September 9th, 2009 brought with it the third release of Moon OS codename Makara. It’s been on my periphery for a while now, seen in a similar vein to Elive but instead Moon OS presents itself as an installable OS rather than Elive, which I’ve alway found to be appealing if a little unpredictable. According to the website it’s powered by Ubuntu but I see a definite minty hand in how it’s laid out, certainly the grub gfx boot.
One of the stand out things I take from the website, screenshots and now I’ve booted from the cd the actual system is quite how good looking it is. Not too pretty, not too slick but slim and salubrious. I must admit I like the green. Having been an Ubuntu man for some time I’ve become used to Browns and oranges, a hint of red perhaps but mainly earthy colours on my Desktop. Green seems like a sensible progression and although I’ve never liked the green of OpenSUSE, Moon OS has it spot on.
But I digress, lets see some screenshots shall we?
As you can see, it’s a very nice looking initial desktop. I love that E17 can create fantastic effects without 3d capability. It means you get a beautiful desktop on all but the most modest computer specifications. Although I don’t have one.. yet, it would be very interesting to see a netbook remix of this distro.
One thing (and it’s really only a very small thing) is that, as the third screenshot above illustrates, Moon OS have created a branded google search homepage. Unfortunately I find it to be hideous. In fairness I think this may be due more to Enlightenments’ otherwise eye-pleasing surroundings creating such a contrast. It needs to be simpler.
While I’m running live I like to put a desktop through it’s paces a little to see how it deals with typical day to day activities. Running live is obviously going to be slower than an installation and won’t benefit from some binary hardware drivers (my Nvdia graphics card in this instance) but stability is none-the-less put to the test. Large files transfers can be tricky sometimes so moving around 10gb from one hard drive to another gives me an indication of how it will perform installed. Happily Moon OS performed perfectly and quickly. Firefox loads in a reasonable time, such that I know it will quite literally fire up; as do the gimp, exaile and pidgin. I will be looking into exaile in some detail as I’m usually a rhythmbox or banshee user. During the test enlightenment did not segfault once. Something I have experienced with Elive before; including the very mac-looking warning stating that this is bad and something has gone wrong.
The Ubuntu Jaunty origins mean that the newer notification system is also active in Moon OS and fits in rather well with the desktop appearance. After booting up I see, out of the corner of my eye, that I’m connected to the internet. It’s just a little touch but it’s nice to be notified of things in such a way.
Up next I will install Moon OS and report back with more of my findings.
For now, the hour is late and so I bid all goodnight.