For years now, Linux users have been without a desktop environment that truly reflects their values, one that marries high performance with an aesthetic that doesn’t make them look like they’re using Windows 95 on purpose. Thankfully, Xero Linux may be just what the doctor ordered to cure what ails you when it comes to computing as both an art and a science. However, before we go any further, let’s answer the million-dollar question: What exactly is Xero Linux?
Xero’s cross-platform compatibility means I can plug it into any computer and use it regardless of operating system. It also takes up less space than Windows so I can keep more files on my laptop at once. Plus, many apps that require Windows now come in a macOS counterpart.
Xero Linux has a minimalist design and can be installed in just one click with complete compatibility with both Mac OSX and Windows. So even if you only have one computer, you’ll be able to use it. The interface includes Gnome shell, an easy to navigate start menu, window management buttons on the bottom right of each open window, a taskbar that looks like Windows 7’s but includes visual thumbnail previews of all running programs and easy keyboard shortcuts to switch between them, and customizable workspaces.
At this point, if you’re still running Windows on your PC, I might have to start wondering what kind of problems you’re encountering on a daily basis. Plus, it’s just downright frustrating trying to use a desktop OS that doesn’t fit in with your life and workflow. The good news is that there are plenty of alternatives out there for people who want to go all-in on Linux. One notable pick that stands out from the rest, however, is Xero Linux.
Fast and responsive
One thing I’ve noticed about my first Linux experience, with Xero-Linux, has been how quick and responsive it is. In a world where big game studios spend years working on a single project, it’s inspiring to see these small teams put out so much quality work. When you open a browser window or drag an application around, everything just feels really quick. And when you’re using something like GIMP to modify and touch up images from your camera, the response time can be milliseconds — no joke! I’m not sure if there’s some really clever technique at play here but one thing I can say for sure: from what I’ve seen so far, Xero is probably the fastest desktop out there today.
Utilizes open-source software
Xero Linux’s closest competitors, Linux Mint and Manjaro, provide similar user interfaces that have been around much longer. While they both work well in their own right, Xero’s fledgling UI has a fresher feel with newer standards that are improving day by day. If you’re looking for something lightweight and different, give it a try.
Customizable to user preferences
If you’re a Mac user, you should know that Apple’s creation of Boot camp was to please people who wanted the Windows experience. This meant that Macs had always had to limit how many people could run Windows and offer a clunky, unpleasant Windows experience on their sleek computers. But now, thanks to a new program called Cross Over, you can use one computer and install two operating systems.
You get to enjoy all of your favorite programs on one screen.
Xero Linux’s desktop environment has all of the standard features, including a full complement of networking options and task-handling software. However, this doesn’t take away from its stability: in nearly a year of use, I’ve only had to reboot my computer once. And as if that wasn’t enough, it still looks pretty cool too.