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Review: SimplyMEPIS Linux 6.5

By Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier on April 26, 2007 (8:00:00 AM)

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A few weeks ago, MEPIS released SimplyMEPIS 6.5. The latest version of the Ubuntu-based desktop distribution offers a number of interesting new features, including a 64-bit release and Beryl for 3-D desktop effects. After spending a fair amount of time with the release, I found it to be a worthy update to earlier versions of MEPIS.

The last time I reviewed SimplyMEPIS, it was built on Debian rather than Ubuntu. I expected that SimplyMEPIS might look and feel a little more like Kubuntu now that it's based in part on packages from Ubuntu, but it still has a unique flavor. SimplyMEPIS 6.5 may have Ubuntu's DNA under the hood, but it hasn't lost its identity.

To get started with SimplyMEPIS, download the ISO image, burn it to a disc, pop the CD into your machine, and reboot. SimplyMEPIS works as a live CD, or you can install the operating system to your hard drive from live CD while you're doing other things, like browsing the Net or playing games.

I tried SimplyMEPIS on two machines, both laptops, and also ran SimplyMEPIS under VMware Server on my desktop system. SimplyMEPIS was fairly comfortable with my IBM ThinkPad and found most of its hardware correctly, but it had difficulty detecting the Pentium 4-based machine's 1400x1050 screen resolution correctly. I eventually wound up reconfiguring X using dpkg --reconfigure xserver-xorg to get the resolution issues straightened out.

SimplyMEPIS installation is simple, on par with Ubuntu's Ubiquity installer. SimplyMEPIS does ask users a few additional questions, such as what services the user wants started at boot, but it's just a few clicks from launching the installer to the installation.

For folks with recent Apple hardware, SimplyMEPIS includes a utility for installing and configuring SimplyMEPIS on Macs.

From start to finish, it takes about 30 minutes to install the OS. After the install is complete, it's time to reboot and start using SimplyMEPIS.

SimplyMEPIS provides "assistants" to help set up devices and services. The MEPIS assistants are easy to use, though a few are lacking in some respects. For instance, the MEPIS Network Assistant is easy to use for configuring a wireless connection -- if you know the access point's name (SSID) ahead of time. The assistant doesn't do any discovery for you, so if you're sitting in a public place where you know there's wireless -- but don't happen to know the name of the access point -- good luck getting wireless configured.

Bringing the bling

With the SimplyMEPIS live CD, you can run desktop effects, via Beryl, before you commit to a hard drive install. Beryl worked on both of my laptops, which had ATI graphics chips, without any problems. I like all the options you get with Beryl, but the Beryl Manager and Beryl Settings Managers are a bit confusing to navigate around. It would be helpful if there were a tutorial for new Beryl users, since the desktop effects are a departure from the typical desktop fare that most users will be comfortable with.

While the bling is fun, it's not terribly stable. The MEPIS folks are clear that Beryl is experimental, but I think the Compiz tree might have been a better choice to give users desktop effects. Of course, since the two camps have announced their intent to merge, this will probably be a moot point a few months from now, but when 6.5 was being developed, Compiz was probably a better option. I say that because I've found the Ubuntu Feisty beta release with Compiz desktop effects far more stable than SimplyMEPIS and Beryl.

What sort of problems did I run into? Firefox was extremely unstable running under Beryl, but OK running under the standard KDE desktop. Some effects would turn themselves off, or stop working after a while. I also noticed an impact on system performance if I was logged in to the same session for a long time.

Application selection

SimplyMEPIS is aimed at the desktop user, with a good selection of packages. SimplyMEPIS is KDE-based, but includes a lot of GTK+ applications in addition to KDE/Qt apps. For example, SimplyMEPIS ships with Synaptic rather than Adept for package management and updates. You also get OpenOffice.org, Firefox, Thunderbird, the GIMP, Amarok, and the usual cast of Linux applications -- and, since SimplyMEPIS is based on Ubuntu, many more are available from the SimplyMEPIS and Ubuntu repositories.

Because SimplyMEPIS is based mostly on Ubuntu's Long Term Support (LTS) release, Dapper Drake, some of the packages are a bit outdated. For instance, it ships with KDE 3.5.3 rather than 3.5.6, and OpenOffice.org 2.0 instead of the latest 2.2 release.

SimplyMEPIS also ships with a fair amount of non-free codecs and software enabled, so you'll have support for MP3s, Flash, QuickTime movies, Java, and other goodies right out of the box. Obviously, it's not a distro for free software purists.

