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Hannah Montana Linux

July 27, 2009
By

Sometimes I run into a remastered distro that is so odd…so strange…so disgusting…that I don’t even know where to begin in reviewing it. Hannah Montana Linux is one such remastered distribution. Before I get into this review I have to confess that I had no real idea who this Hannah Montana person was before I wrote this review. I’m 40 and I don’t have cable TV. Nor do I bother to listen to very much in the way of today’s crappy music.

So, in order to figure out who Hannah Montana was, I finally broke down and googled her name. She apparently is a character in a Disney TV show. Wow. Who knew?

Here’s the scoop from Wikipedia in case you weren’t in the know about Hannah Montana either:

Hannah Montana is an Emmy Award-nominated[1] American television series, which debuted on March 24, 2006 on Disney Channel. The series focuses on a girl who lives a double life as an average teenage school girl named Miley Stewart (played by Miley Cyrus) by day and a famous pop singer named Hannah Montana by night, concealing her real identity from the public, other than her close friends and family.

She apparently warrants her own customized desktop version of Linux for some strange reason that I cannot fathom. So, as always, I will try to put aside my own personal feelings and write as unbiased and objective a review as I can. Well…it’s going to be pretty damn tough in this situation but I promise to try and do my best.

Picture 2

Boot Up & Installation
Hannah Montana Linux is a Live CD version of Linux. So you can opt to use it without actually installing it. If you really need to see what this distribution looks like (as if the screenshots included in this review aren’t enough to ward you off) then I’d say use it as a Live CD so you don’t corrupt your computer’s hard disk by actually installing it.

I opted, as usual, to do the install and didn’t have any problems with it. Since Hannah Montana Linux is Kubuntu you probably won’t have a problem either.

Desktop & Apps
When I booted into my Hannah Montana desktop I was greeted by two horrific things. The first was some cheesy music with her singing something about “the best of both worlds” or whatever. To me it was the worst of all worlds. Ugh. And the audio didn’t end. It just kept looping, over and over although she did seem to stop singing. But the cheesy pop guitar continued on and on and on…

The second thing I noticed was the color purple. Or perhaps it’s a dark pink. I really can’t tell which. I’d lean toward purple. Or would violet be the right color? Frankly, does anybody really care? Regardless of what the actual color is, it’s a very garish desktop. If I were going to continue using Hannah Montana Linux, I would surely change the heinous wallpaper. But then that would probably defeat the purpose of using this distro in the first place. Nevermind.

Since Hannah Montana Linux is a customized version of Kubuntu, you get the usual array of Kubuntu software. Here’s a sample of what you can expect:

Graphics
Okular Doc Viewer
Gwenview Image Viewer
KSnapshot

Internet
Konqueror
KMail
Quassel IRC
Kopete IM
Krfb Desktop Sharing
KTorrent BitTorrent Client

Multimedia
Amarok Audio Player
Dragon Video Player

Office
Kontact PIM
KAddressBook
KOrganizer

Picture 6

Problems & Headaches
First of all, I hate the color of the Hannah Montana desktop. Purple or dark pink or an unholy blend of the two. Whatever it was, I didn’t like it. It’s such an obnoxious color and it’s everywhere in Hannah Montana Linux. If you hate pink/purple/whatever as much as I do you will go insane staring at the screen of your computer if you install this distribution.

And the horrific sight of Tux sitting on the desktop with a Hannah Montana logo on his chest. Well let’s just say it left me thirsting for the righteous wallpaper found in Ubuntu: Satanic Edition. I’d much rather have picture of some evil chick with satanic hooters on my desktop than a bastardized Hannah Montana picture of Tux any day.

I didn’t care for the obnoxious Hannah Montana audio blaring over and over while I used Hannah Montana. Yes, I could have turned down the volume or probably shut it off but the fact that it’s there in the first place is truly awful. In retrospect I should have replaced it with some Zeppelin or Black Sabbath or something.

The lack of GIMP and OpenOffice was quite noticeable. Certainly KOffice should have been included by default at the very least.

And there were no Hannah Montana specific applications. In some of our other customized distros such as Ubuntu: Christian Edition and Ubuntu Muslim Edition (Sabily) we had various religious apps that were unique to those distributions. Alas, there is no Hannah Montana app included in this distribution. Frankly though, I’m not sure what the heck a Hannah Montana app would actually do but it would be nice to have one or two that added some additional value to this distribution.

