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"wattOS R6 is based on Ubuntu 12.04.1 and the latest updates from the repositories. It is a simple and fast desktop that will likely bring your old computer back to; updated all packages to latest 12.04.1 version; updated to Linux kernel 3.2; changed to VLC for video player; added Xfburn for simple fast CD-ROM and image creation; updated all power management utilities; updated Jupiter and included the latest powertop and Xfce power manage; changed from Midori browser to Chromium with Flash support; added LXFinder - a simple search utility; added LXScreenshot utility...."
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 7
WattOS is installed from a live session using a modified version of Ubuntu’s Ubiquity. This gave the option to encrypt /home, but choosing that caused Ubiquity to hang. Perhaps this would not have happened if /home had been on a separate partition, but I wasn’t able to check this. Both the installer and the finished system would run in 256MB.
The main programs installed were Chromium, Pidgin, Pinta graphics, Abiword, Gnumeric, Audacious, and VLC. The latest version still has no email client by default, but at least Midori has gone. Codecs and Flash were either on the disk or downloaded during the installation. All the programs were sound, running from the CLI without complaint.
Unfortunately, VLC would not actually play videos. I installed Gnome-mplayer, which also refused to work. Then I tried Gxine, and that worked perfectly. This temperamental behaviour by media players seems common though, also affecting Fedora and OpenSUSE. To use my USB speakers, I had to create ~/.asoundrc, which is common with Debian derivatives.
Installing extra software was handled by Synaptic. The programs are not listed by category, so one is spared the confusing multiple headings of Ubuntu. On the other hand, one has to rely on searching. ‘Finance’ misses Homebank, while ‘accounts' misses Kmymoney and Skrooge. Perseverance is the key!
As a dedicated LXDE distro, WattOS competes with ZorinOS Light, although Mint and Salix have serviceable LXDE versions. I think ZorinOS probably has the edge, but if you like LXDE, you’ll like WattOS.