Episode 16 Show Notes


…wherein we discuss what did and didn’t work for us this month…

Moss – I completely restructured both my machines, with a 1 Tb SSD in the desktop and a 512 Gb SSD in the laptop, only to have my desktop short its power supply. Replacement and repair is in the works. I’ve also managed to bring my Raspberry Pi 4 online running Ubuntu MATE 20.04, and thought I had everything working fine but then the VPN wouldn’t load correctly. So now I have a new VPN. And then I accidentally blew out the power supply on my desktop computer. I just received the correct power supply but have not installed it yet.

I have, perhaps temporarily, moved the 1 Tb SSD to my laptop, and filled up its roster of 8 partitions with distros, half of which are Ubuntu-based. I’ve got my distros up and running, with some configuration yet to be done on some of them. This is what I do for fun. 

My current roster includes Mint 20 MATE and Bodhi 5.1, Gecko ROLLING Plasma, OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 Plasma, Sabayon MATE, Manjaro Cinnamon, Ubuntu Unity, and KDE neon.

While my desktop was down, I was gifted two towers, both formerly very high end HP machines. One of them features a 1st-gen i7 processor and the other a quad-core Xeon, my first Xeon-based machine. I look forward to utilizing these machines or finding someone on the wrong side of the Digital Divide to pass them along to.

I am keeping a very close watch on a new independent distro, Releax Linux. This is completely new, with their own installer, package manager and repos, and it is currently in their 5th beta release.

The magic Covid-19 money went away, and then all the unemployment money went away, so I’m back to being poor, but with a lot less debt and a few dollars saved for as long as it lasts. I just got a short-term temporary job, probably good for 2-3 weeks, and am looking for other work. I would really appreciate it if any of our listeners would consider joining my Sponsus.

Distrohoppers has experienced an upswing in downloads again, with our last episode exceeding the magic 500 mark. Ten of our previous 15 episodes have had more than 400 downloads. This makes me happy. However, Archive has also not updated in over 2 weeks, so we don’t know where we actually are at present.

Tony – Well the last 6 weeks has been an interesting time. I have continued to play with my matchbox model cars and in the last few days put up a couple of YouTube videos of completed models for this years ‘Paint it Pink’ challenge which is about raising awareness of Cancer. The actual challenge month is October but I am away again for a lot of October so did mine early. Link here

I also managed to damage my finger on my left hand when a drill bit broke while drilling out a post on one of the models and the broken bit went into my finger. It is still numb despite it being over 5 weeks since this happened although feeling IS starting to return to the tip of the finger. My Wife thinks I have a death wish, the amount of times I cut my self in the kitchen or when modeling.

I’ve recently spent 2 weeks as a volunteer at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre as one of the onsite presence during closure due to the Covid pandemic. Despite it being very quiet as very few people were around it was nice to have access to the 10 acres of gardens and woodland and just chill for a couple of weeks. I’m returning a week Sunday for another 2 weeks and when I return we will be going on vacation for a week so our next episode may be the end of October. 

Linux wise I continue to use Mint 19.3 on my main box with Ubuntu Studio and Ubuntu Mate 20.04 on additional drives in the icyDock, for the show I have been playing with Mint 20 and Sparky linux but more of that later.

UPDATES (Where we discuss what we have learned about distros we’ve already reviewed)

Moss – KDE neon released a version based on 20.04, with the oddity that you had to download the last 18.04 version and run an update. Perhaps they have fixed it by now. Otherwise, most of the updates appear to be new versions of programs, and we’ll get to some of those in today’s show. Have you found anything, Tony?

Tony – Well Fedora 33 is approaching Beta and both myself and Leo have reviewed that on the show so that will be worth taking a look at later in the year when it gets released. This will also mean that Fedora 31 will be at end of Life by the end of this year, assuming they release 33 on time as they only have 2 supported iso’s during any release cycle. No Long term support ISO with Fedora I’m afraid. if you want to install it once and just leave for a while you will need to consider other alternatives.   

It is possible that the final release date may still slip a little as they prefer to release a stable product rather than being tied to the time table for final release, so we will wait and see. 

So let’s move on to our first distro this month, Mint 20 MATE.


