back to article MX Linux updates Libretto, belts out 23.3, based on Debian 12.5

The latest update to MX Linux is out, and has some small but handy improvements to make it easier to get online and install. MX Linux 23.3 is the latest update to MX Linux 23 "Libretto." The update brings the package basis up to that of Debian 12.5, which came out back in February. It's not radically different from the …

  1. Ken G Silver badge

    I run MX on an old Thinkpad to serve Plex. It's nicely light and just complicated enough to do anything you need.

    I had Windows on the machine before but it would stop streaming whenever an update arrived from MS and run out of memory at the worst times.

  2. Mockup1974 Bronze badge

    It might be nice and all, but I still wonder how they've managed to top the Distrowatch charts for so long.

    1. Roopee Silver badge


      Probably because MX Linux devs did their market research and listen to their users...

    2. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      It might be nice and all...

      Can't speak for anyone else, but MX is the fourth distro I've used over the years and the one that has given me the least trouble. Not that the other ones were bad, but MX is super boring in a good way. The second rule of business is to keep your existing customers, that way whenever you find a new customer you just grew your business. Since the whole point of an OS is to enable the end user to run actual applications, and MX is good enough at letting me do exactly that, I won't be needing to change distros again any time soon.

      The FOSS Desk wrote: "The reason that distros like MX Linux exist, though, is that not everyone has those skills… and some of us do, but just don't want the hassle." Yeah, I generally prefer the terminal for adminstrative tasks. But MX has more GUI helpers than you can shake a stick at, and sometimes I'm just in the mood for click-type-type-click rather than the usual man {command} /{switch} q followed by type-type-enter.

    3. Yankee Doodle Doofus Bronze badge

      I've wondered the same thing, as it doesn't seem all that mainstream. I think one contributing reason is the fact that all Distrowatch really measures is the number of page visits that a certain distro gets on the Distrowatch site. Everyone who is new to the site (or hasn't been there in a while) will undoubtedly click on whatever tops the chart at the moment, if for no other reason than to see what all the fuss is about. It's a very flawed way to try to measure distro popularity.

  3. druck Silver badge

    Pi 5

    I must give it a try on a Pi 5, as the latest Raspbian (not that it is called that any more) Bookworm is a horrible experience out of the box. The networking setup has all changed and it uses Wayland by default. Even with that disabled I couldn't get it to install the Mate desktop, or even change to the correct resolution.

    If MX works well, it will be a bit easier than the solution I went with; which was to first take a Pi 4 running 32 bit Bullseye, create a new card containing 64 bit Bullseye, install all the same packages and manually copy across all the configuration from the 32 bit version - so essentially what an in-place 32 bit to 64 upgrade would do if it was supported. You can then ignoring the dire warnings from the Pi factory and do an in-place upgrade to Bookworm, following one of the handy guides on the internet. You then have a Bookworm that still has all the same networking and graphics setup as Bullseye, but you can now put the card in the Pi 5 and it runs great how a Pi should.

    1. rpi5

      Re: Pi 5

      I've been playing with OS'es for a Pi 5 as well. Not quite the same situation as you as I wasn't trying to upgrade so I might be a bit off target with this suggestion..

      My first attempt using the full fat version of Pi OS on a Pi 5 was a bit of a disaster so I dropped that approach and installed the light CLI version and then added X and Mate to that.

      I'm currently trying Sparky Linux which has some nice touches and I'll be trying MX when I'm sobe with Sparky.

      In case it's of any use my crude notes describe the process as,

      2024-03-15-raspios-bookworm-arm64-lite.img.xz, installed onto 256G USB stick.

      First boot is slow but gets to shell, logon works.

      Screen res is 4k. Need a magnifiyig glass... quixk search and fixed it with,

      sudo nano /boot/firmware/cmdline.txt

      and add to the end of the line, video=HDMI-A-1:1920x1080M@60


      Now I can read the screen, get OS up-to-date

      sudo su

      apt update

      apt dist-upgrade


      Install X and Mate. (No Wayland.) A couple of searches and I pieced this bit together.

      sudo su

      install xserver-xorg -y

      install mate-desktop-environment-core

      apt install lightdm -y


      Boots to shell, logon and try startx, command not found.

      sudo apt install xinit

      Still boots to shell by this time startx gets it running. Changed resolution to 1920x1080 then had a look at the apps on the menus, nicely sparse.

      installed lightdm-gtk-greeter-settings

      Then worked out how to change runlevel using systemd,

      sudo systemctl set-default


      Finally a system that boots cleanly into a Mate GUI and the option to install other wm's and select them.

      sudo apt install synaptic

      to list of what's available and install favourite apps.

      For sparky, I'd learnt a lesson and started with the CLI version.

      apt install sparky-desktop-mate

      It adds a lot more apps than the previous method but does save a lot of typing.

  4. jonha
    Thumb Up

    I am using MX since MX18 as a replacement for then OOS Windows 7 (I've never touched any Windows version > 7. It has always worked on my zoo of desktops and laptops (among them a Lenovo X220 but also newer stuff with Ryzen 5 5600s). Always worked very well.

    A further point worth mentioning is the lively and very helpful MX forum.

    And last but not least, one of the rarely mentioned things all MX versions can do is to be installed in parallel to an existing Windows install *without* the need to resize or repartition the HDD. It'll perfectly boot from an NTFS partition, the only requirement being enough space for a frugal install (that'll be around 4 to 6GB). This was how I slowly migrated from Win7 to MX back then, by dual-booting Windows and a frugal MX18 install (nowadays I don't dual boot anymore).

  5. Locomotion69

    The review in February made me update (yes, update) my ancient Samsung NC10 to MX Linux 23,2 (coming from Windows XP).

    The only thing I regret is that I have not heard of MX Linux before. It even identified my network Epson printer and configured the driver for it - something that WinXP would never be able to do (too old).

    Best move ever. So now for the update :)

    Thank you El Reg for the article!

  6. TheRealRoland

    Little late to the party

    But got a bit frustrated with wayland/not-wayland, and some weird delays / slowdowns i was experiencing after switching to one or the other.

    Decided to grab MX 23.3 - wow, that's fast. Neat how it still has the relevant pi config tools; and more importantly this is now a Pi5, bookworm-ish, that still can run VNC in the licensed personal-use mode. Just enable it using raspi-config, and off you go. I think this got the best of all worlds at the moment.

    Anyways, stopped by to say that. Not looking back at Raspberry OS at the moment.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like