Bodhi Linux 4.3.1
Jonni Bidwell spent just one day in the office working on a netbook, and is now convinced that they’re going to make a big comeback.
Jonni Bidwell spent the day working on a netbook and is now convinced they’re going to make a comeback. “Pah, away with your Chromebook!” he says with a flourish.
Many distros, most notably Arch and Fedora, are talking about phasing out 32-bit support. Don’t worry, Bodhi isn’t abandoning the aging hardware posse. However, since the 4.2.0 release, 32-bit users can only use the Legacy release, which features an older (but still maintained upstream) 3.16 kernel. Users of 64-bit silicon can use the Legacy version, but they would probably prefer a 4.8 kernel, which can be theirs with the Standard or AppPack Releases.
The Standard release is, like its Legacy sibling, a minimal affair, with just the Moksha desktop and the bare essentials bundled. The AppPack release also includes popular apps including Chromium, LibreOffice, VLC, as well as support for printers and Samba. Just for fun, we installed the Legacy version on an old Eee PC 901 that was lying around the office (under a pile of abandoned dreams).
Once we’d closed the welcome screen, which opens in the bundled Midori browser, memory usage was a mere 70MB. Before any updates the install occupied 2.5GB. The Moksha desktop looks stylish, and actually has some nice (though resource friendly) effects, but it will be quite tricky for newcomers to navigate. The cascading application menu system might seem clunky and dated if you’re coming from, say, Gnome. Moksha is configurable: there are a baffling number of options, and quite a bit of nomenclature for them to hide behind. But once you learn your Widgets from your Gadgets, Modules, Shelves etc, then finding the desired options becomes confusing.
Moksha is based on the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL), and uses the associated Elementary toolkit for its apps. This may elicit a warm sense of nostalgia in those who dabbled with early Linux desktops. The default MokshaArcDark theme looks great, even on a 1,024x600 screen. The thin titlebars and scrolling application pager really help with this. Alt-Tabbing between applications centres the mouse cursor on the newly focused app, which is at first spooky and then pretty neat.
Being an Ubuntu LTS-derivative, you have all the software in those repositories at your disposal, as well as a reasonable expectation of stability. That doesn’t mean your netbook will behave in a stable when you fill up its pitiful memory and continue to ask it to do things, though.
From ultra-modern to ancient PCs, Bodhi Linux can run them all.
A number of themes are available from Bodhi’s Appstore. This one is called Sunshine. Although quite why is beyond us mere open source mortals…