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BOSS (Bharat Operating System Solutions) is a Debian-based distribution developed … specifically for the Indian environment … with Indian language support and other packages that are most relevant for use in the government domain.
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 7
Very stable, great support for Indian languages
The BOSS DVD seems to have no checksum available and doesn’t offer to verify itself. It has the options of a live session, a standard installation, advanced installation modes, or help. If you choose help, closing it will take you straight to the standard installation. If you run the live session, you can read the BOSS manual: a little out of date, but covering everything from installation options to applications in 239 pages. As one would expect from an Indian government distro, all of India’s official languages are supported, even Sanskrit and English. The standard installer looks easy enough, although I actually used expert one from the advanced options. The only thing missing was an opportunity to encrypt home.
The desktop is Gnome 2, but with the two panels both at the bottom. There’s plenty of software: OpenOffice, Iceweasel (aka Firefox), Icedove (aka Thunderbird), Pidgin, Ekiga, Gwibber, Xchat, Banshee, Totem, Cheese, Gimp, and F-spot. I ran them all from the CLI with only minor warnings for F-spot and Ekiga. Codecs were installed and all files played perfectly, even my ‘mp4 from hell’. On the other hand, there was no Flash plugin installed and the version of Firefox was too old to support HTML5. New software can be added with Synaptic.
If you don’t need support for Indian languages, this is basically Debian Stable; if you do, it’s ideal.