Makulu Linux 6.0 KDE: Guaranteed to make you smile

Makulu Linux 6.0 KDE: Guaranteed to make you smile

Summary: Another release in the Makulu Linux family, this the with the KDE desktop to join the Xfce desktop released a couple of weeks ago.


Another Makulu Linux distribution was released today, and that's always good news! This time it is the KDE desktop for the Makulu 6.x series. The Xfce version of this was just released a couple of weeks ago, so I don't expect for there to be any major surprises: I hope that means this will not be a very lengthy post.

As usual, the release announcement gives a good overview of the what and why in this release. The most important specifics are that it is built on Linux kernel 3.14.7 and KDE SC 4.13.1. The download images are available from the Makulu Linux KDE page, it is a 32-bit (i686) build that is approximately 1.7GB in size. It is a hybrid ISO, so you can burn it to disk or dump it with dd to a USB stick, and it does not support UEFI boot.

When you boot the Live system and then click the 'Install' icon you are offered a choice between the 'Classic' and 'New' installers. The dialogue says that the classic installer is more verbose (asks more questions), so it does more of the system setup and configuration during the installation, and runs in 10 to 15 minutes, while the new installer has very few questions, leaves more of the setup and configuration to be done after the installation is complete, and takes much longer — about an hour or so. 

In my opinion, the tradeoff is much simpler than that — as the new installer is still being tested and tuned by the Makulu developers, it can still be very cranky and refuse to install for obscure reasons, and it apparently doesn't like to install without an internet connection (for reasons unknown), and there is no reason for it to take an eternity to do its job.

I applaud the Makulu developers' efforts to bring in a more modern installer, and I will be very happy to use it once it is working properly, reliably and quickly. But for the moment I opt to stay with the Classic installer, which is a verbose pain in the behind, but it works well, it is fast, and you only have to put up with it once.

If you have ever used Makulu before, the installed system will look pretty familiar.


 That is a very nice combination of the "all-in" Makulu desktop that we have seen before and the latest KDE release. The KDE bottom panel contains both the KDE menu (at the left end) and the 'slingscold' launcher (at the right end), and the 'docky' bar is at the top of the screen. 

In this installation I have decided to try a different approach to using docky, and rather than set it up with common launchers — which are presumably already included in both the KDE menus and slingscold — I have set up docky with some common status and performance monitors. Here it has a CPU monitor, network monitor, and an analogue clock.

Rather than waste a lot of time rehashing the same things I just recently said about the Makulu Xfce 6.1 release, I will simply say that pretty much all of that applies here. It's big, it's beautiful, it's fun, and it is chock full of just about everything imaginable.

What I would like to spend a bit more time talking about is the package selection in this release. It is interesting, and it seems a bit quirky to me. It includes at least three web browsers — Konqueror, Chromium and Iceweasel — but only one mail program, Kmail, not Thunderbird or icedove. 

It includes GIMP, but neither Gwenview nor digikam, so it seems that you are stuck waiting for GIMP to start even to view simple images, and you are completely without a photo manager. It includes Kingsoft Office, but not LibreOffice or Calligra. Oh, and just to confuse things further, the calculator and text editor listed in the menu favourites is 'gnome-calculator leafpad' rather than Kcalc and Kwrite. Kwrite is also listed in the menus, but I can't even find Kcalc!

Now, none of this is a serious problem, because everything I mentioned above as not included can be installed with a couple of clicks via either Synaptic or mintInstall (both are included in the base distribution). I'm just curious about how the selections were made, what got in and what didn't, and why?

Anyway, enough is enough. Makulu Linux is what it is — a big, beautiful, fun Linux distribution for hobbyists, and none of that requires or even implies that it should be consistent or "pure" to whatever desktop version you happen to be using. 

As I have said before, if you want to have just about the most fun you can have with a Linux distribution, or if you just want to see a distribution packed with way more goodies than you are likely to find in any other single distribution, then give Makulu a try. I will guarantee that it will make you smile, and it will make you say "Wow, look at that!" a lot of times.

