Episode 30 Show Notes


Distrohoppers’ Digest Episode 030


Hosts: Moss Bliss, Tony Hughes, Dale Miracle, Joshua Hawk

Monthly Foibles 

Updates: Feren OS, Ubuntu Unity, Bodhi, Escuelas, OpenMandriva, Slackware, Slackel, Solus, Mint Edge, Fedora 36

Beautiful Failures: oddnesses with Mint Cinnamon, Nvidia games, VMs

Reviews: Gecko 999 Gnome Rolling, Gecko 153 Budgie Static, Deepin OS

New Releases 




MONTHLY FOIBLES  …wherein we discuss what we did this month…

Josh – I switched back to Linux Mint on my new laptop and I don’t regret it one bit. It really feels like coming home again. Hardware is working great with Mint and even my fans work properly as the GPU and CPU temps fluctuate. Unfortunately the keyboard RGB does not stay the color I chose unless I boot into Windows and then reboot and select Mint. 

I finally got my laptop server transitioned over to my desktop. It was much simpler than I realized using snap applications. I use plex and nextcloud as a snap which is a container system but I won’t get into that here. Long story short, I used a command called “snap save” that backed up my snaps to a remote file server and then used “snap restore” to restore them to the new desktop. All in all it took me less than 4 hours (and I was taking my time) to transition over everything and work out some kinks I came across.

Dale – I did some preparation work for my upcoming hop to another distro.  I’ve been using Pop!_OS on my desktop for almost 11 months. I am considering MX Linux for my next long-term distro.

I created a disk image using Gnome Disks so I can quickly return to Pop!_OS as if nothing happened.  Another important issue that needed some attention is comparing and verifying my backups.  I’ve been using Free File Sync for a few years now.  It is a useful GUI utility for finding differences between two folders.  It supports 1-way and 2-way sync, along with comparing.

Another useful GUI utility is called Detwinner, it makes it easy to find duplicate files.  For finding images, it has a fuzzy compare option that finds very similar images.  This whole process took a while.  I have 350 or so moves, a dozen or so tv shows, along with my other files.  That is about 2 TB of files.  If I want I can set up a folder sync with Free File Sync or Rsync once I get my new distro installed.

I also added a 500 GB Western Digital Black NVME to my desktop.  It is a PCIe 4 x4 NVME drive. I will use it in addition to my 500 GB Seagate Q5 NVME drive, which is a PCIe 3 x4 NVME drive.  Not sure which I will use for root and home, but I don’t think it matters.  They are both faster than I will ever need.

I spent the rest of my week watching TV and attending video chats with some friends.  A friend’s wife had a birthday while I was home and joined them for dinner at a local restaurant.

My week ended rather poorly due to getting 15 inches/38.1 centimeters of snow early Sunday evening into late Monday morning.  This is not a normal occurrence in my area.  I shoveled snow for about 4 hours including breaks to warm up.  If I remember correctly it was around 15 degrees Fahrenheit/-9.4 Celsius.  Once I finished, I needed to take another 35 minutes to uncover my car.  To finish off all of this fun, I drove down to where I parked my company’s truck, then proceeded to shovel it out as well.  It wasn’t as bad because the truck stop had a pickup plow their lot.  If it wasn’t for needing to get my car out, I would have waited to have a plowing service do it.  They were booked doing all the businesses in the area.

Tony – I’ve not done much Linux stuff in the last month although I have written a short review of the new Juno PC. Ronnie was calling for more content for Full Circle Magazine, so this might be in the February issue that will be out at the end of the Month. I did a little modeling and restored my first Dinky Car, a Ford Anglia, think Harry Potter and you might know the real car it’s based on. There is a link here to have a look at the finished project on YouTube. My Wife and I also decided to do a long walk 3 weeks ago. We walked along the coast from Blackpool to a town about 8 miles away, had our packed lunch and walked back. It was a lovely sunny but cold winter’s day, but all the walking kept us warm and we had a great day. Not bad for someone who 3 years ago was having an Arthritis flare up and could barely walk. Although I will admit that I was quite sore for a few days afterwards.             

