Showing posts with label SOLUS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SOLUS. Show all posts

Monday, March 15, 2021

Installing Solus on a Virtual Machine

If you're looking for a lightweight and elegant Linux distribution, you should check Solus, an independent open-source project focused on the Linux Desktop

Solus' Budgie Desktop

Before switching to Linux permanently, it's recommended to test it first on a virtual machine so that you can feel the experience before making permanent changes on your system.

On this tutorial, we will continue revisiting the best lightweight distributions of 2021 and learn how to install Solus on VirtualBox in Windows 10.

This process should be pretty similar to accomplish in either VirtualBox or VMWare Workstation player.

About Solus

Solus (previously known as Evolve OS) is an independently developed operating system for the desktops running on x86-64 architecture. It currently offers Budgie (built by their own team), GNOME, MATE or KDE Plasma as the desktop environments, it follows a rolling release model built on top of its package manager eopkg.

For more information on Solus check this Wikipedia page.

Downloading Solus

Head to Solus download page an grab the ISO by clicking on the download button below Solus Budgie. For this tutorial we'll use Solus 4.1 which's the latest version available at the time. The file should be around 2 Gb in size so go grab a coffee while it downloads.

Click on the Download button to download the ISO

An ISO is simply an image of the installer containing all the files needed to boot and install that distribution in your system.

Installing Solus

With the ISO downloaded, let's start the process. Open VirtualBox:

VirtualBox's main screen

Click New, enter the name of the VM, set Type = Linux and Version = Other Linux (64-bit) and specify its save location:

Choose the memory size (4Gb or more is recommended):

Create a Virtual Hard Disk:

As Hard disk file type, Choose VDI (VirtualBox's default format):

Set it to Dynamically Allocated (slower) if you don't have much disk space or Fixed Size (faster) if you do:

Specify file location and size (recommended: 20GB), click Review > Create:

After clicking Create, you should see a summary of your new VM:

Booting the VM

Okay, so it's now time to boot (load) our VM so we can install it in the virtual hard drive. On the screen above click on Start to have your VM initialized. We'll first need to attach our ISO as if it were a virtual CD-ROM. Click Add and select your downloaded ISO from your Downloads folder and click Create to set it:

Installing Solus

Once your VM boots, you should see a splash screen:

Taking you directly to the Budgie Desktop. To install Solus, click on the second icon on the bottom:

First thing is selecting your language:

Then a keyboard layout:

Then select your time zone:

Next, select where to install:

You still can enable LVM and Encryption if you want:

Next, configure where the bootloader and the hostname:

Create your account:

And review everything before the installation starts:

Then, the installation starts:

Once the installation starts, give it 10 minutes or so. Once it ends, you'll be asked to reboot:

First Login

With the installation done, let's login the first time. Enter your password as specified during the installation on the login screen:

Default Desktop

After login, you should see Budgie, Solus' beautiful desktop:

Solus' Budgie Desktop

Next Steps

There you are! Feel free to have fun with your new Ubuntu VM! We will cover some more interesting topics in the future but we recommend that you play with it in the meanwhile.


On this tutorial we learned how to install Ubuntu MATE in a VirtualBox virtual machine (VM). Installing Linux on a VM is the first step you need to explore Linux in its multiple variations. The next step is obviously, replacing your Windows or Mac. But take your time!

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Monday, March 1, 2021

The best lightweight Linux distributions of 2021

Looking for a lightweight Linux distribution to install on that old PC? Check our top picks for 2021
Photo by Naman Porwal on Unsplash

On a previous post we discussed the best Linux distributions for new users in 2021. While those distributions are fantastic, they demand moderately powerful hardware and a decent amount of storage. Today, let's discuss the best lightweight Linux distributions in 2021.

What's a lightweight Linux distribution?

As you probably expect, a lightweight Linux distribution is a distribution that does not require super-recent hardware and, as much as possible is friendly on storage and energy consumption.

What should you expect from these distributions

All of the presented distributions were chosen not only because they're stable and secure but because they're easy-to-use, powerful (with no compromises) and require modest hardware requirements. As a bonus, running on single board computers and IoT would be a plus.

So let's get started and review what are the best most recommended lightweight Linux distributions in 2021.

Ubuntu MATE

Ubuntu MATE is a lightweight and simplified Linux distribution based on Ubuntu. It's stable, easy-to-use and comes with the lightweight (and familiar) MATE desktop environment. It is ideal for those who want the most out of their computers and prefer a traditional. Another advantage is that it requires modest hardware requirements, running on modern workstations, to single board computers and IoT. Ubuntu MATE makes modern computers fast and old computers awesome again 😊.

Ubuntu MATE's default desktop

elementary OS

We ❤ elementary OS and pretty much anyone in the community. elementary (lowercase e please) was select as one of our best distros in 2021 an still shows up in this list. It's installation is super quick and its Pantheon desktop environment certainly offers a very polished experience while still being lightweight! Being also based on Ubuntu makes it a solid choice for your old PC.

