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Exploring the Future of Computing
Parted Magic 2.0 - Firefox Included! E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 16 February 2008



Another Version From Patrick Verner


Parted Magic 2.0 is a 42MB  Live CD/USB/PXE with the main goal of providing disk drive partitioning software. This new edition of Parted Magic 2.0 is designed for use  on x86 hardwares and was released two days before this year's Valentine's Day. This GPLed specialized Linux distro  is currently ranked at number 60 at It originates from the U.S. and it is based on the Linux From Scratch. The easily noticeable new features, besides the new Linux kernel, Xfce 4.4.2, X.Org 7.3 and various other software updates ,  are the availability of  Firefox and the simple but capable Start Network tool. You need to run the Start Network tool in order to fire up you LAN interface before you can run Firefox or  proceed to the online Parted Magic and Test Disk documentation. 








Available Softwares 


The mainstay of Parted Magic 2.0 is the new VisParted 2.0 aka Visual Parted (forked from GParted 0.3.3 and improved by Patrick, the lead developer),  the GUI front-end of the GNU Parted which has support forext2, ext3, fat16, fat32, hfs, hfs+, jfs, linux-swap, ntfs, reiserfs, reiser4, and xfs filesystems. Besides this "magic",  Partition Image tool is also available to help users to backup and restore disk partitions. There is also the Test Disk program which help users to scan and repair disk partitions. By the way, the GNU Parted package used in this Parted Magic 2.0 is the latest version(1.8.8).


PhotoRec is also available to assist users in recovering data. For handling NTFS partitions, Parted Magic 2.0 is equipped with ntfsprogs-2.0.0, ntfs-3g-1.913. Since the role of Firefox is for the users to get help while online, I was not surprised with the lack of Flash player, Java, or Mplayer plugins. By the way, you can see the complete list of software packages bundled into Parted Magic 2.0 on its website. A simple 7zip package management system has also been introduced in this new edition of Parted Magic 2.0 so that users can add more programs to Parted Magic. There is also an editor called Leafpad, available on the utilities menu. In addition to the default Thunar file manager, Emelfm2 and PCMan file managers are also available on Parted Magic 2.0.




The boot screen looks simpler and better. 







The Desktop 


The boot screen is definitely simpler-looking and has more aesthetics than those in the previous versions. By default (via the first option), it will load itself into the RAM and the CD will eject when you're already in the Xfce desktop. It also has a very nice boot splash. The wallpaper of the desktop depicting a magic wand pointing to a stack of disk drives has been very well designed. The Xfce 4.4.2 desktop is neat and clean with just one panel at the bottom and an icon representing the Parted Magic 2.0 CD.


The layout of the Xfce panel has also been logical. There is a pager on the left side of the desktop panel for the four virtual desktop and 8 icons on the right side of the desktop panel, namely VisParted, Screenshot utility, Terminal emulator, Thunar File Manager, Firefox, Menu Icon for the various utilities, Menu Icon for the various documentations, and lastly the eighth icon is the shutdown button, thus leaving a large  panel space for the taskbar.




Shortcut for Firefox, Grsync, lftp, & Start Network. 






A Well-Polished Miniature


I am impressed with this miniature Live CD. Boot up and shutdown times are really fast, even in Virtualbox environment. The included softwares were also zippy even on my Dell desktop with 128MB RAM and a processor speed of 600MHz. The Xserver configurations were satifactory on all of my 5 PCs with the exception of the PC with wide screen LCD monitor (1680x1050 resolution). Wireless mouse and keyboard were also supported out-of-the-box. There was no problem with wired ethernet on all of the 5 PCs. Of course I cannot compare this 42MB specialist Live CD with a Linux distro like System Rescue CD which comes in a 160MB iso image.  The System Rescue CD project has different goal in mind and therefore it is a more full-blown system administrators' Live CD. Unlike Parted Magic 2.0, in System Rescue CD you'll find a lot of security, LVM and  backup tools on top the partitioning and rescue tools.


By the way, if a CD is physically too big to fit into your pocket, the good news is that, making a Parted Magic 2.0 Live USB  is a very simple task. Just launch the Make Parted Magic LiveUSB tool from the Utilities menu and you'll have Parted Magic 2.0 in your USB flash drive. This method will only work if you have made the USB flash drive bootable when partitioning it to FAT16 or FAT32.  Before I end this review, I would like to salute the developers for a high-quality and Windows-user-friendly documentations.




This is VisParted.




There is a shortcut for PCMan File Manager, Emelfm2 File Manager, and Thunar File Manager. 




There is also a shorcut to all the utilities tool like Partition Image, Test Disk, Make Parted LiveUSB, PhotoRec, Iso Master, Conky, Galculator, Hardware Lister, Save Files, List Partition Table, Find Utility, Xfburn, etc.   




The last shortcut is dedicated for taking you to the online documentation for Parted Magic and Test Disk. It will also take you the changelog and also the list of programs for Parted Magic.  




This is just the screenshot for the screenshot utility and terminal emulator. 







Thank you for reading this mini review.





By Michael Shee Choon Beng. 

Add NewSearch
Hosein-Mec - nice review   | 85.198.55. | 2008-02-18 06:17:23
thanks for review !

i think the xfce desktop in Parted Magic is much better than desktop that used in System Rescue CD. also tools of Parted Magic is more & better.
welkiner   | 65.188.190. | 2008-02-20 17:24:46
It great! The best yet.
...but I do have one small problem.
Most of the computers that I work on are MSI with onboard Via Unichrome video.
Everytime I boot PM 2.0 an any of these computers (no matter what GRUB menu selection I select) it boots to a black screen.
...but I found that if you just boot with the default selection in the GRUB, when you reach the black screen, Ctrl-Alt-Backspace and choose VESA and OK and you will find yourself at a beautiful and very useful desktop.
Hope this is helpful to someone.
dekker - review   | | 2008-02-21 02:37:59
Hi. Good review, and thanks for making me aware of this distro. I use SystemRescueCD and really like it, but I will download this one too.
In the comments someone stated that Xfce was better than WindowMaker?!?!? I don't think so, Xfce is soooooo overrated. :X
r3 - Is it good enough >?   | | 2008-02-21 16:37:36
Hi .. I would like to take some free space from my NTFS and create a new fat32 ,,, will i loose my data ?
When i convert ntfs into fat32 will i loose my data ? i don't like commercial software but i read PartMagic can do this. So i was wondering if there is a free alternative that support such stuff.
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