Thoughtful forum member wwzulu sent me a PM mentioning MilaX, which employs a lot of the lightweight software I mention here, and some more that I mention here. I promised to take a look at it and today, I finally got a free moment to do that.
Technically speaking, MilaX is not Linux — it’s SunOS 5.11, which is confirmed by both conky and by uname. This is probably the first time I’ve ever used a working SunOS system (or at least the last time since about 1989), and it’s pretty nice.
Here’s the default desktop, which is exceptionally classy.
If you like dark themes, this one is probably heaven-sent. Since appearances are completely immaterial I won’t be critical, but I do like that all the themes — JWM, GTK1 and GTK2 — all work very nicely together, and keep the same “atmosphere.” And that wallpaper is nothing short of spectacular.
Here’s one with a few basic items up and running.
That’s what I mean about the themes working in synchronicity. Very nicely done.
As far as default software, which is why I’m mentioning this distro at all, MilaX does a great job keeping it light and functional. Your system is neatly profiled with a clean conky display, and as I mentioned, JWM is handling the desktop — an excellent and wise choice.
Sylpheed is on board as an e-mail client, and NetSurf is a viable and fast browser. emelfm (the GTK1 version) is the file manager, and you’ll probably recognize Beaver, gPicView, ePDFView, Xpad and XMMS too. Nice to see some familiar faces.
After that, there seem to be a lot of networking tools and unusual items that point to MilaX’s other functions, as described on the home page.
Things not to look for: heavyweights like the Gimp, OpenOffice or anything Gnome-based. I like this more and more all the time.
MilaX is running as a live CD for me, and to be honest I doubt I’ll try to install it. I’m sort of “between” systems right now, and this was intended just as a pit stop, not a destination.
But I like it. It has all the essentials, and treats my hardware gingerly, instead of trying to manhandle it like some other supposedly light distros. It looks good at the start, it has a lot of good tools and manages to configure itself without my assistance. It’s not going to dethrone SliTaz as the ultralightweight champion, but that was never its intention.
I might keep a backup CD of this around, although I see it also runs from USB drive too. It seems handy and stable, and those are always good reasons to keep something. See if you like it.