One of the things that I truly love about the Linux Community is there is a build for just about every purpose. Sure the underlying core system is generally the same, but what can be done from that base…is truly amazing. This week I look at an OS that for those out there like me that can not in anyway justify the expense of a Mac..I can turn my boring grey box (ok…MonstaPuter is in no way boring but that is just me)…into a Mac Like machine running an Debian Based OS called eLive. I had started out with PearOS but there seems to be a bit of a glitch running it in a Virtual Machine so I headed back to the drawing board and with a choice of hundreds…it was not hard to find an alternative.
I have been an on again off again fan of the eLive system for some time and while the Enlightenment Desktop does have some challenges, at first glance I can instantly see that there has been a vast improvement in the overall stability since my last visit. The 1.3 GB download came fast (thank goodness for that after last weeks 3 hour fiasco) and the start up to the Live Disk and the flowing and absolute beauty of the environment was instantly pervasive across the screen.
As always I setup a VirtualBox environment for the test creating a Virtual Machine with 4GB of RAM and 20GB of HDD to run the evaluation. I did notice that in the Virtual Environment, it is not the best idea to turn on all of the fancy 3D graphics options so I restarted the environment and when I moved away from the extreme OpenGL presentation…it ran like a champ.
Unfortunately I opted for an early alpha that does not include an installer so I had to leverage the Live DVD format for this new Hybrid disk that includes both 32 and 64 bit instances of the eLive Environment. I was not only impressed by the speed and stability of this early alpha but the stunning backdrop and inclusion of a myriad of software at the outset in a relatively small download is quite impressive. I remember thinking back to my earlier work with Enlightenment and eLive in particular and there was always something that was very old school that underlined the look and feel of this very modern OS…that is now gone with this version!
In the Deskbar that sits at the bottom of the screen there is a great mix of standard software that would consume 90% of all computing needs, things like Chromium Browser, Clementine Music Player, LibreOffice, VLC, the GIMP, Shotwell and Skype are all there in a very nice and smooth 3d like bar for quick launch.
To access the deeper menu though, it is just a quick left click anywhere on the Desktop and then the full weight of the OS is opened up with more than an adequate mix of solid choices for every base need but the Synaptic Package Manager is quickly available to assist with any extra software that is needed. I was hoping to see the full weight of the OS by installing it but as far as an Alpha goes…this is a rock solid step in the right direction for the eLive Development Team and I look forward to taking the next step and doing a full install on one of my full test machines soon!
Because I was not able to install the OS though…I unfortunately can not give eLive the mark that is so richly deserves (and the fact that the older version that is available requires me to pay for the installer which is a bit annoying).
Cheers and Happy Easter to everyone!!!
Chris J Powell