"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)

Friday, 23 August 2013

Test Drive : Linux Deepin 12.12 on the EEEPC

Some time ago, while looking for some Linux related new on the 'net, I read this review about a Linux distribution I never heard before: Deepin.
Deepin is a Linux Distribution, based on Ubuntu, originally created for the Chinese users pool but also available in English language. Apart from positive reviews what really interested me has been the fact Deepin comes with its own desktop environment (Deepin DE) based on Gnome Shell.
I so decided to test how it works on the EEEPC.

First impressions

I prepared a bootable USB disk with Deepin with the usual process: download the ISO image from Deepin download page then write to the flash disk using Unetbootin.
Here is how Deepin looks like just after boot:
I must say Deepin default theme and wallpaper appear aesthetically well refined. This means nothing on the long run but might be dramatically important to give a good first impression to new users.


Deepin DE

Deepin desktop shows a horizontal dock bar on the bottom side of the screen. By default the dock bar is fixed but it can configured in system desktop settings. Other options are: auto-hiding, on maximized windows, or hidden and activated by moving the mouse pointer to the bottom of the screen.
the application launcher is very similar to the Gnome Shell one but is directly activated by selecting the launcher button on the dock, or by moving the mouse on a, configurable, “hot-point” in the screen corner.
From the application launcher icons can be easily added both to the dock bar or to the desktop. Like Gnome Shell when icons are added to the dock they are scaled down to fit the dock width.
Since the bar is horizontal this is, of course, less a problem than with the vertical Gnome Shell dock bar.
Last but not least dock bar icons show also open windows thumbnails on mouse-passing-over action.

Custom applications

Deepin is provided with some customized applications: first the Software Centre that appears graphically improved respect to Ubuntu's one.
Custom music and media players, D Music and D Player respectively, are also available
I haven't tested them extensively but I appreciated their interface simple and essential.


Conclusions


I got a very positive first impression from Deepin Linux. Deepin DE appears to be really well designed and It behaves, on the EEEPC 900, as smooth as the Gnome Shell installation I'm actually using. I'm not going to replace the recently upgraded Installation on the EEEPC but I'm seriously thinking about installing Deepin DE desktop for further tests.