MX Linux Review – A Debian Based OS for Linux Beginners

Are you a Linux newbie or an intermediate user looking to try out a powerful, user-friendly, and simple Linux distribution with applications that work out of the box? Then MX Linux is just what you might be looking for.

Based on Debian’s Stable branch, MX Linux is a powerful midweight desktop-oriented Linux distribution with a focus on simplicity and ease of use, while at the same time being resource-friendly.

MX Linux is a collaborative venture between Antix, a fast and lightweight Debian-based Linux distribution, and former MEPIS communities. It is a hugely popular Linux distribution and, by the time of publishing this guide, it ranks No. 1 in distrowatch.

MX Linux Appearance

MX Linux comes in three distinct editions: XFCE, KDE, and Fluxbox. XFCE comes as the standard edition. It is elegant, resource-friendly, and provides an extensive collection of themes, wallpapers, and icon sets. It also supports a wide range of older laptops which low specifications and modern PCs.

MX Linux XFCE Desktop
MX Linux XFCE Desktop

The MX KDE edition provides powerful features that you would find in the KDE Plasma environment such as the Dolphin file manager, and KDE Connect. It also provides additional wallpapers, themes, icon sets, and MX Tools similar to what the XFCE provides.

MX Linux KDE Desktop
MX Linux KDE Desktop

The Fluxbox edition is a blend of speed, elegance, and low resource usage. It’s a lightweight version that has low graphical requirements and is ideal for both new and older systems with low computational power or specifications. In addition, it also provides multiple unique Apps to liven up the user experience.

MX Linux Fluxbox Desktop
MX Linux Fluxbox Desktop

MX Linux Default Applications

When installed, MX Linux provides a bevy of applications that work out-of-the-box, which include:

  • Firefox browser
  • LibreOffice
  • Conky
  • GIMP
  • Thunderbird
  • PDF Arranger
  • VLC Media player
  • Clementine music player
  • LuckyBackup (Backup and Sync tool)
  • antiX Advert Blocker

Common to all the editions is the MX Tools. These are tools that are specifically designed for MX Linux to simplify common tasks. Some were forked from existing AntiX applications while some were borrowed from external sources.

These tools fall under the following categories:

  • Live
  • Maintenance
  • Setup
  • Sofware
  • Utilities
MX Linux Tools
MX Linux Tools

MX Linux 21 – Latest Release

The Current release of MX Linux is MX Linux 21, codenamed ‘WildFlower’. It was released on October 21, 2021, and is based on Debian 11BullsEye‘. It is available in 32 bit and 64 bit for XFCE and Fluxbox editions and 64-bit for KDE Plasma.

The XFCE edition also provides an ISO for ‘Advanced Hardware Support’ for the most recent hardware, firmware, and newer graphic drivers. It’s especially recommended if you are running AMD Radeon RX graphics, AMD Ryzen, and 9th/10th/11th generation of Intel Processor.

MX Linux 21
MX Linux 21

MX Linux 21 comes with the following key enhancements:

  • MX-Comfort default theming, with dark variants.
  • An MX-Tour displaying an overview of each desktop environment.
  • Xfce 4.16, KDE Plasma 5.20, fluxbox 1.3.7 with mx-fluxbox 3.0 configs.
  • Improved UEFI live system boot menus.
  • Improved support for Realtek Wi-Fi drivers.
  • Mesa Vulkan Graphic drivers are now installed by default.
  • New and updated applications, and icon sets.

MX Linux Installation Requirements

To install MX Linux, ensure that your system meets the following minimum requirements:

  • 1 GB RAM (2GB recommended).
  • 5 GB of hard disk space. (20 GB recommended).
  • If you are running MX Linux using a live medium using a USB drive, ensure that you have 4GB of free space..
  • SoundBlaster, AC97 or HDA-compatible sound card..
  • Modern i686 Intel or AMD processor..

The installation of MX Linux is quite a breeze. Simply head over to the Official MX Linux download page and download your preferred ISO image. Once downloaded, create a bootable USB drive which you will then use to boot into your PC and install MX Linux.

Closing Thoughts

MX Linux is a perfect choice for beginners in Linux who are looking for simplicity and a user-friendly desktop experience. It’s not hard to adapt especially for users who are familiar with Ubuntu and Debian. With MX Linux, users get a wide range of software applications that work out of the box and are required on a day-to-day basis.

While it looks a bit dated, its primary focus is simplicity rather than an elegant desktop experience. This is a Linux flavor that makes everyone feel comfortable while using it. Give it a test run and let us know how you find it.

Posted by Contributor