First Look at Rhino Linux, a Rolling-Release Distro Based on Ubuntu and Xfce

Rhino Linux 2023.1 is now available for download as the first stable release of this distribution.
Rhino Linux

The development team behind the Rhino Linux distribution has announced today the general availability of the first stable release for this Ubuntu-based distro with a rolling-release model. Let’s have a first look!

Rhino Linux (formerly Rolling Rhino Remix) follows the concept created by Ubuntu MATE maintainer and ex-Canonical employee Martin Wimpress, who created the Rolling Rhino tool about three years ago to allow existing Ubuntu users to turn their systems into rolling releases.

To bring the rolling-release model to Ubuntu, Rhino Linux uses the popular Pacstall utility that provides a package manager for Ubuntu inspired by Arch Linux‘s AUR (Arch User Repository). Pacstall is used for providing essential packages like the latest Linux kernel, the Mozilla Firefox web browser, Rhino Linux-specific apps, and theming.

The distro uses the lightweight Xfce desktop environment by default, which is highly customized with a floating dock (Plank) located on the middle-left side of the screen and a top bar. The theming looks gorgeous and it’s provided by the Elementary Xfce Darker icon theme, Xubuntu’s Greybird GTK theme, and Ubuntu’s Yaru Dark WM theme.

It also comes with some cool features, such as a dedicated and full-screen desktop switcher provided by Xfdashboard, a dedicated application grid, as well as a dedicated search bar/application launcher provided by Ulauncher.

As you can see in the first image in the gallery above, Rhino Linux comes with many of the standard Xfce apps and utilities, including the Thunar file manager, Mousepad text editor, and Ristretto image viewer, but also some non-Xfce apps like the Mozilla Firefox web browser, MPV media player, and VSCodium IDE.

For the installation, Rhino Linux relies on the very popular Calamares universal graphical installer, which provides disk encryption and swap file support. The default installation uses the EXT4 file system, but you can choose Btrfs, XFS, or other Linux filesystems by performing manual partitioning.

What I like about Rhino Linux is probably its rolling-release model that will keep you up to date at all times with the latest and greatest GNU/Linux technologies. For example, the 2023.1 release comes with the latest Linux 6.4 kernel series by default.

Ubuntu fans who don’t like Snaps would also love to hear that Rhino Linux doesn’t include Snap apps, nor Flatpak apps. One thing I don’t like is the application grid as it splits all of Xfce’s settings into single items, making it hard to quickly find and launch the installed apps. Also, some of the entries have duplicates or don’t work.

All in all, Rhino Linux is a unique distribution for Ubuntu fans who wanted a rolling-release system where they install once and receive updates forever. If you want to give it a try, you can download the Rhino Linux 2023.1 release from the official website for 64-bit, ARM64, PINE64, and Raspberry Pi devices.

Last updated 7 months ago

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