DISTRO NAME:     Mint 20 Maté


As you probably all know, I have been running Mint Maté for about 8 years since the advent of Unity on Ubuntu took me away from my first Linux OS. So I was interested to find out what if anything from a few minor software upgrades, had happened in Mint for this release.  


So this distro was run on my current test laptop, a Dell E7440 the specs are as follows:

CPU – Intel Core i7 (4th Gen) 4600U / 2.1 GHz

RAM – 16Gb DDR3 at 1600Mhz

SSD – 2.5” 128Gb

As usual with Mint the install was flawless and the whole process start to finish was over in about 15 minutes, and updates as it is a recent release did not take very long either. I won’t bore you with the installer as it is the standard process we have reported many times and very easy to use, but for those new listeners there is a link to a YouTube video of Installing Mint 20 Maté including the process for creating a bootable USB drive.


So after all the updates were installed I checked to make sure all the hardware was recognised, I was connected to the internet by WiFi so that was working fine and all the ports and the trackpad were working, I installed cheese to check that the webcam was working as I need this for Zoom calls at the moment and there were no issues. So as expected there were no hardware issues identified at install and nothing has reared its head in the 6 weeks of working with this install. 


It’s Mint Maté, and I am so familiar with it I can almost do what I need to in my sleep, nothing that I could find in the inner workings seems to have changed in any way that I can see. So thumbs up from me here.


This is where things take a turn for the worse. I use Snaps and the decision of the Mint developers has been to remove active support of Snaps in this release to the extent of creating a script that blocks the install of Snapd. This is due to Ubuntu only making Chromium available as a Snap package but when you call ‘sudo apt install chromium’ in an Ubuntu terminal it calls on the Snap without informing the user that this is what is happening. Our friend and Co-Host Leo from mintCast came up with a simple script to remove the script blocking installation of snapd via ‘apt’ and there is a link to an article with that HERE on OMG Ubuntu there is also instructions for doing this in the file manager as well. Once this has been done I was able to install Snapd and install the snap software that I use regularly without any issues. For me this is a retrograde step as it makes Mint 20 less user friendly for a new Linux user, a more simple solution could have been to ask the user if they wished to install support for Snaps during the install process. This could have been done at the same time they ask if you wish to install non free codecs.

Other than that issue all my usual software is available and I was able to download and install everything I use for podcast production and the other tasks I regularly carry out on my PC. Software has been updated and when installed these are the versions of the software I am using.

Audacity     2.3.3

Gimp        2.10.18-1

Mumble    1.3.0

LibreOffice    6.4.5

Calibre        4.12

Inkscape    0.92.5-1

These are mostly upgrades to the software in Mint 19.3 but still not the most cutting edge, if you want more cutting edge software you will have to use Flatpak or Snaps (once enabled) to do this. But as the Mint 20 is based on the Ubuntu stable LTS this is not surprising.


At first boot which takes about 25s the laptop reports 688MiB of memory use, and with FireFox open 1245MiB. With 3 tabs in FireFox opened it reports 1650MiB of memory use which would make it usable for a PC with 4Gig of Ram, which is the bare minimum these days.

Hard drive use at first boot was around 10Gig  


I have never found this to be an issue and even the snapd problem was sorted within hours of the release being out. Thanks Leo.


Again this is good, no issues here either.


As expected in the 6 weeks of having this on the Laptop I have had no issues with stability.


Ease of Installationnew user friendly install scores     9/10

experienced Linux users             10/10

Hardware Issues                                                             10/10

Ease of Finding Help (Community, Web)                        10/10

Ease of Use                                                                     7/10 (snapd issue marks it down)

Plays Nice With Others                                                  10/10

Stability                                                                           10/10

Overall Rating                                                                   9/10


Mint 20 Cinnamon / XFCE

Ubuntu Maté


Apart from the issue with blocking the install of snapd, this is another fine release of Mint and I will personally be continuing to use this as my daily driver for the next 2 years at least. I’ve not updated the Desktop as yet but I’m always a little slow on doing that anyway, but all my clean installs of Mint on other hardware will be Mint 20 from now on. However if installing for a new user I will be ensuring that the snapd fix has been applied before I pass it on to the final user. I hope that Mint considers giving the user the choice to enable snapd at install if they wish to, then we would all be happy. It will again become a distro I can happily recommend to a new user that would be nervous about deleting config files, and would be doing the install themselves.  

