Fortunately, installing and updating applications on a Bodhi Linux installation, as with most Linux distributions, is very easy. You have three options – apt-get via the command line, a graphical interface called Synaptic Package Manager, and a Web (browser-based) interface.
This is the main interface of Synaptic Package Manager. Until a couple of years ago, it was the default graphical package manager on most Debian-derived distributions. A few of those distributions, like Ubuntu, Linux Mint and Linux Deepin, have ceased using it by default. They now have their own graphical package manager. Though Synaptic Package Manager still works for what it is designed for, using it for installing applications on a fresh installation of Bodhi Linux 2.2.0 will take a lot more time and effort than the Web interface, unless you know the name of a meta package that you will pull in all the applications you need. Those meta packages do exist. A search for “bodhi” will give you a list of available meta packages.
The Web interface, called the Bodhi Linux AppCenter, provides the third means of installing and updating applications on Bodhi Linux. It’s not necessarily faster or easier, just another method. For a new user, it probably is the easier method, because a list of software bundles (meta packages), which you can use to populate a new installation with all the applications needed for daily computing, is available right on the home page.
Installing the Nikhila Application Set, for example, gives you access to an Office suite, multimedia applications, Firefox Web browser, and other Internet and related applications most people will need to accomplish daily computing tasks.
The fact that very few applications are installed by default also means that real productivity on a new system starts only after you are done installing the applications you need. Playing video (encrypted or non-encrypted), local audio, image editing or using basic Office applications comes only after the proper applications have been installed. And setting up a printer is possible only after the proper application has been installed.
Bodhi Linux’s concept of a minimalist distribution also extends to the folders you’ll find in your home directory. This is a screen shot of the file manager in its default state on a new installation. You’ll have to create directories yourself. It does not make sense to me, but that’s minimalism at work. It’s what Chakra and Bodhi Linux have in common.
The lack of any physical security feature in the edition of the Ubuntu installer used by Bodhi Linux is well known. So this is not a distribution you want to use if full disk encryption is important to you. On the network security front, ufw, the firewall application, is installed and enabled, so by default, a new installation of Bodhi Linux 2.2.0 has some protection when exposed to the Internet. Other than the firewall, there is no other network security application installed.
To sum, Bodhi Linux is a good distribution, but it is not for everybody. If, like me, you like a distribution with almost everything you need installed by default, then this distribution is not for you. On the other hand, if you don’t mind a distribution with very few applications installed, one that lets you choose and pick what you what to install right from the start, without compiling source code, then welcome to Bodhi Linux.
Resources: Installation images for 32- and 64-bit platforms and ARM devices are available. You may download one here (32-bit), here (64-bit) and here (ARM devices). Description of the various E17 terminologies are available here.
Screen Shots: View more screen shots from my test installations of Bodhi Linux 2.2.0.
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