Step into the world of MX Linux 23, codenamed “Libretto,” offering modern Xfce, KDE, Fluxbox desktops, and an array of improvements.
Debian enjoys many derivatives, with Ubuntu being the most popular in the desktop niche. In the same field, however, aimed at more advanced users, MX Linux is one of the best things to happen to your desktop.
Rating by us as one of the best desktop-oriented distros, including Xfce as its flagship desktop environment, the (almost) systemd-free Linux distro MX Linux is a long-established name among open-source enthusiasts.
Today, after two betas, three RCs, refreshed identity, and over six months after the previous 21.3 release, MX Linux’s devs released the highly anticipated MX Linux 23 “Libretto.” So, let’s see what’s changed.
What’s New in MX Linux 23
Powered by Linux kernel 6.1 LTS, MX Linux 23 comes fully rebased on the most up-to-date Debian 12.1 “Bookworm” release and MX repositories. This brings all the benefits of that release, the biggest being the completely refreshed package base.
At the same time, the MX 23 AHS flavor ships with Linux kernel 6.4. AHS (Advanced Hardware Support) is a special MX software repo that allows users to install things like new graphics stack and firmware, as well as updated Mesa packages and Xorg drivers.
On the desktop side, MX Linux 23 includes the latest and greatest – Xfce 4.18, KDE Plasma 5.27, and Fluxbox 1.3.7. Moreover, all three MX editions focus on accessibility, including Orca Screen Reader and a screen magnifier tool.
And speaking of the desktop, Plasma settings were tweaked to deal with new configuration options in Plasma 5.27.
Much work has also been done on the apps side, as many MX apps have been updated with bug fixes and enhancements. The new User Installed Packages app is impressive, with an innovative concept.
It creates a file containing a list of packages installed by the user on one system and allows this file to be opened and all packages described in it to be installed on another system.
This feature is handy when switching from one major MX version to another, as it keeps a list of all the additional packages you’ve used and allows you to install them all at once with the press of a button.
Another app getting a lot of attention is MX Snapshot. It allows users to personalize their snapshot boot options while automatically removing ones that might prevent the created live system from booting on different machines.
Security in MX Linux 23 is also given due attention. UFW (Uncomplicated Firewall), a firewall designed to simplify configuring and managing a firewall on a Linux system, is now enabled by default.
MX developers warn that this may cause issues when using printers, so bear that in mind and make the necessary adjustments.
Aside from the previously listed features, we will also mention that MX Linux 23 ships with many new configuration options for the Fluxbox release. On top of that, all MX releases switched to using PipeWire and Wireplumber by default instead of PulseAudio.
Finally, MX Linux 23 continues its tradition to be a systemd-free Linux distro – it uses systemd-shim, meaning that systemd is installed, but the default init is SysVinit.
If you want to give MX Linux 23 “Libretto” a try, which we highly recommend, the links to the installation ISO images are on the project’s download page. The distro offers 32-bit and 64-bit versions, as only the KDE flavor doesn’t have a 32-bit variant.