Liam Proven at The Register had not been impressed with MEPIS back in the day, but following a number of reader requests was waiting for a new release of MX Linux so he could dedicate a complete article to the task and now admits he was wrong, so much so that “MX Linux is now a firm favourite”. He makes an in-depth analysis of MX right from the installation process onwards drawing out similarities and making comparisons with a range of different distros and at every step MX seems to “strike a happy medium”. The install is easy, with whole disk automated or fully customisable install options. He particularly liked the double list world/region style for time zone selection and the direct username selection processes. He found it “refreshing that the distro just trusts you and tries to do what you asked it”. Although he considered the other variants of MX, he comments that “it is in using Xfce that MX really shines”, he found it “thoughtfully configured” and felt that the inclusion of the ‘docklike taskbar’ was a “very nice touch”. When considering that MX doesn’t use systemd but does have it installed, he conceded that “this strikes [him] as a good compromise” particularly when trying to install Nvidia drivers. He describes the collection of pre-installed apps as a “curated list of useful programs” and especially likes the “very handy MX Tools menu… [with] its own front-end”. His only real “quibble is that the latest available kernel package is for 5.18, which is now past end-of-life.” But to wrap it all up, he began his “first official test drive and became a little infatuated” and ends by declaring that “MX Linux is our new recommended distro.”
Chris at Explaining Computers talks through choosing an MX21 flavour or re-spin, in this case Xfce, downloading, flashing to USB and performing a full install, which he describes as a ‘very painless experience’. He quickly notes that MX21 is ‘very resource efficient’, ‘supports the user with extensive documentation’, and that all the tools ‘have a common interface and … help functionality’. He also briefly looks at the included software and additional software available, before switching across to and comparing the KDE and Fluxbox flavours using his film-making magic. Although he found that Fluxbox was not his ‘cup of tea’, he ends his review by summarising that after ‘very rigorous very intensive testing’ he found MX Linux to be ‘a very stable distro … [he’d] be perfectly happy to use as [his] daily driver’.
MX-21 | MX Linux 21 Long Term Review
Having always been impressed with tests of MX Linux in the past, this time Matt @TheLinuxCast discusses ‘living long term’ in MX21. He briefly looks at the out of the box experience, pre-installed software and his reflections of the KDE environment, including updates and additional software, of which ‘with all the options, the vast majority you’re going to find’ here, as well as some of the gaming capabilities he finds. He enthuses about MX Snapshot – ‘a fantastic tool … to create an iso of your perfect setup’ and ends by saying that ‘MX has been a treat to use … and I’m going to stick with MX’.
MX-21 | Jesse’s Top Picks Of 2021
In this DistroWatch Weekly (949), Jesse discusses his test drive of MX Linux, describing it as ‘Debian customized to be specifically a desktop operating system’. He notes that MX Linux is ‘virtually unique’ in allowing a choice of init system at boot time while adding ‘polish and conveniences’ to Debian’s ‘stability and responsiveness’. He summarizes that this was ‘the distribution [he] felt most at home with this year’ and even ‘decided to keep running for a while’ after finishing his test drive.
M.Hanny Sabbagh reviews what qualified MX Linux as best distribution of the year for FOSS Post. They systematically discuss general information, installation and the desktop and move onto explore unique utilities and system management, software management and resource usage. They describe the appearance as ‘classic and traditional’ and the system as ‘functional and full of interesting features’, ‘everything a user may need’ as well as advanced tools that power users will enjoy. In addition, they point out that all the MX Linux apps have the ‘help’ button which makes it ‘astoundingly user-friendly’. They summarise that ‘it all creates a wonderful Linux distribution for the average user’.
Jack Keifer provides a comprehensive and enthusiastic look at the Xfce flavour of MX Linux from install on virtualbox, to overview on real hardware. He summarises that ‘MX-21 Wildflower is a Debian based Linux with cutting edge software available right from the MX repositories’ and gives MX Linux a gold star for the Docklike panel features which include preview thumbnails of open windows. He ends by describing MX Linux as a ‘really over the top impressive install’ which could be ‘a great daily driver for many people’.
MX-21 | MX Linux 21: Xfce Go Brrr
G’s Multiverse takes a tour of MX Linux 21, describing the Xfce flavour as being ‘for people who just need to sit at their computers and get some work done’. He finds the whisker menu ‘beautifully categorized’ and believes the amazing Conky widgets ‘make the desktop look so much better’. He explores MX Tweak which covers ‘basically all of the things you might ever need’ and the MX Package Installer that ‘is there to make your life way easier’. He ends with ‘as for the other things, well, these are here for you to explore’.