The beautiful elementary OS desktop


Solus is another of the fast and lightweight Linux distros that we love. Built by community by passionate developers, the Solus OS is a beautiful, lightweight, innovative and rolling-release operating system that everyone should try at least once. Sure, it's not backed up by the likes of Canonical, Ubuntu's parent company but is built on strong (and innovative) technologies. Definitely worth trying out.

Source: Solus Project 

Fedora XFCE

Fedora XFCE is another of our favorite lightweight distros of 2021. Built by the an awesome of independent and (RH)-dependent Fedora developers, Fedora XFCE is definitely a distro for those working (or willing to) in the Enterprise Linux space since it shares roots with RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) and many of its forks (including CentOS, Rocky Linux and AlmaLinux). And as happens with every Fedora spin, you'll get as vanilla as possible from XFCE's original experience

Source: Fedora Project

Manjaro XFCE

If  you're looking for a little more action than why not try Manjaro XFCE? Running the XFCE desktop environment, the same desktop environment as the Fedora spin listed in this article, Manjaro is based on the venerable Arch Linux but presents a less steep learning curve and counts with a thriving and ever-growing community. Manjaro XFCE presents a very polished and fast experience that would suit well to new and experienced Linux users on modern and old hardware.

Manjaro's beautiful XFCE desktop environment


On this article we presented the lightweight Linux distributions in 2021. Lightweight Linux distros usually run super-well on old PCs or Macs guaranteeing you some good years of use still. Another idea would be spinning them up in less resourceful virtual machines so you can practice your Linux skills. More on that later.

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Monday, October 12, 2020

Why is Linux free?

Linux is secure, fast, reliable and.. free? If that seems too good to be true you need to know more about Linux.
Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash

On previous posts, we discussed why use Linux and one of our most compelling arguments to use Linux is that Linux is free. But since Linux is so secure, fast, reliable, how can it be free? Let's understand what that means and how it happens.

A little history

Avoiding jumping too much back in history, it's important to understand the contribution model in which Linux was built. Once upon a time, there was a developer named Linus Torvalds who wanted to build a kernel to run a free Unix clone at home. He named the project Linux (Linux + Unix) and sent a message to the world looking for volunteers.

That project attracted so much attention that soon, hundreds of other developers joined that cause forming a big network of contributors. Linux, the kernel was the missing piece to produce a completely free operating system as most of the tools were already built on the GNU operating system.

The first distributions

With all the pieces to build a free and open-source operating system available, developers started creating the first Linux distributions. Some of them you may have heard of: Debian, Red Hat and Slackware, the most popular ones.

What about now?

The fact that Linux runs everywhere and that thousands of successful products are built on top of it, is the biggest motivator to use it. It's estimated that today the Linux kernel be worth $5 billion dollars. Given its licensing model, companies building new products today (for example, Tesla, Google or even Microsoft) can leverage Linux and more quickly reach the market saving them literally millions of dollars.

Today, Linux's development is supervised by Linus and sponsored by the Linux Foundation which employs Linus, Greg Kroah-Hartman (and others) to coordinate and foster the development of Linux around the world.

But this model does not only apply to Linux itself. The GNU project and thousands of other larger and smaller projects are being developed every single day by anonymous contributors worldwide following the same methodology.

But why is Linux is free?

Because the Linux kernel, the GNU operating system and all other tools needed to create a free operating system are available as open-source software respecting the premises of the free-software movement fostered by the GNU foundation, it's guaranteed that, as long as there are volunteers to build the distributions, you'll have a free/open-source operating system to run wherever you want.

And this is exactly what happens.

Linux Distributions

Today we have two different lines of Linux distributions being built and available for free: community-based distributions and enterprise-sponsored distributions. Let's review them.

Community-based distributions

Community-based distributions are Linux systems built by volunteers and living of donations. The most popular these days are:

Commercially-sponsored distributions

For brevity, let's define as commercially-sponsored, those distributions that receive grants from commercial companies to support the development and maintenance of those systems. Note that there's nothing wrong with this category since most of the distributions run completely independently from their commercial institution. The most popular are:

But one could charge for it, couldn't they?

The short answer is a definitely yes! And indeed some companies charge for it one way or another. And how do they make money? Well, read the next section to understand.

How companies make money with Linux

Differently from this blog, Linux is not all about charity. There's lots of money being made on it today. Essentially, companies can use Linux in virtually any line of business. Just to illustrate some:

  • support
  • training
  • certification
  • licenses
  • building products around it
  • cloud services
  • storage solutions
  • networking solutions
  • ads
  • social networks
  • cars
  • TVs
  • Watches
  • and more, much more! 😊


On this post we reviewed briefly how Linux was created and how it's license model guarantees that it will remain free for future generations. We also touched briefly on how companies leverage Linux to get faster to the market and to make money. Regardless of who builds your favorite distro, all of us benefit from this massive chain of anonymous contributions.

Hope it helps!

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