This week I tossed the idea around about testing out the upcoming releases of either Fedora or Ubuntu but then stumbled across an interesting Ubuntu Remix from the land down under. Called Oz Unity it is billed as the Unity Desktop done right so I thought that I would give it a test drive and see just how it things went.
The number of distros out there that start off with the same base is growing everyday. Just look at the Distrowatch.com waiting list to get a good feel for the ever growing number of distros that are popping up almost every day! The OZ Unity project is no different. It is actually based on the jam packed Ubuntu Ultimate Edition which is a remix version of Ubuntu itself. For this test I as always am using Oracle VirtualBox VM with 4GB of RAM and 20 GB of HDD to give it a solid test and once over. I downloaded the 64bit version which surprisingly did not offer me an option for a Torrent download but the 3.1GB download seems to be a bit on the heavy side for me.
Installation went smoothly with the well thought out and always strong Ubuntu installer. All said and done, I was up to a full desktop in less than 25 minutes (including the download). First Boot Up was stellar clocking in at just over 20 seconds and what an impressive desktop it is!
Dubbed the Black Opal, this version of the OZ Ultimate Edition screams slick but then came a problem that crashed all my hopes of the Silver Goodness that the OZ Unity Distro had promised me…there was no Unity Desktop which made the experience…well less than ideal as I could effectively do nothing. I did a quick patch of the software as it was a whopping 136 days outdated…tried to kick start Unity with a CTRL+ALT+F1 start of the Command Line but all I got was error after error…something was definitely up with the install…or the ISO that I had downloaded!
As it turns out…it was not an issue with the Launcher…or anything else. For what ever reason…it was decided that Auto Hide of the Launcher was a good idea to have initiated!!! I mucked around with the Control settings and off to the races I was!
Once beyond the hidden launcher I dove into what I get for the 3.1 GB Bandwidth investment and well to say that I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement. Much of what I would typically spend the first several hours tweaking and modifying in a fresh install of Ubuntu was there for me…even things like gtkpod iPod Manager were included at fresh install!
The additions to the Unity Launcher were well thought out and interesting choices. I can search for more than just apps and files now…there is a whole plethora of new choices that I can make at the bottom of the screen.
The Usual Suspects are included with the install though:
- Firefox and Chrome for Web Browsing
- LibreOffice for Productivity
- Audacity and RythmBox for Multimedia
But the reality is…the fundamentals may be taken care of but our Aussie Friends did not leave much to the desire…they included Adobe Acrobat Reader 9, Full Oracle Java, Wine and XBMC Media Center all installed out of the box!
Once getting beyond the technical gaff or oversight of not sensitive enough screen and a bad decision to Auto Hide the most important part of the OS…I was more than suitably impressed…unfortunately…this technical gaff is not really forgivable…and did cost Oz Unity a couple of Donuts preventing yet another Perfect Dozen!