XiniX

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The distro that's poised to usher in the year of the Linux desktop, XiniX has been released as a beta! Hitting the market just weeks after the two power houses release their latest versions, Microsoft Windows 10 on July 29 2015 and Apple iOS on September 16 2015, XiniX, the little-known underdog, has entered the market! So what is XiniX (pronounced 'zen-ics')? First, XiniX is an operating system (OS) just like Microsoft Windows and Apple's iOS, but is based on Linux akin to Google's Android. XiniX represents the world's next generation of OS and is currently available for use on conventional computers such as desktop or laptops, with mobile platforms coming in the future. Built to act more as a firmware among devices, one of its primary goals is to remain small and efficient - just enough to get the device into an environment where the users' work takes center stage!

Unlike any of the companies mentioned above, our OS is not based on fixed releases (e.g. Windows 8, Windows 10), but instead, is distributed as a continuing (or rolling) release as updates are made available. What's also different, is that our OS comes with just enough software to get you basic device operations and then lets you take over and personalize the device by installing any of the software or services located in our 'Software Shoppe'. In the sections that follow, we will not only cover some of the unique aspects of the amazing operating system, but we will also compare it with others to help users better understand if they would like to make the switch!



License

There are various projects that make up the XiniX core operating system. Each will be listed below with their respective license. More information about the CPLv2 licenses can be found under the "Our Licenses" link of our homepage.

Package License Package License Package License
Linux GPLv2 grub GPLv3 busybox GPLv2
Xfbdev na alsa-config na socat na
nmap na harfbuzz na imlib2-bin na
libXau na libXdmcp na libfontenc na
libXt na libXext na libXrender na
Xorg-fonts na Xprogs na fonts-mscore na
imlib2 na libXfont na libXi na
libXmu na libXpm na libXrandr na
libffi na libjpeg-turbo na libpng na
libxcb na Xlibs na file na
clapi CPLv2 web.de CPLv2 web.ui CPLv2
FXwm CPLv2        



Features

What makes a software title desired by the masses? Its features of course! While XiniX is still in its infancy, there are some features that we would like to point out and provide details on. While the below list may not include all the current features, and does list some that are in development, it does provide you with some indication of what can be done with the current version of our OS. Take the time to try it and you'll learn why we say "Achieve zen with XiniX!"