Further reading

Topics: Enterprise Software, Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems

J.A. Watson

About J.A. Watson

I started working with what we called "analog computers" in aircraft maintenance with the United States Air Force in 1970. After finishing military service and returning to university, I was introduced to microprocessors and machine language programming on Intel 4040 processors. After that I also worked on, operated and programmed Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-8, PDP-11 (/45 and /70) and VAX minicomputers. I was involved with the first wave of Unix-based microcomputers, in the early '80s. I have been working in software development, operation, installation and support since then.

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  • Well

    I used to think Linux might have a future on the desktop but, as time goes on, I'm not so sure anymore.
    • That's OK

      The conventional GNU/Linux desktop is not for everyone, but It has a future on my desktops. As long as the conventional GNU/Linux desktop market share remains in the low single digits, development will continue. And, importantly, the malware miscreants will direct their efforts towards Windows, Android and Linux servers which have considerably higher market share.

      P.S. Some users have opted for Chrome OS (also a GNU/Linux desktop OS) on a Chromebook or Chromebox in lieu of a conventional GNU/Linux desktop. And, on this note, I will inform the article author, J.A. Watson, that the web-based Lenovo Outlook Store currently has some great deals on ThinkPad Chromebooks. [Hint] :)
      Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Sounds good

    This will most-likely get me to finally try Linux. I just refuse to make the richest man in America any more wealthy. I am sick of Microsoft since they took support from XP that I knew that I was going to do something different. No more illegal operating systems and maybe a new computer world for me. I have been researching Linux for a few months but there were just too many choices and I am no computer genius. This sounds right up my alley, I am used to spending a good bit of time on installations, and I do like to learn new tricks with my ancient box(2005 Compaq Presario SR1625NX). I will add a better video card and more memory and should be good for the next 10 years.
    Kevin McNeely
    • Who?

      What rich man are you talking about? Gates? Heck, he's not even the biggest Microsoft shareholder anymore since he is converting all his stock into cash to give away via his foundation. He has given away billions and plans to give it all away.

      And XP was supported by MS for 14 years! Name a single OS version that has been supported longer. Its time has long since past and I for one do not mourn its passing. XP was so bad it converted me to MacOS (and Vista brought me back to Windows).

      But as far as trying Linux, download and burn a Linux live CD and just boot and run it from the CD to try it out. Heck, I think ubuntu will still send you a free CD if you request it from their website. This way you can try Linux before wiping your drive and installing it.
      Rann Xeroxx
  • One more thing

    There is just one more thing I would add and it is that I like the way that J.A.Watson writes and the fact that he is helpful when asked good questions, and I have seen him help people like me who may lack some experience working with an unknown system. I have to admire a man who cares that much. Thank you for your time.
    Kevin McNeely
  • MakuluLinux

    Hey Mr Watson,

    Firstly thank you for the review, it is much appreciated. You had some questions as to how package selection is done, why and why not some stuff is included... I am quite surprised that you don't know the answer to that by now :)

    It is quite simple, Why not ? I prefer the gnome calculator to the KDE calculator, so why must i include kcalc ? simply because it was made for KDE ? the gnome version works just as well and is a hell of a lot prettier and more comfortable to use, the same with leafpad. I am just one of those developers that refuses to do things in a certain order because it is expected... MakuluLinux is built on the principle that we make a Stable, Fast and Pretty Distribution that offers something different, the days are gone when you simply wanted just a functional desktop, the kids now days want eye candy as well, so you have to go the extra mile to stay competitive and stand out.

    Something else i want to correct, when you run post install wizard, it sets up all the regular software makulu users are used to, including Pinta, so user is not just left with gimp alone. The additional software includes steam, 2 additional browsers, games, quite a few handy utilities, video editors etc etc, they will have their hands full with software.

    O and one last thing, if you want system monitor on desktop, there is a VERY nice system monitor plasma widget i included, just look under widgets and you'll find it, its very pretty and very detailed. Docky and plank both have issues with KDE, which is why i did not include them in the release, but they are easy enough to install should a user want them.

    Any questions you have, you know where to get hold of me...
  • Why are Linux distros like this ugly, sheesh! Seriously, whoever is behind these makeshift ghetto's need to go to some design classes.
    • Yo

      Rabid Howler Monkey