Fuduntu 2012.2 Review: Gnome 2 Lovers Must Try
Most of you will get the connection between two popular distributions that lead to the name Fuduntu but I will mention it anyways. Fuduntu began as a distribution that wanted to give its users the base of Fedora but with user friendly approach of Ubuntu. Fuduntu was originally based on Fedora 14 but they forked themselves when Fedora 14 reached the end of its life cycle and became an independent, Rolling Release distro. That will be the history lesson for today and we come to the latest Fuduntu 2012.2 which was released last month.
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Gnome 2 is Fuduntu’s desktop environment and they are committed to providing Gnome 2 to its users for as long as it will be humanly possible. Gnome 2, in combination with the superb Avant Window Navigator that takes care of your task management and application launchers, gives you an aesthetically pleasing user experience that is highly productive.
The Fuduntu 2012.2 ISOs, both 32-bit and 64-bit, are 900MB+ but with that you get a nice selection of software and media codecs that enables you in playing your media files out of the box.
Fuduntu’s Default Applications
Chromium is the default web browser, Pidgin is the instant messaging, Dropbox for cloud related services, Tomboy Notes for note taking, Shotwell Photo Manager, Banshee Media Player, VLC media player and more.
The favourite of many (including me), Nautilus Elementary, is the default file manager of Fuduntu and it goes without saying that it looks great and works beautifully.
In the productivity suite department it comes only with Google Docs which is basically a launcher wrapped in Chromium that takes you to Google Docs/Drive. Note that you can easily install the latest LibreOffice 188.8.131.52 from the Add/Remove Software (Gnome Package Manager).
The Gnome Package Manager works Okay but I would highly recommend installing Yum Extender(Yumex) which is an excellent choice for a GUI package manager and far more functional in my opinion. It is fast, provides you the option to update your system, installing/removing packages, managing repositories, shows your Yum history and more.
You can easily install yumex from the Add/Remove Software or with the following command
beesu yum -y install yumex
One thing that I generally face on Fedora and it was no different on Fuduntu is that after a fresh installation, running Software Update takes ages. In case you also face this or just want to do it faster, use the following commands in terminal :-
yum list updates
This command displays the list of the updated software. You can then use ‘beesu yum update’ to download and install all updates.
Fuduntu has been highly stable in my usage with the only exception being Audacious which for some reason doesn’t wants to play audio files. But I installed DeaDBeeF and everything is fine. Note that Banshee also plays audio files and there is no problem in Fudunutu related to audio playback, it is only that I like lightweight audio players and Audacious is my first choice when it comes to music.
Return Of Desktop effect
Fuduntu’s Desktop effects worked out of the box for me and it was pleasant surprise to see the Desktop Cube back in action.
Also the Expo is set to get activated when you move your cursor to the top-right and which makes switching between windows seamless and intuitive.
As I have mentioned above Fuduntu is an independent distribution, which means they manage the software packages themselves, which gives them the freedom to provide the latest software quickly to their users. For example GIMP,Chromium,LibreOffice and most software are at the latest in the Fuduntu-Stable repository and you can always enable Fuduntu-Testing or Fuduntu-Unstable to get more bleeding edge software. Sadly this also means that some software may not be present in the repositories, like Mumble is not in the repos.
This is the only drawback but definitely not a deal breaker as I have clearly developed a liking for Fuduntu and it is on my list of recommended distros.
The Beautiful Setup of Fuduntu plus its speed and the rolling release model makes it an excellent distribution that I will highly recommend to anybody who is looking for a distro with these qualities.