So as I was sitting down to let my fingers do the walking this morning I ran into a bit of a problem…my beloved Distrowatch.com was down…luckily my experiment without Google was now over so I was able to locate some interesting 2014 Distros to watch for and stumbled across a Mobile First OS called Plasma Active. The Active Desktop is a remix of the ill-fated Moblin and Maemo OSes from a few years ago but when I headed over to locate more information I noticed that there is an semi-official Kubuntu release of the Active Desktop so…I grabbed it to give it a whirl.
The size of the ISO was a bit daunting but I was impressed as always by the ability of Canonical’s Servers to handle the request and in less than 6 minutes, the 1.1 GB file was safely in my Download Folder ready to test out in a VirtualBox environment. It is however important to note that there is no 64bit version of this OS so while I am going to set up the system with the same 4 GB of RAM and the 20 GB Virtual HDD it is not quite the same as having a full 64bit OS.
I noticed straight away that the even the installation script for this version of Kubuntu had been redesigned and I must say…I kind of like it. Running with the core of Kubuntu 14.10, Kubuntu Active is not for the faint of heart because 14.10 is still in Alpha Stages so I expect there to be the occasional hiccup with the OS and would not recommend using this as a Production OS…unless you know your way around. As usual, the installation took about the same amount of time as the download and I was up and running with a fresh desktop (literally and figuratively) in around 10 minutes but time to an active desktop…or at least what I thought was an Active Desktop.
Multiple restarts of the OS led to nothing more than a plain white screen after more than 5 minutes of allowing the Virtual Machine to actually render the desktop.
Taking this as a sign that something had gone horribly wrong with the daily build of the OS I tried running things a different way and downloaded the 13.04 Stable Release.
The install was pretty much the same but it came right up to the Plasma-Active Desktop…the issue that I experienced though…because it is designed to be touch sensitive…there was no mouse cursor and therefore basically unusable as a desktop environment that could be used without a touch screen (which by the way…I have not made the leap to invest in (although at just $350…it might be an option some time down the road).
So all in all, because I could not get the OS to function I can not evaluate how it functions or what is included…but the initial desktop was pretty…even if non functional.
If anyone out there has been able to get the Kubuntu-Active to function…let me know how in the comments but for now…it is time to live life a little bit.