For Windows refugees, SimplyMEPIS includes a few packages that will appeal to the notion that a computer needs a firewall and antivirus package. (I agree on the firewall, but not so much on antivirus for Linux.) SimplyMEPIS includes GuardDog, a nice front end for setting up an iptables firewall, and KlamAV, which failed to impress me.

After downloading a few files, including a few zipped archives, I ran a scan with KlamAV. It scanned all my files and complained about every Zip file that it needed to be quarantined due to "Zip.ExceededFilesLimit" -- and it displays this in the "Name of Virus Found" field. A quick search on Google showed that this means KlamAV decided that the Zip files had too many files to scan and gave up. This isn't going to fill users with confidence, though, and might cause users to worry that they have infected files when it's really just a limitation on KlamAV's part.

I did run into one bug that surprised me in SimplyMEPIS. The first time I popped in a CD-ROM to copy files over, I clicked on the CD/DVD icon on the desktop and received an error about /dev/hdc not being a block device. I contacted MEPIS founder Warren Woodford about the glitch, and he acknowledged that it was a widespread issue and there was a fix pushed out a few days later. Woodford also says that he may generate a new ISO image of SimplyMEPIS 6.5 so other users don't run into the same problem.

Overall, I like SimplyMEPIS. It's easy to install and it's a nice desktop system. I didn't find anything about SimplyMEPIS that really wowed me, but that's probably more of a reflection on the maturity of the Linux desktop than a problem with SimplyMEPIS.

There's not a great deal to distinguish Linux distributions these days, since they're all composed of (basically) the same components. All a distro has to really differentiate itself, for the average user, is a few management tools and the timeliness of the software -- and, of course, the community that forms around the distro. SimplyMEPIS does have a friendly, and helpful, community.

If you're desktop distro shopping, I'd put SimplyMEPIS 6.5 in the list of distros to try. It's a nice desktop and worth evaluating.

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on Review: SimplyMEPIS Linux 6.5

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Joe - Review of Nokia N800 (debian based) = FUN.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 26, 2007 10:31 PM
Joe,

Do you have plans to review the Nokia N800 and it's use of maemo.org project's software?

I think you will find it to be fun to use.

N800 note, that with the LINUX install of the OS that you can put a flash memory device in and use that to put root on that allows for a user to extend the use of the machine's limited internal memory.

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No GNOME,NO USE

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2007 03:55 PM
this distro supports kde and kde only as with slackware eh?
With many ppl prefere GNOME also,Y dont these distro guys includes GNOME>am comfortable with this UI only.and hates the windowish KDE ui.warren here this!

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Re:No GNOME,NO USE

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 28, 2007 04:53 AM
well you could just open the package manager and install gnome or use a gnome only distro wouldnt that make more sense then just complaining that its got kde..try ubuntu if u crave gnome so much..or like i said apt-get the gnome packages

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Mepis 6.5

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 26, 2007 10:25 PM
After almost a year with Linux I'm looking for a replacement for SUSE 10.1 and Mepis 6.5 really impressed me. I prefer KDE, and this install went smooth as silk and everything pretty much just worked for me. I agree that their website is a bit of a puzzle, but their forums are well-done. I got a quick, accurate response to a question about their fstab handling, and I love the choice of Synaptic (by far the best package-handling I've seen in any distro). I had a much better experience with this than I did with Kubuntu 7.04 or the LinuxMint-KDE offering.

I like the look and feel of 6.5, a pretty comprehensive distro. This is a finalist for my new desktop.

Thanks for your review.

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Re:Mepis 6.5

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2007 08:49 AM
I have been a Mepis user for over a year now. I gave up Windows completely when I built my first computer from the ground up and didn't want to fork out money for junk.

I then tried the livecd (3.4 I think) on my Averatec laptop, and when the wireless didn't work right away, I didn't proceed further with the install (out of laziness). My hard drive has since failed (on the laptop) and I tried 6.5. After configuring my wireless network through the Mepis Utility and a reboot, the wireless worked without installing any drivers and ndiswrapper. Kudos to Mepis for an awesome distro that worked for me right out of the box - or should I say download.

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Re:Mepis 6.5

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 30, 2007 08:27 AM
This release is OK but nothing to rave about. I was more impressed with past versions.

I was very dissapointed that my Ralink wireless was not detected. PclinuxOs test 3 also missed my Ralink which is well supported in older distros and versions of both of the above.

