Exton|Defender SRS – now in two versions

Exton|Defender Super Rescue System SRS is a Linux system available as both a bootable USB stick (Slackware 14.0, 32bit – version 121120) and Live DVD (Fedora 18, 64bit – version 130307) for administrating or repairing your system and data after a crash. Exton|Defender aims to provide an easy way to carry out admin tasks on your computer, such as creating and editing the hard disk partitions. It comes with a lot of Linux software such as system tools and basic tools (editors, Midnight Commander, network tools). Exton|Defender can, however, also be used as a normal Linux Desktop System. It requires no hard drive installation, but can easily be installed to hard drive if you want. Desktop environment: Xfce 4.10 in version 121120 and Cinnamon 1.6.7 in version 130307.

System Tools included

NTFS-3g, GParted 0.14.0, PartImage 0.6.9, Shred 8.19, Sfdisk (util-linux-ng 2.21.2), Rsync 3.0.9, Ddrescue 1.16, FSArchiver 0.6.12, TestDisk 6.13 and Midnight Commander 4.8.4. Other programs (among many others): LibreOffice, NetworkManager, Firefox, Thunderbird, Gimp, Samba 3.6.8 (Slackware), Java (JDK 7u9) and Java Runtime Environment (JRE), Emacs 24.2, Safecopy 1.7 and many compilation tools. See a complete LIST of all installed packages 121120 (Slackware version) and 130307 (Fedora version).

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Experiences with Fedora 18

FedoraThe eminent Linux system Fedora 18 (“Spherical Cow”) was released on 15 January 2013.

I have today (130119) tested to run Fedora 18 live. I also installed the system to hard disk. I installed from the ISO file Fedora-18-x86_64-Live Desktop.iso. As expected, everything worked perfectly.

During live execution Fedora used kernel 3.6.10 and Gnome 3.6.2 as Desktop Environment. After installing Fedora 18 to hard drive, I was offered more than 200 (!) updates, including kernel 3.7.2. A peculiar thing with Fedora 18 is that you can run the system live as root. Just login to Gnome as “Other” (i.e. as root) with no password. I.e.: There is no password for liveuser and root. Just login to Gnome as liveuser or root without a password.

Installation to HDD
Fedora uses a new version of the Anaconda installer. This version has put the focus on making installation as easy as possible for new users of Linux/Fedora. This means among other things that Anaconda suggest “auto” partition to make room for Fedora 18. Since I – before the installation of Fedora 18 – had ten (10) other Linux systems plus a windows system installed on the current computer, I had prepared a special partition for Fedora before the installation started. I wanted to install fedora on a partition on an external USB hard drive, which during the installation became known as /dev/sda (!). My first internal hard drive became known as /dev/sdf and my second hard drive as /dev/sdg. I therefore had to be really careful not to install on the wrong partition. Fedora 18 uses the “new” Grub (Grub 2). However, I have already installed the “old” Grub (Grub Legacy) on /dev/sdb3 (my second hard disk) and in /dev/sda (MBR). This Grub Legacy installation I wanted to keep. To avoid the MBR on /dev/sda (my first hard drive) to be was overwritten by Fedora/Anaconda, I chose to install Grub 2 on the install partition /dev/sda3 (my external USB drive). It succeeded. See HERE how my menu.lst (/boot/grub/menu.lst) with twelve (12) installed OS’s looks. After the hard drive installation the disk names returned to “normal”. I.e. /dev/sda (the first internal hard drive), /dev/sdb (the second internal hard disk) and /dev/sdc (my external USB hard drive).

Actions after my installation of Fedora 18 to hard drive
After upgrading the system and restarting the computer with the new kernel 3.7.2, I chose to install the Desktop Environment Cinnamon 1.6.7 and use it as the Default environment. Cinnamon, is like a cross between Classic Gnome and KDE. Without KDE’s “awkwardness” such as Akonadi and Soprano etc. At least I think so.

A possible exton remaster of Fedora 18
I have previously made several remasters of Fedora. Fedora 14 I called EXTON RHF 14. Maybe a live version/remaster of Fedora 18 with the Cinnamon Desktop Environment would be interesting. As far as I know there is still no such remaster around.

See a screenshot of Fedora 18 when I run Cinnamon.

Summary
Fedora 18 is a prime Linux system that deserves much more attention. No bugs or other unpleasantness (discovered by me). Everything seems carefully calculated and tested.