Solus is a very lightweight and easy to use distro. It features the Budgie desktop which is probably the simplest desktop environment you will ever see.
Solus is independent so it won’t work with rpm or apt-get. The is the only real con with this distro. It’s too simple. Yes, it’s absolutely beautiful but the lack of packages and customization is where it lacks.
When looking through the App store its so scare it isn’t even funny. There are no IM clients or IRC clients and there are 3 web browsers. But surprisingly you get all the GNOME apps including Brasero and Abi-Word. The selection of preinstalled software is amazing, though. For instance, you get a bit-torrent client preinstalled!
As far as customization goes, you get 7 GTK themes and 8 Icon themes preinstalled. You get a few applets and a bit of panel customization. There was even a ported over version of Gnome Tweak Tool and dconf Editor. Besides the preinstalled themes and icons, you can’t install any more. The settings app looks quite similar to the Ubuntu settings panel.
Overall I believe this distro is on its way to being great but not quite there yet. More customization and more packages would be appreciated.
Zorin OS was released earlier today with a handful of changes including a redesigned Zorin theme changer (GTK changer), new icons based off of the beautiful Elementary icon set and the Freesans desktop font. Zorin now comes with the Geary mail client, a new media player, a new calendar app and an activity journal “which lets you see the files and documents you have worked with based on duration and the time throughout the day”. The existing apps have been treated with bug fixes and design updates. The long awaited theme changer update adds more customization with the ability to chose the foreground color and background color. The options for foreground colors are red, green, blue and orange and you can choose between a light and a dark foreground. Zorin OS 10 is now based of off Ubuntu 15.04 and has Linux kernel 3.19 and systemd for hardware support improvements. Currently only the Core and Ultimate versions are available but Business and Lite versions will be added soon. Zorin OS 10 will get security updates until January, so if that is an important factor for you consider Zorin OS 9 which will be supported until April of 2019. You can get Zorin OS here.
Ubuntu Touch may have a new competitor: Plasma Mobile.
Plasma Mobile was unveiled at Akademy which is a two day conference which is held every year about KDE. Plasma Mobile has been designed for privacy and customization,which is no surprise because KDE is one of the most customization desktop environments.
Unlike Ubuntu Phone, KDE Mobile is trying to have support for as many types of apps as possible. It
“is designed as an inclusive system, intended to support all kinds of apps.”
Apps that are designed to be native to the system can be written is QT (KDE’s toolkit of choice) but the system will also support GTK, Ubuntu Touch, Sailfish and even Android apps. Unlike Ubuntu Touch wich is getting bad reviews for lack of support maybe this app system will be better in the long run, after all even Windows Ten will be able to use Android apps. Currently you can only flash a Nexus 5.
So far Plasma Mobile looks like an interesting concept but it will be fun to see how the project turns out.