BackSlash Linux

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OS

BackSlash Linux[1] is an Indian Ubuntu and Debian-based Operating System which uses Linux as its kernel and provides out of the box support for all devices and all kind of multimedia drivers including some proprietary software too and comes bundled with a variety of free open-source as well as non-free applications. The Latest Release for the Operating System is BackSlash Linux "Anna".[2] The name "Anna" is taken from the character Anna in Disney's Movie Frozen. The motto of the Operating System is "Change needs Courage".

History

BackSlash Linux's development started in 2015 under the code-name "The Ink Project" based on Debian. Later the development switched to Ubuntu and an unstable version "Alpha" was developed and was released on 20 September 2016. It was a very basic version and lacked a lot of stuff. It used Cinnamon as it's desktop environment. BackSlash Linux Alpha[3] was based on Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr and got its all bugs fixed very soon.

The next version was BackSlash Linux "Beta",[4] also based on Ubuntu 14.04, and got all the bugs fixed from the "Alpha" version. This version was released on 2 October 2016, on the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, as a tribute to the India's preeminent leader and freedom fighter of Indian Independence Movement. It also used all the repositories of Ubuntu and also some from Launchpad. It's security and updates were provided by Canonical Ltd.

On 30 October 2016, on the occasion of the auspicious festival Diwali, BackSlash released it's third release called "Gamma".[5] It was a better version of BackSlash Linux's older version "Beta". This release also included a lot of software pre-installed, like Skype, Steam and WPS Office. This version also introduced its own desktop Environment which was still based on Cinnamon, but was heavily modified to give a brand-new look.

On 2 November 2016, BackSlash finally released it's stable version called "BackSlash Linux Anna".[6] As stated on the main page of the Operating System's website, "With out of the box Office Productivity Suite, Video and Audio calling, full device driver support and Security, BackSlash Anna[7] also delivers awesome looks and new experiences". This version also indicated that the future releases of BackSlash would be based on the names of Characters from the Movie Frozen.

Version History of BackSlash Linux

Version Code Name Base Compatible Repository Default Desktop Environment LTS Release Date Support Until
1.0 Alpha Ubuntu Ubuntu 14.04 Cinnamon Yes 20 Sep, 2016 April, 2019
2.0 Beta Ubuntu Ubuntu 14.04 Cinnamon Yes 02 Oct, 2016 April, 2019
3.0 Gamma Ubuntu Ubuntu 14.04 Own (Based on Cinnamon) Yes 30 Oct,2016 April, 2019
4.0 Anna Ubuntu Ubuntu 14.04 Own (Based on Cinnamon) Yes 02 Nov, 2016 April, 2019
5.0 Elsa Ubuntu TBA BackSlash DE Yes TBA TBA

*All released Versions are still officially supported.

Features

The Modified Desktop Environment of BackSlash Linux Anna.

BackSlash Linux Anna includes many productive application in the default installation. The OS includes by WPS Office, Google Chrome, Thunderbird, Deluge and also a Windows based installed copy of VLC Media Player as the default video Player. Many additional software packages are accessible from the built in Software Center as well as any other APT-based package management tool. Many additional software packages, such as Pidgin and Synaptic, are also installed by default.

BackSlash operates under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and all of the application software installed by default is free software. In addition, BackSlash also installs some hardware drivers that are available only in binary format, but such packages are clearly marked in the restricted component

BackSlash also includes out-of-the box support for Windows Applications and 99% of the applications run without any problem.

Security

Security of BackSlash is based on Ubuntu and all the Security and Software updates are provided by Canonical Ltd. By default, the programs run with standard user privileges, but administrator privileges are given whenever required. For increased security, the sudo tool is used to assign temporary privileges for performing administrative tasks, which allows the root account to remain locked and helps prevent inexperienced users from inadvertently making catastrophic system changes or opening security holes. Most network ports are closed by default to prevent hacking. A built-in firewall allows end-users who install network servers to control access. A GUI (GUI for Uncomplicated Firewall) is available to configure it. BackSlash compiles its packages using GCC features such as PIE and buffer overflow protection to harden its software. BackSlash supports full disk encryption, as well as encryption of the home and Private directories. Basically, BackSlash can do everything just like Ubuntu.

Installation

BackSlash Linux's installation is simple and is fully Graphical. BackSlash Linux can be booted and run from a USB flash drive on any PC capable of booting from a USB drive, with the option of saving settings to the flash drive. A USB creator program is available to install an Ubuntu-based Distribution on a USB drive.

The Windows program "Unetbootin" allows BackSlash Linux USB burning.

Installation supports a Logical Volume Manager (LVM) with automatic partitioning only, and disk encryption. UTF-8, the default character encoding, supports a variety of non-Roman scripts.

System Requirements

Variants

BackSlash currently does not ship with multiple variants. However, It offers a choice of multiple Desktop Environments and Unity and GNOME, along with its own Desktop Environment are installed out-of-the box.

Development

The development rate of BackSlash Linux is very fast and new releases are released after every month or so. Each new release can add a new feature or application, remove a non-required application, provide new support for a device, fix a problem, improve performance or rework things.

Updating and Upgrading

Each version of the Operating System receives Updates as Ubuntu does but as per Upgrading is concerned, there is no direct method for it. Even, you will also not be notified about any new release as a desktop notification. However, you can get notified by opting out for Preview Release Programme and you will be sent an email every time a new release is available. if you want to upgrade to a new version, you need to do so by burning the ISO in a DVD or a USB and install it. You may opt-out to preserve your documents or install alongside of your current installation of any other Operating System or do a clean install of BackSlash.

References

External links