Saturday, February 21, 2015


AntiX Linux: A Brief Review

 Certain factors like systemd are polarizing the Linux community. It seems that either you like it or you hate it. Some of the Debian developers are getting nervous and so a fork of Debian called Devuan has been announced.

   I'm always looking at other distros that emphasize compactness and the ability to run on old hardware. I was also intrigued by the Debian controversy with systemd so when I saw AntiX 13.2 was based on Debian Wheezy I had to give it a try. AntiX comes on a single CD so installing it was easy enough.

   Now the hardware used to test AntiX was an old IBM R30 Thinkpad with 1 gigabyte of memory. It ran fairly well on this hardware, good enough to run fbreader and iceweasel. It had a lot of good attributes like fast boot speed, and it used icewm which I was already familiar with (fluxbox and JWM were also available). It also comes with libreoffice and some multimedia software. It has a fairly modern kernel: 3.7.10.

   As for the systemd issue, yes Debian Wheezy has systemd on it, so this version of AntiX has it as well. All you need to do to remove it is:

apt-get remove systemd

What could be simpler? Things get a bit murkier with future releases like Jessie which will have systemd on it by default.

   I don't want to get into empty histrionics about systemd. I don't like it because I feel it's too big a departure from Unix principles. People are worried that systemd is "taking over" but so far that's not really the case. If you don't like systemd try AntiX, Slackware or one of its derivatives, or if you like a more traditional Unix try one of the BSDs.


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