AB9IL.net: Introducing Catbird Linux

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Ladies and gentlemen, heroes and scoundrels, I present to you the GNU/Linux system I call "Catbird Linux." As the small yet intrepid and wise catbird fulfills its purpose in-domain, so does this digital namesake in its domain. It has been my daily driver for years, having started as a customized version of Debian Sid, then Mint, then Ubuntu. With each iteration, it has improved in the core purposes as a tool for gathering information, writing notes, creating audio, visual, and written content, and streaming some music when I'm in the mood for some punk or psychedelic tunes. So, version 1.1.0 is the latest version available for downloads, with some tweaks for Neovim, the Python, and the i3 window manager.

catbirdlinux-1.1.0.iso (Release Date 06/10/2021):
sha256sum: f228f92ad31313875d12dffe840b32639c86dcce53f6e15ae5b3b1e297a3280a

The Catbird Linux Desktop and Rofi menu.
The Catbird Linux Desktop and Rofi menu.
Tiling a radio playlist and TwitGrid window window.
Tiling a radio playlist and TwitGrid window.
JupyterLab with multiple kernels for code development.
JupyterLab with multiple kernels for coding.
Search with several custom Surfraw elvis!
Search with several custom Surfraw elvis!
Receiving BBC Radio 4 Longwave via WebSDR.
Receiving BBC Radio 4 Longwave via WebSDR.
Editing Python in Neovim and JupyterLab.
Editing Python in Neovim and JupyterLab

The core system is actually rather stripped in nature. I started this iteration with Ubuntu MATE 20.04 and stripped out or disabled much of the bloat. Then the i3 Window Manager was set up, and a realtime Xanmod kernel installed. The rest of the way to a three gigabte iso file involves adding lots and lots of Python, Go, and Java. You will be able to script quite a lot with this system. Know what you want; look at the output of pip list, and get to work coding. It is heavy on the mathematics, science, web scraping, and sentiment analysis modules.

Neovim is a beautiful application for coding. Not only can you edit code, but you can take interlinked notes using the Vimwiki plugin. It is set up as rather sparse, but functional here, with colors easy on the eyes. JupyteLab can do much with scripts too, with multiple kernels and Vim-like editor settings and Language Server support.

Firefox is loaded with useful bookmarks. A selection of Software Defined Radio (SDR) servers are set up, as are sites like NASA's WorldWeather, Quandl, and Finviz. TwitGrid runs in Firefox, and its purpose is to be a Twitter broadsheet. Watch the default profiles, grouped in several topics, or enter your own to take the measure of humanity and what it is focusing on. Measure humanity and take the measure of what it is NOT focusing on.

Shotcut and Audacity are very good apps to use if you are into producing podcasts or videos for the web.

Several small, efficient, and effective programs and scripts are ready to run in the terminal. W3m is a terminal pager / web browser, augmented by tools Readability-CLI and Surfraw. Lf is the terminal file manager. Numerous search and sort utilities, such as fzf, ripgrep, fd, are in there too. Look at the Bash Aliases reference links and the bashrc file for more details.

Catbird Linux runs fine on modest dual core x86_64 processors. You should have at least 4 GB of RAM; solid state drives are better than spinning ferrites. Perhaps I am impatient, but a quad core machine with 8 GB of memory sure runs this system an a mega snappy manner.

Well, that is all for this introduction of Catbird Linux. Enjoy your computing with this; may it enhance your workflow.

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