Welcome to the Desktop Linux Reviews Blog!

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.”