Distro Walk – MX Linux » Linux Magazine

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A look at the user-friendly, vertically integrated community distro.

Since 2019, MX Linux has had the most page views on DistroWatch. The reason is not hard to find. A collaboration between developers of the defunct MEPIS Linux and the minimalist antiX, MX Linux is an example of a vertically integrated distribution, meaning a one-stop solution for an installation, including hardware, support, and cloud services. In fact, it appears to be the first vertically integrated community distro, most of the other examples being corporate retailers of original software such as Purism, Slimbook, System76, and TUXEDO Computers. Moreover, MX Linux appears to be an effort to recapture the user-friendliness of MEPIS in the first 13 years of the millennium. From either perspective, MX Linux largely succeeds, although not without raising a question or two.

Veteran users may recall MEPIS as one of a handful of distributions such as Corel, Progeny, and Stormix that were designed to make Debian easier to use. Founded by Warren Woodford, MEPIS was particularly noted for its installer in the years before the first version of the current Debian installer was released in 2005. For many, it was their first introduction to Debian. As a complement to its installer, MEPIS also included proprietary codecs, as well as an array of desktop utilities and tools. Originally, antiX was a derivative of MEPIS, although currently, like MEPIS did, it now uses Debian Stable. Like MEPIS, antiX is also known for its unique desktop tools. The partnership behind MX Linux is a natural one, with the founding distros matching well.

Installation and Resources

Before installing, you should examine MX Linux’s vertical integration. The project’s website displays four tabs:

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