Moss – This has been a dull month for me. All the pressing things are taken care of, I have all the machines I need, and my musical instruments have been gathering dust. I signed up for February Album Writing Month. The concept is to attempt to write 14 songs, enough to fill an album, in the month of February. Not many actually complete the task, but this is the first time I’ve attempted it. I also took one of my guitars to the shop for some needed, but simple, repairs. I need to take another one for a neck straightening, but will wait until this one is fixed. I have been unable to sell my car for two months now. I have 3 distros on my T560 and 5 on the T540p, plus two on the Tiny M700 ThinkCentre, so keeping everything updated is fun. And we finally got our Hyundai Accent Hatchback to the body shop for the prospect of repairs after being run over by a dog in mid-December.

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

Moss – I’m still waiting for the 2022 update on Feren OS, Dominic has gotten a bit behind. I have caught up some with my young friend Rudra Saraswat, who maintains Ubuntu Unity and several other distros. He also had an article written about him recently which really shows what an outstanding individual he is. I should probably get back to one of his distros soon.  Ubuntu Unity 22.04 Beta is out for testing purposes, including a Raspberry Pi spin.  Bodhi is working on version 6.1, and has a beta of 6.1 E25 and an alpha of 6.1 Moksha available for testing. I also just learned there is a Mexican fork of Bodhi for education called Escuelas, and they have a new version out, in English and Spanish and utilizing a variety of kernel 5.15 LTS as developed by System76. The new version, 7.3, is 64-bit only but they still offer 6.17 in 32-bit. And finally, OpenMandriva 4.3 is out, for 64-bit Intel/AMD machines, with a version for Raspberry Pi and other SOC computers to be released soon, and a port to RISC-V on its way. 

Dale – I only have a couple this month.  Slackel Linux released version 7.5 of their Openbox Edition,  featuring kernel 5.15.12 and updates from Slackware’s ‘current’ branch.  This may get some future updates now that Slackware 15 was released.  I will put the link to the blog post in the show notes.

Datadrake of the Solus project announced their plans for 2022 after the departure of Joshua Strobl and other team members.  Datadrake will be taking a more active role in the project.  The title of the announcement is Not dead yet’.  I will have a link to the announcement in the show notes.

The last bit of news from Solus is the problems with their hosting provider.  This is causing issues with downloading the ISO’s and updating existing installations.  As of the 12th of February, the issue still exists.  There is a temporary command to use in the meantime.  It is using the command line updater eopkg using an until loop to keep it trying. The link to the blog post will be in the show notes.

Tony – Nothing from me this month

Josh – Linux Mint 20.3 Edge ISO is out. Fedora 36 is starting its final phases to release on 04/26/2022. 

BEAUTIFUL FAILURES – What we tried, and failed, to install or run this month

Moss: Oddly, I have had nothing I couldn’t deal with this month. Josh?

Josh: Only gaming related failures this month and it’s all Nvidia’s fault. While playing a game called Valheim with the newest Nvidia 510 drivers if I set the Nvidia optimus graphics switching to on-Demand the game would crash. I had to manually set the graphics to strictly Nvidia to play the game without crashing. Another game related issue I had was with a game called Metro Exodus. When playing on only my laptop screen the game works fine but the issues start when attaching my external monitors. When my external monitors are connected the game launches but only should on the top half of the screen. So basically the top 50% of my screen is the game and the bottom 50% of my screen is the Cinnamon desktop. I have no idea what happened with this one. I have not found a fix yet but I am still looking. Also want to note this is a Linux port from Windows. 

Dale: This isn’t a failure but odd enough to mention.  I installed the new Mint Cinnamon on my Dell Inspiron 13, so I could check it out.  I tried to turn on the Dell a few days later and it was stuck at the Dell logo screen.  After many attempts to get into the bios, on a whim, I put my Ventoy stick and attempted to boot off of it.  Instead of choosing it, I instead choose to enter the bios.  From there I reset it to the default settings and after that, the laptop booted fine.

Tony: A couple of times I tried to play with a distro in Boxes but could not get it to work. The first was Slackware 15, this was not Boxes fault but Slackware is one of those distroes that is old school and it wouldn’t let me install as the Virtual Drive was not formatted and there was no way to do this within the installer. Unlike VirtualBox I wasn’t able to use another OS to format the Virtual drive and try again as Boxes doesn’t work in the same way as VirtualBox. The second distro I could not get to load was PCLinuxOS and this was a Boxes issue as it loaded and installed fine in VirtualBox, so I’m not sure what the issue with Boxes was in that case. So it is good to have choices as far as Virtual machines go. I will probably try Virtual box for Slackware and have another go at getting a VM up and running.

