[Fsf-friends] (no subject)
Wed May 25 20:08:30 IST 2005
Teenager Develops User Friendly GNU Linux OS
Obstacles such as financial constraints, very minimum PC resources,
did not in any way deter the grit of Kerala-based, 15-year old Sarath
Lakshman from developing SLYNUX- a highly user-friendly GNU/Linux
operating system designed for beginners. A completely self-taught
person, who has never stepped into a computer-learning institute in
his lifetime, his tale is one of guts and more guts.
Speaking to CXOtoday, Lakshman recollected, "I had first heard about
GNU/Linux when I was a computer (Windows user) from standard eight.
However, I was advised by tech-savvy people that only experts could
use it. This inspired me to collect a Linux distro. I collected Redhat
9.0- the only Linux distro known and available in my locality and
installed it in my system (128MB Ram and Celeron 1Ghz processor).
"That was my first brush with Linux; its basic features impressed me
though the OS was not user friendly as I could not understand the
program names, commands since I was a fresher to Linux. This paved the
seed of a user friendly Linux in my mind," added Lakshman.
The main feature of this operating system is that, any person who is
familiar with Microsoft Windows OS can handle this operating system
very easily. The desktop of this operating system is arranged so as to
make it friendly to the user. It comes with a wide range of
application programs, which are pre-installed. It can be run
completely from CD without installation with options of installing a
Speaking further he said, "I have written many shell scripts, though I
have not counted the same. I have done little C++ compilations and
codings too with some kernel modifications too. (The base of every
GNU/Linux is shell scripts)."
SLYNUX is a live Linux distribution, which includes content of about
2GB made available by using transparent compression. This is a debian
based GNU/Linux developed from Knoppix (credit of most features of
this Distro goes to knoppix). 256 MB Ram is recommended to run SLYNUX
Live CD for good performance.
Describing the challenges he faced, Lakshman stated, "The first
problem I faced was lack of Internet facility. I currently use a BSNL
dial up connection with about 44 Kbps speed since I cannot afford a
broadband connection. Because of this, I could use the Web only for
browsing purposes. All resources related to GNU/Linux are available
for download, especially source codes, which were of huge sizes
(around 20MB, 50MB, 600MB etc)."
The second problem was lack of help. "At the place, which I reside
there are no Linux users until now. But in places like Ernakulum and
Trivandrum, in Kerala, Linux is gaining momentum. I later met an IT
consultant at the Kerala legislative assembly who helped me a lot by
giving me some GNU/Linux distros, (especially knoppix 3.6.)," said
Describing his struggle further he said, "Thirdly, the PC (Intel
Celeron 1Gnz, 810E motherboard), I currently use is unfit for
development activities and many Linux distros cannot support my
configuration for graphics. This resulted in long hours for cloop
compression (a process in SLYNUX development, which used to take about
2 hours for compression every time. A good configuration system would
have take me only about 8 to 10 minutes."
Lakshman rues the fact that he does not even posses a Web space for
hosting his site. He has currently hosted it in a free domain.
He insists that SLYNUX is especially for newbies of Linux. "Using
SLYNUX every Windows user can migrate to the GNU/Linux. Meanwhile,
SLYNUX 1.1, 2.0 can also be used by enterprise users as I plan to
shortly release SLYNUX 3.0 with kernel 22.214.171.124 and other Apache server
tools, MySQL etc. (MySQL is already there with SLYNUX.)," stated
A science and technology enthusiast from the age of 10, Lakshman has
just appeared for the SSLC (Kerala state syllabus) public examination
and waiting for the results. His other achievements include developing
an e-periodic table with basic knowledge of Visual Basic programming
when he was studying in the ninth grade. The Executive Director,
IT@School, Thiruvananthapuram demanded the copy right of the software
to include it in the X standard resource CD to supply to all High
schools in Kerala.
Speaking about the road ahead, he has no clue about how to go about
marketing his product, though he hopes to be approached by genuine
companies who would be interested in marketing his product, although
in the same breath he states he does not have a profit motive, (he
follows the philosophy of free software).
While it is indisputable, that India does possess the talent, brains,
and the determination, efforts such as these often go unnoticed due to
lack of a strategic marketing plan and direction. Meanwhile, any
takers for SLYNUX?
More information about the Fsf-friends