If you follow the international Linux scene or my humble little bloggy you’ve heard no doubt about this little but very promising project, Solus OS. The developers aren’t of the lazy sort, building their distro on top of another already existing distro, but doing their own thing. And they are doing so obviously quite well. At least if we can believe the experts on YouTube.
See, what I did there? I sowed the seed of question and of doubt concerning YT distro reviewers. And I guess I did so with good reason since my experience with Solus doesn’t meet with their experiences. For me, and every other German or Germanic QWERTZ keyboard user it already starts with the installation of Solus. Only a handful of keyboard layouts are available for the users, among them American English, French and Chinese. Not even English English is available. AFAIK there are some differences between UK and USA keyboards and chosing the American layout is … uh, as if I’d tell you Bavarian is the real German language. But ok, so I installed with US layout since I know the most needed tricks to find the @ and other symbols I may need for operation until I can change to proper QWERTZ keyboard settings after installation.
Apart from that Solus seems like very nice, particularly the so called Brisk Menu is indeed very fast. I just don’t get it why everybody on YT makes such a big affair of it, as I tested the Brisk menu it wasn’t any faster than my traditional MATE menu. Maybe they all have just slow hardware.
Oh, btw, Solus features my beloved MATE OS in its latest reincarnation. That’s great on first thought but the way it was integrated by the Solus team makes it a whole less charming and useful. Many tweakable stuffz have disappeared from their menus, obviously sacrificed to the gods of speed. So the usually great MATE became a lot poorer and is just a shadow of its usual glory. For me the worst aspect was that I couldn’t put my favourite softwares as starters onto the panel. 😦 And that’s my thing, my personal breaking point where I discern between good and bead, between usable and unusable. This may be different with you and most other users, for me it’s a dealbreaker.
One more dealbreaker was again the keyboard. After I switched it to QWERTZ settings in menu, Solus refused to acccept the new settings. So it says my computer is on a German keyboard but doesn’t act like it. Not even a restart helped with that.
So I’m out. As a spoiled user brat I don’t have to invest more than 10 minutes into obscure settings or forum discussions; I just switch to another Operation System. But stop! That doesn’t mean you should avoid Solus as well. In fact I think the very small dev team does a splendid job with Solus all in all. To care about all kinda languages and keyboard settings they obviously don’t have the manpower. But the rest is good to top notch.
Installation was – apart from some hmm moments – a breeze. The brisk menu is indeed a very nice addition to the MATE desktop as it combines all the three usual menus into one and makes operation apparently very … brisk. 😉 Of course they sacrificed some niceties and creature comforts to the gods of speed which makes Solus perfect for older and weaker hardware. And as you all know, the MATE desktop environment is not a slouch in itself and so comfy and easy to use, every last n00b should get along with it quite well after a minimal learning curve. And the terminal command structure uses Arch commands, which is a cool thing. Dunno if for you but me is happy since I know some Arch commands and can do a lot of stuff in the terminal where n00bs have to use clunky mouse and slow GUIs.
Solus is a pretty cool new-ish Linux distro that is not without reason generally praised. Just for Orca did Solus Linux miss the mark by a couple of hairwidth. Get your own copy from here.
But first watchywatchy some interesting widdiohs: