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BeleniX V0.4 (alpha) (Feb 23 2006) (LiveCD + InstallCD) Edit

This is a major new release featuring some significant additions listed below:

  1. Enhanced the lofi (loopback file device) kernel module to support on the fly decompression using zlib. This coupled with a utility to perform the compression now allows the /usr filesystem on the CDROM to be in compressed form.
  2. Maximum Zlib compression has allowed adding in 1.5 GB of software on the CD with room for more!
  3. Compression has also provided significant boottime reductions. The LiveCD can boot into an Xfce desktop in around 3 mins. You can see this if you execute "df -h" in a terminal window after booting into Xfce desktop.
  4. Includes the latest KDE 3.5.1 and Koffice 1.5 Beta with native OpenDocument support.
  5. Includes all of the GNOME base libraries.
  6. Includes other apps like Amarok music player, Evince document viewer, GIMP, Python, Mtools, Samba, BerkeleyDB, Graphviz (with Cairo integration), GnuPG, Quanta+, PostgreSQL, Xerces, Subversion, Kdevelop etc. In all about 234 software packages are present not counting the individual software in the KDE metapackages.
  7. QT has been built using libXft and freetype2 which adds support for Font Antialiasing in KDE and QT Applications.
  8. The iosnoop.d script from the DTrace Toolkit was used to analyse KDE and Xfce startup file access pattern. This has enabled file placement optimization using the "-sort" option to mkisofs to improve Xfce and KDE startup performance.
  9. The /root home directory is now mounted on tmpfs to avoid filling up limited space on the ramdisk.
  10. Reduced ramdisk size by moving some unneeded directories from /etc and moving some kernel modules (like audio drivers) from /kernel in the ramdisk to /usr/kernel in the CD. The ramdisk size is now around 55MB.
  11. Disabled startup of autofs to reduce startup overhead.
  12. Removed the automatic ramdisk caching mechanism that was in 0.3 . This caused some trouble on certain hardware.


The lofi patches will be posted in a few days. This release is still using OpenSolaris build 27 due to some hardware support issues with builds after 27. The next 0.4.1 release will however move to build 34.

-- 17:50, 29 Mar 2006 IST

BeleniX V0.3 (Dec 18 2005) (LiveCD only) Edit

A new version of the LiveCD has been released containing several new software packages and several enhancements. The highlights of this new release are mentioned below:

NOTE: OpenSolaris Build 27 onwards includes crypto stuff. Please read the note on OpenSolaris Download page before downloading.

New Features Edit

  • This release features a Perl-Curses based Hard Disk installer (hdinstaller utility) that can dump the contents of the CD to a Solaris2 partition. It allows one to partition the harddisk setup Solaris slices and also does basic configuration like setting hostname and root password.

Writing an installer is non-trivial and this was contributed by Sriram Popuri. See the Documentation page for more info on the installer.

  • Enhancements to speed up the booting process. Enhancements have been done to speed up booting both in the generic case and also in the case where more RAM is available. Having more RAM gives the biggest reduction in boottime. See BootTime Reductions (Faster Boot) for details.
  • This release is based on OpenSolaris build 27 and includes the new 128 bit ZFS filesystem.
  • Some insecure inetd services like ftp, telnet had been enabled in the earlier release. These have been disabled now.
  • Included a very minimal package file registry in /pkgs to support an ISO remastering tool.
  • A missing driver in earlier releases caused Creative SB audio cards to Not work. This has been fixed.
  • Included the ae driver from Masayuki Murayama and available from the SchilliX (OpenSolaris distro) page so the network now works in Vmware.
  • Fixed a few bugs in the Zone creation support script.

Addtional software packages Edit

  • Included various Wireless drivers and the wificonfig tool available from the laptop community download page. See the laptop community page for more details.
  • Included the Cardbus driver available from the laptop community page.
  • Included a Network configuration GUI called inetmenu available from the laptop community page. Go to Xfce Panel -> Network Setup or execute inetmenu from a terminal window.
  • Netpbm 10.30, Midnight Commander 4.6.1
  • Xscreensaver 4.23, GDB 6.4, Gprof
  • Upgraded Juergen Keil's audio drivers to version 1.9 Beta
  • Upgraded Xfce to 4.2.3
  • Dialog 1.0-20051207
  • Included the SVR4 packaging tools released via the OpenSolaris tools community. This will allow one to install more packages in BeleniX once it is installed to harddisk.
  • Included the Devpro Make and SCCS tools from the OpenSolaris tools community.

