• Follow us

Technology

Emmabuntüs Is a Hidden Linux Gem | Reviews

Emmabuntüs Is a Hidden Linux Gem

Emmabuntüs is a great find if you are looking for an all-around Linux operating system that keeps legacy computers out of the trash heap and is easy to use with no setup or regular Internet access required.

This distro is not one whose name is readily recognizable. Hidden from popular view, it's seldom spotted by product reviewers. Yet it has fulfilled a range of user needs for years.

Its obscurity keeps it from reaching the potential it has to attract the attention of distro hoppers looking for a better OS. No doubt, most distro rummagers wrongfully assume that its odd name reflects an unworthy performance.

Unless you take the time to browse its unassuming website descriptions, you miss its value. Emmabuntüs Linux is a worthy computing rose lying in wait among the weeds.

Emmabuntüs is a desktop Linux distribution featuring the Xfce desktop. Initial versions of this distro were based on Ubuntu Linux, but developers switched to Debian along the way.

In a crowded computing world with lots of Xfce-based distros, this one is particularly well done with a wide range of uses.

Why Choose It?

The latest release, on July 15, is an updated computing platform based on Debian 10 Buster, the Stable Branch. Release Candidate 3 (RC3) is solid and is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. The 32-bit version is particularly significant given that one of the goals of this distro is to keep older computers with less capable hardware fast and productive.

The final version of Emmabuntüs Linux Debian 3 is set for release in September. It is beginner-friendly but well suited for all users, including Linux veterans.

Emmabuntüs is reasonably light on resources so it can be used on older computers. The developers started this distro to help a growing organization of volunteers to refurbish used computers donated to humanitarian associations.

Emmabuntus Welcome screen tools, tutorials and user guides

Call up the Welcome screen for quick loading of tools, tutorials and user guides. Emmabuntus has almost no learning curve, thanks to a well-tuned integration of the Xfce desktop.

Community Origins

The distribution gets its name from the originally targeted users, the Emmaus community. Emmabuntüs is developed by a team based in France.

Emmaus is a secular organization that arose long before the computing age flourished. The group grew from an international solidarity movement founded in Paris in 1949 by Abbé Pierre, a Catholic priest. He was a member of the Resistance during World War II. Communities around the world have kept the name because of its symbolism.

Many of the initially targeted users were school communities in impoverished areas with little access to the Internet, especially wireless and high-speed networks. So school users needed a wealth of preinstalled software to insure the computers students used remained productive without the constant need to download software.

Thus, you will find volumes of useful and effective educational and productivity packages included. That also makes Emmabuntüs Linux an ideal modern choice for parents looking for a computer system for school-aged kids without needing to monitor their Internet use.

Developing in Secret

A sort of shared irony exists around Emmabuntüs Linux's development. The lead developer's name is published simply as "Patrick d'Emmabuntüs." His full identity is a secret, just as those who comprise the depths of its user base lurk in the shadows of Linux Land.

"As far as our user base is concerned, we don't know exactly who they are because we get very [little] feedback on our forum. But we believe they are the persons refurbishing their own old computers, or [computers for] one of their family members and especially for their children," he told LinuxInsider.

As of today, the biggest project using Emmabuntüs Linux is in Togo where, together with the YovoTogo and JUMP Lab'Orione associations, the Emmaus community equipped 17 sites. That project includes 12 high schools.

"We believe that 13,000 to 15,000 children each year get trained on digital technology on Emmabuntüs," Patrick said.

Emmabuntüs Delivers

This distro is not just geared to school-aged youngsters. The interface is not tweaked to have a childish appearance.

Rather, the Xfce desktop interface is one of the most mature iterations I have seen. What makes Emmabuntüs Linux so suitable for school environments is how it is designed to work out of the box without hands-on IT support.

This distro runs extremely well in live session mode. This can be a handy workaround for underfunded school systems looking for a quick on-ramp to digital technology for students. The installed software is varied enough for users to be productive on individual workstations without the services of a computer network or large hard drives.

This RC version finalizes the streamlining of the embedded applications, brings some new fixes, according to the developers, like boot speed-up in live mode and improvement in the dark/light theme handling. It also supports language and localization in live mode.

Using It

On the first run after installation, several start-up applications launch. These include keyboard configuration, dock configuration and non-free software installer. This same setup process is present when loading Emmabuntüs in Live session.

