Exton|OS is an open source Linux distribution built around the lightweight MATE desktop environment and based on the world’s most popular free operating system, Ubuntu. It also provides users with a light version that features the very fast and lightweight Openbox window manager, as well as a Kiosk edition with Fluxbox.

Distributed as 64-bit Live CD/DVDs

The project is distributed as Live CD/DVD ISO-hybrid images with persistence mode, which means that it will allow users to save all the settings and files produced or downloaded during live sessions (only supported on USB flash drives). It comes with its own installer, replacing Ubuntu’s one (please take a look at this slideshow for detailed information about the installation process). The Light edition of Exton|OS fits perfectly on a CD disc (detailed instructions on how to burn the image to a CD can be found on the project’s homepage).

Three editions are offered, with MATE,  Openbox and Fluxbox graphical environments

As the developer describes on the product’s home page, the distro is untroublesome and fast. This is mainly because of the MATE desktop environment, a fork of the classic GNOME 2 window manager. On the other hand, the Light edition is suitable for low-end machines with no more than 256MB of RAM, thanks to the Openbox window manager. On the other hand, the Kiosk edition uses the ultra light and fast Fluxbox window manager.

Borrows features from Debian 8

Besides the Ubuntu base, Exton|OS also borrows some features from for forthcoming Debian 8 Jessie, as well as Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet) and uses a custom kernel 4.0.0.4-exton based on the upstream Linux 4.0.x kernel for all three editions.

Boot options

Like many of the distributions created by Arne Exton, this one also provides users with a handy boot menu that allows them to copy the entire live environment to RAM (system memory) and eject the media, boot the currently installed operating system, install the OS without testing it, as well as to test the computer’s RAM for errors.

Uses the LightDM login screen

It uses the LightDM login screen, where you’ll have to input the root/root username and password combination in order to log into the live environment. The desktop is quite clean, as it features a dock (application launcher) and a taskbar.

Default applications

Default applications include the Mozilla Firefox and Midori web browsers, Geary email client, Wicd network manager, GIMP image editor, Shotwell image viewer and organizer, Eye of MATE image viewer, Evince and Atril document viewers, Engrampa and File Roller archive managers, Musepad and pluma text editors, and VLC Media Player.

There are also two screenshot utilities, two calculators, a font viewer, three terminal emulators, a log file viewer, a disk usage analyzer, and Caja, as the default file manager. GParted and Synaptic Package Manager applications are also pre-installed.

The Kiosk edition

The Kiosk edition of Exton|OS is built around the Fluxbox window manager and includes only a few applications, such as the Mozilla Firefox web browser, Leafpad text editor, Wicd network manager, LXTerminal terminal emulator, Nano command-line editor, and Alsamixer volume controller. You can use the Kiosk edition of Exton|OS on a wide variety of public environments, such as Internet Cafes, tourist centers, schools, hotels, libraries or offices, or terminals for displaying commercials or other public information. When using Exton|OS Kiosk edition, please note that the password for the root account is root.