Sidux had no problem with my wireless and it has earned a semi-permanent spot on my hard drive. I'm amazed at the stability of this new distro!

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Wireless

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 26, 2007 10:34 PM
Being a MEPIS user, I want to say thanks for a nice review.



Just one thing about wireless: the MEPIS assistant can be configured manually, and yes, you need the ESSID. However, when you set it to Automatic, Knetworkmanager will detect all ESSID's, detect WPA / WEP encryption and store the keys in Kwallet. So roaming different wireless networks is seamless and absolutely no problem....

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Joe - Have you looked at the Nokia N800 (Debian)?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 26, 2007 10:36 PM
Joe,

Do you have plans to review the Nokia N800 and it's use of maemo.org project's software?

This is fun - I think that all laptops should be built up from this basic fast to use and easy to change applications, N800 Linux (debian) designed Ulta-Mobile PC (UMPC). Of course, a merger of the N800 features with some of the power saving and advanced LCD features of the One Laptop Per Child device would be a wonderful improvement of the N800's limited battery life.

Anyway - I think you will find it to be fun to use. And useful too.

N800 note, that with the LINUX install of the OS that you can put a flash memory device in and use that to put root on that allows for a user to extend the use of the machine's limited internal memory. Hey - it's LINUX... hack away says Nokia.

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Review

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 26, 2007 10:52 PM
Thanks for the nice review of Mepis 6.5.

I have two comments though:
The native resolution can be set while on the livecd by pressing F3 and selecting whatever you need.

"Filesize.ExceedLimits" in Klamav:
Just configure the default max.size in klamav to something like 20 or 50 MB and you won't be bothered by these messages anymore.

Regards, Ko

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Getting Back To (community) Basics!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2007 01:22 AM
I can't agree with your "worthy update" assessment Joe. Reason being, since Mepis changed to the Ubuntu (commercial) base, it no longer represents the core supporters that originally came to Mepis to get a user friendly Debian (community) based distribution. Over time, aligning himself with the Ubuntu base, which has a KDE version of it's own (Kubuntu), ultimately spells disaster for Mepis. Once Kubuntu gets up to speed, there just won't be enough to distinguish Mepis from Kubuntu, thereby making it irrelevant. An "also-ran". Getting back to the Debian base would make Mepis distinctive and very much more relevant again.

There is an infinite, albeit subtle, difference between "free versions of commercial (Canonical) distributions" such as is Ubuntu and its variants, and "commercial versions of community (Debian) distributions" such as was Mepis.
The former base is "MS-Linux", under the direct control of Mark Shuttleworth which many of us will never accept. While the latter base is "Debian", under the direct contol of the whole community.

I, for one, didn't come to GNU/Linux to escape Microsoft's heavy handed tyrannical rule, just to swap tyrants in the form of yet another clever commercial market share winner. And, am actively campaigning againts Ubuntu/Canonical, and all of its variants for that very reason.

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Re:Getting Back To (community) Basics!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2007 03:20 AM
Please show me how Debian is more in line with GNU principles than Ubuntu. Although I think Ubuntu owns a lot of its popularity to marketing rather than their innovative technology, I acknowledge that they have succeeded in bringing Linux to many more people than Debian / Suse / Mandriva / Red Hat would ever have achieved.

There is a subtle difference between commercial subterfuge and commercial viability. That my friend, is exactly the difference between MS and Ubuntu.

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Re:Getting Back To (community) Basics!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2007 04:22 PM
am using debian and ubuntu both gnome.Debian is very much aligned with GNU and FSF principles unlike ubuntu which is controlled by MSworth.Debian is the way,will be there after 20 yrs,that i cannot say with Ubuntu.U should read below link how ubuntu bought debian devels and tries to unstabilise(they faileD!!!) Debian.

        *


            Many of those with whom I've spoken perceive that Canonical/Ubuntu do not acknowledge Debian enough, nor give credit where credit is due. And this lack of credit and acknowledgement further amplifies the fear. Two examples seem to stand out:

                    o


                        The "universe" community that gathered around Ubuntu's core surprisingly often does not know about Debian, or do not know how Ubuntu and Debian relate. I do not have any data on this, unfortunately (see below). This is something to take up with the Ubuntu Community Council.

                    o


                        On the ubuntu.com front page, Debian is not mentioned at all; if you actually follow the About Ubuntu link, you can find Debian mentioned once in the first paragraph (albeit without a link), and if you did notice the right hand menu expanding, you may even decide to click on Ubuntu and Debian, where the relationship is finally illustrated from the Ubuntu point of view. To many, this is just not enough.


