I have been running Bodhi Linux on my Acer Aspire One Netbook for most of this year but today I finally decided to upgrade to the latest version.
The screenshots of Bodhi 2.10 that I had seen looked great and the version I had previously been running was just brilliant.
I was well aware that for version 1 of Bodhi I had gone through a fair amount of setting up to get it where I wanted but it was worth the effort because Bodhi is slick.
Personally I think Bodhi is the perfect operating system for a Netbook. So what about version 2.10? Read on.
Download and Installation
To download Bodhi visit (http://www.bodhilinux.com/) and click on either the 32 bit, 64 bit or ARM link depending on the hardware you are installing on.
I used Unetbootin to create a bootable USB drive and when I rebooted I was given the option to start in Live mode.
Once in Live mode there is an icon on the desktop that enables you to install Bodhi so I clicked that icon and the installer started.
The installer is the same installer that is in Ubuntu, Mint, Zorin and Peppermint.
Basically choose whether you want to install Bodhi alongside or in place of the current operating systems on the disk and then choose your location, keyboard layouts, timezone and then setup a username and the installer will do the rest.
It takes between 5 and 10 minutes on the Acer Aspire One and once it has finished a message appears asking you whether you want to continue playing in Live mode or restart into the installed operating system.
The boot time for Bodhi is quick at around 30 to 45 seconds.
The first screen is a log in screen and then when you log in you are given the choice of the theme that you wish to use. Bodhi provides themes for various setups including laptops, netbooks and desktops. I chose the laptops/netbooks option.
I chose the default theme which I think is really bright and clean looking.
Bodhi uses E17 and the netbook theme comes with 2 shelves.
The top shelf is like your traditional task bar with tasks, virtual windows, the wireless setup icon, audio icon and clock.
The bottom shelf provides icons to load applications.
Further shelves can be added and the existing shelves can be moved to various other locations on the screen.
Setting up the internet connection was easy. Clicking the wireless icon on the top shelf brought up a menu that included both my home broadband connection and my Three mobile broadband connection.
To connect to the internet all I had to do was click the relevant broadband provider and enter the security key.
Bodhi comes pre-installed with the Midori browser. Midori is a lightweight browser but it works very well. I prefer to use Chromium for all my browsing so I installed it using Synaptic.
Flash and Java are not installed by default but they are both available via Synaptic.
They are also available from the Bodhi App Centre but I will come to that later.
To test Flash I always go to You Tube and as you can see from the image below I was able to view Portsmouth's FA Cup winning goal against Cardiff City in 2008.
I installed Rhythmbox from Synaptic in order to play music and as with the previous version of Bodhi I had a few problems getting Rhythmbox to play MP3 files.
I decided to try Banshee instead and this gave me the answer as it told me that I needed to install GStreamer plugins. The plugins that GStreamer installed however did not fix the problem within Banshee and it wasn't until I went into Synaptic and installed the GStreamer Bad plugin that I was able to listen to music. I should note that after doing this both Banshee and Rhythmbox worked.
There is one issue however. When exiting either Banshee or Rhythmbox I get the message shown by the following screenshot.
One of the really good things about Bodhi is the ability to install groups of applications.
There are also links for different categories of application such as internet tools, games, office etc.
When you click on a link it provides you with the option to install or download the application.
I had issues with both the "Install" and "Download" links. Sometimes there were broken links and other times the Install would just open Chromium without doing anything. The download link would download a .bod file but I was unsure how to load that as double clicking did nothing. After a quick search on Google I found the answer to the problem which was to make the .bod file executable. With the executable flag set it is then possible to double click and install the package.
UPDATE: Jeff Hoogland has notified me in the comments below this post that the install link works if you use the default browser that was installed with Bodhi which is Midori. I felt that this information is important enough to move up into the main article.
At this point I found another little quirk which was to do with the file manager.
As you can see from the image above the file manager goes off the edge of the screen on my netbook and there is no way of resizing it to fit the screen (as far as I know).
UPDATE: In the comments below Jeff Hoogland has stated that the file manager issue is to do with E17 dialogs being optimised for screen resolutions at least 768 pixels high. My netbook only has a height of 600 pixels. Again I think this information is important enough to put into the main article.
Then you come to a menu option which says "Run Everything". Now my instant thought was "Surely not". Surely there is not a menu option that runs every single application installed on the computer. I was right to think that because "Run Everything" doesn't run everything at all.
When you click "Run Everything" a small application appears that lets you search through the applications, windows and settings for the whole operating system. Simply start typing the name of the application you wish to find and it will appear in the window and you can launch it.
To load "Run Everything" you don't just have to choose it from the menu. You can also load it by pressing "Alt" and "Escape".
On a netbook this function is invaluable. The small dock bar at the bottom only has applications that I use regularly on it. The top shelf is usually hidden behind other applications that are open. To open an application that isn't on the bottom dock I have to minimise the open applications until the top shelf appears and then navigate through the menu. However by using "Run Everything" I can just use a simple key press and start typing the name of the application I require. For me this is what stands Bodhi out from other Linux distributions on a netbook.
Using a netbook is all about maximising the screen's real estate and so the less clutter you have the better. Therefore having shelves that hide and an application that can be called upon using a key combination to launch applications is perfect.
There are a number of different themes to choose from. I like the default theme that comes with Bodhi but I also like the darker theme shown above.
Unfortunately another little quirk comes into play when choosing a theme. On a number of theme selections I lost half the screen and it wasn't until I turned various plug-ins on and off that I managed to get the whole screen back.
I am a fan of Bodhi having used it for a reasonably long time now. This version is not without it's quirks and issues that have to be resolved.
Due to the quirks that I have found I'm not sure it is for everyone, especially beginners.
On a netbook Bodhi is fast and responsive and it gives you the full screen to work with.
Have you used Bodhi Linux? What are your views? Feel free to comment on this post or any of my other posts.
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- Android on a netbook
- Zorin 6 - The best operating system I have ever used
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- Puppy Slacko's no slouch
- Bewary the puppy