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antiX M11
Reviews Views Date of last review
1 32214 05-05-2011
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 8.0

Description: "Just over a year since the release of antiX M8.5, the antiX team is pleased to announce that antiX MEPIS 11 'Jayaben Desai' - a fast, light, very flexible and complete desktop and live CD based on Debian 'Testing' and SimplyMEPIS - is now available in full, base and core versions (for i686 and i486 kernel). This release defaults to a fully customised IceWM Rox desktop (Fluxbox, wmii and dwm are also installed) using a SimplyMEPIS 2.6.36 kernel, our own assistants to help configuration, and the usual range of applications for desktop use. Latest Iceape (2.0.13) for Internet needs, AbiWord (2.8.6) and Gnumeric (1.10.14) for office use, GMMP and Goggles music manager (0.12.1) for audio, gxine, MPlayer and GNOME MPlayer for video...."
Keywords: Debian-based Jayaben-Desai kernel-2.6.36

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Old 05-05-2011, 06:09 PM   #1
Registered: Jul 2006
Distribution: CentOS, Xubuntu
Posts: 5,124

Rep: Reputation:
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8

Pros: Works on old computers, easy to install, fast live CD

Antix has three versions: a full CD with a choice of Icewm or Fluxbox, a half-full CD with Fluxbox and less software (base), and a CLI installation (core). All show the advantages of basing on Mepis: a fast live CD and probably the easiest installer. There were some downloading problems from the Antix server, and the mirrors haven't got the new version yet.

I naturally expected to have a lot of work to do with core, but I did not expect it to be unable to find eth0! There was not much one could do about that.

I then tried base. The first attempt to download was very slow and failed half-way through. An attempt next day produced a file with the wrong MD5sum; it worked, however, so the checksum given must have been wrong. Base has no video player or word processor, but strangely offers three web-browsers and two editors. There's no graphical package installer, but there is one for metapackages! That failed to install video support (dependency problems) but I installed mplayer with apt-get and was pleased to see it came with all the codecs. The initial set-up of Fluxbox was poor: tiny grey letters on a transparent background is not a good choice for a menu.

The full CD also had a bad (or wrong) checksum, but it still installed. This time the GUI was Icewm: better looking and more legible. The fonts look reasonable; in Base I'd had to turn on subpixel smoothing, but I couldn't find where to do it in the full version. Again there were alternative programs: two each for file manager, word-processor, and video player. Gzine was broken (perhaps that explains the checksum) but Gmplayer was fine. This is the first distro I've seen to include DOSbox by default.

AntiX will certainly work on the smallest computers: with 64MB you can run Dillo and Leafpad, or the Ted wordprocessor. You need to put in a bit of work, but the result is good. Any light-weight distro will require more effort than one with a modern desktop; this one is not much different to Vector Light, and easier than a minimal Slackware install.


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