                        Update (+6h): the About Ubuntu page now links to the Debian homepage. Thanks!


        *


            Canonical people, and Mark especially, draw an important line between Ubuntu (which is mostly free/open-source), and Canonical with its other products (Launchpad, Rosetta; which are non-free). However, from the outside, this line does not exist, or at least it appears as if there's a much stronger relationship between the Canonical and the Ubuntu project. This impression casts a corporate shadow over Ubuntu which deters many developers, even if it's undeniable that Ubuntu is a project of its own (to a large degree).

        *


            There's no question about Mark being on an agenda, for which he has assembled an impressively powerful team (which indirectly includes many Debian developers) at an (even more impressively) cheap cost. It's not my business to speculate about other people's finances, but those that do conclude that Mark is very likely not running too much of a risk with what he does at the moment and could basically pull out at any point in time. To some, who have dedicated large parts of their lives to Debian, this seems like an unwelcome way to play a game.

        *


            When Canonical entered the market and hired some developers to work on a Debian-related project, a lot of jealousy boiled up among those who didn't get a job, because back then it seemed that Canonical was out to pay people to work on Debian -- which is a common dream among us developers; at least people hoped that's what it would be. Many fundamental contributors felt left out and confronted with the question why they should continue their work for free when others are now getting paid for it. The twist is that nobody wanted to ask themselves that question, because money was never the reason why they started to work on Debian.


            The situation has leveled by now (I think). More and more people realise that Canonical is taking Ubuntu into a direction where many Debian developers do not want to go. Nevertheless, it seems that some of the frictions we are currently facing between Debian and Ubuntu still have their roots in the bad feelings from those times (which may well still exist in the individual case). Canonical/Ubuntu (and some Debian developers) need to realise (and get over) this, and somehow I think they've got a long way to go.

On Friday night of the Debconf6 conference, Mark assembled a bunch of people discuss the inter-project relationship. The (large) number of people who eventually joined, as well as the choice of venue (with live music) made the discussion somewhat awkward, but we did manage to get some good talking done, and I raised all of the above points. See the minutes of the meeting if interested.

With their latest release out the door and a little more time on their hands (at least for a while), I hope that Canonical will follow up on the resolutions of the evening, as they have promised. The same goes for Debian, of course.

There's very little Ubuntu can do about the jealousy other than acknowledge it, but it would be an important start. In addition, I hope to see all of the following take place rather sooner than later:


        * quality improvements to the patches they "give back" to Debian, and the adoption of a more appropriate medium of exchange. Instead of patches, active reaching out to the Debian developers by the Ubuntu developers would be even better in certain cases. The claim by Mark and one of his employees that this is simply impossible because of the commonly misconceived size of the paid body of developers (which is just too small) is really their challenge, and if they cannot meet it, maybe they have to go around it. It should be noted that efforts along these lines exist, so Canonical does not have to start from scratch. Note to Debian developers: if you're so inclined, please add your name to the bottom of that page.

        * a clear statement about how Canonical/Ubuntu plans to coexist or cooperate with Debian, and then the execution of those plans without leaving any doubt.

        * a survey of the Ubuntu community to gather (and publish) information about common perceptions of Debians position and role with respect to Ubuntu and vice versa. Again, this is something for the Ubuntu Community Council.

        * steps to ensure better familiarity with the Debian-Ubuntu situation among the Ubuntu community members.

        * a dedicated space for Debian people to go and be heard. Maybe the #debian-ubuntu channel on irc.debian.org will suffice, if some of the Canonical/Ubuntu higher-ups make an effort to keep an eye on it.

        * further steps by Canonical towards improving the relationship between the two projects, which could include regular meetings (or even irregular ones), uniting prominent representatives from both sides.

If I may add a thought that has come up lately (it's not only mine): a derivative like Ubuntu, namely one pushing Debian to the desktop, is an important asset for Debian. However, the only way this is going to work from the Debian perspective is as a mutual effort. If Canonical/Ubuntu do not realise this, maybe another derivative has to step in to fill the void?

I hope this blog entry accomplishes what it tries, namely to shed some (more) light onto the relationship between Debian and Ubuntu, and to help the Canonical/Ubuntu side better understand the Debian perspective.