Distro Reviews


DISTRO NAME: Gecko 153 Static Budgie

INTRO: Gecko has long been known as the “easy” way to get openSUSE on your system; indeed, once it is installed, no part of your system, from GRUB to Terminal, knows you are running Gecko and not openSUSE. But I haven’t tried Gecko out in some time, and thought I’d give it a go. 

MY HARDWARE: I installed to my Lenovo ThinkPad T540p, featuring an i7- 4810HQ CPU, 16 Gb RAM, and both Intel and Nvidia graphics, on sda3, a partition on my 512 Gb SSD.

INSTALLATION EASE AND ISSUES:  It wasn’t hard to set up, as the installer is Calamares. This version of Calamares has an old bug which makes it difficult to change your username during installation, there’s a workaround but it hasn’t always had this. 

(My Name is Moss Bliss, but I use Username zaivala. When I go to fix the username on the install screen, it changes the first letter and then jumps to the end; this repeats until you’re done. The workaround is to cut and paste everything from the @ sign on, delete the name, enter the name you want, and paste the rest back. This happens on most current Calamares installers, I assume it’s tied to the version.)

Otherwise, installation was a piece of cake. It refused to install Grub, being on the second disk, but it worked fine after running Grub Customizer in Bodhi. I’m getting used to this.  Also be aware that there is a Beginner version and an Advanced version. I did not try the Advanced version.

POST-INSTALLATION HARDWARE FACTS & ISSUES: After installation, I went to update the packages. I opened YaST and ran Online Upgrades. This was simple and fairly straightforward, but it took considerably longer than apt would have in a *buntu distro. I wanted to remove some unwanted programs. YaST was not very helpful, but while looking I was happy to notice that it had loaded the Nvidia driver. After another try, I learned that YaST does not display all packages, you have to search for them. I found and removed what I set out to do. While I was doing that, I was informed there were a large number of more packages to install, and I did that while I was removing packages. When I was done, a system reboot was required.

I opened up Firefox and the browser thought it was full screen but wasn’t – the controls were where you would expect them in full screen mode, but not where they were drawn on the screen. I closed and reopened and everything was in the right spot. I have not had this issue reappear.

I tried installing my four little games. It did fine with Kmines (installing the newer package which does not save times) and Kmahjongg, but could not find nethack or PysolFC.  I downloaded the RPM of SoftMaker FreeOffice and installed it, and the signature certification failed, but it worked fine when I ran it.  FreeOffice installed much more quickly than it has in other distros, and I didn’t notice until later that it was FreeOffice 2021, not 2018 as I had installed before.

I downloaded and installed my printer driver installation file, and ran it. Everything worked fine, again much faster than usual.  While I was doing that, I noticed that the Save button on the download screen is at the top right, which was weird.

The file system is btrfs. The installer didn’t ask, just did it.

Dale noticed that his installation of Rolling never notified him of updates, and asked me whether Static did the same thing. Yes, it does the same thing, and I had not noticed. I am *not* your typical user, I open up a distro and go do updates, and look for them if they’re not shown. I had just gotten used to opening YaST and checking for updates, but the typical new user would just never update if they were not notified that updates were available. This might become a security issue in a very short time. On top of that, when you do select this option, it shows several updates available and does not autoselect them. When you do select them, you get a confusing message which seems to indicate that they can’t all be installed at the same time and you will need to reboot – but after installing whatever it could and rebooting, there are no more packages to update, so it was an unnecessary panic attack. Perhaps I didn’t need to upgrade all those packages, but it wasn’t clear and they were there, listed as “recommended updates”.  In a later update, I was asked whether I wanted to break Samba, break some library, or skip a patch. I know better than to skip patches, and I don’t network the computers using Samba, so I picked the “break” option, but a new user would likely have no idea what was going on.

On top of everything else, when all was updated and upgraded, I found myself still running kernel 5.3.18. Even Mint starts with 5.4.0, and 5.17 is out.

EASE OF USE: At this point, I have everything I’m going to get without digging a lot deeper. I am less than happy with the system, because it is quite a bit different from what I’m used to and feels stiff. But I managed to get Telegram and Discord installed, and Firefox is just Firefox. But the more I try to customize it, the more I feel I’m hitting my head against a brick wall. There is no modernization of the interface. Everything is just squares and rectangles with hard corners, no smoothing or 3D effects, nothing. Take it or leave it. Maybe it would have been different had I installed Plasma instead of Budgie, but this is bad design.

