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Bodhi Linux 1.3

Bodhi Linux is based on Ubuntu, but it has been stripped back to the core in an effort to create a really lightweight distro that has minimal hardware requirements. In fact, the system requirements are a 300MHz processor, 128Mb RAM and 1.5Gb of disk space, which is about as minimal as you can get. That's not the only unusual feature and there are many more.

The .iso file can be used to create a live CD that runs Bodhi Linux without installation, but there is an installer on the desktop if you then want to transfer it to the hard disk drive.

During installation you are asked to select the desktop, such as Fancy, Compositing, and others. I went for Fancy. You are also asked to pick a theme, such as A-Pink_Bodhi, A-sunshinemurrine, Bodhi_detourious_dark and so on. I chose A-sunshinemurrine because it had a nice photo for the background.

This distro does not use any of the standard Linux desktops such as KDE or Gnome and instead it has the Enlightenment Desktop Environment, which is unusual. Down at the bottom of the screen is a Mac-like Dock and there are some applications there by default. You can configure it and add more. It's useful to put your favourite programs and tools there, but left clicking the mouse anywhere on the desktop displays a menu from which you can access everything. Gadgets can be placed on the desktop, such as a clock with a calendar.

Bodhi Linux

An unusual feature of the desktop is the animated penguins. These are a variation of Lemmings and you can interact with them, blowing them up and sending them floating up the screen. They are fun for a while, but you'll probably turn them off sooner or later. A total of 12 virtual desktops are available and there is a grid in the top right corner for accessing them.

Very little software is provided with Bodhi Linux and there is a web browser called Midori (no Firefox or Chrome here), and a text editor called LeadPad and that's it. There's Synaptic Package Manager, but there isn't a lot in it. Selecting Add Software from the menu runs the Midori web browser, which goes to the software section of the Bodhi website. Software is downloaded and installed through the web browser.

There isn't much software available, but what there is, is OK. You have to remember that this is intended to be a lightweight system and not a full featured one. There are bundles of software and one called Pratibha installs Claws mail, Deadbeef media player, VLC media player, Light Office, Pinta image editing and more. The Nikhila bundle is bigger and more comprehensive, with LibreOffice, Cheese webcam, Openshot video editor, Rhythmbox media player and more. There are audio packs, educational packs, image packs, and so on. There is just enough to create a useable system with most of the tools you need.

Bodhi Linux probably isn't something you would want on your main desktop PC, but if you have an old PC with limited hardware then it could be a good choice. It isn't as full featured as Ubuntu, but then it isn't intended to be.