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Linux.com Raves About New Snap-Centric 'Nitrux' Distro (linux.com) 137

An anonymous reader quotes Linux.com: What happens when you take Ubuntu 17.10, a new desktop interface (one that overlays on top of KDE), snap packages, and roll them all up into a pseudo rolling release? You get Nitrux. At first blush, this particular Linux distribution seems more of an experiment than anything else -- to show how much the KDE desktop can be tweaked to resemble the likes of the Elementary OS or MacOS desktops. At its heart, however, it's much more than that... This particular take on the Linux desktop is focused on the portable, universal nature of snap packages and makes use of a unique desktop, called Nomad, which sits atop KDE Plasma 5... The desktop includes a dock, a system/notification tray, a quick search tool (Plasma Search), and an app menu. Of all the elements on the desktop, it's the Plasma Search tool that will appeal to anyone looking for an efficient means to interact with their desktops. With this tool, you can just start typing on a blank desktop to see a list of results. Say, for example, you want to open LibreOffice writer; on the blank desktop, just start typing "libre" and related entries will appear...

Skilled Linux users should have no problem using Nitrux and might find themselves intrigued with the snap-centric Nomad desktop. The one advantage of having a distribution centered around snap packages would be the ease with which you could quickly install and uninstall a package, without causing issues with other applications... In the end, Nitrux is a beautiful desktop that is incredibly efficient to use -- only slightly hampered by an awkward installer and a lack of available snap packages. Give this distribution a bit of time to work out the kinks and it could become a serious contender.

The GUI-focused distro even includes Android apps in the menu -- although Linux.com's reviewer notes that "on two different installations, I have yet to get this feature to work. Even the pre-installed Android apps never start."
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Linux.com Raves About New Snap-Centric 'Nitrux' Distro

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  • The desktop is the new terminal, with autocomplete?

  • "Beautiful"? What? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Yosho ( 135835 ) on Saturday September 09, 2017 @10:51AM (#55164861)

    Look, I'm not going to judge your GUI based on the fact that KDE has been a disaster for years or that you're based on a non-LTE Ubuntu distro that's going to be EOL before you finish getting your wireless driver working right or the fact that you think typing in your GUI to search for an application is a new innovation...

    But if you include "beautiful" in your tagline, the very first screenshot you use to advertise yourself better actually be beautiful, and not this [imgur.com] piece of junk. Did the person who made that UI even know what margins are?

    • To LTE, or not to LTE, that is the question. It is kind of a new distribution right? So early adopters wouldn't want to be stuck with older packages. Especially since it doesn't seem they have a full solution right out of the gate. Take the feedback from a few months, or year, and push that into the next distribution. If the user base goes up, and the complaints go down, move to the LTE to focus on increasing snap packages. Then move back to syncing with the Ubuntu release cycle, once it has acheived signi
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, beauty is in the eyes of the beer-holder.
      I have been using KDE since its beginning, every foray into other desktops have made be go back to KDE, which I set up as I like it, colors, icons etc.
      I have NEVER seen a prepackaged desktop that I liked. Every effort to design some desktop theme will result in a failure. This is Linux, you customize it, it is not Apple "look and feel" shit. I'm in charge, desktop themers go make yourself useful with something else.
      The current trend of desktops are very white, s

      • by Yosho ( 135835 )

        You should set your own one up as YOU like it. Linux means choice, do no impose your taste on others, for fux ache.

        I'm not talking about high-level things like the color scheme or the actual usability of it. Did you look at the screenshot I linked to? I doubt there is any convenient way to tweak that desktop so that it doesn't have asymmetric margins around highlighted icons. Heck, they're not just asymmetrical, the bottom of that highlight border is actually cutting through the text.

    • What's with the Android apps in that screenshot? Is this a desktop linux distro, or an android os?
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I wanted to try it, but there is no .iso to install with. Only some weird .img file for a USB stick. Eventually found a VirtualBox appliance that converted over to VMWare okay.

      It's okay... the visuals are fine. I mean, it's a desktop, I only use it to launch apps and open terminal windows. The bundled apps are mostly the usual crapware, form over function, but you can install better ones. And as ever, the mouse wheel doesn't work very well without hacks.

      So basically it's a pretty average distro with an anno

      • I wanted to try it, but there is no .iso to install with. Only some weird .img file for a USB stick.

