## 2011-05-07

### Review: SimplyMEPIS 11.0

Yesterday, the MEPIS developers released SimplyMEPIS 11.0, a year after the release of SimplyMEPIS 8.5, which I have reviewed before. (I went back and read that review and had a pretty good laugh at how short and shallow it was. Please feel free to do the same. That said, if you feel like doing the same at this review, please explain why in the comments.) In that review, I liked that it included many codecs and useful programs out-of-the-box along with the MEPIS tools, which were basically the Linux Mint tools before Linux Mint existed. I didn't like that Synaptic Package Manager refused to work.

For those who don't know, MEPIS was one of the original user-friendly Linux distributions (notwithstanding Slackware, which was user-friendly for its time), alongside Mandrake (now Mandriva); furthermore, it was the original user-friendly Debian-based distribution, as it came into existence two years prior to Ubuntu. On that note, interestingly, in a sign that Ubuntu really has stolen the spotlight, many articles announcing the release of SimplyMEPIS 11.0 accidentally called it "SimplyMEPIS 11.04", referring to the recent release of Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal". Furthermore, like Mandriva, it started with KDE, though while Mandriva has since then grown a GNOME variant as well, MEPIS has stuck exclusively with KDE; that said, there is a variant of MEPIS called AntiX which uses the lightweight Fluxbox and IceWM instead of KDE.

Though I didn't write that in the old review, I tested SimplyMEPIS 8.5 a year ago using a live USB made with UnetBootin. Although the MEPIS wiki says that using the "dd" command is faster and easier, it seems to imply that SimplyMEPIS 11.0 can still be written to a USB correctly with UnetBootin, so I did just that. I thought about testing the installation procedure, but I ended up not doing so for reasons that will become more clear if you follow the jump.

At this point, I restarted the computer, formatted that partition of the USB, and made a live USB using MultiSystem. I went through all the previous steps again and encountered all the same errors, so clearly it wasn't an issue with the method I was using to make the live USB, because in any case, at least it could fully boot. When "startx" failed to work, I looked more closely at the error messages and found that MEPIS wasn't recognizing my laptop monitor at all. For some reason, the Links CLI web browser wasn't included out-of-the-box, and "aptitude install links" didn't work, so I restarted and looked up on the MEPIS wiki how to force MEPIS to use the generic VESA driver in GRUB, thinking this might solve the problem. It didn't. After this, I did some more forum searching to no avail, and I even got on the #mepis IRC channel, only to find myself the only participant on that IRC channel.

At this point, I could have dug deeper to learn more about my issue, but I chose not to. Furthermore, I could have just tested MEPIS with VirtualBox, but I really wanted to see if it would play well with my computer's hardware, and it clearly didn't, so at this point there was no compelling reason for me to further test it in VirtualBox. Sure, I could have seen how much memory it consumes, or what the desktop is like, or whatever else, but there's no point if I know I can't install it on my computer.
I've gotten comments on past reviews about how I should use live DVDs for consistency and how I should really install it on real computer hardware, but I can neither afford to waste the few DVDs I have for distributions I will likely never touch again nor risk having all my data on my computer deleted lest something go horribly wrong in the installation process. (For the record, the latter has happened to me once, and that was one too many.) So the next best thing for me to do is to test the live session on a live USB so that I can see how well it plays with my computer's hardware without needing to commit to installing it on said hardware. And please, this isn't Slackware, where I have to do the installation and then the grueling configuration without being able to first try it as a live session; MEPIS is supposed to be user-friendly, and that means it should include a workable live session. If I wanted to, I could also test the installation in VirtualBox, but really, the installation is typically done only once, so if it works, in the grand scheme of things, it's not that important; what's more important is the desktop which the user will see every day.

I also got a lot of comments in my review of Slackware 13.1 correctly criticizing me for not taking the time to go through the forums, helpful Slackware configuration websites, and other places to configure the installed system to work properly. If I were redoing that review and I came upon this problem (forget for a moment that this is a live session given that Slackware doesn't come with its own live media), I would have certainly taken the time to figure out exactly what was wrong with X/11 and fixed it. But I didn't do that here. Why? Because it's MEPIS, not Slackware! MEPIS is supposed to be the grandfather of user-friendly Debian-based distributions; I think I should be able to expect user-friendliness here too. Furthermore, MEPIS courts new users; its website is professional if bland, its forums are helpful and welcoming, and its tools are specifically made for new users. If I were a new user, I would have probably given up even before this point.

And finally, I've also seen comments on reviews of software that didn't work complaining that I didn't talk about the nuts-and-bolts of the software or show pictures or stuff like that. If I review a piece of software that works, I post pictures of my time with that software to prove that I really did use it. If I don't post pictures, that means the software didn't work for whatever reason. It's as simple as that. So from now on, if I review software that doesn't work and you want to see pictures or read release notes, go to the software's website, because I'm not going to post pictures here. If you want to know whether the software might work for a newbie or whether it might work on your computer's hardware, then do come here; having used Linux for two years, I'm not a novice anymore per se, but because I've stuck with the newbie-friendly Linux Mint through those two years, I'm still only epsilon above novice level, so when I do reviews, it's still from the perspective of the newbie, not from the perspective of the experienced pro.

In short, I won't discourage anyone except for first-time Linux users from trying out SimplyMEPIS, but I will say that my time with SimplyMEPIS 11.0 was far worse than my time with SimplyMEPIS 8.5; considering that Debian 6 "Squeeze", #! 10 "Statler", and Debian Testing-based Linux Mint have all worked perfectly on a live USB, SimplyMEPIS 11.0 has been a pretty big disappointment. Hopefully these issues get fixed within a few minor revisions, at which point I might be willing to give SimplyMEPIS 11 another chance.
You can get SimplyMEPIS from here, and look at pretty pictures of SimplyMEPIS 11.0 here.

1. Is this a review? at least burn a DVD they're cheap.

2. Of all the Linux distro reviews I've read, this was the latest.

3. @Anonymous 1: Please go back and read the actual article — you'll see exactly why I hesitate to use DVDs. When you have something more constructive to say, please come back and say it.
@Anonymous 2: Erm...I'm not exactly sure what you mean by that. If this is the latest Linux distribution review that you have read, is that a good thing or a bad thing? Anyway, thanks for the comment!

4. "@Anonymous 1: Please go back and read the actual article — you'll see exactly why I hesitate to use DVDs. When you have something more constructive to say, please come back and say it."