Known Issues Edit

  • The installer does not yet provide the option to install GRUB in either MBR or Solaris partition. Currently it just installs in MBR.
  • While booting with network connected in a NIS environment, DHCP is configured but NIS domain is not bound correctly which results in a inetd hang and Xfce does not start. The workaround is to boot without the cable connected and later reconnect cable and execute "ifconfig <intf> dhcp start" or execute inetmenu to auto-configure the network.

BeleniX V0.2.1 (Nov 05 2005) (LiveCD only) Edit

This is primarily a BugFix release with a few new utilities.

NOTE: The BeleniX project is looking for participation/volunteers. Please contact if you are interested.

Bugs fixed

  • Due to some missing files Thunderbird did not work in 0.2 release.
  • The 0.2 release still showed the version number as 0.1. This release will correctly display the version number
  • The Reboot and Shutdown options in XFce logout dialog were grayed out due to improper permissions of the /etc/sudoers file.

New utilities

  • Added a Volume Control/mixer utility and an icon to the panel
  • Added a command line utility "audioctl" (see man audioctl) to control master volume.
  • Added a GUI utility to list,start,stop and view details of the SMF services (or daemons). Select "Services" from the pop-up menu or execute zsvcadm from the command line.
  • Added the DTrace Toolkit which is a collection of useful DTrace scripts and documentation. Select "DTrace Toolkit Guide" from the pop-up menu to browse the docs.

BeleniX V0.2 (Oct 29 2005) (LiveCD only) Edit

Version 0.2 of BeleniX has been released and it is now a LiveCD that can boot into a Graphical XFce4 desktop and provides a bunch of useful applications.

There has been several enhancements and fixes. The earlier assertion failure has been rectified.

New features Edit

  • The major feature of this release is the option to boot into a Graphical XFce4 desktop as well as the option to boot into a command line login.
  • Once booted it is possible to switch between GUI and commandline modes.
  • The ability to create Zones using a Perl script. This is a very simple and brain-dead script that tries to make "zoneadm -z <zone> install" work and creates a working zone. This script (/usr/bin/createzone) is invoked automatically by zoneadm and has not been tested much. So it will probably have a bunch of bugs.
  • New Grub Splash screen and wallpaper based on logo at the top of this Page. As usual this was contributed by Chandan.
  • It attempts to auto-configure Xorg based on the ddcxinfo utility ported from KnoppiX
  • Improvements to the Math Library required to build some of the software. Almost all open-source software can now be built on BeleniX using the bundled gcc 3.4.
  • Basic support for network profiles which allows easy network configuration without the need to reboot.
  • Option to boot into Non-Acpi mode as Acpi may unsettle the kernel (b20) on some machines.

Additional software packages Edit

  • Xorg 6.9 (CVS)
  • XFce 4.2.0
  • Firefox 1.5 Beta 2, Thunderbird 1.5 Beta 2
  • Gaim 1.5.0
  • ImageMagick 6.2.5
  • Darren Moffat's Network Profile Switcher
  • SDL 1.2.9, Gtk+ 2.8.6, Glib 2.8.3, atk-1.10.3
  • SDL Based game SuperTux 0.1.3
  • Glitz 0.4.4
  • Cairo 1.0 with Glitz backend
  • Pango 1.10.1 with Cairo support
  • Fontconfig 2.3.2, Freetype 2.1.10
  • Expat 1.95.8, Flex 2.5.4
  • Image libraries: Png, Tiff, Jpeg
  • SVG library, librsvg 2.12.6, GD 2.0.28
  • Xmms 1.2.10, Ogg 1.1.2, Vorbis 1.1.0, Speex 1.1.8, Flac 1.1.2, Audiofile 0.2.6, Libao 0.8.6
  • Sudo 1.6.8p9, Vim 6.4
  • Garret D'Amore's Network Drivers
  • Tcl/Tk 8.4.11
  • Cscope 15.5, CVS 1.12.13
  • CUPS 1.1.23

Known Issues Edit

  • SMF display an odd PID/contract not found message on the console.
  • Audio does not work in SuperTux
  • OpenSolaris Build 20 was used for this release. This release has a bug that may cause a panic on Non-Acpi machines. The workaround is to select the Non-Acpi boot option in the Grub Menu. This bug has been fixed in later OpenSolaris builds.

