A Look at Titan Linux -- Customized Debian Stable
I was talking with a friend of mine about Linux distributions, and he asked me if I had ever heard of Titan Linux, to which I replied I had not. He told me he had recently read an article about it, praising it for being a great customized version of Debian Stable...so, I had to try it out for myself!
When I got to the homepage for the site, I found it pleasant to look at and well organized, with the various download options easily noticeable. Getting my hands on the ISO was easy. I also loved the inclusion of their GitHub and GitLab linked right on the front page.
So, in a matter of minutes, I had my handy USB drive ready to go, and I was set to boot into the live environment.
- Ryzen 5 3500X
- 32GB DDR4 3200Mhz
- AMD Radeon 6900XT
- 2x 1080P Screens + 1x 21:9 1440P Screen
- Audio through DAC/Amp combo unit plugged in via USB-C
So, I booted into the live environment, but then got a lengthy phone call and stepped away from my PC. When I returned, I forgot I hadn’t installed yet, and started clicking around, exploring and testing things...and even on this 10 year old no-name little 8GB USB stick, the system flew so fast I didn’t notice until I saw the Installation icon on the desktop...oops.
Installation of Titan Linux uses the Calamares installation utility, not the one you’d usually find in Debian – and I think this is awesome. Calamares is my favourite OS installation utility to-date, and it worked just as well as it usually does for me, this time around. It was just a few moments to choose the drive I wanted, and to replace the existing Ubuntu installation that was there, and the installation started. I will say that installation took a few minutes longer than some other systems I’ve used in the last couple years; but it wasn’t too slow or anything, maybe 10-15 minutes at most installing onto this SSD.
Included Software and Features
When I was perusing the menu items of Titan Linux I was surprised at just how minimal it was, and it delighted me. Another interesting thing to note was that despite Titan Linux using KDE Plasma for its desktop environment, not all applications installed are the KDE tools you’d expect. For example, the image viewer is LXImage, from LXQT. However, I support these changes, as they looked completely in-line with the theme and style of Titan Linux and it felt very much like a custom setup that someone spent the time to actually figure out great choices for the system rather than just relying on defaults or old-faithfuls.
Another interesting and truly awesome feature of Titan Linux is the “Titan Toolbox” menu item. Inside are various utilities and tools that I am certain many will find useful. Some examples are:
- Button for restarting network service
- Button for clearing swap (first time I’ve seen this so easily available, and something more distributions should include out-of-the-box as a button, I think!)
- Application Terminator (turns your mouse into an application killing skull and crossbones. Click and POOF)
- “Extra Software” application that opens a terminal application with easy access to web-browsers, Office, Encrypted DVD Support, Hypervisors and AppImage launchers, all easy to install without needing to open the App store “Discover” included with the system.
- Titan Tweak Tool with the ability to modify the aggressiveness of your swap.
- Many, many others.
This system was blazing fast though used a little more resources than I expected – but barely anything still.
With Firefox open with three tabs (Ghacks, Google, Titan Linux homepage), LibreOffice Writer, LXImage open on blank, Dolphin open, and the System Monitor open, my CPU averaged 4-6% but with random spikes up to 12% fairly frequently, and I was using 3GB of RAM.
Overall, I am loving Titan Linux, and I think I may use it for a while. I haven’t used Debian in ages, and this custom setup with a nice mostly-KDE environment and some powerful tools created by the developers (there is only two, so kudos to them) has really impressed me, so I’m going to see how I like it as a daily-driver for some time.
NOW YOU: Have you ever used Titan Linux? What about Debian? Tell us your thoughts on them in the comments below!
I know one of the hackers that work it. I’ve run it since beta. It’s the only KDE I’ve run that I like. I hate KDE (usually-Feren is nice… for Ubuntu garbage) it’s leaned out and cleaned up well.
I recently discovered Arcolinux (https://arcolinux.com/), a distro based on Arch. And, before you run away, hear me out. It is a distro that various editions, ranging from a bare bones one to one that comes fully equipped with all the usual apps.
The thing that struck me about Arcolinux is the extensive collections of tutorials with the objective to make users more comfortable with Linux (not just Arch-based), and with the overall objective to get people to use the terminal (command line).
Linux has the reputation that you need to spend a lot of time in the terminal to get things set up and done. Arcolinux is not like that. There are 2 basic tools you need to install and you can mostly use a GUI to do things, such as downloading apps. However, you can also make use of the terminal if you so wish to.
Again, the tutorials are extremely useful, something I wish I had come across earlier, I was blown away by them. Aside from that, there is also a forum where you can ask questions and get an answer very quickly.
