GoblinX is a Slackware-based Linux distribution that features a highly customized desktop. According to Distrowatch, the primary goal of GoblinX is to create a more pleasant and functional desktop, standardizing all icons and themes to make it easy for novice users to learn about available applications.
GoblinX is currently offered in 4 flavors: The GoblinX Premium - the most complete edition of GoblinX but is not available for free. The GoblinX Standard - this edition provides some of the most popular applications and features. The GoblinX Mini - same as Standard edition but uses XFCE desktop manager and doesn't have as many applications as the Standard edition. The GoblinX Micro - provides only a few applications and uses Fluxbox window manager.
I’m quite intrigued with this Brazilian-made distribution upon reading several positive reviews, so I tried it myself. I got the ISO installer of GoblinX 2.6 “Mini” which is only about 153MB in size. The download page can be found HERE. I then tested it on VMWare Server which was installed on my Xubuntu workstation. I used the default 256MB of VM RAM, 8GB of virtual storage, and utilized only a single processor of my Intel Pentium D 3.4 GHz machine. So, here’s my own view of GoblinX.
GoblinX is a Live CD and its installer can be accessed using the main menu, and then clicking the "HD Installer" icon. After it, a unique custom-made installer, none like I’ve seen so far will appear. I find it a little bit buggy but I managed to stay out of trouble. I installed the system using the default settings. However, I configured the root and the user password first. A few clicks later, the installer takes care of copying the necessary applications and then set up my hardware without any problems. After the installation, I rebooted and found out that the Ethernet was instantly working together with the audio, CDROM, and USB. I also changed the screen resolution without having any setback.
Look and Feel:
Just read the title of this article and that’s my impression of GoblinX in terms of looks. It utilizes an XFCE desktop and a polished and customized default theme called MurrinaGoblix. All the artworks and the overall desktop appearance are just pleasing to the eye. I know that anyone can appreciate and say that they look very artistic. The developer really took some time to make GoblinX attractive.
Despite its size, GoblinX is loaded with some valuable software applications out-of-the-box. It has office programs like Abiword and Gnumeric Spreadsheet; a popular image editor called Gimp; Firefox web browser; Audacious audio player and Movie Player for entertainment. Flash and other important non-free packages were not installed by default. However, plenty of extra software applications can be easily added using Gslapt Package Manager; it functions almost the same as Debian’s apt-get.
Minus the minor predicament during installation, I would say that GoblinX is pretty steady as with majority of Slackware-based distribution. It is also very fast and responsive, and I’ve never encountered any more trouble while running and testing it for several days. I can also assume that it can run stable and secure for an extended period of time which is ideal for those who want a reliable OS for productive purposes.
GoblinX 2.6 “Mini” Edition is honestly worth the try. I would recommend it to both beginners as well as advanced users. It is very lightweight and fast, which would be good for low-end computers. It has great hardware detection and Slackware-like stability. Those who have higher end machines and want a more complete desktop should get the Standard Edition instead, I think. All things considered, I will without doubt give GoblinX a “thumbs up”.
It can’t be that hard to fall in love with GoblinX, because it’s simply beautiful.