What could anyone possibly learn from your experience? This is not a review -- it's a "How-Not-To".

5. If you are going to be linked from DistroWatch as having done a review, you should at least take the time to install it properly and report what you observed. Otherwise, you ought to ask the guys at DistroWatch to un-link.

6. @flagstaffphotos: Why is this a "How-Not-To" all of a sudden? Are you implying that I am wrong to expect that a SimplyMEPIS live USB should work, especially given that the MEPIS wiki suggests UnetBootin as a way to make a live USB? Furthermore, are you implying that I shouldn't expect a SimplyMEPIS live USB to work after being made with either UnetBootin or MultiSystem, given that Debian-based Linux Mint and #! live USBs worked those ways before? I would suggest that you read those reviews, thoroughly read this post, and then tell me in the comments exactly why you don't think this is a review. Good day!

7. @flagstaffphotos: I wasn't aware that DistroWatch had linked to this review. Anyway, I hope you are aware that there are plenty of links on DistroWatch to reviews of other distributions that read much like this (nonfunctioning live session, frustration, etc.) on more reputable sites than this one, yet those links still remain, and the distributions reviewed have gotten better by and large. Please read this post again for why I won't install it on my own hardware. I agree that I should probably have gone ahead with installing it in VirtualBox or something, but there have been other reviews of mine that don't go over the installation that have links on DistroWatch, yet people seem to have liked those reviews just fine. It seems like you're personally offended that SimplyMEPIS 11.0 didn't work out for me; please don't be, because if you didn't notice, at the end I said that I would be willing to try out a higher point release of SimplyMEPIS 11 to see if anything has changed.

8. You guys are being really critical for a short article. You're right, this is, hopefully, far from magnum opus quality for the author, HOWEVER, this is a blog, and he can say whatever he wants about. Perhaps it shouldn't be called a "review" since, apparently, review means that the author covers every aspect, and not just what happened when used, perhaps it should be called an "experience"

Ultimately, it was a fine article that encouraged me to see if simplyMEPIS will work on my machine.

9. @Nick: I agree that this isn't the best quality of my writing and that the last few paragraphs seem more like a rant than anything else — that's because I wanted to get some criticisms leveled at previous reviews that had similarly negative conclusions out of the way, but it seems like that hasn't had any effect on previous commenters. I remember a few weeks ago I had to write a book review for a class, and the aim of the "book review" was to analyze whether or not the book's author set out a specific thesis and goal and whether the author achieved that goal; that doesn't mean I had to analyze every single thing presented in the book. Similarly, I'm not talking about every single thing regarding SimplyMEPIS 11.0 here, because that's what the release notes are for; I have put the goal of SimplyMEPIS being a newbie-friendly distribution that "just works" to the test and have found that's not true at least on my hardware. Thus, I would disagree about renaming this from a "review" to just an "experience", but that's just me. Thanks for the support!

10. @PV: I see what you mean about the book review, I finished one last month myself with the same goal in mind.

Though commenters should remember that not every distro works flawlessly on each piece of hardware, and that a reviewer is limited in how far they can get in their boot sequence before dropping an entire weekend to go find the solution. Similarly, I don't really like VirtualBox reviews because that only gives a superficial look at the distro (look 'n' feel) as opposed to how it runs on a real machine.

11. I do agree that simplymepis has not been user friendly linux distro lately. I have in many occasions tried to get it in installed or use it, but each time hit an unfriendly wall. I once loved simplymepis, but since this distro fail to keep up with others i moved on along those more interesting and very friendly linux distro of this time.

the review makes sense, if you understand the goal. if a distro claims to work out of box and your goal is to see how true that is. i see no reason to fork out your own simplymepis just to write a positive review if it

12. Hi there,

I had a similar issue when testing Mepis 11 RC1 (blank screen, blinking cursor, nothing happened) but that time it had something to do with kdm not starting. Ctrl+Alt+F1 and startx worked then. Just out of curiosity, have you tried Debian squeeze (like a live cd or something), I'm wondering if it's a debian or a mepis specific issue. If you are not completely discouraged, you could ask for help at the mepislovers forum, it's the friendliest forum I've ever seen by the way (and I'm not a mepis user). Also what you experienced sounds like a bug, it shouldn't happen because it scares new users away, but it happens even on friendly distros ;-) Ubuntu won't even boot on my uncle's toshiba notebook (nvidia related issue).

PS. Don't take this the wrong way, your post's title is very misleading. Most readers click at a link at tuxmachines, or lxer, or linuxtoday etc. that says "Mepis Review", they read several paragraphs only to find out this is not an actual review. It's a true and honest experience you are describing there. But not a review. Just for the sake of your readers, as I am one of them. Keep it up.

13. Oh, I would also like to add, that yesterday I too tried Mepis 11, this time with a usb stick (via unetbootin) and it worked flawlessly, so I'm not very sure if you burned a DVD would change anything. Unetbootin does work with mepis. When I tried Mepis RC1, and faced the issue I described earlier, it was with an actual DVD.

14. I used to use Mepis for a long time, about 6 years or so. Mepis was the very first distro that allowed regular users to install and use Linux without hassle, but all good things must come to an end.

Warren obviously needs to earn a decent living, so he seems to have been forced to cut down on the love and time he can devote to Mepis. And it shows. Development of 11 took some 6 months with persistent issues throughout the cycle. The Mepis assistants, once unique, have become obsolete and need an overhaul.

The Mepis community however is still the best out there. The excellent manual, the community repo and the very way to answer all sorts of questions are outstanding. If only Warren was able to create a healthy development ecosystem, Mepis might once again thrive and blossom. As it stands now, Mepis has turned from a true leading distro into a non-descript Debian derivative. It'll do its job, but there's nothing really going for it from a technical point of view.

15. What would probably help - is if you listed your hardware. Yours is the first issue I've seen like this. In case there is a bug - could you list your hardware - or send a messsage to Warren? That way these types of issues can be looked into and corrected.

The other option is to use the forum. If you actually had taken the time to comment there - a couple of things should then happen:
[b] They work with Warren to solve potential future issues for others

Just FYI - so far I have tried M11 on 3 PCs and 2 laptops - and it ran flawlessly on all of them.

And I'm not a MEPIS fanboi either. I used to use MEPIS exclusively, assist in development, and also help run their forums. Nowadays sadly I no longer have time. I'm now running Debian, MEPIS and Ubuntu - each on different machines.

