Bodhi Linux: First Impressions

Post written by Olive Dove

As a netbook and loyal Ubuntu Linux OS user, I’m on constant look out for a lightweight version of Ubuntu spin distribution that is less resource- and energy-intensive.  I have used Lubuntu, Linux Mint LXDE and Peppermint Linux OS for the past two years.  What I like the most are the alternative lightweight applications that came with each distro.

There’s a limit how light a lightweight Ubuntu spin distro can be as each package is pre-loaded with complete set of open-source productivity, graphics, and sound and video software just like fast food restaurant set menu.  As a cloud computing fan, I have never used mail clients like Sylpheed and Evolution.  I hate Rhythmbox.  Most lightweight Ubuntu spin distro ranged from 500MB - 700MB in size.  

I chance upon Bodhi Linux when my newly installed Linux Mint LXDE 11 could not connect high speed broadband device though I have repeatedly installed and re-installed Broadcom wireless drivers.  Referring to Wikipedia that listed Bodhi Linux as part of lightweight Linux distribution, I downloaded the minimalist Bodhi Linux that is only 382MB in size.   After 15 minutes of download, installation and preliminary customization, my netbook was up and running with the super lightweight Bodhi Linux that is pre-loaded with functional Broadcom wireless driver.

I was pleasantly surprised by the minimalist aesthetic interface.  Though Enlightenment Desktop came with very few pre-installed applications, Bodhi Linux has listed some basic software in user-friendly Bodhi Linux Add Software Home as one-stop download center.  I have installed Adobe Flash, Chromium (pre-installed web browser is lightweight Midori), AbiWord and Gnumeric for office productivity, EPDFViewer, GCalctool, GPicView, Pinta and Inkscape for graphical editing, and Aqualung and VLC for sound and video.  These software are more than enough for offline use as I rely more on Google cloud applications.  Avid Linux users can dig deeper into Synaptic Package Manager for more customization. 

Bondi Linux lives up to its promise as a super lightweight Linux OS as I still have 15% battery power reserve left after 3 hours of cloud computing, surfing and downloading applications in multiple tabs on Chromium and Midori browsers.  Logging in and shutting down the OS are completed within seconds.  

What I like the most about Bodhi Linux are freedom of choice for applications and profiles (Bare, Desktop, Laptop and Tablet/Netbook) that I truly need, the familiar Synaptic Package Manager and vast choices of themes and icons for customization.  It’s a great surprise for such a minimalist OS with such highly customizable aesthetic interface!  There are more to learn about the lightweight Enlightenment Desktop and other configurations, though.

Photo credit: By The Bodhi Team (, via Wikimedia Commons

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