I downloaded last night MEPIS 3.3 Linux (1 CD, 685mb). 2 words:
Very Impressive

The install was not without some bugs though.

The way it looks like MEPIS works is, you run the LiveCD version and once in there, you can install the OS in the GUI (KDE). I really liked this method, you do all the partitioning and everything from a window while the OS is running from the CD. It installs the bootloader (GRUB) and you set the root password, regular user, and some other things. Once finished, you reboot and it runs from your harddrive.

Even the network settings from the LiveCD were carried over to the full install, and that’s where my bug starts. During the bootup, I noticed that the network did not start, it actually failed. First thing that came to mind was that it was set to DHCP and it couldn’t contact my router to get a lease. I never have figured it out yet, but what I had to do was…

Once into the OS, I opened the network settings, which were a little hard to find because MEPIS seperates things out a little (will post screenshots later), and what I did was switch from a static IP to DHCP, stop and restart the NIC, it grabbed an IP and worked fine, then I switched back to the static I assigned it and it worked fine. After rebooting though the same thing happened.

Soooo… I am going to reinstall the OS and not change ANYTHING in the LiveCD mode. Let it take all the defaults, then see what happens.

(UPDATE: The network issue: Although the ETH0 device seemed to fail during boot, by the time I got into the OS, the static IP assigned seemed to be working. I will continue to look into this, but I think it’s ok for now)

Overall though, I really liked all the packages that came preinstalled. Synaptics Package Manager is Great, K3B, XMMS (w/ MP3 support), Real Player, Firefox 1.0, KMail and other KDE utilities were used.

But the main thing I noticed was the application loading speed. Other Linux builds I run seem to lag when opening applications, even if they were just open a second before, but MEPIS was lightning fast. This system (256mb RAM) even had nowhere the memory of my normal test machine (1024mb) and the processors are the same. The main program I test for loadtime is OpenOffice, on most Linii (plural) I run, OO takes anywhere from 5-10 seconds to load for the first time, On MEPIS, it was at least twice as quick.

The fonts were nice and smooth, not too big, not too small…