Ive never worked with MEPIS or any of its derivatives before. I know about them, but I never took the time to install or investigate until now, and thus far it has been a very enjoyable experience.
I snagged the AntiX
ISO after a comment left elsewhere here, and while Iâ€™m not a big
Fluxbox fan, I find this to be one of the most pleasant setups Iâ€™ve
seen yet. The disc booted cleanly and went straight to a clean, albeit
The installation tool, like Wolvixâ€™s,
was a good step easier to run than Ubuntuâ€™s, in my experience. It
handled partitioning without any input from me, and had only a few
questions to ask before it was done. Time to install was probably under
20 minutes, even on this old machine. (The only quirk was the root password â€” which is â€œrootâ€. I guessed it and everything was happy.)
It found and configured the network without a hitch â€” the Xircom
card never made it blink. Video went straight to the right dimensions
and depth. USB mouse? Check. JP106 keyboard? Check. In fact, I canâ€™t
think of anything that didnâ€™t get set up right, on the first try, and
without my picking at it. It was a nice change.
AntiX seems to be set up with a good array of GTK2, GTK1.2 and CLI
apps, for just about every need. Itâ€™s not as overwhelming a selection
as some distros, but itâ€™s plain that someone made sure a machine of
almost any power has an option. As an example, Firefox is coupled with
Dillo and something called hv3 â€” which I need to investigate a little
more. Likewise, rox-filer is default, but Xfe is available. Xchat is
installed, but so is irssi. Sylpheed plus mutt. And so forth.
Speedwise, AntiX ranks pretty well. I should repeat that itâ€™s
Fluxbox-based, which means itâ€™s probably faster than an XFCE-based
distro by default. But the numbers are still very good.
Firefox opens in around 12 seconds, but needs another 6 or 7 to
finally render a working page. (Dillo, on the other hand, is up, loaded
and finished in less than 4 seconds â€¦ but thatâ€™s to be expected.)
Startup is in 1:25, which is pretty quick. Shutdown is about 25
seconds, which isnâ€™t great, but usually doesnâ€™t matter to me. Other
applications are as peppy, or fall in a range thatâ€™s proportionally
In fact, the only things I could complain about would be
superficial. The gray theme is nice, but would be nicer if the GTK
theme matched as well. The glossy clearlooks effects are a little out
of place; something flat and gray, like a rezlooks variant, would probably fit better.
But thatâ€™s exceedingly trivial. The default desktop is sharp, and cosmetics beyond that arenâ€™t worth mentioning.
One thing that does strike me as interesting, and I think I knew this from the Ubuntu forums,
but MEPIS has some Ubuntu built into it. Since the repositories and
kernel match the Dapper release, I decided to play a little shell game.
I tacked the Gutsy repositories on to the end of the sources.list file
and let it upgrade itself.
Which didnâ€™t really work. Some packages werenâ€™t exactly compatible,
and I got a lot of errors out of aptitude. I could reboot, but after a
point there wasnâ€™t anything I could fix or install. Sometimes that
works, and sometimes it doesnâ€™t. But itâ€™s always fun to try.
In all, I think AntiX, and probably Mepis by extension, is worth
trying out. If you like Fluxbox, Iâ€™d definitely suggest it. And since
it did a fantastic job setting itself up on a very peculiar machine, it
wins extra points with me.
Thanks to Source Web Site for sharing this Review: kmandla.wordpress.com