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Deepin Linux 15.1 Detailed Review – Digging deep into Linux distro world

Applications

As discussed before, Deepin 15.1 is packaged in 2.1 GB of ISO file, but don’t expect to find lots of software’s to be available once you install the OS. But I should say that this OS comes with decent number of packages for most of the tasks. Similar to Elementary OS, Deepin developers has created their own software’s which is tightly integrated with the OS and its design philosophy.

The first software that I would like to mention here is the software store which is named as “Deepin Store”. It is beautifully done store which is very easy to use for any new user. The store is neatly categorized and with lots of graphics around. If you want to install a

Deepin Store

Deepin Store

software you can use the search functionality which provides auto-suggest of the package if its available, else you can navigate through the categories provided to the left side of the store. Once you have located the software to install, then hover your mouse pointer on the software icon, which will then display the install button. Click on to it and you can track the progress on top right corner of the store. If you want more details of the software then click on to the icon and it will take you to the page were details of the software with user review is provided. Once installed, the install button turns to ‘Open’ button which launches the software. I could not find any uninstall button, but as discussed, you can uninstall a software from the menu with a right click. The downside is that the store do not contain all the software you might be looking for. The best option to over come this issue is to use Synaptic package manager which needs to be installed via command line.

Next is the Multimedia options provided by this OS. All the videos and music files i tried to play just worked fine, thanks to the codecs packed into the installation disk. Apart from that, Deepin has developed its own video player and music players which works really fine. The movie player is a very simple border less player, and it plays all the format you throw at it. It even played a video which VLC failed to play. This player has the ability to start a video from were it was stopped. Another nifty feature is a small clock that is displayed on top right when you make the video full screen. Below the clock is a small progress bar which gives you an idea of the progress of the video without invoking the progress bar. These are really well executed user friendly features which deepin developers have integrated into this player.

When it comes to music player, Deepin developers has gone for a minimalist but very functional music player. You can see a winamp like inspiration behind this player. This player supports theming, a mini player mode were playlist wont be displayed, and an equalizer. I could also see lyrics option, but i didn’t get a chance to test it.

Now for the office suite, instead of bundling Libre Office like most of the other distros do, Deepin provides WPS office (previously known as Kingsoft Office). This is a office suite, which is developed by Chinese company and now you know why the developers went for WPS office suite instead of Libre Office. WPS is in no way inferior to Libre Office, and it provides better support for Microsoft Office documents. Users comfortable with MS Office, will feel at home with WPS since it provide a similar interface. If you are a Libre Office user, it might take some time to get used to the interface, but WPS can give you all the tools that you expect from an office suite. If you still want to install Libre Office, you can always do that from the store.

WPS Writer

WPS Writer

For internet browsing, the default browser installed is Chrome. For email, Thunderbird is provided. There are no chat or torrent applications installed and again you will have to get it from the store.

For graphics, the only option is an image viewer which can open images in full screen, rotate image and got a slide show  option. There are no image editor’s like GIMP installed.

Apart from these software’s, some notable software’s provided by Deepin (and developed by deepin developers) are Deepin Cloud Print, Deepin Terminal and Deepin Screenshot. For the file manager Deepin currently uses the Gnome file manager but it might get changed to Deepin File Manager with the next major release. Deepin also provide an integration of web based applications and games. In the Deepin Store, you can find such web applications which you can install and use it like a desktop application (but will require an internet connection). If you are not still satisfied, Deepin also provide a Deepin Special Crossover Office. Yes a fully functional Crossover Office is installed by default and you can install (supported) windows software using that. For gamer’s, Steam is installed by default.

Deepin install all the necessary software that is required for a casual user. Deepin store is a treasure box of software’s which also allows you to install even web application’s and  web games apart from other regular software’s. Another highlight is the fully functional cross over office so that you do not miss any (supported) windows software’s on Linux. Since all the codecs are supported, playing multimedia files are a breeze. The only drawback I felt was the size of the deepin installation iso of 2.1 GB, which is way too high if we consider the number of software’s installed.

Swaroop Shankar V

2 Comments

  1. Thanks Swaroop for a very honest and enlightening review.

    I’m a disenchanted Windows user of many years. After Windows 10 I started looking for a Linux distro that was “for me”. I’ve tried most others and until Deepin had settled for ZorinOS as the easiest for me to adopt.

    But Deepin has been a real eye opener. Yes the file is large at 2.3GB but Debian is now 3.9GB, PC Linux OS is 3.88GB and most others are around 1-1.5GB. Then again my Windows 7 USB installation is 3GB, so Deepin isn’t too bad.

    I agree with your overall assessment. Deepin is a real refreshing OS visually. So many design elements remind me of my Android tablet that I wonder if the designers got some inspiration from both iPads, iMacs and Android tablets.

    As a new adopter fresh from Windows 7 and 8 I’m finding Deepin about the easiest Linux distro to install and use. I gave up on Debian as I could not get WiFi to function correctly – remember I am a Linux novice – and many others were great until I needed to access my Windows home group, add a printer or perform some other semi technical task. So far Deepin seems to be providing a good job of shielding me from the technical (for me difficult) aspects and spoon feeding me enough to encourage exploration. In this aspect Deepin is very Windows/Mac/Android like.

    I hope I have not incurred to ire of Linux techies, but I do speak from the viewpoint of a new convert. If others look closely at what Deepin provides then I see Linux becoming much more mainstream on many disenchanted Windows users desktops and laptops.

    Deepin is installed on my Samsung NP305v5a-S06AU laptop. Powered by quad core AMD A8-3510MX processor, AMD Radion HD 66206 GPU, 8GB RAM, newly installed 240GB Zenith SSD and 78 mAh battery upgrade. I now get around 3-4 hours on a charge. Deepin response issues are not a problem with the SSD. It dual boots with Windows 7 Home.

    • Thanks for the comment Ian. As you said Deepin can be a substitute for windows. One of the biggest challenge for switching to linux from windows was the availability of application, but nowadays most of the people use web application more than desktop application, so its not really a problem now i feel. So deepin with its visual appeal, easy of use i think it can be a real replacement for windows.
      BTW I really dont think you have incurred the ire of Linux Techies because they are happy to welcome new user onboard 🙂

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