Ultimate Edition 3.5

Does size matter when it comes to Linux distros? Well, it very well might when it comes to Ultimate Edition 3.5. There’s nothing subtle about this distro. Everything about it screams over the top, from the color scheme to the range of software included with it.

Is it worth checking out? Read on to find out.

Ultimate Edition 3.5 Desktop

Ultimate Edition 3.5 Desktop

What’s New In This Release
I was not able to find a full list of new features in this release. I barked about the lack of such details in the review of an earlier version. Unfortunately, the situation doesn’t seem to have changed.

I wish more developers would follow the Linux Mint model and provide a clear and concise list of new features. It makes it easier for reviewers, but also for potential users of their distro.

Ultimate Edition 3.5 Desktop Settings

Ultimate Edition 3.5 Desktop Settings

Here’s what I found on the UE site:

What is Ultimate Edition 3.5?  Ultimate Edition 3.5 was built off Ultimate Edition 3.4 a Ubuntu Precise Pangolin 12.04 release.  All updates fully updated / upgraded old kernels purged, new initrd and vmlinuz rebuilt.  Ultimate Edition 3.5 is what has everyting Ultimate Edition 3.4 has plus multiple operating environments; KDE being the default.   Ultimate Edition 3.5 has a new GTK/3 theme & a comprehensive set of software packages.

System Requirements
I was not able to find a list of system requirements, but Ultimate Edition 3.5 is based on Ubuntu so use that as your baseline for running this distro.

Download
You can download Ultimate Edition 3.5 from SourceForge. The file I downloaded weighed in at 3.39GB. Wow! That’s quite the download for a distro!

If you’re a distrohopper then you might want to try it in a virtual machine via VirtualBoxVMWare, or Parallels before running it on real hardware. And if you’re totally  new to Linux, then you might want to check out some of the books about linux available on amazon.

You can get Ultimate Edition 3.5 in 32 bit or 64 bit versions.

Ultimate Edition 3.5 Installation
Since Ultimate Edition 3.5 is based on Ubuntu, the install is easy. It’s a bit longer than most other Ubuntu based distros, but this is understandable given the amount of software that is installed. I’ll have more on that later in the Software section of the review.

Ultimate Edition 3.5 is a live distro, so you can boot it off a DVD and check it out before doing an install.

Ultimate Edition 3.5 Boot Menu

Ultimate Edition 3.5 Boot Menu

Ultimate Edition 3.5  Install 1

Ultimate Edition 3.5 Install 1

Ultimate Edition 3.5 Install 2

Ultimate Edition 3.5 Install 2

Ultimate Edition 3.5 Install 3

Ultimate Edition 3.5 Install 3

The Desktop
Aaaaah, the Ultimate Edition 3.5 desktop. Well, I suspect that it can be classified as “love it or hate it.” It uses KDE so that’s certainly a plus. However, the colors are dark, and there’s more than a bit of red in it.

Personally, I don’t mind it being that way. This distro is a unique entity unto itself, so I’ve tried to accept it as such. Once you accept the idea of it, you can more easily adjust to the color scheme, wallpaper , etc.

Note that in the screenshot right below, I’m showing the classic KDE menu as I hate the modern sliding menus.

Ultimate Edition 3.5 Panel Menu

Ultimate Edition 3.5 Panel Menu

If you hate the default wallpaper, check in Desktop Settings. There are quite a few other Ultimate Edition wallpapers available there from prior releases.

Ultimate Edition 3.5 Desktop Settings

Ultimate Edition 3.5 Desktop Settings

You can, of course, change things if you really don’t like it. But I suggest giving it a try, you might find yourself warming up to it after a while.

Please note that if you don’t like KDE or the default Ultimate Edition 3.5 desktop in general, then you have many options to choose from. Just logout and then click the gear icon on the login screen.

You’ll find the following desktop environments available:

Ultimate Edition 3.5 Desktop Selection Menu

Ultimate Edition 3.5 Desktop Selection Menu

Bundled Software
Here’s a sample of the software included in this release, and there’s a lot of it! Chances are that you won’t need to do much downloading after you install Ultimate Edition 3.5, it comes with so  much software already.

