After reviewing many KDE-based distros, I thought I’d do something different and review the Enlightenment 19-based Bodhi Linux. Bodhi is designed to be lightweight on resources and it lived up to its goal.
1. First Impressions and ease of use
The ISO is 613 MB in size and can be downloaded from here. As always, I ran the tests in a VirtualBox VM with 4 GB of RAM and a 25 GB VDI. The E19 desktop looks quite light, and it also comes with Guest Additions out of the box.
The browser, Midori, opens up on startup. The top shelf is a mix of the OS X dock and the Windows taskbar. The leftmost entry is the menu (which can also be accessed by clicking anywhere on the desktop), the next ones are the open windows, and then the system tray. I configured mine to look similar to Windows.
(Screenshot taken after installation)
Although the layout is quite configurable, the default shelf position can be a little confusing as Enlightenment is different from any other desktop environment. After my configuration, the shelf is very similar to Windows 7 and later. However, the menu has no search bar but it is categorized.
Ease of use score: 8.5/10
Bodhi Linux uses the Ubiquity installer which is the same as most Ubuntu distros and is quite easy to use. The installer supports UEFI so no need to worry on that front. Also there are special Chromebook images which are supported on SeaBIOS chromebooks. There is a tutorial for that here.
|Release date||ISO size (GB)||Distribution base||Default filesystem||Install time||Boot time||Size of install||Desktop RAM use|
|Ubuntu MATE 15.04||2/25/2015||1.1||Ubuntu Vivid (15.04)||ext4||12:57||0:27||4.2||457|
|Netrunner 15||2/16/2015||1.9||Ubuntu Utopic (14.10)||ext4||16:20||0:41||6.4||714|
|openSUSE 13.2 KDE||11/4/2014||4.4||Independent||Btrfs (used ext4 because of known bug)||15:29||0:39||4.4||422|
|Bodhi Linux 3.0.0||2/17/2015||0.6||Ubuntu Trusty (14.04 LTS)||ext4||5:50||0:34||2.2||348|
|Average of all distros||1.8||13:22||0:34||4.4||451|
Installer score: 10/10
Bodhi’s design is consistently clean and lightweight but not to the point of ugliness. Unfortunately the default fonts are not very good - they are similar to openSUSE’s fonts. Thankfully, this can easily be changed to Droid Sans which helps any desktop’s fonts.
The login screen is, again, nice and simple.
A dark theme always covers up design deficiencies and looks great, and it also saves battery life.
Font rendering in the Midori browser is OK, but again nothing to write home about. However, this is more than most distros can say about fonts (particularly openSUSE).
The icons used are Numix icons.
Design score: 9/10
As a lightweight distro, Bodhi seems to consider resource usage over quality of the application.
Web Browser - Midori
File Manager - Enlightenment File Manager
Email Client - NONE
Text Editor - ePad
Image Viewer - ePhoto
Terminal Emulator - Terminology
Music Player - NONE
Office Suite - NONE
Bodhi Linux has many deficiencies here so I’m going to knock some points.
Applications score: 5.5/10
5. Installing packages
Being based on Ubuntu, Bodhi Linux uses apt-get so there’s a wide variety of software to install.
However, there’s no app store so new users might get a bit intimidated.
Update: There is an app store. From the quick start guide, you can hit a link called Installing Software which leads you to an app store. Problem is, no one looks at quick start guides. Thanks Jim Lynch, a writer of a similar blog, for the tip! (http://desktoplinuxreviews.com/bodhi-reviews/bodhi-linux-3-0/2/)
Installing packages score: 9/10
Bodhi Linux lives up to its goal of being a lightweight distro. However, it cuts many corners in trying to achieve this, particularly in the applications department. I would recommend this to users who are not beginners to Linux looking for something to install on older hardware. If you’re new to Linux, you should probably stick to Lubuntu or LXLE.
Final score: 42/50 = 84%
Ubuntu MATE 15.04
openSUSE 13.2 KDE
Bodhi Linux 3.0.0