SimplyMEPIS 8.5.01 Review
Desktop Training - Desktop Reviews

I've tried several versions of the SimplyMEPIS but never really got hooked on the visual appearance leaving me wondering what beginners find so appealing in SimplyMEPIS. With the release of SimplyMEPIS 8.5.01 I decided this was the perfect time to give it a try and see what all the fuss is about.

SimplyMEPIS 8.5.01 features the Linux kernel 2.6.32 and KDE 4.3.4 but the press release states that SimplyMEPIS 8.5 "retains much of the familiar MEPIS/KDE look and feel, so users can slowly become familiar with the new features"

The SimplyMEPIS 8.5.01 installation was pretty straightforward.

SimplyMEPIS 8.5.01 Installation

This matching screen shows while SimplyMEPIS 8.5.01 is loading and unloading.

SimplyMEPIS 8.5.01 Loading

Here you can see various options on the SimplyMEPIS 8.5.01 boot menu.

SimplyMEPIS 8.5.01 Boot Menu


Here's the SimplyMEPIS login screen.

SimplyMEPIS 8.5.01 Login Screen


SimplyMEPIS 8.5.01 loading.

SimplyMEPIS 8.5.01 Loading Desktop

SimplyMEPIS 8.5.01 features a blue desktop that matches with the splash screen, login window and various other parts of the desktop. I think this is essential yet some distros don't do this. Also, although this might be mostly an upstream improvement, I really liked the newer style of menu and how it is integrated into SimplyMEPIS without confusing sections and levels in the menu.

SimplyMEPIS 8.5.01  Desktop

The configurations tools are very impressive because they allow newbies to skip the command line. This is likely one reason why SimplyMEPIS is big with beginners. Network Assistant, System Assistant, User Assistant, X-windows Assistant, and now the new Welcome Center are a few of the configuration tools available.

SimplyMEPIS GUI  Desktop Configuration Tools

The SimplyMEPIS 8.5.01 Network Assistant

SimplyMEPIS Network Assistant

The SimplyMEPIS 8.5.01 System Assistant

SimplyMEPIS System Assistant

The SimplyMEPIS 8.5.01 User Assistant

SimplyMEPIS User Assistant

The SimplyMEPIS 8.5.01 X-Window Assistant

SimplyMEPIS X-Window Assistant

Before using SimplyMEPIS this time around, I wasn't sure what was so exciting about this Debian-based distro. Now I know. Two reasons SimplyMEPIS 8.5.01 might make a great distro for newbies is it offers GUI configuration tools and also a huge package selection due to it's Debian base. The visual appearance is getting there and I think that this most recent version is an improvement in the overall look and feel but still may have some catching up to do when compared to other top distros.