But I do encourage you to supply proper feedback to the Community. It's the "Linux way" - and what actually makes the wider community work. You could make a difference if you do provide feedback. Choice is yours. I'd encourage you to join the forum and help solve the issue for everyone.

16. "Just FYI - so far I have tried M11 on 3 PCs and 2 laptops - and it ran flawlessly on all of them."

Well for me M11 only would boot on 1 of three machines. In fact I have the same problem as the author and I have burned 4 dvd's trying to get M11 to work! I have tried both 32 and 64 bit.

AMD 965 4gb ram ATI 5780 - Boots fine
AMD 5050e 4gb ram Nvidia 9500gt - Black screen
AMD Turion 2.3 4gb ram ATI Mobile 2600 - Same

17. I was looking for a review to see if it was worth installing Mepis ...

Instead I got this waste of time.

You are on my personal filter from now on.

18. You are wasting everybody's time with this non-review.Either try the distro properly and give us your opinions or don't bother.

19. I two put Mepis on a USB stick and it worked just fine. I also installed it with VirtualBox and that to is working great. So fare I like the Distro. I used to use 8.5 but it became to out dated and I have to move to Mint. I never liked Ubuntu.

20. I tired this distro and it sucked, So there....

21. PV, you know there are RW DVD's out there, I've used some of them more than 50 times for testing and reviews and they're still ok. It might be worth getting one.

Furthermore, why are you picking a fight with your readers, because it sure reads like it. Perhaps better not to post on a bad day.

Please don't feel offended, just trying to help.

22. -1
not a review, and if adding photos is too much work for you to help us to follow along with your discussion of a Linux Desktop Distribution, than -10.

23. This has to be the worst "review" I've read here on this page. You really should take the time to actually install it. What is written here belongs more into the bug report for SimplyMEPIS (I sure hope you at least filed a bug report about this). I myself, being greatly disappointed by Ubuntu 11.04 and Unity crap, I will actually burn a DVD and try SimplyMEPIS as I'm currently in search for the best distro based on KDE (which I fell into love with recently).

24. What's a review ?
There are fans of distribution who dislike anything being said against their favorite distributions, they always come out with the excuse that you should have done this or you should have done that to get it to work. The fact is, if it does not work out of the box after downloading it and making a ISO dvd then it's time and money wasted.

From my experience there are very few distribution that actually work out of the box, they can be counted on one hand. I'll give credit where it is due for the distributions that do work out of the box. They are Ultimate Linux, (The best distribution out there) Linux Mint, Debian, Sabayon, Pardus,

By the way before one rants on about SimplyMEPIS 11.0, it didn't work for me, don't be too upset about it, neither did Ubuntu 11.4. KDE and Gnome they crashed on booting up the live dvd, My system is a Intel i5 with several Sata SSD hard drives inside it. I use to test different distributions. I have a stack of over 50 of the latest 2011 distributions in front of me right now,

At the end of the day one distribution is just the same as any other distribution be it KDE. Gnome or any other type of desktop, though some are better than others as named above

25. I use Arch Linux and antiX with KDE4 , testing repos, liquorix kernel and remastersys . I have no complaints.

Regards,

26. Wow, this is a lot of comments! I'll try to respond to them at once, but I may need to split this into two or more pieces.
@Nick: That's exactly the reason why I decided not to go the VirtualBox route — too many people had criticized me for the exact same reason (VirtualBox works differently from real hardware, and reviewing something on VirtualBox is too superficial).
@Michael: It's unfortunate that you haven't been able to get it to work either. My big issue is that SimplyMEPIS 8.5 worked well for me a year ago; it would be better if it didn't, because then I could at least say that nothing has changed, but here, I have to say that MEPIS has regressed (for me at least), if anything.
@Anonymous 1: Yes, I have tried Debian 6 "Squeeze" via live USB, and that worked fine; that's why I think this is an issue with MEPIS in particular. Also, you aren't the only person to call this "not a review", but in which case, what exactly are you looking for in a "review", and how is it different from just a release announcement?
@Anonymous 2: That's true. I have been in situations where UnetBootin hasn't worked, and I know what that looks like, and this wasn't that, so clearly this wasn't a UnetBootin issue; it could boot fine, but it just refused to start X/11.
@Anonymous 3: I too read about the numerous GRUB issues beta releases of SimplyMEPIS 11 were facing, so I was apprehensive about the possibility of trying this out until I saw that the problem had been fixed in one of the release candidates. And if you read my review of SimplyMEPIS 8.5 last year, I also say that while MEPIS works well, it isn't anything special, and Linux Mint does the same job better, in my opinion (though that may also be due to my pro-Linux Mint bias).
@Brooko: I know this is a wrong way of thinking, but my hesitance regarding joining a forum is that it's just creating a username and password for something I will use just once. That aside, the laptop I tried SimplyMEPIS 11.0 on is an Asus U30Jc (Intel Core i3-370M, 4 GB RAM, dual graphics cards Intel GMA 4500/NVidia GeForce 310M, 64-bit). I didn't find anything particular regarding this hardware on the MEPIS wiki.
@Anonymous 4: Yeah, I figured this can't be a UnetBootin issue. In any case, I'll probably come back to MEPIS 11 if they release a point release or two, and that time I'll be sure to try it on a DVD, just to make absolutely certain it wasn't a live USB issue.
@Anonymous 5: And what did I tell you? I said in this post that the MEPIS live session failed pretty badly, so for me it wasn't worth proceeding to installation. So I did in fact tell you whether this was worth installing or not, at least on my hardware from my point of view. The truth is that I don't do positive, glowing reviews of every single distribution that I try out — only of the ones that work really well, and this wasn't one of them.
@Anonymous 6: And what constitutes "properly"? Please, do tell.
@Barnaby: Yeah, I made the mistake of buying DVD-Rs a while back for emergency purposes instead of DVD-RWs. I will certainly buy DVD-RWs once my college semester ends. And I apologize to the previous commenters if I was a bit harsh/antagonistic, though I certainly wasn't trying to be antagonistic per se; it was late, I was tired and cranky, and I really should have gone to bed then.
@lefty.crupps: It's not too much work. It's just that I only add my pictures because to me that's more genuine than just grabbing pictures from the distribution's website.
@Komac: You're right that I really should have gone ahead and installed it, frustrations notwithstanding. But then I must also ask, are you expecting that every Linux distribution review be totally positive? To me, that's unrealistic.
@Anonymous 7: Thankfully, I can add a few more distributions to that list, such as #!, openSUSE, and other Ubuntu derivatives.

