XeroLinux is a refreshingly cool desktop in desperate need of some polish

7 months ago 124
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A fancy Linux organisation with oculus candy galore? Sign maine up. However, Jack Wallen thinks you mightiness privation to clasp disconnected connected making this gorgeous Linux desktop organisation your default.

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Image: Larich/Shutterstock

I emotion happening upon a truly chill Linux desktop distribution. And I've travel crossed my stock of them this past year. So it's fitting that I extremity 2021 by reviewing 1 last Linux desktop organisation that's worthy of the rubric "cool."

That organisation is the Arch-based XeroLinux. According to the website, XeroLinux is an oculus candy lover's dream. That assertion is beauteous spot-on, arsenic XeroLinux offers a gorgeous desktop filled with transparency, blurs, and more. If you're looking for a desktop to amusement disconnected conscionable what's imaginable connected Linux, XeroLinux mightiness good beryllium the 1 you want. I'm truthful impressed with this desktop, I'm acceptable to telephone it the best-looking Linux desktop connected the market. And that's fixed it could inactive usage a spot of polish (more connected that successful a bit).

SEE: Linux turns 30: Celebrating the unfastened root operating strategy (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

What is XeroLinux?

XeroLinux is based connected Arch (without the challenging installation) and uses the KDE Plasma desktop arsenic an interface. Even though XeroLinux claims to beryllium utilizing KDE, you'd beryllium hard-pressed to archer (unless you knew Konsole was the default KDE terminal emulator and Dolphin was the default record manager). What developer Anindo Neel Dutta has done with KDE is beyond impressive. There are details to beryllium recovered that bigger distributions easy miss. For instance, unfastened Konsole and you'll beryllium presented with the details of your installation (Figure A).

Figure A

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With each opening of Konsole, you're greeted with strategy information.

When you click connected the Application paper (top-left country of the desktop), you tin commencement poking astir the paper (Figure B) to spot however galore applications Dutta has included … and it's a sizeable magnitude of software.

Figure B

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The XeroLinux paper offers an awesome array of software.

You'll find the LibreOffice, FreeOffice and WPS Office bureau suites installed, on with tools specified as:

  • Gimp
  • Darktable
  • Blender
  • Inkscape
  • Firefox
  • Brave
  • Chromium
  • Claws Mail
  • Geary
  • Kmail
  • FileZilla
  • Insync
  • VLC Media Player
  • Disks
  • Thunar
  • Bulk Rename
  • Slack-Desktop

The database goes connected and connected (and connected and on). This is nary stripped-down mentation of Linux. In fact, erstwhile you've installed XeroLinux, you could spell a long, agelong clip earlier needing to instal thing more. 

The desktop employs an animated dock and topbar layout. The lone contented I had with this brace was that the upwind widget refused to judge either my section presumption ID oregon coordinates. That 1 small glitch should benignant of hint who XeroLinux is geared toward (more connected this successful a bit). Instead of being capable to simply benignant a city/state operation (as you tin with GNOME Weather), you person to way down immoderate reasonably circumstantial accusation for your city. Even then, chances are slim the upwind widget volition function.

SEE: 40+ unfastened root and Linux presumption you request to know (TechRepublic Premium)

Eye candy successful request of polish

This is wherever things commencement to get a spot dicey for XeroLinux. Yes, it's gorgeous, but it's not without its issues. I'll preface this by saying immoderate of the problems I experienced could precise good beryllium caused by my moving the organisation arsenic a VM successful VirtualBox (where menus tin get cramped due to the fact that of surface size). 

With the XeroLinux desktop, you ne'er truly consciousness similar you're moving with a terribly unchangeable desktop. For instance, I opened WPS Office for the archetypal time, which typically requires agreeing with the EULA. Scroll each the mode to the bottommost of the statement and you should beryllium capable to click the I Confirm button, but you can't.  That means WP Office can't beryllium used. 

I past had an contented with the planetary paper blending successful with the apical barroom widgets, making it unreadable (Figure C). I experienced this with immoderate exertion that included a larger paper enactment (such arsenic LibreOffice). 

Figure C

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The planetary paper is unreadable successful its existent state.

Removing the apical barroom solved that occupation (while besides getting escaped of the planetary paper — which I hap to deliberation is simply a large addition). I was capable to yet adhd the planetary paper back, but it did instrumentality immoderate tweaking to get it close (Figure D).

Figure D

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The planetary paper has been re-added.

Another contented is with the default Layan theme. I'll confess that I'm not a large instrumentality of acheronian themes and Layan is simply a spot much. But it's not conscionable that the developer opted to spell with the acheronian theme. The Layan taxable goes a small excessively acold with the darkness. The LibreOffice UI makes it abundantly wide the Layan taxable is somewhat excessive. Of course, that could conscionable beryllium my idiosyncratic aversion to acheronian themes astatine play. You beryllium the judge.

When I attempted to region items from the apical panel, things went truly sideways. The panel/dock editing tools are acold from intuitive, truthful it's casual to upwind up destroying a sheet oregon a dock altogether. This needs immoderate attention; otherwise, XeroLinux volition upwind up with immoderate earnestly frustrated users. And adjacent erstwhile you get the Latte exertion open, for immoderate crushed it doesn't judge rodent clicks. Once again, I had to powerfulness disconnected my virtual instrumentality and powerfulness it backmost up.

In general, however, determination look to beryllium excessively galore issues with XeroLinux to marque it a worthy contender for desktop of the year. That's a shame due to the fact that it is specified a chill introduction successful the ever-growing excavation of Linux desktop distributions.

Who is XeroLinux for?

Clearly, XeroLinux isn't for the caller user. Anyone who prefers their desktops enactment with a definite level of reliability volition privation to steer wide of this entry. But if you emotion oculus candy and you don't caput spending a spot of other clip getting things to work, XeroLinux mightiness beryllium conscionable the sidetrack from the standard-issue desktop.

This is 1 of those distributions that I sincerely anticipation continues growing. Even with the issues, what Anindo Neel Dutta has done is impressive. XeroLinux has the makings of what could beryllium the astir beauteous Linux desktop connected the market. If helium tin enactment retired immoderate of the quirks, he'll person thing peculiar connected his hands.

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