This month’s Linux User & Developer features a singular piece of my work: a review of ZevenOS Neptune, a distribution born from the sadly departed BeOS.
ZevenOS, a German distribution, was originally designed to provide an upgrade path for those coming to Linux from BeOS, a proprietary operating system developed for the BeBox in 1991. While it never really took off commercially, the design of BeOS won it some fans – and ZevenOS took Ubuntu and reskinned it to match the BeOS look and feel.
ZevenOS Neptune, on the other hand, is a different beast. Based on Debian, Ubuntu’s upstream distribution, ZevenOS Neptune is a fork from ZevenOS that aims for a more cutting-edge feel. Sadly, that does come at the cost of its retro-chic appearance: Neptune looks far more like a modern Linux distribution than does the original ZevenOS, which will disappoint fans of BeOS.
For those who don’t mind a fairly cookie-cutter KDE desktop, however, Neptune is pretty snazzy: the ISO includes the ability to turn a bootable USB stick into a full installation with persistent storage – something that normally needs to be done from a separate operating system at the time of creation – and while hard drive installation requires the user to manually partition the drive, handy English and German PDFs are included on the Live DVD desktop to guide new users through the process.
But how is ZevenOS Neptune to use? Does it suffer from stability issues from its Debian Testing roots? Is it worth switching from a rival distro?
Pick up Linux User & Developer Issue 127 at any half-decent newsagent or supermarket, or digitally on Zinio, and you can find out.