Getting Help for Hannah Montana Linux
Please take a moment to register for the DLR forum (registration takes less than a minute and you can login with your Facebook account if you want); everybody is welcome. You are welcome to post a message in the Linux Help section and we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction. The forum contains discussions about Linux, but also many other topics. Please stop by and say hello when you have a chance.

Drop by the forum to get help, talk about Linux or just hang out.

You can also drop the maker of Hannah Montana Linux an email with your question or comment.

montanamenu

Final Thoughts & Who Should Use It
Hannah Montana Linux is clearly geared toward those who are, in fact, Hannah Montana fans. I’m guessing that this group must be comprised mainly of very young people. I can’t imagine adults really being fans of this obnoxious little TV pop tart.

If you aren’t a Hannah Montana fan, don’t download this distribution. Unless you are a masochist and you like the color purple or dark pink or whatever the heck it is…

Having said all of that, I give the people who did this distro a great deal of credit because they did a good job customizing it. Yes, I hate the whole Hannah Montana thing but they made sure that the boot screen, icons, color scheme, etc. were all customized with Hannah Montana themed replacements.

Overall, I think they did a good job turning Kubuntu into Hannabuntu. I’m not going to penalize this distro in the final scoring despite the fact that Hannah Montana makes me want to hurl. You have to give credit where credit is due and this customization of Kubuntu is actually pretty well done…if you are a Hannah Montana fan.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I must purge my computer of all things Hannah and pretend I never wrote this review in the first place.

Ugh.

Summary Table:

Product: Hannah Montana Linux
Web Site: http://hannahmontana.sourceforge.net/
Price: Free
Pros: Hannah Montana wallpaper, customized Hannah Montana desktop including cheesy Hannah Montana desktop music.
Cons: Well…it’s Hannah Montana…you either like it or you don’t.
Suitable For: Hannah Montana fans only. No others should ever contemplate installing this distro. Ever.
Summary: A tongue-in-cheek distro that Hannah Montana fans will love and all others will probably detest.
Rating: 3.5/5

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33 Responses to Hannah Montana Linux

  1. Brian Masinick on May 7, 2010 at 7:53 am

    @Gemini,

    Were you aware of the fact that Google's upcoming ChromeOS (which has been relatively quiet in the news lately, but has been under development for at least a year now, and due for a release, if I remember right, some time around October, is, in fact, loosely based upon the Ubuntu distribution. Google heavily modifies it, sets up a kernel that boots rapidly and places you immediately into a Google Chrome Web browser within seconds. There are prototypes that have been available for some time, and for certain things, it may actually be a decent idea.

    Again, I think that is the value of these numerous derivatives. Once entrepreneurs get wise to what they can easily do by remastering some of the best Linux distributions, I can very much foresee an ecosystem that has preconfigured appliances, heavily themed for a particular environment, fast, usable, easily recognizable because of their brand, and quite useful for specific tasks.

    If these guys had been just a bit more creative, they could go to Disney, get permission to use their trademarked information and possibly partner with them, then sell a bunch of branded versions for various kid's shows – I've mentioned a number of them earlier, not all Disney, but the point is that there could well be a market for netbooks in bright pink containing some girlie systems.

    On that same theme, there probably is also a market for branded systems for perverts. Partnering with a billion dollar porno business could be lucrative, too, if making money is the only objective.

    I won't be going down either of those avenues myself; I prefer the classic, technically oriented systems, but these derivatives do at least awake the imagination, so let's give due credit for that!

    I wanted to wake up this thread, too, since we are getting some good traffic here with all the buntu conversations.

  2. Gobbledygook on August 14, 2009 at 1:43 am

    As reviews go, though, I don't think much of this. Seriously, there were only three paragraphs that actually functioned as a "review" – the one where you bemoan, rightly, the lack of GIMP and OOffice, and the third- and second-last paras. The rest is just overdramatic 'gosh how pink'. If you're going to review the Hannah Monatana remaster (yep, not distro), review how well it's been done, will it appeal to the target audience, etc. I *know* that 40-something men won't like the pink, the music etc. Duh. But what does it offer a 12-y.o. girl? Can you select a range of Mily Cyrus music for the start-up? How well as the customisation been? In short, the product is a hannahmontanised kubuntu, how well does it function *as that*?

    Otherwise, why bother writing this as a serious review?

  3. chez on August 13, 2009 at 10:01 am

    The color is lilac.

  4. benjammin35 on August 5, 2009 at 6:13 am

    Apparently the author and I differ enough in opinion that I felt compelled to respond. Not to mention the comments from some people about puking out their nose, etc.

