Simply Mepis 8 is Looking Good

In Computing on September 30, 2008 at 9:08 AM

As some of you know, Linux is what my computers run on, and Simply Mepis is the particular distribution. I have been using Simply Mepis for a number of years, and would not go backwards into a Windows environment for anything. There is no need to, really, as all my computing needs are met in Linux: safe, secure, virus free, and easy to use. For more on Linux, you can read my post Linux – Is It For You?

I have been using the 32-bit version since December 2007, and have been extremely pleased with it. The base install is great, but limited in a few areas. It comes with enough software to get most people up and running in about 20 minutes or so, unless you have to do some partitioning work. If I ever have to reinstall, the whole process is only about 10 minutes or so.

Warren Woodford, the creator of Mepis, has been working hard on the next version of his incredible distribution. Currently, I have version 7.9.8 beta installed on my laptop, and couldn’t be happier with what I see. Everything is working very well, with the exception of the built-in webcam, which I have never used. Sound, wireless, 3-D graphics and more are working just right. Keep in mind, this is still a beta version; when this becomes gold, it will be Mepis 8 and rock solid as usual. Warren knows how to put a Linux distribution together.

Here’s a partial list of programs included with Mepis:

  • – a MS Office replacement
  • Firefox – Browser
  • Thunderbird – e-mail client
  • GIMP – Image editor
  • Amarok – Music player
  • digiKam – Photo management
  • Kopete – Instant messeger
  • Akregator – RSS feed reader
  • Kontact – Personal information manager
  • Kino – Video editor
  • KPDF – PDF viewer
  • More programs than you could possibly use

Linux is highly customizable, too. Switching desktop backgrounds couldn’t be easier. Changing the look and feel is just a matter of firing up the KDE Control Center and changing settings to your heart’s content. I must say, the guys who worked so tirelessly on the new art for the upcoming release of Mepis 8, did an outstanding job. Here’s what the desktop looks like. Don’t like that look? It’s not a problem, as I already mentioned. Change the looks to what you want.

For those of you who have one of the newer iPod Classics, Nanos, iPod Touch or iPhones, you have little recourse for their use in the Linux world. Mepis 8 works well with these devices, though, as I already know first-hand. All I had to do was install a few packages (programs), answer some questions, and now I’m happily using my iPod Classic 80GB Silver, knowing I don’t have to use iTunes or fire up Windows to get the job done. BTW, the two packages are gtkpod and gPodder, which is a media aggregator or podcast receiver/catcher.

I use a package called BibleTime, which is Bible study software. It’s extremely easy to use, and installing is a breeze. If you want to read more about it, look at my post entitled Bible Software for Linux. Admittedly, this is not my favorite software, but it works very well for my purposes. I wish Bible software makers would port some of their excellent products to Linux; that would make me a very happy camper.

This is not meant to be a complete review of Simply Mepis Linux, just a quick overview of the upcoming full release. Mepis 8 appears to working on most cylinders, but, according to the MEPISlovers Forums, there are some bugs. This is completely natural; after all, we are talking about a beta release. On my equipment, this beta is working exceptionally well, and I would not hesitate making it my main system right now. I will wait until Mepis 8 goes gold, which is not that far off anyway.

You should give Linux a try. If you are currently using MS Windows, you should download the .iso image, burn it to a CD, stick it in your optical drive and reboot the computer. You won’t have to install right away, unless you want. This way you can look at Linux and see what it’s all about. There’s more information here. Give it a shot and you’ll probably like what you see.

  1. I love mepis. Can’t wait to download the beta. Was a bit disappointed that they didn’t go with the webcam kernel (2.6.27). Hopefully, it will be an easy ugrade in a few months or when 8.5 comes out. Warren, another fine job, yet again.

  2. Hello, Richard, and thanks for dropping by. If memory serves correctly, I started Mepis with version 3.0, and it was fabulous. I’ve tried many distros, but Mepis has been my favorite. I have nothing to say negatively about any of the ones I’ve tried; they were all pretty good.

    I’ve only tried getting my webcam to work once, but never did bother with it very much. I guess that’s not a big issue with me, but if it will help others, I’m all for Warren including the kernel you mentioned.

  3. If Mepis had a version for the Asus EEE netbook, I’d install it.

  4. Hello, Jeffrey. I just looked at the MEPISlovers Forum, and there might be some information you could use. Glad you dropped by.

  5. I’ve been using Mepis 6.5 for over 18 months on 3 PCs. It is the most stable OS that I have ever used (over 2 decades). Other than 1 minor issue – involving 2 DVD recorders – it has just worked.

  6. […] Simply Mepis 8 is Looking Good You should give Linux a try. If you are currently using MS Windows, you should download the .iso image, burn it to a CD, stick it in your optical drive and reboot the computer. You won’t have to install right away, unless you want. This way you can look at Linux and see what it’s all about. There’s more information here. Give it a shot and you’ll probably like what you see. […]

  7. Simply Mepis was one of the distros that gave me hope that I can live with Linux OS. I would be glad to see Mepis 8. The desktop looks very beautiful. It would be nice to see KDE 4 in Mepis.

  8. @tt: Nice to see you here. Yes, it does “just work.” I have fond memories of SM 6.5; it was a good one.

    @Sid: Some of the guys at the Mepis Lovers forum have already installed KDE4 in Mepis. It seems to be a mixed bag of results so far. Glad you dropped by.

  9. Don’t forget k3b for burning CDs! Mepis is a very good distro. I’ve also tried Knoppix, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Fedora Core, Mint, AntiX, DSL (can’t say it’s name on a Church board!), and probably a couple others that slip my mind.

    Since Live CDs are easy to download over a broadband connection, there’s really no excuse for not trying out Linux. There for a while my kids were poking fun at me about my “distro of the week” behavior in fooling with different distros and releases.

  10. Ah, I remember now – Open Suse, but Novel made a deal with the devil, so I won’t go back that way again… 😉

  11. PS, you’re right about k3b. It’s a great piece of software, and I use it quite often. To install it and k9copy is just a couple of clicks and away you go.

  12. Pastor Ron,
    Your review is right on!!! I have been a Mepis User since 6.0, and a member of MepisLovers forum. In my book, Mepis is the ONLY Linux distro

  13. Wally, glad to see you here and thanks for leaving a comment. I just happen to agree with your assessment of the situation – Mepis is the only distro for me, too. Right again about MEPISlovers.

  14. […] desktop has Simply Mepis 7.0 as its main operating system, while the laptop has both Mepis 7.0 and 7.9.80-beta2 running on it at full speed. Honestly, I don’t know which one I like […]

  15. […] my post entitled Simply Mepis 8 is Looking Good, here’s a partial list of packages included with […]

  16. Hi Pastor Ron,
    Just happened to stumble on this and just wanted to say Hi as you know I share your views on Mepis. Take Good Care

    • nlyric, glad you dropped by this little slice of the net. Yes, I see you, too, on MEPISlovers, and appreciate what you have to say. You are always welcome here. Come again.

  17. […] Simply Mepis 8 Is Looking Good – Another post about Simply Mepis in the beta testing cycle. Warren Woodford was doing a fine job. […]

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