Long before Sun's Project Indiana came about, BeleniX has been one of our favorite GNU/Solaris distributions. BeleniX has been a LiveCD based upon OpenSolaris, but with yesterday's release of BeleniX 0.7 it is now a source-level derivative of the Project Indiana blend of OpenSolaris. Today we're taking a quick look at this new release.
BeleniX 0.7 has many of the Project Indiana features, but its LiveCD uses Xfce and KDE as the two desktop environments of choice compared to Indiana's GNOME. However, as KDE 4.0 isn't yet ready for Solaris/OpenSolaris, it's using KDE 3.5.8. BeleniX is also continuing to use SVR4 packaging instead of IPS, but they have vowed to move over to IPS packaging system in their next major release. Being based upon Project Indiana, they now have Project Caiman to thank for the LiveCD install-to-disk capabilities with the nice graphical installer. Another OpenSolaris benefit that BeleniX is utilizing is Sun's famous ZFS file-system.
Those using ATI Radeon hardware with a BeleniX installation can now use the RadeonHD driver out-of-the-box. The xf86-video-radeonhd driver is now a big part of OpenSolaris with its usage inside Project Indiana, Solaris Express Developer, and the latest Solaris Express Community builds. On the NVIDIA side, BeleniX continues to ship the proprietary NVIDIA Solaris driver. If running a supported driver, BeleniX does support running Compiz "out of the box."
Having tried out BeleniX 0.7 for a bit now, we are quite pleased with the continued innovation the BeleniX developers are doing on top of the OpenSolaris stack. In fact, BeleniX 0.7 is a hands-down winner over Project Indiana Preview 2, which will be formally known as OpenSolaris 2008.05. If you are looking for a new distribution to try out, we would highly recommend giving BeleniX a shot. More information can be found on the BeleniX website.