Sunday, December 9, 2012

OS4 OpenDesktop 13.1 Review: What's the difference with ZevenOS?

It is kind of a peculiar feeling to use Linux distros who look and feel very similar. I am talking of ZevenOS 5.0 and OS4 OpenDesktop 13.1. Both got released in 5 days apart and have striking similarities, at least at a high level. Same Xubuntu fork with a BeOS theme, it is difficult to distinguish them from each other.

From OS4 OpenDesktop 13.1
Though OS4 website says, ZevenOS is for Legacy BeOS users with cutting edge applications and OS4 is towards more stable, LTS side of the spectrum, but it was really hard for me to distinguish them. Performance, applications and appearance are so similar! I tested both of them on Asus K54C 2.4 Ghz 2 GB RAM laptop, first on live-boot and then after installing on an 8 GB partition.

OS4 32-bit ISO is almost double of ZevenOS and is 1.4 GB in size. It is based on Xubuntu 12.04.1 LTS. ZevenOS 5 is based on Xubuntu 12.10. So, their Linux kernels are different, OS4 has 3.2.0-33 long term support kernel - however the updated Linux 3.5 kernel is available in repository for download. Thunar is updated to 1.5.3 and is the default file manager.

Like ZevenOS, OS4 too is rich with applications - a list of major applications is provided below:
  • Internet: Chromium 23, Firefox 17, Pidgin, Bit-torrent client, File transfer utility, Nokia maps (a good addition!), NixNote (Linux version of Evernote), Evolution mail client, Xchat IRC
  • From OS4 OpenDesktop 13.1
    From OS4 OpenDesktop 13.1
  • Multimedia: VLC 2.0.3, Banshee music player, Audacity audio editor, Openshot video editor, camorama webcam, Brasero disc burner, ipod manager
  • Graphics: GIMP 2.8, Inkscape, Ristretto photo viewer, Scribus desktop publishing, ipod photo manager, Shotwell photo manager among others
  • Office: Abiword, Gnumeric, document viewer, orage calendar and globaltime
  • Others: ClamTK 4.41 Anti-virus, Leafpad, screenshot, calculator, archive manager
Adobe flashplugin and Java are by default. Actually I found OS4 has more out-of-the-box applications to offer and quite a few are really interesting ones. Like Nokia maps, NixNote, Anti-virus, etc. Anti-virus may not be actually useful for Linux but handy to have in case you want to check an USB drive.

From OS4 OpenDesktop 13.1
OS4 is more or less complete in terms of applications. For more, you can download them from Ubuntu Precise repository. Like post installation, I downloaded LibreOffice suite and Skype 4.0. Synaptic is the default GUI to download apps, which is kind of a let down. Ubuntu software center is far more easy to use and like ZevenOS, even OS4 should have retained it.

From OS4 OpenDesktop 13.1
Installation is just like Ubuntu and no hiccups there, went smooth on the first attempt itself.

CPU and RAM Usage
Similarities of ZevenOS and OS4 even extend to resource usage as well! Even OS4 consumed 200 MB RAM and 1-5% CPU with XFCE desktop and task manager running. Both the distros consume slightly more RAM than Xubuntu 12.04.1/12.10.

It is a deja vu experience for me using OS4 after ZevenOS 5.0. Both are strikingly similar! OS4 has a LTS base and offer more variety in default applications. Otherwise, if you like the interface, you can choose either of them. I bet, you won't feel any difference! I'll stick to Xubuntu 12.10 meanwhile as it offers me a better proposition.

You can download OS4 OpenDesktop 13.1 from here. Both 32 and 64 bit versions are available.

No comments:

Post a Comment