strongly oppose PRISM and Tempura and any other method of data collection of the general public on a mass scale.  This is our way of sticking two fingers up at those who snoop, and protecting our users from being snooped on.  Plus, since we dogfood Simplicity Linux, and we like TOR, it makes sense for us to have it right there!

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 😉

Simplicity Linux 13.4 released

So, after a tough development cycle (lots of personal stuff going on) but earlier than we expected, Simplicity Linux 13.4 has been released!

Simplicity Obsidian 13.4:
Obsidian is our most cut down version we have.  It really does just give you a basic XFCE environment, a browser and a network manager.  And that’s it!  You can get it here.  The MD5 is 6c08670070fec64788a5f204ce281876.  The SH1 is f2d5e02ac499adf6b2bccd277e5d9f5f669f54f6.  And it is 147.3 MB.

Simplicity Netbook 13.4:
Netbook is our slightly bigger edition.  It runs XFCE, it comes with Conky, and you also get Firefox rather than Seamonkey which comes with Obsidian.  Whilst we don’t have many “apps” in it, we have made tweaks to Firefox via extensions which should help it be faster.  You can download it here.  The MD5 is e1fc00ac14c2aa36c5e0a27579e0250f.  The SH1 is 0acf12b86fb01b09b214609875401664d71c574f and it is 202.4 MB.

Simplicity Desktop 13.4:
Desktop is our big daddy.  You get XFCE, Firefox, Skype, Dropbox, GIMP, Portable Apps, the full Libre Office, Clementine and VLC.  You can download it here.  The MD5 is 12028f80e813a2f6ded35108520ec7af.  The SH1 is 4fa4b10800a1ea974d829d462099da0d2c48b91f.  And it weighs in at a hefty 432.2 MB.

For those wondering about Subdivision, our Windows “replacement” Edition, it is coming out tomorrow.  As we treat Subdivision as a seperate project under the Simplicity Linux banner, we felt it deserved a post all of it’s own.

This always makes me smile, and it always happens on release days!

As well as being a Linux geek, and a Star Trek geek, I am also a stats geek.  And I always take a look at the stats on SourceForge.


The Top OS part always makes me smile.  It’s always Windows and it’s always over 50%.  At least on the first day.  And that is what makes me smile.  People who are using Windows are at least looking at Simplicity Linux.  And for me, that is a great thing!  Hell, any Windows using any Linux distribution or just trying one makes me smile.  It’s a step in the right direction.

Simplicity Linux Desktop 13.1 Released!

Simplicity Linux Desktop 13.1 is now available for download!  You can get it here.  And this is what it looks like:










You get Gimp, Skype, Firefox, Clementine, Pidgin, LIbreOffice, Thunderbird and TrueCrypt built right into the OS.  No need for downloads or searching for packages, they all just work!  Despite being built on Carolina Linux, Firefox is the latest version and works like a dream (we literally patched it this morning!).

You can burn the ISO to a CD and run it from the drive, but we personally run it from a USB key and then store files on the cloud or on the hard disk of our production machines.  Plus, it’s just a 564.2mb download, so it won’t do too much damage to your download limit if you have one, and it packs a hell of a lot of software for such a small distro.

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.

Simplicity Linux 12.7 Release Day!

Okay, so Simplicity Linux 12.7 Netbook has been (unofficially) available for a little while now.  But now we can officially announce that Netbook, Media, Desktop and Subdivision are all officially available for download.

Simplicity Linux 12.7 Netbook:
Sometimes you don’t need a massive distro to get things done.  Sometimes you just need a browser and a few other apps.  That is what Simplicity Linux 12.7 Netbook does for you.  You get Firefox and Midori as browsers, Flash, a few other little bits and pieces, but nothing which is going to seriously strain your system.  It’s designed for people who are pretty much 24/7 connected to the Internet.  We personally have this installed on a USB key which we keep in a bag and boot our netbook from without even using a save file – because we just store everything on Dropbox!

Simplicity Linux 12.7 Media:
So using Simplicity for a netbook is great.  But what about your movies, your music, stuff like that?  We’ve got you covered there too!  Media is designed for entertainment.  You get Midori and Firefox, but you also get the amazing Clementine media player, which lets you get music from online and offline from a variety of sources.  You also get a link to Blinkbox, where you can choose between free older movies, or renting or buying new releases.  Our QA process may have involved quite a lot of watching The Batman cartoons from here…  Plus if you want to game, you can use OnLive or Gaikai.  There is a known about bug for OnLive where you need to search for the launcher using pfind, but this was discovered too late to rectify.  Apologies.

Simplicity Linux 12.7 Desktop:
Our heavyweight distro.  Yes it weighs in big at 557mb, but for that you get VLC, the full LibreOffice, Skype, Gimp and a whole ton of other full featured software.  If you need or just like local applications, then this is the Simplicity flavour for you.  It’s what we use around the office, and hopefully it includes everything you need to be productive.

Subdivision 12.7:
Our new, experimental distro.  This is aimed squarely at Windows users who are disillusioned with Windows, but find regular Linux too difficult to grasp.  At the moment it’s still alpha and unpolished, hence experimental, but current and former Windows users have told us that they like the familiarity it has.  It comes with LibreOffice, Skype, an anti virus and a preconfigured firewall.  Again it’s big, but you can just shove it on a USB key and boot faster than a Windows PC.  Subdivision is a seperate project from Simplicity, despite sharing code with it, but we plan to work harder on it for the 12.10 release cycle.