  • Better security
There's a reason why we started the list with this item. Security has become much more of a concern today than years past, especially with the revelations of government and corporate spying along with those out there willing to cause harm using malware and ransomware. The more parts of a working system you have, the more opportunities there are to exploit bugs and other issues that can cause you problems. Compare our clean install size of the Vanilla Edition (VE) at less than 85MB (under 64MB for EE), whereas Windows 10 is approximately 15,000MB - 0.004 the size! As you can see, we offer quite a substantial reduction in software that can be exploited on your device to allow others to take advantage of you!
  • Best Price in its class
Another top concern with households and businesses nowadays is how much does it cost me to stay up-to-date and productive? Once again, we shine where our competitors fail - releasing XiniX for the low, low cost of $FREE USD! Compare that to the 3 year Microsoft upgrade fee of $200-$300 to get the latest version of only Windows (not to mention Office and other software), $1200-$2000 to get the latest Apple device to use their software, and forget about Google's Android since it is only available for mobile devices (placing it in the category of Apple where you must buy a device to get it). You can use our XiniX OS on any laptop, desktop, server, and soon on mobile devices as well!
  • Can run from any storage media
Since XiniX was designed to be lightweight and efficient from day 1, we can install it to a wide variety of media. This includes hard drives, optical discs, flash drives, SD cards, and more! What's more is that since the OS, by default, loads to RAM, once the OS has been loaded, you can even remove the bootable media itself!* In an upcoming release, the OS can even be loaded over the network via PXE.
  • Clean separation of OS from data and apps
Since our OS works as a common firmware among devices and is designed to get you in an environment to perform your work, once it is loaded, it gets out of your way! From that point forward, the only interaction the user has will be with their data and applications on a local or network resource.
  • Clear separation of GUI from engine
Simply put, this will allow any user (GUI) to control any device (engine). So, for example, you may have a computer connected to your living room TV that can be controlled with your smart phone or tablet - natively! No additional software to install and configure! And while you can't currently install XiniX on a smart phone or tablet, you can still connect and control the XiniX-based device using the web browser already installed on either of those devices.
  • Easy built-in local and remote access
Like many of the existing mainstream operating systems, XiniX can also handle local and remote access for users. Where we differ from the other OS's is the fact that this interaction only requires a web browser and not a separate piece of software or other elaborate infrastructure to route requests properly. Once two devices are paired, it doesn't matter the physical location of either!**
  • Useful for headed or headless devices
Can you imagine Microsoft Windows running on a router? Neither can we! Our operating system on the other hand, it quite capable of accomplishing this goal. Due to its small size, and by utilizing the aforementioned benefit, you can control that device no matter its design or function.
  • Works with older hardware
Since the firmware is small and efficient, it should work with the old computer you've stored in the closet over the last 10+ years. This can turn an old, obsolete computer into a working tool for young children, grandparents, or even act as a gateway into network resources in a variety of situations and environments.
  • No installation media
Ever wanted to install that latest version of your favorite OS, but can't find a blank DVD or flash drive to create the installation media just to install on another media (e.g. hard drive) for actual use? Well, we've skipped that intermediary step and combined both into one. You can also not only obtain XiniX from our website, but you can create a copy from within the software itself!
  • First actual cloud-based OS
You may be thinking "I can already use the cloud with a web browser and software like dropbox", but that doesn't quite define a cloud-based operating system. First, browsing the Internet with a web browser does not fall within this scope. And second, the use of 3rd party software means that the OS is incapable of cloud interaction natively. XiniX can seamlessly connect with services such as Amazon's AWS, web hosting servers, and other XiniX devices natively. Files can be copied back and forth just as you would if it were local, and more!
  • Unique p2p networking
XiniX uses its own type of networking using a peer-2-peer method among devices. This means that setting up a network of devices involves nothing more than pairing the desired devices with one another in a simple process that even grandma could understand!
  • Perfect as IoT OS
Since XiniX was designed to be as small as possible while allowing for a reasonable amount of functionality out-of-the-box, it is a perfect choice for those interested in creating a device considered as part of the "Internet of Things" (IoT). No only does it have a small footprint along with the ability to be used in devices with or without displays, but the software is constantly updated to prevent malicious activity from taking place by patching bugs and fixing points of exposure!
* This can be achieved if working without a DATA partition or if the DATA partition is on other media or a network resource.
** This is currently in development, seamless LAN access is currently only available.


  Vanilla Edition (VE) Embedded Edition (EE) TinyCore Linux
Target Size Under 64MB Under 32MB  
Current Size 69MB (i32)
76MB (i64)
72MB (r32)
37MB (i32)
41MB (i64)
37MB (r32)
Approx 16MB
Built-in Capabilities      
NTFS Capabilities
Yes Yes No
LAN, BT, Wifi
Yes Yes No
Controlled via Device
Yes Yes No
Designed for Cloud
Yes Yes No
Remote Access
Yes Yes No
Remote Interface
GUI GUI None
Local Interface
GUI CLI GUI



History

Currently the operating system is still in beta, which means that it should not be put into production for businesses. However, the system is stable enough for personal and hobbyists usage. Up to version 2016.11.01.0, all distributed images were for the Intel/AMD 64bit processors and were the Vanilla Edition (VE). With the release of 2016.11.01.0, however, both 32bit and 64bit were available as well as being offered in two editions - Embedded Edition (EE) and Vanilla Edition (VE). The former edition is intended for hobbyists projects, routers, set top boxes, etc., whereas the latter is suitable for traditional computers such as laptops and desktops. As of version 2016.12.01.0, two different types of image files were released to expand the media that could be used in order to boot into XiniX. Previously only drive images were available for media such as hard drives, flash drives, SD cards, etc., but the December 2016 release also included optical images capable of booting off of optical media such as a CD or DVD.