    I think the underlying question is "Why?"

    It makes computing more approachable. Linux still has the reputation of requiring arcane knowledge in order to be able to use it. Linux has been making great strides in terms of ease of use for those of us whom studying computer systems is low to non-existent in terms of priorities. But it's still not for everyone. Let the bakers bake better bread and the painters paint better pictures. Meanwhile, while we change the user base of Linux, we change the operating system itself. The back-end is very powerful, but the more end-users who choose to adopt it for everyday systems, the more Linux becomes a relevant system.

    I myself have a daughter who is a Hannah Montana fan. There is a big difference between a (desktop, shirt, backpack) with her picture on it and one that was designed from the ground up and carries the name. It imparts an officiality to the item that is important to them at her age. For me, this specific distro is very much relevant, and I look forward to her using it. She is already familiar with 2 versions of windows, 2 distros of Linux, and 1 flavor of unix and uses them on a daily basis. Although she shows little interest in Computational Sciences, with the exception of BASIC programming, that kind of computer literacy can do nothing but good for her in the long run.

    This remaster has 2 benefits to it, even with her in that environment:

    # Because it is a LiveCD it is physically portable- she can take it anywhere with her.

    # It is redistributable, meaning she can share it with her friends. This is not something she can do with a backpack or a shirt.

    As for the comments on the security issues from the security professional, you seem to be a bit short-sighted in your own profession. You would be much better off monitoring from the network level than on a box-by-box scenario, labor-wise and effectiveness-wise. You just need to use the right tools. Then it doesn't matter what distro they use, LiveCD or not.

    Thank you to the author. I am downloading it right now.

  5. Sam on August 4, 2009 at 9:51 am

    This doesn't look like a distro or a remaster. It looks like a plain old desktop theme. You can download themes all day long and not have to reinstall an OS to get Hannah.

  6. Gemini on July 30, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    Well, I am in the same boat as you, as far as Hannah Montana is involved. But what I see as a positive note is, that this is a Linux Distro which targets the younger generations, and I think that is a really good thing.

    I am sure there will be other similar remasters to follow and hopefully this will boost the knowledge in the existence, and use of Linux for our younger generations.

  7. Bob Robertson on July 30, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    This re-affirms my position that Google should just "remaster" an existing distribution into GoogleOS, rather than reinventing the wheel.

    A Google theme on top of a major "desktop" like XFCE, KDE or GNOME, would be all they really need to do. Then put it on top of Debian Stable or something else dead-solid-reliable.

    So what does anyone think of the chances of Google making LESS work for themselves? Naaaa, not a chance.

  8. Crow on July 30, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    You should be glad little girls don't read what you write and don't write about what you likes :lol:

    What certainly you don't realize is that Kubuntu remaster or not is an interesting experiment; is not important if is not successful, the best thing is that people keeps searching ways to "sell" Linux

  9. LOLWhat on July 30, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Actually a respin linux distribution is a GREAT idea for the younger teenage girls who have netbooks/laptops. I can see a real audiance for it. How many mothers and fathers gave there kids laptops. They are usually underpowered. Nix is a good solution. Give them a browser, skype, IM, open office, photo editor. Teens spend there life using modern tamagotchi's.. like Txting, skype, IM, Facebook.

    Hanna is a disney icon for young teen girls.

    Smart Idea. :happy:

  10. Brian Masinick on July 30, 2009 at 7:39 am

    I think their could be a short term market for small netbooks with various cartoon or pre-teen themes – starting with this one. What about Jonas Brothers Linux, Terminator Linux, Star Wars Linux, Transformers Linux, Barbie Linux, ZoeyGirl Linux, etc? If that price point dips down in the $100-150 range this Christmas, I think it would be great to have some themed versions of netbooks or relatively low powered refurbished laptops that could be sold as potential presents for kids, and at least at Christmas, I think there could actually be a market for them!

  11. PsycoTon on July 30, 2009 at 5:13 am

    WTF! Could someone shot me in the head, please? It's just unfuckingbelievable… why the hell a developer would do such a disgusting thing?

    I think he was losing his mind or something like that.

    :angry:

    :sick:

  12. Oni89 on July 30, 2009 at 3:23 am

    "I’d much rather have picture of some evil chick with satanic hooters on my desktop than a bastardized Hannah Montana picture of Tux any day."

