Friday, April 29, 2011

New Distro Releases

A lot has been going on in the Linux community while I was busy with school and other things. On Wednesday, the latest version of a distro called Absolute Linux came out. I'd like to try this one out, even though the last time I tried a Slackware-based distro, an error installing GRUB forced me to reformat my desktop's hard drive. However, I wouldn't mind trying out IceWM, Absolute Linux's default GUI. Messing around with OpenBox on Crunchbang has introduced me to the wonderful world of stand-alone window managers.

Meanwhile, the biggest Linux news of the week is the release of Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal). The new Ubuntu uses Unity (the Ubuntu Netbook interface) as its default GUI; and Unity seems to be no lighter than the standard GNOME desktop, based on my experiments with a beta version a few months back. However, a new Ubuntu release means new versions of a couple of lightweight Ubuntu derivatives:

  • Xubuntu, the official Xfce-based spin. While Xubuntu has been criticized as a not-really-lightweight distro -- to the point where some reviewers have condemned Xfce as a faux-lightweight desktop because of it -- I'm eager to run the new Xubuntu on my laptop. The most notable new feature in 11.04 is the new Xfce 4.8 desktop, which I will now be able to try for the first time.
  • Lubuntu, the not-yet-official LXDE-based spin. I'm looking forward to trying this one out on my desktop.
It looks like I've got a lot of reviews to do in the near future, and I still have a backlog of WattOS and CTKArch to catch up on.

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