MEMORY AND DISK USE: RAM usage was 701 MiB. It’s using 6.541 GiB of disc space.

EASE OF FINDING HELP: I didn’t have any problems which necessitated going to look for help. I really can’t give a rating on this. There are a number of people out there who are friendly to OpenSUSE users, and there are a number who go into RTFM mode when you ask a question. As I did not visit the forum, I don’t know what you will find when you go there. I realize I’ve been saying this a lot lately, and wonder why I’m not following this lead up, but there you have it.

PLAYS NICE WITH OTHERS: I’m not having any trouble multibooting, it works well. After a week, I installed something else on sda4, and things are still quite hunky-dory.

STABILITY: This is a strong point. SUSE is the #2 professional distro in terms of profits, so it should be pretty stable. I hope that having the files in btrfs makes it more, not less, stable.



any other RPM-based distro


Ease of Installation      new user                8/10

                                    experienced user   10/10

Hardware Issues                                       10/10

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

Ease of Use                                               5/10

Plays Nice With Others                             10/10

Stability                                                     10/10

Overall Rating                                          6/10

FINAL COMMENTS: I have run SuSE before. I have run Gecko before. I didn’t remember why I stopped using it, but now I do. This is not a system for a simple desktop user. It’s perfectly stable, but even with the ease of installation offered by Calamares, nothing else is easy. I hope I can forget this experience in the next year or so, so I can do an objective review when a new version comes out in the future. I never could get to where I felt comfortable, and don’t really know why.


DISTRO NAME: Gecko Gnome Rolling 999


Gecko is a spin of the openSUSE Leap and Tumbleweed distros.  Static is based on Leap with Rolling based on Tumbleweed.  The initial release was on the 27th of May in 2016.  They include proprietary codecs and software that would need manually installed in openSUSE.  Here are a few other key differences.

GeckoLinux does not force the installation of additional recommended packages after system installation, whereas openSUSE pre-installs patterns and automatically installs recommended package dependencies, thus causing many additional and possibly unwanted packages to be installed the first time the package manager is used.

GeckoLinux pre-installed packages can be uninstalled with all of their dependencies, whereas openSUSE’s patterns often cause uninstalled packages to be automatically re-installed.


The laptop I used is my Lenovo ThinkPad T460.  It has an Intel Dual Core i5-6200U 2.8 GHz CPU, 14″ display using Intel HD Graphics 520, 16 GB of RAM, and a 500 GB SSD.


Gecko Rolling uses the Calamares installer.  I have to say it was the easiest Calamares install.  The usual questions were asked like language, timezone, partitioning of the drive, etc.  I chose to replace the partition that I had Voyager Linux installed.  After selecting my choices I arrived at the “begin installing” prompt.  I thought I had skipped a page, so I went back through.  Sure enough, I did not.  One thing I do like about Calamares is when the maintainers use the save WiFi passphrase after the install feature.  It is nice to boot into a new install and have the WiFi connect automatically.


No hardware issues were found upon bootup.  I noticed that they are using Gnome 41.3 but with X11. I was surprised that they were not using Wayland, considering it has been available in openSUSE for quite a while.  

While looking through the extensions I noticed only 3.  User Themes (for loading themes from the user Home folder), GPaste (clipboard manager), and Desktop Icons (for putting home folder, recycle bin, etc icons on the desktop).  I noticed that the desktop icons were not working.  After taking a closer look, they are using an extension that is only for Gnome 3.  It can not be removed nor was it working.

So I thought I would add DING (Desktop Icons NG) since I know it is Gnome 4 compatible.  I opened Firefox and saw they didn’t have the Gnome Extensions add-on installed, another odd misstep in my opinion.  Once I installed Gnome Extensions, I added DING and, while I was at it, I added Custom Hot Corners – Extended.  Why?  Because every Gnome desktop should have it installed.  It adds to the functionality of Gnome in my opinion.

