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SimplyMepis 3.4.3 Linux Review


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#1 Linoman

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 10:57 AM

Now as most of you know I enjoy using Linux and I am endlessly looking for a distro that suites me perfectly. After try many distros I have come to the conclusion that I prefer Debian based distros. Now I am not saying that Debian based distros are the best that decision is left up to you.

The last Debian based distro I tried (for quite sometime at that) was Ubuntu 5.10 (expect review on 6.06 not long after its released) I have been itching to get my hands on Mepis. Especially after I heard that:

a) Its Debian based (yes the joys of apt-get)
B) The downloaded version of Mepis supports popular audio and video codec’s

I managed to get hold of SimplyMepis 3.4.3 (latest stable release) and held my thumbs. First thing I discovered was that SimplyMepis starts up as a live Cd. From there one can install it. (Reminds me of Knoppix)

First screen, (must choose what GUI mode to boot with) I first tried “Boot Normal” but I had graphics problems after choosing “Boot Vesa” I had no problems.
Attached File  pic_1.JPG   42.63K   104 downloads

Then after the kernel is loaded one is welcomed by this logon screen. Ok it took me a few seconds to release that the password was “root”
Attached File  pic_2.JPG   43.09K   110 downloads

Logged in as root the desktop looked like this (SimplyMepis 3.4.3 uses KDE as a default. If you want to use Gnome then it can be installed by using Synaptic Manager) Please note KDE 3.4.3 is now out dated I recommend you upgrade to 3.5.1
Attached File  pic4.jpeg   48.14K   101 downloads

I then went to Mepis Config (OS Centre) which gave me the option to install Mepis to the hard disk. After partioning the drive manually (all this is done while the live cd is loaded) it installs. Installation took about 13mins. Not much to configure, proberly the biggest thing to configure was choosing GRUB as the boot loader. System restarts and Mepis is installed. Very, very, easy installation.
Attached File  pic5.jpeg   43.26K   89 downloads

After installation and logging in the desktop looks as follows.
Attached File  pic6.jpeg   64.49K   122 downloads

I then discovered my favorite audio player Amarok 1.37 was installed
Attached File  pic7.jpeg   153.98K   105 downloads

Firefox 1.5 is default browser
Attached File  pic8.jpeg   59.69K   85 downloads

Open Office 2.0 is default office software
Attached File  pic9.jpeg   125.66K   98 downloads

Some of these applications already have newer versions out, use Synaptic Manger to upgrade them to latest versions.


Cons:

a) The configuration centre is to my mind pathetic, I know it’s aimed at simplicity but one should not loose the ability to adjust certain settings.

B) Network connection gave me problems, it refused to see my other PC on the network and configuration centre was not much help.

c) Ok the theme could do with a bit of a makeover, tends to looking boring at times. Although I must stress other themes can be downloaded installed.

Pros:

a) Ease of installation
B) Supports many codecs out of the box including mp3's
c) Supports my other pc's Winmodem with out the need for configuration (only two other distros that I have tried achieved this and they were commercial)
d) Ease of use

Overall if you are new to linux and don't mind not having power features. Then SimplyMepis is for you. 7/10


Review was done on the following machine:

Pentium 3 (866mhz)
256MB SD-Ram
Trident Graphics Card with 4-8MB Memory
52x Cd Rom Drive
AC 97 Audio
Installed onto 20GB Seagate Hard drive
Dual Booted with Windows XP Pro
(Please note some screenshots were taken of this in a Vmware environment, rest were taken from installed environment on test machine)

Errors that have been spotted have been corrected

Attached Files



#2 Sphere

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 12:09 PM

old KDE!!!

and amarok 1.7?? 1.4-beta_2 is the latest, and it looks like 1.3 :)

but I think Mepis is behind from the look of this...

#3 Linoman

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 08:07 PM

Thanks for spotting those errors, have corrected them

#4 Sphere

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 08:53 PM

and a note to all:
The "graphics" install never work, it's a feature that isn't compatible yet... VESA works 99 out of a 100 and when installation is done, you can then switch to your VGA specific driver

#5 Linoman

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Posted 02 April 2006 - 11:50 AM

I guess I am sorry to say but Simplymepis really let me down. I expected so much more

#6 x2p

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Posted 02 April 2006 - 08:01 PM

good guide

#7 Sphere

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Posted 02 April 2006 - 09:50 PM

After reading the review, I kinda felt your decision coming...

I don't know about Mepis... but kde 3.4.x as a standard is a no go by default for me

nice review none the less

#8 Linoman

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Posted 02 April 2006 - 09:59 PM

Thanks, yea SimplyMepis has a long way to go but they might get there.

#9 Neon

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 04:55 PM

Nice review lino!

#10 ShadowFox

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 06:59 PM

nicely done there lino, good guide, also looking good :)




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