AutoTux is a Linux distribution, based on Debian 10 “Buster” specially designed to automate the entire installation, configuration and commissioning process. This distro does not need an Internet connection to start working and not even the slightest interaction from the user until it is ready.
Its developers have created this Linux distro thinking above all of students who do not want to spend much time on their operating system, either because they cannot or because they do not want to. AutoTux offers these students (and any other user interested in using it) a complete and robust operating system that does not require a single click. It comes by default a standard configuration (although we may have to change it) and a good collection of pre-installed software so that, just by logging in, we have control over the system.
Be careful before turning on the PC
That AutoTux is able to install and configure itself is both good and dangerous at the same time. On the one hand we find that we will not have a single problem to start the distro, that is clear. However, this means losing all control over the installation process.
This distro will be installed by default on the first hard drive that we have configured on our computer, and without user intervention. If we have another operating system or any file on it, all data will be erased to create the new partitions and install the distro.
In addition, they will be used configurations (keyboard layouts, languages, etc) automatic, for the United States, so we’ll have to change it when our distro is ready. And a username (tux) and password (tux) will also be used by default, which may imply a security problem.
This distro comes with a significant number of programs installed by default so that, as soon as the installation is finished, we can start working with the operating system. In addition, it includes the Debian repositories for updates and to download new software, as well as being compatible with any Linux program like other distributions.
This distro features a XFCE desk, along with a Linux kernel 4.19. The theme and icon pack it uses are inspired by macOS.
Some of the most important programs that we will find installed by default in AutoTux are:
- Audacity: popular open source music editor.
- Blender: 3D design and animation software.
- Brackets: open source code editor.
- DOSBox Emulator: emulator to run DOS programs.
- FileZilla: FTP client.
- FreeCAD: CAD modeling software.
- GIMP: photographic editing and retouching program.
- Google Chrome: Web navigator.
- Inkscape: vector graphics design software.
- LibreOffice: office suite.
- PDF Studio Viewer: PDF viewer.
- PowerShell – Microsoft’s popular console for Linux.
- PuTTY: SSH client.
- qBittorrent: download manager for torrent network.
- Shotcut – Professional open source video editor.
- TeamViewer: remote control program.
- VirtualBox – Virtualization software for creating and running virtual machines.
- VLC: Media player.
As we can see, AutoTux brings an interesting collection of pre-installed software. Some of the programs surely we will not need (like the Arduino IDE), but we can always uninstall them, or simply ignore them and not use them. Even if they are installed (and take up space) they will not affect performance.
Installing Linux is easy
There is not much to say about the installation process of this distro. All we have to do is download the ISO, burn it to an installation medium (a DVD or a USB memory) and insert said installation medium into the computer. We will choose the option to start the PC from this installation medium and we can not worry about it. AutoTux will take care of everything else.
The AutoTux installation and configuration process takes around 15 minutes with an SSD, or even less, dependent on many factors. After that time, we can see the final installation screen (like the one below) in which it tells us that we must press enter to restart (without extracting the installation media, yet).
When the computer restarts we can see the boot menu (GRUB) of the distro. AutoTux is already installed. We can extract the installation media and start use our new Linux without worries.
Basic configuration of AutoTux
Before starting to use AutoTux we are probably interested in reviewing some settings. Starting by changing the credentials that, by default, will be tux / tux.
The first thing we should do is change the region, adjust the time, configure the keyboard and put AutoTux (now Debian) in Spanish. And even look for updates and new versions of the packages to bring our Debian up to date.
As we can see, AutoTux installs an XFCE desktop and mimics many aspects of macOS, such as the program launcher at the bottom, the window menus or many of the icons that we can find throughout the distro.
This Linux distro can be downloaded for free from the following link. Its developers only offer a version for 64-bit computers, so we will not be able to download or install it on 32-bit computers.
In order to use this distro without problems we must make sure that our computer meets the following requirements:
- Dual-Core 2 GHz processor.
- 3 GB of RAM.
- 20 GB of storage space. An SSD is recommended.
- Graphics and monitor compatible with a resolution of 800 × 600 pixels.
If we are going to test it in a virtual machine, its developers recommend that we configure 3 GB of RAM, 128 MB of video memory and a 20 GB virtual hard disk.