Bodhi 1.0

LeafPad Text Editor

Software Management
Synaptic is the default software management tool but you can also download software from the Bodhi Linux site (see below).


Adding & Removing Software

If you want to add software, you can find it directly in Synaptic or you can download it from the Bodhi Linux site. If you click the Bodhi button on the panel then choose Bodhi Linux then Add Software, you can choose from a list of packages on the Bodhi site.

Add Software
Add Software

There are two large package sets:

Nikihila Application Set
Pratibha Application Set

The Nikihila set provides full-featured software while the Pratibha set offers lightweight packages that retain high levels of functionality.

There are also categories of applications such as:


Email Applications Category
Email Applications Category

You can choose individual applications in each category then opt to click Install Now or Download.

It’s safe to say that the way Bodhi handles application installs and software in general is somewhat unique among Linux distros. I give the developers credit for going in a completely different direction than most distros.

Which way is better? That’s totally up to you. I suggest at least browsing the stuff that’s on the Bodhi Linux site before using Synaptic. You may find what you need without having to bother with Synaptic.

Sound and Multimedia

YouTube & Flash
Flash is not installed by default in the Midori browser so you’ll need to add it yourself. Not to worry though, you can get Java and Flash from the browser plugins page on the Bodhi Linux site.

Flash Plugin
Flash Plugin

Multimedia Applications
Bodhi Linux does not come with multimedia applications but there are about 29 applications available on the Bodhi Linux site that should meet the needs of most users. Here’s some of what you’ll find there:

Non Free Codecs

Problems & Headaches
Some folks might be irritated that the Ubuntu Software Center is not included in Bodhi Linux. That wasn’t a problem for me but it’s something to be aware of if you are expecting all Ubuntu derivatives to contain it.

It might also be helpful to add the Nikihila and Pratibha software bundles to the software selection menu when you first boot into Bodhi. While that goes against the mission of this distro, some people might appreciate being able to install them right off the bat.

Beyond that, I don’t have much to complain about. Bodhi Linux performed very well for me. It was fairly zippy and I didn’t see any application crashes or system hangs up while I was using it.

Where To Get Help
Please take a moment to register for the DLR forum; everybody is welcome. Feel free to post a message in the forum and we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction. The forum contains discussions about Linux, as well as other topics. Please stop by and say hello when you have a chance.

Drop by the forum to get help, talk about Linux or just hang out.

You might also want to check out the Bodhi Linux community/support page. There are links there to the Bodhi Linux forum, IRC and other helpful resources.

Final Thoughts & Who Should Use It
I really enjoyed using Bodhi Linux; I will be keeping it available as one of my regular virtual machine distros. Its mission is to provide a minimalist distro for those who want to choose their applications and it very much succeeds at that mission.

Bodhi Linux is definitely not for those who want tons of applications installed by default though. Those folks would be much better served by installing Ultimate Edition instead. Bodhi is perfect though for those looking for a minimalist distro; it’s especially good for those who can appreciate what the Enlightenment desktop has to offer.

Distrohoppers would also do well to check it out and give it a test drive in VirtualBox.

Bodhi Linux is suitable for beginner, intermediate or advanced Linux users. Beginners should take heed of what I covered in the software section of the review though so they know how to get additional software from the Bodhi site.

What’s your take on this distro? Tell me in the comments below. Visit Eye On Linux for Linux opinion columns and distro quick looks; visit for other technology coverage.

Summary Table:

Product:Bodhi Linux 1.0
Web Site:
Pros:Enlightenment desktop environment; minimalistic distro that doesn’t overload the user with unnecessary software; based on Ubuntu; easy to install; attractive desktop wallpaper & theme.
Cons:Installing software takes the user to the Bodhi Linux site or requires use of Synaptic; the Ubuntu Software Center is not included in this distribution.
Suitable For:Beginner, intermediate or advanced Linux users.


Pages: First | Previous | 1 | 2 | 3 | Next | Last | Single Page

13 thoughts on “Bodhi 1.0

  1. Installing software from the website is the preferred option, and much easier for the beginner. Wondering where the media codecs are? They're listed right after the media players. Compare that with most installation methods.

    The one problem for me is Enlightenment. Do you set sub-pixel smoothing with a tool in the Settings menu? No, it's in Applications. You can't read the clock? Hard luck, neither it nor the panel can be re-coloured. Need a Compose key? Write a script with setxkbmap. How do you get that script to run at start-up? Ah, that's a secret!

  2. Today I installed Bodhi Linux 1.1 on my workstation (a vintage IBM with a 1.2GHz processor and 500MB ram) to replace the PCLinuxOS lxde which got messed up after a kernel upgrade. I am very happy I chose Bodhi instead of re-installing PCLinuxOS. I love the speed and the Enlightenment desktop. Simply superb.

  3. Thanks for the review. I've run the live cd on two different old laptops with fantastic results. Wireless worked right off (broadcom chipsets), and there was just enough eye candy even with low end graphics. Considering wiping a xubuntu install and replacing it with bodhi. Perhaps a little more VM testing is in order.

  4. Just wanted to point out a few things.

    One: In the new release (1.1.0), package signing checks have been removed. Simply put, in order to even have issues with this, you would need to inject malicious packages into the repo which has an almost zero chance of happening. Alternatively, someone could give you a .deb to install, but that's no different than someone installing something on Windows. Stick to the repos and you'll be fine.

