Chris J Powell

OS Sunday – The Make Up Session with Linpus Lite

Last week I made a promise to review two Distros.  One can be a challenge but two…what was I thinking!  But I decided a promise is a promise so I set off to in search of a back up to my first post today that covered SalineOS.  I have decided to make the OS Sunday check all about the bottom 1/3 of the Distrowatch page view which is a fairly good indication of the popularity of the different Linux Distros out there.  But I was actually surprised to find one of my old favorites relegated to a rank of 93.

Linpus Lite Desktop EditionLinpus Lite held a lot of promise as a real alternative to the status quo when I first tried it out a few years ago.  The distro comes in a Svelt little 410MB download which is great for limited Bandwidth Areas and downloaded like a champ.  It even comes with a Windows Installer Version for those out there who can install software but are intimidated by the whole ISO concept.

Unfortunately, Linpus Lite only comes in 32 Bit format so I had to scale back the specs a bit (no sense in giving away an extra GB of RAM when I don’t need to right!  Linpus does not come with a LiveCD version and when you start up you are presented with two options…Install or Boot from HDD…naturally I want to install!

The process was quite simple, except for the fact that within the Oracle VirtualBox environment it did not recognize my mouse…a quick install from the VirtualBox menu and all was right with the world.

It is important to remember that Linpus is designed as an OEM alternative to Windows and with that the installation is very, very light initial install in fact in my opinion far too light with just a browser and a package manager available.  You can install other software but it is very much like trying to find things on a Blackberry…slim pickings indeed with just 43 available optional installations files.

The boot time on the first round was right around 12 seconds which is amazing, and for a Kiosk or Browser Only install this is perfect!  The challenge that I have is even within the 43 optional solutions to extend the system..there is not much selection.  I chose to install the whole thing and this took 17 minutes which overall is not too bad considering the initial install took less than 5 minutes.

I would like to the option to choose these items during the initial install instead of having to do so afterwards but it is what it is.

Upon completion of the “full” update, the Linpus Lite Desktop Edition includes:

  • Flash Plugin
  • Audio CD Extractor
  • Cheese (WebCam)
  • Dropbox
  • Empathy (Chat)
  • Evince (PDF)
  • Evolution (email)
  • the GIMP (Photo)
  • Gwibber
  • LibreOffice
  • Linpus EReader
  • Movie Player
  • RhythmBox
  • ShotWell
  • TubeFun (Youtube Client)

If the reasoning behind not including these Apps in the initial Install was for boot time…with full App List…boot time was still an incredible 16 seconds!

Overall…I have always liked the Linpus Setup and feel.  For an rpm based OS it really does take the challenge out of having too many choices available and for some instances that is a good thing…on the other hand…it also does severely limit the sustained use of the system…because you just can’t grow with it.

If you are looking for a setup to bring an old PC back to life for an aging relative and want to ensure they are safe and secure…this would be perfect.  Even for someone just starting out with Linux…I can’t really recommend it as it does not have the growth option built into it.

A week effort overall from Linpus.  I can now see why it has dropped down to the Bottom Third…it might just need to stay there!


Chris J Powell



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