IntroductionI am going to admit now that I had previously thought about reviewing Linux Lite 3.0 when it first came out but there was a reason I didn't which I will come to later.
I changed my mind however when so many people recommended it as a distribution for the Everyday Linux User.
Ok so first things first, how does the Linux Lite website describe Linux Lite?
Linux Lite is based on the Ubuntu LTS series of releases. LTS stands for Long Term Support, this means each release has a support period of 5 years. This is a great basis for stability, but not only that, you only need to install once every 5 years. During that period your system will continue to receive updates.
Linux Lite is fully functional out of the box, this means that you won't have to install extra software when you boot your computer for the first time.
We believe that a computer should be ready to use straight away on the first boot after a new install.
You're going to need this kind of functionality on a daily basis when you are using your computer so we take the hassle out of trying to find the right software from the start.
I have tried Linux Lite on a few occasions and I think it has been a really decent distribution over the years.
Whilst Linux Lite is still good there are some things holding it back which I will fill you in on shortly.
How To Get Linux Lite
You can download Linux Lite from https://www.linuxliteos.com/download.html.
You can burn the image to a DVD using traditional disc burning software such as Brasero or you can create a USB drive using either WIN32 disk imager for Windows or the dd command in Linux.
There is a video on the download page which shows you how to create the necessary media.
If you would prefer to you can buy a copy of Linux Lite on DVD or USB by clicking here.
How To Boot Into Linux Lite
So here is the deal. It is 2016. The EFI bootloader has been around for a long time now and it isn't going away any time soon.
Linux Lite 3.0 still does not ship with the ability to boot into an EFI system therefore you have to switch to legacy mode in order to boot into the DVD or USB drive.
If you are not sure how to do this then this guide may help you understand your UEFI and BIOS boot settings.
I think the lack of EFI is a major drawback for anybody thinking of using Linux Lite.
There is a guide that shows how to install Linux Lite alongside Windows in UEFI mode but it requires you booting into a Ubuntu Live disc along the way.
I actually installed Linux Lite alongside Windows but I didn't follow that guide. I just decided that it is easier to press the F12 button on my computer every time I boot into Windows. (which isn't that often).
InstallationYou can install Linux Lite by clicking on the installation icon on the desktop.
The actual procedure is fairly straight forward especially if you are installing it on its own with no other system as a dual boot.
You can also choose to install third party software.
It is unlikely you will see the option to boot alongside another operating system if you are using a modern computer with an EFI boot loader. You would need to follow the guide linked to earlier to do this.
Connect To The Internet
Update The System
Talking of audio, there isn't a dedicated audio package installed. You have to use VLC to play music files.
The Lite Install package provides the option to install Clementine and Spotify and I would recommend both of these.
Linux Lite does come with the LibreOffice package, GIMP for image editing, the VLC media player for watching videos, Thunderbird for email, the Firefox web browser, an image viewer and the whole raft of system tools that you would expect.
For everything else there is Synaptic, which is a perfectly usable graphical package manager.
Linux Lite has a nice tool for doing basic maintenance such as choosing the default web browser, removing unused packages, regaining disk space by clearing caches and changing the hostname.
Customising Linux LiteLinux Lite uses the XFCE desktop and so you can customise it any which way you so choose.
I have one guide here showing some basic customisations for XFCE. For a more complete guide to customising XFCE click this link.
What Linux Lite brings to the table is some stunning visuals. Check out the wallpaper above.
Hardware SupportI tried Linux Lite with my printer and it worked perfectly. It can connect via bluetooth to my phone and it can handle my Sony Walkman.
I could also connect to the WD MyCloud device.
IssuesLinux Lite is stable. I haven't seen any errors since I have started using it except when I tried playing MP3 audio in SilverJuke before installing the "Restricted Extras" package.
SummaryLets start with the positives because there are many. The first thing is that Linux Lite works and it is easy to use.
You can install most of the major packages using a simple tool and you can install updates and drivers quite easily.
There is a major downside and that is the lack of EFI support. I could understand this if Linux Lite was targeting older hardware but it comes in a 64-bit version and I would imagine most 64-bit computers are EFI enabled.
The target audience for Linux Lite is clearly the average computer user but it is at an immediate disadvantage to Linux Mint which is easier to install and just as easy to use.
I will leave it on a positive though. The artwork within Linux Lite is excellent with really good theming and hey, Steam works.
Thanks for reading.