Emmabuntus startup applications

On the first run after installation, Emmabuntus displays several startup applications run to complete the configuration process. These include panels for configuring the keyboard and dock and a non-free software installer. This same setup process is present when loading Emmabuntus in Live session.

Previous versions of Emmabuntüs provided a choice of Xfce or LXDE desktop environments on the installation ISO. Debian 1 and Debian 2 versions of Emmabuntüs are still available with both desktop options as separate ISO downloads.

With the switch to Debian base, only Xfce is provided by default installation on the Debian 3 version. However, once the default installation is completed, you can select an option to install LXDE from the system menu.

Look and Feel

The top of the screen holds the traditional panel with the menu button on the left. The right part of the panel is a notification area with battery, network and volume indicators, clocks and calendar, and the system menu for functions like shutdown, logout or reboot.

The standard Xfce4 panel menu does not include the Search function by default. For that, you need to run the Applications menu on the macOS-style plank -- aka the Cairo Dock -- at the bottom of the screen. You can access the standard Xfce 4 panel menu by right-clicking on the desktop.

Emmabuntus Cairo Dock

Application menus for separate categories and essential launchers populate the Cairo Dock at the bottom of the screen.

The Xfce 4 menu has at the top a launcher to type the name of an application to run. Clicking on the gear launcher icon opens an Applications menu panel in the center of the screen.

Start typing the letters of an application. The panel display adjusts to show applications that match the partially typed name.

You can scroll through the rows of application icons (much like in the full-screen GNOME application launcher). Another user option is to select a category from the left column of the center display to narrow the range of program names to launch.

Virtual desktop switcher, quick launch buttons, and show desktop button are displayed on the panel by default. No setup is needed.

Several are also on the Cairo dock by default. The default virtual setting is for a single workspace. You can right-click on the workspace switcher in either location to add more virtual workspaces.

Great Range of Programs

Emmabuntüs includes Wine for running Windows programs within the Linux OS. Having Wine preinstalled and configured is an attractive feature for newcomers, especially those coming from a Microsoft Windows background.

Another impressive Emmabuntüs feature is the variety of Linux software titles included. It bundles multiple offerings in each category. For instance, you get version 6.1.5 of LibreOffice suite and Abiword for document creation and editing.

PlayOnLinux also is included. In addition to being able to play games that run on Microsoft Windows using Wine, PlayOnLinux provides a platform for a large collection of Linux-based games. Eight Linux games with an eye on education and creativity are also part of the Games category.

Bottom Line

A seemingly endless list of competing distributions is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to universal adoption of the Linux OS. It is also one of the Linux OS' most endearing usability traits.

Emmabuntüs provides a generous assortment of everyday productivity tools and educational programs preinstalled. The Packages application in the System menu opens a gateway to legions more software. Package Updater makes it easy for even inexperienced Linux users to keep Emmabuntüs up to date.

First-time computer users face almost no learning curve in finding their way around the Xfce desktop. More experienced Linux users will find dozens of top-caliber maintenance and system tools to tackle any computing task.

Even if you have tried the Xfce desktop in other distros, give Emmabuntüs a try. It is filled with useful tools and usability surprises.

Want to Suggest a Review?

Is there a Linux software application or distro you'd like to suggest for review? Something you love or would like to get to know?

Please email your ideas to me, and I'll consider them for a future Linux Picks and Pans column.

And use the Reader Comments feature below to provide your input!

Jack M. Germain has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2003. His main areas of focus are enterprise IT, Linux and open source technologies. He has written numerous reviews of Linux distros and other open source software. Email Jack.

Read More



Leave A Comment

More News

TechNewsWorld

Will Consumers Balk at 5G Phone Prices? 2019-08-23 06:24:57Consumers could suffer from sticker shock when it comes time to buy a 5G-enabled phone, suggests a new report from IHS Markit, based on a poll conduct

Major Browsers Block Kazakhstan Government's Fake Safety Cert 2019-08-22 05:50:09Google, Mozilla and Apple have blocked a fake root certificate issued by Kazakhstan's government to spy on its citizens' online activities. The gove

Fighting Cybercrime: Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics Are the 2019-08-21 14:11:02Cybersecurity and digital forensics are instrumental in creating effective defense, analysis and investigation of cybercrime. While both focus on the

Yubico Offers Dual Lightning, USB-C Dongle to Secure 2019-08-21 06:12:03Owners of iPhones looking for an extra measure of protection when using applications and logging into websites can get it with a new dongle from Yubic