Now let’s hear from Moss on GeckoLinux..



INTRO: If you’ve ever experienced the pain and confusion of attempting to install openSUSE, you’re in for a treat, because GeckoLinux gives you almost exactly openSUSE but installs it using Calamares, the world’s easiest installer. After installation, you’re booting up to an openSUSE screen, but with a little extra Gecko goodness. You really have to look for the differences. So I dove into this distro with both feet — and both computers, with STATIC (same as Leap) on my laptop and ROLLING (same as Tumbleweed) on my desktop until the desktop died, and now just ROLLING on the laptop.


My laptop is a 2014 model System76 Kudu 3, with a 17.3” screen, an i7 processor and Intel graphics, 16 Gb RAM and a new 512 Gb SSD.  My desktop is a homemade mini-ITX box with an i3, Intel graphics, 16 Gb RAM and a new 1 Tb SSD, using a 32” Westinghouse TV as an HDMI monitor.


It has been almost a year since I had a problem with Calamares on any distro, and they fixed that bug. It’s smooth as silk, and no issues were noted.


I have installed everything I can install. This includes SoftMaker Office, and the three KDE games. PysolFC says it’s installed but does not work correctly, and I can’t find Nethack. No issues with Mumble, Discord, Telegram, Audacity, etc.

BUT, when I connect my laptop to my 32” Magnavox HDMI monitor, it refuses to write to either screen. The monitor screen has the wallpaper on it, but nothing else, and the laptop screen is pure black. If there were something on the monitor, I could use Displays to set it, but no. And as soon as I disconnect the HDMI or turn the monitor off, my laptop screen works again.

I also had Gecko ROLLING on my desktop until it died, and as there is no battle between monitors — it only has the HDMI Magnavox — it works fine. On September 1, I switched drives, so I did most of this review using STATIC on my laptop and finished up with ROLLING.


This is a nice, easy to use distro. It uses zypper for the program manager. Some things need to be learned if you are used to dnfdragora or apt, but there is a good reason openSUSE is quite popular in most parts of the world.


ROLLING used 569 Mb RAM at rest on my laptop with htop running. After opening Firefox with 3 tabs open, it is using 2.14 Gb. As I have a 16 Gb system that is not a problem; if you have at least 4 Gb, it should also not be a problem. Expect older machines with less RAM to do a lot of swapping at this level.


I didn’t look for help on the monitor issue, but there is extensive help available at the Gecko and openSUSE forums as well as at LinuxQuestions.org. 


Here is where it all falls down, and why I have this section. There are 3 ways in which a distro does not play nicely. The first, it requires you to completely reconfigure your BIOS and/or main drive; the second, it will not install without taking over the entire drive. The third, and this is what is happening with Gecko, is where it keeps demanding control of GRUB. In the past 6 weeks, Gecko has updated GRUB on 5 occasions and has stolen GRUB for itself each time (most of my other distros did steal GRUB during this time, but only once). Since the GRUB menu is high res and therefore unreadable to older eyesight, I don’t want it to own GRUB, so I always have to go back into OpenMandriva (still the most beautiful GRUB screen ever) and take it back. If you have Manjaro, that would also be a good choice, also if you still have the Mint GRUB menu from 19.3.


I have had zero problems with anything. No crashes of any kind. No stuttering. It doesn’t appear to make a difference whether I’m using STABLE or ROLLING, everything works the way it should.


OpenSUSE Tumbleweed or Leap

Nothing else appears to be based on openSUSE or use zypper for program management


Ease of Installation                                new user                       10/10

    experienced user           10/10

Hardware Issues                                                                         8/10

Ease of Finding Help (Community, Web)                                     9/10

Ease of Use                                                                                 9/10

Plays Nice With Others                                                                2/10

Stability                                                                                       10/10

Overall Rating                                                                              8/10


SuSE was the second distro I ever used, and this new version works tons better than the old one did. Some people are addicted to openSUSE, others steer clear of it, but it’s all a matter of how it feels to you. I would suggest that if you choose openSUSE or Gecko, you have it as your primary, or perhaps only, distro, or you may be having frequent GRUB fights.

