Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Announcing Bodhi Linux

You may have noticed the blog has been rather quiet the last couple of weeks, this is because I have been working on a project. Last month I posted details about an E17 LiveDVD I was working on that was modeled after PinguyOS. It weighed in at a 1.4 gig download that was jam packed with every application you might ever use. It was also slightly crude in some aspects (such as the Enlightenment desktop it contained was compiled and installed from source).

What this DVD accomplished was teaching me the ins and outs of working with Enlightenment on Ubuntu and building a remastered disc. The result? Today I would like to announce a project I have been working on with the help of a small team:

Bodhi is a minimalistic, Linux distro that uses the Enlightenment desktop. By minimalistic I mean Bodhi comes as a 350~meg download and only includes the following pieces of software by default:
  • Enlightenment
  • Firefox
  • LXTerminal
  • Elementary Nautilus
  • Synaptic
  • RemasterSYS
The Bodhi is built from an Ubuntu 10.04 minimal disc, but you will notice it does contain some Ubuntu 10.10 features. Backported via the Bodhi Repository, are the 2.6.35 kernel and the newer Ubiquity installer. Also enabled by default are the Ubuntu partner repository, Medibuntu, and GetDeb.

This is the first release of Bodhi and it is of alpha quality. This is a work in progress and I am looking for feedback on what is done so far (so if you are expecting something perfect go elsewhere). As I am the only one developing the disc itself there is currently only a 32 bit version built and you can get it as a download from our downloads page. If you would like more information on the project check out our about page or stop by #bodhi on Freenode IRC.

~Jeff Hoogland


  1. Personally, I like starting out with the basics and installing what I need from there. (Ubuntu) There's a definite use for minimalistic distros especially on limited or older hardware.

    Linux carries that advantage that you have the option of only having just what you need on your installation.

  2. I love the choice of name, "Bodhi." Although I admit I had to look it up Wikipedia to find out what it meant :)

    Does it have something like the Ubuntu Software Center to add and remove programs easily?

  3. You can install the Ubuntu Software Center if you would like for the time being. The current plan is to have a web interface for installing any application you might need (similar to getdeb.net). This should be live within a few weeks, if you are curious what software we are going to make easy to find/install we have composed a list - http://is.gd/hnDd0

  4. Well, not sure if I'm ready to try yet another lightweight OS, but I must say, the design of the web page is awesome! You got yourself an awesome web designer.
    I mostly use Crunchbang as it's super lightweight and stable - for linux. Especially now that it's based on Debian.
    I'll probably try yours out sometime. Certainly Enlightment is sweet, but damn everytime I try it, it's just unstable. Tried it in that super pretty version from the east - forget the name, tried macpup 511. They look REALLY pretty. But takes some time to configure and it seems to break too easily. Like constant seg faults - that's what I've seen consistently. So if it was tight, yup, I'd do it. But so far Xfce is sweet, tight, stable as heck - and built on Debian squeeze from Crunchbang - it's still unbeatable.
    But ... having said all that, I most likely will give your distro a spin. And I hope it goes places. I for one, would LOVE to see enlightenment go places - a truly wonderful concept - eye candy, fast, & lightweight - a great combo. Now all we need is the last element - stability. IMHO

  5. Why is there logo in the Ferarri type face? Does the team need design help?

  6. Don't want to be an ass, but I am a little appalled that you consider 350 megs minimal.
    In other news: I thought it was a reference to Bhodi Li from Photon (http://www.snowcrest.net/fox/photon/index.htm), but I guess I am just an old geek...

  7. Hi Jeff. Where can I post problems?

  8. @meanpt For now just email them to me (JeffHoogland at Linux dot com)

    We should have user forums setup within a week.

  9. Best idea for a distro ever! Minimal, (yes, 300-something mb def qualifies!), E17 and build your own. I`m loving it, sweet theme work, Jeff!

