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Element 1.1 for home theater PCs

Apr 01, 2010, 23:32 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Nathan Willis)

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"Element is a lightweight Linux distribution for use on a home theater PC (HTPC). It comes with most of the same video-playback applications one would find in a modern desktop distribution, but the development team has put considerable effort into wrapping the applications in an environment that is easy to navigate from across the room, and comfortable for non-multimedia-hackers. Tough challenges still remain for any HTPC distribution at the hardware and configuration level, but Element's results are definitely an improvement over basic Linux systems in setup, application integration, and usability.

"The distribution project started in April of 2009; the current release is version 1.1, from March 24, 2010. The release is available as a CD-sized ISO image via direct download or Bittorrent. The Element team supports its development through affiliate sales of HTPC hardware, and is pursuing web ad sales and OEM installation deals as additional revenue sources. Element is based on Xubuntu, but with a heavily modified front end. From developers' comments on the support forum, the version of the Xfce desktop environment shipped is stripped down, the xfwm window manager has been replaced by Metacity, the login manager has been replaced by SLiM, and a modified version of the wbar dock/launcher is used to present a simplified interface to launch the main media applications."

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