Some big changes came with version 2017.04.07.0 including a 'Welcome' screen that allows the user to tailor the OS to their basic needs by installing some commonly used software such as a PDF viewer and office suite. Also, this release enabled full usage on mobile smartphones (tablets were still untested) using the default theme as well as the integration of web.link (remote control) and web.sight (image viewer). The package manager (pax) received some new abilities as well including the parsing of conditional and specific version numbers of packages, and the ability to process file lists and directories as the source of packages instead of them being specifically stated. Lastly this version included an auto-login when no DATA exists along with several boot menu options to work with devices that did not work well with the default auto-configuration of the frame buffer with graphical user interfaces (e.g. VE).

With the release of 2017.06.07.0, all available themes were now able to be used on smartphones using the Chrome browser (others were untested) along with a typical list of updates to web.de. And as originally stated in this section, 2017.07.07.0 included a basic release for the Raspberry Pi boards. However, this release was very laggy for the Pi2 and not much better for the Pi3 when using the vanilla edition (VE) - no attempt should even be made with the Pi0 and Pi1 boards. As it was originally designed, anyone interested in using the embedded edition (EE) should have no problems with any of these devices!

Our long term goals include the ARM CPU architecture in 64bit once it proves useful, and if our users have enough interest, we will also expand into MIPS and PowerPC.



Requirements

Due to the small footprint that makes up the XiniX operating system, not much hardware is required to run it. The below is the minimal values of both categories in order to run the OS.

  Processor (CPU) Memory (RAM) Storage (HDD) Graphics Card Display Network Notes
Required (EE) Single-core 400MHz (est) 48MB 100MB None None None  
Required (VE) Single-core 800MHz (est) 128MB 100MB VGA compatible 800x600, 256 Colors None Lowest tested is an Intel P3 1.13Ghz
Recommended (EE) Single-core 1GHz 512GB 8GB VGA compatible 800x600, 256 Colors Wired CAT5 or Wifi  
Recommended (VE) Dual-core 1.8GHz 2GB 8GB SVGA compatible 1280x768, 32bit Colors Wired CAT5 or Wifi This should be any desktop/laptop around 2006



Installation

There are currently three ways to obtain and install XiniX - sourceforge.net, our website, or from within the OS interface itself. All methods will be covered below. While we are working to expand the installation wizard to reduce this complexity in Linux, Microsoft Windows users should have a fairly straight forward process. As a result, only someone with the proper knowledge should attempt these steps in a Linux environment as any wrong values can actually erase your hard drive!

Download

No matter what operating system you are using, this part of the process is easy to complete. To begin, simply click on either of the first two links offered above. If you have selected sourceforge.net to obtain the image, you should be presented with the latest version to download by using the green 'Download' button located towards the top of the webpage. Keep in mind this will be for the 32bit iso version of the Vanilla Edition (VE) which is made for desktops and laptops using optical media such as CD's and DVD's. If you are interested in different CPU architectures, editions, or installation media, click the 'Files' option right below the header on that webpage and select which file you would like to download. Keep in mind that scrolling further down the page will present you with information to guide you in downloading the desired image.
If you choose to obtain XiniX from our website, you will need to scroll down to the bottom of the page to find it since the listing is in alphabetical order. Once you have found the XiniX operating system, you can read the description to determine which edition is right for you. Once you have that figured out, clicking the 'Download' listbox will expose all the available images for download. The layout for each entry is as follows:
[State] [Edition] Target CPU Bit
You will need to find the list item belonging to your running OS, or the 'ISO' that can be used to create XiniX boot media regardless of the operating system you are currently using (e.g. Apple, Linux, Windows). Clicking that entry from the list will download the image to your computer.


