XeroLinux is a refreshingly cool desktop in desperate need of some polish

A flowery Linux distribution with eye sweet galore? Signal me up. Nevertheless, Jack Wallen thinks you may need to maintain off on making this attractive Linux desktop distribution your default.


Picture: Larich/Shutterstock

I really like occurring upon a extremely cool Linux desktop distribution. And I’ve come throughout my share of them this previous 12 months. So it is becoming that I finish 2021 by reviewing one remaining Linux desktop distribution that is worthy of the title “cool.”

That distribution is the Arch-based XeroLinux. In response to the web site, XeroLinux is a watch sweet lover’s dream. That declare is fairly spot-on, as XeroLinux presents a beautiful desktop crammed with transparency, blurs, and extra. For those who’re searching for a desktop to indicate off simply what’s potential on Linux, XeroLinux may nicely be the one you need. I am so impressed with this desktop, I am able to name it the best-looking Linux desktop in the marketplace. And that is given it might nonetheless use a little bit of polish (extra on that in a bit).

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What’s XeroLinux?

XeroLinux relies on Arch (with out the difficult set up) and makes use of the KDE Plasma desktop as an interface. Regardless that XeroLinux claims to be utilizing KDE, you would be hard-pressed to inform (until you knew Konsole was the default KDE terminal emulator and Dolphin was the default file supervisor). What developer Anindo Neel Dutta has executed with KDE is past spectacular. There are particulars to be discovered that larger distributions simply miss. As an illustration, open Konsole and you will be introduced with the main points of your set up (Determine A).

Determine A


With each opening of Konsole, you are greeted with system data.

If you click on on the Utility menu (top-left nook of the desktop), you can begin poking across the menu (Determine B) to see what number of purposes Dutta has included … and it is a appreciable quantity of software program.

Determine B


The XeroLinux menu presents a powerful array of software program.

You may discover the LibreOffice, FreeOffice and WPS Workplace workplace suites put in, together with instruments corresponding to:

  • Gimp
  • Darktable
  • Blender
  • Inkscape
  • Firefox
  • Courageous
  • Chromium
  • Claws Mail
  • Geary
  • Kmail
  • FileZilla
  • Insync
  • VLC Media Participant
  • Disks
  • Thunar
  • Bulk Rename
  • Slack-Desktop

The checklist goes on and on (and on and on). That is no stripped-down model of Linux. The truth is, as soon as you have put in XeroLinux, you can go a protracted, very long time earlier than needing to put in something extra. 

The desktop employs an animated dock and topbar structure. The one situation I had with this pair was that the climate widget refused to just accept both my native station ID or coordinates. That one little glitch ought to sort of trace who XeroLinux is geared towards (extra on this in a bit). As a substitute of with the ability to merely kind a metropolis/state mixture (as you may with GNOME Climate), it’s important to observe down some pretty particular data in your metropolis. Even then, likelihood is slim the climate widget will perform.

SEE: 40+ open supply and Linux phrases it’s essential know (TechRepublic Premium)

Eye sweet in want of polish

That is the place issues begin to get a bit dicey for XeroLinux. Sure, it is attractive, nevertheless it’s not with out its points. I will preface this by saying a number of the issues I skilled might very nicely be attributable to my working the distribution as a VM in VirtualBox (the place menus can get cramped due to display measurement). 

With the XeroLinux desktop, you by no means actually really feel such as you’re working with a very steady desktop. As an illustration, I opened WPS Workplace for the primary time, which generally requires agreeing with the EULA. Scroll all the best way to the underside of the settlement and it’s best to be capable of click on the I Affirm button, however you may’t.  Which means WP Workplace cannot be used. 

I then had a problem with the worldwide menu mixing in with the highest bar widgets, making it unreadable (Determine C). I skilled this with any utility that included a bigger menu choice (corresponding to LibreOffice). 

Determine C


The worldwide menu is unreadable in its present state.

Eradicating the highest bar solved that drawback (whereas additionally eliminating the worldwide menu — which I occur to assume is a superb addition). I used to be in a position to lastly add the worldwide menu again, nevertheless it did take some tweaking to get it proper (Determine D).

Determine D


The worldwide menu has been re-added.

One other situation is with the default Layan theme. I will confess that I am not a giant fan of darkish themes and Layan is a bit a lot. However it’s not simply that the developer opted to go together with the darkish theme. The Layan theme goes slightly too far with the darkness. The LibreOffice UI makes it abundantly clear the Layan theme is considerably extreme. After all, that would simply be my private aversion to darkish themes at play. You be the choose.

Once I tried to take away gadgets from the highest panel, issues went actually sideways. The panel/dock enhancing instruments are removed from intuitive, so it is easy to wind up destroying a panel or a dock altogether. This wants some consideration; in any other case, XeroLinux will wind up with some significantly annoyed customers. And even when you get the Latte editor open, for some purpose it would not settle for mouse clicks. As soon as once more, I needed to energy off my digital machine and energy it again up.

Normally, nonetheless, there appear to be too many points with XeroLinux to make it a worthy contender for desktop of the 12 months. That is a disgrace as a result of it’s such a cool entry within the ever-growing pool of Linux desktop distributions.

Who’s XeroLinux for?

Clearly, XeroLinux is not for the brand new person. Anybody who prefers their desktops work with a sure stage of reliability will need to avoid this entry. However in the event you love eye sweet and you do not thoughts spending a bit of additional time getting issues to work, XeroLinux is likely to be simply the sidetrack from the standard-issue desktop.

That is a type of distributions that I sincerely hope continues rising. Even with the problems, what Anindo Neel Dutta has executed is spectacular. XeroLinux has the makings of what could possibly be essentially the most stunning Linux desktop in the marketplace. If he can work out a number of the quirks, he’ll have one thing particular on his fingers.

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