"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." (Robert A. Heinlein)

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Bodhi Linux … Age of Enlightenment?


While reading around the net about new Linux distributions I got into some good reviews about a distribution I never heard before: Bodhi Linux and about its default window manager Enlightenment.
Body Linux is a Ubuntu based distribution, currently at its release 2.2.0. Among the other things Bodhi uses Enlightenment as default desktop manager; currently at its release 17 Enlightenment is a lightweight desktop which promises fancy graphics even on not-so-powerful machines.
All this has been more than enough for me to download Bodhi ISO image, place it on my USB disk and go on with another “test drive”.

Bodhi Linux (live) on the EEEPC

Bodhi Linux boot has been quite fast, it started in less than two minutes (from a computer and disk combination that isn't very up-to-date). In the middle of the boot process I've been asked for the desktop profile and theme I would like in my system. The choice is not definitive since you can change later any aspect of the desktop but if you choose the one that best fit your needs you'll have a good starting point for configuring your desktop.
I did choose the “Netbook” profile Here is how it looks like

Enlightenment on Bodhi Linux appears to be extremely fast and responsive even on the EEEPC. Almost every desktop aspect seems to be configurable: gadgets can be placed on desktop
as well on shelves (much like old Gnome panels)
at last you can get a very different, and fancy, desktop configuration only by playing with settings

Enlightenment on Ubuntu 12.10

You don't have to install a new distribution if you just want to use Enlightenment: it's also available in many mainstream distributions repositories like Ubuntu. I installed Enlightenment 17 on my desktop computer by simply typing a “apt-get” shell command.
sudo apt-get install e17
After installation completed I logged out from Gnome-Shell and logged in back on the new window manager. Here is how it looks like
The Ubuntu installation doesn't offers the same themes variety as Bodhi Linux but many themes are available on the Internet so it shouldn't be difficult eventually get the desired result.

Conclusions

Enlightenment places together flexibility and lightweight like few other windows manager can do. On the back side it has some odd default behaviours like, for example, the left-click on desktop which shows the main menu. I haven't tried yet but they can probably configured out. Last but not least, en the stability side, I haven't got any problem with Enlightenment 17 on Ubuntu while Bodhi Linux locked a couple of times while running live on the EEEPC.