While doing an update using Zypper (the command line update utility), it suggested I do a dist-upgrade instead.  I decided to take the suggestion and run zypper dup instead.  I had my T460 off to the side while it was upgrading while watching YouTube on my tablet.  I looked over after a while and saw it was finishing up. I tried to move the mouse to make sure the terminal had the keyboard focused, but the mouse wouldn’t move.  I went to type exit to close the terminal window and my keyboard wasn’t working.  After waiting a few minutes, I ended up holding down the power button to force a power off.  Upon reboot, I noticed fsck didn’t check the disk (fsck is the filesystem check).  Once logged in everything seemed fine.  I checked some log files and didn’t see anything obvious.  This is the first time this laptop has ever locked up.  I don’t know if Gecko caused it or if it was a random hardware issue.


This is a very vanilla Gnome desktop.  That may work for some people but not for me.  I don’t add many extensions, at least not like I used to.  I can go without the notifications in the top panel and just switch to each app occasionally.  I just find it convenient on smaller screens like a laptop to have the notifications visible.  I know some Gnome users would say that I need to use workspaces.  I just don’t see any difference between that or using ‘alt-tab’ to cycle through the open apps.

An odd issue that I have noticed in Gecko and other distros is the fact that Flatpak is installed but not configured.  I know you can configure any Flatpak repo to work with Flatpak.  The most widely known and used is Flathub, so why not configure it?  Well after some reading through forum posts and blogs,  there are proprietary codecs and license-restricted files that are installed to satisfy the Flatpak dependency of some applications.  With that said, I don’t see why Gecko doesn’t enable Flatpak.  

One of the big reasons for using Gecko is to have the codecs and packages installed or available by default.  Since they are not available by default in openSUSE.  This is because openSUSE along with Debian and Fedora follow their FOSS beliefs.

I saw an issue that needed immediate attention once I opened the terminal.  It had this blinding white background.  My first reaction was, seriously?  I needed to get my sunglasses, it was so bright in contrast to the dark theme of the desktop.  I opened the preferences and changed the background color theme to GNOME dark.  It blended in nicely with the dark theme of the desktop.  This was another mis-step in my opinion.

The mis-step tripping continues.  As Moss has already mentioned, I noticed that I wasn’t getting update notifications.  What I usually do (time permitting) is once I am done driving, I get my food ready for the microwave and while it is heating up, and then turn on my T460 then sign in.  While eating and watching YouTube on my tablet, 30 minutes had elapsed with no notification.  I opened the terminal and typed sudo zypper dup.  After a long delay of zypper updating repos, I was presented with a huge list of packages needing to be updated.  I waited a bit longer to see if that triggered the GUI notification.  After not seeing any, I type the zypper dup command and applied the updates.  Another few days had gone by, so I turned on the T460.  Again, there was no update notification.  I verified that there were indeed updates available.  I wrote to Moss and he confirmed it was happening on his static install.  I wrote to Josh and asked if he had time to install Gecko Gnome Rolling in a VM.  This was to rule out any issues with my installation.  He too verified that he didn’t get any notifications in the following days and weeks. Other than that, I don’t need to re-hash everything that Moss has already said on this subject.

As far as the functionality of zypper in the terminal,  Moss and I previously mentioned it is slow updating despite what network connection it has.  Once updated it is very detailed about what needs updated, removed, or added.  It will also give some advice on how to avoid some potential conflicts.  Out of the habit I have with apt, I typed update.  Zypper suggested that in this situation I should use dist-upgrade.  That is the dup command switch, which stands for dist upgrade.  There is also a short version of the update called up.  I don’t remember them so I always use the longer command switch.  The suggestions are not terse in any way, they are very descriptive.  For example, one such suggestion was worded as follows.  ‘Since the last system boot core libraries or services have been updated.  Reboot is suggested to ensure that your system benefits from these updates.’

I was able to connect to my Samba server, though it didn’t see it by default.  I needed to use the Connect to server entry box at the bottom of Gnome Files.  I typed in smb:// and clicked connect.  I was shown my shares.  After clicking on the first one I entered my credentials and the contents were displayed.  The others opened without needing the credentials entered.

The HP Color Laserjet M175 wasn’t automatically detected.  I tried the HPLIP package that was already installed.  It detected the printer and needed a privileged user to authorize it.  I typed in my user and password, but it was rejected.  I went through the setup again but I used “root” and my password.  That time it was successful.  I removed the printer and tried using Yast to configure the printer.  The automatic wouldn’t see any printers on my network.  I ended up using the setup wizard, but I still needed to enter the IP address to the printer.  It opened a window to select the model, I searched and found it.  The test page printed fine.  I noticed that YaST Printing enabled the printer server.  I opened the printer settings on Pop!_OS and found it.  I was able to print using the T460 as the printer server.

