Solus vs antiX: Similarities & Differences!

Credits:

Solus

antiX

In this article let us have a look at 2 very popular distros Solus and antiX and see where each distro shines so that you can pick one that best suit your needs!

For those of you in a hurry, here is the short version of the answer.

The Short Version Of The Answer

What are the differences between Solus and antiX? The main difference between Solus and antiX is Solus is meant for users who need an original distro built from the scratch using latest software engineering principles while antiX is meant for advanced users who need a lightweight USB portable distro

The table below highlights the important differences between the 2 distros

Solus antiX
Organization Name Solus is a “community made” operating system which aims to provide the best operating system for personal computers

Organization Type: Community

antiX is developed by a community, to fulfill the need for a lightweight USB portable and stable distro, capable of running on older hardware.

Organization Type: Community

Expertise Level Needed Intermediate Intermediate
Based On This is an original distro. Debian
Target Use-cases General-purpose Distro.

Best Use-case: For use on Personal Computers

Other use cases: can be used for content creation, content consumption, Gaming, and if you need more latest packages without waiting for the next release

Specific purpose Distro.

Best Use-case: USB portable Distro

Other Use-cases: For use in older hardware

Software Support 7.5/10

Out of the box software: 4/5

Software Repository: 3.5/5

8/10

Out of the box software: 4/5

Software Repository: 4/5

Hardware Support 6/10

Official driver support: 3/5

Support for older hardware: 3/5

9/10

Official driver support: 4/5

Support for older hardware: 5/5

Hardware Resource Needs middleweight Lightweight
Support 6.5/10

Paid support: not available

Community: 3.5/5

Documentation: 3/5

4/10

Paid support: Not available

Community: 2/5

Documentation: 2/5

Ease of use 8/10: Easy 7/10

Intermediate level

Stability 8/10: stable as long as you use the official repos 8/10: Very stable

Based on Debian Stable and hence Antix Linux is a very stable distro!

Release Cycles Rolling Release. Packages are released once they are stable. Fixed Release

Once a year

The graph below summarizes the table and compares the 2 distros and shows us how they compare with each other on various factors (Higher the points the better that particular feature is in a given distro)

That is just the short version of the answer, let’s go ahead and look at the longer and more informative version and learn more about the similarities and differences between the 2 distros.

The Linux Distributions World

The word Distro is short for Distribution”. Since the Linux source code is open for everyone to see, large communities started evolving to bring together Operating Systems suited towards specific needs/goals.

These “specific needs/goals” include, but not limited to the following.

  • producing documents
  • writing programs and creating software
  • editing pictures, videos, audio, and multimedia-production-related works
  • store sensitive information by securing the operating system so that no one can hack into it or
  • just browse the internet and consume media.

Say a community of people just wanted to browse the internet with their computers, then there is no point giving them the software to write programs in. Thus since every community’s needs and goals were different these communities started distributing built images of this operating system with all the essential tools installed. These prebuilt images are called distros!

If you wish to know more about the reason behind the presence of so many choices in the Linux World, I suggest reading the article given below.

Reasons Behind The Existence of SO MANY Linux Distros: An Analysis!

The Main Factors of Comparison

The factors mentioned above are just a small list of 100s of factors that differentiate distros. If you are either switching from some other OS to Linux or you are in the process of choosing your next Linux distro and you are confused about which one to choose, you need to have a look at these top 5 decision-making factors

  • Factor#1: Good Match with your Particular use-case
  • Factor#2: Support for your favorite software
  • Factor#3: Hardware Support and Proprietary Driver Support
  • Factor#4: Your level of expertise in Linux
  • Factor#5: Hardware Resource Needs

I have written a separate article explaining these factors which you can find in the link below

Top 5 Factors To Choose Between Linux Distros!

Let’s have a look at each of these important factors and see how Solus and antiX compare against each other.

Factor#1: Good Match with your Particular use-case

By use-case, I mean the type of work you are going to be doing on your computer. Linux distro world originated because of the difference in use cases.

