Reviews which are opinions

camtaf

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Surprised you've had trouble with Devuan/XFCE, I've been using it since it was released, & have checked out the next version without any trouble, on various machines, too.
 


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wendy-lebaron

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How about SparkyLinux, a distro that:
  • has an ISO which refuses to cooperate with Ventoy
  • asks for the password only to launch Calamares
  • leaves "automatic log-in" option check-enabled when submitting the regular user details, this is a big fat 1415
  • takes a really long time to "Remove 4 packages."
  • when the user asks "dkpg" to purge "transmission-gtk" it installs "transmission-qt", something I have never seen before with any distro... oh yeah that time on another Debian-based thing it pulled in GNOME web browser after I asked Firefox out of my face. Had to also purge that "transmission-qt" that it installed and lied about it.
  • has a terminal which is bright white background and when one tries to use Nano for the first time, some of the text cannot be read, in particular whatever is within single-quotation marks. With that horrible "Manurrrrrrrrrrrrrre-space" too.
  • asks for password TWICE to set the time anyhow because this cannot get the time zone correctly. If I change manually the time, it gets changed for Windows and for another Linux OS I boot into. Very irritating.

Why don't they fix it instead of begging for money on their site? Pluma crashes after I make adjustments in its preferences and then I create and save a document. The mouse and touchpad settings has this dialog box which is too tall on my laptop screen and no "X" on the top-right corner. In fact, many windows aren't given any right-hand-side decorations. These people similarly messed up their KDE version so I want nothing to do with that one, willing to tolerate only MATE at this point. (I don't have to worry about window decorations on Debian MATE "Bullseye".)

The desktop menu is on the plus side; I used to deeply wish Fedora could have something similar. This menu is somewhat confusing to navigate at first but it has a search box. A closer look reveals they have somehow combined the "old GNOME" combination of "Places", "Applications" and "Favorites" into a menu instead of putting them on the panel as separate entries.

The installed theme sucks, too Windows10 for my taste. I mean, I accept light background but not so bright I can't even see the sun. This is with the bottom panel having dark grey background. Sadly one has to know how to change the themes or just choose "Menta" or another theme the distro-builders didn't create which is easier on the eyes. Disabled the compositor.

I couldn't find the ridiculous extra panel on MATE, but it was a head-shaking thing I found on KDE. Why not use the "plasmoid" there? Obviously they used Plank or other program on LXQt and XFCE.

I should clarify this is SparkyLinux v7.0 "Orion Belt", based on Debian "Bookworm" and with MATE desktop environment I've been discussing. The upgrade, including Linux kernel went down without problems.

I want to like this distro but too many things are going on which turn me off, and this is actually the fifth time I install and take the trouble with this particular distribution and desktop environment. Once I chose the ISO based on "Bullseye" and in the middle of installing it just coughed into the TTY spitting out "squashfs" seek errors like crazy. In another time it failed to build the "initramfs" so I likened it to siduction and vowed I would never again install in "Testing" mode. Ended up breaking that promise but became annoyed instead by the visual lack of consideration, by the niggles not experienced on any other Debian-based system and by their begging on their site which causes people to review this with that reminder most of all. I don't care if you're rich, just tell us how it went for you, I'm telling you here how it went for me.

EDIT: Here because I don't want to keep bumping this topic for silly reasons. One more thing about Sparky Linux which I think should be fixed. In the log-in screen, the user's password entry field reveals the figures of the password as they are typed in, but not after. A casual snoop would be able to see the final figure as the account's owner is pressing ENTER or clicking "Confirm" with the mouse. I prefer for none of the figures to be shown. IINM Zephix also has this flaw. Pardus used to have a log-in manager as lame as this but was fixed for their match of Debian v11.6 or so.
 
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wizardfromoz

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On #39, with the raspi firmware issue with the kernel from 6.1.0-9 to 6.1.0-10 -

Debian have been aware of this issue for some time now, but have bumped the severity of the reported bug, and hope to have all remedied by or before the release of the 12,1 Bookworm.

I will be writing more about this as developments unfold, in a separate thread.

This as an FYI for The Viewers.

Cheers

Wizard
 
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wendy-lebaron

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4MLinux doesn't boot, what a shame. Distrowatch offers a link to an ISO which might not be the right one, if you're hoping to use "dd" terminal command. Must go to Sourceforge and hunt down the "hybrid.iso" instead.

For those of you who have guessed correctly I dislike Linux Mint, I did try it yesterday. The same as last year: after I installed Wine and did "winecfg" the thing was so slow I had to order power down. Before that it wasn't much better Ubuntu Cinnamon just getting around. I guess Linux Mint doesn't like my equipment.

Don't like the mouse cursor theme it comes with. But let's give credit where it's due. No Snaps, no interference with my wanting to use "apt". But it does stay at 98% and 99% a really long time during repository search, why? Again this might just be my computer is getting too old to run "today's" distros.

