Linpus Lite is a Linux distribution published by Linpus Technologies, Inc., a Linux software solutions provider based in Taiwan. Linpus Lite Desktop is, as the name implies, the version designed for traditional desktop computing. Aside from that, the company also publishes other editions (for example, Linpus Lite Android Edition and Linpus Lite PCTV), but those are for OEMs and ODMs vendors only, and not available for download by the public. (OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer; ODM – Original Design Manufacturer.)
Linpus Lite Desktop 1.7 is the latest stable release of Linpus Lite Desktop. The previous version, Linpus Lite Desktop 1.6, was reviewed at Linpus Lite Desktop 1.6 review. Screen shots from this latest release have been published already (see Linpus Lite Desktop 1.7 screen shot preview). This article offers a detailed. Whether you actually consider it a detailed review, or even a simple review, is another matter.
Since the release of Linpus Lite Desktop 1.4, which I reviewed here, Linpus Lite Desktop has been going down hill, both in terms of features and in the number of applications installed out of the box.
Take the installer, for example. A beautiful, graphical program that in Linpus Lite Desktop 1.4 and Linpus Lite Desktop 1.6 had features somewhat on par with YALI, the installation program of Pardus. In this latest release, that installation program has been reduced to a shell of the previous editions. The interface is still beautiful, but beyond that, it has turned into a joke. A very bad one at that.
The screen shot below shows the first step in the installation process. Notice that it is not called an installation program, but a recovery program. And when you use it, you are no longer installing the system, but restoring it. As you will see further down, this is not the only instance where a traditional task has been redefined in Linpus Lite Desktop 1.7.
At the disk partitioning step of the installation process, the whole process is automated. There is no manual or advanced disk partitioning option. Just select the detected hard drive and click Next to continue with the rest of the installation process.
Even when the detected disk has existing partitions, there is no option to delete them.
At the account setup step, there is no indication that at this step, you will actually be creating the root account password. While this is a small matter, on most installation programs for Linux distributions that use the traditional root account system, you are explicitly informed when you are creating a user account or specifying the root account’s password. But like I said, this is small issue.
Aside from not having a manual disk partitioning option, the installer does not give you the opportunity to choose where the boot loader will be installed. GRUB Legacy (GRUB version 0.97) is the version of the GRand Unified Bootloader used by Linpus Lite Desktop 1.7.
If you have been disappointed by what you have read about the installer, you are going to be even more disappointed with the rest of the system, which, by the way, is powered by GNOME 3.2. Like KahelOS and Linux Deepin, the GNOME 3 desktop has been heavily tweaked to make it more user-friendly. And it is indeed more so than the stock GNOME 3 desktop. But that is the only good thing about the newly installed system.
And what do I mean by that?
Well, for one, there is virtually no application installed out of the box. What follows is a list of all applications installed by default:
- Adobe Flash Player
- Firefox 8
- Shell Terminal
- Nautilus, the file manager for GNOME desktop
- System Settings
- Online Updates
That is it. No email, contact management, video or music player installed. Not even a single game is installed. Cups, the printer package, is not installed. So what can you do with a default installation of Linpus Lite Desktop 1.7? Surf the Internet with Firefox 8. Firefox 11 is the latest version of the popular Web browser available, but Online Updates, the system and application installation program, does not help when it comes time to update the system or install new applications. You might be interested in reading How to install applications on and update Linpus Lite Desktop 1.7.
This is the main interface of Online Updates. It says that there are patches available, but like the W*M*D’s in EYEraq, they are missing. Notice that in Linpus Lite Desktop 1.7 parlance, application updates are “patches,” just as the installer is a recovery program.
Even when the update manager applet notifies you that there are updates available for installation, there is nothing to install.
The following screen shots are of the desktop showing all the applications installed by default. Keep in mind that these were of the desktop in GNOME Fallback mode running in a virtual environment. I have an installation on real hardware, but the system does not come with gnome-screenshot, the screen shot application for the GNOME desktop installed. So it was not possible to take screen shots of the main GNOME 3 desktop running on real hardware.
The only way I have found to install applications on Linpus Lite Desktop 1.7 is to use the yum command from a shell terminal. Typing yum list at the command line should give you a very long list of installed applications, and those available for installation.
If you want to experience what Linpus Lite Desktop 1.7 has to offer first hand, you may download an installation image from here.