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MX Linux 21 – Filled with all Ingredients

MX Linux is one of the most powerful Linux distributions today it’s a fusion of the solid Debian-based and ingenious innovation by MX developers that delivers a high-performance computing experience. MX Linux 21 is the kind of Linux distribution that combines flexibility and ease of use so that it appeals to both new and expert users alike.

In the old days, when we talked about the new Linux operating system, the experimental side of it was more practiced and you could completely modify Linux to suit your needs.

No matter the desktop you chose, you could tweak it until it was almost unrecognizable. Somewhere along the way, developers realized such levels of flexibility made the Linux desktop too much of a challenge for users.

That’s why later in the GNOME shell where the developers have already locked some things so that the modification is within a certain range but desktops like Xfce keep all the keys of modification in the user’s hand in that old practice.

On a rare occasion, the distribution would be released that offered the best of both worlds one that was simple to use, but remarkably flexible. That’s exactly what MX Linux is a Linux distribution that caters to every type of user.

The Debian-based operating system is developed by both the AntiX and MEPIS communities and later all the packages and repositories are maintained by MX communities.

I’ve been using MX Linux for a long time and it’s one of my favorite Linux distros it’s not just me MX Linux has a huge fan base and it even ranks number one on distro watch. The MX tools are power tools created exclusively for MX and they give you much deeper control over what you can do with your computer.

We found three types of desktop environments the default Xfce desktop, KDE PLASMA desktop, and the Fluxbox. They all are their specific strengths and features and are used by millions around the world.

History of MX Linux:

MX Linux began its journey when both the antiX and MEPIS communities agreed to develop a new operating system. First, they created iso images from the optical image system and then came up with the live USB/DVD system.

MX Linux was first released in 2014. It is a combination of efforts from antiX and MEPIS Linux distributions, both of which were suited for old hardware users back in the day. The name MX came from the first letter of MEPIS (M) + the last letter of antiX (X) thus symbolizing their collaboration.

The two groups found common ground and released the first MX, MX-14, in 2014. It has always been based on the Debian Stable branch and has always featured the Xfce desktop.

It received its DistroWatch page as a separate distribution with the release of the first Public Beta of MX-16 on November 2, 2016.

Then gradually from 2017 to 2021, they released MX-16.1, 17, 17.1, 18, 18.1, 18.2, 18.3, 19, 19.1, 19.2, 19.2 KDE, 19.3, 19.4, and lastly MX-21 versions.

MX- Linux 21 uses Debian Bullseye, Xfce 4.16, and the 5.10 kernel, in both 32- and 64-bit versions. There are also 32- and 64-bit Fluxbox versions (which were added for the first time for this release) as well as a 64-bit KDE version. MX-21 is supported until June 2024.

It’s a mid-weight operating system designed to combine an elegant and efficient desktop with simple configuration, high stability, solid performance, and a medium-sized footprint.

If you’ll be using MX Linux on a newer machine, such as one that includes use AMD Ryzen, AMD Radeon RX graphics, or 9th/10th/11th generation Intel hardware, make sure to download the AHS version.

Different desktop Environments:

MX Linux is a family of operating systems that are designed to combine elegant and efficient desktops with high stability and solid performance.MX tools make this Linux distro more powerful than anything out there and the real genius lies in how beginner-friendly these tools also give you superior performance.

MX’s graphical tools provide an easy way to do a wide variety of tasks, while the Live USB and snapshot tools inherited from antiX add impressive portability and remastering capabilities.

XFCE Desktop:

By default, Xfce was their flagship desktop environment that offers fast and reliable performance. It uses low-resource, while still being attractive and user-friendly. It augments the native Xfce configuration with unique features:

  • Modular core components for the full functionality expected from a modern desktop environment.
  • A collection of powerful and handy “MX Tools” that cover a range of actions from Boot Options to Repository management.
  • A fast Package Installer covering Popular Applications, MX Test Repo, Debian Backports, and Flatpaks.
  • An extensive collection of wallpapers, themes, cookies, and icon sets for customization.

