The credo of the Vector development team is: Keep it simple, keep it small and let the end user decide what their operating system is going to be. What they have created is one of the finest (if not the finest) light-weight Linux distribution available.
- Desktop: XFCE
- Multimedia: Xine and Mplayer
- Graphics: GIMP 2.6
- Office: Abiword, Gnumeric, Epdfview
- Internet: Firefox, Opera (both with Flash support rolled in), Pidgin
- Package Management: Slapt-get and Gslapt
- System administration: Vasm and VasmCC
- Cpu: Pentium 3 or equivalent or higher
- Ram: 128mb or higher
- Hard Disk: 5.0 GB for a full install with optional packages included
Okay, so judging from the two lists above, you should know, straight away, that outside of Firefox and GIMP, Vector doesn't use most of the tools users have grown accustomed to (no LibreOffice, no Thunderbird Email, no modern juke-box-like music player). That doesn't mean you should avoid this distribution. In fact, the tools included actually do a great job of handling the day-to-to tasks.
Who is Vector Linux for?
Another option that might appeal to many users is a support option. Currently, Vector offers three types of support:
- Solution Bank
Community Support The VectorLinux community is very active in supporting users. You will find a helpful forum where you can post your questions and search for answers.
Direct Paid Support This is direct support from the VectorLinux experts. You get timely response via email, a ticket number to track progress and support consultant focus until issue is finalized.
I have to say, of all the lightweight Linux distributions I have tried over the years (such as Puppy Linux, Damn Small Linux, and many more), Vector Linux is by far the best. Although Vector doesn't offer the tiny footprint of Puppy, the speed, flexibility, power, and ease you will discover will blow your mind.
If you're looking for an alternative, lightning fast, Linux distribution to try out, make sure you put Vector Linux at the top of your To Be Installed list. You won't regret the choice and you may not look back.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.