If you have been watching my streams this past week you will know that I have been testing Feren OS Next. Feren OS Next is a customized Plasma desktop on the Ubuntu 18.04 base. Feren is a lone developer who has some distinct customization in mind. His first distro release, Feren OS, is a customized Cinnamon desktop based on Linux Mint.
I have to say I have rather enjoyed Feren Next. I am not a big fan of KDE, some of the settings are daunting, but I have found a little easier time setting up my desktop evironment. Before I talk more on that let me get past the installation.
Feren Next uses the Calamares installer. Four of the last five distros I have tested had used Calamares. Feren installs in about 10 minutes but each time I have installed a distro using calamares I have had issues with boot. Feren was no different. Not any fault of Feren, the calamares installer fails to add a boot flag, which is now easy for me to fix but for a new user it could be a deal breaker. Once I set the boot flag Feren booted up and I was greeted with and nice looking logon screen.
I had recently reviewed Deepin OS, and a short time ago Zorin 15. Both distros are beautiful from the start and Feren Next is right up there, if not a step above in looks and style. Feren gives you access to Global Themes in the Welcome Screen and right on the desktop. The Welcome Screen gives you the ability to add codecs and drivers without having to find the settings panel. I installed Feren Next on my HP 8460 all intel laptop so no special drivers were needed.
Feren adds his own special Global Themes to his distro. Icons are beautful and fit this distro. You have to take a look at his customized menu that resembles Window 10, although I think it’s much better, no bloat apps. Window annimation is nice and fluid.
Outside of the nice themes some of the things Feren has done is replace the Dolphiin file manager with Nemo. Discover is not the software center but is a customized Gnome software center, or Store as he calls it. The software updater is from Linux Mint. One thing I really liked was he created a Web Browser Manager where you have access to install 8 browsers (Vivaldi comes installed as the main browser of choice and is one of the 8) in a quick, easy way.
Feren Next has given me a different look at Plasma. Next is now on Release Canidate 2. The eye candy of Feren, along with the stable Ubuntu base and software, makes for an interesting distro that I think everyone should take a look at. Compared to the beautiful look of Deepin, which looses a lot being on Debian Stable because of older software packages, Feren offers looks and usability. Will it take me away from my Peppermint, no, I still like the simplicity of XFCE and Pepp just suits me but I can recommend it.