There’s no doubt that Ubuntu has transformed the Linux landscape since its introduction six years ago. It has modified a few key technologies to ensure generally demanding tasks under Linux, simpler for even early computer users. Although, Ubuntu was a debian-based distro, it is a popular framework for several other distros.
Although you can take a basic Ubuntu source code and make it into almost anything, derivatives are quite popular because they eliminate the need for custom configurations. The huge number of distros testifies to that!
Certainly, there are the official progenies like Kubuntu, but what about other distros? Generally many Ubuntu derivatives are geared towards a specific requirement, but that does not mean that they are less useful.
Digital Evidence & Forensic Toolkit (DEFT)
It is a 32-bit OS designed for incident response and computer forensics and developed in Italy
Its live CD is consisted of an optimized environment using Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment (LXDE), combined with their customized Forensic GUI tools. It also includes effective free software forensic utilities available, such as Sleuthkits’s Autopsy, DHash, ClamAV, ophcrack, Gigolo, Wireshark, Nessus and more.
Element, is a new a 32-bit distro aimed at the home theatre PC and media market. The distro is designed to be work as a dedicated media computer in the lounge/entertainment room, connected to a HDTV. What makes this distro unique is its large user interface, developed specifically to offer the cleanest experiences of TV computing.
While its major function is for managing videos, music, photos, and internet files, it also includes common tools such as Brasero and Firefox, which allow you to use a TV as a computer monitor. It uses a modular design, allowing for additional plugins to be installed providing extra functionality.
By default, the distro comes with XBMC Media Center, an excellent tool for managing digital media. Due to its flexible nature however, should you want to use a different system such as Hulu, Moovida or Boxee, they can be installed easily. Element also comes with Transmission bittorrent client, Brasero disc burner and VLC media player. Being based an Ubuntu-based distro, the OS can give you an access to a wide range of applications to complete any goals you want. The project also boasts the ability to use Element as a gaming console.
Nobody can ignore netbooks these days. The iPad, Apple’s new tablet, won’t destroy those mini-laptops any time soon and Linux as an open-source OS is gaining ground in the world market.
Meet Jolicloud, it is yet another distro for netbooks. If you think that there is no more room for open-source OS in the netbook market, just give Jolicloud a try and you may change your mind. The distro is a highly optimized OS which supports an impressive number of netbooks.
Jolicloud has an integrated cloud service, where you can backup to and store your data online. While cloud-support is a strong feature of Jolicloud, it is also equipped with the common applications expected on a typical computer. In a sense, this is a good balance between the two worlds.
Actually, Jolicloud installer is a Windows-based package, which works by repartitioning the hard drive and installs the OS in a dual-boot configuration. One of the major goals of Jolicloud is a high-degree of simplicity. As such, the installation process is just three easy steps and takes about fifteen minutes to complete. It is worth noting however, that you may use an advanced installer if you are a more technologically-minded Linux user.
For a new distro, Jolicloud is one sleek, polished release. If you have been let down by other custom Linux distros for your netbook, check Jolicloud out and you could just find what you have been looking for, seriously.
Things are steadily changing in the computer world these days. There are more demands on highly efficient, modest performance and portable systems. While the Linux code allows superior power management and you can use several great apps such as PowerTop for dealing with power hungry systems, how about using a distro dedicated completely to power efficiency?
Meet wattOS. It is a 32-bit distro devoted to being a light weight, super fast, power efficient OS. Once again, this distro comes with a unique desktop environment, called as Openbox. Openbox is a fast, highly customizable desktop environment, adequate for older computers and allow more efficient power consumption in more powerful processors).
It comes with the newest apps from Ubuntu and also includes all kinds of power management utilities to help monitor and fine-tune the system’s power consumption. The interface is easy to understand and can be expanded to suit various needs.
The distro is a great alternative to others ‘lite’ distributions such as Tiny Core and Damn Small Linux, especially for older refurbished computers. Its tiny memory footprint may mean that wattOS can run smoothly, while improving battery life.
These distros show how varied and wide the motivation for developing a new distribution can be. The outcomes speak for themselves and proves to the adaptable nature of Linux. It surely pays to watch out on what’s new in Ubuntu family, because you could just find a precious little gem you have been longing for a long time.
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