The latest Debian-based distro doesn’t break new ground, so why is it stealing the limelight from Ubuntu?
The Debian-based distribution MX Linux has announced the release of MX Linux 21 version 21.2, dubbed “Wildflower”. The update continues the MX tradition of simplicity.
An “update” of Wildflower for MX Linux
The developers hyped the release in an official MX Linux blog post:
MX-21.2 is the second update to our MX-21 release, consisting of bug fixes, kernel, and application updates since our original MX-21 release. If you are already running MX-21, there is no need to reinstall it.
The developers emphasized that all existing users of the distro had to do was run the package manager to get the latest version.
What’s new in MX 21.2?
As the developers mentioned, MX 21.2 comes with a number of improvements. The “Advanced Hardware Support” (AHS) variant uses the Linux 5.18 kernel, while the other versions use the 5.10 kernel. The system in general is based on Debian 11, codenamed “Buster”.
The installer app has received bug fixes, and the MX Tweak app has the ability to turn Bluetooth on and off, as well as customize the location of the Xfce file dialog buttons. Other tools exist to modify boot options, retrieve system information for help requests, and automatically reboot the system when taking snapshots. The system will also make sure there is enough disk space left before updating the kernel.
Interested users can download the Xfce, KDE and Fluxbox based versions from the blog post or from the MX Linux download page.
A crowd-pleasing update keeps it simple
While there doesn’t seem to be anything groundbreaking in the latest version of MX Linux, the system updates should please distro users and perhaps attract new ones. MX Linux is currently the most popular Linux distribution on DistroWatch in terms of visits to its home page. While this may mask current usage, as many Linux users bypass the home page and download updates to their systems directly, it may show how much attention Linux distributions currently receive.
MX Linux currently outperforms Ubuntu in terms of page views by a significant margin, making its popularity a major setback for distributions that have more corporate support. The popularity of MX Linux shows that Linux is still a grassroots phenomenon, at least on the desktop.
MX Linux has attracted a lot of support by keeping the system simple, aiming for a “middleweight desktop”. It seems that’s what many Linux users are craving as mainstream distributions become more and more complex. Users may want something simpler.
MX shows the flexibility of Debian
The release of MX Linux shows how flexible the Debian base of the distribution is. It is already the basis for many popular offshoots, including Ubuntu. There are Debian derivatives for almost any task that users can think of.