Solus’s goal is wildly different from that of antiX’s.

Let’s have a brief comparison between Solus and antiX in terms of goals, target users, and best use cases to employ these distros.

Solus antiX
Goal To be the best OS for Personal Computers To be a lightweight distro with USB portability
Target users Home users, Content creators, Gamers Users who need a lightweight Debian based USB portable distro
Best Use-Cases to Employ the Distro Best Use-case: For use on Personal Computers

Other use cases: can be used for content creation, content consumption, Gaming, and if you need more latest packages without waiting for the next release

Best Use-case: USB portable Distro

Other Use-cases: For use in older hardware

Factor#2: Support for your favorite software

If your main work involves some specific software or the latest versions of a given software then that becomes a decision-making factor for choosing a Linux Distribution. So before fixing on a given distro, be sure to google if that distro has official support for your main software needs.

The factors you need to be considering include the following

  • Out of the Box support: The software that the distro ships with.
  • Repository Support: The curated software that is available on the official repos
  • Type of release cycle: This decides the trade-off between up-to-date software and stable tested software.
  • Availability of Graphical Software managers
  • Package manager used: This can decide the ease with which you can install and uninstall software

Let’s see how Solus and antiX fair up against each other in the category of Software support

Solus antiX
Out of the Box Software 4/5: Comes preloaded with LibreOffice suite and other necessary apps 4/5: Has a lot of lightweight apps preinstalled
Repository Support 3.5/5: You will not find everything available in the Linux world on the repos, this distro is still in its growing phase 4/5: good repository support as this distro is based on Debian
Type of release cycle Rolling Release. Packages are released once they are stable Fixed Release

About once a year

GUI Software Management Tools Available

Solus software center

Available:

Package Installer

Package manager used eopkg package manager (Solus’s own package manager) APT

The bar chart below summarizes the table above. As you can see, both antiX and Solus got the same points in terms of “Out of the box” software support. antiX is better than Solus in terms of Repository support.

Hence, antiX wins the round of Software support!

Refer to the article below if you wish to learn more about package managers.

A Beginners Introduction To Linux Package managers: apt, yum, dpkg & rpm

Factor#3: Hardware Support and Proprietary Driver Support

Not all Linux distros support proprietary drivers officially. Depending on your computer’s hardware, you may or may not have open-source driver support from the manufacturers. This is especially true for hardware such as graphics cards and network cards. Hence it is a good idea to take “driver support” into consideration while choosing your next distro.

The factors you need to be considering include the following

  • Distro’s Policy of use of opensource vs proprietary 3rd party software
  • Official driver support by Major Companies
  • 3rd party driver support from official repos
  • Support for older hardware
Solus antiX
Distro’s Policy Defaults to open source but proprietary drivers are also officially supported Proprietary drivers officially supported
Official driver support by Major Companies 3/5: Solus is still in its early stages with a small community and hence major hardware companies don’t support Solus officially 4/5: Since this distro is based on Debian, all the official support is also inherited!
3rd party driver support 3rd party repos available available
Support for older hardware 3/5: does not support 32bit processors 5/5

Supports both 32 and 64-bit processors and has good driver support for older hardware like network cards and graphics cards.

Also supports automatic hardware detection!

The bar chart below summarizes the table above. As you can see, antiX is better than Solus when it comes to official driver support. antiX is better than Solus in terms of support for Older Hardware.

Hence, antiX wins the round of Hardware support!

Refer to the article below if you wish to have a look at some of the top distros in terms of hardware support.

Best Distro For Software And Hardware Support: A Comparison!!

