Just Another Ubuntu-based Distro or Something More

by Ostatic Staff - Nov. 18, 2010

Jeff Hoogland, professed Linux Geek, has grown frustrated at the lack of inclusion of his favorite window environment in modern distributions. He said only Austrumi and PCLinuxOS offer a recent release with E17. So, instead of waiting for someone else to do it, he just developed one with E17 Beta himself. But is this just another "ho hum" moment or should you give this new effort a shot?

Opposite to the way Linux Mint's developers add nice customizations to Ubuntu to make it more attractive to many users, Bodhi takes away. After the nice theme, one might notice how sparse the system is. As shipped, it has menu entries for LXTerminal, Firefox, and Synaptic. However, the desktop is the main point.

E17 is an interesting window environment. Before Compiz, before Kwin effects, before XGL Enlightenment offered some cool desktop effects to take away some of the desktop humdrums. These cute little effects are still present and operational with little hardware overhead. The theme chosen by Hoogland is rather attractive making Bodhi easy to like.

It does have a few issues, but Hoogland stated this is an alpha quality release. So, the few issues found are minor. In testing here, sound was inoperative, clicking Synaptic from the menu didn't have enough permissions to install anything, and the Internet connection needed a bit of a nudge.

One of the nice things about Bodhi is the availability of Medibuntu and GetDeb repositories. This allows the installation of many of the multimedia files and hardware drivers not available in stock Ubuntu. And with only Firefox and Synaptic provided, one can install just what they want and avoid system bloat.

Another nice thing is its low system minimum requirements. These are stated as a 300mhz i386 processor, 128 MB of RAM, and 1.5g hard drive space to install. It ships as a live CD, so installing is optional. It ran respectably from live CD on an old 2.0 GHz AMD processor and 512 MB of RAM.

So, all in all, it's not a bad first effort. Not bad at all. Perhaps the main effect of Bodhi is that it shows the power and advantages of Linux. If you can't find something you like, make one yourself.