Debian has not always had a good reputation when it comes to being welcoming to new Linux users. Kwheezy is a Debian-based distribution that aims to change that by making Debian easier to install, and by offering the slick KDE desktop environment. Kwheezy is a blend of Debian 7.1 (Wheezy) and KDE 4.8.4.
What’s New in Kwheezy 1.2
Here’s a sample of the new features in this release:
Incorporates a couple of remaining installer bug fixes.
Kwheezy Profiler, a new GUI tool to backup and restore user profiles.
Rekonq browser updated to 2.3.2.
Steam client installed by default.
PlayOnLinux installed by default.
Some open source games (kdegames, dreamchess) included.
deb-multimedia.org packages replaced by official Debian packages. The necessary codecs / decoders included from Kwheezy repo instead.
Some minor tweaking here and there.
System Requirements for Kwheezy 1.2
Here’s what you’ll need to run this distro:
CPU: Intel Pentium or above, AMD K5 or above
RAM (memory): 500MB (32bit) , 1GB(64bit) or above
HDD (free disk space): 18GB or above
Graphics: VGA capable of 1024×768
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo or above, AMD K10 (Phenom) or above
RAM: 1GB (32bit), 2GB (64bit) or above
HDD (free disk space): 30GB or above
Graphics: 64MB with OpenGL 3.0 or above
Audio: 16bit audio, AC’97 or above
Kwheezy 1.2 Download
You can download Kwheezy 1.2 from this page. The file I downloaded weighed in at 4.05 GB, so it’s not the smallest distro to download. However, you do get a lot of software included by default (more on that below).
Kwheezy 1.2 Installation
One of Kwheezy’s strengths is that it is generally easier to install than vanilla Debian. Newbies will particularly appreciate this.
Be warned, however, that the install is not quick. It took quite a while to complete. I didn’t time it exactly as I had other things to do, so I took off to do them while the install completed. Given the amount of software it comes with, the slow install was not a surprise to me.
Please note that if you need to upgrade from a previous release of Kwheezy, you’ll find instructions here to help you.
Kwheezy is also a live distro, so you can run it off the CD before trying to do an actual install on your computer.
The Kwheezy 1.2 Desktop
Kwheezy has a very busy desktop, there are a lot of icons on the desktop. You’ll also see stats about your system on the right side of the desktop.
I generally prefer desktops without a lot of icons all over the place. I think it might make sense for some of the icons such as Apper to be placed in the panel and removed from the desktop. This would remove some of the clutter and give Kwheezy a tidier appearance when you first boot it up and see the desktop for the first time.
Linux Software Included in Kwheezy 1.2
Here’s a sample of the linux software included in this release.
I wasn’t kidding when I said that Kwheezy comes with a lot of software. I generally type the apps into the categories below, but for this review I opted for screenshots to save myself a lot of typing. Note also the “More Applications” at the bottom of some of the screenshots. So you aren’t seeing all of the available apps in those screenshots.
There were also too many games to list them individually, so I just included a screenie of the game categories instead. You should note that PlayOnLinux and Steam are both included by default, so that’s good news for Kwheezy gamers.
Linux Software Management Tools in Kwheezy 1.2
Kwheezy uses Apper as its front end for software management (it used to be called KPackageKit). Apper is functional but not elegant. It doesn’t come close to the Linux Mint Software Manager or Ubuntu’s Software Center in terms of ease of use or looks. But it is usable, and it will get the job done for you.
Just don’t get expect star ratings, user reviews and that sort of stuff. Apper hearkens back to earlier days in Linux software management tools. My hope is that it will eventually be on par with the other two software management tools I mentioned.
Problems & Headaches Found in Kwheezy 1.2
I noted the slow installer above. Beyond that I did not notice any problems while running Kwheezy 1.2. It seemed quite stable and reasonably fast while loading and running applications.
If you’ve run into any problems with Kwheezy 1.2, please share them in the comments section at the end of the review. Another reader might have a solution or might benefit from your solution if you found one. Thanks in advance for sharing.
Where To Get Help for Kwheezy 1.2
If you’re having problems, please post your questions in the comments below or register for the DLR forum. Other readers might be able to assist you. You might also want to check out the Kwheezy wiki, and the Kwheezy forum. You can also contact the Kwheezy developers on their support page.
If you’re new to Linux, you might want to check out some of the books available about it at Amazon. You can learn quite a bit that you will probably find useful later on. You can also save lots of money with deals on laptops and tablets, desktops and monitors, components, and computer accessories.
Final Thoughts About Kwheezy 1.2
I’m impressed with Kwheezy, although it’s only at version 1.2 it’s clear the developers have put a lot of thought into this spin of Debian. Kwheezy will be particularly appealing to those who want to combine the KDE desktop environment with the power of Debian.
Kwheezy’s enormous range of applications is both good and bad. Those who want everything installed in one fell swoop will appreciate the convenience offered by Kwheezy. This comes at a price, however. Kwheezy takes up quite a bit of disk space after being installed. Minimalists who prefer to pick and choose which applications are installed will thus probably want to avoid Kwheezy.
Kwheezy is suitable for beginner, intermediate and advanced Linux users.
What’s your take on Kwheezy 1.2? Tell me in the comments below.