27. @Dr. Saleem Khan: Are you just using vanilla KDE 4 on AntiX? If so, how is that different from using Debian 6 "Squeeze" KDE? I'm just curious. Also, what does Arch have to do with this? Anyway, it's great to know that you have a system that works for you. Thanks for the comment!

28. Prashanth V,

I use KDE 4 experimental-snapshots who offer latest KDE4 packages when available.

http://qt-kde.debian.net/

# experimental-snapshots
deb http://qt-kde.debian.net/debian experimental-snapshots main

So they are definitely latest than Debian 6 "Squeeze" KDE packages.

Plus I install some packages e.g iceweasel and libreoffice from The Debian experimental repository .

I have been using SimplyMEPIS for years and ended up "building" my own debain based system on top of antiX.

This thread might be of some help

http://forum.mepiscommunity.org/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=27828

I mentioned Arch because it never let me complain about anything so I kind of "preach" Arch on every forum.

Regards,

29. @Dr. Saleem Khan: OK, thanks for that clarification. By Debian 6 "Squeeze", I should have also included Debian Unstable "sid"/aptosid, but I suppose if you're using Debian Experimental packages, that's a whole different ballgame. I'm just wondering now why you're doing it on top of AntiX instead of just a minimal Debian installation pointing to the right repositories; would it be correct for me to assume that it's so that you can start with a usable desktop instead of having to configure a whole bunch of things? I ask that because when I reviewed KDE 4.6 a while ago (to similarly negative results), a lot of people suggested that I use Arch, but I don't have the skills or time to install and configure Arch to work properly; instead, I installed ArchBang (an Arch derivative with Openbox preconfigured) and added KDE on top of that, and that worked like a charm. And finally, I guess the joke of "How do you know whether someone uses Arch? They make sure you know they do!" holds true here too. :) Thanks for the comment!

30. Hi PV, I have been following your various reviews since last 6 months or so and this is the first time I feel like I should leave you a comment. I came across MEPIS a couple of months ago and was curious to try it out. At that time last stable release was 8.5 and MEPIS 11 was at beta. I never ever download or use any distro which is in beta stage. But for some strange reason I did this with MEPIS 11 and quite frankly I was very pleased with it. It worked out of the box on my home PC which has an Nvidia card. It also worked on my Intel celeron based laptop. Since it was a beta release I did not want to waste a dvd and so made a bootable USB using unetbootin. I kept up with all the system updates and when M11 was released installed it on my home PC from which I am typing this comment. I really find it hard to believe that it did not work for you. Before this I was die-hard Linux mint user like yourself. I feel the mepis forum should be able to address your issue. I hope to see another full fledged review of MEPIS 11 from you in the near future.

31. @Kartoos77: It's great that it's worked well for you, even in the beta stages. However, there are a few comments above detailing extremely similar issues (whether it's on a live DVD or a live USB), as well as a few other comments with positive experiences similar to yours. Thanks for the comment!

32. Prashanth V,

Somehow I am "addicted" to rolling release concept and that leads to using debian testing repos and "some" of the debian experimental packages. The same "thirst" " hunger" for rolling release led to using ALT Linux Sisyphus and finally to Arch Linux. So I have these mixtures of rolling release distros on my both pcs .

As far as Arch is concerned , there is no "alternate" . I have tried all these Arch forks starting from Faunos and ending up at KahelOS , but there is nothing like pure , real Arch Linux . I am no expert , I use linux as hobbyist OS, my daughter is a linux user , we are "just" linux fans . Installing Arch Linux "seemed" like a nightmare but one day it was like an "enlightenment" and I installed Arch in less than 30 minutes.Ever since Arch has taken over and conquered our domestic computing life . In my opinion Arch Linux is the most user friendly distro I have ever used and Arch Linux installation is literally "peanuts" . Just follow Arch wiki, it answers all your queries and then Arch forums and #archlinux@freenode are great places for looking for help.

I might be over-exaggerating things about Arch Linux but believe me I dont call it a day if I dont Arch !!

Just give it a try , I reassure you that you will never look in any other direction.

Best Regards,

33. This piece is a waste of time. A "review"??? You have got to be kidding me. If you want to take the time to review software, have the money to burn a DVD, or go home. It is part of the freaking job! I can't believe you call the few paragraphs a review. You can not write worth crud. Please un-link from a useful site like Distrowatch, you are only dragging down that site's credibility with articles like this purporting to be a review when you did not even use the software. I can not believe I'm wasting so much time, but this really pissed me off.

34. @Dr. Saleem Khan: It's great that Arch has worked out so well for you. Also, I too have found the Arch wiki to be quite helpful in my experiments with Linux (even distributions that aren't Arch). Thanks for the comment!
@Ez: "It is part of the freaking job!" Please understand that I blog here as a hobby and as a way to relax in my spare time. I have no intention of making this a profession. "You can not write worth crud." I must say it's funnily ironic that the sentence you just wrote isn't exactly a paragon of grammar or syntax either, but that aside, please feel free to browse through my other reviews and comment on those. I agree this wasn't my best writing by any means, especially as I wrote this a little later than I should have, but I would respectfully disagree with that rather provocative assertion. "I can not believe I'm wasting so much time, but this really pissed me off." Well, I'm sorry that this post wasn't really agreeable to your tastes, but the Internet is filling up with more positive reviews of SimplyMEPIS 11.0, if that suits you better.

35. I would not lose any sleep Mepis never worked for me on any version I'm not slating Mepis its just a fact some Distros work some don't. I did get Antix working a year+ ago and it worked Quite well. Fedora does not fair much better neither. As for you not having enough skill to install Arch Linux I think you jest its a 20 min setup using net install I still use a very old disk, If I can install it anybody can believe me. Try it with Gnome3 follow the forum to customise it you could get a shock.

36. @kelvin: The reason why I'm so disappointed is that unlike for you, SimplyMEPIS 8.5 worked for me, which means that not only did SimplyMEPIS 11.0 not work, but it regressed for me since the previous version. Also, I have said that I would like to try to install Arch someday, but I don't have that kind of time right now. My semester ends in just over a week, and a few days after that I start my summer internship, so maybe I'll try to do it in those few days. Thanks for the comment!