I’m not rushing to take this off my machine, but it’s likely not going to be a permanent resident.

And now for a special report from Dale Miracle, where he introduces us to Solus 4.1 Plasma.

DISTRO NAME: Solus 4.1 Plasma


Hello, my name is Dale and I am back with another distro review.  I will be reviewing Solus 4.1 Plasma.  It has been my daily driver for the past 8 months.  Solus is a 64-bit-only independent Linux distribution, offering Budgie, Gnome, Mate and Plasma desktops.  In fact they are the creators of the Budgie desktop.  Solus is a rolling release type distribution. To quote their website “Install today.  Updates forever”.  That shouldn’t concern you because I have found Solus to be extremely stable.

At the time of this writing (August 31, 2020), Solus is using Plasma version 5.19.4 and Kernel 5.6.19.  

Here are a few of the applications available in the Solus Software Center:

LibreOffice 6.4.5

FireFox 80

Thunderbird 78.2

VLC 3.0.11

They also have these popular applications:

Musescore, Mixxx for Musescore for musicians. GIMP, Inkscape for graphic design, or editing video with Avidemux, Kdenlive, or Shotcut.  For the gamers they support Lutris and Steam.


My laptop is a Lenovo T460, with an i5-6200U 2.3 Ghz CPU, 16 gb RAM, a 240 Gb SSD, and HD Graphics 520

My desktop is a MSi Krait Z97 SLI motherboard with a Xeon E3-1231 v3 3.4 GHz CPU, 16 Gb RAM, an AMD Radeon R9 390 8 GB graphics card, with 500 Gb SSD boot/root partitions and a 240 Gb SSD home partition


I had no problems installing Solus on either machine.  The process is similar to other distros like Ubuntu, and will guide you through the common questions like language, keyboard, user name and where to install it.  A nice feature was the option of installing the bootloader or not.  You will also have the option of encrypting your hard drive or ssd.  Another option is installing LVM, which is a way of grouping multiple drives together to add the sum of their storage space.  If you want to use it, you must install it during installation.  I asked on the Solus Forums if it could be done post install.  I am told it is complicated but it can be done.

It took about 14 minutes from power off to reboot and sign in.


Upon first login, all the hardware was detected and configured on my laptop and desktop.  I forgot that my HP Color LaserJet 100 MFP was powered on in a low-power state, but Solus detected it automatically.  I never needed to do anything to be able to print.


Solus just works.  Despite the rolling nature of Solus, I have successfully installed updates every month sometimes numbering 200+ for the past 8 months.  It has been as stable as a Debian, which I have used for several years prior to using Solus.  The software center is one of the best I have ever used on a Linux distribution.  The search feature is quick and accurate.  You could use Solus and never open the terminal.  So if you are not a command line fan, you will feel right at home.  If you do like to use the command line, EOPKG is the command line package app.  Unlike APT on Debian based distro, where you have to refresh the package list and then install the updates, EOPKG will update before completing the chosen command.  The commands are straight forward: Search for searching, install for installing and upgrade for upgrading.

The Software Center has a section for 3rd party applications.  They are separate from the native Solus packages.  If you need FlatPak or Snap support, it is available in the software center.  The only negative, at least for people who do not like the command line, is there no GUI for Snap or FlatPak.  The devs are working on adding them to the Software Center.  So for now you must use the command line.


Depending on the method you use to find your memory usage, on first boot it was 446 MB to 544 MB.  Methods used were free -h (for human readable), htop and Plasma’s System Monitor System Load tab.

Under normal use on both my desktop and laptop, Solus uses about 2GB.  I normally have FireFox with a few tabs open, Thunderbird and Telegram.


The Solus Community is among the best that Linux has to offer.  I have asked questions in the past 8 months and usually had replies and a solution within a day or a few days.  It is not uncommon to have the Lead Devs answer questions; they have answered a couple of mine.


