It was a sad day for all of Canada yesterday but as I was thinking of drowning my sorrows at the loss to Russia yesterday with a few liters of Maple Syrup I stumbled across something that I had never seen before and was intrigued. There are lots of options to choose from when it comes to a Desktop environment in Linux, Gnome, KDE, LXDE, XFCE, Openbox, Unity…at times the list is endless and generally it comes down to a 2 or three way battle but now I have found something very much so new…to me at least!
In looking around I found a Distro that was completely foreign to me and actually came from Russia. It is AgiliaLinux and what really intrigued me was its inclusion of the Razor-QT desktop environment. I knew going into it that I would not be accessing this new Desktop from the Live ISO but wanted to give this Russian Distro a once over with this innovative Desktop. Make sure that you head over to AgiliaLinux using Google Chrome with Google Translate enabled as the entire site is in Russian…and I was lost for some time when I was scoping things out on my iPad.
Starting off with downloading the 64bit ISO…I was far from impressed with the download speed taking more than 40 minutes to arrive as the image is a rather large 3.0GB in size. I had the Oracle VirtualBox set up and ready for it to arrive assigning 4GB of Memory and 20GB of HDD to the test machine.
The installer was an option direct from the boot screen and what was truly refreshing is that I could choose between 8 desktop environments during the installation process. The download may have taken longer than I wanted it too, but I did not need to have 5 different images to have different options for a Desktop Environment. Because I was going to be switching over to the Razor-QT after the install, I chose to install the LXDE to speed up the initial install and overall a 14 minute install is very respectable (from first click to reboot).
Updating the repositories was a little slow, and I think that the issue was mainly the fact that all of the mirrors are located in Russia but when the “Userland” repository was loaded up I was able to install Razor-QT without incident. A quick log out and switch to a different session and I was good to go.
I was very impressed with the simplicity but robustness of the Desktop Environment. It was configurable enough to almost instantly make me feel right at home with it and the underpinnings of AgiliaLinux became very evident as I started to try and mess things up a little and was pleasantly surprised that I could not do much damage (even logged in as Root)! What comes with AgiliaLinux is not just a plethora of Desktop Options, there is a complete desktop environment that includes:
- Internet – Firefox (17.0.1), Claws Email Client and Filezilla
- Office/Productivity – LibreOffice
- Graphics – The Gimp
- Multimedia – DeaDBeef and SMPlayer
All in all not only is AgiliaLinux a solid and easy to use Linux Distro…it gives all that you need out of the box but with the Version “code name” of Telnyashka – which is the striped undershirt of Russian Special Forces, it is a real contender for the best Distro of 2013 (even if it is the first review I have done this year).
Of all the Slackware based distros that I have looked at though, I would say that AgiliaLinux not only comes out on top but is by far the most easily recommended distro that I have seen from the Slackware family yet. As for a rating…I would give AgiliaLinux a solid score and would highly recommend it.
Chris J Powell