Point Linux – Another Debian derivative? Let’s take a sneak peak.

The current stable version of Point Linux is 2.2, codenamed “taya”. As of writing this post version 3.0 Beta 1 was released. However, I’ll keep this analysis focused on the stable version.

The official website of Point Linux describes it as a Debian under the hood distro. Indeed, it is and the mastermind behind the project, Peter Ryzhenkov has invested his ingenious to keep it a simple-to-use distribution. Some time back I had a quick trial of the distro when looking for MATE featuring distributions. Point Linux comes bundled with MATE 1.4. However, the current stable version of MATE is 1.6. The latter will be available in Point Linux 3.0. To get MATE 1.6 on Point Linux 2.2 one can simply add the MATE repo for Debian & upgrade.

Just add the following to /etc/apt/sources.list and upgrade.

# main repository
deb http://repo.mate-desktop.org/debian wheezy main

# mirrors
deb http://packages.mate-desktop.org/repo/debian wheezy main
deb http://mirror1.mate-desktop.org/debian wheezy main

Some regular checking.

ish@hacklog:~$ cat /etc/debian_version 
ish@hacklog:~$ uname -srv
Linux 3.2.0-4-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 3.2.51-1

Our initial question has been answered. Yes, that’s Debian under the hood!

Point Linux, combined with stability of Debian & responsiveness of MATE desktop, is a lightweight distribution ready for production use. It comes bundled with Firefox, LibreOffice, Brasero, VLC, it has sudo enabled by default, and has good hardware support. My laptop’s ATI Radeon RS690M was installed with the free radeon driver. My Broadcom Ethernet & wireless adaptors were installed too. That being said, I wasn’t left stranded with un-usable hardware. This is definitely the strength of Point Linux, providing a Debian base with a great hardware support.

The default desktop theme is Clearlooks-Phenix, using Faenza icons. I downloaded the mate-faenza icon package for the greenish icons.

Point Linux is available in two formats. A 1G DVD image called “Full” containing mostly popular software, non-free multimedia codecs & hardware drivers and a CD image called “Core” excluding the popular software such as Firefox, LibreOffice, VLC and ships with free multimedia codecs & hardware drivers.