All of my systems use CSM (bios compatibility), though they do have the option of using UEFI.  The main reason is because I was previously using Debian 8 and upgraded to Debian 9, and Debian didn’t support UEFI until version 9.  So when I installed Solus I forgot that I was using CSM.  The other reason is because I haven’t seen the need to use UEFI.  With that said, I did install Solus on my Lenovo T430 that had Manjaro KDE.  The Solus installer saw the Manjaro installation.  It offered to do the following options: A side by side install thus dual booting Solus and Manjaro; Use the existing Manjaro partition and replace it with Solus; or Install Solus as the only OS wiping the drive.

During the installation you can choose to use the Solus bootloader or your existing one.  Solus uses the default Grub 2.0 boot menu.  I tried both.  To use your other distro’s boot menu, boot into that distro and type

sudo update-grub

Then reboot and you should see that distribution’s grub boot menu.

Now as far as booting using UEFI, Solus doesn’t like to share or use other OS’s EFI System Partition.  I did some searching on the Solus forums and found a tutorial on how to dual-boot other OSes with Solus using UEFI.  The link is in the Show Notes.



Like I previously mentioned, Solus is every bit as stable as Debian in my experience.


Manjaro Plasma


Ease of Installation                            new user                     8/10

experienced user        10/10

Hardware Issues                                                                   10/10

Ease of Finding Help (Community, Web)                              10/10

Ease of Use                                                                            8/10

Plays Nice With Others     CSM                                             10/10

Plays Nice with Others     UEFI                                              7/10

Stability                                                                                  10/10

Overall Rating                                                                        9/10


Overall I think Solus is a great distribution.  The kernel is current enough so you can use recent hardware. With the added benefit of being extremely stable.

About the only negative that I have ever heard about Solus is software availability in the Software Center.  It may not have the selection that a Debian or Arch-based distro might have, though in my view that is only for niche applications.  I think for the average computer user, the software selection is fine.  Installing Snap and/or Flatpak, despite currently only being available in the command line, is a definite win.  I personally don’t see the problem typing FlatPak search or flatpak install packagename.

Solus is only going to get even better.  

And now back to Moss and Tony.


DISTRO NAME:Ubuntu Unity 20.04


There was a time when Ubuntu was all-in on their own desktop experience, Unity Desktop. Then they changed their mind. Some people still miss Unity, and it has continued as a community project, with UBPorts keeping up UbuntuTouch, now using Lomiri desktop, a renaming of Unity 8 which is not yet complete. Rudra Saraswat has taken time out of his busy schedule to make this respin, giving us the full Unity 7 experience on the latest Ubuntu. And you will either love it or hate it, for the same reasons people loved or hated Unity when it was the main Ubuntu.


I’m running Ubuntu Unity on my 2014 model System76 Kudu 3, as mentioned above, and my wife is also using it on and off on her 2013 Lenovo ThinkPad T430.


This nice respin has intentions of becoming an official flavor of Ubuntu, and so it uses Ubiquity installer. That is the usual installer, and it allows you to use the terminal trick to not install GRUB (ubiquity –no-bootloader). Just remember to update your GRUB in whichever distro you have controlling GRUB (sudo update-grub or sudo update-grub2 depending on what distro owns GRUB) so that it gets included in your boot menu. If you use this as your sole distro, you can ignore all that, and you will find it fairly easy to get through the installation, especially if you’re familiar with Ubiquity.

The dev maintains this as his primary distro, although he has two distros he runs for Raspberry Pi (one mature, the other in development and using Unity) and he also maintains Ubuntu Ed, a continuation of Edubuntu based on Ubuntu Unity. He is also working on Ubuntu with the Lomiri desktop, strictly experimental at present.


Everything runs just like you expect it to, except that it’s Unity instead of Gnome or another popular desktop environment. This is extremely well-done. I encourage donating to this distro if you want to see more from this developer; I did. 


Unity is simple. You may need to use Unity-tweak to get things the way you like them. But the entire difference between Unity and most other desktops is that you close windows on the upper LEFT instead of right. You may like that; you may hate it. That’s the same issue Ubuntu had when it was the main choice. But everything works, just like you expect Ubuntu to work.


After booting and letting it sit for 2 minutes, nothing running except htop, memory use was 1.13 Gb. The dev is working at pulling more unneeded bits out of the system, but this is certainly not a light system at present. 