Belenix V0.1 (Oct 04 2005) (LiveCD only) Edit

BeleniX is an OS distribution that uses the OpenSolaris codebase. This release is a basic LiveCD distribution that boots directly off the CD into a multiuser shell. The name BeleniX is derived after the Sun God Belenos in Celtic Mythology (Do you read Asterix ?).

This distribution includes all the OpenSolaris bits in addition to other GNU/OSS software. At present the distro only supports 32 bit x86 platforms even though OpenSolaris supports AMD64 as well. Support for booting the LiveCD with AMD64 is in the works.

Salient features Edit

  • Boots into a 32bit multiuser console login prompt. Support for GUI via Xorg and a desktop environment is coming shortly.
  • UserName: root, Password: belenix
  • It is based on the OpenSolaris build 20 source base.
  • Since it only boots into a shell without GUI, it can run in about 200MB RAM though a minimum of 256MB is good.
  • It will scan the harddisk for recognizable partitions and automatically mount them. This will Not mess with any data on the harddisk. This is basically a recovery feature.
  • It will try to use physical swap if the harddisk already has a formatted Solaris partition. This helps reduce RAM usage for swap.
  • It automatically starts DHCP and will configure DNS/NIS via the eventhook mechanism if the DHCP server supports it.
  • It allows the user to configure the Keyboard layout via a simple UI during bootup.
  • Uses a 60MB space optimised ramdisk for the root filesystem.

Software packages included Edit

  • Dan Mick's prtpci script that dumps PCI info in human readable format. Somewhat like lspci in Linux.
  • Casper Dik's acpi, AMD powernow drivers and powernow utility for CPU frequency scaling.
  • Masayuki Murayama's open source network drivers.
  • Juergen Keil's audio drivers for Solaris.
  • Includes a Grub splash screen derived from one of Chandan's excellent collection.
  • Includes the following GNU/OSS software:
    • gcc 3.4, GNU assembler (from binutils)
    • Bison, Flex
    • GNU Gettext, Gmake, Gtar
    • Gzip and Bzip2
    • Less
    • Layer 4 Traceroute (an enhanced traceroute utility)
    • Libiconv, Libpcap, Ncurses
    • Lynx, Vim, Wget
    • Top process status utility
    • GNU Screen (Terminal Multiplexor)
    • The aperture driver which is required to eventually get X11 working on this distro.
    • Perl 5.8.4 which comes default with OpenSolaris
    • Fontconfig, Freetype2, Expat: These will be required by Xorg X11 server.
    • The FreeBSD math library ported to work with OpenSolaris. This is essential for a self-hosting OpenSolaris distribution
    • Perl-Ncurses interface and widget libraries (Curses-1.12, Curses-UI-0.95).

Known Issues Edit

  • While booting an assertion error is visible from svc.startd along with a Notice that / filesystem is full. This does not cause any harm or other side effects and / is being cleaned up.
  • SMF display an odd PID/contract not found message on the console.
  • Audio support is not yet tested.

Coming Soon Edit

  • Support for booting into a graphical desktop (Xorg, XFCE
  • Support for booting the 64bit kernel on AMD64
  • A simple install utility that allows the user to create Solaris partitions on harddisk and copies and configures the LiveCD contents for booting OpenSolaris from harddisk.
  • Simple curses based UI to manage services on Solaris
  • Bootup configuration for Locale and Timezone
  • Full release of all the scripts/techniques/utilities (and associated technical docs) used to build and boot an OpenSolaris LiveCD.