The most surprising news is that I noticed Gecko had a scanning application.  I opened it and saw my printer listed.  I put the test page on the document reader on my printer.  The first attempt failed but a window opened and informed me that it needed a plugin to enable that feature.  It was all automatic, just clicking dialog boxes.  After it downloaded and installed the plugin, I was returned to the scanning application.  On the second attempt, it scanned the test page.  I was shocked, this was the first time I’d ever been able to scan a document using Linux.  It was over the network which was even more surprising.  It looks like I will be creating a Gecko VM to replace the Windows 10 VM to scan documents in the future.  HP’s HPLIP application has never worked for me and it reports that my printer model doesn’t support scanning over the network.  Maybe HP should take some notes from the Gecko maintainers, they might be able to teach HP a thing or two about their printers.


9 GB of space used on the SSD

820 MB of memory used reported by free -h.


I didn’t seek out help other than some searching online for a few items. Gecko does have some brief documentation on their website. Their forum is using Github so you will need to create a Github account.


I have it dual booting with Debian Testing with no problems.


I think for stability I would stick to static. I didn’t have any problems with rolling but there are some possibilities where an update could break something. I believe this has been mitigated slightly by the excellent suggestions by Zypper.




Ease of Installation new user 10/10

experienced user 10/10

Hardware Issues 10/10

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

Ease of Use 7/10

Plays Nice With Others 10/10

Stability 10/10

Overall Rating 7/10


Overall this is a decent distro.  Once they fix the issues I mentioned, I believe it will be a better experience.  I am quite impressed with the printer support; even though it was not automatic like in other distros, it made up for it in functionality.


DISTRO NAME: Deepin OS 20.4

INTRO:  Deepin is a Chinese based distro that uses its own custom DE called Deepin Desktop. It is based on Debian, currently Debian 10, but has its own repo and applications for newer more up to date software. The history of this distro is crazy.

Deepin started way back in 2004 as Hiweed Linux. It was originally based on Morphics Linux and used IceWM. By the end of 2004 it was rebased on Debian and used xfce. In late 2006 it was again rebased, this time on Ubuntu and for a short time used LXDE. Deepin was based on Ubuntu all the way till 2015 but that didn’t stop them from changing desktops around. Between 2006 and 2015 Deepin went from LXDE to Gnome 2 to Gnome 3 and finally decided on the Deepin DE version 1.0. You think the fun is over? The fun has just begun. In late 2015 Deepin again rebased on Debian but this time it was not the stable branch but the unstable branch. Surprisingly they used Debian unstable for 3 years till 2018 and finally in early 2019 rebased again on Debian stable. Deepin kept using their Deepin DE since 2013 to this day so at least one thing stayed consistent. 

MY HARDWARE: For this review I used KVM Virtualization to evaluate the distros. KVM is a true bare metal hypervisor so I got very similar performance to bare metal. I used this on my Acer Predator Helios with a Core i7 11800H CPU, 16 GB 3200mhz Ram and a RTX 3060 GPU. The VM had 4 CPU cores and 4gb of RAM allocated to it which is well above the minimum specs for this distro.

INSTALLATION EASE AND ISSUES: First if you speak English make sure you switch it to English in the installer because it is set to Chinese by default. You will also need to agree to the EULA before progressing with the installer. You are then given the choice of what disk you want to install onto you can either choose Advanced or Full Disk and then select the disk you want to use. The Advanced option gives you full control to create partitions and all to manually install Deepin and is exceptionally good for a custom partitioner. If you do a Full Disk install you need to have at least 64gb but it is recommended to use 128gb for best performance. The auto installer created 6 different partitions /boot, /data, /, /recovery, rootb, and swap. Even though I have 4gb ram issued to the distro it still creates a 6gb swap by default. The /recovery partition comes in handy later on. I also selected to encrypt the disk cause I wanted to test how it worked and what the encryption password screen looked like at boot. If you select encryption you will then be presented with a “create an encryption password” screen before moving on. You are now ready to install but your next choice is if you wanna make a backup for system restore first it is selected by default. The backup will increase the installation time. You are finally installing woohoo! 

Installation time: about 10 minutes.