Cerebras Debuts Big Chip to Speed Up AI 2019-08-20 05:36:12Startup chip developer Cerebras has announced a breakthrough in high-speed processor design that will hasten the development of artificial intelligenc

Sanity-Saving Tips From a Heavy Traveler 2019-08-19 13:24:32I'm on the road about 50 percent of the time, and I'm often asked for advice on how to have a better trip -- what to carry with you, where to sit, h

Slackel Linux Works Well Inside Its Openbox 2019-08-16 13:46:17The latest release of Slackel Linux renews and improves the mashup of Slackware and Salix built around an Openbox pseudo desktop environment. Slackel

YouTube as Political Influencer Takes the Spotlight 2019-08-16 05:45:44YouTube, which operates as one of Google's subsidiaries, is under increased scrutiny after a report earlier this month highlighted the role it played

28M Records Exposed in Biometric Security Data Breach 2019-08-15 05:31:13Researchers associated with vpnMentor, which provides virtual private network reviews, discovered a data breach involving nearly 28 million records in

How to Distro Hop With a Web Browser 2019-08-14 14:54:57Getting familiar with Linux up close and personal is easy to do with a free service provided by DistroTest.net, which allows testing without ISO downl

Snap Unwraps $380 High-Tech Specs 2019-08-14 05:56:39With the announcement of its Spectacles 3 sunglasses, Snap must be hoping three times will be the charm. Unlike the two previous generations, Spectacl

Samsung Announces Monster 108MP Smartphone Sensor 2019-08-13 13:39:22Samsung and Xiaomi have announced a new sensor for smartphone cameras comparable to those used in high-end DSLR shutterboxes. The new Isocell Bright H

PCWorld

Best cheap laptops: We rate the best-sellers on 2019-08-22 21:58:00When you’re looking for a good, cheap laptop, knowledge is power. Every budget machine (which we’re defining as Windows laptops costing $5

Best power banks of 2019: The top USB 2019-08-22 13:44:00Anyone who uses a smartphone knows the importance of carrying a backup power bank. But given the large number of options on Amazon, you might feel ove

Watch The Full Nerd talk about Comet Lake, 2019-08-22 13:39:00Join The Full Nerd gang as they talk about the latest PC hardware topics. On today's episode we talk about the Intel Comet Lake news, Jensens' rant

Bose’s first portable smart speaker is slated for 2019-08-22 11:23:00Get ready to take Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant on the road in Bose’s just-announced portable smart speaker, due to arrive next month.

Best smart speakers: Which deliver the best combination 2019-08-22 10:54:00With models based on Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana, and others to come, we’ll help you find just the right model for you.

Goodbye Android Q, hello Android 10: Google's dessert-based 2019-08-22 10:43:00After six betas, there isn’t much we don’t know about the next version of Android, but there was still one burning question: What dessert

Mophie Powerstation XXL review: This is the portable 2019-08-22 06:30:00The last time I tested a portable battery from Mophie was in 2017 when I reviewed the Powerstation Plus XL. It was impressive enough to earn PCWorld&r

Frndly TV: A cheap way get Hallmark Channel, 2019-08-22 06:00:00With the Hallmark Channel and more for $6 per month, Frndly TV is the cheapest live TV streaming bundle yet.

Amazon Echo Auto review: Alexa just doesn't deliver 2019-08-22 06:00:00The Amazon Echo Auto brings Alexa into your car, but it relies too much on your existing technology to be of much use.

Best TV streaming service: YouTube TV vs. SlingTV 2019-08-22 06:00:00Is Sling TV better than Hulu, or should cord-cutters subscribe to PlayStation Vue? Or YouTube TV? We compare all the TV streaming services, and severa

Acer Aspire 5 A515-54-30BQ review: A dual-core laptop 2019-08-22 06:00:00It won’t win any speed records, but the Acer Aspire 5 A515-54-30BQ makes for a compelling bargain-priced laptop all the same. This $400 model of

Best water leak detectors for smart homes 2019-08-21 14:50:00Fires can be devastating, but water damage is a far more common risk. These smart devices will alert you if your home springs a leak, so you can take

FOX News

Google removes 210 YouTube channels in Hong Kong 2019-08-22 20:25:27Google said Thursday that it had shut down 210 YouTube channels after the company learned they were tied to misinformation about the pro-democrac

Snapchat used by arms traffickers to market illegal 2019-08-22 17:37:59A Nevada man used Snapchat to market illegal weapons to buyers in California, according to a new report.

