Rejection report 3: Knoppix and Q4OS


Updated: March 18, 2017

My test repertoire of hardware includes three laptops, with Lenovo G50 most commonly used. This 2015 machine comes with a fairly decent spec, i3, 8GB RAM and the dreaded UEFI. It has served me well in the past 24 months, with roughly 100 different distro tests completed, some successfully, some less so.

Indeed, this box has been rife with challenges, which is good, because Linux will never rise mighty unless it can cope with whatever the market has to offer. In this case, I faced boot problems, a not-quite-resolved issues with the Realtek Wireless card, and other bugs. Worst of all, a significant number of distros would not even run. In fact, I have compiled two dedicated reports on here be topic, and now we have a third one. My name is Cam Brady, and I regretfully approve of this article.

Knoppix 7.7

My last encounter with Knoppix was Knoppix 6.0 Adriane, which I dubbed a genuine masterpiece, as it was a great piece of technology and accessibility combined, offering a true session for visually impaired, something very few other distros would do at that time, with and added bonus of pretty good hardware support.

Fast forward almost eight years - an infinity in the tech world - the concept of a bootable and fully usable live session has become a trivial item, with pretty much all and any distro offering all it can from DVD or USB. I wanted to see how well Knoppix handles this, so I had the image copied to USB and attempted to boot on the G50 machine. Nothing. Neither the UEFI nor Legacy boot mode worked. DVD, nope.

I actually booted the distro as a virtual machine, just to get a glimpse of what it looks like and what it does. Knoppix comes with LXDE as its default desktop environment, and it feels rather archaic for 2017. Inside Virtualbox, Knoppix did not detect the virtual machine setting not offer any screen resolution adjustments, so it was stuck at a rather odd 4:3 ratio. Alas, it just wasn't meant to be.

Knoppix

Q4OS 1.8.3 Orion

This little 500MB beastling looks like a very neat, curious offering, using Trinity a-la Windows XP on steroids as its default desktop, with tons of other Windows-like behavioral gimmicks, intended to lure you into the world of Linux.

I was also intrigued by its would-be business model, the quirky official page, and the non-standard approach to everything. Well, as it turns out, non-standard also means not being able to boot on the G50 machine, despite an official promise that 1.8.3 Orion can do this. Well, perhaps it can, but not on my laptop. Ergo, another negative. Or rather, this distro is Aladeen. But I like it a lot, so we shall explore its behavior in a virtual machine and attempt a physical setup on another non-UEFI notebook in the near future. If you can hold your breath for a few weeks.

Q4OS

Instead ...

Here's a picture to cheer you up:

Random image, BMW M4

Conclusion

I should be angry, but I'm not, because I'm resigned to the situation, and I can still write an article based on these negative findings. It ain't all lost. And out of wilderness, there cometh salvation. Or something.

Anyhow, some distros still don't like my G50 box, even in 2017. It's about time this changed permanently. But not all is lost. At the very least, Q4OS looks quite lovely, so there's something to do after this little fiasco. I may still be entertained, and in turn, you as well. For now though, if you're aiming for an UEFI setup, these two distros, plus the bunch listed in the previous two reports are probably less likely to give you love. Of course, there are workarounds, but that's not the point. And we are done here.

Cheers.

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