Linux Deepin 12.06

If this is your first visit to my blog, you may want to read about my distro-hopping.

Caution: This review is short as the drive I had installed it on was acutely needed for other stuff. So I used Deepin for only a few days on and off. "Review" is an exaggeration, the follow is more of a long comment...

The GNU/Linux distribution Linux Deepin is based on Ubuntu. It is unusual in three ways: it is made in China (PRC), it has it's own modified GNOME Shell, and the project provides a few unique applications, such as the Deepin Music Player (GPL license). I did not have time to try out the special applications, apart from the Deepin Software Center. The 12.06 version updates listed here. The system can of course be had in many languages, their main page comes in an English version, but the forums are in Chinese.

I am almost allergic to GNOME Shell, I just can't get comfortable with it. I find it hard to navigate in, and I found myself starting programs from command line or the old Alt+F2 a lot more than I usually do. I also feels like my screen area somehow is smaller and more crowded. When I wasn't sure of an application's name, or what app I needed for a task and had to look for it, I really missed a plain old application menu. That is my preference. There is nothing inherently bad in GNOME Shell. That said, it ran very well and Linux Deepin looks nice. Nice look is important. After all, the time we spend at the computer should be functionally and estethically enjoyable, or at least soothing and/or non-distracting when we have some boring or frustrating shit to do.

I tried installing nVidia non-free drivers with the "Additional Drivers" in the System Settings pane. Nothing happened when i clicked it. It is a frontend for Jockey. However, installing the drivers through the Deepin Software Center worked fine. The software center was actually faster than most of the type I have tried. On Ubuntu/Debian based systems, the proprietary graphics drivers install can be done in several ways, and it can be a hassle. If one method fails, usually another works. After running Deepin for maybe three days, I just clicked the "Additional Drivers" button and now it worked, and some choices of drivers were provided. But by then I already have the proprietary drivers installed.

As it was a short testing time, i didn't get to try it out very much, but it worked fine. If you like GNOME shell and at least the big repos of Ubuntu, it may be worth a look. The documentation/forum is in Chinese, but I assume most problems can be solved with looking in the huge Ubuntu collection of guides, FAQs, forums etc.