Apple iPhone 7 radiation test prompts FCC investigation: 2019-08-22 16:52:42Apple's popular iPhone 7 produced radiofrequency radiation above the legal limit in a new test, prompting the FCC to investigate the issue.

Army sets sights on lasers for infantry troops 2019-08-22 16:19:56U.S. Army Infantry units fight door-to-door in Close-Quarter-Combat in high-threat urban environments, advance through wooded, rocky terrain to maneuv

Turn off your Bluetooth, warn security experts 2019-08-22 12:09:48Your Bluetooth connection is unsafe. Very unsafe. That’s the message from the largest hacker convention.

Election machine keys are on the Internet, hackers 2019-08-22 09:14:50I may have the keys to open voting machines used in states across the country, and that is not a good thing.

Fake news can lead to false memories, new 2019-08-21 19:03:59Voters could form false memories after seeing fabricated news stories if those articles align with their existing political beliefs, according to newl

F-35 set for laser boost 2019-08-21 16:22:39Fighter Jet laser weapons are on the fast track, expected to bring new air attack options to “burn holes” through enemy targets at the spe

YouTube pressured to kick Chinese state media ads 2019-08-21 16:10:43YouTube users are pressuring the video platform to take down advertisements for China Central Television (CCTV), a state media channel accused of

Bunny or bird: What do you see in 2019-08-21 10:25:07Is it a bird? Or is it a bunny?

Apple Card starts rolling out for some users 2019-08-06 08:28:06Apple began to roll out its entry into the credit card business, Apple Card, on Tuesday, following comments from CEO Tim Cook last month.

YouTube removes far-right creator Soph's account for hate 2019-08-05 17:50:55Google-owned YouTube has taken down the account of a teenage creator after she posted a video that seemed to call for violence against LGBT people.

TechCrunch

Uber tries to reassure customers that it takes 2019-08-24 16:35:21It’s hard at times not to feel sorry for Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, given all that he inherited when he became the ride-share giant’s top

Y Combinator Demo Day, revenue-based VC funding, Pivotal, 2019-08-24 14:36:58Editor’s note Due to bad travel logistics (thanks SFO), I wasn’t able to get the mid-week edition of the Extra Crunch roundup newsletter o

The new Disney+ streaming service is oriented around 2019-08-24 14:24:54You can tell a lot about a service by what it prioritizes on its home screen. With the new Disney + service the focus is initially organized by fan ba

Driving Volkswagen’s all-electric ID Buggy concept 2019-08-24 13:00:27The VW electric ID Buggy concept is delightful and bright, stout and smiling. It’s a vehicle fit for the sunshine and sand dunes, or perhaps a l

Startups Weekly: Diamond-encrusted disruption 2019-08-24 08:00:32In this week's newsletter: Andreessen Horowitz's latest investment, Pietra, is tackling the $250 billion jewelry market.

Graphcore founder Nigel Toon to talk about AI 2019-08-24 04:01:12It’s easy to forget that Silicon Valley starts with ‘silicon’, and that there would be no technology innovation without innovation a

Confirmed: Disney is making an Obi-Wan series with 2019-08-23 20:38:06The rumors have been suggesting it for a while now, and fans have been pretty much begging for it… and it’s happening: Ewan McGregor will

Here’s the first trailer for the upcoming Disney+ 2019-08-23 20:27:01It’s here! About ten months after we learned that Jon Favreau would be heading up a Star Wars series called “The Mandalorian” on Dis

Vape lung has claimed its first victim, and 2019-08-23 19:57:01A person has died from what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention speculate is a vaping-related condition. Nearly 200 other cases of varying

Disney introduces “She Hulk”, “Moon Knight” and “Ms. 2019-08-23 19:56:56As part of its big reveal of the slate of shows coming to Disney+ streaming service, Marvel head Kevin Feige introduced three new shows that would be

Trump adds tariffs to $550 billion of Chinese 2019-08-23 19:51:42President Trump announced Friday on Twitter that tariffs on Chinese imports will increase 5 percentage points in a tit-for-tat response to China&rsquo

Bag Week 2019: A whole bunch of fannies 2019-08-23 18:05:11It’s finally Bag Week again! The most wonderful week of the year at TechCrunch. Just in time for back to school, we’re bringing you r