  10. This is sooo great. I have long been impressed with and fascinated by the work of the enlightenment crew; but the idea of a minimal install of GNU/Linux and enlightenment has long been outside my expertise. (Hell; I do not understand why anyone would deviate from Debian when building a new distro, but whatiknow!?) This rocks!
    Oh, BTW - granted I am very tired and thus a danger to any computer within my fingertips - BUT: How does one install?
    Wait a minute ... now I know why Ubuntu!
    Good luck. And when I can quit being a day laborer I will send some bucks.

  11. @Anonymous I know,right? I`m on Bodhi now and with Chromium browser this thing is lightning-fast. Jeff got E17 right!

  12. Hey, Jeff. I just checked out the list, looks great! Several choices I already installed: Chromium, VLC, Conky. Speaking of Conky, any chance of a pre-made model, ala Pinguy? (I suck at Conky making, lol). Maybe even a Bodhi-related one involving that beautiful green? XD

  13. Trying out new avatar, lol.

  14. This idea is nice, but for intermediate and advanced users I would recommend Arch Linux. It is minimal after install, but contains a lot of software to be installed. Their user forums are and wiki are also very helpful which is nice, because their users like to try new things out including bleeding edge software.

  15. While I like Arch, what little mainstream support there is for Linux primarily exists for Ubuntu and/or Fedora. Also, configuring enlightenment can be a daunting task for many users (even ones with some experience under their belt).

  16. @Anonymous: But Arch doesn`t have E17, right?

  17. Amen. I tried configuring E17 once, then my head exploded.

  18. I tried this in a vortual machine and I really like it so I installed it in my netbook. But now when I boot the computer it freezes after a couple of seconds. I had lubuntu installed previously and it worked great so I really don't know what's wrong.

  19. @Nic When is the system freezing? During the boot or after it makes it to the desktop? If it is the latter please try dropping to a tty login (ctrl+alt+f1) and run a

    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

    If that doesn't help, could you provide the specs of the netbook?

  20. I am thinking of putting this on my t101. I assume you have tested it on yours. How does it run? also...what is your distro of choice (now) on your t101? I have played with a couple...nothing sticking yet.

  21. Nice distro. I've tried several E17 before but this is one of the best. Good work. And it's pretty functional for an alpha.

  22. @jiro09 Runs like a dream. Posting this from my t101mt running Bodhi. Most all of the T101MT hardware works with 0 extra configuration on Bodhi (function keys, touch screen) There are some kinks with 0.1.1 but it is pretty solid as Gus said. If you have at least some Linux exp they are not show stoppers.

  23. It`s ruined me for E17-distro-hopping. Hell, it`s ruined me on distro-hopping, period. Why bother? It`s stupid-fast like Peppermint, it`s beautiful, thanks to the killer implementation of enlightenment made by Jeff and it`s roll your own, in a matter of speaking. Perfect storm!

  24. well i am convinced...I'll put it on this weekend. what sort of kinks? relatively new to linux (would be a "dual booter" to you) but i can google. so i should survive. :)

  25. @jiro09 My alpha 3 (0.1.2) disc will be up for download at some point in the next 16 hours or so (depends on how many times my upload stalls out). This one fixes all the kinks to date that I am aware of :)

  26. ? Mine`s doing great, should I reinstall?

  27. @Randy 0.1.2 is posted now. A changelog will be up on the website later today, you can always manually apply the fixes I have added if you don't want to reinstall.

    IMO don't fix what isn't broken ;)

  28. Actually, I just did. Wow! Perfection gets better! I`ve been getting themes from the E17 website and now they all work, (think Camo Bodhi, lol). This thing is alpha? It`s already better and more stable than most finished distros, as you can tell from the ebullient praise from the DWW comments section, myself happily included. Great, great work, Jeff.

  29. I took a very quick look at 0.1.2 today. I blogged about it here: http://landorsplace.wordpress.com/

    I found a lot of issues with it on a usability level. I do understand it's in an Alpha stage though.