The user forum is pretty new and therefore does not have that much activity, but they have multiple Telegram rooms (one for tech help, one for off-topic, and one for admins) and a Discord channel. There are several very dedicated users, and I’m in the group myself and will likely continue to be. This is one of the friendliest Telegram groups I’m in. Blame it all on the dev — Rudra Saraswat is the smartest elementary school student on the planet, and knows how to be helpful and friendly.

Also remember, this is Ubuntu. There is more online help — forums, YouTube videos, and Telegram/Discord — for Ubuntu than for any other distro, period.


You bet. Just like any other Ubuntu flavor.


Do I have to say it again? It’s Ubuntu; it’s stable.


Any Ubuntu flavor

At present there are no other distros using Unity7


Ease of Installation                                        new user                    8/10

experienced user       10/10

Hardware Issues                                                                              10/10

Ease of Finding Help (Community, Web)                                        10/10

Ease of Use                                                                                      9/10

Plays Nice With Others                                                                   10/10

Stability                                                                                           10/10

Overall Rating                                                                                9.5/10


Even if you don’t like Unity, you will like this dev and the group of people offering support. I would suggest installing it just so you can feel good about joining the Telegram group. This is the kind of community that we love to see, and the dev is the kind of person who is shaping the future of Linux.

I have donated to this project, and highly recommend that you check it out and see if you can do the same. However, this is probably the first distro to be replaced when I look for something for next month’s show; I just can’t get used to that top-left-corner click. Shame on me.

Now, let’s go back to Tony, who will introduce us to the joys of SparkyLinux.


DISTRO NAME: – SparkyLinux


SparkyLinux is a distribution based on Debian and the latest release based on Debian 10, SparkyLinux 5.12 came out in July. However they also do a semi rolling release based on Debian testing which is currently on the Debian 11 testing branch and this was what I decided to review. Just a note of caution, although the developers do everything they can to keep this stable, as it is based on the testing branch then things can go wrong resulting in an unusable system. This is the reason that LMDE is no longer based on the testing branch as it was in the past. But if you want a more cutting edge kernel, (which after a recent update is 5.8) and likewise more up to date software, and can resolve issues yourself then this may be the distro for you.     


So for information this installation was done as a dual boot on my Toshiba Portege Z30 the specification is as follows, this is the same machine I used for most of the 2019 reviews.

Intel® Core™ i5-4210U CPU 2 cores and 4 threads @ 1.70GHz to 2.7GHz 128Gb M2 SSD and 8Gb DDR3 Ram.

SparkyLinux installer is Calamares.

  • pick language
  • Location
  • Keyboard
  • partitioning – Wipe, dual boot or manual
  • username and password, choice as to boot right to desktop or require password. use the same as PW for the administrator account.

It took only a few minutes to install and on first boot after this it prompts you to run any updates that are available which if you have a reasonably fast internet connection is also a fast process.

After this it also prompted me to install the British English language packs so you only need to install the language pack you need, rather than everything under the sun that you will never use.


Again as with Mint I did not have any issues with any of my hardware on this laptop, as it is an old machine and this is an up to date kernel I would not have expected any, but with a PC only a few months old or with a special graphics card, your experience may be different.  


As I am familiar with the Maté DE and the Debian ecosphere then I found it as easy to use as Mint. During the 4 weeks or so of using this OS I have not had any issues regarding it being difficult to use. Although a new Linux user may have a different experience but as the chances are that they would be coming over from using Windows I doubt they would experience any major issues.  


None, all my regular software was available in the repositories and you can install snaps and Flatpaks once you have enabled these.  


At first boot, neofetch reports 560Mb of Ram usage and GParted reports 6Gb of disc space used before any additional software installed. With FireFox opened RAM goes to 1250Mb and with 3 tabs opened this jumps to 1830Mb so even with a minimal 4Gb of RAM this should be a very usable system. 


During the time I used SparkyLinux the only thing I needed any help with was installing Flatpak onto the system. This was quickly resolved with a quick Google search which came up with how to do this on Debian and after following the steps I had Flatpak installed and was able to install items from the flathub site without issue. I do not see support being a major issue due to the large Debian community available as well as the very extensive Sparky Wiki.


