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Welcome to the Desktop Linux Reviews Blog!

June 18, 2009
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Welcome to the Desktop Linux Reviews Blog! I’m starting this blog to continue on with the Linux distribution reviews I did back when I worked for ExtremeTech. Linux is a bit of an addiction on my part, it’s in my blood. So I wanted to have a place to continue writing about it.

One difference between this blog and ET is that I think I will also add in some Linux app reviews too. That will broaden the focus a bit and give me more opportunities for tinkering with fun stuff.

If you aren’t familiar with my work on ExtremeTech, here are some recent distribution reviews I did. I’ll be adding some new reviews to this blog soon and hopefully it will be an enjoyable place to visit for folks that are interested in reading reviews of Linux apps and distros.

Please note that you can subscribe to the blog via RSS or email so you don’t miss any new content.

Ubuntu Satanic Edition (Jesus’ Jugular)

“Overall I like Ubuntu Satanic Edition. The look and feel are delightfully evil. The selection of satanic wallpaper and the “music for the damned” add to the mood and help to make sure that you realize that this is not your father’s Ubuntu. This is…evil!

I’d really like to see it have some bona fide satanic applications. The Muslim edition of Ubuntu had some cool Muslim applications included with it and I was disappointed to note that Ubuntu Satanic Edition had no such similar apps. Is there such a thing as satanic prayer apps? I don’t know but if there are some then they should be included in future releases.

But, that aside, you really can’t go wrong if you want an Ubuntu based alternative to the goody-two-shoes religious versions of Ubuntu. In that sense Ubuntu Satanic Edition is a welcome addition to my collection of customized Ubuntu distros.”

gNewSense Linux 2.2

“gNewSense Linux is a solid version of Ubuntu minus the non-free software.

The aesthetics of gNewSense leave me a bit cold as there doesn’t seem to be much personality or star power in this distribution. It’s a bit blase to look at but I doubt that will matter much to the people interested in using it. Of course you can always jazz it up with a visit to Gnome Look if you want to but it would be nice if gNewSense had its own real visual identity. Perhaps a default theme designed around the idea of freedom might be something to add in future versions.

gNewSense’s appeal is really for those who want a truly “free” distribution. In that sense I think it’s more of an ideological appeal than it is a feature-set or functionality oriented appeal. That’s fine as far as it goes but I’d lean more toward Linux Mint if I were in the market for a desktop distribution. But then again I’m less ideological when it comes to Linux and much more of a glitz-whore when it comes to desktop bling.

Your mileage may vary, however.

So if you are an aficionado of the idea of truly free software then it’s definitely worth your time to download gNewSense Linux. If you’re not that concerned with ideological issues then generic Ubuntu or one of the other Ubuntu customizations might suit you better.”


Wolvix Linux 2.0 Beta 2 Review

“Wolvix Linux is a distribution that has a lot of potential but it really needs an easy to use install routine before it can be considered a serious desktop Linux competitor. I liked the range of apps included with it and I also liked the Xfce desktop environment. Wolvix has it’s own minimalistic but pleasing visual aesthetic as well.

Right now though I have to recommend this distribution to Linux tinkerers and more experienced users. Newbies to Linux are welcome to download it and run it as a Live CD but it’s probably not worth the bother of trying to install it on the desktop. Newbies would be much better off with gOS, Ubuntu, Linux Mint or any of the other easy to install distributions.

That’s a shame though as Wolvix does a better job than some other distros at bundling useful software. I’d like to see more work put into polishing this distribution up and making it very easy to install. It’s a shame to see it sort of languish off to the side while other distributions get more use and attention.”

gOS 3.1 Gadgets OS Review

“Wolvix Linux is a distribution that has a lot of potential but it really needs an easy to use install routine before it can be considered a serious desktop Linux competitor. I liked the range of apps included with it and I also liked the Xfce desktop environment. Wolvix has it’s own minimalistic but pleasing visual aesthetic as well.

Right now though I have to recommend this distribution to Linux tinkerers and more experienced users. Newbies to Linux are welcome to download it and run it as a Live CD but it’s probably not worth the bother of trying to install it on the desktop. Newbies would be much better off with gOS, Ubuntu, Linux Mint or any of the other easy to install distributions.

That’s a shame though as Wolvix does a better job than some other distros at bundling useful software. I’d like to see more work put into polishing this distribution up and making it very easy to install. It’s a shame to see it sort of languish off to the side while other distributions get more use and attention.”


Sabayon Linux 4.1 Review

“When I first found Sabayon Linux on distrowatch I thought it had a very weird name. I hadn’t used it before so I was expecting a crappy distribution that somebody had thrown together with little in the way of real value. Well I was quite wrong and pleasantly surprised to find a solid and elegant Gentoo-based Linux distribution that works well on the desktop.

I remember screwing around with Gentoo ages ago and writing it off as being more of a pain in the ass than it was worth for a desktop distribution. But Sabayon Linux certainly changes my perception about Gentoo and seems to have become the “Gentoo for the Masses” distribution.

Give it a download and check it out. I think it definitely deserves a place beside Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS, Linux Mint, and some of the other better known desktop distributions.”

Linux Mint 6 Felicia Review

“I like Linux Mint a lot. In some ways it’s what I wish Ubuntu itself had been. If I had to choose between the two of them, I would pick Linux Mint because it’s Ubuntu but better. While I noted a few things that could be improved, Linux Mint is definitely worth a download.

