Monday, February 9, 2009

sidux, antiX, and SimplyMEPIS - still winners in 2009!

I have not changed my view of the top desktop systems for my own personal use as the landscape of distros changed at the end of 2008, nor have I changed my view as we are two months into the 2009 year. I have elevated my view of one system - Fedora. I really like the Alpha release of their Fedora 11. It shows that even at an early testing stage, they are one of the few projects that has managed to package KDE 4.2 well. When you couple that with the fact that they are already among the leaders in security and virtualization centered projects, this makes Fedora one of the leading projects to follow.

That does not put it into my top favorites list, in spite of a job well done. I still find sidux to be amazing, with cutting edge software that "keeps my face razor smooth" without inducing the bleeding often seen in some of the other bleeding edge efforts. That is why I say it is "cutting edge" - maybe that should be the Fusion Razor's Edge - five bladed smooth shaving!

The sidux project has not yet released the details for their 2009-01 release - a preview should be available some time in the next month, (at least that is what I am hoping for!) but that need not keep people away. The 2008-04 release was an excellent one. It can be downloaded, and in a very short time, you can be customizing and updating it to be newer, fresher, and more stable than any other cutting edge system.

The antiX project has also been coming along really well. Like the sidux project, there has not been a new final release yet this year, but there have been package updates, mostly changes to keep in lock step with what is happening on the MEPIS project, and also improvements in localization and appearance. There should be a new version available soon. In the meantime, an excellent test release is available. Running periodic package updates will keep this test release current, and when the final version becomes available, another update will bring the test software up to final form. It works great now in test form.

SimplyMEPIS, as of February 9, 2009, has now reached Release Candidate 3 stage. Warren Woodford has stated that he will not release the final version until the Debian Lenny release is officially finalized, but you can consider Build 96 - SimplyMEPIS-7.9.96-rc3 (otherwise known as SimplyMEPIS Version 8.0 Release Candidate 3) as a solid version, well deserving of a spot as an every day stable desktop system. I have been running mine as a "stable desktop" since Beta 4 - that would be Beta 4, Beta 5, Beta 6, Release Candidate 1, Release Candidate 2, and now Release Candidate 3. It has been excellent throughout the series of changes.

I continue to say that if you want a cutting edge desktop system, look no further than sidux. If you want a fast, lean, flexible system, then antiX is worthy of consideration. If you want a simple, easy to install and maintain system that focuses on stability, then SimplyMEPIS is the one to look at. I use all three; that way, I have systems that are well honed in each of these precise desktop niches.

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