antiX M11 is Still Quite Impressive

by Ostatic Staff - May. 05, 2011

I was once very enamored with antiX because it performed very well on aging hardware yet offered a modern kernel and applications with a side order of cool looking interface. It was based on SimplyMEPIS and that was all the better. But then it fell off my radar. Honestly, I kinda forgot about it... until yesterday when the newest version, M11, was announced.

The announcement said that this release features "fully customised icewm-Rox desktop, SimplyMEPIS 2.6.36-4 kernel, Iceape 2.0.13-1, Abiword 2.8.6, gnumeric 1.10.14, and pidgin 2.7.11." One of the best features of antiX is that it includes the MEPIS configuration tools. When last I visited antiX, I could run antiX on my older laptop comfortably or my modern desktop with dual displays. So, I had high hopes while downloading and burning the new release.

And I was not disappointed. AntiX M11 retains all the attributes which I found so appealing last I tested. It's a fast, pretty, useful system with lots of light-weight and handy applications. The live CD has several boot options such as low-resolution, fluxbox, legacy-NVIDIA, or start installer. It boots up very quickly and lands at an attractive desktop that has several extra backgrounds available as well. Speaking of looks, antiX ships with lots of themes too.

antiX provides lots and lots of software and utilities. Additional metapackages can be installed in addition to non-free software with an easy to decipher graphical installer. There's a control center to configure various aspects of your system or gather some hardware information.

It almost goes without saying these days, but just in case, all my hardware was configured properly and working. Internet was available upon boot, sound functioning, scanner detected (do people still use those?), etc.

I downloaded the full-sized version, but Base and Core versions are available as well. Base is 384 MB and will get you a graphical environment while Core is 118 MB which has no X or graphical applications. It comes in versions of each for i486 and i686 architectures, but no 64-bit unfortunately. Perhaps they figure if you have a 64-bit system you'll opt for the full-featured SimplyMEPIS. Who knows?

But there ya go. antiX is a real nice light-weight system that can give Puppy, SliTaz, and Austrumi hard runs for their money. It is said that it can run in as little as 64 MB RAM, although I've never tested it at that level. Maybe Motho ke motho ka botho will fire it up on one of those ancient machines he likes to rescue and let us know.