Greetings, and this week we look at an interesting Distro that is based on Debian and yes I chose KDE Plasma over Gnome which was surprised me too. For those have been following OS Sunday since its days over at www.chrisjpowell.com, I am not a real big fan of KDE in general but every once in a while I still dip my toe back into the water to see if it can win me over…I guess I am a glutton for punishment…or am I?
The Tanglu 1.0 (Aequorea Victoria) was released on February 21, 2014 so it is freshly pressed and should be interesting. Before diving into the install I looked through the documentation and FAQs listed on the Tanglu site and was adequately impressed to click on the download button for the 1GB ISO that I would be installing. As always I set things up in an Oracle VirtualBox Environment with 20GB of HDD and 4GB of RAM…to give everything a fair and equal chance between all the distros.
The installation went smoothly with one slight hitch, for some reason the installer assigned 5GB to the SWAP file so I scaled that back down to just 1GB because well…who needs that much SWAP right??? There really wasn’t any surprises during the installation, about 8 clicks and I was done and from the start of the Download to a full desktop…I was looking at about 24 minutes…this makes it very much so a good thing as everything appeared to be moving along famously…that is until it came time to type in the password that would give me full access. For these tests I use a relatively weak password that is only 6 characters long…and I didn’t get any messages warning me that it was too weak (like I do with Ubuntu) but when the Login Screen came up I was stuck…so I quickly shut down the VM and started the install again…just to make sure it was not a matter of fat fingering during the two instances of typing the password into the setup.
The second attempt with a stronger password worked fine and I was off to the races with a first boot time of less than 20 seconds!
My first thought that the Plasma Desktop was that the chosen theme seemed a little washed out for my liking:
Overall, I was impressed with how responsive and un-KDE like the Plasma Desktop appeared. The number of interesting Widgets that was available was impressive, even if I would likely never use them (just as I don’t use widgets on my Android Phone or on my Windows Desktop that I use for work)…but what really impressed me was the decision to include all of the software that one would need to get up and running with this distro right away:
- Firefox 27.0 (Browser)
- Kmail (Email)
- Remote Desktop Client
- Amorak (Music)
- VLC (Music/Video)
- Dragon Player (Video)
- LibreOffice 188.8.131.52 (MS Office alternative)
- Kamaso (Image Retriever)
- Gwenview (Image Viewer)
- Ocular (Document Viewer)
So from looking at the line up, I could do about 90% of what most computer users do, right out of the box (including watching Youtube videos without having to install any plugins)…but it is not called a Personal Computer because all of us are exactly the same…so it was time to venture off and see if I was able to add some additional software…and do so without pulling out the few hairs left on my head.
Tanglu uses the Apper Software Management tool. This was the first time I had used this Package Manager so I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was not only intuitive and usable…it worked…and that is a good thing because as nice as it is to be able to do what ever one wants with nearly any Linux OS…sometimes it is nice to not have to use apt-get install or open the Command Line.
I was able to find the Chromium Browser (not the full Google Chrome but that is now available as a direct .deb download from Google) but beyond that there was a great mixture of solutions available as the two main repositories that Tanglu has available to it draw from the Debian Testing, Debian Unstable and Debian Experimental repositories.
Overall I was impressed with the feel of Tanglu that I started to really consider this to become my new favorite Distro of 2014 and the one that all others would need to surpass to become top dog…but then again…it isn’t Ubuntu and for me, that is the Distro of choice (and will likely soon become my Phone OS).
Well that brings us to another ending for the day.
Keep your Stick on the Ice and enjoy the rest of your Sunday.