I made one more test with Sparky Linux but must have grabbed the wrong ISO for "stable", I'm sure I clicked that link on their website. Should have just gone over to Sourceforge. Be forewarned their "Seven Sisters" is like siduction -- based on "Trixie". Want nothing to do with Debian if it's not "stable". Yet I'm running into some issues with "Bookworm" that I cannot select that as daily driver. Because Manjaro MATE and KDE acted up on me lately, especially very loooong boot times and whatnot, I have discarded them temporarily. But I could bring either of them back in the future.
 
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wendy-lebaron

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Maybe I should get a new computer, or just accept the latest releases. In the case of Devuan, I was unwilling to go with "Daedalus". I wanted to see if I could get a nifty KDE desktop out of them. Devuan and Gnuinos put out new ISO's around 12 September, for "Chimaera" and "Daedalus". I applaud Devuan for making the "Chimaera" ISO's widely available, while it's near impossible to get Debian "Bullseye" straight from the latter organization. I tried from Wayback Machine but download is too slow to be tolerable.

Unwisely I first chose Gnuinos. Normally those people offer Openbox and XFCE. But for some reason they had a desktop ISO of nearly 4GiB which looked to me like relabelled Devuan at first. It installed without problems. I made two attempts. First I tried with "sysvinit" startup system before log-in. At the very first time I try to start the system, it goes into a loop looking for firmware that isn't there. I had to hold down the power button of my computer to turn it off to get another try. Then I went with the "recovery mode" option in GRUB menu. I love to tell you precisely how I broke through, past "press (ENTER) to continue" prompt, but I got the log-in screen which is very austere compared to what I became accustomed to seeing with Debian, Manjaro and many others. It failed to come up with ALSA. It sucked. I was unable to boot "normally".

On the second attempt with Gnuinos KDE, I tried with "runit". I was able to get into the desktop log-in without resistance. Still no ALSA but I was going to try to find a solution for it online. I was able to configure a fair amount. Then I noticed something really strange after I opened Dolphin. The sidebar section that lists the partitions did not list them in volume labels. Everything read like "26.2GiB Hard Disk". Many partitions usually hidden on other systems were shown, such as the "recovery" and "auxiliary" partitions used by Windows, the ESP and probably even the "swap". Of course the "Windows C: drive" was there and the three Linux installations which on my computer are Spiral Linux KDE "Bullseye", Debian MATE "Bookworm" and Slackware v15.0 KDE 32-bit. I was able to install Wine, but I decided to reboot afterward, planning to check more things out, and then looking for help online. I did not run "winecfg"! This was for Wine v5.0.3 which was what I expected entirely on Debian "Bullseye" and anything that claims to be compatible.

I restart the system and once again it goes into the firmware search loop. On all the "tty" that I open and try to log into the desktop. Gave up on it. Decided to get Devuan which I figured is much more mature.

Indeed, everything went very well with Devuan, with "runit" instead of "systemd". Had sound, no weirdness with Dolphin or anything else. In fact, I did the system update and got the same Linux kernel as "Bullseye" right now, the revision "25" up from "9". But Wine is not in their repositories. I don't know how to do the GPG thing to see if I could at least borrow a bit from Gnuinos repositories. I guess cannot get the Debian ones because a couple of packages request "systemd" and I have seen this on MX Linux because I tried to update on that system without the MX-specific repositories. Without Wine I don't dance with the penguin, sorry. What a shame. Although I hate Devuan I was planning to keep this installation. As I've said, I don't want anything else which is Debian "Bookworm" or compatible. I have enough of it and it's less impressive and slower than what is compatible with the previous version of Debian. But this is on an ageing computer with 4GB RAM.
 

camtaf

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4GB ram! - I am running Devuan Daedelus XFCE on a 2GB 1.2GHz dual core HP T520 thin client machine! :)
 

SeanK

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Arch for me. I have x4 laptops, three run LMDE (which in my experience runs best on older hardware) but Arch which I use on the most powerful of the systems is an absolute pleasure to use, once you gain some know how. I find its a little more buggy on and off, than Mint but in my experience, more configurable and easier to fix when things go wrong.
 

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I had to use "urpmi.addmedia" and other things that should never be considered by somebody green about Linux. When there was any progress displayed, it was downloading at the epic speed of 50 kilobits per second or less. It took several minutes, and it included a "synthesis" of "non-free" repository from last year. (shake head) This was just for "core" and "non-free" components, before I could move on to "tainted".
 
