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Old 31. Mar 2013, 12:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
MidnightCowboy
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: South American Banana Republic, third bunch from the left
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Default Zeven Steps to Heaven?

Apart from the testing versions, Debian Linux is known for its stability and strict adherence to the use of free software. It also has a reputation for not being so user friendly as say Ubuntu based distros. Some other distributions use Debian as a base, Solus being one notable example and of course there is always LMDE.

This is how Mint describes the differences between LMDE and their mainstream release.

Pros:
  • You don’t need to ever re-install the system. New versions of software and updates are continuously brought to you.
  • It’s faster and more responsive than Ubuntu-based editions.
Cons:
  • LMDE requires a deeper knowledge and experience with Linux, dpkg and APT.
  • Debian is a less user-friendly/desktop-ready base than Ubuntu. Expect some rough edges.
  • No EFI, GPT or secureBoot support.

Another that has been around for a while is a German disto called Zeven OS Neptune. A new version has just been released that seeks to make Debian more user friendly, so Neptune 3.0 includes flash, codecs and a raft of other stuff all pre-installed to make life easy from the outset. The Neptune ISO can either be burned to a DVD or USB. This creates a live version you can try out on your existing system before deciding whether or not to make a full install either in place of Windows/your existing Linux or as a dual boot alongside it.

I dual booted Zeven Neptune alongside Windows 7, replacing my existing Linux in the process. Everything went smoothly and I really like how Zeven implements the KDE desktop. Chromium is the default browser but if like me you prefer Chrome this installs automatically from the downloaded package. Everything worked out of the box except when I installed Clementine it would not play radio streams until I installed some more Gstreamer stuff, but the Muon Package Manager handled all this and I was soon up and running. There is also a Muon Software Center for even easier program management.

The focus of the distro is in German although there is of course an English language install option and also an English forum where support is timely and constructive.

So, if you want to try a distro that is fast, looks gorgeous and works without falling over every five minutes, give Zeven OS Neptune 3.0 a try.
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