        Welcome to the 21st century!
          1) Copy image file to USB stick
          2) Reboot, enter bios, make the USB stick the first boot device
          3) Continue boot

        • by sodul ( 833177 )

          Welcome to the 21st century!
          enter bios, make the USB stick the first boot device

          On my shiny MacBook Pro I want to run it under a VM.

        • You reach the most people by making it work easily on a VM. iso is the way to go for that. I have to agree, stupid to go with img only. Makes them look like a bunch of rookies.
          • by tepples ( 727027 )

            Then mount the image in your VM as a virtual USB Mass Storage device. Or write it to a physical flash drive and enable USB passthrough in your VM. Both .iso and .e4fs are disk images; they just use a different file system.

            • That's idiotic, why would I write to a physical flash drive to load an OS to a virtual machine? It kind of defeats the purpose of being virtual in the first place. Sure img can be converted to vmdk, but I'm lazy and it's not worth it to me to go through all that effort. If they don't want lazy people to see their OS than fine, but that's probably 70% of the people any new linux distro might target, and it seems like a bad decision to me.
        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          What tool do I use to copy it? Why can't I just boot it directly in a VM?

    • by boulat ( 216724 )

      LOL

      How is this flamebait. This guy is hilarious

    • How DARE you suggest the emperor actually has no clothes on! Can you not see the finery he's wearing?

  • Command line (Score:5, Informative)

    by pz ( 113803 ) on Saturday September 09, 2017 @10:52AM (#55164869) Journal

    Funny, when I start typing on the command line, and hit tab, the same thing happens. Only then, after I select the application, I'm free to type the name of the file that I want to open, too. And any options that I want to select.

    And, from what I recall, those aspects were present in the command line, oh, back when I started with TOPS-20 in the mid 1980s, and might not have been new, then. Indeed, as I recall with the TOPS-20 command line, you were free to type a question mark at the start of any argument to see what the possible values were; now THAT was a sweet thing, because it eliminated 75% of the times I needed to look up the documentation.

    And, if the reader does not care to recognize computer history quite that old because of some encephalopathic imperfection, add-ons like Launchy have been doing exactly the same thing (type on the Windows desktop automatically engages searching for applications) for just over a decade now (since early 2007), and works under Linux, too.

    So, new feature? In no way or sense, except a perhaps incredibly narrow one such as "the developers never heard of it because they're too inexperienced."

    • I think I'm perceiving a hint of disdain in your post. /s
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Waiting for the inevitable "whelp, it uses systemd, so I'll never bother with it", or similar.

    We get it. Systemd is the new evil. I even empathize a little. Doesn't mean that efforts trying to make desktop Linux should be crapped on, too.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    nxos.org disables scrolling (except on mobile, apparently) so that text is cut off at the bottom if the browser viewport isn't as tall as the designer expected.

    Seeing that they can't design Web pages properly hardly inclines me to try the software.

    • I agree completely. That is exactly the kind of website I hate with a fiery passion. People who design websites like that should die slowly from a painful disease.

      Did it ever occur to the designer that some people like a little more control over how their browser uses their stupid website?
      • >"I agree completely. That is exactly the kind of website I hate with a fiery passion. People who design websites like that should die slowly from a painful disease."

        Yeah, I hate websites like this:

        Resource Limit Is Reached
        The website is temporarily unable to service your request as it exceeded resource limit. Please try again later.

        'cause that is all I get!

    • On mobile, meaning Safari on iOS, it seems to require a double swipe to nagivate the page. The navigation links, which merge the text on the page resulting in Chinese like letters, don't work.
  • Yet another pointless distro.
  • by Luthair ( 847766 ) on Saturday September 09, 2017 @11:14AM (#55165003)
    Apple's dock concept needs to die, while designers like it because its "simple" in reality its more complicated to use than a traditional taskbar and is a less efficient use of space.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Agreed. Too much focus on what looks elegant from what works as a user.
      Icons, a Menu Button, and a terminal field on a taskbar work great. Just get out of the way.

    • Re:Docks need to die (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Waccoon ( 1186667 ) on Sunday September 10, 2017 @02:13AM (#55168013)

      Every UX designer in the world needs to read The Design of Everyday Things. It explains at length how oversimplifying an interface can greatly increase its functional complexity.

