A nice green appliance
According to the project website "Foresight Linux is a Distribution which showcases the latest and greatest version of the GNOME Desktop Environment and Freedesktop.org. Foresight includes some of the more innovative and new software being built for Linux today, including Beagle , F-Spot , Avahi , and the latest HAL".
Foresight Linux 1.4 features the latest GNOME 2.20, which includes updates to Evolution Email and Calendar, Tomboy Notes, Power Manager, Epiphany Web Browser the GNOME Image Viewer, Eye of GNOME and more. It also features the latest Conary package manager and an updated GTK theme.
Foresight is currently ranked #32 at Distrowatch.
I have switched to another Machine. Now I am having a Pendtium D 2.8 GHz with 2 gig of RAM, Nvidia 7300GS with 256 meg RAM and 19" wide screen monitor.
The whole point of specifying a test machine, is to give an idea about what I am using. It shall not be taken as minimum requirements.
In general, a processor that is more that 1GHz, a RAM more than 1GB and a separate graphics cards (preferably Nvidia) should be fine for majority of the distributions. A separate graphics card is required if you want to enjoy the eye candy, or if you have a wide screen monitor.
Foresight Linux does not come with a Live CD environment and you have to actually install foresight in order to see how it looks. After installation, the new user account is created via a dialog.
Foresight came up with 1280x1024@60Hz instead of native 1440x900@75Hz. The xorg.conf had mode lines for almost all the resolutions except 1440x900; closest was 1400x1050@75Hz. Also the resolution section was messed up. I was seeing resolutions like 1440x1440, 1280x1280 etc. On the brighter side, nv module was loaded (in earlier releases, vesa was loaded).
I commented out unnecessary mode lines and specified 1440x900 as the only resolution. After restarting X Server, it came up with a nice 1440x900@75Hz.
Foresight uses the Anaconda installer. It would be right to call it minimalistic anaconda, as some steps are removed. Installation was more or less same except for the fact that my wireless card was not detected.
Anaconda asks for the language, keyboard and allows you to configure partitions. It then asks for time zone, root password etc and starts the installation process. The installation process lasted for approximately 15 minutes.
I am fond of the color green, and the bright green used by Foresight is just fabulous and soothing. The theme is disconnected at some places, like the gnome splash screen in blue and no splash screen while booting. But overall, foresight scores high in this area.
Foresight comes with the latest and the greatest of almost all the stuff. The DVD image being 1.3 gig, allows a lot of applications to be installed by default. Foresight's user guide is also accessible from the main menu.
Standard accessories with search and tomboy notes are included. All gnome games are bundled as well. Gimp, Desktop Drapes and SVG vector illustrator are installed as part of the graphics package. Epiphany is the default browser along with Thunderbird, Firefox, Ekiga, Liferea, pidgin, openVPN and XChat. Latest OpenOffice 2.3 and evolution are installed for office applications. Banshree, Brasero, Totem and Last Exit are available under multimedia.
Foresight is having mono installed but the build tools(gcc g++ etc) are missing. Foresight uses a web interface for system administration. This requires more work, as some settings are duplicated, some are missing and some don't take effect before a reboot.
Foresight comes with conary package manager. It is supposed to be an evolutionary package manager from rPath, but I did not have too much luck with it. I wanted to install proprietary nvidia drivers and thus issued "sudo conary nvidia". Conary downloaded around 6 meg of binary file and then failed while installing it. The error message clearly stated that it was a bug in conary and I should file a bug report. I wanted to give conary a second try and fired the same command again. Conary started to download 6 meg again! Come on, I just downloaded the non-corrupt package, why can't an advanced package manager identify that?
Foresight has an out of box support for almost all types of media. I was able to play WMV and MP3 files. I also enjoyed watching DVDs.
Foresight comes with latest compiz fusion. A system tray icon is included for the same. All the beryl configurations are available. But because of the lack of proprietary nvidia drivers I was unable to test it.
CD has a limit of 700 meg. Once a distribution has crossed this limit and has moved on to a DVD format, the distribution can go on a wild package hunting. And Foresight should look around and see some more useful packages to include by default. Build tools, drivers, IDEs are a few recommendations.
Foresight is really great for seeing the latest gnome; one can show off the bleeding edge desktop. Foresight also has a great out of box experience. Foresight is having a great theme and is quite user friendly. I would recommend it to every one, coming to me, asking for which Linux to start with.