Linux
As mentioned above, we are working to expand the included installation wizard for those not comfortable with the command prompt. However, if you have a basic knowledge of computers, the one included should be adequate enough to get XiniX installed on the desired media. If you are a grandparent or someone who just does not understand technology, check back frequently to see if the proper modifications have been made for you! For those of you still with us, once you have downloaded the desired image, there are a few steps required to get the OS on your desired media. For the sake of these examples, we will assume that the image currently resides in the '/tmp' directory with a filename of XiniX_VE_2016.12.01.0_32bit.{img|iso}.tgz.
Drive Image (img)
If you have obtained a drive image (img), then one set of the below instructions need to be followed. These directions apply to all Linux distros and require you to first get to a command prompt to execute the following steps in order to install XiniX. You should not have to worry about obtaining additional software to accomplish this task as the programs used here are installed by default in all main stream Linux distros. In this example, we will be using the /dev/sdb device to write the image too. WARNING: these steps will ERASE all the data on that device before installing XiniX!!!
Using the Wizard
As of version 2017.05.07.0, a wizard has been included with each distribution file for the Linux OS. So after going into the '/tmp' directory and uncompressing the downloaded file, you should see a script named 'install.sh' which will need to be started to guide you through the installation routine. Each step mentioned is shown below:
$ cd /tmp
$ tar zxf XiniX_VE_2016.12.01.0_32bit.img.tgz
$ ./install.sh
From this point, you will be asked a few questions to find the image to burn along with the desired target media. After confirming the writing process, your XiniX boot media will be created for you.
Using raw commands
Anyone that is using this method will most likely already know how to perform these steps, but they have been included for those seeking to gain more knowledge. It is important to note that if the media generated by performing the following commands has problems booting, you may need to wait 10 seconds or so after the final output below is shown to make sure all the buffers have been flushed to disk.
$ cd /tmp
$ tar zxf XiniX_VE_2016.12.01.0_32bit.img.tgz
$ dd if=XiniX_VE_2016.12.01.0_32bit.img of=/dev/sdb conv=fdatasync
Make sure you use the trailing 'conv=' parameter so output buffers get flushed to the disk (see this post). Issuing the last command above should present you with output similar to the following, upon having a successful installation:
1250000+0 records in
1250000+0 records out
640000000 bytes (640 MB) copied, 119.708 s, 5.3 MB/s
Optical Image (iso)
For those that obtained the optical image (iso), you will need a different set of applications than those mentioned above in order to install XiniX to your desired media. Some Linux distros may include this software by default while others will require you to install it from their software repositories (with is outside the scope of this document). If you would like to use the graphical environment to perform this task, we will describe using the K3B application. Simply start the application and select 'Burn Image' from the 'Tools' menu. Afterwards another window should popup allowing you to configure the options before burning. Make sure to select the appropriate image file in the top textbox, the medium to write to in the listbox located towards the middle of the popup, check the 'Verify Written Data' towards the bottom, and finally click the 'Start' button. There are two included images below to help:
In the event you would like to accomplish this using the command line, you will need to obtain either the 'cdrtools' or 'wodim' software from your repository. Afterwards, you will need to issue the following commands (assuming we will be using the /dev/dvd device to write the image too):
$ tar zxf /tmp/XiniX_VE_2016.12.01.0_32bit.iso.tgz
$ cdrecord -v -dao -eject dev=/dev/dvd /tmp/XiniX_VE_2016.12.01.0_32bit.iso
Issuing the last command above should present you with output similar to the following, upon having a successful installation:
...snip...
Blocks total: 336601 Blocks current: 336601 Blocks remaining: 4323
RBlocks total: 346489 RBlocks current: 346489 RBlocks remaining: 14211
Starting to write CD/DVD at speed 12 in real TAO mode for single session.
Last chance to quit, starting real write    0 seconds. Operation starts.
Waiting for reader process to fill input buffer ... input buffer ready.
Performing OPC...
Starting new track at sector: 0
Track 01:  648 of  648 MB written (fifo 100%) [buf  99%]  12.1x.
Track 01: Total bytes read/written: 680501248/680501248 (332276 sectors).
Writing  time:  400.168s
Average write speed  11.9x.
Min drive buffer fill was 99%
Fixating...
Fixating time:   22.958s
cdrecord: fifo had 10719 puts and 10719 gets.
cdrecord: fifo was 0 times empty and 10592 times full, min fill was 93%.