POST-INSTALLATION HARDWARE FACTS & ISSUES: Once you boot for the first time you again need to select English and agree to the EULA and select keyboard layout, Time Zone, and create your user account. Then Deepin Tunes your system whatever that exactly means. I know it means something cause my fans did kick up at this point. After about another 5 minutes you can log into your desktop. One more thing you have to select is if you want Effect mode or Normal mode. Basically Effect mode enables animations when closing windows and stuff like that and Normal mode disables them. Once you are logged in you are presented with a welcome screen that shows you a kinda not helpful video that showcases the desktop and some applications but does not help you in any way to navigate the desktop. You click next on the welcome screen and you are presented with another choice: Fashion Mode or Efficient Mode. Fashion mode is a more windows 11/MacOS style desktop and Efficient mode is a more windows 7/10 style desktop setup. After this you again get to choose if you want effect or normal mode as I stated before. Next is your Icon theme choice. You are presented with bloom and bloom classic which are the default Deepin themes, Papirus which is my personal favorite icon theme and a Vintage icon set that just looks plain old. Finally you are done with the post installation stuff, phew!

One glaring issue literally is when in dark mode, which I have to use for medical reasons due to severe headaches, the app store does not go into dark mode and it’s blinding. To me that is a deal breaker cause it literally hurts to look at the app store for longer than 5 or so minutes. That being said, the app store is one of the best I have used in a long time. It has many apps and even ones that Debian does not usually include such as Vivaldi browser. Speaking of browsers, the included browser 1. is in Chinese so I can’t read it and 2. is way out of date. It’s on chromium version 93 when chromium is now on version 99 so do not use that browser. 

EASE OF USE: Deepin is one of the easiest distros I have used. I never once had to touch the terminal for anything you can do everything you need from the included GUI apps.

MEMORY AND DISK USE: cold boot memory usage using the Deepin system monitor says 906mb used. Disk usage on the / filesystem was about 1.1 gb using df -h command.

EASE OF FINDING HELP: Deepin does have a forum that is in English and Chinese and seems to be fairly active. Also it is based on Debian so much of what works for Debian should work on Deepin.

PLAYS NICE WITH OTHERS: I dual booted this in my vm with Ubuntu DDE and it seemed to work just fine.

STABILITY: I did not experience any kind of issues in this regard plus it’s based on Debian so again should be good.

GAMING EASE: I did not test any games this time.

SIMILAR DISTROS TO CHECK OUT: UbuntuDDE is basically a clone of Deepin minus the Deepin software and is based on – you guessed it – Ubuntu.


Ease of Installation  new user                   9/10 

                                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                              9/10

Stability                                                     10/10

Works with Games                                    x/10

Overall Rating                                          9/10

FINAL COMMENTS: I had trouble finding the source code for Deepin. It seems to have been hosted on github in the past but is no longer and I could not find where they moved it to. This concerned me deeply because without the source code how do we know what’s under the hood? If you don’t feel comfortable using this then UbuntuDDE is your best bet but if you feel ok with it I would fully recommend it to a new user.


Sparky 5.16

ExTiX 22.1

SystemRescue 9.00

GhostBSD 22.01.12

Absolute 20220117

deepin 20.4

ArchLabs 2022.01.18

openmamba 20220123

Manjaro 21.2.2

ArchBang 2201

antiX 19.5

Mabox 22.01

OPNsense 22.1

RasPiOS 2022-01-28

SmartOS 20220127

4MLinux 38.1

Tiny Core 13.0

Linux Lite 5.8

Linuxfx 11.1.1104

Garuda 220131

Trisquel 10.0

FuguIta 7.0-20220202

Arch 2022.02.01

Nitrux 2022.02.02

Peppermint 2022-02-02

Archcraft 2022.02.02

Slackware 15.0

Zorin 16 “Education”

Zenwalk 15.0-220204

Qubes 4.1.0

Mabox Linux 22.02

NuTyX 22.02

Archman 2022.02.05

Absolute 15.0

OpenMandriva 4.3

Tails 4.27

IPFire 2.27-core163

SparkyLinux 6.2

SmartOS 20220210

KDE neon 20220210

SystemRescue 9.01   

Bluestar 5.16.8

Robolinux 12.03

Plop Linux 22.1

ArchLabs 2022.02.12

EasyOS 3.4

Live Raizo

Kodachi 8.15

KaOS 2022.02

Kali 2022.1

pfSense 2.6.0

AV Linux MX-21


Henrik Hemrin

Dear Tony,

I write this as listener feedback to DHD. It’s a bit long story; use all, or parts, or nothing in the feedback section.