Electrek

Tesla updates its Autopilot auto lane change animation 2019-08-24 15:34:05 Tesla has made a slight update to its Autopilot auto lane change animation in a new software update this week. more… Subscribe to Electrek on

Tesla Sentry Mode helps police in break-in – 2019-08-24 12:21:21 Tesla Sentry Mode, a security system built into Tesla vehicles, has helped the police in another Tesla break-in in California. Learn people, stop bre

Climate Crisis Weekly: Amazon rain forest fire, the 2019-08-24 09:00:11 In this edition of Climate Crisis Weekly: Just in case you didn’t hear, the Amazon rain forest is on fire. The other Amazon — you know, J

Podcast: Tesla this week, Mercedes-Benz electric minivan, Porsche 2019-08-23 15:36:59 This week on the Electrek Podcast, we discuss the most popular news in the world of sustainable transport and energy, including all the news fro

Tesla announces expansions in Poland, Hungary, Romania, and 2019-08-23 14:15:41 Tesla is finally expanding in Eastern Europe by making its vehicles available to order in Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Slovenia starting now. more&h

EGEB: Bernie Sanders’ Green New Deal, Apple’s solar 2019-08-23 14:00:15 In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB): Bernie Sanders announces his Green New Deal. Apple develops rooftop solar for Taiwanese soy sauc

Add Sun Joe’s 14A Electric Pressure Washer to 2019-08-23 13:24:50 Amazon offers the Sun Joe 2030PSI 14A Electric Pressure Washer for $124 shipped. Also at Walmart. Originally $199, it more recently sells for ar

Tesla and Walmart are looking to re-energize 240+ 2019-08-23 12:55:42 Earlier this week, we reported on a dispute between Tesla and Walmart over problems with a massive amount of solar power systems the former installed

Audi teases new electric off-roader and it looks 2019-08-23 12:05:01 Audi is going to bring a few new electric vehicles to the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show next month and today, it teased one of those EVs: an insane-lookin

Toyota will deploy 850 electric vehicles at the 2019-08-23 10:16:04 Toyota is providing the official fleet for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2020 and 90% of them will be electric. That’s 850 elect

Electric V2G school bus pilots grow, but schools 2019-08-23 08:29:39 “The batteries on this bus go bi-directional!” That’s what kids in White Plains School District, just north of New York City, can b

Tesla makes battery supply deal with LG for 2019-08-23 05:45:48 Tesla has reportedly signed a battery supply deal with LG Chem for Gigafactory 3 in China. It would be Tesla’s first deal to supply battery cel

Ars Technica UK

The Pebble Beach Concours in pictures: plenty of 2019-08-24 14:40:35But why didn't the world's most beautiful car win best in show?

Ewan McGregor confirms he will return as Obi-Wan 2019-08-24 13:20:56Plus first trailers for What If...? and The Mandalorian; more new series under way.

A lone gunman roams a galaxy in chaos 2019-08-24 10:15:44New series takes place a few years after the fall of the Empire.

Our favorite gaming studios, expos, museum exhibits—in a 2019-08-24 09:00:55Flip through nearly a decade of costumed fans, rare consoles, and much more.

Tracking online hate groups reveals why they’re resilient 2019-08-24 08:15:53When Facebook kicked the KKK, it re-formed on a Russia-based social network.

Book publishers sue Audible to stop new speech-to-text 2019-08-24 07:55:27Publishers say Audible's new captions feature is illegal. Is it?

Why people keep falling for viral hoaxes 2019-08-24 07:15:25How did this latest Instagram hoax spread? Simple: Our dumb brains.

Hackers are actively trying to steal passwords from 2019-08-24 06:30:34Got Fortigate or Pulse Secure? Now would be a good time to make sure they're patched.

Deadly superbug outbreak in humans linked to antibiotic 2019-08-23 17:15:18Use of certain antibiotics in cattle increased 41% just before the outbreak.

Hundreds of “banned” goods still for sale on 2019-08-23 16:08:32WSJ report finds "flea market" environment with scant oversight for merchants.

Vaping-linked lung disease cases jump from 94 to 2019-08-23 16:05:09That's a 60% rise in cases in five days; CDC has since reported even more probable cases.

US phone carriers make empty, unenforceable promises to 2019-08-23 15:51:51All 50 states agree to let telcos keep doing what they're already doing.


Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.