Although MEPIS is effectively a commercial Linux distribution, it does also release a freely available community edition in the form of the SimplyMEPIS live CD. This is what I downloaded and booted on my Dell Latitude X1 laptop computer (Intel Pentium M 1.10GHz CPU, Intel 915 video, Intel 2200BG wireless, Broadcom BCM5751 network, 1.25 GB memory). The first thing I noticed was the very nice GRUB menu and boot screen. There were plenty of options in the menu, but I think some should be moved out into a sub menu instead. If you are aiming your distribution towards beginners, then in my opinion there should be only two entries; the default which automatically detects the video settings and a basic option designed to work on everything.

mepis

To illustrate what I mean, the default entry on this live CD is Default, but then there are also options for Alternate (try if Default fails), VESA (alternate display driver or for virtual machine), Failsafe (minimum options, small display), 60Hz (for digital monitors), and 75Hz which warns: “CAREFUL! May damage digital monitors.” Why make it complicated? The inclusion of Memtest is always a good idea, but it’s a pity there is no option to verify the contents of the CD. More…

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