KDE PLASMA Desktop:

KDE is well known for its advanced desktop “Plasma” and a wide variety of powerful applications. MX Linux – KDE has the following features:

  • Excellent tools such as Dolphin file manager and KDEConnect ease common tasks.
  • MX Tools such as Snapshot or Package Installer are at your fingertips.
  • Activities with different icons, wallpapers, and general look and feel can be set up.
  • Extra themes, icon packs, cursors, widgets, and splash screens are ready to be enabled.

FLUXBOX:

Fluxbox unites the speed, low resource use, and elegance of Fluxbox with the toolset from MX Linux. The result is a lightweight and fully functional system that has many unique features:

  • Extended hardware support under low graphical requirements.
  • The restricted base default package set gives the user easy control over components.
  • Many unique apps ease and enliven the user experience.
  • Native dock and icon management tools join the tint2 panel for desktop customization.

Hardware Requirements:

MX Linux is all about simplicity and productivity, the default Xfce desktop has a very minimalistic design and less resource-hungry compared to other distros. The other two KDE and FLUXBOX desktops are also very fluid and required more RAM than the Xfce but bring some graphical improvements.

The minimal system requirements to run and install the MX Linux is…

  • A modern i686 Intel or AMD processor.
  • Memory – 2GB and more.
  • Storage – 20 GB and more.
  • A CD/DVD drive (and BIOS capable of booting from that drive), or a live USB (and. BIOS capable of booting from USB)
  • Active Internet Connection for update and upgrade.

The User Interface of MX Linux:

MX Linux is available in three variants KDE Plasma, Xfce, and Fluxbox. MX Linux 21 KDE version gives you KDE plasma 5.20 desktop that has undergone some modifications here and there.

The desktop has been tweaked to be sleeker in line with the MX feel and also be more efficient performance. The bottom panel is highly functional and gives you full control, the menu is very minimal and feels very less intrusive.

When working we get a nice informative clock the default MX desktop setup on KDE  looks wise is great and very well organized. it’s fully usable and in some things more user-friendly than many distros out there but it looks quite plain out of the box.

You can customize this desktop with themes icon packs and other things but a new wallpaper is a must, the performance over the shiny stuff in this system is very lean and uses not more than 500 MB of ram when idle.

Moving on to the Xfce version here we get Xfce 4.16 in its simple and high-performance form with a touch of MX. The main panel here is arranged vertically by default but it can be changed very easily to be better suited to your liking.

The desktop here is clean and simple MX Linux is one of my favorite Xfce-based distros this is raw power right here. I enjoy using MX Linux the simplicity we get here is refreshing and the whole setup on both plasma and Xfce is a major productivity booster.

The color scheme the icons and all the visual elements are very subtle and don’t distract you from your work this is a major aspect to consider with user interfaces from a productivity point of view. We have found MX Linux to be fantastic as far as productivity is concerned.

There’s also a Fluxbox version that’s supposed to be even leaner but I highly recommend the Xfce version which is the right combination of high performance and a high degree of usability with a few tweaks here and there.

Performance of MX Linux:

MX can be made to look so much better than what we get out of the box but as long as you want a productivity-oriented system on which you want to get some work done MX Linux is one of the best choices.

MX is a blazing fast operating system it has a minimal overhead which allows you to deliver a snappy experience even on older desktops and laptops compared to a distro running the gnome-desktop.

This will be a visibly faster Xfce version, in particular, will deliver the best possible performance you can get out of your hardware and if you have an older machine you will get a very good performance here the idle ram usage is also very less.

On my old laptop gnome-desktop struggles to run smoothly and a good amount of time passes between me clicking on an icon and the application starting up but when I run MX on the same 10-year-old laptop it becomes snappy.

You won’t get 60 fps on top games just because of MX Linux on heavy computational tasks like gaming and compiling your computer will perform as it did before maybe with minute performance gains, but your computer will get much more responsive speeds for day day-to-day tasks like opening the browser, editing a dock, switching between them will improve significantly.

For performance, MX Linux 21 scores major points both KDE Plasma and Xfce versions are fantastic with the Xfce version being particularly impressive in the performance department.

Stability of MX Linux:

The all-new MX Linux 21 is based on Debian 11 bullseye which is the current stable release. so with MX, we are getting world-class stability and this system is highly dependable and requires zero maintenance.

