SimplyMepis Celebrates 8th Anniversary with Release
Warren Woodford, founder of MEPIS, has announced the release of SimplyMepis 11.0 Alpha 3 just in time to mark the eighth anniversary of MEPIS on November 21. SimplyMepis usually takes quite a while to cook and no final release date has been given.
This release "continues to track with Debian Squeeze but with a 2.6.36 kernel. In this release, MEPIS has backported the Galbraith latency patch, which improves desktop performance." This latency patch has been receiving attention lately since its inclusion was discussed on the Linux Kernel Mailing List and offers increased performance for some desktop setups. Some users have reported greatly increased performance while others state it really only benefits processes opened under additional TTYs (pts). In addition, it was reported that the patch might cause NULL pointer dereference bugs, but Galbraith has stated he was rewriting it anyway. In any case, it's an interesting move by the normally conservative Woodford.
The alphas in this developmental cycle have been little over 800 MB in size and some say Woodford should just go ahead and add all kinds of extra software and artwork since the ISO already requires a DVDrom (or USB key). More on this topic may emerge further down the road.
Alpha 1 had a bug that prevented the live image from booting on many PCs and although Woodford stated that "number of bugs have been fixed which affected installation and booting from USB key," issues preventing boot-up from DVD continued into Alpha 2. So an Alpha 3 was quickly released to address it.
So far, 11.0 has a pretty new boot splash, but the login and desktop decorations remain largely unchanged. KDE 4.4.5 is the featured desktop with applications provided like Firefox 3.5.6, GIMP 2.6.10, and OpenOffice.org 3.2.1. Other than the latency patch, no other radical changes are apparent from the last stable release, but it's very early yet.
Woodford reflected on Mepis, "It was 8 years ago today that the MEPIS Linux project started when Warren Woodford decided to build a version of Linux that would be easy to try from CD, easy to install from the live environment, and easy for everyone to use. Over the years there have been reports of SimplyMEPIS being the first OS of one year old children, and also the first OS of 90 year old adults."
Susan Linton is a Linux writer and the owner of tuxmachines.org.