    Who wouldn't`?

    and also I wouldn't mind having the evil chick with satanic hooters anyway ^^,

  13. Nic on July 30, 2009 at 12:53 am

    Sorry to be the harbinger of doom but if there is going to be a review of a release that obviously targets young girls can there be some discussion of who created it and whether a decent security audit has been done. Does it phone home?, are any IM tools the standard package? etc etc.

    It's hard enough keeping track of what websites etc my daughter goes on when she uses the laptop I setup for her so there is no way I am going to install a random linux release with no history. Maybe I'm overprotective/cynical and my job is in security but reviews need to take that sort of thing into consideration if the target market is children. Also the author of the release should be mindful of parents concerns, the website for the release is incredibly lacking in info, do you really know what you're installing for your kids then?

  14. mark on July 29, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    thanks for the early morning laugh out loud session :w00t:

  15. Business101 on July 29, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    NnnNOOoOOOOOOOOO!Ooo!!!!!
    Oh man,that just makes me want to puke through my nose.
    Who had this bright idea?

  16. JMR on July 29, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    He he he

    How 'bout Hello Kitty Linux or Shakira Linux?

    Amazing what some people do, what a waste of time

  17. CD Baric on July 29, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    You are an idiot!

    Why in the world would you go to all the trouble and effort of downloading and installing the Hannah Montana version of Kubuntu when you are obviously so unqualified to write this review.

    I am a grandfather of a 12 year old girl who loves Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus. My granddaughter loves the character Hannah Montana, loves the music & dancing and loves the stories. She will love the Hannah Montana desktop and will learn Linux all the better as a result.

    You obviously have neither children or grandchildren that are age appropriate for Hannah Montana – too bad for you.

    So, thanks for your useless review… Not!

    CD Baric

  18. Juan Pablo Angamarca on July 29, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    I didn't believe this the first time I saw this. What's next? iCarlyx? High School Musical Linux? Ned's Linux Survival OS? … (nervous laugh)

  19. Jonathan Slaff on July 29, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Nobody is giving the people responsible for "Hannah Montana" Linux credit for their initiative in easing the next generation into Open Source and away from predatory proprietary companies like you-know-who.

    My daughter is now too old for Hannah Montana, but had it been available when she was a 'tween, I'd have been grateful to expose her to Linux through it. I tried to rope her into Linux with Edubuntu, but she didn't like its imagery. It was too "little kid" for her.

    Now, although she is comfortable in the desktops of several Linux distros (she has used Ubuntu, PCLOS, Linux Mint and Sabayon), she embraces Windoze because it's easy to sync with her eye-pod, eye-touch and Blackberry. And she keeps asking for a mac.

    Sigh.

  20. Rich on July 29, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    My niece will LOVE this! I'm downloading it now for her.

  21. David C on July 29, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if Disney had a few issuses with this.

  22. shamil on July 29, 2009 at 8:42 am

    They ought to make degrassi the next generation linux. TMNT Linux after that for sure.

    This is a very poor remaster. You just downloaded 700mb for a specific background, kde color scheme, and music.

    What would have made the joke even funnier is not including any apps of any kind and remove network/internet support making this remaster.That way all you could do is turn on the computer to do nothing more than enjoy the color scheme, background, and music.

  23. HyRax on July 28, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Now we just need someone to complement this with "Ben 10 Linux". :lol:

  24. Sean on July 28, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    I can't imagine it will be too long until before the creators get an angry letter from Disney for trademark infringement – especially if you start to get any traction.

  25. tlmck on July 28, 2009 at 11:36 am

    What we have learned from this review is that Jim Lynch is not the giggling 12 year old girl many of us thought he was.:smile:

    But seriously, I think they erred by basing this on Kubuntu. They would have been better served tarting up gOS instead. I mean it has most of the icons likely to be used by the target audience already preinstalled on the lower dock. And, based on my experience, young girls seem to prefer a dock like interface for some reason.

    As sort of a point of clarification, Miley Cyrus who portrays Hanna Montana, is a one person multi-billion dollar conglomerate. The kid is set for life many times over, and she is not even 18 yet!

    I am curious if they had to get permission to do this respin. Perhaps since they are not selling it, the Disney folks consider it free advertising.

    Michael Jackson Moonwalk Ubuntu anyone? Get it? It automatically backs up! :lol:

  26. peer on July 28, 2009 at 10:16 am

    I give it 7 ½ starrs! Just for the (bizarre) idea!

    Really, if preteen girls are already 'contaminated' with that stuff, well, what could be worse than givin' a Windows computer for them to use? It would break their minds with its (purposeful) nonsense.