Games
PlayOnLinux
Board Games
Card Games
Logic Games

Graphics
AcquireImages
Blender
DNGConverter
Document Viewer
ExpoBlending
F-Spot
GIMP
gThumb
Gwenview
Hugin Batch Processor
Hugin Calibrate Lens
Hugin Panorama Center
Image Viewer
Inkscape
K-3D
Karbon
KolourPaint
Krita
KSnapShot
LibreOffice
LRF Viewer
mtPaint
Okular
Panorama
Phatch Image Inspector
Photo Layouts
Ristretto Image Viewer
Shotwell
Simple Scan

Internet
Akregator
BlueDevil
CheckGmail
Chromium
ELinks Browser
Empathy
Firefox
Frostwire
gFTP
Gwibber
KMail
Konqueror
Kopete
KPPP
KTorrent
KVIRC
Lanshark
Pidgin IM
Quassel IRC
rekonq
Remmina Remote Desktop Client
Remote Desktop Viewer
Sylpheed
Thunderbird Mail Client
Transmission
Vuze
WiFi Radar
Wireshark
XChat IRC
Yarssr

Multimedia
2ManDVD
Amarok
Audacious
Audacity
Audio Tag Tool
Avidemux
Banshee
Brasero
Cheese
Cinelerra
DeVeDe
Dragon Player
dvd:rip
DVD Styler
EasyTAG
Entagged
Exaile
gmusicbrowser
GNOME MPlayer
gtkpod
guvcview
gxine
HandBrake
Hydrogen
Imagination
ISO Master
Istanbul Desktop Session Recorder
K3b
k9copy assistant
k9copy
Kdenlive
Kino
KMix
LIVES
Miro
Mixer
Moovida Media Center
Movie Player
Parole
PulseAudio Volume Control
Radio Tray
RecordMyDesktop
Rhythmbox
RipOff
Songbird
Sound Juicer
soundKonverter
Sound Recorder
tovid GUI
TVtime Television Viewer
Ultimate Player
VLC
XBMC
X-CD-Roast
Xfburn
xine

Office
Abiword
Braindump
calibre
Calligra
Dictionary Client
Document Viewer
Gnumeric
KAddressBook
Karbon
Kexi
Kontact
KOrganizer
KTimeTracker
LibreOffice
Okular
Orage
Osmo
Plan

Other
Wine

Problems & Headaches
I didn’t notice any overt problems while running Ultimate Edition 3.5. Your mileage may vary, however. So please share your problems in the comments if you came across any while using it.

Where To Get Help
If you’re having problems, please post your questions in the comments below or register for the DLR forum. Other readers might be able to assist you. You might also want to check out Ultimate Edition forum to connect with other UE users.

If you’re new to Linux, you might want to check out some of the books available about it at Amazon. You can learn quite a bit that you will probably find useful later on. You can also save lots of money with deals on laptops and tablets, desktops and monitors, components, and computer accessories.

Final Thoughts & Who Should Use It
It’s clear that minimalists should stay far, far away from Ultimate Edition 3.5. This distro is basically their worst nightmare come true.

However, those who consider themselves maximalists will love Ultimate Edition 3.5. I don’t know how many of you there are out there, but this distro was designed totally for you.

And this is one of the things I really like about Linux. There’s a distro for everybody, including those want everything and the kitchen sink thrown into their desktop operating system.

Even if you’re not a maximalist, it might be fun to give Ultimate Edition 3.5 a try, just to see what it’s like.

Beginner, intermediate and advanced Linux users can use Ultimate Edition 3.5. Beginners might be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of applications, however. So bear that in mind if you are new to Linux, and aren’t familiar with some of the apps you see in Ultimate Edition 3.5.

What’s your take on this distro? Tell me in the comments below. Visit Eye On Linux for Linux commentary; visit JimLynch.com for other technology coverage.

Summary Table:

Product: Ultimate Edition 3.5
Web Site: http://ultimateedition.info 
Price: Free
Pros: Comes with an enormous range of software, uses the KDE desktop environment. There are other desktop environments included as well.
Cons: It’s a very large download, and the amount of software might be overkill for some users.
Rating: 3.5/5