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SolydXK 201304
Reviews Views Date of last review
2 15731 05-30-2013
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 8.5

Description: SolydX and SolydK are Debian-based distributions with the Xfce and KDE desktops respectively. SolydXK aims to be simple to use, providing an environment that is both stable and secure. SolydXK is an open-source alternative for small businesses, non-profit organisations and home users. The project started as an unofficial variant of Linux Mint's ‘Debian’ edition with KDE as the default desktop, but it was later given its own identity as SolydK. SolydX was added after Linux Mint dropped its Debian-based flavour that used the Xfce desktop.
Keywords: Debian KDE Xfce rolling-release

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Old 05-09-2013, 01:33 PM   #1
Registered: Jul 2006
Distribution: CentOS, Salix
Posts: 4,713

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 7


SolydXK is based on Debian Testing, with updates delivered in monthly packs to remove the risk of breakages usually present with the rolling-release approach. If that sounds like Mint’s Debian Edition, it’s because SolydXK is intended for those who’d like to use LMDE but want the KDE or Xfce desktops. I tried the 32-bit, Xfce version.

The installer is simple, the one used by LMDE. Installation has to be on an ext4 partition, and encryption of /home is not offered. The website has video tutorials on installation and updating.

Software installed includes Firefox (with Flash), Thunderbird, Pidgin, Xchat, Gimp, Shotwell, Exaile, VLC (with codecs), Abiword (configured for your locale, with a dictionary), and Gnumeric. Running programs from the CLI only got minor warnings for Gimp and Shotwell, but Firefox was just not running. I saw that there were updates available, so I asked for them and got a new, working Firefox.

SolydXK doesn’t do as much to make Debian user-friendly as Mint does, and quite a few basic configuration tasks involve editing files in /etc and sometimes even rebooting.

If you want a rolling-release distro, PCLinuxOS for KDE or Manjaro for Xfce may be less trouble if you need to do a lot of configuration, but this is still worth trying. If you like Debian, it may be just what you’ve been looking for.
Old 05-30-2013, 01:20 PM   #2
Registered: Nov 2002
Distribution: Debian Wheezy, SolydK, MX14.2
Posts: 3

Rep: Reputation: Reputation:
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10

Pros: Debian based, solid. Easy to install and mantain
Cons: None after three months of daily use

After twelve years on Linux, I've used a bunch of distributions. After Slackware came RedHat, Mandrake/Mandriva, Kubuntu, Mepis and now Debian. Most of them KDE-based.

The last Debian version was Squeeze. So, more than two years with almost the same software. A distro stable but often upgradeable is the dream of any desktop user. Yes, you have Debian Testing, but sometimes the upgrades can due to a sort of mess. With the goal to get an approach to a 'semi-rolling distro' tried SolydK. The base is Wheezy (now stable), but monthly you can get an upgrade from Testing... once the developers have tested the new packages. If they do no fit with enough stability, the upgrade is postponed. Of course, there are instant upgrades -directly from Debian repos- when it is a matter of security. During the last three months I've been using SolydK in a daily basis without any issue. Fast and stable as a Debian (what actually is) but with updated software. Last versions of Firefox, Thunderbird, LibreOffice, etc; no need of backports. The feeling of SolydK is the one of a very polished distro. No surprises here: the main developers previously were main contributors to LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition). But the result now is much better.

Lately, Debian is much more easy to install and mantain that it used to be. But, for real newbies, SolydK has some useful tools: to install, add proprietary video or wireless software, etc. As Mepis has been in that matter. And, also as the Mepis Forum, the SolydXK forum is very friendly and helpful.

This review deals with SolydK (KDE edition), but the same team publishes another version with a 'tuned' XFCE, much lighter and faster in old hardware. I installed this version (SolydX) on an 10 years old laptop with a Pentium-M and 1GB of RAM. Really you can not feel that it is short in resources. Maybe OpenBox or LXDE could make it run faster, but now XFCE is quite complete, and you do not notice a big difference with the desktop.

You can find more information in SolydXK's site


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