37. Some of you must understand some users only install a distro to see if it, or how it works. writing a RE-view of a distro that did not start up at all should als be welcomed too. a good linux users should not have a one sided opinion.
i have been there, big mepis user, and a registered mepislover forum user. been there from the beginning of mr. warren, knew how he did not like the so-called ''large community'' around his mepis. so it is no wonder mepis is not adding anything new to the linux community.

38. @Michael: As a Linux Mint user, I agree that while the positive reviews are enjoyable to read, the negative reviews are also necessary in showing what's wrong and what can be fixed. Also, I find it strange that Warren Woodford would discourage the formation of a large, thriving MEPIS userbase/community — just to be sure, is that what you're saying? Thanks for the comment!

39. Michael is talking bollox. If he or anyone were to go to the MEPIS community forum, you'll see that M11 is probably the most community based MEPIS release ever.

40. @Anonymous: As you can see, I found what he said a little strange as well. Thanks for the clarification!

41. @PV
Hi, Anonymous1 here ;-)

"what exactly are you looking for in a "review", and how is it different from just a release announcement?"

I don't understand what a release announcement has to do with all this. Here is a release announcement: http://www.freebsd.org/releases/8.1R/announce.html

Your post would be a review, if you talked about the distro's installation process, new features, applications bundled, appearance, package management, ease of use or lack of, system stability, speed, repositories, and dozens of other things related to the specific distro. Not all of them, but at least some of them.

I downloaded Lubuntu a couple of days ago, to use it as my secondary/lightweight system. Guess what... The live session throws me on a terminal, cause my graphics card (nvidia) is not recognized. I even created a nouveau.conf under /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/ and it didn't work. No startx, no nothing. Previous Lubuntu worked on the same hardware. I cannot review Lubuntu, because I have nothing to say about it. If I get some help and solution to my issue, then I'll test the distro, and when I write my review, I will of course mention the setback I experienced. As I mentioned earlier, I tried to install ubuntu 10.04/10.10 on a relative's toshiba notebook, and it wouldn't even boot. Other distros do. Does that mean that Ubuntu is not user friendly but rather a dissappointment? Would I use the fact that Ubuntu didn't work on the specific laptop (out of the gazillion different laptops that ubuntu tries to support) as a base for a "review" of a distro I never saw running in the first place? Nope. Would I complain about it ? It would be my right to do so, but it wouldn't qualify as a review.

42. Prashanth,

Sorry I was so hot earlier - I understand now that you are coming from a situation of very limited linux experience, with just 2 years with Mint. I would just recommend that you ASK FOR HELP when you get in trouble - I feel it is very likely that your live-usb problem was simple user error.

I've never tried Mepis before, but I've got some free disk space. If I get time this week, I'll install it and throw up a review with some screenshots on my little blog.

Take care. Glad to see you stood up to the harsh criticism well.

43. @flagstaffphotos: No worries. In the future, I will certainly make sure that I do register with the forum (as long as it has an option to let me de-register) when I do need help. However, regarding the live USB issue, other commenters have said that it isn't just the live USB that causes issues but the live DVD as well. And finally, I look forward to reading your review. Thanks for the comment!

44. @flagstaffphotos: I should also add that the photos on your blog are really pretty. I remember when I was a young child my family and I went to visit the Grand Canyon and a few other places nearby — I don't remember much because I was still a little too young, but the photos we took are still beautiful. I do remember that our family got stuck on the road in Flagstaff in the middle of the night in the middle of a huge, raging thunderstorm; the road also happened to be a canyon road with no rails on the cliff side, so it was pretty darn scary for all of us. Thankfully we eventually found a motel. I just thought I should share that little tidbit with you. :)

45. randy van heusdenMay 8, 2011 at 8:36 PM

WOW, i am totally surprised by this review if that what it was since no actual testing took place of the actual OS. The fact that you took no attempt to create a DVD and start with a live session off of the CD is kind of unusual in that is the image that is created for most if not all of the Linux Distributions. It would have made sense to at least take the time to create the DVD and give us your results if the results had been the same and so now i will have to do this on my own and see why i should or should not use Mepis instead of Mint. Mepis has been my favorite for a long time and when Mint came about they managed to surpass the Mepis reliability and confidence that i had gained for daily use. My biggest concern about Mepis 11.0 is the KDS 4.5 environment which is a huge overly bloated hog with features that are totally unnecessary and the design of the 3.5 features literally disappeared and no longer felt comfortable using Mepis or any other KDE 4.++ environment. I am not a GNOME fan, but the KDE forced my hand and have dealt with the simpler interface.

With all of that said i will do my own testing and get back here to give you my thoughts about the possibilities of Mepis as a User Friendly Linux solution.

46. @randy van heusden: Well, I thought I made it pretty clear that after finding no solutions on the forums or IRC channels (though I should certainly have joined the forums and asked the question myself, but that's another story), I couldn't do any testing because the screen wasn't being recognized at all. Furthermore, other commenters have said in one way or another that UnetBootin does a perfectly fine job of making a MEPIS live USB, and that live DVDs have had the same issues I have listed here. Also, have you considered installing Trinity KDE 3.5 on top of Debian? It is KDE 3.5, but you'll get to use modern applications, a modern kernel, and all that at the same time. Other options you may want to consider are Xfce and LXDE. Thanks for the comment!

47. First off, I'm not a mepis user. Secondly this is not a "review". What did you review? A bug? I read 8-9 long paragraphs waiting for a distro review that never came. The new lubuntu had the exact same problem for me. The previous one didn't. Do I bitch about it? No. Does it mean it is an unfriendly distro? No. Out of infinite hardware combinations, some may not be auto configured successfully by a distro that came out a couple of days ago, yeah even if the previous version worked. As you said yourself, you could perfectly join their forums and ask a question/report the issue, especially if you're going to write a "review". You didn't. In your opinion it's just be a lot better if you'd just rant about a bug that got you frustrated with and then serve it as "Review: SimplyMEPIS 11.0". Well done my friend, well done.

JP

48. @Anonymous: So what exactly constitutes a review? I agree that this post comes off more like a bug report, but how I have seen a review (confirmed by a class where I had to write a real book review) is that it isn't so much a press release as an analysis of whether it works for the reviewer and whether it fulfills it goals. It did neither for me. Therefore, I and a few other commenters do believe that though this didn't work out, it is still a review nonetheless. Think about it. Thanks for the comment!

