Interesting Linux distros and desktop environments


Ubuntu is considered as the most popular Linux distro. It is based on Debian, where Debian is famous of its stability. And Linux Mint, which becomes another most popular Linux distro, is based on Ubuntu and Debian. Recently, there are several Linux distros attract my attention.

Firstly, elementary OS, which is based on Ubuntu, is well-known of its aesthetic design. Unlike other distros which were using common desktop environments, for instance GNOME, KDE, Xfce, and LXDE, it uses Pantheon.

elementary OS in VirtualBox
elementary OS in VirtualBox

Then, deepin, which is also based on Ubuntu, uses its own desktop environment, i.e. Deepin Desktop Environment. The Deepin Desktop Environment is based on HTML5, this is something distinguish.

deepin in VirtualBox
deepin in VirtualBox
deepin using Chinese language in VirtualBox
deepin using Chinese language in VirtualBox

During the installation, if Chinese language is chosen, then Sogou Pinyin will be installed.

Next is Chromixium OS, which is also based on Ubuntu. It does not use a desktop environment, but a window manager, i.e. Openbox. It uses Plank for the panel/dock.

Chromixium OS in VirtualBox
Chromixium OS in VirtualBox

Solus is neither based on Debian nor Ubuntu, but from scratch, uses different package manager. Interestingly, the desktop environment used is called Budgie. Not only from the scratch, but it has its own desktop environment.

Solus in VirtualBox
Solus in VirtualBox

Bodhi Linux, another Ubuntu-based distro, which the desktop environment is Enlightenment. In fact, it is not the only distro uses Enlightenment. But I know Enlightenment because of Bodhi Linux.

Bodhi Linux in VirtualBox
Bodhi Linux in VirtualBox

Enlightenment is referred as “the original eye-candy window” [1]. However, I personally struggle with the tray icon problem with Enlightenment.

GoboLinux is another independent distro from the scratch. It also uses Enlightenment, but very different from Bodhi Linux and other distros. GoboLinux has a very different filesystem hierarchy.

GoboLinux in VirtualBox
GoboLinux in VirtualBox

Finally, I would like to mention about a desktop environment: Sugar. Unlike other desktop environments, it has different design and different concept. I tried SoaS (Sugar on a Stick) which is based on Fedora. Because Sugar is developed for children, thus it has a very different HCI (human-computer interaction) design. It focuses on activities instead of applications. It focuses one specific tasks instead of multi-tasking, thus each activity will be launched at fullscreen. In my opinion, this is a little similar to running mobile apps. Furthermore, instead of traditional desktop metaphor, it uses “Zoom Metaphor”.

SoaS in VirtualBox
SoaS in VirtualBox

 

There are not only various Linux distributions, but also different package managers. Moreover, there are also various desktop environments. How to choose a distro? Read various reviews and try them.

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