November 29, 2008, update: I have taken Dreamlinux to another ride, testing the live CD session in greater depth - including Compiz Fusion and digital camera support. I came back pleasantly surprised. Please see Page 2 for more details.
I've heard of Dreamlinux from fellow members at one of the forums I frequent. They said it was beautiful, they said it was easy. So I figured, I had to try it.
Dreamlinux is a Debian-based distro coming from Brazil. Known for their carefree approach to life and beauty, the Brazilian developers have indeed put some of their spirit into the code, the result being Dreamlinux.
I'm going to test the distro, namely the Release Candidate of the upcoming version, 3.5. We'll see how it behaves as a live CD, the difficulty of the installation process and the ease of use and configuration of applications after the distro is installed.
I don't want to spoil the surprise, but you're in for a somewhat bumpy live CD fun, an unpleasant installation and an absolutely stunning post-install experience. If you're up to it, read on.
The distro promises a lot. First, Dreamlinux 3.5 claims 100% multimedia support out of the box, something that any living being using computers will appreciate. One of the major perceived advantages of Windows over Linux distros is the support for proprietary audio and video formats, DVD playback and such.
Although I have already shown on several occasions how extremely easy it is to obtain these gadgets on a variety of distros (Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Sabayon etc), Dreamlinux should be the next step in having it all ready and dandy.
Then, there's the issue of beauty. Dreamlinux comes with a very sexy Xfce desktop, adorned with the Avant desktop manager, offering OSX-like looks with minimal hardware requirements. We have already seen OSX-like dock and style on gOS Linux, an Ubuntu-based distro. Again, Dreamlinux aims to take the bar one notch higher.
As to the hardware requirements, you can safely run it on a machine with as little as 128MB RAM, which is definitely appealing for people with old, low-end machines, which can be brought back to beautiful life by running Dreamlinux.
Now that we have almost everything covered, the usual last few words of advice:
If you are not familiar with Linux installations, you are encouraged to try my other tutorials, explaining the Linux basics in rich detail. You will find all of the tutorials in the Software & security category.
The screenshots are all full-size images, in order to make the article more readable, but they may take some time loading on the 56K dial-up connections.
Lastly, if you are afraid of trying to install Dreamlinux for real, you are welcome to try the distribution in a virtualized environment. Excellent products like VMware Player, VMware Server, VirtualBox are all great choices for this task. The setup and use of these products are also extensively covered in the above category.
That's it. We'll review the live CD environment on the next page.