Windows
For users of the Microsoft Windows operating systems, you will have a straight forward process to create bootable media no matter which type of image you have selected to use. Unlike Linux, however, there are no ways to create media from the command line, so these steps should be easy for any user in this environment. For the sake of these examples, we will assume that the image currently resides on your Desktop with a filename of XiniX_VE_2016.12.01.0_32bit.{img|iso}.zip.
Drive Image (img)
If you have selected to use a drive image (img), first you will need to uncompress all of the .zip file contents to your Desktop. Once the decompression has completed, navigate inside the 'Windows Installer' folder and double click the file named 'setup' (it may have an optional '.exe' appended). Once the application has loaded, click the folder icon at the top and locate the XiniX image file (e.g. XiniX_VE_2016.12.01.0_32bit.img). Next select the media to install XiniX to from the following listbox to the right. Once you have those values in place, click the 'Write' button and wait for the installation to complete. If you would like to get and compare the MD5 hash's, simply check the 'MD5 Hash' checkbox. WARNING: XiniX can NOT be installed along side another OS at the moment and will erase the contents of the selected media!
Create Image
Optical Image (iso)
For those that obtained the optical image (iso), you will need a different set of applications than those mentioned above in order to install XiniX to your desired media. Some computer manufacturers may include a software to perform these tasks by default while others will require you to find and install your own. You may first want to check if you have any of the following installed by default: Nero, ImgBurn, InfraRecorder, or CDBurnerXP. Although you can use any software to burn the .iso, this tutorial will be covering the included ImgBurn application. After double-clicking the 'Windows Installer.exe' file and going through its wizard, simply start the application and select 'Write image file to disc' from the menu. Afterwards another window should popup allowing you to configure additional options before burning. Make sure to select the appropriate image file in the 'Source' section by clicking the 'Browse' icon (folder with magnifying glass), then the medium to write to in the listbox located in the 'Destination' area. Additionally you can select the burn speed (or leave it set to 'auto' or 'AWS') and if you want to verify the disc contents after the burn has completed (as a way to validate the data that was written). Finally, click the large image at the bottom-left (of a file being transferred to a CD) to begin the process. There are two included images below to help:
Although this issue has been raised with the CDBurnerXP staff (see this post), we have switched to using ImgBurn as the default included iso burning software due to sourceforge.net marking the files that included it as potential malware. The instructions for using this software will remain for any users that already have it installed. To begin, simply start the application and select 'Burn ISO Image' from the menu. Afterwards another window should popup allowing you to configure additional options before burning. Make sure to select the appropriate image file in the top textbox by clicking the '...' button, then the medium to write to in the listbox located below the afore mentioned textbox, and finally check the 'Disc at Once' and 'Finalize disc' options along with clicking the 'Burn disc' button. There are two included images below to help:


Interface

This method is the easiest way to create copies of the operating system and assumes that you are working with an already running installation of XiniX. Using the default theme, click the 'State' option from the navigation menu and locate the "i" button in the top left-hand corner of the screen. After clicking it, you will be presented with a popup that shows you the various media available and is divided into two sections - 'Internal Storage' and 'Attached Storage Devices'. Included on the screen is some additional information that should help you select which section to use when determining your target. Now select the media to install on along with the CPU architecture (bit) of the target device. If the latter information is unknown, you can use the 32bit as a failsafe option. There are two included images below to help:
We will later expand the options to allow for the installation of the different editions regardless of the one currently being used, but at the present the install screen will only produce another copy of what is running. So for example, if you're using the Vanilla Edition (VE), then this screen will only create another copy of VE. EE will produce another EE, and so forth.


No matter what method you had to use above, simply reboot your device using the media that you just installed XiniX to and enjoy your adventure!



Booting

Unless optical media was used as the source to boot from, the list of options that are available using the boot menu will not be accessible without invoking it. To expose this list, simply press the F8 key repeatedly once the XiniX graphic is shown during the boot cycle. If successful, then the list of options below should be shown. Of course, if the two second window for accessing it has passed during the boot process, the device will need to be rebooted in order to attempt this task once again. And although the list has several many options, some of which may not be easy to figure out at first glance, each selection will be discussed in more depth below. Please note that these options are only present for the i32/i64 releases, not r32 (raspi).