I really like the look and feel of Linux Mint. The artwork and the overall aesthetics of this distribution are very easy on the eyes. In an odd way it reminds me of Mac OS X without all the overbearing Apple glitter or the Apple tax. It’s slick.

And don’t just run it in Live CD mode either. Give it an install on your system. If I were in the market for an alternative to Windows, Linux Mint would definitely be at the top of my list. I still hear some people say “Linux still isn’t ready for the desktop” and stuff like that sometimes.

Well these people clearly haven’t used Linux Mint.”


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14 Responses to Welcome to the Desktop Linux Reviews Blog!

  1. Jim Lynch on July 1, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Hi Blue Jay,

    Glad you found your way over here, welcome! :smile:

    I may indeed look at BSD and perhaps even Solaris. Please note the Request A Review page link at the top of the page. That's a great place to post suggestions with links to your favorite distro pages. I will add them to my list and see if I can get a review done.

    Thanks and welcome. Be sure to drop by the forum too. It's at http://desktoplinuxreviews.com/forum

  2. BlueJayofEvil on July 1, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Found this site from reading your farewell post on ET, Jim. Hope this blog goes well. Will you be exploring *BSD and OpenSolaris distributions as well? Just curious.

    By the way, I love the background wallpaper on your blog! :cool:

  3. Jim Lynch on June 25, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    Hi Richard,

    I don't own a modem these days, I'm on broadband. So I really can't test a dialup connection. Sorry. I wish I could help but it's just not something I can do. Plus I don't have a landline connection any more either. I only have a cell phone these days.

    But you raise a good point, I hope that others might have some helpful feedback for you.

  4. Richard Kerns on June 25, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Jim,

    Thanks for all your good work at ET. Glad you are doing these reviews.

    Request: since many of us are still in the dial-up world (not to change any time soon) please include a paragraph about connecting with dial-up with each distro/version review. I request that you do a dial-up connection as the basis of the dial-up paragraph. Connecting with dial-up is a distro and/or version specific adventure. Your expertise could help many people in choosing a distro and getting connected.

    Thanks, richard

  5. Jim Lynch on June 24, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Yes, I saw that earlier. I must admit to being somewhat shocked.

  6. tlmck on June 24, 2009 at 10:40 am

    Although not strictly related to this site, found some interesting news over at PC World. Wonder how this will affect development for Linux products.

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/167292/zenimax_med

  7. Jim Lynch on June 22, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    Hmmmm…well it probably wouldn't hurt to have one. Let me mull this over a bit more. We'd need some kind of graphic for the top of it, I'm not great with logo design.

    But it might be nice to have. Hmmm…

  8. tlmck on June 22, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    @ Jim Lynch:

    I think a limited forum would be welcome. Perhaps just a general Linux section, a Linux help section, and a "free for all" section. Just some food for thought as I am sure you have more bubblegum than you can chew right now.

    Personally, I thought you did a great job with the forums over at ET. Plus here, you could be total lord and master. Oh wait, I think that is a WoW thing. :biggrin:

  9. Jim Lynch on June 22, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Hi Bill,

    Welcome! Good to have you with us! :smile:

    Awesome, glad you will be visiting. I will have a lot more content, this week has been very hectic because of the transition at ET and getting things going over here, etc.

    Satanic? Heh, heh. Well I love that distribution. It's hilarious. I couldn't have found a funnier one to end my Linux reviews at ET with. :lol:

  10. Bill Julian on June 22, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    My thanks to tlmck for steering me over here! If you are not at ET it is their loss!

    I appreciate what you have been doing so I will check in regularly and sign up for the email subscription.

    May you prosper!

    But really, Satanic ???? :devil:

  11. Jim Lynch on June 22, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Hi tlmck! Great to have you here! Welcome!

    I am very glad that you like the look of the site. I picked the Structure theme because it was very clean and clear. No, it won't win any elaborate design awards but who cares right? You can find what you're looking for and you can read the articles comfortably and without a lot of headaches.

    I do have ads running as I hope to generate a bit of income over time but I hope you guys will put up with them. Hopefully they will do okay for me.

    I thought about doing a forum but I'm not sure if it's not a better idea to keep discussions in the article pages. I really don't know. KG has Manic Geeks so I'm not sure another ET spinoff forum would work well. I don't know though, maybe if we stuck to Linux it might work. Then again maybe not. Hard to say.

  12. tlmck on June 22, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Found the site also! Too bad about ET. Just glad us Linuxophiles :blink: have a new place to roost. I especially like the uncluttered look of the place.

    I look forward to the future of this site, and will post links to it on the other sites I frequent.

  13. Jim Lynch on June 22, 2009 at 8:51 am

    Hi Brian!

    Glad you found the site. Welcome. :smile:

    It'll surely keep me busy, that's for sure. I had the calendar at ET filled with Linux reviews clear through September. It's sad that there won't be any more there but I'll put them here instead.

    So it'll still be fun to chit chat about them and pick through what we like and don't like. Feel free to chime in whenever you want. I'm hoping we'll get a lot of ET'er's dropping by to say hi.

  14. Brian Masinick on June 22, 2009 at 8:38 am

    Jim, I hope this new venture works out well for you.



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