Softpedia 170103: Our dearest Arne Exton ended 2016 in big style with the release of a new build of his Ubuntu-based Exton|OS computer operating system running the latest MATE desktop environment and Linux 4.9 kernel. It includes Refracta tools to build your own live OS.
NEWS 161231 ABOUT Exton|OS with Mate 1.16.0 and Refracta Tools
The Desktop Environment is Mate 1.16 (A fork of GNOME 2. It provides an intuitive and attractive desktop environment using traditional metaphors for Linux and other Unix-like operating systems). Program content in build 161231: Refracta Tools, Firefox, Google Chrome (for Netflix), Gimp, Vlc and GParted. Also all necessary additions in order to install programs from source. All packages have been updated to the latest available version as at December 31, 2016. Study the NEW PACKAGE list.
The headline changes in MATE 1.16 are:
Improved GTK+3 support across the entire MATE Desktop.
Application and theme support for GTK+ 3.22.
More applications build against GTK+3 only:
MATE Notification Daemon
MATE Session Manager
Some applications have been decoupled from
MATE Power Manager
Work has started to port applications to GApplication or GtkApplication:
MATE User Share
Many bugs and deprecations are fixed.
Translations are updated.
IMPORTANT ABOUT REFRACTA TOOLS
Refracta tools are pre-installed in Exton|OS Mate Build 161231. Use them to create your own live installable Ubuntu system. I mean create your own installable Ubuntu 16.10 Live DVD once you have installed Exton|OS to hard drive. I mean change everything and then create a whole new Ubuntu live system. Start Refracta from Applications >> System Tools >> Refracta Snapshot. You don’t even have to install Exton|OS to hard drive before you can use the Refracta tools. If you have plenty of RAM you can create a new (your own!) Ubuntu system while running Exton|OS from DVD or a USB stick. Please note that the whole Refracta process (creating your new ISO) will only take 5 – 10 min! You’ll find the ISO in /home/snapshots. The whole thing is very simple. Refracta Installer replaces Ubiquity (Ubuntu’s installer). Refracta Installer is also very simple to use. No “expert knowledge” is needed.
Exton|OS build 161231 is based on Ubuntu 16.10 64 bit and Debian Stretch/Sid (upcoming Debian 9). Exton|OS’s ISO file is a ISO-hybrid, which means that it can very easily be transferred (copied) to a USB pen drive. You can even run Exton|OS from a USB stick and save all your system changes on the stick. I.e. you will enjoy persistence! Read my INSTRUCTION. For persistence please read under B) or use UNetbootin in Windows or Linux.
MORE NEWS 161231
A new and much better version of Exton|OS is ready. I have replaced kernel 4.5.3-exton with my special kernel 4.9.0-11-exton corresponding Kernel.org’s kernel 4.9 – latest as of 161231. You can download “my” kernel if you want to use it in another Ubuntu/Debian system. Extract ubuntu-kernel-64bit-4.9.0-11-exton.zip with the command unzip ubuntu-kernel-64bit-4.9.0-11-exton.zip. With kernel 4.9 there is no real need to use Nvidia proprietary graphic drivers since this kernel has better support for the open-source Nvidia driver Nouveau than any other older kernel.
Runs from RAM
Another great thing is that Exton|OS can run from RAM. Use Boot alternative 4 (load to RAM). When the system has booted up you can remove the disc (DVD) or USB stick. You’ll need at least 2 GB RAM to run Exton|OS that way.
The Desktop Environment is Mate 1.18.0. (A fork of GNOME 2. It provides an intuitive and attractive desktop environment using traditional metaphors for Linux and other Unix-like operating systems). Program content: Refracta Tools, Firefox, Gimp, Google Chrome (for Netflix), Vlc and GParted. Also all necessary additions in order to install programs from source. All packages have been updated to the latest available version as at December 31, 2016. Study the full package list.
The system language is English.
Log in to Mate
When you start up your computer from the dvd you will end up in X at LightDM‘s login screen. Log in as root (superuser) with password root or as the ordinary user live with password live. (During a hard drive install (using Refracta Installer) you can create your own ordinary user).
Use Wicd to configure your network connection. You may have to change the Network Interfaces eth0 and wlan0 to eth1 respectively wlan1 or…
Check your Interfaces with the command iwconfig.
Installation to hard drive
Note that you in advance (just in case) should create a partition of at least 20 GB for Exton|OS (if you want to make your own Ubuntu system) and a SWAP space double the size of your computer’s RAM. I.e. if you have RAM of 1024 MB or less. If you have RAM of 2 GB or more it’s enough with a SWAP space of 2 GB. The installation program Refracta Installer in Exton|OS is otherwise “intuitive”. Choose manual partitioning and select the partition you created in advance for installation. You’ll find the installation program under Applications >> System Tools >> Refracta Installer. The installation to hard drive is now so simple that a 10 year old child can do it. NOTE 1: You should format your intended installation partition in advance. You can use GParted for that. NOTE 2: If you want to install Grub as bootloader while installing Exton|OS Mate on a not UEFI-enabled computer you’ll have to replace grub-efi-amd64 with grub-pc. Just run the command sudo apt-get update followed by sudo apt-get install grub-pc before you start the install program Refracta Installer.
Changing root’s password
If you install Exton|OS to hard drive the password for root (root) you’ll get the chance to change root’s password. The root password is otherwise changed by running the command sudo passwd root. You can log in to Mate as root if you want.
Repositories and software management
Exton|OS is totally compatible with Ubuntu 16.10 and therefore uses Ubuntu’s repositories. After a hard drive install of Exton|OS you can go ahead an install any extra software you like and also upgrade the whole system. After running the command apt-get update you should use Synaptic Package Manager.
VirtualBox and VMware
Exton|OS Mate runs very well live in VirtualBox and VMware. Exton|OS Mate has UEFI boot enabled. So to be able to run Exton|OS from a virtual hard drive in VirtualBox and VMware you’ll have to replace grub-efi-amd64 with grub-pc. Just run the command sudo apt-get update followed by sudo apt-get install grub-pc before you start the install program Refracta Installer.
You may want to install Spotify in Exton|OS Mate. Just go ahead. It’s very easy. Follow this instruction for Ubuntu. When running Exton|OS Mate Build 161231 live or from hard drive you can just install Spotify with the command sudo apt-get install spotify-client.
Read my INSTRUCTION.
This version of Exton|OS has been replaced by Build 170607 with Mate 1.8.0.