49. Thanks for looking at MEPIS 11. I am a long-time MEPIS user and currently very involved in it as well, so I am always glad to see someone test it. I do find that your blog entry might better be entitled: "A Review of the LiveUSB option for MEPIS 11."

I can tell you that USB operation does not work for everyone, every machine--or every USB stick. (The same is true for the graphic recognition, sound, whatever: there will always be hardware configs that escape the presets). When this has come up on the MEPIS Forum, reformatting the USB before using UNetbootin has taken care of the problem for most people. We do not have that piece of info in the Users Manual section on LiveUSB (though there is an entire section on how to handle the black screen), so that will be added in the next revision, thanks.

Jerry

50. @Anonymous: My main concern is that live USB operation has worked Debian 6 "Squeeze" and Debian-based Linux Mint Xfce 201104, but not with MEPIS 11. I guess your suggestion is technically correct, but I try to review all distributions using the live USB, if possible. Also, my USB stick was fully formatted and empty (I mean, of data, not of partitions) before UnetBootin was used. Thanks for the comment!

51. This is not a meaningful review - it's a bleat. You've made no attempt to demonstrate that you haven't made a series of errors and tried to get them rectified, yet expect your reader to assume it's the OS at fault and not you.

That you assume such says far more about you than the subject of your blog.

Charlie Horse

52. @Anonymous: Read the comments. It isn't just me experiencing this issues. Furthermore, why is it OK to blame Microsoft Windows for issues that are the fault of the OS, but when it comes to Linux the issue always "lies between the chair and the keyboard"?

53. Okay, you tried to boot a live session of Mepis 11 on your machine from a flash drive and it didn't work. Fair enough. From what I've seen, other people have had no problems doing the same thing on their machines; and I note that I had no problems here running a live session from the DVD. Not wanting to slam you, but what conclusion can a reader draw from your review? Mine was that a few people MIGHT have problems running a live session of Mepis 11, depending on the method used, and perhaps on the hardware. This could probably be said of any distro, right?

54. i am sure ubuntu 11.04 has received more negative review than mepis 11, and yet ubuntu users are not threatening to bring the whole linux community down. imagine Microsoft suing for all the bashing. i am not sure what this says about mepis linux users

55. Mepis works real nice on my Dell E6400 and my wife's xps! Realy like it and hope the keep up the good work.

56. Tried Mepis 11 and it worked well on installing and operations. Everybody's experience can be somewhat different. Not a KDE fan but it's nice. Michael I haven't read more negative reports about Ubuntu 11.04 than good ones. Not sure where that's coming from. Warren is missed.

57. @Eddie, not everybody is ubuntu's lover. most reviewers/users of this ubuntu with unity desktop have at least some mix feeling. generally, agreeing that unity is not a good development, at least not for now. and i for one think that unity desktop is not or good, and looks very much like gnome3 desktop one should not only expect to hear that his choice of OS is the best.

personally, if i want to use mepis i will do everything to get it installed. however, as advance user i am not expected to seek help on how to burn or install an {mepis} OS. I am aware that there is no linux distro without problem, linux is an operating system that needs getting your hands dirty before getting some fun out of it. But if you can't get past burning to a cd/dvd or usb stick then i see no reason bothering yourself.
my opinion though, is that every review or opinion should be welcomed for whatever it is worth. not trying to strangle somebody for his/her opinion. i am very sure that mepis will benefit here whatever happen.

58. Hey, I also got comments that I don't dig too much to solve the issues, that I have to install OS in order to test it properly and other bla-bla-bla.

This should not discourage you from further reviews. For me, software should work. If it does not, then this is issue of author(s), not reviewer(s).
Installing OS for every review is also an overkill. Live CDs/USBs are quick and safe option to evaluate what is "in the box" and how it works with hardware. That's what Live CD is for in the first instance. If OS does not work in Live mode as expected (or works very different way compared to installed mode), that's an issue of author(s), not developers. If author knows that Live CD does not work, it should be announced and Live CD images made unavailable.

Thanks for your review! Now I not only know that MEPIS is not the first in my list of OS to review, but also that I am not alone in this world of punished reviewers! ;)

59. @Anonymous 1: Well, that's exactly the conclusion the reader should draw. For me, on my computer's hardware, MEPIS failed its goal in bringing a nice desktop that's usable out-of-the-box. That doesn't mean that it's true in all cases, but it's certainly true in at least one case. Furthermore, if you read some of the other comments here, you'll see that other people have reproduced the problem I had even with a live DVD.
@Michael: I think that's because Ubuntu is the distribution that Linux users love to hate; it's the go-to punching bag. On the other hand, while the MEPIS community is at most the same size as the Ubuntu community (and is probably a bit smaller), it has been around as the easy-to-use Debian derivative longer than Ubuntu, so its userbase is probably much more dedicated and loyal. Draw your own conclusions from that. Furthermore, I agree that users need to "get their hands dirty" with some distributions that are very DIY, like Slackware, Arch, and Gentoo. MEPIS is not one of them, according to its own claims; it's supposed to just work and be easy to use, which is why I expected it to do just that and why I was frustrated when that didn't happen. But regarding the live USB thing, based on other comments that were able to reproduce the problem using a live DVD, this probably wasn't an issue of USB versus DVD; I know the live USB booted fine, because I was able to log in using the CLI, but I just wasn't able to start X/11.
@Anonymous 2: It's great that you've been able to get MEPIS to work well!
@Eddie: It's great that you have also been able to get MEPIS to work well. Regarding Ubuntu, I think I have read about equal numbers of positive and negative reviews of Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal", and that comes from the articles linked on Tuxmachines.
@DarkDuck: Agreed. The problem isn't always "between the keyboard and the chair". That said, I would advise you to try the live session first for yourself, because I don't want to discourage anyone from experimenting, but just know that there is at least one negative experience of SimplyMEPIS 11.0 out there.

60. @Prashanth -

Thanks for the nice comments on the Flagstaff pictures! I went to school there for awhile - very pretty. But I know what you mean - the storms can be monstrous. I've been all over those canyon roads and gotten stuck in all kinds of weather, including nasty blizzards. Really quite an adventure to go up there.

61. You could have changed the post title to "My experience with simply mepis 11" or you can add a note at the starting of the post that you were not able to test simply mepis and read on to find out why. This will help your readers decide read or not read this..even i have found out that you were not able to (haven't) test it only at the end of the post..other than the title is misleading, i think you have done it correctly.

