Ubuntu 11.04

Ubuntu’s latest release (code named Natty Narwhal) is finally out and I grabbed a copy of it to check it out. Canonical has gotten some flack for this release since it uses Unity as the default desktop instead of the usual GNOME interface. Some users seem to love it and others have vowed to switch away from Ubuntu and find some other distribution as their main desktop Linux.

Only time will tell if Unity brings in more Ubuntu users than it drives away. The jury is still out on that one and will be for quite some time, but I shared some of my thoughts a while back in a column on EOL called “Unity: Ubuntu’s Descent Into Madness!”

Bodhi 1.0

Ubuntu has many different derivative distros and now there’s a new one called Bodhi Linux. Bodhi derives from the Buddhist term for enlightenment and, not surprisingly, it uses the Enlightenment desktop environment. The leaf logo used throughout this distribution takes meaning from its name since the word “bohdi” also denotes a sacred tree in Buddhism.

Fusion 14 Thorium

Fedora is one of the best known desktop Linux distros but there aren’t a whole lot of derivative distros based on it. Fusion 14 is a new distro that uses Fedora 14 as its base. Don’t be fooled though, Fusion is not your father’s Fedora at all. There’s more to it than meet’s the eye and it stands a pretty good chance of replacing generic Fedora for users who like the Fedora base but who prefer to have some value-added features that take it to another level.

Zorin OS 4

Many people coming from Windows try Ubuntu Linux as their first Linux distribution. But Ubuntu itself, while very good, may not always be the best choice. There are many Ubuntu derivatives and it’s possible that one of those can sometimes be a better bet for those seeking to ease their way into a comfortable Linux niche. Zorin OS is an Ubuntu derivative designed to help make the transition from Windows to Linux as easy as possible.

Frugalware 1.4 Nexon

I’ve gotten a fair number of requests to look at Frugalware in the past so I decided to take a peek at Frugalware 1.4 (Nexon). Frugalware has always had a reputation for not being very accessible to newer Linux users or those who simply wanted an easy to use desktop version of Linux. This release goes at least partway to making this distro accessible to more users, but more work definitely needs to be done on the Frugalware installer (more on that later).

Debian 6 Squeeze

It wasn’t too long ago that I did a very late review of Debian 5. I’m happy to say that it didn’t take me nearly as long to get around to the latest release, Debian 6 Squeeze. If you aren’t familiar with Debian then this release is a great chance to learn about a distro that is the foundation for a lot of other distributions including Ubuntu, Linux Mint and others.

Pardus 2011

It’s been a while since I last took a look at Pardus and much has changed since then. The distro has been upgraded to Pardus 2011. Pardus is a KDE distribution created in Turkey by the National Research Institute of Electronics and Cryptology (UEKAE). The word “pardus” is actually derived from the Latin name for a leopard that lives in Turkey. This is why you’ll see leopard/kitty graphics in the distribution at times.

MoonOS 4 Neake

It’s been quite a while since I last looked at MoonOS. MoonOS is another Ubuntu-based derivative. The last review covered version 3.0, this time around it’s MoonOS 4.0. MoonOS is a bit off the beaten track in terms of Linux distros, but it might be worth looking at if you are a fan of Ubuntu-based distributions.

Fedora 14 KDE

In my last look at Fedora 14, I covered the GNOME version. Fedora comes in other flavors though, including a KDE version. Since there are many KDE users out there, I thought it wise to cover the KDE release.

Linux Mint 10

Whenever a new version of Ubuntu is released, you can be sure a new version of Linux Mint will soon follow. This time around it’s Linux Mint 10. Linux Mint, as you may already know, is one of the most popular Ubuntu remasters. It’s known for its excellent tools, great selection of software and bundled multimedia codecs.

Debian 5

I’ve written a lot of reviews of distros based on Debian, but never a review of Debian itself. So this time around I decided to look at Debian 5 (Lenny). Debian, if you aren’t familiar with it, is the rock upon which popular distributions like Ubuntu and MEPIS are built on. Sometimes folks who use a Debian-based distribution aren’t even aware of what it is based on, and that’s a shame because Debian itself has so much to offer.

Fedora 14

With the release of Ubuntu 10.10 recently, it’s been Ubuntu overload recently in Linux land. Thankfully, another heavy weight distro has weighed in with an update: Fedora 14.

Fedora 14 has wisely decided to stick with GNOME, unlike the next version of Ubuntu (which promises to use the awful Unity interface on the desktop). Fedora 14 is also available in KDE, LXDE and XFCE versions. For this review, I used the GNOME version.

Ultimate Edition 2.8

Earlier this week I wrote a quick look over on EOL about Super OS 10.10. Super OS…well…it didn’t exactly live up to its name, though it does have its place among the many Ubuntu remasters out there. I ran into another distro though that does a more credible job of living up to its name. Ultimate Edition 2.8 is the latest release of yet another Ubuntu-based distro.

As you can tell by the name, there’s very little about Ultimate Edition that’s subtle. It could rightfully be described as Ubuntu on steroids, lots and lots and lots of steroids. This distro is on so many steroids that this is the first time I’ve actually been scared to write a review of a distro, roid rage and all that. Heh.

Kubuntu 10.10

This week can definitely be summed up as Canonical Week, first with the release of Ubuntu 10.10 and then the release of its sister distros (Kubuntu, Lubuntu, etc.). This time around I took a look at Kubuntu 10.10. My impression of the last release of Kubuntu wasn’t very positive. Well imagine my surprise when I finally got a chance to look at Kubuntu 10.10! It’s got some great changes in it that make it a definite upgrade for current Kubuntu users, and that also make it worth looking at by non-Kubuntu users.

Ubuntu 10.10

It seems like just yesterday that Ubuntu Linux 10.04 was released, but here we are and Ubuntu 10.10 has just been released. Wow! How time flies!

There has been some controversy over this release, with some folks saying that Canonical’s six-month release cycle is too often and that there aren’t enough things in this release to warrant an upgrade.

I politely disagree with that assessment, and I’ll show you why in this review. Ubuntu 10.10 is a worthwhile though not overwhelmingly impressive release; it’s worth considering as an upgrade if you are already running an earlier version of Ubuntu. It’s also certainly worth looking at if you are new to Ubuntu and are thinking about using it as your desktop operating system.