Elive 2.0 Stable review
Elive is a Belgian, Debian based distro using the Enlightenment (E17) window manager.
If you want to install Elive 2.0 to your hard drive, you will need to donate money to its creator.
This fact was not mentioned on Elive’s homepage, so this came as a surprise to me when I wanted to install it.
You have to donate at least €15 before you get access to the module required to run the installer.
As a result, I can only review the live CD.
Elive comes with a lot of software installed, which came as a bit of a surprise to me, since it’s often mentioned as a good light-weight distro.
The live CD comes with Abiword, Gnumeric, a video and audio editor. It has flash support, mp3 support it plays popular video formats.
The file browser (besides the horrible E17 one) is Thunar.
Besides that it has Skype, Amsn, Iceweasel (Firefox) and Xchat.
There is an application that adds SMB support to Thunar (to share files with Windows).
The live CD was tested using 750mb of ram memory and everything ran smoothly. E17 offers a good mixture between light-weight and eye-candy to its users.
A minor problem is that some of the software is a bit outdated. For instance Iceweasel uses version 3.0.6 and Thunar uses version 0.9.0, both pretty old versions.
There are some weird choices of pre-made directories and stuff in those directories. For instance, there is a “Desktop” directory which has a “Torrent” and “Xchat” folder. The same directories however also appear under “Downloads”. There is a directory in “Video” called “Elive”, but that contains a stream to a IBM Linux commercial, also there is a “cinerella_projects” directory, but Cinerella isn’t installed. In the “Music” directory there are streams to shoutcast radio stations. Pretty weird.
There is no application to change the keyboard layout. I don’t used QWERTY so I found it hard to use. I know you can change it using the terminal, but that really shouldn’t be necessary.
Thunar doesn’t offer me the option to mount the hard drives in my PC. So I have to manually mount them from the terminal. There are applications on the live CD that need hard drives (video editor, …) so this is a little issue for people who don’t know how to manually mount drives from the CLI.
I don’t find this distro worth the trouble. As a live CD it’s not bad, but it’s not great either.
I understand the developer wants some sort of income from his project, but I don’t see why I would pay him for his work when I can just install Debian Lenny and E17 and have the same thing for free.
Do you agree, or not? Drop a line in the comments.