As well as offering a newer version of the Linux kernel, Bodhi Linux 6.0 carries a commendable crop of changes. This includes several major improvements to distro’s distinctive Moksha desktop, plus important bug fixes, theme tweaks, and more.
Keep reading for more more detail on what’s new in Bodhi 6.0, or skip straight to the download section to grab one of the three
.iso images that are available so you can road-test the system for yourself.
Bodhi Linux 6.0: What’s New?
Bodhi Linux might not be a ‘headline’ distro but it has a solid following among Linux users who appreciate its marriage of low system requirements and highly configurable user experience. The Moksha desktop is the real star. This enlightenment-derived stack of window manager, modules, and applets combine to form a fully functional user experience with a unique look and feel.
Bodhi 6.0 is the latest stable release and is built on top of Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS. But don’t mistake it as an Ubuntu-lite distro: Bodhi is very much its own distinct thing. In fact, there are some major differences with upstream Ubuntu (and related offshoots).
Thunar is the default file manager in this release, replacing PCManFM. This is a change that I can get behind as Thunar is a fast yet familiar file browser with all core features one needs. Bodhi devs have patched in support for Moksha, like being able to set the desktop wallpaper from the right-click context menu on a compatible image file.
Chromium is the default web browser in Bodhi Linux 6.0, replacing Mozilla Firefox (which remains available to install). Notably, Bodhi does not use the Chromium Snap maintained by Canonical (which is what you get if you
apt install chromium in Ubuntu and flavours.
Long-time Bodhi users will also notice a slew of visual changes, including a new animated desktop wallpaper, boot splash, and login screen. The ArcGreenDark theme boasts a raft of refinements, such as new animations, module theming, and bug fixes.
Focused windows have a ‘green’ border now:
Bodhi Linux 6.0 comes with a new notification gadget on the bottom bar (“shelf”). This acts as a hub for all notifications issues by apps and the system, including history with timestamp. The Clipboard module picks up additional options, including a setting to ‘ignore adding clipboard content to history’.
These and other changes in Bodhi Linux 6.0:
- Linux kernel 5.8 HWE
- Moksha 0.3.3
- Theme improvements
- New animated desktop wallpaper
- Chromium as default web browser
- Thunar as default file manager
- Apturl now uses pkexec
- Change calendar year using mouse wheel
- Weather applet uses wttr backend
- Installing via snaps is disabled
So what’s Bodhi Linux like? Well, it’s different — but in a good way.
If you’re used to GNOME, Xfce, et al you’ll have no issues adapting to Moksha (which there can be when switching to a keyboard-driven UI like i3). The single panel layout works well and although the included app menu is basic it is pretty complete.
You can open a “quick launcher” in Moksha by pressing
space at any time. This is particularly handy when you want to change a setting but don’t know where to do it (and as Moksha is a largely modular desktop there’s no real “one stop config panel” as in GNOME).
Helpfully, the distro automatically tiles (most) windows by default to make better use of screen space. Scaling options allow the desktop to almost work great on high-res screens (I tried it on 4k) though some apps, like Chromium, just do their own thing.
Rather like KDE Plasma, some of “gadgets and modules” you can use with Moksha can be moved from the panel (referred to as the ‘Shelf’) to the desktop, and vice versa. In this screenshot I moved the analog clock widget from the desktop to the panel, and switched it to show in ‘digital’ mode:
Avid distro hoppers looking to tussle with something a bit different to usual DEs out there should check out Moksha (and Bodhi Linux). This finely tuned UI has more flex than you might first think, and while the ‘gadgets’ aspect aren’t quite as plentiful as Cinnamon Spices or Plasma Applets there’s still plenty to play around with.
Download Bodhi Linux 6.0
Bodhi Linux 6.0 is available to download as one of three distinct editions:
- Standard, with Linux 5.4 kernel
- Standard, with Linux 5.8 HWE kernel
- App Pack, with Linux 5.4 kernel
The screenshots peppered throughout this post were taken in the standard + HWE edition. A light 800 Mb download, this version ships with a small set of software preinstalled, made up primarily of the Chromium web browser, Leafpad text editor, Terminology terminal emulator, and Ephoto photo manager.
For a less refined “out of the box” experience you can download the ‘app pack’ edition. This build is twice the size of the standard, clicking in at just over 1.6 GB, but includes a heap more software, including the full LibreOffice suite, VLC, Audacious, GIMP, Geany, 15+ Moksha themes, and additional system tools.
You can grab a Bodhi Linux download direct from the official project website, or by using one of the buttons below (these may/will direct you to Sourceforge, which is where Bodhi hosts its installer images):
Do note that VirtualBox guest additions are not pre-installed on any of these ISOs. If you plan on trying Bodhi 6.0 in VirtualBox you will want to install these from the Ubuntu repos after install to unlock expanded/expected functionality.