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March 24, 2012

17

Bodhi Linux 1.4.0 Review

Bodhi Linux is a lightweight Ubuntu based distribution that uses Englightenment as its desktop manager. It is geared for those who have older hardware or who prefer lighter desktops compared to the heavier GNOME or KDE.

Bodhi comes as an installable LiveCD which when first started, is quite similar to that of Ubuntu’s startup so if you’ve used Ubuntu before, you’ll feel well at home.

The amount of diskspace needed is very low at a whopping 1.2 GB for those who want to install it instead of using it in a Live environment. Installation was quite simple with going through a few configuration steps and then from there and not too long after it’s installed. Installation times will vary depending on your hardware specifications.

An interesting bit of setup I’ve never seen before was once I started up for the first time I was greeted by a feature called profiles. The profile is basically a setting on how you want your desktop to behave. For example this is what the desktop profile looked like when I selected it, but when changing it to Compositing, I was greeted with a completely different layout and a more flashier desktop with menus with more fluid like effects. Each profile has its different features, with tablet your images are icons and also for those on a laptop have a battery indicator that you would see on tablets out there and the left click button does not activate the menus like you would see on the other profiles.

The software that comes by default is somewhat, I feel of a downside of this distribution as there should’ve been a bit more installed by default. There is however a web based installer where you can download and install software you like when clicking on Bodhi Linux > Add Software. We were then greeted by a website that allows you to install packs such as an audio pack which has a bunch of software for audio listening or you can install individual packages. If you prefer, you also have Synaptic Package Manager installed as well if you’re more comfortable with that option.

Conclusion

I find Bodhi Linux quite interesting, I’ve never seen a feature like profiles before and it is very nifty and makes it easy for one to customize their desktop. Tied into the fact that you can download nice wallpapers and other themes from their own website it makes it easy to customize for the way you want it to look like.

The software that came as part of Bodhi Linux was a bit underwhelming. The point is to keep it as small as possible and keep resources down, but the default software was lackluster and effected usability out of the box; there should’ve been a few more programs installed or take queues from Peppermint OS and link to online programs that would allow a user to have all the functionality without effecting the size of the installation nor the system resources one needs to take advantage of this distribution.

Overall this is a pretty good distribution and for those who have older systems where resources are tight, this would be definitely a good distribution to install

Homepage: http://www.bodhilinux.com/

Screenshots: Bodhi Linux 1.4.0

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17 Comments
  1. Randy Fry
    Mar 25 2012

    I believe the idea behind Bodhi is to make it what you want! They have some packages assembled in thier software section which are complete! Nikhila An Application Suite of full featured software and Prathiba An Application Suite that focuses on packages that are light on resources but high on functionality. The bottom line is that even fully bloated with software (if you have the hardware for it)this Linux distro is faster than most, while still remaining eye catching and useful. But for older sytems this OS is tops! It can run on as little as 128 MB of ram!

    • Mike L
      Mar 25 2012

      I would’ve preferred if they atleast linked to say Google Docs and while giving the end user their choice of what they want.

      It feels like without software the distribution is somewhat limited.

  2. Borg Bucolic
    Mar 25 2012

    I rather liked Bodhi, but yea, the software was an issue. The other issue I have found with Bodhi, it can be twitchy with left handed mouse users.

  3. BigBen
    Mar 26 2012

    Hi Mike – the software is indeed there, you have the whole Ubuntu repository at your disposal in Bodhi – plus the Bodhi repos.

    Synaptic says there are 34328 packages available in this about-to-be-upgraded Bodhi 1.3.0 laptop installation which currently has…
    1464 packages installed, apparently.

    It’s a slightly different approach to (eg) Ubuntu or Mint or the mighty DVD distros.
    On the current 438 MB Bodhi 1.4 ISO you get a full desktop and shell with a selection of profiles and themes and enough tools to check out the distro and then add anything you want from the repos or Appcenter.

    If you prefer a pre-selected menu full of Bodhi goodness, there is an alternative download of Bodhi (nick-named ‘Bloathi’) which is still less than 1.5GB, with details here:-

    http://forums.bodhilinux.com/index.php?/topic/3866-bloathi-linux-130/page__p__35691__hl__bloathi__fromsearch__1#entry35691

    …and downloadable here:-

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/bloathilinux/files/

    As of today this is still version 1.3.0 – but it is upgradeable to (this weeks release) version 1.4.0 with:-
    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

    I’d expect to see Bloathi on sourceforge updated soon, but it is less than urgent since Bloathi/Bodhi is also a release that rolls.

    We like it a lot. Our Bodhi installs have also been more stable than Ubuntu on the same hardware since June of 2011.

    • Mike L
      Mar 26 2012

      Hi BigBen,

      I think it was a slight misunderstanding by what I meant by no software installed. I meant to say pre-installed. I understand that there’s a few thousand programs through synaptic that can be installed but looking at it as a new Linux user, a few more programs pre-installed would’ve been nicer.

    • Mike L
      Mar 29 2012

      Hi Big Ben,

      You stand correct. I didn’t notice Bloathi mentioned on their website. Being 1.5 GB though, it’s a bit too much software to be included by default.

      Maybe 2 more programs included in Bodhi would be nice like an email client and a word processor.

  4. Mar 26 2012

    Linux is exactly what i like. Thank you for that article. I enjoyed reading it. Thanks, Rebekka!

  5. Al
    Mar 26 2012

    To Borg Bucolic (and everyone), I am a lefthanded mouse user but I can’t figure out how to switch the mouse buttons and have cursors slant the opposite way. Any ideas? Thanks.

  6. Mar 26 2012

    @ Al;

    Hi Al, you’d probably want to take a look at a section in our forum discussing tips for the left-handed mouse-user.

    http://tinyurl.com/LeftHandedmouseuser

  7. Yaseen Noorani
    Mar 26 2012

    The profiles to be chosen at the beginning is actually an E17 feature. Nice review, btw.
    I’m using Bodhi full time and I’m loving it!

  8. BigBen
    Mar 26 2012

    Hi Mike, yes you are right that Bodhi’s ISO is (intentionally) light in the menu department – helps to keep the download smaller. Not everyone has a big cheap pipe!
    When getting started we found that adding one of the ‘bundles’ from the Bodhi Appcenter did the trick for us after we’d done playing with the Profiles and Themes that come on the ISO.
    There’s so much to play with in there that I’m still having fun with them nearly a year later – and there are a lot more to download now.
    It’s a matter of preference, and the Bodhi team does try to offer us options in most things.
    The ‘Bloathi’ option is a serious effort to provide you with a fuller menu on one download – have you had a chance to try it yet, and is it more what you prefer?
    I find Bloathi very useful as a lighter but full-featured Live distro on a USB stick, for example. Runs so well on older machines and rocks out on fast ones.
    Ben

  9. IAN
    Mar 29 2012

    e17 is dead

  10. Ruu
    Nov 10 2012

    I think the fact that Bodhi has so little software is actually a strong point. It is actually part of the concept that one has the ability to customize it to the point of choosing which software should be installed. I don’t think it was made for linux newbies, but people who have already ventured a bit and want to make the os ‘their own’…without making it completely new from scratch. That’s the point!
    Also, one can’t ignore that amazing speed!!!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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