Sunday, June 24, 2012

Another Mate 1.2 desktop alternative to Linux Mint: Salix 13.37

Linux users who are fond of Gnome 2 desktop can't get enough of Mate 1.2. The project to advance Gnome 2 started by an Arch Linux user, seems to be gaining popularity with another Linux OS pursuing Mate apart from Linux Mint.

On 19th June, George Vlahavas announced the release of Salix OS 13.37 "Live MATE" edition, a Slackware-based live CD featuring the MATE desktop. It has both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. I downloaded the 630 mb 32-bit edition from

In virtual box of my P4/2.4 GHz/1.5 GB RAM, I allotted 512 mb RAM to test the OS. It booted within 2 minutes and I was greeted with a login screen asking me username-password. A little bit of searching and I had the username! Username one and no password works for it.

The desktop looks cool with a bluish abstract wallpaper.

The developers have preloaded almost all the useful applications you would want in a linux OS. 

For internet Firefox 13 with Adobe Flash support, claws mail, pidgin, bit-torrent client, etc. are provided. Complete LibreOffice suite is provided for your office needs.

In the multimedia section, gstreamer codecs are not included by default. But a link is provided to the user to install the multimedia codecs. Asunder CD ripper, Brasero writer, Exaile player, Ptivi video editor, and Whaaw! Media player are provided. VLC is notable absence and users have to download it separately.

I found CPU usage to be slightly higher at the idle state, 37%, possibly because I was running it from Virtual Box. From USB drive CPU usage might be lower. Got to check this running Puppy from VB. RAM usage is around 173 MB which is decent.

Salix has a good online community and a good documentation. So, users won't be scratching their heads if any problem arises. But, seriously a question I asked myself - with Linux Mint Maya too providing a very similar OS, would you really prefer Salix over Mint Maya?

26th June 2012: I checked using Puppy Slacko 5.3.3 for CPU usage in Virtual Box. When booted from USB, it reports about 4% CPU usage at idle state whereas in VB, it gives a CPU usage of 35%. So, Salix CPU usage is kind of lower and comparable to Puppy Slacko, which is really great!

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