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Bodhi Linux 1.2

September 27, 2011
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A while back I did a review of Bodhi Linux 1.0 for Desktop Linux Reviews. Bodhi has recently been updated to version 1.2 so a quick look is definitely in order. Bodhi, in case you aren’t familiar with it, is an Ubuntu derivative that uses the Enlightenment desktop.

Bodhi is more of a minimalist’s distribution. If you’re looking for tons of software and bloat, you won’t find it in Bodhi. It’s really geared toward those who want to choose their applications & feature sets rather than have the developers foist it on them.


What’s New

Here’s a sample of what’s new in this release:

Linux 3.0.0
Enlightenment built from SVN on 09/06/11
Midori 0.4.0

As the update announcement page states, this release is pretty much geared toward updating applications. The documentation has also been updated, and if you’re Dutch you can now read the Quick Start Guide in your native language.

The default profiles have had some minor changes as well, including a new default profile called Tiling (which has a tiling module that lets you organize windows on your desktop). The fancy profile now puts penguins on your desktop by default and the table profile has a touch method of switching between applications.

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System Requirements
Here’s what you’ll need to run this update:

  • 300mhz i386 Processor
  • 128megs of RAM
  • 1.5g HD space

Bodhi 1.2 Install
The Bodhi install is very easy and doesn’t take long since it’s based on Ubuntu. You’ll get to pick from a variety of themes before you use your desktop. Here are some screenshots of the install. See the image gallery for the full install.

Software
As I noted earlier, Bodhi is a minimalist distribution so you aren’t going to load up your desktop and find it full of applications. The Midori web browser is available in the Internet applications menu and Leafpad is available in the Accessories menu (along with a couple of other things).

You can use Synaptic to add software or you can simply visit the Bodhi Linux software page and add software from there. You can browse application categories or opt to install the Nikhila and/or Pratibha applications sets (Nikhila provides full featured software while the Pratibha set provides apps that use less resources).

I know that some users will probably be tempted to blow off visiting the Bodhi software page and just fire up Synaptic. I think that’s a mistake though, it’s worth taking a peek at what’s on the Bodhi site before futzing around with Synaptic. I like the two application sets that are offered, here’s what you get in each of them:

Pratibha
* Claws Mail – Email
* DeadBeef – Music Player (Media Player)
* ePDFView – PDF Reader
* ePhoto – Image Viewer
* Geany – Text Editor
* Light Office – Office Suite
* Pinta – Image Editing
* Qalculate – Calculator (Science)
* VLC – Video Player (Media Player)
* XChat – IRC
* Xfburn – Burning

Nikhila
* Adobe – PDF Reader
* Cheese – Webcam
* Filelight – Disc Usage Analyzer (System Tools)
* Firefox (current) – Web Browser
* gEdit – Text Editor
* GIMP – Image Editing
* Handbrake – Ripping
* K3B – Burning
* LibreOffice – Office Suite
* Mirage – Image Viewer
* Okular – PDF Reader
* Openshot – Video Editor
* Qalculate – Calculator (Science)
* Pidgin – Instant Messenger
* Printing – CUPS and GUI (System Tools)
* Rhythmbox – Music Player (Media Player)
* Shotwell – Photo Manager
* Simple Scan – Scanning GUI (System Tools)
* Thunderbird – Email
* Transmission – Torrent
* VLC – Video Player (Media Player)
* XChat – IRC

Most people will probably find either set quite useful and both are a good starting point. You can always add other applications later.

Using Bodhi Linux 1.2
My experience with Bodhi Linux 1.2 was very good. I installed a bunch of applications and had no problems running anything. The system seemed quick and stable.

One of the things I like most about Bodhi is the selection of themes available when you first set up your system. I’m a sucker for nice looking wallpaper and Bodhi has some very good wallpapers. Oh sure you can always add your own but it’s nice to have a good selection available by default on your system. I know that sometimes I’m just lazy and can’t be bothered looking around too much for additional wallpapers.

It’s also nice to pick the profile you want in terms of your desktop too. Some people will prefer utter bare bones; others will like the default; and others might need a bit more features. You can pick whatever you floats your boat and meets your needs. I went with the default desktop when I installed Bodhi 1.2.

Final Thoughts
I like Bodhi Linux a lot. This update doesn’t bring anything earth shattering to this distro, but it’s probably worth upgrading to if you’re already using Bodhi. Minimalist distros like Bodhi are always appreciated since they avoid application bloat by default, and put the power of choice into the users hands.

Of course, if you are a lazy software whore (as I can be sometimes) who can’t be bothered installing applications yourself then you’ll probably want to pick another distro that gives you everything by default.

If you haven’t tried Bodhi before, give it a shot. It’s a Live CD distro so you can check it out without doing an install. Just boot into the live desktop and have at it.

What’s your take on this distro? Tell me in the comments. For full distro reviews, visit Desktop Linux Reviews.


