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KEY FEATURES The most important KateOS features are high efficiency, reliability and low system requirements. Therefore, the lightweight XFCE is the default window manager (though others can be installed). It's a distribution aimed at intermediate and advanced Linux users, offering direct control over the system to the user. It also features full support for generally used multimedia right after the installation.
Supported architectures x86 (optimized for i486; multimedia applications optimized for i686).
Minimal hardware requirements i486-compliant processor, 32 MB RAM, 1 GB disk space, CD-ROM drive.
Software freedom status Mostly free, but includes some proprietary drivers.
Installer - overall (7) Slackware-like ncurses installer, fast and efficient, featuring fdisk/cfdisk as a partitioning tool, dependency tracking and additional options to make the installation more user-friendly than that of Slackware. The installer can run in English or Polish language mode. The installation process is documented in the project's wiki. There is an installation flash movie as well.
Package selection (7) Present. Single packages can be selected (all dependencies are resolved). The packages necessary for a correct installation are additionally marked.
Predefined package groups (7) Present.
Expert mode install (3) No special expert mode. Some of the screens include advanced options which an advanced user can configure to his needs and the less advanced leave as predefined (services run at startup, initrd options etc.).
Graphical installer (0) Only text-mode dialog boxes, ncurses based.
Installer speed (8) Very fast.
Graphical system management (3) Packages-related KateOS graphical tools come with some configuration options (like KatePKG repository list editor).
Console-based system management (4) Various ncurses tools - netconfig, services-setup, alsaconf, xorgsetup etc.
Number of packages (4) KateOS features a distro-specific package format. Some Slackware packages work though. The repositories contain approximately 1000 packages (which are generally complete applications or libraries - the packages don't usually contain just portions of applications, even Xorg along with all drivers is one package). The packagers' community is also pretty open for packages' requests even from single user.
Package management, automatic dependency resolving (8) Central management of dependencies. This, along with the consistency of the repositories, makes KateOS a distribution which is pretty much free from dependency issues. The package creation is easy enough for an intermediate user to be able to create a package out of every application he's compiling from sources, which lets him fully control the dependencies.
Graphical package management tools (8) Present. A gtk2 application called KatePKG, featuring fetching packages from online repositories, managing the repositories' list, a system update and installing packages from hard drive. Also, an update-notifier displaying an icon in the system tray and able to update the system or single packages.
System boot-up speed (8) Fast. Can be reduced by experienced users by controlling the services run at start-up.
System responsiveness (8) Light, responsive system. Especially with the default XFCE as the window manager.
Popularity (3) Around the 30th position in the DistroWatch ranking. A lot of KateOS users are Polish (Poland is the distributions' country of origin), therefore the Polish-speaking community seems more active than the English-speaking one. It's not difficult to get help in English though.
Security focus (3) Average. Security optimization is up to the user.
Stability and maturity (3) A pretty young distribution, undergoing serious development management-tools-wise (for instance there is a graphical installer and a Qt graphical package management tool expected in the next release). The stability is rather high, as the packages are tested and corrected before going to the official repository.
Does the installer support multiple languages? (2) It supports many keyboard and locale (for the future system) settings. The installer itself has English and Polish language versions only.
Is the system localized after installation? (7) The localization is managed during installation. KateOS-specific tools come in Polish and English language versions.
Is manual system localization easy? (7) Pretty easy using configuration files' editing.
Support for restricted formats (7) MP3 and video playback are supported out of the box. Windows Media codecs can be installed from one of KateOS's community repositories.
Sagem DSL modem support (8) The standard installation contains a ncurses configurator (called neoconfig) which can be used to set up and register the neostrada service. It works with all types of Sagem F@st, Thomson Speedtouch and ZTE ZXDSL modems (the firmware must be downloaded by the user from outside the repos though). Other services using these modems can be set up manually by editing the configuration files.
Alcatel DSL modem support (8) See Sagem DSL modem support.
ISDN support (0) ?
Wireless support (5) The standard installation contains the tools needed to set it up.

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