Quite possibly the best distro we’ve ever used.
Linux Lite is a distro that seems to have found favour wherever it’s been installed. Yet, for some odd reason it is also one that’s often left to one side or forgotten completely when the talk turns to fresh, lightweight and manageable desktops. Why this is I have no idea, and it’s a shame because the recently released version 2.0 of Linux Lite is an exceptionally good example of what can be achieved when the right combinations of desktop, tools, programs and ideas come together.
If the selling point for a Linux distro these days is its user friendliness and ease of use for tor the beginner (or even being considered Windows-refugee compatible), then Linux Lite should be top of the shopping list. Based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, this Xfce installed distro is loaded with everything you could possibly want from a modern day PC.
GIMP, the latest versions of Firefox and Thunderbird, Mumble (a high quality voice chat program) and VLC are the standard fare. LibreOffice also makes an appearance, but there’s more to this distro than the inherent programs.
There are pre-built and configured tools to help install extra software or even remove it, via the Lite Software feature (that runs via a set of well designed scripts). There’s also a pre-designed user manager in the form of Linux Lite User Manager, which makes account management a little easier to understand for those who are new to Linux.
Naturally the more common tools and administrative programs can be accessed, and for the hardened user there’s always the Terminal, which has a rather natty and retro looking green text on a black background theme going, so despite the emphasis being on the new user a regular distro junkie will appreciate Linux Lite just as much.
The menu layout is clean and uncluttered, as is the desktop and interface, which helps improve the already minimalistic nature of Linux Lite. There have clearly been some carefully laid plans put in place when designing Linux Lite as everything from the wording of the programs and tools in the menu, to the well documented support and help manual is excellently presented.
As I previously mentioned, the former Windows XP user will have no trouble getting to grips with Linux Lite, but it needn’t be totally dedicated to bringing new Linux members into the community. The right-click context menu, for example, houses such additions as ‘Create Launcher’, Task Manager’ and even a screenshot option, all of which form a better companion to enter into Linux with.
However, a few tweaks here and there can turn Linux Lite into a desktop powerhouse – and one that will no doubt please the more advanced user.
Looks aside, the clever combination of Xfce and the minimalist approach of the overall system, Linux Lite is an exceptionally quick and sprightly desktop to use.
It boots within seconds, is snappy to respond and open programs, can switch between workspaces quickly and adds a certain sense of style to what is in essence one of many similar lightweight distros.
It’s also very stable and hasn’t ever bombed out when we treated it to an intense Steam session or a spot of video editing, in fact it kept its liveliness throughout the entire time we tested it. Which is testament indeed to its construction and development.
To conclude, I’m very impressed with the work that has been done to deliver Linux Lite 2.0 in such a well polished, instantly useable, state. It’s a great desktop and addition to our collection of worthy installations, and for this we applaud the development team and Linux Lite community.
Linux Lite 2.0 is a thoroughly amazing distro.