Start XiniX
As the caption of the first option eludes to, selecting this option will start the operating system as it normally would if the boot menu was never accessed. Optical boot media users will always be presented with this list, so this will most likely be your pick. However, if the menu was accessed using any other boot media, then this is most likely the option that will not be desired.
Low Resolution
Some devices will not work with the auto-configuration of the graphical environment (frame buffer) and will just stay stuck on the XiniX boot graphic. In those instances, this menu option can be used to get into a working system so that the proper driver installations can take place so a normal bootup can occur. If additional problems persist, the 'Safe Mode' option may need to be used instead.
NOTE: this is only available with VE
Install XiniX
Although XiniX does not have an install process like traditional operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, selecting this option basically creates a DATA partition allowing a user to save their data instead of using the boot media anonymously – similar to that of a live CD. For additional information on this topic, please see the '[Composition]' section below and the '[Installation]' section above.
Install Drivers
Upon having issues with a non-working or sluggish graphical environment when using a device, this option can be selected to help resolve problems by installing the more powerful display server known as Xorg along with the desired graphics driver.
NOTE: this is only available with VE


Anonymous Mode
Typically when XiniX starts, it searches for a DATA partition and automatically mounts it so that the user data can be saved. However, there may be times when that information may not be needed or wanted. This mode will allow XiniX to be used anonymously so that data and software is not saved during that session causing the environment to act like a 'Live CD' was booted - even if a DATA partition exists!
Compatibility Mode
As hardware manufacturers sometimes rush their equipment to market, bugs can be present in their firmware causing issues with booting some operating systems. Additionally some older hardware might have issues with some newer technologies found in the Linux kernel. Either way, this option can help to get into a working environment by skipping some features (issuing 'noapic noacpi irqpoll' calls to the kernel during bootup). Like the 'Conservative Mode' below, this item will also load software using symlinks instead of in the RAM.
Conservative Mode
Since XiniX was designed to work with modern and aging hardware, a boot option to use with the latter was included. The only difference between this option and the default 'Start XiniX' is that instead of loading all the software to the RAM, the software is symlinked against the storage device - saving memory resources at the expense of being slightly slower in operation.
Debug Mode
Unlike the other modes found in this section of the boot menu list, this one works exactly like the 'Start XiniX' option but outputs much more information in the /var/log directory associated with the boot process to help systems administrators and developers find and fix problems.
Emergency Console
Although the XiniX operating system has been designed to make using it as easy as possible, there will inevitably be times where some adjustments don't work as desired. In those few instances, systems administrators can easily get to a console prompt to start the process of correcting those issues. Similar to the warning provided by using the 'Restore Console', this menu item should avoided without detailed knowledge of the software and command prompt.
Restore Console
There are times when installing or updating software can lead to undesired effects - especially after a reboot has occurred. So in the event that a device will no longer boot due to suspected software issues, select this item to get into a console where restores can be made from prior backups. Please note that this should be used with caution!
NOTE: this is not a boot option before 2017.04.07.0
Safe Mode
Building off of the 'Compatibility Mode' boot option, this one also does not process any personal boot scripts in the event that one of them may be causing problems during the boot process.


From Harddrive
Sometimes alternative boot media is accidentally left in the computer after it has been powered down causing it to be booted to upon a subsequent bootup. No fear! In instances like that, this option can be used to automatically switch back to the internal hard drive to boot from without having to power cycle the device again.


Test Memory
When a device does not seem to be working properly and no other option can be identified as the culprit, testing the RAM for errors is a good place to check. Using this item will load a small application that will test the entire set of memory modules installed in the device as well as display a plethora of information about them. And although it may not be displayed on the screen, continuing to press the down arrow key on the keyboard will eventually cycle to it in the list.