As simply mepis is created for newbies and believed to be every thing works out of the box, it should have worked on the live usb..so i agree that the distro failed on that part..

i used to test distros as live usb.. but i wanted to test them on real without affecting my main os..so now i'm using external hard disk to install and test the os.. i have already installed two ubuntu 11.04 on my external hard disk (one on sdc1 of 15 gb size and other on sdc2 of 15gb size) and the grub boot loader is installed on the external hard disk sdc.. so if i remove my external hard disk, it will be booted to my main os.. if i wanted to boot to external hard disk, i will use the boot from usb option and the grub in external hard disk will be detected and i can select my os to boot...i am planning to use one of the ubuntu install as test machine and other to install gnome shell..

62. @jai ho: I suppose I should start sort of giving away the outcome beforehand, but I go into all these reviews with (generally) the same expectations and mentality, so I'd like to keep that consistency in terms of the title. Also, using an external hard drive sounds like a great idea; in fact, if I have enough money to spare, I might actually start doing that from now on. Thanks for the tip!

63. A big reason to use DVDs instead of CDs, at least in Canada, is avoiding the Blank Media Tax: you should NOT be sending money to Celine Dion and Justin Bieber, or one of Canada's many Can-con deadbeats, just for burning a distro. These days, there are also better sales on blank DVDs.

Mepiss, while certainly a polished, stable Debian-based distro, frequently flirts with getting its ass sued off for pretending that it's not freeware. Just look at the 'EULA' you click through whilst installing it. There are many other cases of Warren Wolford running afoul of the GPL. Until Wolford respects the terms of the GNU/Linux license, I'd pass on using his distro.

64. @Adam: I don't live in Canada, but I find it interesting that blank CD taxes go to such artists. Also, I remember reading about the MEPIS EULA in a review of an older version of SimplyMEPIS, but I always assumed that it was just the GPL; could you tell me what's on that EULA? And also, how does it "pretend that it's not freeware?" I'm a little confused. Thanks for the comment!

65. i do not mind if you are using advertising in your website so that you can make enough money to buy a new external hard disk and we can get more awesome reviews from you by installing them on the external hard disk.. i cannot use paypal to donate money to you as in india we cannot store money in paypal..only we can receive money using paypal..

66. @jai ho: I greatly appreciate the offer, but I don't intend to make any money from this. Why? I'm a college student and my primary focus is studying physics; this is more of a hobby/relaxation activity for me. (Also, I don't have a PayPal account.) But thanks again for that very kind offer!

68. It is easy for some of you to pop up here and say that the review is not worth reading, waste of time and whatever else you think of it. instead of bickering write your own review or ''personal experience'', let other users go through your own mepis experience.

another problem for mepis linux was {is} that it has no defined direction of whether to stay completely free and make money through donations and other means {mint linux style} or charge money for mepis. we all know what happened to those commercial distros, lycoris, linspire lindos and host of others.

69. Do you have a bone to pick with Mepis?

How can you claim to write a review when burning a DVD is too high an investment for you? I have no problem with you describing your experience installing Mepis 11 via a USB stick but I have issues with you calling this a Mepis 11 review!

70. Back to the technical side: if you still have OS on your USB stick, could you try adding the following cheat code at the bottom on the GRUB screen:

xdrvr=intel confx

This is the other solution we often recommend on the MEPIS Forum that is sometimes necessary now that the whole handling of the graphic side has changed with Squeeze. The "confx" forces a xorg.conf to be written that will override the default procedure.

71. @Anonymous 1: Well, I'm sorry that you had to come here and felt the need to comment without having anything constructive to say at all.
@Michael: Exactly. It's easy enough to do now, after all. Thanks for the comment!
@Anonymous 2: Part of it is innate cheapness, but that aside, almost all my reviews have been done via live USBs. Do you have a problem with reviews done via live USBs? And to answer your question, no, I certainly don't have a bone to pick with MEPIS, because I really wanted to see how much it had improved since version 8.5.
@Jerry: Huh. I seem to have missed that in the forums. I said that I will certainly try SimplyMEPIS 11 again at some point, and when that happens, I will definitely try this if I run into the same problem again. Thanks for the tip!

72. "Mepiss, while certainly a polished, stable Debian-based distro, frequently flirts with getting its ass sued off for pretending that it's not freeware. Just look at the 'EULA' you click through whilst installing it. There are many other cases of Warren Wolford running afoul of the GPL. Until Wolford respects the terms of the GNU/Linux license, I'd pass on using his distro."

Warren released all proprietary code under an Apache license some 3 years ago. Basically things like the Installer and Assistants are open to be used and modified as long as you're not selling the OS commercially. If you are - then you have to either remove the tools, or arrange with Warren for permission or royalty. All he's trying to do is protect his personal code from being exploited.

73. @Jerry: So if I understand this right, MEPIS is free software, but certain parts cannot be distributed commercially. Thanks for the clarification!

74. If you can't get it running... run.

Should have tried a different computer as not everybody has the same laptop.

LOL, keep it crackin'

75. I personally found this review (and I think it is most certainly a review) interesting and useful.

I had a similar problem with trying to run Ubuntu 11.04 from live CD. I could not get it to boot. I downloaded it several times from more than one source, burned it three times in two different CD burning programs and still no luck. I also downloaded an "alternate" .iso, which appeared to be okay, but only gave an option to install, not try, unlike the regular .iso. After reading the problems some are having with the new release, I decided to look elsewhere.

So I am going to try Mepis 11. Your review did not scare me off, it merely told me that trying to install from USB may be above my head, something I already suspected. I'll try it from the live DVD instead.

I suspect I'll be sticking with Peppermint, though. Aside from some quirky behavior with the touchpad (rapid scrolling when I get too close to the right side of the touchpad, even occasionally scrolling on its own after I take my finger off the touchpad), it seems to work really well.

76. @Anonymous: Unfortunately, I only have one computer that I can actually test Linux distributions on. I mean, I can't test it on school network computers (can't modify the BIOS), and what am I going to do, randomly ask people to let me use their computers to test Linux distributions?
@Walt: The issues I had with MEPIS were not with booting but were with Plymouth and starting X/11. I'd like to make sure that's clear. Furthermore, the comments seem to indicate that it's a hardware recognition issue, because on some computers the live USB works fine whereas on other computers the live DVD fails to start X/11 just like what I experienced. Finally, by all means experiment and try different things out, but if you like a distribution and it works well for you, I would advise that you stick with it.