Oh, one more thing. It is a rolling release, which newbies are always warned against as being risky to mess up your system with an update – in the case of Arcolinux there are daily updates.
IMO that is a bunk argument. Like with any Linux distro, as well as Windwos and MacOS, a user is always supposed to make a backup of the system in case an update has bugs. Windows is the champion of screwed up updates, and even MacOS is not free. So, with Arcolinux you should make a backup. If there is a problem you can wind back, as it were.
Last but not least, I have no relationship with the dev, neither commerically nor technically nor in any other way. Go ahead and give it a try, and if you are really interested in Linux you’ll become hooked.
I’m too deep into the Arch Linux ecosystem to ever go back to a non-rolling release system, but I still have fond memories of Debian. From time to time I consider looking for a distro based on Debian Unstable or Testing, but nothing has struck my fancy yet.
Did you trying changing the Titan repos from Stable to Unstable? How many packages from custom repos are included with Titan?
The year of *YALD* linux! (Yet Another Linux Distro). :D
I like Astra Linux, only GIGACHAD people understand the reasons to go for it.
That Russian distro was rejected by Distrowatch, btw.
I don’t know and I guess I don’t care about “Distrowatch”, they are nothing to me. I can imagine the reason “Russia bad” “FSB bad” yeah yeah…. the 80s (mostly) propaganda seems like it worked so well, I mean, after soviet union then the propaganda in movies was over, but it was until like 2015 or whatever when you started seeing movies again with ‘Russians are bad’.
Yet, people promote CIA, USA gov and other Gov agencies tools like Tor, Signal, which literally got financed by US gov, then we have other tools that don’t care about you and your info, like like Mozilla Firefox who are anti anything moral value, anti freedom anti everything good, but “it’s not Chrome” even though it exists because of Google hundred millions, but they surely want to control the internet and shape it their own way for sure.
You know, just like about most big tech USA or European software that gives the info to US or any other government as they please. Lately for example, I have seen more and more people talking about Vivaldi, they say they will give to any law agency your info on request and pings home with all your machine info every 24h.
The whole evidence of 2000 mules documentary is based on how you can easily buy tracking information from millions of phones for few bucks, they talked about a petabyte of tracking data, that’s how they came out with 2000 mules by filtering the data and having high requirements to avoid false positives, but the moment they lowered a little the requirements it went up to 45k mules.
I mean, it doesn’t matter if you believe what they say or not, the point is about how easily it was for them to see the same person going to different places where the ballot dropping box was. Because everything tracks you and in USA everything spies you, but somehow most of the software promoted are based in USA or European countries where freedom or anything like it is a priority.
So, I don’t know the reason distrowatch ‘rejected’ Astra Linux, like I tried to find the information and nothing, but I am sure is because of the whole anti russian/soviet union propaganda, but then people like Aaron Jones who pretty much would say, using Chinese or Russian software, you know, the super evil countries, would be better for most people because those govs will not go after you.
So long life to Astra Linux.
Also, THAT Russian distro is the one used by Russian Gov, so that means they at least shaped it to protect more info so no little rats from western can crawl around it, you know, when they dropped Microsoft Windows. So I guess you should support them since they are helping to build the year of linux!
Someday it will come true!
Just because the US is bad doesn’t make Putin and his Neo-Bolshevik horde any better!
Glad to see more Linux material in here, thanks Mike. This distro seems promising, some really cool ideas, but still a bit rough compared to others that are somewhat similar.
I downloaded a 10 Gig Iso to BluR 25Gig DVD and installed Rocky Linux to my laptop, it was stable from the get-go.
Cafeteria style, instant downloading of apps, games, etc, I’m not crazy about Gnome and systemd but it is seamless.
Love the Linux articles, Mike.
After seeing this article, I downloaded Titan Linux and tried it out. I was very favorably impressed. It is a very minimalistic Debian/KDE Plasma install. IMHO, it’s just about perfect for laptops and workstations where the end user needs just a bit more than a server machine. (Not to say that Titan won’t work on the server as well.) The only Debian/KDE Plasma distribution that’s more Spartan than Titan (again, IMHO) is Q4OS installed with the “pure” option. I still have one file server/network services machine running Q4OS, but I now have both a laptop and a high-end server machine running Titan Linux, as well. Each of the two Titan machines is serving as the host machine for several Oracle VirtualBox client VMs, including both workstation and server versions Microsoft Windows OS. I’ve been very happy with Titan Linux thus far.