Solus with MATE DE

I really had to try it out again. After my first time with Solus was a wild rollercoaster ride of emotions, this time I thought everything would be better. Why? Because Ikey offers a proper MATE desktop now, so little Orcsi doesn’t need to fiddle cluelessly around on some OpenBox/LSLE frankenstein. Yay, great! I was a fan of Solus’s speed and unfuzzy attempt already, now with a proper easy to use desktop environment it could just become better … and maybe end up  as a perfectly lovable system I’d happily replace my Manjaro with. Would I?

Let’s see how I fared and how Solus has treated me so far.

1
Untouched like a virgin, 10 seconds after installation. The desktop is already as one wishes for a MATE desktop to look like. One panel on the bottom, only 3 “important” icons/folders on the screen. The computer, my personal files folder and the trash can. The panel, of course, is not populated, since that is something only Orca does to support her laziness.

First, even before I start customizing the desktop, I check Solus for installed softwares. As it turns out Solus, fresh outta the box, is kinda complete but not abundantly equipped. I love the sparseness and agree mostly with the choices by the developers. Of course I’d wished for Qbittorrent instead of Transmission as the piratey program. But I guess Ikey and his crew will have their good reasons for their choice. I also could have lived without the whole LibreOffice suite. A lightweight texter like Abiword would’ve been fine for me. But that’s nitpicking and personal taste, nothing I can blame Solus for.

3
Like almost every other Linux distro Solus comes with the full LibreOffice suite out of the box. Question: In these times of permanently working online, do people still need heavy office suites? I know I do! That’s why I don’t use Chrome or any other Google service (with the exception of YouTube) and still work on a desktop computer and not on a smartphone. 🙂

Where I totally agree with the Solus devs is the choice of online software. I consider the pair of Firefox and Thunderbird as essential must-haves … and Solus delivers! No proprietary Chrome shit but my organically grown Firefuck! \o/ If you knew how many hundreds of bookmarks I carry since many years from PC to PC, from installation to installation, and how I’m depending on all the nifty add-ons, you’d agree with me that Firefuk is a must-have.

2
After some minutes Solus starts to look like an Orca desktop. 🙂 very shallow panel, minimized icons, some of my most beloved programs as starters in the panel. I could start working right away in the environment. Of course the number of icons is much smaller than on my production system, MiniMax, but I could install all the stuff in a matter of minutes.
5
But before we do anything and become serious we gotta do the intial update n shit. Solus shows itself as rather newbie friendly here. It tells you exactly what you want and need and what you MUST do! Perfect.

If you wonder how to install your favouritestest softwares in Solus, it’s no problem. I fact once you’ve done the mandatory updates you can click into a nicely sorted freebie shopping mall. Look at this:

6
As sparsely equiopped as Solus come out of the box, so overfilled you can  make it by yourself. Just click on Install at each of the programs you want. That Solus gives a short description of what eack of the wares is used for is a nice touch. Nobody can know all the stupid names so it’s nice to have, not just for n00bs but for medium advanced users like Orca as well.

My conclusion after the very short first hands-on experience: Solus with MATE desktop is 100% there already. Ready for primetime as the professional reviewers say. It’s very spunky and lightweight but still offers the full MATE DE with all its bells and whistles.

Will I replace my Manjaro with Solus? Honestly no. Not for now. Of course I will keep it on Gaga for a longterm test but before I change my main production system I need to be pushed some more. Can’t even install it on OrcNet, the lame-ass netbook, for now since I’m happily running the ArchLinux distro MateRevenge on that one. For the rest of you medium-advanced and expert Linuxers I can wholeheartedly recommend Solus. It’s that good!

 

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