The Mint and the Moon - more netbook Linux ponderings

This post came about after I stumbled upon MoonOS a little while ago and I've done a little playing about since in VirtualBox and on my netbook, a Samsung NC10 (2GB).

As you know from previous posts I am more than happy with Mint (Gloria) running on the NC10 - with the expected exception of bizarre Wifi behavior when connecting to some wireless routers; specifically connections that drop after a few minutes for no apparent reason. It's a well known problem with Atheros.

Mint is really excellent, the approach to the UI is clean beyond reproach and the Compiz integration has worked flawlessly so far, high speed desktop switching and being able to "peel back" windows to see what's underneath is a real boon on a small screen device like the NC10.

MoonOS has caught my attention though; these guys in Cambodia have gone full-on in terms of a visual appealing UI that will grab people's attention even - dare I say - moreso than Mint. The artwork is really pretty. As with so many of these new distributions, there is the familiar underlying presence of Ubuntu.. no surprise there.

I suspect it was approached from something like a "what visual tweaks would I like applied to Mint?" perspective. It appears likely that they were using Mint as a benchmark. It is nowhere near as stable according to the many discussioners out there and has a few behavioral quirks from the outset. My personal favourite is the lack of any visual feedback when entering my password at the login screen - the cursor continues to flash at the left hand side of the password field but it is actually accepting the typed characters and will submit the password when you hit "Enter".

The question we could ask ourselves is, "can these guys reach the level of stability and respect that Mint has gained in as short a time?" .. that's not a trivial task.

I've dotted around some screenshots and recommend downloading the ISO and running it as a live disk to get a bit of a feel for MoonOS.

Right now my recommendation is remaining firmly with Mint - it looks beautiful, is reliable and stable, well supported and well suited to netbooks. I am however going to run MoonOS releases every now and then in VirtualBox and see how it develops, who knows it may become the next big thing.

What do you think - will MoonOS become a real player?

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