I’ve spent a good few days now using Solus 4.1 Budgie as my primary operating system. In my first
impressions video I installed Solus on my laptop and set the desktop up for general use in the coming
days. The way I tend to review a distribution is in two stages. I’ll usually always have a first
impressions video up of a distribution upon release but I’ll hold up on giving it an actual review until
I’ve at least spent a few days using in the real world. With Solus I’ve gone a step further and also
installed it to my desktop computer where I do all of my work for the channel and everything else in
between. I did this because I think the potential for me to use Solus full time is quite high.
Achieving my desired desktop lay out is all made super simple with Budgies Desktop Settings
application. I can achieve similar lay outs and work flows on other desktop environments and
distributions but it’s often not as visually attractive or I have to download other packages that aren’t
included by default to get me there.
The programs included out of the box are a good mix of software that works well together and is the
same across the other desktop versions Solus provides with the only exception being some difference in media players installed by default. This means your office needs will be fulfilled by the LibreOffice Suite and it uses Thunderbird as your email client and includes most of the other essentials needed to get you up and running. The only notable exception here was the lack of a torrent client installed out of the box. Which isn’t really much of an issue as Software Center is quick and easy to use and will aid you in finding and installing any other programs you might need. I didn’t have a problem finding most of the packages I use there. I did notice I couldn’t find the ‘Nemo’ file manager however which I wanted to use as I know it has support for global menus. For now I’ll make do with nautilus. You can also manage updates here in the software centre or alternatively you could do it by command line.
This brings me onto their command line package manager. Before now I hadn’t really used
‘eopkg’ in the terminal at all. Despite that getting to know the basics needed to manage my packages
wasn’t a problem whatsoever. It wasn’t long before these commands became embedded in my muscle
memory and I was using the command line to install most of my packages like I would on distributions I have much more experience with.
Performance wise I have absolutely zero complaints. It starts up insanely fast and has minimal bloat
included weighing it down. I’ve been playing games on ‘Steam’ and ‘Lutris’ without running into any
bugs or hiccups and it’s among only a few distributions that gets my personal seal of approval to play
CSGO. You might be thinking I’m crazy as it doesn’t take much to run that game at a reasonable levelhowever with some distributions in MY personal experience something about it doesn’t feel right. It’s like this very slight jerk that’s not always there but makes everything less smooth. That’s completely anecdotal but just something I’ve noticed on my particular hardware setups. But with Solus it’s buttery smooth.
Creating and editing videos and images has also been a breeze though I personally think the inclusion of some tools to do this out of the box would really seal the deal.
For me an operating system/distribution has to be fun to use but also get out of your way when you need to get some work done. I think Solus does this in spectacular fashion and in particular the Budgie version. Solus offers 3 other alternative editions on their website which are MATE,PLASMA and GNOME which I also briefly tested during my time with Solus, all very polished and capable releases but it’s their flagship Budgie Desktop that tempts me
away from my current distribution. Whats not to like? Installation is quick and painless, It’s
moderately light on system resources without compromising on it’s look and feel, it’s easy to use and
all wrapped up in a stable yet rolling release.