It’s funny that my first encounter with SimplyMepis came as sort of an accident. I have been reading Preacherpen’s articles about Mepis, which is Debian based, for quite some time and had actually downloaded the new SimplyMepis 8 and burned my own CD. I hadn’t gotten around to trying it out until recently when I acquired an HP laptop that needed a new hard drive. After installing the new drive, I planned to install sidux on it because that was what I was using on my desktop. For some reason, the fonts were very large on the live CD of sidux and I could not navigate through the menus. Since I already had the CD of Mepis 8, I decided to see what it would do on the old laptop. It booted just fine and everything looked great, so I made the decision to install it on the drive.
As I was with sidux, I was impressed at the speed of the installation. Keep in mind that I have been using Windows up until about a year and a half ago and there is a lot of difference between Windows and any distro of Linux. As a side note, I was setting up a new Dell laptop for the daughter of a friend of mine this past weekend and it took longer to start Windows Vista for the first time than it did to do a complete install of Mepis 8. I can not imagine going back to something like that.
One of the things I first noticed about Mepis 8 is how it was set up, right out of the box. Everything just seemed to work and it was very pleasant to look at and more importantly, to use. Just a few adjustments of personal settings and it was ready to rock and roll. The laptop only has 512 MB of ram, but I am amazed at how fast it runs Mepis. I have worked on this laptop before, when it was running Windows XP and believe me, there is no comparison.
After the laptop was set up, I handed it over to my wife to play with and she had no trouble using the system. I just showed her where Firefox was and she went to town. It wasn’t long before she was telling me how well she liked it. She has been using sidux for a year and although she has had no trouble using it, she has never told me she liked it. In fact, there have been times when she mentioned she would like to have Windows XP back. Trust me, if Mepis can win her over, it’s a big accomplishment.
As the weekend moved on, I got the chance to play around with Mepis a bit myself and it wasn’t long before I found myself wondering how it would work on my desktop, which is consideraby faster than the laptop. Once I made the decision, it took about 15 minutes and I had Mepis 8 up and running on my desktop and it was smoking. As it did with the laptop, the installation went flawlessly and the system just seemed to work. My printer was even a breeze to install, much more so than in sidux.
This article is not about any troubles with sidux. I do not dislike sidux and could easily go back and use it again. Mepis 8 has just won me over and it has more to do with the feel of the distro than anything else. Combine that with the fact that it made a believer out of my wife and I am officially a Mepis Lover.
If you are considering making the move to Linux or are just looking for something new or different to try, you should give SimplyMepis 8 a shot. The official version uses KDE 3.5 as it’s desktop, but there is also a remastered version on the Mepis Lovers Forums that uses KDE 4.2. Either way, it’s a great Linux distro and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.