Another distro. Yeah, I know. I am getting tired too of all these distros popping out of everywhere. But I am still interested in trying them out. Each and every distro has a different reason for its existence. Today, we will look at Linux lite 3.2. This is neither a distro aiming to be a lightweight distro nor a distro trying to unleash the power of Linux with all apps preloaded. Instead, It tries to strike that perfect balance between them. Now, almost all of the distros aim to do that then, what is so special about this distro which makes it unique. Well, let me introduce to the distro first and I think why it achieved so much more than other distros becomes clear after that.
Linux Lite Interface
Linux lite uses Xfce, a desktop favoured by many. Xfce is a choice which provides the perfect balance between resource usage and visual perks. Xfce is not just about that. It is very close to windows interface and is a preferred choice for windows users coming to Linux. That is the reason Linux lite should work out for the beginners. With just a wallpaper change, it looks pretty awesome.
Well, if you don’t like it, don’t worry, Xfce is very customizable which we will come back to later.
So, how lite is this distro? Well, while installing the distro, the installer shows us a slideshow of the features. One of them caught my attention immediately. It says that “ Since Linux lite uses very few resources, much of the resources will be available to play games.” Most Linux distros which are lightweight are usually for old hardware computers which cannot run modern operating systems anymore. But this is the first distro I have seen that says that it is for modern computers which are heavy resource users for tasks like gaming. In fact, one of the slideshow pictures also mentions steam and PlayOnLinux apps as one of its main advantages. This is the first Linux distro which is lightweight and intends to satisfy gamers.It uses less than 300 MB while idle.
Apps and repositories
I have been hiding a very important secret for you readers. This distro is actually based on Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS. So, all the repositories of ubuntu are available for you and since Ubuntu has attracted the large number of apps to be compiled for it, you will find no problem finding the required software. We are provided with synaptic package manager as default. But there is also an app called lite software which provides a list of 25 essential and popular applications.
Some of the apps like gimp are provided from PPA’s to keep the software up to date. The default browser is firefox. We also have LibreOffice suite, thunderbird, VLC, and gimp. We have all of the apps preinstalled which we need. This distro is so small even with all of these packages.
The distro is very customizable. Just take a look at the settings.
There is everything we need. The distro really balances customization, performance and looks while being perfectly able to stay beginner friendly. We have a built in firewall. We have a task manager.
We have a resource usage app which is basically “top” showing resource usage.
It just has everything, but still is so lightweight. The developers surely worked hard in providing the perfect combination of tools. It provides an app called lite upgrade to perform an upgrade within the series. We have a dedicated app for tweaking the system called lite tweaks. It does all those jobs listed below including boot fix.
This is the winning aspect of this distro. The help and documentation available are unmatched from the view of Linux beginner.
The whole documentation is categorized and organized and available offline for new users.
The documentation is the area in which it outperforms every other beginner friendly distro, even mint.
How To Install Linux Lite?
This part is pretty much the same as any generic OS. You boot from USB or DVD. You will find yourself in a pretty simple and familiar desktop with the help of window opened ready for you.
Now, don’t check that out already. You have to use it after you install it. You can use the install icon on the desktop to start the installation. You will be asked to click next a couple of times while setting up the time zone, partition to install, whether to install updates and other proprietary software like flash and mp3 codecs and finally, the username and PC name.
Note : All of those are pretty basic and almost every average PC user knows them. If you have no idea about that proprietary software thing, just install them too. You can save a lot of headache afterwards.
As I said, this is really different from other distros. I mean it is lightweight, Ubuntu-based ( most popular Linux distro), rock-solid stable with Xfce and more than enough beginner friendly which is very crucial at a time when more and more users are entering to Linux ecosystem. This distro, according to me, is severely under-rated for its features. Trust me, I first installed it in VirtualBox myself and after a few hours, I replaced my Ubuntu with this distro. That speaks for itself how much I recommend this distro.
It's my(Kiran Reddy) experience, let me know your experience with this or any other lightweight Linux distro in the comment section below the article.
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