I keep running into LXDE derivatives. Not physically of course, but it could be an unintended side effect of being on the lookout for distros to try on the Mebius.
For example, I mentioned the Lubuntu spinoff Peppermint about a few months ago, adding my own warning that little time would elapse before it too morphed into something else. I was right (of course); here is Peppermint Ice.
Peppermint rips out a lot of what Lubuntu throws in by default; if you can imagine, Peppermint Ice seems to go a step further by ripping out more of what was in Peppermint, leaving an almost-purely Internet-reliant operating system.
Naturally there are stipulations to be made with that, but it’s more-or-less true: Short of a calculator, file manager or terminal emulator, almost everything here will require a solid, speedy Internet connection to use.
In that sense it might be a completely online desktop system. Whether or not you like that is going to depend on your personal proclivities; myself, I’m not a huge fan of the cloud, so Peppermint Ice does not entice. (Ha! I made a kind of pun! )
My prediction: The next step in the Peppermint evolution is of course Peppermint Icicle, which will boot directly from the Internet, no on-disk system at all. It can be done.
So is it faster? is it lighter than its progenitor? You tell me.
Here’s Linux Mint LXDE, which is another LXDE adventure.
Green and black is good. Mint fans seem to love the fact that they get codecs, etc., from the word go, so this is about what I expected. Applications are the standard LXDE-driven fare, which I don’t begrudge anyone at all.
And it’s quite a bit “fuller” than its Peppermint cousins Tools and programs you might prefer, as a regular user of a desktop Linux, are on hand in Mint LXDE and I see almost no Web-only applications.
So is it lighter? is it faster than its competition? You tell me.
Masonux is something I looked at a long time ago, then felt sorry I never mentioned because the developer called it quits. For old time’s sake, here is what it looked like (notice the past tense) in the 9.04 version.
Masonux’s call to glory — or claim to fame — may have been its early adoption of the LXDE tool set; before it was cool to have an LXDE spinoff, Masonux had dedicated itself to That Ideal. earthpigg said himself (herself?) a few months ago that the niche no longer existed, and perhaps he was right.
In any case, since it’s Ubuntu-driven there’s nothing stopping you from installing the last version and updating manually. As you can see, it’s functional and clean — and exceptionally slim. The ISO was only +/- 325Mb, and your choice of software on startup is quite thin. And that’s a good, because it gives you a solid starting point. Build up from there.
So is it faster? is it lighter than the newcomers? You tell me.
WattOS is something I have a hard time putting in a box mentally. I see that it’s supposed to be somehow more power-conscious, which in turn probably suggests it is more energy-efficient, which in turn is somehow better for the planet.
For what I’ve seen though, there is only one tool in particular that really sets it apart from any other distro: an amalgamated power control panel. I read somewhere that it’s not accessible until you install the system, but I am a sneaky person so I managed to get it on screen from the live environment.
I understand WattOS’s goal — even linux-mag.com fawns over it for its power-conscientiousness. As far as I can tell though, by skimming through
dpkg -l and poking around elsewhere, it seems to be using a standard Ubuntu kernel, standard applications (Abiword, Gnumeric, et al.) and quite a few Gnome underpinnings. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.
No matter. You gotta have a gimmick these days, if you want to stick out in the crowd. An original power monitor is enough to draw a few eyes.
So is it lighter? is it faster? Is it more energy-efficient? You tell me.
I could go on and list quite a few more. Ubuntu seems to be the grandfather of most of these (and Debian the great-grandfather), and there are in-house versions of LXDE desktops in almost every major distro. And where there isn’t, you can usually put together your own rendition.
It’s a good thing. LXDE reinforces the idea that you don’t need a quad-core with 12Gb of memory to run a Linux desktop, no matter what the Gnome or KDE camps tell you. It also, in a roundabout way, reminds people that older machines are still viable.
Of course, everything I’ve shown you here still requires far more muscle and power than the Mebius has on hand. It might be that they are all better solutions for older machines … just not really, really old ones.
So in that sense, are they lighter? are they faster? Are they better than full-blown desktop environments? You tell me.