Makulu Linux, pronounced “Macooloo”, has been around a few years now and has remained mostly off the Linux Radar screen. Last week, Jack M. Germain writing for Linux Insider, published a post stating he thinks Makulu Linux is finally ready for prime time.
I downloaded Makulu Linux to see if it is true or only more noise. Makulu Linux in the past has never been a conformist or a MeToo Linux distribution. This newest release, LinDoz, the first of three to be released is no different. Makulu Linux is as far as I am aware, mostly unique in the Linux world.
Before going too far down the road, I will mention an issue in Live mode, I would lose the mouse. I have an old corded Kensington Trackball which may be partly responsible. Unusual for a smaller distribution, Makulu Linux has very good documentation and includes a FAQ accessible from the screen and menu.
I found the lost mouse fix so quickly, Losing the mouse, however did not carry over through to the hard drive install. I think this may be due to the faster load time, and my willingness to wait a few seconds longer.
Makulu Linux when installed to the hard drive really shines! I am glad I went beyond the live edition and completed a full install. Makulu Linux comes with it’s own desktop, two different repositories to customize your system from, and a refreshingly different way of looking at how a Linux Distribution should look and perform.
I am quite happy with the default desktop, but Makulu Linux has options for changing desktops. Upon boot, when you log in, you have the choice of desktops, Cinnamon, Cinnamon (software rendering), and XSession. I am using the default, Xsession, which works fine for me.
Makulu Linux gives you a choice of using either Debian or Mint repositories. This is also a first as far as I know. Having choices of repositories without causing system crashing is unusual at best, and insane at worst. In my [short] time with Makulu Linux, everything is working as it should.
Makulu Linux install procedure, like the rest of Makulu’s philosophy is a little different, but nothing anyone who has done a few Linux Distro installs, or can think what a question means, can’t manage. A few places ask you to make a decision, though there are defaults if you do not have a preference, or do not know what to choose. In my case chose to install Makulu Linux alongside another Distro.
I was asked about repositories, and a few more normal install questions. One of the interesting features, is you have options for the base system you want Makulu Linux to be. Choices include Gaming, Business, or Home. I installed Home, so I have no comment on what the specific differences are.
It is refreshing that Makulu Linux, at least the LinDoz edition doesn’t overwhelm you with every piece of software under the sun. The only maybe extra software I found, is two editors, though they perform on different levels, so they are not two of the same in a technical sense. I have only added only one application to the base system. That is a text editor with spell check. My fingers never remember where the keys are, so spell check is a must have for me.
With the home edition, an up to date Libre Office is present to handle office tasks. Accessories is loaded with programs most people will use without being bloated. Everything most people use for the Internet is also present. There are three games installed. Administration is a pleasant surprise with options for drivers, and other apps to make Makulu Linux look and work as you want it to.
Compared to some Distro’s, the software selection may be thought to be sparse, but the developers feel a smaller install is better than than starting with a bloated system. I tend to agree. In closing, there are two more versions of Makulu Linux in the works. I’m excited to try at least one of them, though I am very impressed so far with the LinDoz edition.
A real eye opener for me is Makulu Linux choice of web browser. Makulu Linux uses Opera. Makulu Linux with Opera does web browsing a better experience! Makulu Linux Team has set up Opera to make the web experience even better than mainstream Firefox with a few add-ons is. Even more of the annoyance of browsing is gone using Makulu Linux’s Opera browser setup.
Of course, you may find a different result depending on your browsing habits. I am very impressed with Opera now, as I would not normally have given Opera a spin. On the downside, Opera feels just a tad slower, but I think it’s well worth the trade-off for the end result. And the perceived speed loss may be my imagination.
I recently went through a round of Distro testing, and Makulu Linux is best of breed among the distributions I tested. A few Distro’s were practically clones of each other. One Distro had these sudden annoyances that would come and go for no rhyme or reason. A few Distro’s fell short in what they offered, or perhaps what I wanted. Makulu Linux however was a fluke, and not one of the initial round of distributions I tested. I am glad I came across the link to the Linux Insider review.
If you read any of my older Linux Distro reviews, you will know I do not get to far into the details of install and operation. In general Linux is Linux, and if you can install one, you can install another. This post on Makulu Linux is no different in that sense. However Makulu Linux is a serious contender to replace my over time favorite. I wish to mention in closing, I really enjoy the quotes and the rotating wallpapers in Makalu Linux desktop, though I am sure some will prefer to turn them off.