The weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful. These may be the words of a Christmas Carol but they are also very much so a part of a recent release of SnowLinux which is a Debian Based Linux Distro. I looked at the many options for a review today and tossed back and forth a return to BSD or even another look at one of the Gentoo based distros that got an update but after shoveling our drive way multiple times this week and the Snow piling up in my front yard, I thought that this was a suitable last review for 2012.
Code Named Glacier the Distro was anything but a frozen wasteland. Booting to the 1008MB ISO was quick and simple using a VirtualBox virtual machine with 20GB of HDD and 4GB of RAM. The pure white desktop was a refreshing change from distro after distro that attempts to get funkier and funkier with its default desktop, but just as the opening line from Let It Snow it is the fire that is underneath the clean white exterior that is most impressive.
Snow Linux uses the MATE desktop which is a fork of Gnome 2 (and an return to a more traditional desktop environment). Since Linux Mint took on the MATE desktop as its default back in 2011 it has developed quite a solid following (and Linux Mint has been solidly at the top of the Distrowatch charts ever since). I like the Gnome 2 interface but I am also a fan of the 2 tool bars that come with the vanilla version (like in Ubuntu 10.10 and earlier) but MATE does exactly what it is supposed to do…give a solid desktop performance that is perfect for more traditionalist used to having a “START” button.
Under the hood SnowLinux comes with everything that a solid desktop distro needs:
- Internet: Firefox and Thunderbird
- Productivity: LibreOffice
- Graphics: Shotwell, Eye of Mate
- Multimedia: Rhythmbox
For anything more, you have the power of Synaptic Package Manager and the vast collection of applications available with a direct connect to the Debian Stable Repositories which means that virtually any application you can think of in the Linux Sphere is available. I did the quick check and was not disappointed and quickly found the Apps that I use most and was able to install them without a problem.
The responsiveness of the system and the solid work done to make the experience easy but also allow for the tweaks and changes that make each Linux Desktop very much so unique is a welcome change. It was like putting on an old pair of PJ’s and curling up in front of the fire on a cold winter’s night…but I have one problem…it is really just Linux Mint with a very White and Very monochrome face lift…and if I wanted to use Linux Mint then that is what I would install so for that reason…I would say that it is not worth the Bandwidth as I was unable to identify any real reason that would set SnowLinux apart from the rest of the “Clones” out there.
For that reason…I would say that SnowLinux 4 gets a solid score, but I am not sure if I could see it as my daily driver.