Deepin 15 Alpha 2 (or is it Deepin 2015 Alpha 2?) is the latest pre-stable release of what will become Deepin 15 (or Deepin 2015). It was made available for download and testing yesterday.
Like all Ubuntu-based desktop distributions, the Unity desktop is not the distribution’s desktop environment. That function is filled by Deepin, a desktop environment developed by the same folks working on the distribution. It’s like the Cinnamon desktop from the developers of Linux Mint, but a whole lot better.
I don’t know when the stable edition will be released, so while we wait, here are some screeshots from a test installation to showcase some of the features of this wonderfully-made Linux desktop distribution.
This here is the login screen.
You have a choice of logging into the default session or to a Deepin 2D session.
The default Deepin desktop. On the default desktop, the dock is said to be in Fashion mode.
In this variation, the desktop is in Efficient mode. A third mode – Classic mode, is similar to the Efficient mode, but the icons on the dock are smaller.
Deepin desktop comes with a fullscreen application launcher. It’s better than the GNOME Shell’s and Unity’s. The view of the applications on the launcher can be switched to several modes. What you see in Figure 5 is the default.
This is the category view of applications on the launcher.
Like most desktop distributions, it comes with four workspaces or virtual desktops by default. And like most aspects of Deepin, it’s beautifully designed.
Out of the box, three Hot Corners are active. All Hot Corners can be enabled and assigned in-situ.
What separates Deepin Desktop Environment from other desktop environments, dead or active, is the Control Center. It’s simply the best. Practically every aspect of the system can be modified from the slide-in Control Center.
You can change your avatar.
Modify the default applications.
Modify GRUB settings. Changing the GRUB background has never been easier; it’s a simple drag-and-drop operation.
View and apply available updates. Another cool feature you’ll find in the Control Center, is the Remote Assistance, which I’ve written about at Chrome Remote Desktop is used on Deepin 15 for remote assistance.
For command line wizards, the
Quake Guake terminal emulator is integrated into the desktop.
One of the many custom applications you’ll find on Deepin, is Deepin Store, the distribution’s graphical package manager.
A beautiful desktop has to ship with a matching icon theme, which is the case on Deepin 15 alpha 2. I’m looking forward to the release of the stable edition. If you’ll like to test drive this edition before that happens, 32- and 64-bit ISO images are available for download here. You may read the Release Notes here.