Everything on MX is tested extensively and proved dependable thanks to its Debian stable heritage. This is great for software professionals students businesses and MX can be deployed in places like schools and libraries where computers tend to be just moderately powerful and require very little maintenance.

Once you install the software you never need to bother about updates and stuff for years because MX has a huge advantage over Debian.

The Custom MX tools create all the differences:

Here on MX Linux, we get a collection of specialized tools that come under the umbrella of MX tools, they are some advanced operations that give you powerful control over the system and made it very easy to use through a graphical
interface.

You can make Linux live USB sticks with exhaustive options, take system snapshots in case you mess something up and want to roll back then there is boot repair which is invaluable for people who try out different operating systems on the same computer.

Nvidia driver installer is another convenient tool it detects your Nvidia GPU model downloads install and configures the proprietary drivers.

When you consider that even today there are Linux distros on which installing Nvidia drivers is not a one-click operation. There are Linux distros that break after installing Nvidia drivers considering these you gotta love MX Linux.

Apart from that, MX tools are containing a lot of useful programs that can be used for cloning disks and partitions, recovering files, searching for viruses and rootkits, hardware benchmarking, wiping drives, resetting Windows passwords, updating firmware, FTP, remoting, and so on.

There are many more cool things here overall with the help of these exclusive tools MX Linux allows everybody even Linux newcomers to perform some advanced but sometimes necessary operations very very easily.

MX Package Installer:

It’s a combination of tons of different applications and packages, you get popular applications in different categories both from repos and non-repo sources.

You get popular open-source and propitiatory applications like Google chrome, OBS studio, a variety of office suites, and more available with a touch of a checkbox.

Apart from the popular applications, you get additional tabs for stable repos, MX test repos, Debian backports, and Flatpaks provided by Flathub.

A bit older version of repositories:

Although the stability and usability are great Debian stable is one of the most solid extensively tested and dependable operating systems. It does have some preference issues. The software versions in the Debian stable repositories tend to be a tad bit older.

While these packages tend to be more dependable, more bug-free, and functional some Linux users describe them as ancient MX Linux is still based on Debian stable.

But it is much more flexible with software installation, it gives you a wider range of choices by allowing you to install software from Debian stable, Debian backports, MX test repositories, and even flatpaks.

the latter three repositories have much newer versions of the software and with all these huge pools of software you can find pretty much any software you might want but one major drawback of using Debian stable that is substantially old versions of packages.

Flatpak solves this issue and using flatpaks you’ll be getting the latest versions of all the software then MX package installer is highly organized and simple it’s very easy to use. I highly appreciate the simplicity and the freedom it gives software stability and delivery are just awesome.

A Quick Installation Procedure:

Another department where the OS scores huge numbers is a simple and hassle-free installation procedure. MX Linux has a quick installation procedure.

  • Download the ISO file of the version that you want you to get to choose between the KDE PLASMA, Xfce, and Fluxbox.
  • Go to mxlinux.org or Click Here to download the ISO. Choose from Direct mirrors, torrents, or mirrors.
  • Then flash the iso onto a USB stick live boot into the USB and initiate the installer.
  • You can use the regular installation option to let MX use the entire hard disk or customize the installation as you want MX Linux gives you full control here.
  • The whole installation process takes a maximum of 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Configure keyboard, default user account and root account, time/date, sound settings and wrap up the installer then reboot.
  • After reboot, you will be treated with a new login screen for your device. Type username and password and you are ready to go.

You can use the neofetch command to probe for the OS and system information.

The Bottom Line:

The overall balance of being lightweight and solid Debian stability, superior control over your system, and delivering a performance-oriented experience makes MX Linux one of the favorite Linux distros and we highly recommend it.

MX provides fine control over your system and it is suitable for both Linux newcomers as well as experienced users.

Combining hardware support, low resources consumption, and a huge number of utility apps and deep functionality options creates a wonderful Linux distribution for the average user.

MX Linux 21 is based on the newest Debian stable and offers KDE PlASMA desktop in addition to Xfce all the more reasons to try out this fantastic distro even people who have used MX Linux in the past might want to revisit this new release it’s amazing.

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