Sorry for the length, I've worked on this entry ever since Debconf6 and despite a lot of editing (also by others; thank you!), it just wouldn't get shorter. Thanks for reading it all (assuming that's what you did if you arrived here).

Update: this post has spread significantly, it seems. Thanks to all who've passed it on. I know of the following threads that ensued:


        * <a href="http://www.osnews.com/comment.php?news_id=15106" title="osnews.com">http://www.osnews.com/comment.php?news_id=15106</a osnews.com>

        * <a href="https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/sounder/2006-July/008113.html" title="ubuntu.com">https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/sounder/2006-Ju<nobr>l<wbr></nobr> y/008113.html</a ubuntu.com>

        * <a href="http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=213300" title="ubuntuforums.org">http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2133<nobr>0<wbr></nobr> 0</a ubuntuforums.org>

        * <a href="http://lxer.com/module/forums/t/23058/" title="lxer.com">http://lxer.com/module/forums/t/23058/</a lxer.com>

        * <a href="http://www.digg.com/linux_unix/Debian_vs._Ubuntu_Debian_in_Crisis" title="digg.com">http://www.digg.com/linux_unix/Debian_vs._Ubuntu_<nobr>D<wbr></nobr> ebian_in_Crisis</a digg.com>

        * <a href="http://debcentral.org/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?post_id=1730&topic_id=257" title="debcentral.org">http://debcentral.org/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php<nobr>?<wbr></nobr> post_id=1730&topic_id=257</a debcentral.org>

If you find any others, please let me know.

#

Re:Getting Back To (community) Basics!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 28, 2007 04:49 PM
I'm sorry but you are completely wrong about the intent of Ubuntu/Canonical and you are wrong about their relationship to Debian.

You are, I am sorry to say, just another paranoid conspiracy theorist looking for a home. You see what you want to see and it is not based on the evidence which is actually in front of you.

This means that you are also wrong about the effects on Mepis, and in fact you are in contradiction of Warren Woodford himself who created Mepis and explained his reasons for moving to an Ubuntu base.

In short, you are just plain WRONG.

#

Ubuntu-based Mepis

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2007 04:49 AM
Too bad that Mepis now inherits Ubuntu's main weakness: most of the available software in Ubuntu is placed in the "universe" repository that isn't officially supported. "Universe" gets some community support but a lot of the archive gets no support at all -- not even security updates!

Debian, on the other hand, supports all the packages it makes available. Debian's new release, Etch, is a major improvement over Sarge. I'd say that Debian is now on par with Mepis and Ubuntu as far as ease-of-use is considered, plus Debian has better overall quality and official support for all the packages.

The only area where Debian falls short is that it doesn't install non-free drivers and illegal codecs by default. But Debian makes the drivers available in its "non-free" repository and the codecs can be downloaded by adding www.debian-multimedia.org to the APT sources.list.

Another possible weakness in the current Ubuntu-based Mepis is that Ubuntu Dapper is already getting old and the next Long Term Support version of Ubuntu is at least one year away yet. Debian, on the other hand, has a great KDE implementation and tracking the "testing" version of Debian gives you pretty up-to-date versions of all programs.

I really think that Mepis users lost some good things when Mepis switched from Debian to Ubuntu.

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Re:Ubuntu-based Mepis

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2007 04:34 PM
^^ I completely Agrees.Debian(apt+dpkg) is a superior and one of the base distros along with RedHat(rpm)
I use GNOME completely and Debian most of the times lags in getting GNOME latest releases in the distro.I use apt-pinning Sid+experimental to get latest.for kde users there even exists backports repos.for GNOME support it seems pathetc although Debian defaults to GNOME and recently they brought GNOME-2.18 in time.<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:)

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Free Software Yet?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2007 07:56 AM
Has the closed source part of the Mepis distribution been freed or opened yet? Or at least clearly licensed, whatever that license is?

<a href="http://www.newsforge.com/comments.pl?sid=57096&cid=128214" title="newsforge.com">http://www.newsforge.com/comments.pl?sid=57096&ci<nobr>d<wbr></nobr> =128214</a newsforge.com>

If not, Ubuntu based or not, I'll not be using it no matter how good it is.

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Re:Free Software Yet?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2007 06:52 PM
And the world screeches to a halt because of your decision.

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No GNOME,NO USE= Sorry warren

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2007 04:16 PM
this distro supports kde and kde only as with slackware eh?Also it seems is closed too very much.
With many ppl prefere GNOME also,Y dont these distros guys includes GNOME>am comfortable with this UI only.and hates the windowish KDE ui.warren hear this!

