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Linpus Lite 2.1 review

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And that’s because the System Settings accessible from the desktop menu or from the User Menu is that of the GNOME 3 desktop, which is strange because Linpus Lite 2.1 is supposed to be using the Cinnamon desktop, not a GNOME 3 desktop.
Linpus Lite 2.1 System Settings

I found that Cinnamon’s System Settings (cinnamon-settings) is installed, but I needed to launch it from the command-line. From there, I could configure the Hot Corners. This is a screenshot of the Cinnamon System Settings available on Linpus Lite 2.1. If you use the Cinnamon desktop, you can tell that it’s missing many modules. So the core of the graphical user interface is not a pure Cinnamon core, but appears to be GNOME 3 with some Cinnamon sprinkled on.
Linpus Lite 2.1 Cinnamon System Settings

Regardless of the components used to put the Linpus Lite 2.1 desktop together, it’s a very beautiful desktop. The main issue I have with it is with the installed applications and those available in the distribution’s repository. And the problem is that like the desktop environment itself, the installed and available applications are at least two to three revisions behind the last versions. For example, Chromium 29 is the default Web browser. The latest version available on most Linux distributions is Chromium 32. And Firefox 20 is what’s available for installation. LibreOffice is the installed Office suite, but it’s LibreOffice 4.0 that’s installed.

Unlike most popular Linux distributions, Linpus Lite 2.1 ships with a decent selection of installed games, both native (GTK+) and Web games. Not a whole lot, but enough to make the desktop more interesting for those who love to play computer games.

Click on any image in this gallery to view the different aspect of the desktop in both stanrdard and Icon mode.

This second gallery also shows different aspects of the desktop.

Linpus Lite 2.1 AppCenter: The task of managing all those installed applications and installing new ones on Linpus Lite 2.1 is made very easy via the distribution’s graphical package manager. It called Application Center (or AppCenter). Next to the Deepin Software Center of Linux Deepin, it is about the best graphical package manager I’ve see on any (desktop) distribution, though like any computer software, it has its faults. This screenshot shows its main interface. The top section features a display of select applications in a 3D carousel fashion. AppCenter is for managing graphical applications only, so any search for a command-line application will not produce any result.
Linpus Lite 2.1 AppCenter

What that means is that installation of applications that do not have a graphical interface will have to be done from the command-line (using yum). AppCenter has an integrated updates checker, which, by default, is set to check for updates daily. But it does not have a facility to initiate the update checking manually, so if you need to find out if there are updates before the timed update checking, you’ll have to launch a shell terminal and type yum update.
Linpus Lite 2.1 AppCenter updates

Click on any image in this gallery to view other aspects of AppCenter.

Physical and Network Security: With no support for disk encryption in the installer, Linpus Lite 2.1 offers no physical security features. But with the firewall application enabled out of the box, its default network security posture is good. And it has to be because of the network ports that are open. Aside from the http ports, this screenshot also shows that the printer daemon port (631) is also open. However, printer configuration on the system is not automatic. That has to be done manually, even with HP printers.
Open network ports and firewall status on Linpus Lite 2.1

Like all the distribution’s applications, the firewall application is not the latest used on Fedora (FirewallD), but the old system-config-firewall. This screenshot shows the graphical management interface of the firewall application.
Linpus Lite 2.1 firewall

Summary: With the resources behind it and with the target audience of the distribution, I’ve always felt that Linpus Lite is in a very good position to be one of the very popular (desktop) distributions. But somehow, every release always manages to disappoint one way or the other. That said, Linpus Lite 2.1 is not as disappointing as previous releases. The only truly disappointing aspect of this release are the outdated applications. But I regard that as disappointing because I always like to have the latest and greatest applications on my computers, or at least versions very close to the latest and greatest.

If you are not like me and don’t mind running outdated applications, Linpus Lite 2.1 is worth taking out for a spin. You will most likely find the unique layout of the desktop fun to use. I did.

Resources: You may read the release announcement for Linpus Lite 2.1 here and download an installation image from here.

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5 Comments

  1. Adam West says:

    The install is odd, the configuration in half broken as you stated, and the whole experice is a bit odd.

    The packages are old and insecure, as well as not have a good variety of software. It seems kind of sad if you are a RedHat guy, and outright pathetic if you are from the Ubuntu or Debian camp.

    But the biggest thing for me was how much slower it was then Linux Mint or Mepis.

  2. John says:

    I tried it out it is not bad really. My biggest complaint was lack of apps. I wanted to install wine to play a couple of games and I can’t find it in the repo and I couldn’t find a compatible version that would work.

  3. Albin says:

    Thanks for informing that Linpus is alive and well. I recall it as the Linux system installed on first generation Acer netbooks. It was such a PITA for the consumers who bought it that Acer went pure Windows after that. From the screen shots, it still looks crude.

    • finid says:

      Actually it looks a lot better than previous editions and much better than many popular distribution. It’s just the outdated software packages that’s the biggest drawback.

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