    • by e r ( 2847683 )
      What if the GUI designers and developers gave the users the ability to configure their desktop? i.e. A checkbox for whether or not to enable the dock.
  • by Osgeld ( 1900440 ) on Saturday September 09, 2017 @11:45AM (#55165145)

    not just this one, but they all do something similar

    "enjoy your music" like holy fucking shit finally an operating system that plays music, thank god its 3rd bullet point on the homepage

  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Saturday September 09, 2017 @11:49AM (#55165171)

    The distro uses Systemd [distrowatch.com] and it's .deb based so it's passing on all the Ubuntu/Debian packages that require Systemd as well. Not a troll, just info for people who don't want Systemd.

  • On top of KDE? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Saturday September 09, 2017 @11:54AM (#55165195)

    ...one that overlays on top of KDE...

    The last time I used KDE (about a couple years ago), I dismissed it as being too bloated to survive. Now a distribution is taking KDE and building atop it? Has KDE gone through a significant slimming down recently?

    • Re:On top of KDE? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tough Love ( 215404 ) on Saturday September 09, 2017 @12:15PM (#55165335)

      Has KDE gone through a significant slimming down recently?

      KDE has been less bloated than Gnome for many years.

    • by OctobrX ( 2726 )

      KDE, has long since been quite bloated as well as suffering from interaction with a lot of "normal" gtk based apps: (Think Firefox). When one app has its native UI built in one toolkit and another has it's UI built with another toolkit, you aren't going to get a seamless look and feel. My problem with KDE (And I've used it on and off since KFM 1.0) is that a lot of the main apps I use are GTK based; whenever you use KDE it always feels a bit slow and hoggish. The themes never seem quite well thought out

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      Well pretty much every desktop system is bloated now, because they solve an obsolete problem: turning a desktop or laptop into a kind of switchboard for all your organizational and information needs.

      That's an obsolete problem because most (although of course not all) people have decided to use their phones for this purpose. Desktops and laptops are used in a more task-oriented way in which distractions aren't welcome.

      I personally switched to the i3 tiling wm last year, and I've been amazed how little I mi

    • by e r ( 2847683 )
      You realize that you can install any DE you want, right? XFCE, LXDE, and many others are right there in the software repos waiting to be installed.
  • Since it's built on KDE, I'm going to go ahead and assume it's going to run like a turd on less powerful machines.
    • Since it's built on KDE, I'm going to go ahead and assume it's going to run like a turd on less powerful machines.

      Nonsense, KDE runs nicely even on wimpy machines like ancient netbooks. You might want to turn off some 3D desktop effects.

      • The distribution shouldn't be installing with effects enabled that the system can't handle. I was briefly using Linux Mint with KDE 1-2 years ago and it was very choppy no matter what I did. Installed it on a netbook and it was almost unusable. Went to elementary OS and it was smooth by comparison. I've never been able to use KDE on anything low powered and have it work smoothly, but perhaps things are drastically better now.
        • I've never been able to use KDE on anything low powered and have it work smoothly, but perhaps things are drastically better now.

          I can still run modern KDE on an ancient Pentium M. You must be "holding it wrong".

          • It depends on your definition of 'work'. It will be functional, but elements will take time to draw and it will get in your way.
            • It depends on your definition of 'work'. It will be functional, but elements will take time to draw and it will get in your way.

              OK, let's define "works" as "works well". No, the 2D UI does not take significant time to draw, unless you have misconfigured your effects settings.

              • I'll make a point of setting Kubuntu against Lubuntu next time I install on my atom machine and see which is snappier.
              • Hey I installed Kubuntu on my little media box last night and I have to say.. I was pleasantly surprised! You're right, it runs very smoothly and even looks pretty good. So much different than my Linux Mint experience.
        • bad workmen always blames their tools
    • Since it's built on KDE, I'm going to go ahead and assume it's going to run like a turd on less powerful machines.

      *Minimum* requirement is a 2.66 GHz Quad Core "or better" and 4GB RAM, so, yeah. You are correct.

      • that's a "disclaimer" not a fact like "it won't work", if others have it working fine on lesser kit then it still works.
    • I've got a netbook I bought for $295 in 2009, for which the 3D graphics driver was dropped 7 years ago. It has no trouble running kubuntu.

  • by doctorvo ( 5019381 ) on Saturday September 09, 2017 @01:04PM (#55165633)

    I hope the web design isn't a preview for their user interface, because it is terrible.

  • did typing in a search query become an efficient way to navigate a desktop interface?
  • Was it worth the visit?
  • Doesn't it just bring monolithic apps bundled with libraries that can't be individually updated except by the person building the snap package? Sounds like a security risk. Is that the case or am I misunderstanding?

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