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"Point Linux 13.04.1 is out. While Point Linux 13.04.1 is a minor bug-fix release and it generally has the same specifications as Point Linux 13.04, it also offers some improvements: LibreOffice 4.0.3; Firefox 21.0; stable Debian 'Wheezy' packages; Debian repository moved to cdn.debian.net; Point Linux repository moved to cdn.pointlinux.org; FTP CLI utility added; MATE 1.6 migration simplified; installer downloads and installs iBus and input method packages when CJK languages are detected; installer removes VirtualBox guest additions in target system when VirtualBox is not detected; installer creates /media/cdrom and /media/usb folders in target system...."
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8
Very stable, traditional uncluttered desktop, vast repository
Configuration can be a little fiddly
Point Linux is a new distribution based on Debian Stable and using the Mate desktop. Thatís a unique combination (CrunchBang and Exe have the same base with different GUIs; Mint, Salix, and Snow have Mate with different bases) and so a welcome change from all those Ubuntu respins. It comes from Russia, but the forum is bilingual. I tested the 32-bit version.
The image is hybrid and so can be placed on a USB stick with dd or ImageWriter, not Unetbootin. It gives you the option to check that it was correctly burned, which is always welcome. The installer is simple and easy to use, but it doesnít support encryption and you must use ext4.
The boot is quick and the system light: it would run in 512MB. The main programs are Firefox, Thunderbird, Pidgin, LibreOffice, and VLC, but you have the huge resources of Debian from which to choose more. All ran from the CLI without leaving any complaints: thatís why they call it Stable. VLC had its codecs and Firefox had the Flash plugin, although it was the one that doesnít work with AMD CPUs. LibreOffice was set to my locale, but I had to install a dictionary.
As in most Debian-based distros, configuration tools are rudimentary. Thereís a program to manage services, but it doesnít explain what they are. The firewall is switched off by default and thereís no simple program available to create rules. A tool has been added to manage multiple sound devices, but USB sound is disabled by a script in /etc. As usual in Mate, I had to set the Windows key as meta before I could use it in shortcuts.
In the context of Debian derivatives, this is a very good distro. If youíre mourning Debianís move to Gnome 3, this is the solution. If you want an enterprise-quality distro with Mate, the only alternative is Salix.