(If you are new to this series you can start reading from DAY ONE here.)

Day Seven.

I decided Elzje and I are gonna cheat today.

Instead of going all out and testing another distro I thought it a good idea to stand back a bit and summarize some of our experiences of these past days.

We both learned some new things, have formed some opinions and had some notions shattered. Read on for some insights into our week with lightweight distros.

And this time I give Elzje the floor first…

Elzje

In the past three years Quintin has given me quite a few different Linux Distros to use. I would come home and find him fiddling with my computer. After I asked what he was doing his answer would inevitably be “We are going to try something new on this computer, tell me what you think!” (Notable mentions – Mandriva Metisse, Suse, Knoppix, Various Ubuntus, Mints and Fedoras – Q)

At first I was mortified, but it afforded me an opportunity to get a glimpse into his world.

This past week was the first time he gave me “Lightweight” OS’s to try.

What surprised me, is that while they were branded lightweight I did not experience the anticipated loss of usefulness.

With the possible exception of one or two installs I could do everything I was used to doing on my “normal” install – whatever that was for a given period.

Right now my fave is Linux Mint 9 LXDE. I would happily live with it as my daily distro, even the inability to change the keyboard layout would not bother me too much. English doesn’t need the special characters, and Afrikaans – our home language – does, but I generally just ignore that anyway.

Quintin

I am very proud of how easily Elzje managed to migrate between different installs this week. It is a testimony to the inherent user friendliness of Linux, and a result of redoing her computer often, sometimes more than once a month.

What I found interesting is that for most of the Distros the technicality of doing stuff was not so hard. I fully expected to be dealing with really bare-bones and user unfriendly nightmares.

To my great surprise I have had minimal hassles.

Performance was great as well. These lightweight distros give enormous bang for your buck, and I was happy to go to work every morning and know that Elzje would be able to do everything she needed to do.

Besides some odd choices with package selections I have very little to fault with Lightweight Distros as a group. In fact, I often got that feeling of working with “real” linux again, something that gets lost with the more polished and fuller featured windows competitors we deal with every day.

Will I switch to a lightweight distro myself? Not likely, I am a pampered boy right now – it is way to cool to be able to have a moving globe wallpaper on my secondary monitor and a world map on my primary, both moving with the sun too!

Am I confident that Elzje and I will find a distro for Grandma’s old clunker of a PC? YES!

In fact, if we were to stop this experiment right now we would probably go with Linux Mint LXDE or maybe Xubuntu.

But were not done yet…

What’s Next?

Tomorrow we give Puppy Linux a spin, I know I promised that we’d do it today but I felt we needed to take a step back and review the week a bit. Tomorrow puppy, I promise.

And then an ADDED BONUS!

Peppermint OS, and Linux Mint XFCE!!!

Yep I was persuaded by the votes and comments to give those two a go, so it will be NINE distros that will be compared!

Summary

I am really sorry if you are disappointed by the lack of distro love today. Tomorrow you can get your fix again. After we are done we might summarize the whole series again, and somewhere between the last Distro and ending this series we will be picking our winner.

Right now I am not too sure what it is, since two favorites are coming.

Also, mini news flash – our Facebook page is live! You can find it in the sidebar, and on Facebook. Just search for “SaGeek Facebook Page” to find it. And we are on Networked blogs too!

Till tomorrow then!

(Day EIGHT is up! I forgot to add the linky, but here it is: LINK)

Which Of Our Featured Lightweight Distros is Your Favourite?

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  3. Lightweight Distro Roundup: Day 3 – Xubuntu Lucid
  4. Lightweight Distro Roundup: Day 1 – Lubuntu
  5. Lightweight Distro Roundup – Seven Days Seven Distros