(You can read this series from DAY ONE here.)

Day Five. If you are wondering, yes we have had other things going on this weekend. Among the things I did was try and get Dreamlinux 3.5 working for Elzje, and I spent my Friday evening with my friend Renier Meyer painting a wall in his new house and eating epic pizza.

On to Day 5 then…

Quintin

Just getting Dreamlinux Installed or running in anything but a VM has been a nightmare. It kernel panicked when booting from a flashdrive, and installation failed repeatedly.

There is no partition editor I could find, none of the installers would install, and even when I manually set the partitions with fdisk the installer failed at exactly 64%, time and again.

That was it for version 3.5 – On to version 4 Beta 6.

First off the growth and work that has gone into Dreamlinux since the previous version has been immense. For one the installer actually does what you tell it without the need to commandline-fu your way to a useable partition table.

Once you (finally) make it to the desktop (another reboot is required after setting up users) you are presented with a rather dark desktop.

Dreamlinux uses XFCE, and is basically meant to look and behave like MacOS.

It lives in about 260megabytes of RAM, lightweight by any standard.

Package selection is aimed at being full featured – OpenOffice, Gimp and no mail client. Yes some of the package choices are a bit… weird.

There is an IDE – Geeqie, for instance, and a torrent downloader and Orage. Yet the absence of a Mail client is a glaring omission.

Elzje

The interface is not the prettiest I have seen, but it is okay. It might take a while to learn where everything is.

In Ubuntu the OpenOffice names make sense (Spreadhseet, Word etc) where here it is Calc, Writer and Impress.

I told Quintin that we should not give this one to his mom, it is too different from Windows that she is using at work, and why did they change the Firefox Icon?

The bar at the bottom (the AWN dock – Q) is a bit too much.

If you learn to use the bar it could be handy to have a few programs easily accessible. Minimised windows going to the top of the interface instead of the bottom where I am used to having them might also confuse you at first.

Questions and Answers

  1. Is it reasonably quick?
    Yes. Dreamlinux uses XFCE that lives with lower specced machines.
  2. Can You Use the Internet With Ease?
    Yes. It comes with Firefox and Flash. The absence of a Mail client is a big problem.
  3. Can You Edit Documents and Spreadsheets with ease?
    Yes. The inclusion of OpenOffice makes life easier in this department.
  4. How Easy is Email use?
    No email for Dreamlinux.
  5. Are Codecs Available for all common formats?
    Yes.
    Based on Debian, you should find almost anything you need in the repositories.
  6. How Hard is it to Join Networks?
    As simple with all the other lightweight distros we have used so far.
  7. Is it a Swap In for a higher ended distro?
    No, not at all. Dreamlinux is a distro on it’s own. It might make sense for those wanting a pendrive distro since it comes with some nifty utilities in the making a pendrive department.

Summary

Dreamlinux is the first of our more specialised distros. It is a lightweight distro aimed at a different audience than the others, with the possible exception of Sabayon, which is a definite power users paradise.

Dreamlinux stacks up directly with PuppyLinux, which will be our next distro in this series. Not for Grandma, but maybe for the power user willing to fiddle.

Get the version of Dreamlinux we used HERE. (Beta 6.3 ISO)

(Day SIX is HERE – Slitaz Linux is tried and commented on.)

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