BlankOn is a desktop distribution based on Debian, and comes to use courtesy of some enterprising folks from Indonesia. It uses a highly-modified GNOME 3 desktop environment built with an HTML 5 and CSS 3 custom desktop shell called Manokwari.

Because I am not particularly fond of the GNOME 3 desktop in its default state, I am always on the lookout for a distribution that takes it and makes it a lot more user-friendly. Linux Deepin is one that I like very much, but choice is good, and so I decided to download BlankOn 8, the latest edition of BlankOn, to see what it has to offer.

Overall, I think it is a good effort, but there are still some rough edges that should not be too difficult to fix. So while I am still working on a review, here are a few screen shots from a test installation just so you could see what the distribution brings to the table.

Related Post:  BlankOn 9.0 review

This is the default desktop. Not sure what “67” means to the distribution or the developers, but whatever it means, that wallpaper does not look right. By the way, Dirgahayu kemerdekaan is Indonesian for Long live freedom or something like that.
BlankOn 8 Desktop

Now, this one looks better. Changing it, as always, involves just a few mouse clicks.
BlankOn 8 Date

The desktop features a traditional menu. No Activities view or a Hot Corner here.
BlankOn 8 Menu

Each menu category acts like an accordion panel. Clicking on it slides it open to reveal its application entries.
BlankOn 8 Menu

Right-clicking on an application reveals a one-entry context menu.
Blank Desktop

It comes with several components of LibreOffice suite installed.
BlankOn 8 Menu

Related Post:  BlankOn 9.0 review

And a decent collection of multimedia applications.
BlankDesktop4

Offers easy access to your home directory.
BlankDesktop5

Clicking on the user’s icon in the bottom of the menu’s panel opens the user account manager.
BlankDesktop6

Pacman is the only game installed out of the box.
BlankDesktop7

BlankOn-Tweak is a simple application designed for messing with the configuration, although it is not installed by default. That could be because it is still buggy. Crashed on me once when I tried to mess with something.
Blank Tweak Tool

Once it is stable enough, it should provide a single and simple application to configure different aspects of the system.
BlankOn 8 Tweak

Want to take BlankOn 8 for a spin yourself? Download an installation image for your platform here. You may also visit the distribution’s home page (in Indonesian only).

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6 Responses

  1. Quote “The classics-style menu feels very dated and limiting.”
    The classic style menu is quick and easy to use, without needing to touch the keyboard or type something into a search box.

      1. there is no different at all, i mean there are still many people in indonesia that has no internet conection, so IMO that BlankOn developer consider that issues and make no update in the configuration

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