27dec11
SEMPLICE






A few Semplice Screenshots - along some Remarks


Just wanted to have a look at some
Semplice features - namely menu, installation and file manager. For this I installed Semplice in a virtual machine. This really is not an in depth review! If you want that go here.

From everything I know Semplice is a distro for people who know Linux quite a bit. It comes with Openbox as window manager, no desktop environment (DE) and is based on Debian Sid (experimental branch).

On the other hand one can find very convenient adaptions like an auto-generating menu or keyboard and language chooser (unfortunately it didn't work after installation).

Another interesting addition is the installer - a text-based script run in a terminal. It did quite well. Only - as I tested it on a virtual partition with no partition table - I got into a loop and didn't know how to get out of it until I rebooted into another live-cd to partition my disc. With that installation was quite simple and ahead of all the fastest I ever experienced.

Have a look then at the screenshots.


Live-cd: Language, keyboard chooser:




Desktop menu:




Small glitches in the theme:




File manager pcmanfm with working(!) application tab:




Installation script:




First log-in:





To test the menu-auto-generation (it is called Alan by the way and as far as I can tell is developed by the Semplice team) I installed Kompozer. It worked fine - Alan added a subgroup "Programming" with Kompozer:




The newest Iceweasel (Debian-Firefox) is ready to install too from Debian Sid repositories (tested a week after the release of Firefox). Very nice:




The closer I look at Semplice the more promising this little gem of a distro seems to me.

Some annoyances where there though. Beside the aforementioned small bugs (theme, language/keyboard chooser, installation with no partition table) pcmanfm (file manager) didn't work properly when launched as root. I tried both with sudo and gksudo. Both times trash bin wasn't accessible. I couldn't test mounting capabilities but suspect it is a dbus problem which I had too on my Arch box. Dbus has to be launched explicitely when executing a file manager under root (at least that was the case with Thunar file manager in Openbox). A real geek goes for the terminal anyway!:-)

Conclusion:
Semplice seems a nice and thrilling, ready to go and fast/easy to install OS for the intermediate to advanced Linux user who is looking for a preconfigured system. Debian base is a plus too. All found bugs are no deal breaker and should be expected from a distro based on Debian Sid which means it comes with little tested software and is fast changing. The Semplice developers put quite some effort into this work to make Openbox + Debian Sid as pleasant as possible and succeeded quite well. It won't be a smooth ride though if you decide to install it as the Debian testing branch will require some intervention from the users side, profound Linux knowledge and careful decision-making when and what to upgrade. The upsides are you get the latest Debian packages and you can start from a - at the moment of installation - stable system.