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Linpus Lite 9.4

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Linux

It's rare these days for me to start up a Linux distribution and be surprised. Most major distributions all look fairly similar, use either KDE or Gnome (or XFce with a theme that resembles one of those), and offer essentially the same set of applications. Linpus, a Chinese distribution that I'd never heard of until a random post about it on a tech blog, is definitely different.

Linpus is quite unique, at least visually. The default way things are presented is almost iPhone-ish. In "easy" mode applications are grouped in tabs: internet, work, learn, play, and settings. It looks like it would be quite at home on an iPhone or (more realistically) one of those new mini-PCs like the ASUS Eee.

The home icon at the bottom left doesn't seem to do anything, but the next icon over ("Switch Desktop") does something interesting. It brings you to a more traditional looking XFce desktop. On a regular PC, the font sizes are a bit wacky for my taste, so I was happy to see they could be adjusted.

On their site, Linpus claims to be useful on older machines or ones with smaller system specs. System Monitor confirmed a very small 76MB footprint when only the desktop itself was running.

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