Monday, February 14, 2005

New Linux distros to try

My research of content filtering applications led me last week to Astaro Security Linux. Aside from enabling one to easily setup an x86 box as a Linux firewall, Astator offers a content filtering option which might be useful for our situation at work. It certainly bears investigating, so I downloaded the ISO for it last Friday and burned a CD. I have a box at home on which to try it, although I plan to see if I can scrounge something up at the office, too.

Today I grabbed the ISOs for Slackware 10.1 CDs 1 and 2. I first tried getting them via Bittorrent using Azureus installed on my SuSE laptop, but it kept crashing. It's possible that's because I'm behind a firewall and port 6661 isn't open. In any event that meant I needed to get it using a browser.

I was able to get the ISOs for both CDs using Firefox but I'm glad that I checked the MD5 sums before burning them to disc. Neither file was good. I went back and got them using Opera and this time the downloads were not corrupted. Interesting.

To burn the discs I used K3B, which is by far the best GUI burning app I've used on Linux. It compares favorably with Nero Burning ROM on Win32. Indeed, the developers appear to have taken cues from Nero. Since my laptop doesn't have a burner, I used an old LaCie USB CD-RW drive I found in a closet. The combination works well.

I'm not sure yet what I'm going to throw the latest version of Slackware on, but rest assured that I'll post a writeup once I do.

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