This is a review of the latest edition of Semplice, a desktop distribution based on the unstable branch of Debian.
Before this review, Semplice 5 was the previous edition last reviewed on this website. See Semplice 5 review – High Hopes.
Where Semplice 5 featured a custom graphical installer and the Openbox window manager, Semplice 7 still featues the same custom graphical installer, but a different desktop environment and window manager.
If you’ve never used Semplice, this cursory review will provide enough information about the distribution to bring you up to date on what to expect from it.
For those not familiar with elementary OS, this is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution (with Freya being based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, supported until April 2019) which ships with its own desktop environment, called Pantheon, and its own custom application for the most part, which look great, integrate very well with the desktop and ship with sane defaults so the user doesn't have to tweak anything.
If we ignore the touchpad fiasco, Linux Mint 17.1 KDE is a very robust, very elegant release. It comes with all the necessities for a happy, carefree desktop usage. Everything works out of the box, the system is fast and stable, and apart from some small niggles, hardware detection and compatibility is quite good.
Perhaps this isn't the most exciting KDE around, but most of them come with a fairly reserved and somewhat bland default presentation, and it takes time digging under the hood to bring all the excitement to the surface. Overall, if you like the Mint family, then this is a very decent offering, and it also works well on modern laptops plagued with evil concepts. So that's an added bonus, for sure. All in all, 8.81/10. Definitely worth a try.
The Ubuntu MX4 is yet to receive an official price or release date, but our opening impressions of it are very positive.
Featuring a premium design, innovative operating system, and decent internal specifications the MX4 looks like a great smartphone.
We also have to praise Canonical for the great work it's done over the past year to improve Ubuntu mobile's stability and performance, and can't wait to test the OS more thoroughly.
Last month, in March, with the 2.9.0 release done, we Calligra developers followed our plans and started a branch named “frameworks”, to work on version 3.0, to be the first version based on Qt5 and KDE Frameworks 5. Calligra 3.0 should not see any new features, the focus is purely on getting the port to the new platform done without any regressions.
Void is an independent distribution and offers a rolling release approach to package management. There are many Void editions we can download. There are Void images for the BeagleBone and Raspberry Pi computers along with builds for 32-bit and 64-bit x86 machines. In addition, there are spins of Void for specific desktop environments and we can download images for Cinnamon, Enlightenment, MATE and Xfce flavours. I decided to begin my trial with the 64-bit Cinnamon build of Void. The download for the Cinnamon image is 454MB in size.