    Take Care and Be Well,


  30. @Landor

    Thanks for the write. All I have to say though is that 90% of your complaints/issues are about Enlightenment features themselves. To each their own, if you don't like Enlightenment - then don't use an Enlightenment based distro.

  31. Forget Landor, Jeff. He`s just a jaded burnout that doesn`t "get" new distros, as he admitted this week on Distrowatch. Now he`s crying to Vladislav about what a meanie you are for your honest answer. Time for a nap for grandpa, methinks.

  32. I'm a bit of a newby linux user as you might tell from this post. I'm trying Bodhi on a kiosk type computer, where a lot of people have access. It looks beautiful, and I've selected nice big beautiful buttons to click, as well as having the apps that come up overlap the desktop, covering those big buttons till you skoot off to another desktop. Great idea for maximizing space... My problems: I've had trouble setting it up to autoboot (or reboot, as required now and then) without a password as, when auto login is enabled, the wireless card software thingy steps in and has to be unlocked with a password.
    I've also have had difficulty installing nvidia drivers, where many seem to be available, but their use renders the system unbootable, causing some kind of endless loop on reboot! I was making an effort to install google earth, which needs the open gl drivers to operate correctly. If I could live without the nvidia drivers, this distro is the best implementation of enlightenment I've tried... It runs almost as fast as puppy linux, but with all the added eye-candy! Keep up the good work :)

  33. Your distro is beautiful for kiosk use! Except for the access the user has to all the customizing menus, and the cludge that can happen when they mess with it...
    Here's an idea for developers: how about including a 'kiosk mode', where a person managing the system can first set up all drivers and tweak Enlightenment to their liking, then lock it down, select 'kiosk mode' so users can't mess it up... It has to boot right into the usable desktop, with no free access to anything that would mess it up. I'm sure there is a way to do this now, but I'm also sure it isn't anything even close to a click away! A simple to set up thing like this might see a lot of use!

  34. The comment about needing a password to get on the wifi, run this command in terminal:

    rm ~/.gnome2/keyrings/default.keyring

    Then reconnect to your wifi and this time leave the password blank, and select "yes" to use unsafe storage. This way you will not need to enter a password to access you wifi keys.

    As for nVidia drivers - woof! I feel your pain. I finally installed Bodhi on my gaming system this morning and they gave me more than a little bit of grief. If you care to drop me an email, I can message you when I have an easy method for this installation worked out (hopefully by this weekend).

    A "kiosk" mode like that sounds like an AWESOME idea. I will look into seeing if Enlightenment already has a module that allows for something like this or if it is something I'd have to write up myself. If it is the latter it will be awhile, but this is something I'd like to implement eventually.

  35. Yes Shen, unetbootin works just fine for Bodhi.

  36. Hey Jeff.
    I just installed Bodhi on my Asus eee 1005PE, and must say i'm loving the speed and the beauty of this distro on my netbook.

    Only thing is that you might wanne get some documentation or atleast some notes under the download page on how to install this using usb drives. Been a while since i'v used linux so had to do some digging online before finding unetbootin.

    Keep up the good work :)

  37. Hello Jeff
    I've been following and using Bodhi since the beginning, or better, since pinguyE17.

    I understand that Bodhi is the first effort of a small and young team, that is not backed up by a big corporate, witch make it a little more difficult to get the distro known by the general public, in the beginning.

    For that reason, and considering that it's important to have a reasonable amount of users testing the first development steps, I'm leaving here 4 places where I think you could send some information about what Bodhi is, who is the team behind it, what iso are now available to test, and projects for the future.

    They have a database of all distros and email new releases to their registered members

    French language, very similar to Distrowatch. They also publish at their front page all new distro releases, providing the owners sent them the release notes.

    Daniweb have a "new stories" at their Linux forum sections, witch is adequate for announcing new distro releases.

    They have a data base with all available distros, where users can search by different criteria types. A little beat outdated today, but still used by many people.