When Tony announced he steps back from hosting MintCast, it inspired me listen to Distrohoppers Digest again! I have listened a few times before, but now I listened to #28, and added it to my pod subscriptions as well. Now I’ve listened to #29 as well. It is a relaxing and informative show.

I am still on macOS, on a macMini, as my daily driver. But I have Linux on separate laptops to learn and explore. It has been in my thoughts for decades, more or less since Linux was invented, to try Linux. I remember I went as far as I bought a book about early Red Hat with a CD included. At that time I was using a Sun Unix station at work.

A stubborn colleague who has handed me discs with Linux over the last years finally got me to try it. A good reason to try was also that I had a cheap laptop I bought because I wanted to have access to Windows, when I switched to macOS. But on this cheap laptop it relatively soon became impossible to update Windows (only 32 GB drive and 2 GB RAM), with Mint Xfce and a couple of years later it works fine…

Then I have added a refurbished ThinkPad T430s to my collection, with 3x Linux, currently Debian, elementary and Mint installed, and Windows on a separate drive.

Eventually I will use Linux more seriously this year than last years. I just bought a refurbished Thinkpad T460p with 32 GB RAM etc. Mint Cinnamon is the plan (although I will keep the SSD with Win 10 Pro as is). My macMini as well as T430s ThinkPad have 8 GB RAM which generally is ok for me. However an ongoing long term project is to digitise my analog photos, negative and positive slides as well as older prints of ”family photos”. 8 GB is at the lower end, with this 32 GB I can step up in scanning resolution. My time is rather limited for a photo project now, so we will see when it happens.

The move to Linux from macOS will also give a change of photo software. I have been using Photoshop Elements as catalogue software for many years. I have now started to use digiKam, as it is very good as a catalogue including it can handle face tagging. Probably for photo editing I will also use RawTherapee, eventually DarkTable and likely GIMP. I use VueScan for scanning.

So analog photos might be my first step in finally migrating to Linux as a daily driver.

In episode 28, Dale said he installed Windows with Gnome Boxes, within Linux Mint. I have never been into the virtual business. But this got me interested in trying Gnome Boxes. This new T460p came with OEM installation of Win 10 Pro, OEM-version of Windows is tied to the hardware. I wonder, if I install this Windows licence within a Gnome Boxes instead, will Windows find its hardware connection and accept this to get the licence activated? Do you know? Well, if I try, I will for sure find it, if it works or not.

Best regards


Tony’s reply

Dear Henrik

Thanks for the email, regarding the issue of Windows in a VM. It is my understanding that if you have a Windows licence key related to the PC that the VM is running in then it can be activated in the VM. You may want to do a little research on the web including YouTube as to exactly how, as I’ve not done this myself. On the occasions I need Windows I have a backup laptop that had Windows 8 installed and has been upgraded to Win 10 using that key. You can still activate Windows 10 with a Windows 7 key so this may also be an option if you have anything with a Win7 licence on it. Microsoft has virtually given up the idea of making money out of Windows on legacy hardware these days so the Windows cost is only paid at the time of purchasing new hardware as Windows 11 is also a free upgrade. You can download a copy of the ISO from the Microsoft site here 


I’m doing it now and will see if I can activate it in Boxes and report back on the show.



Moss: Our next episode will be recorded around March 23rd. 

For chatting with us further, you may choose to join our Telegram group, our MeWe group, or our Discord channel.

Josh: @joshontech on most social networks or email me at [email protected], Also you can find me on mine and Bo’s Linux gaming podcast CrowbarKernelPanic.

Dale: I’m @Dale_CDL on Telegram and Discord. My email is [email protected]

Tony: You can contact me at [email protected], http://hackerpublicradio.org/correspondents.php?hostid=338, Twitter @TonyH1212

Moss: And you can hear me every week on Full Circle Weekly News and mintCast. My email is [email protected], and my Telegram, Discord, Twitter and Mastodon contact info can be found in the show notes, [Moss Bliss on Telegram, @MossHippoLinux #3616 on Discord, @bardictriad on Twitter, @[email protected] on Mastodon,] and you can find me, Dale and Dylan, at ItsMOSS dot com

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