Usage

Errors

Although the default configuration should broadly work with most devices, in some instances, depending on the hardware, you may find that the graphical interface fails to work properly. Until a better solution can be found, a separate boot option has been included to help install additional display drivers so that you will be able to get into the operating system. If you fall under this condition, simply reboot your device and as soon as you see the 'XiniX' boot graphic, start repeatedly pressing the 'F8' key to show the boot menu (unless you're booting from optical media which always shows the menu). Select the option labeled "Install Drivers" and after the boot process completes, simply select the manufacturer of your graphics card and the proper drivers should be installed. After the device reboots, you should have a properly working graphical environment.
Please be aware that you must have installed XiniX before proceeding with these steps since we need a DATA partition to store saved data and information. If this has not taken place yet, select 'Install XiniX' option from the boot menu before proceeding with the steps outlined above.

GUI

Covering the user interface is outside the scope of this document, but click here to be redirected to the proper location that will explain the interface in detail. However, we do want to mention that a XiniX device can be controlled locally (X11) and/or remotely (browser). To change this behavior navigate to the 'Access > Device > Settings > web.de' popup and change the 'Access' values to your desired configuration and click the 'Ok' button. More information about the GUI and access to it can be found in the first link above.

Administration

The first account created during the installation routines will be granted an additional privilege over all the other accounts. By default the 'root' account (aka administrator in Linux) can not be used to log into any device for security reasons. This also means that the root account can not be switched to in order to perform administrative tasks due to not having a password. As a way to enable the usage of the root account, the first created user account will receive the ability to switch to the root account in the event that you require that type of access. In order to make this switch, perform the following steps at a command prompt with the afore mentioned account:
$ sudo su root
NOTE: Performing the above steps should be rare, if at all. If you find yourself using the root account regularly, you should instead adjust the /etc/sudoers file to grant the appropriate privileges as a regular user since using the root account presents additional security risks!

Login

Unlike other Linux distros, the login credentials are specific to this operating system. While XiniX still uses the default administrators user account in Linux known as 'root', the password is not anything that is typically used to gain access. Instead, you must use 'now has zen' as the password in order to login successfully. It is important to note that this only applies when booting off of optical media such as CD's or DVD's, and if the OS has not been 'installed'. Once a DATA partition has been created post 'installation', the 'root' account can no longer be used to login (for security), but the credentials of the other accounts will be saved for future logins.
As of version 2017.04.07.0, an auto-login is engaged when no DATA partition exists. However, if you need to get into certain areas such as 'Access > Device', then you will still need to use the password mentioned above.

Composition

Since XiniX is unlike its competition and is in a class of its own, it is important for the user to have a brief overview of the operating system itself. As eluded to in the '[Features]' section above, there is not two types of media (installation and runtime) like there is in the world of Microsoft. Meaning that you don't have to create/obtain an installation DVD (installation media) to install to a hard drive (runtime media) before being able to use the operating system - they are one-in-the-same! So by having any XiniX boot media (installation and runtime), you can not only fully use the OS, but you could in turn create other boot media such as CDs, flash drives, and hard drives.
Now that you understand XiniX's boot media, known as 'FIRMWARE', we would like to discuss the optional second part of the OS. While the user will have no restrictions using only the 'FIRMWARE', this will simply create an (anonymous) 'Live CD' environment so that you can play or test the software without making any changes to your existing setup. So if you install applications and write a document or two, none of that information will be saved after a reboot or shutdown of the device. This is where the 'DATA' partition comes in. As indicated by the name, this storage area will contain all your installed applications and saved data such as settings, documents, favorites, music, and movies. Most users will opt to have both a FIRMWARE (operating system) and DATA (user data) for a complete solution, however, the separation was made for flexibility. One last point to make is that while both can reside on the same media (e.g. hard drive), they do NOT have to be. So for example, you can boot off of a FIRMWARE DVD and have DATA as a flash drive!



