I wasn’t planning on making the switch quite yet, but it worked out just right, anyway. Simply Mepis (SM) has been my Linux distribution of choice for a long time now, and it’s getting closer to going gold all the time. The anticipation is growing in the Mepis community, but we can wait (I think).
My HP6449US laptop was working quite nicely when I decided to do some modification to the Simply Mepis beta I had installed a couple of months ago. That beta shared the hard drive with Simply Mepis 7 and Vista, for a choice of three in my multi-boot set up. SM 7 was the first item in my grub menu, followed by Vista and then SM 7.9.95-rc2. Actually, I had been spending most of my time with the SM release candidate, and rarely ever booted into SM 7 anymore. Vista just takes up room, and I don’t know why HP even elects putting that OS on a good laptop.
For some strange reason, about a week ago, I began installing the latest Openoffice.org on the SM 7.9 partition, and it just wasn’t working the way it was supposed to. There’s a couple of posts about Openoffice in my home office here and here. I always install from the OOo site after removing the one that comes with a SM install. It’s just better for me this way; but most people are probably fine with the Debian version Warren provides. If sound would work, and I could get MySQL to play nicely with the SM version, it would just be part of my basic install.
Anyway, moving along with the story, after several attempts at installing OOo, and it not working, I decided it was time to do a fresh install, so out comes the latest Live CD. It was going to happen sooner or later, so I just installed over my SM 7 partition, keeping my home directory intact. As usual, Warren has done an outstanding job with this soon-to-be full-blown Simply Mepis 8 version; I couldn’t be happier. Well, that’s not altogether the whole picture as getting the web cam to work would be a nice touch. I digress, though.
The install went as planned and now the rc is on two partitions: the one SM 7 used to occupy, and the one that had been used for SM 8 from beta through rc. Cool! I can now boot into the rc, the rc or Vista. After setting up the older rc install just the way I wanted, it time to set up my primary Linux partition – the one where SM 7 use to be. Remember, I kept the /home directory intact, and that had me concerned just a little. As it turns out, there weren’t very many changes that had to be made even switching to SM 8-rc from SM 7. A tweak here and a tweak there got things up and running in no time at all.
I can’t begin to tell you how pleased I am with this release candidate. Everything of interest to me works flawlessly. Wireless has been made quite painless, and installing 3D acceleration could not have been easier. Several of the Lenny apps work much better than their Etch counterparts, such as gtkpod and gPodder. One of my favorite apps, BibleTime is a gem to use here, too. Some of the people from the MEPISlover’s forum have created a repository of apps they’ve built for both SM 7 and SM 8 – they’ve done an outstanding job, too. One of the apps they worked on is WINE, and that’s on this install, too. I use it to run a few Windows programs, and they work very well. BTW, this version of WINE has even got sound working. Good job, guys!
Simply Mepis 9.9.95-rc2 is now my main Linux install, and there are no regrets. I’m thankful OOo was giving me a hard time installing, because that was the fuel needed to press on with the new setup. I suppose my next project will be to install SM 8 -64 on the older SM partition to see how well it works. Many of the people who frequent MEPISlovers tell me they are please with it; we’ll have to wait and see.
Lastly, I recently had an experience with a local office supply store, and wrote a post on MEPISlovers. If you would like to read about it, you would be most welcome.
Now that the Simply Mepis 8 is nearly final, do you think you will give it a try? It wouldn’t hurt downloading the Live CD and giving it a spin.