NEWS: Foresight Linux 2.0 Released  

So, after all the Alpha and Beta releases, here is the final one. For download go here. There are a lot of new features in this release, as well as the newest in the GNOME desktop and applications. Before commenting and posting screenshots, here is the official release announcement:

Foresight Linux 2.0 has been released. New in version 2.0: a new tar-based installer that should install in less than 10 minutes, including formatting a 200 GB hard drive; PackageKit to help users update their system and add and remove software; Syslinux, a new bootloader to replace GRUB; GNOME-Do to quickly search for many items present in a GNOME desktop environment (applications, Evolution contacts, Firefox bookmarks, files, artists and albums in Rhythmbox, Pidgin buddies, etc.) and perform commonly used actions on those items. Users should also find it much easier to use binary video card drivers from NVIDIA and ATI than in Foresight 1.x. Transmission is also included as the default Bittorrent application.

It comes in two choices, x86, and 64bit one. The DVDs are install only, there is no Live Session available. When the media is booted, the following screen appears:

Yeah, the boot loader is not GRUB, nor LILO. It's SysLinux, and as the creators state, it's supposed to replace GRUB.

The installer is Anaconda (made by Red Hat, and used in Fedora also), the installation is really about 10 mins, as stated in the release announcement. Thanks to the new tar-based installer. Now, after the installation, the greenish theme will welcome you.

The theme is little different than in Foresight 1.4, the previous one was green-to-yellow somehow. A large selection of wallpapers is offered also.

Now, when it comes to applications, PackageKit is here to manage adding and removing packages, as well as updating the whole system. Also, GNOME 2.22 was included with all of its packages. When it comes to GNOME 2.22 here is their release announcement:

Addition of Cheese, a tool for taking photos from webcams and Remote Desktop Viewer; basic window compositing support in Metacity; introduction of GVFS; improved playback support for DVDs and Youtube, MythTV support in Totem; internationalised clock applet; Google Calendar support and message tagging in Evolution; improvements in Evince, Tomboy, Sound Juicer and Calculator.

Cheese is a nice funny application, and it can take and save photos or clips from your webcam.

Only one package was missing, and that was GIMP. But, the developer/s of Foresight said that GIMP was removed due to they wanted to shrink the whole media from a DVD to a single CD. Besides GIMP, everything else was here, all the Office needed packages, all the games that are included in GNOME project, even Transmission was included, as the default torrent client. Firefox was also here, as the default web browser. And if you want to search for an item in the GNOME desktop enviroment (applications, Evolution contacts, Firefox bookmarks, files, artists and albums in Rhythmbox, Pidgin buddies... ) GNOME-Do in there for you. Brasero is the CD/DVD burning solution, and Banshee was also included, which is a nice audio media player. Popular media codecs were lacking, and proprietary video drivers, which is understandable why.

There was one thing that i really liked, and that is the Foresight Linux User Guide. Just click System, and click on the icon which launches the guide.

For everything lacking, here is explained how to get to it. Meaning popular media codecs, video card drivers, getting compiz, Conary and PackageKit are explained, and so on... A great introduction for newbies, which will solve a lot of their problems :)

Only one weird thing happened to me. When i started the OS, and the first time it booted, there was no sound. The icon showed that it was muted. I launched the sound mixer, and all the channels were OK. Then i figured, PulseAudio. I started the PulseAudio volume control, and there, the mute button was ticked. So I unticked it, and Banshee was playing with no fuss.

Nevertheless PulseAudio is well integrated and the sound is great, with no glitches. One great thing about it is that you can control the volume of separate applications, or even mute a separate application/stream.

Overall, the installation went great, the user experience was great, PackageKit is easy to use, the User Guide is a great plus, all GNOMEish apps (except GIMP) are included... So, if there is someone who wants a different and fresh GNOME based desktop, Foresight is one of the best choices.

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