This week’s challenge was one I really had fun with. Unlike many of the distros we have had in the BDLL Challenge, I don’t spend as much time with different distros as I did with Bodhi. As Nate, above, said, Mowest has provided some excellent information and insights that I won’t repeat here. You just have to scroll up to find his post.
When booting up the live USB, no network icon pops up. It does not see the WiFi card. This happened with both the Thinkpad T420 and W550s, and later the Thimkpad T440s. Somehow, it’s not seeing the wifi card and not loading the driver at startup. I did read that this is a known bug (see mowest’s post above), so I was not too concerned. I tried installing Bodhi on the W550s because the T420 has seen better days (keyboard is wonky, network card not working properly, periodic MB errors at boot up). In the end, I installed it on my Thinkpad T440s.
I like how Bodhi looks and the way things are set up. It has a nice, minimalist look. Since it is Ubuntu-based, then all the software I normally use should work without issue. I did replace Midori with Firefox.
I have one nit about the live USB. The installation link is not on the main screen, which is something many other distros have. It is buried in the menu as an option. I didn’t figure that out until after I had rebooted and installed Bodhi and them read a post from another BDLL user.
1st attempt: “Installation Failed” dialogue box displayed stating “the installer encountered an unrecoverable error.”
2nd attempt: no problem. Installation took about 6 min. Not bad at all. I decided to try dual boot. It didn’t work as I wanted, so I am going to blitz the system drive & reinstall as a single OS.
3rd attempt: Installed OS on 256 GB sdb, including bootloader. SDA is /home as it was when the laptop ran Ubuntu Mate.
After setting up partitions, installation took ~ 5 min, which included formatting SDB. This is about the same amount of time that UM takes to install.
Bodhi is not able to keep 1920x1080 settings on a laptop that has a 3K screen. No matter what I did, it would not keep settings. From what I had been reading, NVidia may be part of the problem. The W550s has both an integrated Intel GPU and NVidia GPU. With that probably being the case, I decided that the W550S will revert back to Ubuntu Mate 19.04.
For some reason, Bodhi intrigues me, so I kept on with getting it to work nicely on a laptop. I ended up it on a Thinkpad T440s, i5, w/ 12GB RAM and 2 SSDs.
4th attempt: See 1st attempt.
I rebooted and tried again and everything went perfectly. Also, no problems with display resolution. I spent a lot of time trying to get things customized. As it turned out, I was making it too difficult and also expected that it would work the way most DEs work when one tries to customize them. All I seemed to do is make things worse. I actually broke it. That is something I rarely do.
For some reason, I still did not give up and decided to give it one last try. Can we call this insanity? Normally, I give a distro 2, maybe 3 tries at most to get installed, up and running.
5th attempt: This one was the charm. This time, I decided to use the “less is more” approach. I had finally figured out the different lexicon that Enlightenment uses. I guess I was enlightened, so to speak. Anyway, once I did that, things went much more smoothly. and error-free.
After installation, I ran the updates, rebooted, then started installing the programs I normally use. The Bodhi AppCenter runs under Midori and is very easy to use. Keeping with the minimalist philosophy, there are only a few choices in each category. There are definitely less choices in the Bodhi AppCenter than the Ubuntu Mate Software Boutique. The AppCenter is pretty easy to use. When installing software through the AppCenter, the admin password needs to be entered after each application is selected for installtion. It became rather tedious very quickly.
Almost all the software I needed was installed via Synaptic. Programs that were either not in Synaptic or were too old for my liking, I was able to download from the developer’s Webste and instal iwth gdebi, or add the deveoper’s ppa to the repositories and install it via that route.
- Thinkpad T440s
- 12 GB RAM
- 1 mSATA 256 GB drive (OS, boot loader and applications installed here)
- 1 SATA 500 GB drive
- i5-4300U (4 cores) @ 2.9 GHz
- Intel Haswell Integrated Graphics
- 1920x1080 resolution
Bodhi Linux is Ubuntu 18.04 LTS using the Enlightenment desktop environment (DE) running on the Moksha windows manager. Once I got it running, I found it to be very stable, fast and not a resource hog. I have been using Bodhi on the T440s since Thursday afternoon, and it is working perfectly. No crashes or major failures.
One feature that I really like and miss in Ubuntu Mate is that a different background can be set for each workspace.
Boot up was very speedy. From GRUB menu to login screen, it took 7 seconds. After entering my password, it took only 8.5 seconds from login screen to ready-to-go desktop. Shutdown is equally as speedy at about 4 seconds from the time the shutdown button is clicked on the screen to when the system turns off.
Some Things Must Be Run As Root
There are three programs that must be run from the command line, as root:
This really bothers me. Installing software using either Synaptic or Gdebi required that either application installer be run from the command line. I don’t think it’s an Ubuntu 18.04 problem but more likely an Enlightenment problem. I use Ubuntu Mate 18.04 and I do not have the problem of having to run Synaptic or Gdebi from the command line. They work perfectly fine as GUIs.
Requiring Gparted to be run from the command line, as root, makes sense in terms of protecting the user from accidentally wiping any drives. Again, this is an application that Ubuntu Mate18.04 lets users run by clicking a menu option, as long as one has the root password.
There may be other programs that have that same requirement, but I haven’t run across them yet. Note that these nits are not enough for me to not want to use Bodhi. I don’t install software every day nor do I partition drives frequently.
Overall, I found Bodhi Linux 5.0 worked well once I figured it out. Yes, the configuration is definitely different from what I am used to (Ubuntu Mate). It ran well, and I was able to put all the applications on that I use and they worked flawlessly. I also found that it is very resource light. If you have a system that has 4 or 8 GB, you will be very surprised at how well your applications will run.
The bottom line is that I have put it on the T440s and will keep it on there for now. It’s working like a champ and very stable. Just be aware that with Bodhi, like any distro, YMMV.