Friday, February 27, 2009

Mepis 8.0 Desktop - A Debian Joyride

mepis 8.0 linux desktop
This time around I tried the daddy of many desktops, Debian Lenny, and compared it with Mepis 8.0 on my notebook. I am pleased how Debian has made itself easy to install and use - booting from netinstall.iso to a full-blown Debian Desktop was easier than ever. However, Warren has spelled magic onto Debain through his much tested Mepis. Till PCLinuxOS 2009 Final shows up I am going to stick with it for three reasons:

  1. Its wonderful implementation of KDE 3.5.10 (thank God he did not move to KDE 4.x.x!)
  2. Its very handy set of Mepis Tools (According to me it dwarfs Mandriva Control Center (MCC) and OpenSuse Configuration Application (Yast))
  3. And its out-of-box support for a wide array of multimedia (though in pure Debian you can add debian-multimedia repo and install these stuff, but who is going to dirty around when it's already there in Mepis?)
Having said that, one more worthy point is that - Warren moved to kernel 2.6.27, all for good to support a larger set of hardware, though the core is pure Debian Lenny. Mepis 8.0 is a pure KDE Desktop OS, it has very few gnome stuff, less than any other desktop Linux. Also it includes OO.o3 which is faster and has more features than the older 2.4.1 (remember stable Debian still sticks to OO.o 2.4.1).

Overall hardware detection is good. It configured most of the devices of my notebook. But I find the touchpad to be way too sensitive, so I copied the touchpad section of xorg.conf from Ubuntu 7.10 (it detects all my hardware) by running the liveCD.

I also pulled in extrastuff such as GIMP, Wordnet, Kthesaurus, Krita, Kplato, PDFedit, Realplayer, Audacious, Kaffeine, w32codecs, libdvdcss2, kchmviewer, Kget, Ktorrent, Skype, Kmail, KSirc, Audacity, Avidemux, Leafpad, Kplato, Kivio, and Kformula, to fully load my desktop.
  1. Boot up time - from poweron to full-blown KDE desktop is 1min 20sec (50sec from grub to desktop).
  2. Memory usage after booting (with no applications started) is 210MB (ofcourse you mileage may vary, because I have disabled may services and configured memory handling to suit my needs).
Overall Mepis 8 is snappier than ever. Needless to say it is rock solid based on Debian Lenny. I have been tinkering with it for 3 days, but it has never borked. And the best thing in using Mepis 8 is that you can you can enjoy very easy Linux computing yet access thousands of Debian applications.


Anonymous said...

What ever happened to Warren GPL'ing the Mepis tools and installer. I guess he forgot about doing it.

manmath sahu said...

You are right.

Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of MEPIS, but after a short time I usually end up using something else.
The problem is that MEPIS it's too conservative, being based on Debian stable. After 1 year the software gets very old.
What we miss is a good desktop distro based on Debian testing.

Anonymous said...

"from poweron to full-blown KDE desktop is 1min 20sec (50sec from grub to desktop)"

30 sec from power-on to grub ??
wtf !?

manmath sahu said...

Yes Anonymous!
I have to repair my notebook. I don't know why it is checking almost 30 sec to bios checking and all that. But when the bios checking is over, it only takes only 50 secs. It is true.

manmath sahu said...

You point doesn't hold any truth. Though Mepis is based on Debian Stable, it uses the latest stable kernel. For example, when Debian Lenny uses kernel 2.6.28, Mepis 8 is using Of course, certain application software are little old.

Anonymous said...

Warren released the code under an apache license,

M8's tools have some community tweaking already included...

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Anonymous said...

Looks brilliant. Still gotta be way faster than my Vista machine - I can usually make a pot of coffee in the amount of time it takes from power-on to desktop.

How about this