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Linpus Lite Desktop 1.6 review

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Out of the box, Live Update is configured to check for updates only once every two weeks, and to install, without notification, available updates automatically. Very rarely have I come across default package manager settings like that. I understand that these are easy to change, but a more sensible setting, like once daily and to notify the user whenever there are available updates, would be more to my liking.
Linpus Lite 1.6 Live Update Settings

While I was able to install some available applications in my first set of test installations, any attempt to check for updates today December 26 2011, failed, with the error message shown below. “Re-run(ning) live update again,” and again and again, failed to resolve the problem.
Linpus Lite 1.6 Live Update Error

A few of those applications that installed successfully failed to start afterwards. For example, I could never get Empathy, an instant messaging application, to start from the menu (Applications -> Internet -> Empathy Internet Messaging). Only when I tried to start it from a terminal, did the system generate the error message shown in the screen shot below.
Linpus Lite 1.6 Empathy Error

Here is a screen shot of the menu showing installed Internet software after installing available applications. More screen shots of the desktop with the menu showing major applications successfully installed are available at the end of this page.
Linpus Lite 1.6 Internet Apps

TubeFun, a Youtube client, is one application that installed successfully. Here is a screen shot of the application showing some of the videos available for viewing.
Linpus Lite 1.6 TubeFun

Graphical Management Applications: Most of the graphical management applications are in System Settings. A few are under Applications -> System Tools, and, for unknown reasons, Disk Utility is under the Accessories menu category. Disk Utility is used t manage disks and disk partitions. Aside from IM Settings, which failed to start, every application shown in this screen shot worked.
Linpus Lite Desktop 1.6 Settings

Physical and Network Security Features: Though the installer does not have support for disk encryption and boot loader password-protection, two very important security features required to help protect a computer from unauthorized access, it is possible to at least configure a password for GRUB Legacy after installation.

On the network security front, the firewall is enabled by default. However, the only firewall management application installed has an ncurses interface. And it must be started from a shell terminal.
System Config Firewall Linpus Lite 1.6

Final Thoughts: This is one distribution that I would like to see gain some traction in the market place, but it just has too many loose ends; feels too incomplete. I could not figure out what to do to see what the main GNOME 3 desktop looks like, which is not disappointing at all because that desktop is one that I do not particularly care about. That said, the advertised screen shots should at least match what users see when they install the system on their computer.

Resources: You may download installation ISO images of Linpus Lite 1.6 Desktop for x86 compatible systems here. Read articles and reviews about Linpus Lite that has been published on this website at http://www.linuxbsdos.com/category/linpus.

Screen Shots: View more screen shots from test installations of Linpus Lite 1.6 Desktop.

LibreOffice is the installed office suite. This screen shot shows the desktop with the menu showing the components of LibreOffice.
Linpus Lite Desktop 1.6 Office Apps

Menu showing installed games.
Games Linpus Lite Desktop 1.6

And finally, a shot of the desktop with menu showing applications in the sound and Video menu category.

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8 Comments

  1. Automan says:

    We have Linpus Lite 1.4 installed on an Acer eMachines ER1401. It came with the machine, and we have only kept it to remind ourselves (and show others) how truly awful a Linux distribution can become if done wrong.
    1.6 may be better, but beware…. 1.4 did not have any useful response from the Linpus Update utility in June 2011 when the box was bought.
    So 1.6 may go dead on you soon..?
    Without any kind of working update or package repository you are back to compiling from source, if the tool-chain works properly. Ours did not. So…. Stuffed!
    Play some music, maybe? Nope. No MP3 codec, it seems. Aha! I’ll play my FLAC collection! Nope, same problem.
    After a few beers it’s a pretty good game, discovering what Linpus can NOT do! But it gets old soon.
    1.6 may be a vast improvement, but I somehow doubt it.
    We now have Bodhi Linux 1.3.0 installed, a rolling dist-upgrade from Bodhi 1.1.0 last summer. It’s very light (82MB RAM used after bootup to compositing desktop), very smart, and stunningly reliable, which was a pleasant surprise. Linpus is for laughs, in this household.

  2. Jeff says:

    Anything made near or around China, I would not install. Something will spying on you….

  3. TanKe says:

    I have tried to install this piece of s… on a couple of computers and the installer ends anfter destroying my partitions with a cryptic error.
    Don’t even try Linpus 1.6, is not worth the cost of a CD.

    • Al says:

      I’ve tried Linpus 1.6 and managed without any issues (dual-boot with Win7) but because there’s no option for a LiveCD preview, you need to jump into the installation directly. This is mostly Ubuntu style but with some mods and could possibly confuse beginners but should not be a problem if you know a little bit about partitioning. The best feature of Linpus? A BIG Calendar and Weather widgets right on the Desktop at the click of one button. Marvellous. I wish other distros could implement this feature. Linpus comes with the bare minimum but you can download some extra apps. Overall not a very exciting distro but, wow that Calendar widget (attached to Evolution of course)

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