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New Distro Making Debian Easier for Beginners

SpiralLinux is a new entrant in the world of desktop-focused Linux distributions.

It is based on Debian Linux and created by the unnamed developer of GeckoLinux.

Gecko what? GeckoLinux is a derivative of openSUSE and focuses on providing out-of-the-box usability to desktop users.

The aim for SpiralLinux is also the same. Provide an out-of-the-box usable Debian experience to desktop users.

Is Debian really that complex? While Debian is considered the most stable distro, the vanilla Debian often overwhelms new users with multiple download options. The focus on FOSS-only software by default policy also makes things difficult for beginners. It requires various tweaks after the first boot to make it useful.

And those are the areas where SpiralLinux shines!

Through this article, I’m going to walk you through the features of SpiralLinux and share my experience, so you can have a better idea of ​​what to expect from SpiralLinux.

SpiralLinux: Debian simplified

The first question that will come to your mind is why another Debian-based distro? The core idea behind SpiralLinux is to get you a well-tuned Debian that can be used out of the box.

If you try installing Debian, you’ll notice a number of download options but they do not include proprietary drivers and codecs which are necessary for modern hardware (including mine). Getting the right ISO itself is the first struggle.

Not to forget that you’ll have to further tweak your vanilla Debian system to make it work with your hardware.

SpiralLinux aims to address those pain points by providing several pre-installed software, performance tweaks and proprietary drivers and codecs support.

Some key highlighting features are as follows:

  • Ships with a wide range of drivers to support a variety of hardware
  • zRAM is enabled by default for better performance
  • It can be upgraded to Debian testing Unstable branches with just a few clicks
  • It uses Linux kernel 5.18 out of the box to support the most recent hardware
  • Proprietary media codecs are pre-installed
  • Third-party Debian repositories are enabled by default
  • ISOs available for Cinnamon, Xfce, GNOME, KDE, MATE, Budgie, and LXQt desktop environments
  • An experimental “builder” ISO for experts
sudo cp /var/lib/snapd/desktop/applications/*.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/

But this was only with Snap packages. Flatpaks were working quite smoothly and none of the problems I mentioned above were faced with Flatpaks.

Final Thoughts

I like the imagination of the developer. GeckoLinux is based on openSUSE. Since openSUSE logo/mascot is a chameleon, the developer named it Gecko (a type of lizard).

The logo of Debian is a swirl, so the developer named the Debian variant SpiralLinux.

Both have the intention of simplifying the experience of their popular parent distro.

Many other Debian-based distributions have the same purpose as SpiralLinux. Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) is one such example.

Personally, I would prefer using the main distribution instead of its derivative. But I understand that a few users may find it more convenient to use these derivatives.

I leave the comments open for you now. Do you think SpiralLinux has the potential to carve out a niche for itself or is it one of those distributions that will be lost in oblivion?

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