In my last review I took a look at a distro that looked like Windows Vista. This week I got an interesting suggestion on the Request A Review page from Jai Ho about a distro called Lin-X. Lin-X is a remastered version of Ubuntu designed to look and feel like Mac OS X. Lin-X has turned the cool Apple logo on its head a bit by putting in a skull and crossed swords. Surely an act of blatant defiance of Steve Jobs and his lawyers. We’ll see if anybody at Apple notices this amusing act of rebellion.
What’s New In This Release
I looked around for details on what was new in this release but since the developer site is offline at this point, this brief bit of text was all I could uncover.
· Boot and system sounds do not work with the sounds window disabled
· This will be fixed (hopefully ;p) with the next release. However we apoligize for the inconvienence.
If you know more details about what was updated please post them in the comments.
Requirements & Installation
Since the Lin-X site is not available I could not find exact install requirements. But since it’s based on Ubuntu you should simply bear the Ubuntu install requirements in mind. I had a few problems with the install which I’ve detailed in the problems section. Suffice to say that once you actually get the install going it’s about the same as installing any other Ubuntu-based distribution which means that it’s not difficult.
Desktop & Apps
Obviously the big attraction in Lin-X is the Mac-like look and feel. When you boot into the Lin-X desktop you notice the Mac OS X Leopard-like wallpaper and the Dock-like panel at the bottom of the desktop. It’s about as close as we are probably going to get in terms of having Linux look like the Mac. I know that some Linux purists will gag at the very thought of this but I found it mostly amusing and attractive in its own right. It was a little weird to see Linux dressed up like a Mac but after a few minutes I got used to it and just did the usual stuff I do with my computer.
Lin-X comes with a respectable amount of software and here’s some of what you’ll find in terms of apps:
F-Spot Photo Manager
XSane IMage Scanner
Transmission BitTorrent Client
Brasero Disc Burning
MPlayer Movie Player
Rhythmbox Music Player
What I Liked Most
The clear attraction to Lin-X is its resemblance to Mac OS X. Otherwise it would just be another version of Ubuntu. The single thing I liked the most about Lin-X is the cool Apple logo with a pirate skull and crossed swords in it. It’s a way of taking Apple’s marketing slickness and turning it upside down. If I were a marketing droid at Apple I’d be outraged by this bastardization of one of the most well known corporate logos on the planet. I suppose that that’s one of the reasons why I like the Lin-X logo so much.
Problems & Headaches
This distro was a pain in the ass to deal with initially, to put it bluntly. The developer’s site seems to have been closed so I had to get the .iso file from Softpedia. But when I booted into the Live CD desktop I got a screen asking me to login with absolutely no information about the login ID and password were. I tried to find it on the developer’s site by using the cached Google version of it but still couldn’t locate it. I tried using “root” for the ID and password but that didn’t work either.
So I opted to go right to the install instead. However, that stalled out in VMWare so I had to use Parallels instead. If you try to use Lin-X in a virtual machine I recommend that you try to have more than one kind available in case you run into problems. I usually start with VMWare but I’m glad I have Parallels and VirtualBox on my machine for situations like this.