Hannah Montana Linux

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.

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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:

Okular Doc Viewer
Gwenview Image Viewer

Quassel IRC
Kopete IM
Krfb Desktop Sharing
KTorrent BitTorrent Client

Amarok Audio Player
Dragon Video Player

Kontact PIM

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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.


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.


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