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6 Responses to Bodhi Linux 1.2

  1. Jim Lynch on September 30, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    Yeah, Brian. I think I did a review of antix a while ago on DLR. I should take another peek at it soon though.

    Tadeas, sorry the translator isn’t that great. I added it to try to make the blog content available for folks in other languages. However, I have no idea how well it has translated it.

    • Brian Masinick on September 30, 2011 at 10:42 pm

      I would love to see at least a Quick Look review of antiX, but one thing that I would like to see that I have not seen in the past – and very few write about antiX – other than me – is the great flexibility, shown especially by the three variations – the original antiX, now called antiX Full, the antiX Base, which was created to allow people more flexibility in creating their own system (but it still includes the standard installer and a simple GUI), and finally antiX core, the one I have been so impressed with.

      Now perhaps antiX core isn’t really the system that the majority of people will go after, but it is surprisingly easy to create an entirely personalized and customized system from scratch, much easier than Arch Linux, the most well known binary version for building personalized systems, or the famous, but insanely involved Linux From Scratch, which is only for the most hard core enthusiast, or even Gentoo Linux, which can yield great results, but also takes a lot of time and effort initially in order to gain those results.

      Those other systems may ultimately provide a slightly finer granularity of control, but antiX is so much quicker and easier, that it’s the customizer’s dream for those who can’t spend an entire evening or most of a week preparing a system. The antiX core and base alternatives can get you into something real, practical, yet personal and customized within an hour, and a couple hours of investment will definitely yield a fantastic result. You’d know that if you have seen my raving about it, but you’ll know it personally if you look into it yourself, so I hope that you try the full version, and if you can spare half of an evening, invest in either the base or the core version; you may be pleasantly surprised at how much you can customize your computing experience.

      Don’t like the direction that Ubuntu, Fedora, and others are heading? Take a look at antiX instead. It isn’t quite as simple as MEPIS, but built from several common components, it’s not out of the question for an intermediate user to build their own highly tailored system. I rate it a clear number one in the category of fast, customized systems.

  2. Tadeas Moravec on September 28, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Man…
    I’ve opened this article and I couldn’t read a single sentence. Yes, it was that bad. Putting the Google translator thing here was a *really* silly idea.
    Besides, I couldn’t find any way to contact you other than to write here.
    Third, there are items labeled with a star in the “Leave a Reply” form and there’s no explanation what the star means :) .

    However it’s a nice article (in English…), thanks for it ;) .

    • Indrax on January 16, 2012 at 11:07 pm

      That makes two of us ;-)
      I froze when encountering it for the first time, thinking “wow, that guy writes in Czech!” and then I noticed English names everywhere and the classic translator artifacts… and the button for selecting target language on the right (well, I’ve possibly spotted the directory variable first ;-) ). So it’s IMHO neat idea :-))) (tak hrozné to zase nebylo a mazáci jako my si to prost? p?epnou (the previous sentence is meant as a trap for the translator, don’t care about it ;-) )).
      P.S. aren’t the “required field asterisks” used pretty much everywhere now?
      P.P.S. +1 for the article of course.

  3. Brian Masinick on September 28, 2011 at 2:51 am

    Jim, are you familiar with antiX – in either full, base, or core forms? It sounds like an alternative, and a different approach to what Bodhi Linux is doing. antiX starts with the MEPIS installer. The full version, currently M11.0, has some commonality with MEPIS in that sense, and also has a few common utilities used in MEPIS. The base version shares only the installer; the core version is completely unique and different even than its full and base brethren. If you like light systems that are easy to install, but super customizable, you may like one or all of them.

    Since you admit to being lazy, I am guessing that the core implementation is a bit too raw for your tastes, but the BASE version may be appealing; it has a lot in common with Bodhi Linux. I’d love to hear your impressions of it.

    As for me, I am pretty consumed with the antiX core version.

    Is Bodhi Linux still exclusively based on Enlightenment, a.k.a. E16 or E17? Last I tried it out, that is what it was based on. Worked fine, just wasn’t my thing, though the flexibility part does sound quite appealing.

    But in addition to antiX core, I also have Peppermint Two and WattOS R4, both based on really light components straight out of Lubuntu. I suspect that both of these would have a good boot race with Bodhi Linux as well as antiX core – the three fastest booting systems I have on my laptops. Peppermint and WattOS come close to booting as fast as ChromeOS on my netbook with SSD storage – that boots in 8-10 seconds, cold start, and it hibernates and restarts in one second. These three OS are close, but not quite; then again, they don’t benefit from SSD storage, but they do benefit from a faster Duo Core processor.

    How does Bodhi Linux fare? What are approximate boot times? How long does it take to start a browser?

    I’d be interested in knowing how well it compares to these others. Entice me, and maybe I will actually try the latest version for my own “Quick Look”. :-)

  4. ace on September 27, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    I was looking at it in VirtualBox yesterday. A nice feature in the Live session is to pick what sort of appliance you are using Bodhi on – latop,netbook,tablet(?),etc before you go ahead.

    Now to get that dropping penguin off the screen.



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