Pinguy OS released and Review included

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A couple of months ago I released Pinguy OS and posted about it here.Since then it has had many improvements and bug fixes, so if you had any problems with it before they should now be fixed.

Pinguy OS an out-of-the-box working operating system for everyone, not just geeks  ;)

This OS is for people that have never used Linux before or for people that just want an out-of-the-box working OS without doing all the tweaks and enhancements that everyone seems to do when installing a fresh copy of Ubuntu or other Linux based Distro's.

What Is Pinguy OS?

Ubuntu is a great OS and undoubtedly the most popular and easiest Linux based Distro to use but even with its default setup and chosen programs it's still  lacking functionality and ease of use for most new users. So what I decided to do was build a Distro that looks good, could do everything most user would ever want to do and that was very simple to use.

I started out by listening to what my friends and family wanted to use their PC for and found the most user friendly programs for the task they wanted to do. After a while I got a good idea what most people use their PC for and what programs where the easiest to use. Like using Shotwell for easily uploading images to Facebook, gtkpod for putting music, photos and video on a ipod/iphone and mvPod for converting the video to a iPod friendly format.

So all the programs in Pinguy OS have been chosen because of there ease of use and functionality, I also changed every file type to open with the right program, like for some reason by default .iso are opened with Archive Manager so I changed that to Brasero Disc Burner.

As I already said apart from it being easy to use I also wanted it to be a very good looking operating system. There are now a lot of programs out there for Linux to give the OS a very smart and polished implementation, like CoverGloobus, Gloobus Preview, GNOME Do, and Docky. These programs don't just give the OS a good look and feel but they are also very useful and handy.

Pinguy OS is just an optimise build of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Minimal CD with added repositories, tweaks and enhancements that can run as a Live DVD or be installed. It has all the added packages needed for video, music and web content e.g. flash and java, plus a few fixes as well. Like fixing the wireless problems, gwibber's Facebook problem and flash videos in full-screen.

Everything is set-up for samba, all you need to do is right click a folder you want to share and add a password in samba using system-config-samba.
It also has a UPnP/DLNA server (pms-linux) so you can share your music, video's etc. With a PS3, XBOX 360, Smart Phones or any other UPnP/DLNA media reader.

Nautilus has been replaced for Elementary-Nautilus with added plug-ins so it can get music and video art from the web.
The default theme is Elementary using ttf-droid font with Docky and a custom Conky.

Here's Some Screenshots:

I have added DVB support to Totem for anyone with a TV card that wants to watch tv on their PC but don't want to install a dedicated program like myth-tv.

Why Make Pinguy OS?

I know what I am doing is not going to appeal to everyone, and a lot of people are not going to like the idea of me using Ubuntu instead of building my own base, even though Ubuntu uses Debian. I do have a set of goals for Pinguy OS that I am going to keep too.  The problem is if you loose track of your goals and try to keep everyone happy the Distro will fall apart very quickly.

There maybe a few programs on there that may seem out of place like PMS-Linux, but this will be a must have program pretty soon because its a  UPnP/DLNA server, and lot of people are getting entertainment systems that use UPnP/DLNA to stream music/video.  Nearly everything that is coming out has the ability to access a UPnP/DLNA server. So this is something I thought the Distro should have. I was going to use Mediatomb but after testing it on a few people they really struggled to get it working that's why I ended up with PMS-Linux.

What I would like for this Distro is for everyone to be able to install it and use it straight away with little or no knowledge about Linux or computers. But I don't want to make it so simplistic that it becomes un-usable for more complex tasks that a more experienced user would want to do.

There doesn't seem to be a Distro out there that's setup and ready to use with the minimal amount of needed programs. The Distro's I have seen that go over 700MB seem to try and fill a 4.7GB DVD. The problem with this is they fill it with way to many programs that most users are never going to use, and the programs are usually poorly chosen because they just don't have the time to test and try other ones. Also I see some of these Distro's install KDE and Gnome together. I have never understood the reasoning behind anyone using more then one desktop on the same Distro.

Then there are the Distros that just don't add enough because they have to keep it under 700MB. These Distro just feel unfinished, they are lacking so much functionality out of the box, they look dowdy and stale compared to a more modern operating system and can't even share files on your network because most of the time Samba has been left out. I have never understood why any one would release a Distro that looks worse then XP and could do less out of the box.

