Linpus Linux is a Fedora based distro that was designed to support the Asian market with Unicode support. However, Linpus is available in English, as well as several other languages, from their website. The Linpus Linux Lite version reviewed here is designed to be a simple to use and low memory usage for the Netbook and light-computer user community. Some Acer Netbooks come pre-installed with Linpus Lite.
The version reviewed here, Linpus Lite 9.4, was released in December 2007. Many of the installed packages are outdated, however once you’ve installed the OS, you can easily update any required application by accessing the RPM Repository.
Linpus Lite came as a 700 MB download from their website. We had to jump through a few pages to get to the actual download file. The download itself was quick and the bootup for the Live CD installation was quick and painless. After the OS loaded, the initial desktop display is in simple-mode. After the initial loading, we did not experience any CD churning including during heavier memory tasks, such as loading Open Office and Firefox.
Linpus Lite is actually two Linux OS in one. There’s simple mode, which is easy enough for children and total computer newbies to navigate, and the more standard Fedora desktop which is fine for most users. We liked the choices provided, and the simplicity of the setup in both environments.
The Simple mode is super-intuitive. There are five menu tabs on top, each opening a new screen of applications represented by big icons in squares. The layout is not only pretty, but also very functional. I did not see a way to add or edit the icons or paths to the quick links. That would further add to the usefullness of this menu structure.
The Full mode is actually a full-power Fedora Desktop. If you never knew that the simple mode existed, Linpus would exist in its own right as a capable Fedora-based distro.
There’s a little icon on the bottom left corner toggles between the simple and full modes.
This section is a bit dated since this distro version was launched in late 2007. The aging Open Office 2.2 and Firefox 2.0 are shining examples of packages that require immediate updating once you’ve got the OS running. The good news is that with Synaptics Package Manager, you can select the afore-mentioned RPMs and easily update, as well as install everything Fedora has to offer.
Gallery of Screenshots