77. @PV: I understand the situations are different. However, I think documenting such failures or difficulties are as much a part of the review process as documenting one's expericence using the distribution, should it happen to boot or load.

Like you, I'm hesitant to register on a forum for a distribution I may or not end up using, although I have done so in the past.

I've been using Linux for eight years or so, although I am nowhere near being an expert. I keep trying different distributions because I still haven't found one that is 100% the way I want it. Peppermint is pretty close - if I can resolve the touchpad issue - and perhaps add a little eye candy now that I have a laptop that can handle it.

Ubuntu may never be that distro for me. I've tried it a couple times - on different machines - and have never gotten it to boot correctly. I will take a look at Mepis 11, though, because you never know. :)

78. @PV: Plymouth can't be the issue with a LiveDVD or LiveUSB b/c that boot screen currently only runs on an installed OS.

79. @Walt: If you are looking into a Debian-based distribution that's not Ubuntu or its ilk, have you considered Debian-based Linux Mint? It's now just as polished as the standard Ubuntu-based edition, but based on your comments it may just fit the bill. Also, I do agree that it's important to document failures just as much as successes.
@Jerry: That may be so, but in any case, when I pressed CTRL+ALT+F1 and I was taken to the CLI login prompt, I saw a message above that in red text saying Plymouth failed to load.

80. @PV: I have used Mint in the past, but at some point, my system was messed up beyond repair (I believe it had to do with some of the upgrades it suggested). I may give it another spin when the new version comes out.

81. @Walt: It depends on how long ago the last time you used Linux Mint was, but in any case, I think you'll have better luck this time.

82. Getting back to the intended subject of the blog, I found that the live-dvd version of Mepis used 459MB of RAM for an empty KDE desktop (one terminal open, to run 'free -m'). WTF? OpenSuse "only" needed 150MB. What is Mepis doing with that other 300MB? Almost half a gig for an inactive desktop?

83. @Anonymous: Actually, I find it surprising that openSUSE only needs 150 MB; I must ask, were you using the KDE edition of openSUSE? I say that because that figure seems incredibly low; typically I haven't been able to get any KDE distribution to use less than 350 MB of RAM at idle. Thanks for the comment!

84. This was the KDE version of 11.4 on a Dell laptop. Memory usage was a bit higher on a Dell desktop (192MB), but still respectable. I imagine it would have gone up with an NVidia video driver, etc. Still, under 200MB for fresh KDE is impressive. BTW, this was the live CD from a recent LinuxFormat magazine.

85. @Anonymous: That still surprises me that KDE could run with such minimal resources. Thanks for the comment!

86. Very good "review" !!!
keep up the "hard work" !!!
thanks again for the exhaustive "review" !!!

87. @Johnny: Please do save the sarcasm for later. I will have something better quite soon.

88. Nice review !

Simply Mepis is not that simple at all.

I tried almost every distro available and quess as a n00b I m still stuck with xp for a couple of years

I had enough of the bugs and hardware (printers / scanners) not working and if the distro turned out ok I had to upgrade every 6 months or every year.

Debian would have been fine if they did not threw out the non free software.

So I choose Mepis but right now I am doing a 4th download because whatever I try no cd is booting after the welcome screen

89. @Anonymous: Have you considered Linux Mint? It's really simple to use, has never even come close to failing on me, and comes in both Ubuntu- and Debian-based editions. I think you'll like that a lot more. Plus, the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS "Lucid Lynx"-based Linux Mint 9 LTS "Isadora" is still supported for two more years, and it's pretty darn stable. Also, Debian didn't throw out nonfree software; it's just in different sources and not on the main live CD. You can still get all that software from the Internet or from additional Debian CDs/DVDs. Thanks for the comment!

90. The Black Screen

Sometimes it happens that you do not end up looking at the graphical login at all, but instead only have a somewhat scary black screen in front of you, often with a blinking cursor in the upper left corner. This happens because for some reason the system was unable to start X, the window system for Linux.

To get to a login prompt, press Ctrl-Alt-F1 at the same time, and then log in as "demo" with password "demo" (or provide your username and password if already installed). Once logged in, you can type startx to try to boot into KDE or at least to get an idea of what is wrong. Exit by becoming root: type root if you are not already logged in, otherwise su), and enter halt or reboot.
Taken from:
http://mepiscommunity.org/user_manual11/index.html

1. @Anonymous: It's OK; I figured out shortly after how to get it to work. Thanks for the tip though!

91. This is a nice review, I tried almost every Linux distro out there and these are my findings:

- Which self respecting Linux distribution is requiring a password to logon to the dvd and even in order to use the installer ??? and calls itself user friendly but does not deliver the root password by itself ???

- I have many partitions and this kind of set up just demonstrates how crappy the installer of Linux distribution like simplymepis is, unable to install not even mentionning the fact how slow it is reacting compared to all other installers I have used.

-terrible wallpaper and look, especially when starting the disk how kde is showed/demonstrated.
Just a terrible presentation for a Linux distribution. Without a doubt one of the most ugly KDE distros out there.

simplymepis is not simply at all and there are dozens of Linux distributions doing a much better job.

The first download link I used was offered by a university it gave an error message with a quote of Albert Einstein:

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."

Little did I know this was the remaining feeling I had when trying simplymepis

1. @Anonymous: I would honestly recommend that you take a look at my revisit of SimplyMEPIS 11.0, as that is a much better indicator of what it was really like. This was more of myself 2 years ago venting my frustrations at distributions that purport to be newbie-friendly than an attempt at actually reviewing what SimplyMEPIS has to offer. Thanks for the comment!

2. thanks for the comment

I am using sabayon KDE, best KDE distro out there
only the linux kernels updates require terminal instead of the package manager which is not user friendly but only requires 5 commands and 5 min time to install new kernel with kernel switcher
their new software center called rigo is a work in progress and has some flaws but I am in love with it.
Trying out SimplyMepis and comparing it with Sabayon is a big difference between both (I had once previous mepis installed in multiboot but it was removed after a few days)

I recommand for user friendly and lokks (including lay out websites to download, installation and use) following distros:
-ZorinOS
-Linux Deephin
-StartOS

all Ubuntu based and last but not least Ubuntu.

Have them in multiboot with Sabayon as main system

3. @Anonymous: It's great that Sabayon has worked so well for you. Thanks for the comment!