Pinguy OS Goals

The goal is to have an out-of-the-box working operating system with intelligent chosen programs that all work and are easy to use. I don't want it to have every program under the sun like Ultimate Edition does, I just want a few well built programs for tasks that most people do. I don't want to many programs on there that can do the same task.

Most people buy their PC/Laptops with the OS installed and preconfigured. Not many people install their OS their self and the ones that try usually haven't got a clue what to do afterwards.

What I am trying to do is to have a operating system that works and acts like a preconfigured OS like the ones you get when buying a new PC. that's also very easy to be installed.

32-Bit or 64-Bit?

If you have a 64-Bit processor you should go with the 64-Bit version of the OS, unless you have a technical or business reasons for not migrating to 64-bit Linux with compatible hardware, there is no reason to stick around with a 32-bit. The main reason for going with 64-bit is because it's faster then 32-bit on the same hardware and there aren't many programs now that don't run on 64-bit.

The following processors support 64-Bit:

  • AMD 64-Bit processors ( Athlon 64, Opteron, later Sempron, Turion 64, Phenom, Athlon II and Phenom II processors)
  • Intel 64-Bit processors (Celeron D, later Pentium 4, Pentium D, later Xeon, Core 2 (not Core Duo), Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, and Atom processors)

There maybe more so please check to see if your processor is compatible. If you have any doubts or are not sure if you have a 64-Bit processor go with the 32-Bit version as this will work on both 32 and 64-Bit processors.

Recommended minimum requirements

Pinguy OS should run reasonably well on a computer with the following minimum hardware specification. However, features such as visual effects may not run smoothly.

  • 700 MHz x86 processor
  • 384 MB of system memory (RAM)
  • 8 GB of disk space
  • Graphics card capable of 1024×768 resolution
  • Sound card
  • A network or Internet connection

Recommended for visual effects

Visual effects provide various special graphical effects for your desktop to make it look and feel more fun and easier to use. If your computer is not powerful enough to run visual effects, you can turn them off and will still have a usable Pinguy OS desktop. Visual effects are turned on by default if you have a graphics card which is supported. For information on supported graphics cards, see DesktopEffects.

  • 1.2 GHz x86 processor
  • 384 MB of system memory (RAM)
  • Supported graphics card (see DesktopEffects)

Download Links:

Pinguy OS i686 (32-Bit) -- *Final Release Branded* -- Works on most systems

Pinguy OS x86-64 (64-Bit) -- *Final Release Branded* -- Only works on computers with a 64-Bit processor

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12 Responses

  1. This looks great. Must try it soon.

  2. Kyle says:

    The link for the x86-64 torrent points to the i686 one…

  3. Greg says:

    Resumes most of fixes I’d do on a traditional ubuntu install, but there is no point for me to switch now form my 10.04 to yours…

    Do you plan to keep it updated?

    If you release a 10.10 as soon as the ubuntu counterpart comes out, I’d gladly install yours!

  4. Sanderd17 says:

    Like greg said: if you aim to produce a usable system for non-geeks, it should be updated w/o problems. Most hassle comes from broken upgrades or distro’s that don’t get upgrades.

    For me, the upgrade might be slower than the ubuntu upgrade but it should follow the same 6 months cycle.

  5. pinguy says:

    It will follow the same 6 months cycle. The new version will be out a few mouths after Ubuntu release there final stable version.

    Also this version can be upgraded to 10.10

  6. Using a Dell Inspiron E1505 Dual Core T2300. I doubt that this is 64 bit. Hope I will be able to use 32 bit once I finish downloading Pinguy OS. ??

  7. Barista Uno says:

    Being an Ubuntu fan, I really would like to try this.

    Can the author or any of the readers tell me if the 64-bit version consumes more RAM and other resources than the 32-bit version? I have a netbook with Atom N270 processor so I presume the 64-bit would be compatible.

  8. GMonk says:

    I wish distros were uploaded to the newsgroups. Takes forever to dl. 🙁

  9. It’s 64 bit or nothing. Too bad.

  10. Peter says:

    I’m not a geek, but nor am I a newbie. I’ve been using UBUNTU at home since Breezy Badger. I really like Pinguy. At last, an UBUNTU distro that works right out of the box. I never managed to get a video movie to play on UBUNTU, wasted hours mucking around with codecs. This just worked. Keep up the good work.

  11. jordanwb says:

    Looks slick bro. I’m still trying to get it to boot via grub2 as a loopbacked ISO

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