Writing by admin on Friday, 29 of June , 2007 at 2:57 pm

The latest installment of Sidux, 2007-02 codenamed Tartaros, was released on May 28th of this year. Sidux is based on Debian, inparticularly Sid, which is the more modern, or development branch of Debian. Sidux is currently ranked 27th on the DistroWatch rankings, but is a very new distribution that I believe may be able to crack the top ten in future years. Now, to the DistroWatch website for their description of Sidux.

Sidux“Sidux is a desktop-oriented distribution and live CD based on the unstable branch of Debian GNU/Linux. It was originally created by a group of developers who split from the KANOTIX project and launched their own distribution.”

I have had close to a dozen emails from individuals requesting that I review this latest version of Sidux, so lets move on!

Follow the link for the rest of the review!

Once again, as with most Debian-based distributions, Sidux uses a live CD installer with the image weighing in slightly under 700MB. Once the live CD loads there is an icon on the desktop to begin the install. All installation information is requested right away in an easy-to-use tabbed window. I have yet to come across an installer that has asked for all information in this manner, but I love it (see image below)! The partition selector seemed to pick the correct partition each time, but also provides access to a partition manager and ability to override the Sidux defaults.


The install took approximately 10 minutes, during which I read through the information provided in the window above the progress bar (which, by the way, shows how long the install has taken thus far). There is a lot of useful information in here (ie. commands to configure/install videocard drivers, wireless drivers, other tips) and I highly recommend writing down some of the commands that you feel may be useful after the install. Once the installer has completed, the user is presented with a multitude of packages, both official and unofficial that can be installed if the user so wishes. While the Sidux installer may not be the prettiest available, I found it one the best to use. It is nice to see tips and useful commands during the install instead of highlighting specific features.


The latest installment of Sidux once again uses a very dark default with lots of black and red. I really like the default look and think it is great to see Sidux shy away from the default themes of most distributions. The desktop environment is KDE, but other options are available to use. The icon set is also mostly KDE with variation only on those that are Sidux-specific applcations. By default, the desktop shows other mount points, a shortcut to the Sidux IRC channel and a desktop configuration file icon. Below is a screenshot of the default desktop.

Once again, the menu system is standard KDE and offers a lot of applications for which to choose. The menu is simple and flexible. Unfortunately, Sidux 2007-02 does not come with Beryl of Compiz (yes, I realize it is Compiz Fusion now), but these are easy enough to add and are unnecessary for most users. Below is a screenshot of the KMenu.

Other Impressions

Sidux has gone the route of offering a complete out-of-the-box experience. Both MP3s and DivX worked without any additional installations and the implementation of using ndiswrapper for wireless cards is very easy to use (common among many distros these days). The default office system is OpenOffice 2.2 and surprisingly Firefox is not installed by default. Sidux instead offers the Konqueror browser as well as Sidux Browser, which is an implementation of IceWeasel (built on Mozilla). While I am not a huge fan of Konqueror, I did find IceWeasel very simplistic and very similar to Firefox. IceWeasel screenshot below.

Luckily, I was able to get my wifi card working very well and quickly. Thendiswrapperutility helped me find the driver on my Windows partition and setup past that was quite simplistic. Unfortunately, I was not able to configure hibernation or stand by as I never seem to be able to with the KDE environment. If anyone has any insights into this please let me know!


Simply put, Sidux 2007-02 was a pleasure to use. The live CD worked beautifully, as did the installer. The desktop is very dark, but this is nice to see after using so many “light” distributions. The included software is great, but it would be nice to see Firefox and Thunderbird included (not because the other options are bad, but because so many people use them).

When it comes down to it, configuration and some other aspects of Sidux do require previous knowledge with Linux and particularly Debian. For this reason I still believe SimplyMEPIS is a better choice for beginners, but definitely feel advanced users will get more out of using Sidux. Once I get tired of using Linux Mint 3.0 I am confident I will switch to Sidux.

Read more about Sidux and download the images on the official Sidux website.


Category: Linux, Review


Iceweasel IS Firefox rebranded by Debian. Thunderbird has also been rebranded as Icedove in Debian. You call this a review?

hibernation depends on the system, if it’s a laptop, they almost all, if newer, support resume from disk, which is included and active on sidux by default, in powersaved, called kpowesave on kde.