Factor#4: Your level of expertise in Linux

Depending on your level of expertise in Linux, the choice of the distro you need will vary. This is because of the following factors

  • Ease of use: beginner, intermediate, expert
  • Paid customer support: available, not available
  • Online community support: great, good, okay, not good, no support
  • Available Documentation: Great documentation, Good documentation, Okay documentation, no documentation

Let’s see the level of support available for Solus and antiX and see how they compare against each other

Solus antiX
Ease of Use Intermediate Intermediate
Paid Customer Support Not available, hence might not be the best choice for organizations Not available
Online Community Support 3.5/5: good responsive community 2/5 small community
Documentation 3/5: Has plenty of tutorials to do basic tasks, but lacks technical documentation. 2/5 Okay documentation

The bar chart below summarizes the table above. As you can see, Solus is better than antiX in terms of online community support. Solus is better than antiX in terms of Documentation.

Hence, Solus wins the round of User support!

Factor#5: Hardware Resource Needs

This is an important factor if you are planning to employ Linux on a computer with limited hardware resources. This may be an old machine or a new one with less than stellar specs.

The factors you need to be considering include the following

  • Category: Lightweight or Middleweight or Heavyweight
  • RAM Requirements to have a snappy system &
  • Minimum processor requirements

Let’s see how Solus and antiX fair up against each other in terms of Hardware resource needs

Solus antiX
Category Middleweight Lightweight
Minimum RAM requirements 2GB recommended 192MB (Minimum)

256MB (Recommended)

Minimum Processor Requirements 64bit processor 1GHz processor

Refer to the article below if you wish to have a look at a step by step guide for choosing a Linux distro for your computer’s specifications.

A Complete Guide For Choosing A Distro For Your Computer’s Specs..!!

The Results!

Let us know go ahead and see the results of our comparison! Have a look at the Bar chart below.

As you can see Solus wins in User Support, and Ease of use.

antiX wins in Software support, Hardware support, and Hardware Resource needs.

There is a tie between the 2 distros in Stability.

I suggest you pick the distro that best suits you based on this graph. For example, if hardware support is more important to you, then pick the distro that has better support for your hardware!

Summary

To summarise the article here is the comparison table from the beginning of the blog again.

Solus antiX
Organization Name Solus is a community made an operating system which aims to provide the best operating system for personal computers

Organization Type: Community

antiX is developed by a community, to fulfill the need for a lightweight USB portable and stable distro, capable of running on older hardware.

Organization Type: Community

Expertise Level Needed Intermediate Intermediate
Based On This is an original distro. Debian
Target Use-cases General-purpose Distro.

Best Use-case: For use on Personal Computers

Other use cases: can be used for content creation, content consumption, Gaming, and if you need more latest packages without waiting for the next release

Specific purpose Distro.

Best Use-case: USB portable Distro

Other Use-cases: For use in older hardware

Software Support 7.5/10

Out of the box software: 4/5

Software Repository: 3.5/5

8/10

Out of the box software: 4/5

Software Repository: 4/5

Hardware Support 6/10

Official driver support: 3/5

Support for older hardware: 3/5

9/10

Official driver support: 4/5

Support for older hardware: 5/5

Hardware Resource Needs middleweight Lightweight
Support 6.5/10

Paid support: not available

Community: 3.5/5

Documentation: 3/5

4/10

Paid support: Not available

Community: 2/5

Documentation: 2/5

Ease of use 8/10: Easy 7/10

Intermediate level

Stability 8/10: stable as long as you use the official repos 8/10: Very stable

Based on Debian Stable and hence Antix Linux is a very stable distro!

Release Cycles Rolling Release. Packages are released once they are stable. Fixed Release

Once a year

Hope you have got enough data to choose between these 2 amazing distros!

And with that, I will conclude this article!

I hope you guys enjoyed this article and learned something useful.

If you liked the post, feel free to share this post with your friends and colleagues!

Related Articles

Here are some of my other articles that might interest you!

What Is The Best Linux Distro? Analysis & Comparison..!!

A Step By Step Plan To Learn Linux..!

Best Linux Distro For Workstation: Analysis and Comparison!!

A Complete Guide For Choosing A Distro For Your Computer’s Specs..!!

Best Distro For Software And Hardware Support: An Analysis.!!

Distro-Hopping, What, Why & How Explained!

Reasons Behind The Existence of SO MANY Linux Distros: An Analysis!

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