Following on from his review of the KDE edition, Dedoimedo decided to expand his testing to the Xfce edition using the same hardware and conditions to compare how similar the flavours are. Unfortunately, he suffered from resume, boot and cpu issues, as well as disliking the visual styling. He spent some time making changes and adjustments, but ends with ‘MX-21 Xfce is the complete opposite of MX-21 KDE’, conceding ‘it ain’t bad, but it is fragile’.
MX-21 | Getting Started with MX Linux
‘Switched to Linux’ looks at installing and setting up MX Linux ready for use. He covers adjusting the panel (since he’s not a huge fan of the bar on the side) and desktop themes, installing additional software and updates, as well as an overview of MX Tools, starting from the Xfce live desktop on a virtual machine. He enthused about the option of being able to ‘push changes made in the live environment to the installed environment’ included in the install process and the ability to create an iso image from your build to use on a number of computers perhaps in a corporate setting. He also commented on the speed of the installer, as it paused whilst he was discussing and reviewing all the install options, finishing with the statement that ‘it is a wonderful distribution’.
As a great fan of this ‘small, feisty distro’, he usually tests and likes the Xfce flavours. This time Dedoimedo provides a thorough and honest discussion of MX-21 KDE, despite his disappointment with the KDE flavour last year, and was pleasantly surprised to see the superb Plasma 5.20. He notes the desktop is ‘pretty with crisp colours and clear black fonts’ but felt that the screen Conky and system usage widget create duplicated ‘noise’. He opined that during installation, the partition table is a ‘nice idea, but not implemented well’. That said, he did comment that MX is pretty much the only distro he has tried recently that also lets you save your live session. He noticed a couple of hardware compatibility annoyances with his screen brightness at boot and automatic connection of the wifi. On the other hand, he found the desktop ‘blazing fast and super responsive’, with a quiet 0-1% CPU usage at idle and a slightly higher than average idle memory usage. He finishes with ‘There are tiny quirks here and there [but] this edition has style, grace, speed and a great selection of software.’
Jeff Siegel test drives MX 21 Wildflower and simply states ‘It is that well done…it is such a joy to use.’ He commends the developers’ serious effort in not just making MX work, but work even better, including terrific documentation, a surprisingly effective installer and the fully self-contained MX-Tools with software for almost every contingency. In his trial, everything worked out of the box, even including his touchscreen, which he found remarkable given the ‘consistent inconsistency [Linux has] with touchscreens.’ He does comment that most of the MX-designed apps lack the glitz and polish that so many others deliver, but for him the biggest drawback is that there is almost too much tweaking possible with MX.
Mike Turcotte-McCusker gives his take on the current #1 (by hits) on DistroWatch, opting for the Xfce flavour of MX Linux. He comments that although the graphical installer looked dated, it was very well documented and the installation itself was insanely fast. In his view, MX Linux has everything the average user needs to enjoy themselves and be productive. He enthuses that the absolutely massive suite of MX related tools shows the level of depth and care put in by the development team and when running a selection of applications he noted that everything flew open right away without hiccups or stuttering. Despite him not liking the layout of the side panel, nor being a fan of Xfce typically, once he had organised things to his liking, he admits that MX is responsive, fast and a pleasure to use.
In their channel, Ebuzz Central give a substantial overview of the KDE flavour of MX-21 including looking at ‘a lot of helpful tools’ and tweaks provided as default, as well as detailing how to customise the look and feel to suite your own tastes. They note that being KDE most of it will feel familiar, but ‘all in all, [it’s] a great update for MX.’
When Matt @TheLinuxCast last looked at MX Linux he commented on the ‘really cool, unique tools that made the distribution kind of awesome.’ This time he undertakes an extensive exploration of the new features and custom tools, starting with installation, where he comments that the installer is ‘fairly bland’ with a lot of textual help. His next stop is the ‘spectacular’ MX Tour, which he thinks is ‘really cool,’ as it is designed as an in-depth introduction to the many features and graphical tools. He then reviews MX Tweaks to customise the desktop experience and gives his genuine reactions to the some of the software included as standard. He ends saying that now, ‘Debian has some really good options for both new users and long-time users.’
A comprehensive and systematic overview by Tyler’s Tech of the new MX-21 Beta 1 release covering the whole process from live boot through “a very quick install process” on real hardware . Gives an overview of the default settings, menus and applications, including packaged versions and their typical uses. Shares his opinions on some of the features – “I’ve always liked the way they set up their panels” and “a massive fan of that Docklike Taskbar implementation”. Also shows some of the simple ways he tweaks the setup including installing his favorite flatpaks.