You have to create a resume partition in /boot/grub/menu.lst, which is quite easy to do, just ask someone on #sidux or on the forums, they will show you how to do it.

For desktops, suspend to disk varies, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, it depends on the motherboard, and age of machine.

Yes id have to aggree, what this shiftbackspace guy does not review, he only gives a skin deep opinion
Sidux is happily my default main development distro, it is entirely poerfect for my needs except for the pesky recompiling of the webcam drivers since kernels are updated quite frequently to stay oh so lovely bleeding edge :)
suspend-to-disk/hibernation, this com dosen’t have the time to sleep, lol, i seed basically 24/7 from ktorrent.
Also, that generic sidux-broswer button, can be selected to launch any browser you so desire installed on the system, just apt-get istall siduxcc (sidux control center) for a nice little addon in the KDE Control Center for various things.

Yes it’s a review, short, sweet and to the point. The Iceweasel/Firefox misunderstanding isn’t going to stop me from trying out Sidux.

I have never tested Sidux, but if I am not mistaken Sidux is a bleeding edge rolling release distribution. I think stuff like that is important to mention in a review as it’s what makes Sidux stand out from many other Debian based distributions. I’d like to try Sidux some time, but rolling releases is not everyones cup of tea as it means things is likely to break from time to time.

Sidux is bleeding edge for sure.

I decided to try it out just for laughs, thinking it would be nothing but trouble but was I wrong. It ended up replacing all the distros I’ve tried and many are top ten.

I’ve been using it on my main machine for a few months now. I’m amazed at the stability of this distro.

Good stuff Sidux!

I was a bit concerned about using a distro based on sid but totally agree with hotdiggitydog (nice handle) I too am amazed at how stable the distro is.

I like your reviews, mate, but dark grey letters on a black background don’t make for easy reading.

Do us a favour, will you?

i,ll stick with linux mint 3.

I have been a sidux user for over a year now after using Red Hat and Slackware for 13 years. Sidux is a refreshingly different distro than what I have used in the past and very well worth it. So all you doubters out there just give sidux a try :)

DeepDayze, I started using Sidux installed over Etch (the distro was not even released) this January, but over a year?

You seem to have missed the whole point of what sidux is about. It is debian unstable (sid) with a group of people constantly dist-upgrading and monitoring the repo for bugs. They then issue warnings on the forum and post bug fixes, most of which get fed back into debian.
Further to that the IRC channel provides fantastic support when it is needed. There is also a magnificent script called sm that also heads off many potential problems during a dist-upgrade and offers a whole plethora of tools.
Debian do not officially support sid but many people want to have the latest packages available in that repo. That’s where sidux comes in, it takes the pain out of sid by offering a support network for an otherwise unsupported system.
Some of us just can’t resist the cutting edge; sidux makes it possible to do without getting cut.

PS: You are obviously using a wide screen which is distorting the wallpaper in your screenshot. There is also a 1280×800 version just for folk like you.

Cathbard: there is a wide version distributed in the wallpaper package – see /usr/share/wallpapers/sidux-wide.png

Err, actually should be ALMOST a year…I was using its predecessor Kanotix for a while until its development all but stopped and switched to sidux upon its release.

I just replaced my no-longer-upgradable Kanotix install with Sidux, and wish I had done it earlier!
BTW, has the codecs and packages not included with purist distros, and this makes setting up Sidux systems even more convenient. Add to sources.list, apt-get update, and rock on. ;)

I have been using Sidux since it was first released. I even run it on my main business laptop and works without a hitch. It is also running on 7 soon to be 8 machines. Just happy user, stable and latest software; what else could a guy want? OK….Sidux and a cold beer!

Sidux is a great distro I’m using the new Gaia version and I was impressed how good everything is structured. I’m a linux user since 1996 and would say that this is one of the best distros around at the moment. I tried a lot of different including arch and even were BSD user for a while but due to problems with packages in Arch and not ported software for BSD I gave up on them and returned back to the good old debian in the face of Sidux.

it was back in 99, watching movies all the tim. Serafino Raimondo.

your way to beautiful gir. Liesbeth Kiki.

Hi, i’m happy to see that so many like sidux. It’s my first distro ever, but I like it very much. Kind’a newbie with linux, but I had an older laptop and needed a system that was stable and easy. Monstly because I needed to get online anywhere. I was very happy when i discovered that I even manage to connect over my mobile phone. So this system works fanfastic for me.

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