Solus (Linux) Review

My first introduction to Linux came in the form of a box, inside of which was several discs containing Redhat 5.2. Back in the late 90s, when dial-up was all I could hope for, downloading ISOs was… a challenge.

Since that first hook, I’ve tried and tested most of the corners (dark and light) of the Linux world. I have fond memories of Vector Linux at the start of the millennium, weekends spent on the CLI compiling Gentoo, loving Slackware and the beautiful early days of Ubuntu.

Since those early days, I’ve been a sysadmin, web developer, and am now an E-commerce Marketing Managerâ„¢. Linux has played a part in every step, on the desktop and server. It’s who I am technically.

I’ve always been jealous of those that have used the same distribution for decades. A little ashamed that I’m more fickle, less loyal.

I normally last a year or two with a flavour, then shop around for something new. My favourite excuse is that it’s useful for my career to be aware of difference infrastructures. It’s because I like new.

Solus Linux Screenshot
Solus Linux Screenshot

The Solus Project

For the past few months, I’ve been using Solus on my main (home) workstation, and I’m mightily impressed. It’s solid, and the flagship DE Budgie is the best I’ve ever used (including GNOME 2 – yes, really).

I spend most of my days in emacs, Firefox and the terminal – all of which look, and perform, pretty much identically on any platform you chose. My main needs for a distribution and DE are:

  • Easy and simple software installation
  • Timely updates to latest versions of software (rolling-release)
  • Fast launching of applications
  • Minimal interface / gets out the way

… and Solus ticks all of those boxes.

A Community Distro

Project Chief Ikey runs a tight ship, but it’s a community effort – a bit like the old days. People creating a system that works, because creating systems that work is fun, exciting and rewarding in itself.

There’s an honesty in the project. Ikey recently announced the formation of a company to house the legal ownership of the project, a move that would prick my ears up if it came from anyone else. I have absolutely no worries that Solus is heading to commercialised, invasive, monolithic status.

I still use Ubuntu 16.04 on my workstation-at-work, because I can’t have things changing (or breaking) very often. It would be fantastic to have the Solus experience during the day too, though the absence of MySQL Workbench in the repos is currently holding me back. But it would be the first rolling-release distro I’d trusted with my professional work.

Great times in Linux land!

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