Editions

XiniX will ultimately be distributed in multiple editions to best serve its user base. Each will be covered below:

  • Vanilla (VE) As the name suggests, this edition qualifies as a clean, small, and efficient distribution of the operating system meant for personal devices such as desktops and laptops with goals to later expand into mobile devices. There are no applications bundled aside from the ones necessary for system manipulation found under the 'Access > Device' screen. This not only reduces security concerns by not having unused or unwanted software installed with potential exploits, but also allows the user to personalize their device to their individual liking. By default, it is shipped with a lightweight graphical system (framebuffer) for 2D rendering, but if more powerful acceleration is required (Xorg), it can be installed using just a few clicks of the mouse.
  • Client (CE) Building off of the Vanilla Edition foundation, this distribution targets the SOHO and medium-sized business market. Like its base, it maintains a small, efficient footprint, but incorporates additional user account properties and authentication mechanisms (via LDAP) for robustness. Since this edition is meant for use on higher-end hardware, the more powerful graphical system (Xorg) is installed by default. Also offered in the version will be the ability to use a traditional server and client network model with its own set of unique properties to help businesses in several ways.
  • Server (SE) Servers have stringent requirements, one of them is that is must remain up and running as long as possible. Since XiniX can expose its graphical user interface (GUI) locally or remotely, as mentioned in the 'Features' section of this document, this edition, by default, provides that capability through the web browser of any authorized device and with local access being in the form of the command line interface (CLI). Employees should never use a server as a work station, so there is no need to eat up resources on powering something that will never be used. This reduces overhead (and security risks) for the server so that those CPU cycles can be spent handling requests for clients - the main job of the server. Of course, a local GUI can be installed if one is desired.
  • Embedded (EE) Like the Server Edition, this version comes without a local GUI by default and will target embedded devices such as hobbyist projects, routers, and set-top boxes. Although the default option is to install a remotely accessible GUI, a locally available GUI can be installed as well (up to Xorg), should the device require it. XiniX should maintain the smallest footprint possible with the OEM adding only what is necessary for their device to function as designed.



Comparison

Competition is always good for the market place, especially when there are only a few power players in the industry. Currently there are only three large operating system vendors - Microsoft, Apple, and Google. The make matters even worse, one of them dominates on mobile and another one dominates the desktop market. As a new competitor, XiniX can presently only compete in the desktop market so that will be reflected in the table below. Also, the below information will be based on the 64-bit, 'Home' or personal-use edition of each respective OS (Vanilla Edition for XiniX).

  Apple OS X Google Android 5 Microsoft Windows 10 Canonical Ubuntu 15.04 Cliquesoft XiniX Beta Description
Storage (HDD) 9GB Unknown 20GB 5GB 100MB Minimum storage space to install OS
Memory (RAM) 2GB Unknown 2GB 384MB 128MB (est) Required memory amount to run OS
Processor (CPU) 1GHz Unknown 1GHz 700MHz 800MHz (est) Required CPU speed to run OS
Networking (Style) Server/Client None Server/Client Server/Client p2p & Server/Client How the network style is arranged
Networking (Type) LAN None LAN LAN LAN & Cloud The type of network capability built into OS
Users Multi Single Multi Multi Single or Multi Defines individual or group usage of device
Cost Est 1500* Est $500* Est $150* (home) Free Free Monetary cost of the software
Applications App Store Google Play Unknown Synaptic Software Shoppe Source of installable software catalog
Printing CUPS None Print Mgr CUPS CUPS Locally attached or wifi printer capabilities
Media Lookup No No No No Yes** Obtains online information for personal movies
Bloated Yes Yes Yes Yes No Excessive pre-loaded software
Privacy (online) No*** No**** No, No ***** Yes Yes Is user privacy retained
Updates Non-forced Non-forced Forced Non-forced Non-forced User control of updates
Degradation Yes Yes Yes Yes No****** The performance degradation overtime
* Cost is based on the purchase of the equipment required to run the OS
** The filename must be in a specific format - see the wiki for details
*** Based on their centralization of (more easily hackable) customers data versus our decentralized approach
**** Based on the well know erosion of Google's privacy policy with the users of their products
***** Based on the revelations of excessive, unstoppable communication with Microsoft's Windows 10
****** Based on how the OS is loaded (stages), where it is loaded (RAM), and by not having a 'registry'