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An Open Source GNU/Linux distribution for beginners, based on a stable branch of Debian

editor's review




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HandyLinux is an open source and easy-to-use distribution of Linux based on the Debian GNU/Linux operating system and build around the lightweight Xfce desktop environment. It uses a Windows 8 like theme and has been designed from the ground up to be used by beginners.

Distributed as a 32-bit Live DVDs

It is distributed as Live DVD ISO hybrid images, supporting old (i486) and new (i686) 32-bit hardware platforms. They can be deployed to USB thumb drives or CD discs, and used for testing or installing the operating system.

A unique distribution of Linux

It is a unique Linux distribution that provides users with a welcome dialog designed to teach beginners how to use the operating system. It is comprised of a single taskbar located on the bottom edge of the screen, from where users can access the main menu and launch apps.

A very handy and well designed online documentation will teach users how to do certain things in HandyLinux, such as to access the main menu, open various programs, manage files and windows, use keyboard shortcuts, copy and paste text, and many more.

The main menu is also very special, as it opens in a standalone window and splits the installed applications into six main categories, Internet, Files, Multimedia, Office, Games, and Raiders. Instead of listing the app names, it tells users what they can do with them.

Default applications

Default applications include the Thunar file manager, Chromium web browser, Icedove email client, Skype VoIP client, VLC Media Player, QuodLibet audio player, RadioTray radio player, GPicview image viewer, LibreOffice office suite, and Mousepad text editor.

It also includes Squeeze, TeamViewer, and a suite of tools for accessibility, such as a screen magnifier, virtual keyboard, simplified menu, as well as integrated printer and scanner drivers. Recommended hardware requirements include at least a 32-bit CPU, 512MB of RAM, as well as around 5-6GB of free disk space.

Bottom line

All in all, HandyLinux is a really amazing Linux distribution, based on the stable Debian GNU/Linux OS, using Xfce as its desktop environment, and offering a high level of customization for people who want to migrate from Windows XP.

HandyLinux was reviewed by Marius Nestor
Last updated on June 9th, 2015
HandyLinux - The default desktop environment of the handylinux operating system with the Main Menu

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