I ordered some new live CDs last wek some time and they came yesterday. Linspire 5.0, Dreamlinux 2.2 and Fedora Core 6. That last one was even a surprise to me, as I thought I had ordered Kubuntu 6.10. Oh well!
So I decided to take Fedora Core for a spin, since that is the most unusual of all the distros I had or at least the one that I knew the least about. If you’re going to try various flavors of Linux, I highly recommend trying the most exotic ones you can find.
Fedora is far from exotic. In fact, it looks an awful lot like Ubuntu. A quick tour of the live CD showed be that it used the Gnome desktop, had Firefox as the main web browser, and used Abiword Gnumeric to meet office application needs.
My tour of Fedora was admittedly brief. I didn’t find anything there that particularly grabbed my attention. It seemed like just another fairly generic Linux distro with some fairly generic applications. When I look at a distro, I pay attention to the look, the feel, the speed and any unusual applications. Fedora had no feature that made it stand out from any other distro that I’ve tried.
My tour of Dreamlinux was even more brief, because the battery on my laptop crapped out before I got too far into it. However, this distro definitely is unique and different compared to anything else I’ve tried. There are screen shots to be found, and a body can see right away that it looks different.
There are many more applications on this distro compared to Fedora Core or Ubuntu or PCLinuxOS or most of the other distros I have tried. Many of these can be accessed right from the desktop or a person can go into the menu. Not being as familiar with this type of desktop, it took some time to even find the menu. It also has Firefox plus the full Open Office suite of programs. It also has The Gimp and several other graphic and media editing tools making it a much more feature-packed distribution.
At the time my laptop crapped out, I was playing chess against the computer and actually doing pretty well 6 moves in. It seems like if you’re going to offer some games, chess is the ultimate of the geek games and I wonder why more don’t include it. Dreamlinux has a nifty 3-D version that gives a player a real feel for being at an actual chess board.
If a body has the urge to try a different distro, I highly encourage you to try Dreamlinux. It may not replace what you’re already using but I think it will definitely expand your view of what a Linux desktop can be. I’m not sure if I prefer it to menu-driven XP-like interface, but it is refreshing to find something that represents some unexplored territory. There is a good mixture of old and new programs to enable a person to get done what they need while trying out some things they may like. I’m definitely looking at giving this one a more in-depth look.
I haven’t had a chance to try Linspire, yet, but am guessing it is similar enough to Freespire to make it easy to figure out. I’ll eventually get to it and post about it when I do.