Subscribe to UbuntuBuzz Telegram Channel https://telegram.me/ubuntubuzz to get article updates directly.
Netrunner 17.01 is apparently a complete featured desktop operating system. This version contains many daily-life desktop applications built-in. This version is suitable for daily use instantly, it just works out of the box, so it will suit end-users and beginners. Netrunner itself is a GNU/Linux distribution derivative based on Debian, and is compatible with Debian repository. The rest of this article tells about the details.
Netrunner Dektop 17.01 provided only for 64 bit architectures. The actual official download page is http://www.netrunner.com/download/. You can download Netrunner from direct or torrent channel. Here you can download them:
- 64 bit ISO direct https://sourceforge.net/projects/netrunneros/files/netrunner-1701/netrunner-desktop-1701.1-64bit.iso
- 64 bit ISO torrent https://sourceforge.net/projects/netrunneros/files/netrunner-1701/netrunner-desktop-1701.1-64bit.iso.torrent
- SHA256SUM 25e8df3a1b4a8520f437ff3a776537829755f0746d99bd30fa2b7bbf803b927e
1. Desktop Appearance
Netrunner desktop at a glance is a traditional look with wallpaper background, bottom panel, shortcut icons on wallpaper, and menu on the bottom-left corner. Netrunner desktop appearance basically similar with Windows desktop. It is because Netrunner uses KDE Plasma Desktop, a set of software acting as the whole user interface, so the interface will always be like this.
How about Super key? Yes, fortunately, Netrunner desktop menu can be opened with Super key alone (just like Windows menu, or Ubuntu menu). Super key is sometimes called Win key, a key located between Ctrl and Alt keys in most keyboards.
More information about Netrunner desktop here, and information about KDE here.
2. Built-In Applications
As the synopsis said, Netrunner 17.01 provides many daily-life desktop applications built-in. With these built-in settings, the user can do all daily desktop jobs. For example, the user can instantly do playing audio/video (see below), virtualization (with VirtualBox) or doing digital painting (with Krita and GIMP) or playing games (see below) or even video editing (with Kdenlive). Of course, Netrunner brings our beloved office suite along so the user can do any document task with it. The consequence for containing all these is Netrunner 17.01 has huge size of ISO image file, it's about 2.4 GB.
- Desktop environment: KDE
- Package management: Synaptic
- File manager: Dolphin
- Image viewer: LXImage
- Office suite: LibreOffice
- Graphic editor: Krita, GIMP, Inkscape
- Video editor: Kdenlive, Handbrake (video converter)
- Multimedia player: VLC, Audacious, gmusicbrowser
- Games: GNUdoQ (sudoku), KBreakout, KDiamond, KMahjongg, KMines (mine sweeper), KSnakeDuel, Frozen Bubble (marble shooting)
- Virtualization: VirtualBox
- Terminal: KDE Konsole, Yakuake
- Screenshot tool: Spectacle
- Screen recorder: vokoscreen
- Bootable maker: SUSE Studio Image Writer
- Scanner manager: Skanlite
Netrunner comes with many wallpapers. This picture shows one of them.
4. Audio Playing
Netrunner brings Audacious as its audio player. By default, the Audacious has preconfigured to use Winamp skin. This helps many new users come from Windows to adapt their habits. You can recognize it by seeing picture below.
How about MP3? Yes, Netrunner 17.01 can play MP3 by default. Netrunner supports complete codecs thanks to GStreamer Framework (it's free software).
5. Video Playing
Netrunner brings VLC as its video player. As many users know, VLC is a very popular video player in all operating systems. This inclusion of VLC, again, helps new users to adapt their habits in GNU/Linux.
How about MP4 and FLV? Yes, VLC supports them all and all video formats. So in short: Netrunner supports all audio & video formats by default. Netrunner 17.04 can be considered as a replacement for Linux Mint 18 for the complete codecs problem.
6. Office Suite
The office suite Netrunner brings is LibreOffice. It brings the complete suite: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Base, and Math. This picture below showing my presentation and text document (they're in Indonesian) opened.
How about document formats? LibreOffice supports both ODF (.odt .ods .odp) and OOXML (.docx .xlsx .pptx) for reading and editing.
7. Yakuake Convenience
Press F12 and you open drop-down terminal in Netrunner desktop. That is Yakuake, a Quake-style terminal for rapid commanding. Beginners can use this Yakuake to learn bit by bit command line in GNU/Linux.
8. Bottom Panel Convenience
Because Netrunner uses KDE Plasma Desktop, then Netrunner desktop has bottom panel traditionally resembles Windows bottom panel. This brings many convenience to formerly Windows users: you can see the list of running programs, you can close the program by right-clicking, so does minimizing & maximizing.
Netrunner includes network indicator on bottom panel. It can show download/upload speed and the graph. From within it, you can connect to any network available.
Netrunner includes calendar on the bottom panel. When you click the clock, it shows the calendar popup.
Netrunner includes clipboard feature built-in. It is a feature that saves every text or data you copied waiting to be pasted. In my life, it is really helpful feature for writer like me.
Netrunner includes an audio volume indicator. This is where you control your volume based on your audio device and application.
9. Menu Appearance (Alternative)
Netrunner desktop has 4 appearance modes you can change anytime you wish. For example, the default mode is Windows XP-style menu, when the Dashboard mode is the full screen menu (Unity-like or GNOME-like). But unlike Windows XP, eEach mode has search bar.
10. The System Installer
When you want to install Netrunner, you probably write the ISO image into USB drive and then boot it into live session. In this live session, you will install the Netrunner operating system using a GUI program named Calamares. It's very simple, easy to read and use, and provides expert partitioning facilities.
11. The Package Manager
Netrunner 17.10 is a Debian family, it means it packages all its software in .deb format and store them in a place called repository. Then Netrunner gives the users a GUI program to install software package from the repository: Synaptic Package Manager. From within Synaptic, the user can search, install, upgrade, or uninstall software. This is the standard way to add/remove programs in Netrunner desktop.
12. The Sources.list Settings
As the synopsis said, Netrunner is basically Debian operating system, so it's compatible with Debian repository. So it has sources.list file to the original Debian repository. Beside of that, Netrunner is also a distribution, it means it has its own repository. So it also has netrunner.list file to the Netrunner own repository.
What is this .list file? Whether it is sources.list or netrunner.list, it is a configuration file (a text file where you put your settings) to tell the system where to download all software. In this .list file, there is always URL and some sort of "codes" telling your system what and where to install the software from. All applications showed in Synaptic are come from .list file.
In my trial, Netrunner 17.01 has some problems I need to warn you about them:
- My WLAN device does not recognized. It is Broadcom BCM4313 in ASUS Aspire One 756. I connect to internet with tethering from an Android phone.
- It includes Skype. It is nonfree software and has serious problem you may read here http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/malware-microsoft.html and please also read https://blogs.fsfe.org/h2/2016/05/31/why-privacy-is-more-than-crypto/. I humbly suggest Netrunner developers to replace it with GNU Ring or Tox instead, they are free software.