    Two: As mentioned before, Arch Linux does not have package signing and there have been no issues. Arch Linux has a fairly simple build system (The ABS) which is similar to a gentoo ebuild in that it's a set of instructions to download and build the package.

    Three: The run dialog is called Run Everything which you can find more info about here:

    If you have any questions, comments, or (I suppose) snide remarks, feel free to pop on by #bodhilinux on freenode.

    Hope you enjoy Bodhi! There's been a lot of time put into it.

  5. Jeff Hoogland wrote:

    @ David (FSF Supporter):

    A fix is coming for this, all of you people wearing your tin-foil hats and crying MiM attacks just need to wait. Signing packages still makes these attacks possible, just slightly more difficult.

    Nine years later and Arch still doesn’t sign their packages and it’s doing alright for itself. If it was getting MiM attacked all the time, fairly certain we would know.

    Stop being paranoid.

    ~Jeff Hoogland

    I think you are right, Jeff, in the sense that there is no reason to get all hot and bothered, but by the same token, I also think that it is important to take full advantage of authentication technology when it is available. As for Arch, I do not know whether they have been compromised or not. Debian has, once or twice though, and they got all the more vigilant and it hasn't happened again.

    Chances are, as a small, not very well known distribution, would-be hackers may not be quite as likely to target you, especially if they rarely bother with Arch, but exercising due diligence is always a wise thing, so I am glad that you have plans to at least put a few "road blocks" in the way of would be attackers.

    Common sense says that robbers first look for open doors, keys in the ignition, windows open, stuff like that, so closing and locking the doors, keeping the keys with you, closing the windows – in other words, taking reasonable precautions, is still a good idea. I trust that you know that and are planning accordingly.

    Good luck with your distro. I'm still planning on finding time to test it and a location where I can keep it; sounds quite interesting!

  6. Bodhi is a beautiful and fun way to use Ubuntu 10.04.

    I was even able to use it on a dinosaur laptop I keep around for testing "lightweight" distros. An IBM A20p 700mhz p3 with 256 mb ram….worked pretty good. Only sluggishness I found was using the browser. I find Midori somewhat of a pia to use. I guess I've been spoiled by ff and chromium.

    All and all though Bodhi's DE is very light and snappy….a pleasure to use and I've never been an enlightenment fan……till now.

    Jeff, keep up the good work! And Jim, Thanks for reviewing Bodhi.

  7. "The same was true of Arch but there, at least, the developers have worked to fix the issue while with Bodhi they seem unwilling to do so."

    They maybe working on it (since 2006!) but the issue is not solved yet. Only a temporarily and partial solution is in AUR, paccheck.

    I tried Bodhi and I quite like it as an easy, beautiful and simple distro for mouse users, but for an openbox/keyboard user it is no alternative.

  8. I have used bodhi since 0.6 that was an early adoption approach but I can say it was stable enough to work as my primary OS, what i really like was the apt-get availability, I have installed only the necessary software for me. And for PCs with low resources this is perfect, even my scanner was working since the 0.6 release.

    Belive me, It deserves a try.

  9. @ David (FSF Supporter):

    A fix is coming for this, all of you people wearing your tin-foil hats and crying MiM attacks just need to wait. Signing packages still makes these attacks possible, just slightly more difficult.

    Nine years later and Arch still doesn't sign their packages and it's doing alright for itself. If it was getting MiM attacked all the time, fairly certain we would know.

    Stop being paranoid.

    ~Jeff Hoogland

  10. What a shame it has a huge security hole in that the entire repository is unsigned. The same was true of Arch but there, at least, the developers have worked to fix the issue while with Bodhi they seem unwilling to do so. The issue leaves users vulnerable to man in the middle type attacks. I do hope is is resolved as Bodhi is not a distribution I would recommend in its current state.

  11. That was a good review. I think Bodhi is a great distro with what appears to be a very good, dedicated team. I loaded it, but ended up replacing it because I prefer 64 bit, rolling-release distros. But, I'll definately make a long term switch to Bodhi if they continue with their plans for an Arch base.

    E17 is awesome considering what it can do with such light resource usage. I have a modern computer and I still prefer E17 over the other choices. I'm not trying to advertise another distro here, but I think Unite17 is the most beatiful E17 I've seen. It's not my primary since it's 32-bit, but it gave me some ideas on setting up my desktop (I'm a big fan of the Drawers module now).

  12. It was worth reading the review about Bodhi Linux, Jim. I had not previously considered grabbing it, but now I believe I will, at least to give it a decent look.

    It's amazing how long Enlightenment has been around, yet how little attention it gets. Interesting, with all the hoopla around GNOME 3 Shell and Unity, it seems to me that some of the styles and metaphors they are looking into may be better met and already working in Enlightenment. I've seen other Enlightenment implementations that use wbar for a task bar and they can be made very similar in appearance and operation to a Mac-like system, but they are nearly always quite nimble and fast, enough so that you'd need a pretty powerful Mac to equal their performance. I suspect that Bodhi, with its light footprint ought to perform in a similar fashion even from Live media or a Virtual instance, so I am at the very least going to give this a "Quick Look", and if it fits into my personal style well enough, I could see adding it to my collection of boot fast, run quickly, to use mostly when browsing the Web.

Leave a Reply