Distros must include GNOME also as an alternative,i dont care how much its share in GUI managers etc(I know it is li'l lagging Kde) I am addicted using GNOME and always getting vomiting sensy if seeing kde--sorry guys

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Re:No GNOME,NO USE= Sorry warren

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 27, 2007 06:43 PM
- open console
- su
- apt-get install gnome-desktop

#

Mepis developer very responsive to users

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 28, 2007 05:02 AM
Some people (including me) think of Mepis as Kubuntu done right. Others (not me) think of Mepis as "unpure"--it is true that it uses Ubuntu (instead of Debian) as a base and includes a lot of "nonfree" stuff. But if this is a problem for folks, there is a simple solution: Debian Etch netinstall CD.

You can't beat Warren as far as a dev goes--how many personal emails are sent out by other distros devs to try to work out specific bugs encountered by an end-user? During my 10 years with the penguin, my answer is: not many!

So, thanks Warren for all the hard work you've put into Mepis 6.5; I really appreciate it. --dB

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still astroturfing ?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 28, 2007 07:53 AM
Will the mepis astroturfing never cease? These guys bitched an moaned that they had to provide access to the source for the applications they distribute. Wah wah wah, not fair, wah wah.

Their noddy python admin tools are poor, so what's the point in YAD (yet another distro). They want to leech other communities hoping to cash in?

Fortunately, few people bother with them. Let's give press coverage to distros that perform well and give back to the communities and let these Joe Wannabee types rot, eh?

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Re:still astroturfing ?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 29, 2007 07:20 AM
"Their noddy python admin tools are poor,............"

Quite clearly you have no idea about what the Mepis admin tools actually are and even if they were python,....so what...

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Re:still astroturfing ?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on April 30, 2007 04:18 AM
there's a handful of losers in every crowd.... let 'em stew in their own juice. You can't convince a fool that he's a fool....

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SimplyMEPIS ranks number one with me

Posted by: Administrator on April 27, 2007 11:30 AM
I've had to make some tough choices about which distro I would choose as my default every day distro and which ones I would simply run and experiment with from time to time. Until the untimely departure of founder, Jon Danzig, I used to use Libranet as my every day system and MEPIS as its backup. I really liked MEPIS, even then, but I also really liked Libranet and I had more time and energy invested in it.

Now I can say the same thing about MEPIS. I've invested using several releases now and I have files saved in its home directory, etc.

SimplyMEPIS 6.0 was a solid release, 6.5 is equally solid, fairly conservative, with just a few glimpses of new stuff but the rest is solid, even if somewhat aged. It doesn't adversely affect the experience one bit; it is quite stable and useful.

I offer Xandros Home Edition Premium 4.0 as an excellent alternative for those who need a bit more Windows integration, but it does come at a somewhat higher price.

I like Freespire, too, but it might be best for most people to wait two months or so before using it every day except for hearty alpha and beta testers - Freespire is getting a major facelift and is in a bit of a mess right now. But Freespire, and its commercial partner, Linspire, also rank right up there when it comes to easy to use desktop systems. Try them again in June or help squash bugs between now and then and help with the release.

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Mepis works but PCLinuxOS works out of the box

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 125.20.39.39] on September 14, 2007 04:36 AM
I like Mepis, but I love PCLinuxOS. Because Mepis works but PCLinuxOS works out of the box. It's great.

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Review: SimplyMEPIS Linux 6.5

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 99.233.82.7] on October 20, 2007 05:41 AM
I installed this OS on an Intel 865 mobo pc with a 3 Ghz cpu 1.5 Gb ram and Intel mobo video and could never get any display to work so I gave up on it.
I installed this on a Toshiba A100 laptop but it didn't detect the touchpad correctly and I have to continually press the L and R buttons to get the mouse actions to activate. It didn't detect or setup the wireless at all so I couldn't get the internet to work on it.
This is unlike VIXTA 095 in which everything worked except the wireless internet with 128 bit encryption. I had to use a neighbours unsecured internet and was good to go. Vixta worked on the Intel 865.
Ubuntu 7.04 I found to be the best. It has a great interface, detected my dedicated internet and was really easy to work with on the intel 865.
I've been using the livecd's with all the linux OSs mentioned. I am a lapsed linux user and notice that I have to read up on each of these Oss to install them fully to get them to work to the level I am accutomed to with XP.

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