Hands-on on with SolydXK Update Pack

Hands-on on with SolydXK Update Pack

Summary: A new update pack 2014.01.15 for SolydX and SolydK, along with a new update release schedule.


SolydXK Update Pack (UP) 2014.01.15 has now been released: check the update release announcement for some details about content and installation (but not a lot of details, honestly). 

This is the first update pack released under a new schedule, which will see quarterly updates rather than monthly; the reasons for this change are explained in their UP process change news posting. 

Btrfs hands on: My first experiments with a new Linux file system

Btrfs hands on: My first experiments with a new Linux file system

Btrfs hands on: My first experiments with a new Linux file system

Although I am personally a bit disappointed, because I am selfish and like to get frequent updates, I can certainly understand their reasons for making the change, and if I had been in that position I might well have made the same decision.

I am in the process of installing the UP on my two SolydX/SolydK systems as I write this: the pack is rather large, and rather complex so it takes a while. 

To install it, you start by clicking on the 'Update Manager' icon in the panel (a small shield, probably with a green check mark on it).  Don't be fooled or confused when the updates window opens and tells you the system is up to date, you have to click Refresh to force it to look for the update pack. 

There is an update to the update manager itself in this pack, so the first thing that comes up will be only that one item. After you install that, Update Manager will restart and you'll get the rest of the (very long) list. When you are asked during the update installation process if you want to replace one or two configuration files, the safe thing to do is say keep the existing file.

The update installation complete without any problem on both of my systems; on the Lenovo T400 with SolydK it took about 20 minutes, and on the Samsung N150 Plus with SolydX it took about 30 minutes. 

Well worth the time and effort required: it's been more than a month since I installed SolydXK, and I am still very pleased with it. 

As I said in my original post, it seems to be turning out to be pretty much what I had hoped LMDE would be originally. The update release announcement cited above also says that they are working on a new set of ISO images as well.

Further reading


Topics: Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems

J.A. Watson

About J.A. Watson

I started working with what we called "analog computers" in aircraft maintenance with the United States Air Force in 1970. After finishing military service and returning to university, I was introduced to microprocessors and machine language programming on Intel 4040 processors. After that I also worked on, operated and programmed Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-8, PDP-11 (/45 and /70) and VAX minicomputers. I was involved with the first wave of Unix-based microcomputers, in the early '80s. I have been working in software development, operation, installation and support since then.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • I stopped looking when I found this one.

    I'm new to Linux, less than a year, barring a bit of Mandrake and Redhat experimentation back around '00 - '01, but I worked most of my life in an all MS shop and Linux dropped by the wayside until now. I suppose my path was a pretty standard one as modern-day Linux adopters go. Starting in July '13, Ubuntu for a few days, Mint for a couple weeks, then Debian proper. I suppose you could really say that I stopped there. I chose Debian, although having always been the lazy sort, I also searched for what I suppose I'll call a "preconfigured" Debian. I came to LMDE for a couple weeks around August, then for me it was a natural Darwinesque progression to SolydXK in September, there to stay. My entire Linux story. 2013 was a good year for me. Being retired and having the time to really tear into Linux has brought my favorite activity back to life. Sites like yours are a great help! Thanks for Mostly Linux Stuff. Always good reading.


    -- Dave
    • Thanks

      It sounds like 2013 was a very good year for you indeed! Thanks for sharing. Your path through Linux is not all that different from mine. I had high hopes for Ubuntu and used it for several years until they went totally over the top with the NIH syndrome. Mint saved me from the worst of that, but I was still uncomfortable with Ubuntu underneath. When LMDE was announced, I thought (hoped) that it would be the ideal solution for me, but it has turned out to be too unreliable, far too infrequently updated, and increasingly prone to fatal update errors as the time between new ISO images increases. At the present time, for example, I believe it is impossible to install LMDE from the 201103 ISO images and then install the latest Update Pack, it crashes and burns in various unpleasant ways.

      As a result of this, I have been absolutely overjoyed with SolydXK (both versions). So far, I could not be happier with it - several installations, and now two Update Packs, and nary a hiccup. Really Good. If they get UEFI installation included, it is likely to become my new favorite and standard installation.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • Updating

    Like Dave, I started with Mandrake about 2001 with version 8.1 and I'm using SolydX now. But in between I've used Linux continuously, mostly PCLinuxOS, SuSE, Lubuntu, Mint, and LMDE.

    Anyway, thanks for reporting on the SolydX update. I just ran it and then, as I always do, I ran BleachBit to remove all the non-English language support, the Apt cache, etc. It reported removing 873.5 MB in 6,151 files! I think this additional step of cleaning up - which takes literally about one minute - should be part of every update, even if nearly everything it removes is doing nothing more than taking up space.

    • Bleachbit

      Thanks Walt, Bleachbit is something I've looked at but so far haven't tried. I've learned to be a bit wary of "System Cleaners" in the past, I'll read up some more on this. 873mb is attractive. I've got an obsession with rescuing older machines, and now that I've got seriously into Linux I can play with that again! Been looking at minimalist distros, antiX in particular, to run on older hardware, and also at ways to remove unneeded packages and full-blown DEs and "slim down". with a WM instead. All this is like coming back home -- bringing back the old days by bringing in the new. Takes me back to the days when we had the control of our own machines.
  • SolydX & Bleachbit

    Though Linux Mint MATE 64Bit is my go to distro, I tested out SolydX and SolydK. SolydX is impressive but I didn't care too much for SolydK. To (fleabus). Yeah, I use Bleachbit quite a bit and so long as you use it right it is a great program.