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Introduction to the PHIX Workstation


PHIX Workstation was designed to be a complete desktop environment that can be deployed directly from the LiveDVD or installed to your computer hard drive, even on machines without a network connection. I created the distribution using SuSE Studio. The service was intended for creating of what Attachmate calles "appliances". SuSE Studio is quite easy to use, and is very flexible when it comes to the options available on how to configure a custom OpenSuSE installation. Horneker Linux was a result of pushing the envelope as to what one could do with building an "appliance".

The fact that one could create LiveCD and LiveDVD images is what makes PHIX Workstation possible. IMO, a LiveCD is the best way to try out Linux before making a commitment to using Linux on your computer. When running a LiveCD or LiveDVD, any issues that arise when it comes to hardware compatibility will show up while running the LiveCD or LiveDVD. That way, you can decide to retain your current operating system without Linux disturbing the contents or configuration of your computer. In other words, no harm was done while testing Linux.

Getting PHIX Workstation

PHIX Workstation is currently hosted at SuSE Studio. This is because of the inclusion of YaST and the Live Installer, both applications available only with SuSE Linux products. The Live Installer provides the ability to install OpenSuSE (and derivatives) from a LiveCD/DVD to your hard drive.

Now, go to my page on SuSE Studio. There you will find a product line of Linux variants you can choose from. You must have an account with SuSE Studio to download any of the ISO images.

As a result, you will need to login to SuSE Studio. You can do this using an account from one of the following:

  • Novell
  • Twitter
  • Yahoo!
  • Google
  • Facebook
  • OpenID

If you did not have a SuSE Studio account, one will be created for you once you login to SuSE Studio.

Note: A high speed Internet connection is recommended for downloading the ISO images as they are approximately 3.5GB in size. With a 250kb/sec connection, expect the download to take three hours to complete. If you have a DSL connection, with speeds averaging about 125kb/sec (when only one user is connected), expect the time of download to be about six hours.

As of now, there is no torrent available for downloading of ISO images.

Burning the ISO to DVD

Once you get an LiveDVD image, you will need to burn the image using your favorite CD/DVD burning application (such as K3B, Brasero or Nero) to create the LiveDVD. Be sure to use the Burn Image function and not the Create Data DVD function or you will be creating a DVD with a disc image as the content of the DVD instead of creating the actual DVD.

Writing the ISO to USB Flash Drive or Memory Card

Alternately, you can use the unetbootin utility to create a Live installation on a USB flash drive or memory card.

I recommend that your flash drive or memory card be at least 8GB in capacity so you can have room to not only run PHIX Workstation, but have room to store data directly on the installation. Then, you get a portable system that can boot from any computer that can boot from a USB storage device.

More importantly, you will be able to run and/or install Horneker Linux on netbooks, desktops, Ultrabooks, or any other machine that does not have a DVD drive.

Starting Horneker Linux

Once you have burned your copy of PHIX Workstation to a DVD-R (or DVD+R), place that DVD into your DVD drive and restart your computer. Be sure you can start your computer from a CD/DVD drive instead of the hard drive. PHIX Workstation should boot from the LiveDVD. The first thing you will see is the startup screen. Press Return to load the Linux kernel and the login screen.

PHIX Workstation comes with either GNOME 3 or KDE as the default desktop (depending on which version you downloaded).

Login to the Desktop

As we are running Linux from the DVD, you will need to login to the desktop.

Click on guest and then type guest for the password. You will then be taken to the GNOME (or KDE) desktop.

Some functions will require a system administrator password. Type linux where such a password is required.

Installation is Recommended

Whichever version of the product you download, running PHIX Workstation from DVD will show you how the distribution will run on your computer. To get the most of this product, I recommend that you install the distribution on your hard drive. Doing so, using the Live Install utility will allow you to keep the distribution updated, as well as extend and customize the distribution by adding (or removing) software from customized OpenSuSE repositories. In addition, the distribution will run as intended as it is not slowed down by access to the DVD itself.