Once again another interesting suggestion was recently made on the Request A Review page by a reader so I thought I’d follow up and do a review. This time around it’s Kahel OS. My thanks to reader Molen for the suggestion to review this distro.
Kahel OS is a remastered version of Arch Linux. Arch Linux has a bit of a reputation as not being particularly friendly to average desktop users. Kahel OS is an effort to change that perception and make it easier for people to use Arch Linux.
Kahel OS uses a “rolling release” model which essentially means that you never really have to upgrade it in the traditional sense. You simply update your packages and when you do that you have the latest release automatically. There is no grand jump from one version to the next as there is with other distributions.
Note that there was some controversy in the Arch Linux forums about Kahel OS. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions from the thread itself.
What’s New In This Release
Given that Kahel OS operates on the rolling release model, there isn’t a list of “what’s new” along the lines of what you’d find for Ubuntu or one of the other distributions. I poked around the Kahel OS site just in case to see if there was anything useful to include in this section but I didn’t come across anything.
Requirements & Installation
Here’s a list of what you’ll need to install Kahel OS:
- Kahel OS Enterprise Linux (desktop Edition) Installation Media
An i686-based or x86-64 computer
At least Intel Pentium Pro, Intel Pentium 3 or AMD Athlon/Duron.
Note that AMD K6, Transmeta Crusoe, CyrixIII, and VIA-C3 are NOT supported.
- ATI, Nvidia or Intel graphics cards recommended for desktop effects
- At least 256 MB RAM
- 5 GB Free Disk Space
The install ran for about 20 minutes or so. Note that the installer is text-based so you won’t have the slickness of Ubuntu or some of the other distros.
Also at one point you have to use the editor nano to review a config file at the end. I absolutely positively dislike that part of the install process. I got through it fine but a total newbie to Linux would not know what the hell to do. That part of the install process needs to be removed entirely or otherwise automated.
You will also need to do a bit of partitioning, installing Grub and some other stuff that might throw off a newbie to Linux.
Desktop & Apps
Kahel OS uses Gnome so if you’re a Gnome lover you’ll feel right at home. If KDE or one of the lighter-weight desktops is your preference then you might be a bit disappointed. I like Gnome so I was quite comfortable with the Kahel OS desktop. The wallpaper is bright and colorful. And the desktop itself isn’t cluttered with too many icons.
The selection of software is fair but contains some glaring omissions as I’ll note in the problems section. Here’s a sample of some of what you’ll find:
F-Spot Photo Manager
Banshee Media Player
Brasero Disc Burner
Cheese Webcam Booth
Jokosher Audio Editor
Moovia Media Center
Pitivi Video Editor
Evolution Mail and Calendar
Glom Database Designer
gLabels Label Designer
If you want to try adding or removing software then just click System then Administration then Add/Remove Software in the menu at the top of your desktop. If you don’t see an app listed that you want be sure to do a search and you’ll probably find it.