Posted by: linuxmoose | July 2, 2011

Now Powered by Simply MEPIS 11

Firstly, sorry about the lack of posts recently. I kind of function on a post-when-I’m-not-doing-anything-else schedule. Recently, doing anything else has involved, at least computer wise, breaking yet another Ubuntu based installation. This time it was Netrunner, which is a shame as it looked quite nice from what I saw. It was probably my fault. Anyway, I have never actually given KDE a fair shot. I like GTK a bit more, particularly because it is used in more than one environment. Netrunner’s implementation showed me that KDE 4 could actually be quite simple to use and of course, nice to look at.

So I wanted to keep trying out KDE, but also to escape an Ubuntu base and the instability it brings (at least in my experience, yours may very well be different). This left me with many options. Fedora, Mandriva, PCLinuxOS, OpenSuse, Sabayon, Calculate and Salix all offer KDE desktops, among others. MEPIS, Chakra and Pardus are also great devoted KDE distributions. Still, I wanted stability without losing the package variety I am accustomed to from Ubuntu so I opted for the only Debian stable based distro out of those, MEPIS 11.

Previously I had issues booting MEPIS on my laptop. Something to do with my Intel graphics chip. However, thanks to a post from a fellow blogger (I forget who, sorry) I found a solution, which is to add xdrvr=intel confx to the GRUB screen on the live cd when it appears. Thanks for that, and sorry that I don’t remember where I got that tip from.

So, having installed MEPIS I was digging around their wiki for lack of anything else to do and found, to my delight, that MEPIS has a community repository. That allows me to easily get some software, such as my favorite music manager and qt application Clementine (you really should check it out if you haven’t. It has the feature set of Banshee without the mono and gtk requirements).

Having used MEPIS for a few days now I can officially say that it is as stable, nice looking, and easy to use as it is said to be. So, if you want a Debian based distribution, or a KDE distribution or just a good distribution in general I say that you should definitely try Simply MEPIS 11.

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Responses

  1. You could have added Debian to that list of KDE distributions, and possibly had some fun with unstable, etc.

    I tried MEPIS quite a number of times and even though I found nothing wrong with it at all, it just kind of didn’t catch me, you know?

    Keep your stick on the ice…

    Landor

    • Debian does not offer a KDE option, unless I am mistaken, just the ability to install KDE. I have not experienced Debian unstable but I have major stability issues with Ubuntu so I prefer to be on the more stable edge of things.

      • On the Debian mirrors there is a specific KDE CD for download ( http://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/6.0.2.1/i386/iso-cd/ ) near the very bottom. Also, images like the netinst.iso have the alternate option where you can choose to install kde.

        Anyway, as I said, the specific one is the *kde-1-cd.iso from the mirrors. And I’m actually not a huge fan of Debian for certain reasons. :)

        My understanding of MEPIS Is that’s it’s a mixed bag of software, so some is stable by Debian’s standards, and some is unstable. I could be wrong, but I don’t believe I am.

        Keep your stick on the ice…

        Landor

    • have you tried zorin 4 or 5? lots of goodies, only thing is my headphones don’t work, but having so much fun with it , i haven’t looked too hard for a solution.

      • I have not tried Zorin, nor Pinguy. I prefer having only what I need rather than everything available. Still, I have heard that they are quite good and I figure that I’ll get around to trying them out and maybe reviewing them someday.

  2. Besides MEPIS 11, another awesome distro based upon Debian Stable is #! (Crunchbang), website http://crunchbanglinux.org/ . Sure, its only available via ButTorrent at present, but it’s a good distro for someone who prefers “having only what you need rather than everything available”.
    With its lightweight desktop choices Openbox abd Xfce4, #! is pretty lean and mean,… and its repositories directly overlap with those of standard Debian GNU/Linux.
    Give #! a Debian whirl sometime!

    • How could I forget about Crunchbang? I actually use #! a lot, sorry that I didn’t mention it. It is indeed one of my favorite distros.

