If you remember how happy I was with Linux Lite and recommended it wholeheartedly as the near perfect beginner distro for starting your new life in Linux you may be wondering why I’m reviewing a new lightweight and beginners friendly and … yadda yadda … distro already again. As an avid reader of this fairly amateurish blogsy you also know that there is nothing like the perfect Linux distro. Of course you will always find something to complain about, something sub-optimal in every distribution, with maybe the one exception: DIY your own desktop on your favourite core distro. But … uh, ok, we’re fukn stupid n00bs so we can’t be bothered with geeky stuff on boss level. At least not yet. So we’re doing the usual thing, as every new Linux user does it; we’re distro hopping until we find the one Linux that suits us best. And in order to not having to install too many different distros we read Linuxy blogs and webby sites on the internetz and we watch UToob videos, were a lot of really clever and opinionated people are telling us what we have to think about a certain distro and if it’s worth installing or not. But when we’re like totally clueless, and don’t even know if we might be interested in swapping out our Operating System, we stumble upon one or the other appetizer on some totally unrelated bulllshit blog like Thar She Blows!
With that said, please don’t expect the certifiably stupid Orca (so some SL sailing illuminati of a certain alternative sailing forum claim) to supply you with the totally knowledgeable, expert Linux reviews but just be delighted with her if she manages to install a distro and get it to work well and long enough to form some kind of personal opinion about it. The only thing you can be sure of: If Orca manages to install and run any Linux distro … and lives to blog about it, it sure is totally n00b friendly and super easy to operate.
Okay, one such distro is Point Linux 3.0. Let’s look at it: Point is based on famously rock solid and stable Debian Linux. So it’s a kinda rolling release, which means once you have Point installed on your machine you never need to do it again, since it’s rolling from update to update and is always fresh and totally new … STOP! No, it isn’t really that totally fresh since Debian, despite being rolling, is a very conservative and slowly evolving distro in itself. But that’s no biggie as you can always be sure that your OS and all installed softwares are proven and tested and well, rock solid stable. So don’t put to much attention on Point’s version number 3.0 as it just marks another snapshot, a version ready to install.
Second important point about Point Linux is, what else? – the desktop environment it’s shipped with. Sorry to inform you – but actually not too sorry – the very beloved KDE is not on the list of available DEs. No, it ships with the two nearly identical lightweight twins and champions MATE and Xfce. For this article I decided on the Full version of Xfce, which means you get a fully fledged operating system with all the needed additional software already installed. Office suite, multimedia players, torrent program, graphics editor, everything you can wish for is already there. You can use it as it is right outta the box.
Installation went silky smooth as a baby’s ass, as always with Debian based Linuxes. You don’t even need a physical connection to your router, Point Linux detected our wifi network right from the live desktop and let us connect to the internet. Pretty nifty if you ask me. Then just click all available checkboxes: Yes, you want to install 3rd party drivers, yes you want to download stuffz, yes yes yes! Then all you need to know is your name, your computer’s name and your password and off you go. Like 5 minutes later … Hello new system! 🙂
Yeah, as I said, it’s complete. You can start working right away, as everything you might need is already installed. Of course this is Linux, and no mistake, you can always delete what you got here and replace it with other software. Don’t like the torrent downloader Transmission, as it’s too weird looking? No problem, install the old favourite µbittorrent clone qbittorrent that you already loved on Windows in not even a minute.
So, anyhoo, I installed Point Linux 3.0 as full Xfce version on my netbook and this is how it looks like after install, totally unaltered and unfucked with:
Nice, eh? Such a clean and uncluttered desktop is highly fashionable these days. But fear not, you’ll have it
full of garbage personified in a matter of minutes.
This is the typical Xfce menu, whiskers, that I hatehatehate, since it’s wrong way round. A typical case of “we’re different just to be different”. Dunno about you – but spoiled by Windows or not – my workflow is from left –> right so Whiskers makes no sense to me. Okay, at least they finally have a search box integrated now, and hubby tells me you can turn the menu in the right direction again. So no problem. And that’s already the biggest difference for us stupid n00bs to my fave MATE desktop. I guess Xfce is even a bit more modable. Whoohoo. Both desktops are pretty self-explanatory, that’s why I won’t show you everything in smallest details. Just browse thru the menus, pick and set your values. It’s so fukn easy I’d feel stupid showing you. Apart from that Xfce is more modern since it’s based on Gnome 3 and even more resource friendly than MATE. Probably it’s not as pure and clean and politically correct as MATE but we’re clueless n00bs who just wanna have an easy to use fun system for our secondary machine. And this one is. Point Linux delivers!
Conclusion time? Okay. Excuse me for not having tested Point against Linux Lite with laboratory equipment to find out which distro is faster and more responsive. To me they both are lightning fast and fun to work with. Sorry to say all the other new super light and modern desktops, LXLE, LXQt, E19, openbox and so on are not much faster, if any faster at all, to justify their lack of usablity. What you get with Point Linux, same as with Linux Lite, are fully functionable working environments that you can mod from spartanic to luxurious environments in a matter of just minutes. And as an additional plus point Point Linux as well as Linux Lite are better then their parent distributions Debian, respectively Xubuntu. And while Linux Lite points very strongly with some unseen and unheard of niceties that make the user experience even more fun, Point Linux is closer to the core, Debian (which is also the basis for all Ubuntu based distros) so it’s even cleaner, more politically correct and unbastardized. While that is cool and all and nice in philospohy class and makes you the coolest guy in round table discussions I guess Linux Lite is still the distribution to chose for a total beginner.