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wendy-lebaron

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DISTRIBUTION: MX Linux
VERSION: v21.2 "Wildflower"
ENVIRONMENT: Fluxbox
BASED ON: Debian

I deeply resent the "popularity" of this Linux distribution. But I have to admit it is good somewhere. I'm sorry I cannot download and install the latest ISO, and with XFCE. Purposely I picked Debian "Bullseye" base which means "Wildflower" v21.2 (even though the Linux kernel loading message said "v21.3"), and I've had it for a month so far. This is with Fluxbox.

I could never understand all the hate for "systemd", since I have at least 10 other Debians with it, all with desktop environments and most of them could boot faster than this distro. I have one Debian XFCE "Bullseye" which jumps compared to this one. Even another one with KDE but must enjoy that one longer LOL. This MX Linux boots fast each time in the first three tries or so right after freshly installed. Then it begins to slow down considerably. So don't install this on pluggable media like I did.

Acknowledge a fault that I installed MX Linux to one place, then backed it up with Clonezilla, then restored the operating system to a different external disk. But I have reinstalled this same MX Linux v21.2 "Wildflower" and updated to the "latest" status equivalent to Debian "Bullseye" v11.8. Sadly this still boots very slowly and cannot be compared to my installations of Debian with KDE and XFCE... yes with "systemd". With the same base. Kept totally offline after three or four events using "apt" each penguin.

It looks very good. But I pulled down Conky and did other things to simplify the look a bit. I wish I could make the mouse cursor larger. MX Linux in this case is better than Spiral Linux with Budgie and Cinnamon with a couple of Windows applications I use. For some reason on those other ones, I get a small, flabby mouse pointer that is difficult to see. Fluxbox was a PITA with some settings, such as its decision to classify an instance of XFCE4 Terminal so it never has to center it. I fought a bit with "synclient", but I have had problems with use of the touchpad a few times. MX Linux wins with having a setting to use "libinput" or not. I choose not to; otherwise I will have to use a valuable USB port for a wireless mouse. It's because I intensely dislike the tendency about scrolling anyhow with touchpad. I would be forced to reconsider only if I were using a Macbook or some other computer without buttons below the sensitive finger area. This distro also allows setting "Ubuntu mode" in file manager, to bypass entering the password to access a partition of an internal disk.

In case of reinstalling the operating system, only having to back up the whole "/home/(user)/.fluxbox" directory is a real time saver. Because I had spent a couple of hours making minor adjustments here and there to make it just right. However my setup looks largely like the "stock" for "Wildflower".

If you must install to an external disk because you don't want to risk your ageing mechanical hard disk, it is recommendable to allow the installer to partition the whole disk. This distribution is not for people who expect schemes they see on other operating systems they might not have been successful installing, such as VanillaOS. I don't know if this even supports encrypted volumes and/or with LLVM, like Debian Installer seems to. Could probably change the main partition format from "ext4" to "btrfs" and employ the system snapshots. I didn't choose a separate "/home" directory, so your results might vary on that. I chose to install on a 32GB Sandisk. The installer created three partitions: head was 256MiB ESP, tail was 1.5GiB "swap". The "swap" might be too small for my computer which has 4GB RAM but I'm not worried about it.

The "desktop menu" called Application Finder is clunky to use. It's not really a menu, because one has to double-click a highlighted entry or press [ENTER] to launch it. Some of the MX Apps rely on Yad which could be distracting to somebody new to Linux straight out of Windows, and expects many options in a single dialog, instead of one dialog after another with few controls. The Docker has a mind of its own sometimes. Could configure a "button" on the Docker: if a "dot-desktop" file doesn't work, one might have to try running a full path for a program. Especially a Windows application through Wine.

I have to still figure out some things like changing the screen brightness because I cannot count on "xbacklight" and the result of the "xrandr" trick is not the same as being able to use the brightness buttons on other distros.

I have tried a "re-MX" with XFCE by a Japanese engineer which was downloaded from Sourceforge. Had the input method choice going and everything. I didn't like it after three days because it refused to set the system time correctly, even with NTP sync. I was never comfortable with XFCE on this distro; plain-vanilla Debian is much better and takes less RAM after startup is done. This MX Linux is quite good, with "htop" run from XFCE4 Terminal the RAM usage isn't much more than 400MiB. Pardus "Yirmibir" (not the new one) is also better than this distro with that desktop. One more thing: on this installation I have, I wanted to keep XFCE things v4.16 but they got upgraded. I was forced to enable the MX-specific repositories because it refused to let me install Wine otherwise, kept complaining about "systemd" dependencies.

Oh almost forgot to indicate something that bit me with the reinstallation. Before doing anything with "apt" on this distro, after a new successful installation, please go to the MX Tools and find "Locales". In the dialog having to do with rebuilding locales, choose only the ones that you need. Because there are like 50 of them selected. Because I didn't follow my own advice here, during system update it sat there for over 10 minutes rebuilding a locale for every English- and Spanish-speaking nation that exists, as well as a bunch of European and Asian languages.
 

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