I did a dual boot on the Toshiba and had no issues with this, so I would say this is good.


Despite this being based on Debian 11 testing during the time using Sparky I had no issues with any updates even after leaving it switched off for about a week after returning from Woodbrooke and having over 300Mb of updates to do it went flawlessly. So in the time I used it, no issues around stability were found, although with longer use this may have been different. 


Ease of Installationnew user friendly install scores      10/10

                   experienced Linux users                10/10

Hardware Issues                                                                                   10/10

Ease of Finding Help (Community, Web)                                              10/10

Ease of Use                                                                                          10/10

Plays Nice With Others                                                                         10/10

Stability                                                                                                 10/10

Overall Rating                                                                                       10/10


MakuluLinux based on Debian testing

MX Linux based on Debian stable

Q4OS         “    “

BunsenLabs    “    “

SolydXK    “    “


Despite this being a semi rolling release based on Debian testing, I found SparkyLinux to be a well made distribution and very user friendly. Some of that is due to the fact that I am very familiar with DEB systems in general and also a regular Maté DE so much of what was on offer was a very familiar environment to me. Despite that I feel that a new user would have no issues getting to grips with this distro and despite its pedigree of a semi rolling release it was very stable during the testing period. I definitely think this is one I will be keeping an eye on, and it will probably become a fixture on one of the IcyDock drives shortly.


from July 24- 09/14

Live Raizo

FuryBSD 20200907

ArcoLinux 20.9.2

Manjaro 20.1

deepin 20

NuTyX 11.6

KDE neon 20200910 (4th update since last episode)

Zorin OS 15.3

Nitrux 2020.09.05

Ubuntu DP 20.04

CloudReady 83.4.27

Arch Linux 2020.09.01

SparkyLinux 2020.09

Endless 3.8.6

RebornOS 2020.09.01

Garuda 200831

IPFire 2.25-core148

Q4OS 3.12

EasyOS 2.4.1

Absolute 20200827

Septor 2020.4

MidnightBSD 1.2.7

ExTiX 20.9

Tails 4.10

Bluestar 5.8.3

RasPiOS 2020-08-20

SwiftLinux 19.2.1

MakuluLinux 2020-08-16

Redo 2.0.5

Voyager 20.04.1

Kali Linux 2020.3

Bicom 6.1.0 “PBXware”

Parrot 4.10

Linuxfx 10.5

SparkyLinux 2020.08

MX Linux 19.2 “KDE”

All official Ubuntu 18.04 flavors were updated to 18.04.5

All official Ubuntu 16.04 flavors were updated to 16.04.7

Voyager Live 20.04.1

LibreELEC 9.2.4

Endless 3.8.5

GhostBSD 20.08.04

Finnix 121

BunsenLabs Linux Lithium

ALT Linux 8.1

GeckoLinux 999.200729.0 ROLLING

OPNsense 20.7

REMnux 7




I heard you talking about Gecko on the shows, and I had an issue I hoped you could clarify.

I tried installing it, went to manual partitioning, and set my partitions.  When I clicked Next, a dialog appeared telling me that GPT partitioning is best for most people, and if I chose I could go back and mark my partition table GPT before proceeding.  Unfortunately, my partition table is already GPT.  My system was originally MBR which I re-partitioned as GPT.  I have not yet had the pleasure of owning a UEFI system, so I don’t know much about those.

The dialog implies that it does not know how my disk is partitioned.  I have 3 other Linuxes installed, and since I was unsure if the installer would bork my disk, I terminated the install.

My guess is that its just a badly-worded dialog, and that the installer would likely not ruin my disk.  But I have seen odd problems with the most recent versions of Calamares.  Do you think I should go ahead and try the installation?



Moss Responded:

I’m always reluctant to tell people what they should do on their system. If it were me, I would make sure everything is backed up and go ahead. But I’ve had my share of borked systems, so I understand if you are not willing to do that.

I keep everything set up UEFI but with Secure Boot turned off. That seems to work for the most systems. I really don’t know the ins and outs of other ways to set up your hard drive. And if you learn, would you please write us an article explaining it? You can send it to [email protected] if you do.

Recent Comments

No comments to show.

This work is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

This Website Is Hosted On

Thank You For Visiting