There are times in life when less is really more, and that’s quite true with certain Linux distributions. Bodhi Linux 3.0 is a desktop distribution that uses the Enlightenment window manager to provide a light-weight alternative to other distros that use full-blown desktop environments such as Cinnamon, MATE, Unity, etc.
Bodhi Linux 3.0 is also quite sparing in its inclusion of desktop applications compared to other distributions. I’ll have more to say about that in the software section, but the bottom line is that Bodhi is geared toward minimalists rather than users who want tons of software installed by default.
What’s new in Bodhi Linux 3.0
Here’s a sample of the new features in this release:
Linux Kernel 3.16
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Core
Bodhi Linux 3.0 download and install
You can download Bodhi Linux 3.0 from the official download page. You can get Bodhi Linux 3.0 in 32-bit or 64-bit versions. There’s also a legacy version, and a version for Chromebooks. Bodhi Linux 3.0 is a live distribution, so you can check it out without having to do an install on your computer.
The Bodhi installer is easy to use and you will see a slideshow while your install completes. The slideshow provides some basic information about Bodhi, and it will probably be appreciated by those who are completely new to this distribution.
During the install you’ll have the option to completely erase your disk by using the default partitioning, or you can opt to set up your own preferred partitions. For this review I opted to use the default partitioning.
My install was quick, and I had no problems with it.
Bodhi Linux 3.0 desktop
The first thing you’ll see when your desktop loads is a browser window that pops up with the Bodhi Linux Quick Start Guide loaded in it. Don’t just close this window if you are new to Bodhi, take a moment to look at what’s listed there as it covers some important things such as how to use the Enlightenment window manager, and how to install software. There are also links to an FAQ and other helpful resources.
If you’ve never used the Enlightenment window manager then you’re in for a bit of a treat. It’s quite different than Cinnamon, MATE or other desktop environments. Speedy is one word to accurately describe Enlightenment. It is very fast indeed compared to some of the chunkier desktop environments found in other distributions.
You’ll find a panel (called shelf in Enlightenment) at the top with the usual icons such as the menu, web browser, file manager, updates, multiple desktops, volume, date/time and shutdown. If you prefer you can simply left-click the desktop to pull up the same menu that appears when you click the white arrow in the panel.
The menu lets you access applications, navigate, take a screenshot, tweak your desktop or Windows, access system settings and other useful items. If you’re new to Bodhi then it’s worth browsing the main menu to familiarize yourself with what’s there because you’ll probably need one thing or the other at some point.
If you prefer, you can move the shelf by right-clicking it, then clicking shelf then on orientation. From there you can move it to the bottom or wherever else you feel like putting it. I left it at the top as I found that it worked fine for me there. But others users might feel more comfortable with it in a different spot on the desktop.
The desktop itself has three icons on it: Home, Root and Temp. The wallpaper is dark, as is the theme, and the Bodhi Linux logo appears in the center of the wallpaper. If you find that you want a change in scenery, pull up the Settings panel and then click on Wallpaper. There are a number of colorful wallpapers you can choose from that will brighten up the Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 desktop.