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KEY FEATURES KateOS is a free and non-commercial distribution developed in Poland. It is designed for intermediate users, oriented primarily towards desktop usage. KateOS is similar to Slackware but its package manager updateos resolves dependencies and offers multilingual descriptions of packages.
Supported architectures x86 (optimized for i486; multimedia applications optimized for i686)
Minimal hardware requirements i486-compliant processor, 32 MB RAM, 300 MB disk space, CD-ROM drive
Software freedom status Fully free
Installer - overall (8) Slackware-like ncurses installer, fast and efficient, featuring fdisk/cfdisk as a partitioning tool, dependency tracking and additional options to make the installation more user-friendly than that of Slackware. The installer can run in English, Polish or French language mode. The installation process is documented in the project's wiki. There is an installation flash movie as well. The LiveCD editon features a user-friendly graphic installer using GParted as its partitioning tool. You can read more about it here.
Package selection (7) Present. Single packages can be selected (all dependencies are resolved). The packages necessary for a correct installation are additionally marked.
Predefined package groups (7) Present.
Expert mode install (3) No special expert mode. Some of the screens of the installer include advanced options which an advanced user can configure to his needs and the less advanced leave as predefined (services run at startup, initrd options etc.).
Graphical installer (8) Only in the LiveCD edition, GTK 2.0 based.
Installer speed (8) Fast.
Graphical system management (4) Several graphic (GTK) and ncurses applications for installing packages, configuring Internet connection, setting a bootloader and many others.
Console-based system management (7) Various ncurses tools similar to those in Slackware (though often revised) - netconfig, services-setup, alsaconf, xorgsetup etc.
Number of packages (4) KateOS features a distro-specific package forma. The repos contain approximately 1500 packages (which are generally complete applications or libraries - the packages don't usually contain just portions of applications, even XOrg along with all drivers is one package). The packagers' community is also open for packages' requests even from a single user.
Package management, automatic dependency resolving (8) Central management of dependencies. This, along with the consistency of the repos, makes KateOS a distro which is pretty much free from dependency issues. The package creation is easy enough for an intermediate user to be able to create a package out of every application he's compiling from sources, which lets him fully control the dependencies.
Graphical package management tool (8) Present. A gtk2 application called KatePKG, featuring fetching packages from online repositories, managing the repositories' list, a system update and installing packages from hard drive. Also, an update-notifier displaying an icon in the system tray and able to update the system or single packages.
System boot speed (8) Fast. Can be reduced by experienced users by controlling the services run at start-up.
System responsiveness (8) Light, responsive system. Especially with the default XFce as the window manager.
Popularity (3) Around the 30th position in the Distrowatch ranking. A lot of KateOS users are Polish (Poland is the distro's country of origin), therefore the Polish-speaking community seems more active than the English-speaking one. It's not difficult to get help in English though. Some of the developers are American as well.
Security focus (3) Average. Security optimization is up to the user.
Stability and maturity (3) A pretty young distro, undergoing serious developement. The package management system is planned to be enhanced in the 4.0 series and new gtk2.0 configuration tools appear with every release. The stability is rather high, as the packages are tested and corrected by the community on a variety of hardware before going to the official repo.
Does the installer support multiple languages? (2) It supports many keyboard and locale (for the future system) settings. The installer itself has English, Polish and French language versions.
Is the system localized after installation? (7) The localization is managed during installation. KateOS-specific tools come in Polish and English language versions (some of them also in French and German).
Is manual system localization easy? (7) Rather easy using configuration files' editing.
Support for restricted formats (7) MP3 and video playback are supported out of the box. Windows Media codecs can be installed from the KateOS's official repository.
Sagem DSL modem support (8) The standard installation contains a ncurses configurator (called neoconfig) which can be used to set up and register the Neostrada service. It works with all types of Sagem F@st, Thomson Speedtouch and ZTE ZXDSL version 1 modems (the firmware must be downloaded by the user from outside the repos though). Other services using these modems can be set up manually by editing the configuration files.
Alcatel DSL modem support (8) See Sagem DSL modem support.
ISDN support (?) ?
Wireless support (5) The standard installation contains the tools and software needed to set it up.
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