  3. Even though I am not using MEPIS anymore, I don’t think you can compare MEPIS with pure Debian. MEPIS is based on Debian stable, but offers a lot of extras:
    - easy installer
    - MEPIS assistants that help newbies do normally hard stuff like restoring Grub config, X config, setting system language, resetting user profiles, troubleshooting wireless etc.
    - MEPIS kernel that has better hardware support than Debian’s
    - a community repo that builds software against the stable build chain
    - updated user packages (libre office, FF4 etc)
    - very helpful community

    I tried installing the latest Debian with KDE, and although I am quite an experienced Linux user, it failed miserably. I could not get a network connection. Of course I could fix it, but in this era installation should be a no-brainer. Debian is still in the stone ages when it comes to this. And stable just is too obsolete for a desktop distro. Can someone please tell me why e.g. FF 3.17 is more stable than FF 4.02. Or why Open Office is more stable than Libre Office? Just doesn’t make sense.l

    As Landor proposes, you can get stuff from Debian unstable, but that is asking for trouble if you don’t know exactly what you are doing. Talking about a mixed bag of software….

    • While I do like Debian for the base of distributions I do agree that setting up Debian itself could be a lot easier. Every time I attempted to install Squeeze I found that try as I might, I was forced to use an 800X600 resolution. I understand that Debian is not intended to be like Ubuntu, and that you have to do a lot of the work yourself, but one would think that it could at least detect the correct monitor size.

    • Actually, I’d never propose mixing systems like that. I would actually consider it easier, and less prone to breaking something, to run testing or unstable, as opposed to missing any of those with stable.

      Unstable is not really a burden either, Ubuntu uses it for each and every release without fail. Now, it could be said that Ubuntu is problematic, thus so unstable, I’d personally believe that Ubuntu brings the majority of its own problems to the table, as well as its own fixes. :)

      What you have to watch out for are distributions that statt pinning this and that, usually their own repositories, or third party repositories, etc. That’s where you end up with dependency problems, packaing failing to install, etc. Any distribution (and MEPIS must do this) that incorporates this kind of philosophy is by it’s very nature nut really user friendly, as it’s creating a possible flaw that could throw any new user for a loop. That said, I’ve never really considered MEPIS to target new users begin with.

      Keep your sitck on the ice…

      Landor

      • I did completely mess up a Parsix installation by adding the sid repo. Still, I would rather have a mostly stable distro with a few unstable packages than a complete unstable system. Also I assume that the MEPIS community repo is checked for compatability.

  4. I actually like Mepis a lot, but the uneven release and update cycles are not for me. Most of the ones that I installed worked fine out of the box though.
    I don’t know if Warren is still the only developer, but it seems that he has too much on him to keep the distro current on a reliable basis by himself.
    I have finally settled on Linux Mint Debian XFCE version myself. It seems to be going in the right direction. I never like Ubuntu.

    Glenn

    • Linux Mint XFCE is really quite nice. I have tried my hand at distro creating, and I couldn’t even keep up with it long enough to publish a release. Hopefully Warren has some help, perhaps I’ll attempt to contribute something to the project.

  5. Thanks on the tip on Mepis Linux. These days I am in search for the best KDE distribution (Ubuntu with Unity has disappointed me a lot and I also decided to give KDE a try since it gets a lot of praise) and so far I liked Mandriva (2010.2) a lot. Although it has some old KDE version and i couldn’t find the latest KDE for Mandriva. So I guess I’m trying to find something like Mandriva but with the latest KDE.

    • Glad you liked it. Have you tried PCLinuxOS? It’s Mandriva based and is supposed to have a wonderful KDE setup, although I have only used the Gnome and E17 editions.

      • I have both MEPIS and PCLinuxOS currently installed on the same system. Both are quite easy to install. MEPIS is, without a doubt, the more stable of the two, but PCLinuxOS may be more likely (for some) to work because it includes everything but the kitchen sink in terms of drivers and firmware. IF you can get MEPIS going, I personally think it is both more nimble and more stable. However, if you want more frequent software updates, you can get them far more readily in PCLinuxOS than MEPIS. The trade off is stability (MEPIS) versus drivers and features (PCLinuxOS). Both of them are good ways to get into KDE. Frankly, I also install lighter alternatives on both of them, track KDE updates, but generally run something else. MEPIS has been a favorite distribution of mine since 2003 and I always keep a version handy, because when I mess something else up, I can always count on MEPIS to work.

  6. Great post, really inspired me.

  7. You have an interesting take. I like it! Great post!


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