    HML may be a good system (and get better on the way) and some smart guy(s) made it free for the kids.. :wub:

    Cheer up!

  27. masinick on July 28, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Yes, Hannah Montana Linux really qualifies more of a "respin" pr a "remaster" of the main distribution, Kubuntu, than deserving of the full title of a "distribution". We could say that it is a distribution based on Kubuntu. I would consider Kubuntu to qualify as a complete distribution. It has sufficient distinctive features to differentiate itself from its Ubuntu parent and from Debian, the core technology behind it.

    Having these special interest systems is something I find interesting. I think that "respins" like this one may very easily be burned into EPROM, USB SSD, or some similar media to create inexpensive, special purpose appliances for specific audiences. I could see selling a $50-75 simple computer with something like Hannah Montana Linux on it and selling it to the third to sixth grade "girl" audience.

    I think that if Google does their homework well, they could use either their Android, Chrome OS, or a combination of those technologies, to market custom hand held mobile devices for consumers in a variety of markets.

    We're just experimenting with stuff like Hannah Montana Linux for the fun and novelty of it, but can't you see the potential for integrators to target specific markets by creating inexpensive devices and actually selling them to their targeted customer base? I think it may happen and I already see it happening on a small scale.

    This distribution is not the answer, but it does point to the potential that we are beginning to untap with these creative variations.

  28. arif on July 27, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    Agree. I'am sick with so many 'distro'. The real distro just a little only.

    Debian is a distro.

    *buntu, sidux, mepisLinux, Dream Linux is Debian fork.

    Ultimate edition, satan, uce, sabily, super os, opengeu, CrunchBang, Easy Peasy, PC/OS, *buntu base is ubuntu remaster.

    Basicly ubuntu remaster/derivative will have the same bug like ubuntu. One bug with jaunty is 'soft reset fail' if boot from USB flash drive. Jim, u never know if just try using virtual pc.

  29. Jim Lynch on July 27, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    bigbearomaha wrote:

    I think the bigger ‘injustice’ here is that you keep referring to it as a distro.

    It isn’t a distro, it’s a remaster.

    you could just as easily call it “Kubuntu Hannah”

    one of the biggest reasons people think there are too many distros is because people don’t know how to tell the difference between a ‘distro’ and a ‘remaster’

    It’s a remaster targeted to a particular niche group who prefers that particular decoration/presentation without having to figure out how to do all that themselves.

    no big deal.

    Big Bear

    That's a great distinction, Big Bear. I'll try to bear that in mind in future reviews. Thanks for pointing it out.

    :smile:

  30. bigbearomaha on July 27, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    I think the bigger 'injustice' here is that you keep referring to it as a distro.

    It isn't a distro, it's a remaster.

    you could just as easily call it "Kubuntu Hannah"

    one of the biggest reasons people think there are too many distros is because people don't know how to tell the difference between a 'distro' and a 'remaster'

    It's a remaster targeted to a particular niche group who prefers that particular decoration/presentation without having to figure out how to do all that themselves.

    no big deal.

    Big Bear

  31. embedded on July 27, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Obviously you have never looked going through the tween girls section at Target on your way to electronics.

    Let's just say Disney Licencing! Brings a tear to my eye thinking of Barbie and Hot Wheels Computers.

    But Graven images aside it goes to show you how far we have come that kids (and it had to be) can fully customize the complete look of a distro.

  32. masinick on July 27, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    Jim, I got a kick out of seeing this! My ten year old girl just went to Girl Scout Camp for a week, but I *HAVE* to get this one for her – she runs mostly Nick.com and disney stuff when she does get on the computer.

    However, my eight year old son is with me now. He'd rather have PCLinuxOS, and his reaction to Hannah Montana Linux was like yours – yuck! :-) He did say though, well, if they have a Hanna Montana Linux, maybe I should do a search and see if they have a Star Wars Linux! :-)

    At least we don't have an iCarly.com Linux or a Drake&Josh Linux or Zoey101 Linux – yet! (Have a ten year year old daughter and you will discover what is "complete non-sense to us", but what is "so cool" to them)! :-)

    Ah, girlie stuff… I still remember some other Ubuntu variation that was supposed to appeal to women, and instead, it created a furor! This one should do no such thing, unless people get concerned about a little girlie system for elementary aged girls "TAKING OVER THE WORLD!"

    I think we ought to have a good Scooby Doo Linux myself. Now that one I might use once in a while, though I do not see it replacing any of my main systems!

  33. jrob on July 27, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

    great review.



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