Hedon James Posted July 6, 2022 Share Posted July 6, 2022 Recently stumbled across this article for Spiral Linux, which piqued my interest: https://www.zdnet.com/article/what-is-spiral-linux-and-why-it-could-easily-become-a-top-contender-for-users-new-to-linux/ As a former (L)Ubuntu user who has migrated to Debian, I noted a few "pitfalls" of Debian compared to the Ubuntu OOTB setup process. Customizing my Debian desktop to 100% suit my personal preferences is definitely more work than customizing the 'Buntus, but a lot of that is attributable to the void of proprietary software due to Debian's stance on that matter. I'm not a fan of proprietary, and will definitely prefer the open-source offering when all things are equal; but there are instances where proprietary does it better. In those instances, I'm a realist who chooses the proprietary offering; at least until the open-source offering catches up and negates the proprietary advantage. Just a personal preference... So, with my piqued interest, found some additional articles, including this brief commentary by Marius Nestor, who I find myself agreeing with quite often on many of his software reviews: https://9to5linux.com/meet-spirallinux-a-debian-based-distro-focused-on-simplicity-and-usability Long story short....I found the Spiral Linux website, read up on the info provided, noted they seem to have the beginnings of a healthy user forum, and decided to download their LXQT offering and compare with my custom Debian LXQT setup: https://spirallinux.github.io/ I installed a VM in my VMM and poked around a little and my first impressions retain my interest. A few quick notes & observations from within VMM: the design aesthic isn't my cup of tea, but admittedly well done; it looks very "SUSE-like", but understandable considering the developer's background with Gecko & SUSE the LXQT spin doesn't take full advantage of the offerings of LXQT software, instead relying on many GTK tools/offerings in place of "standard" LXQT offerings. For instance, Evince Document Viewer rather than QPDF; Document Scanner rather than Skanlite; Mousepad text editor, rather than Featherpad; Network Manager rather than ConnMan; etc.... I'm not prepared to say this is a "pro" (a great introduction to LXQT for GTK users) or a "con" (why introduce extra toolkits if not necessary). In fact, speaking for myself, I was disappointed at the use of GTK software over similar QT offerings; but I also note that Network Manager is MUCH friendlier for VPN setups than ConnMan (in fact, my preferred ProtonVPN only works with Network Manager....I can't use it on my LXQT desktop). So like I said, pros & cons, depending on perspective. Considering there are multiple "spins" available for a spectrum of users, I suspect the developer is attempting to employ a set of "core" software across all spins, for ease of development & troubleshooting, etc... I can't fault him for that, but it's still a bit of a surprise for a LXQT spin and, if I'm being honest, a slight disappointment. The Spiral LXQT spin is basically an LXQT "session", using Openbox WM, but with many Gnome software tools. I like the fact that Spiral is entirely from Debian repos, with no additional custom tools or scripts. Looking at sources confirms....nothing but Debian repos, plus the proprietary Debian repo, enabled by default. PERFECT! (IMO) It was nice to be able to play MP3s with no additional download/install, or terminal work. I noted that Spiral was able to "see" other machines on my home Network, despite being installed in usermode. My Debian VM cannot see these machines. I've looked into configs, packages, etc.... but concluded that I cannot "see" other machines on the network because I install my machines in "user session" rather than "system session". Spiral seems to indicate my conclusion is incorrect. It seems Spiral has a package or config, OOTB, that my Debian VM does not. I WANT THIS in my VMs! I haven't had much experience with Flatpacks or Snaps, but they seem to be more and more prevalent, with Flatpack seeming in the lead for uptake. Spiral comes pre-configured for use of Flatpacks and has a software GUI for Flathub. While I prefer "native DEBs", I can absolutely see instances where a Flatpack might not only be acceptable, but perhaps even necessary. (see comments above re: personal philosophy on proprietary offerings) All in all, I'm pretty impressed with Spiral. Nothing that I "dislike", but the things I don't like are easy enough to fix. Spiral fixes some items OOTB that I have struggled to solve with my Debian box. Taking a page out of the 'Buntus playbook, it really does "just work" upon installation, but staying 100% true to upstream Debian repos without re-packaging or customizing anything. I like that philosophy. I'm going to keep an eye on my Spiral VM for awhile and see how it maintains in my test bed over an extended period. But my observation, as of TODAY, is that if presented between the choice of installing Spiral, but swapping out software for my preferences; or installing Debian, but adding the proprietary softwares and changing configs for my preferences; it seems that Spiral is a "cleaner" and "straighter" path. Just sharing information for anyone else who isn't aware of this newer distro, but may be curious... 1 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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