I am proud to announce the Beta release of the Ubuntu-Saner-Defaults-Remix! This is Ubuntu 10.04.1 with a some default applications replaced with saner choices and some other saner default settings and theme changes were also made. This is all being done to maximize usability and user friendliness in regard to the average user (new or potential linux user.) Further, all updates through September 3, 2010 have been applied.
Why should a potential new linux user download and install this Ubuntu Remix instead of another remix, fork, derivative, or the original Ubuntu install images?
1. Much better default choices have been included in regard to a potential new linux user (who may be test driving linux for the first time.) The detail differences are listed hereinafter.
2. All updates have been included through September 3, 2010 to minimize the additional updates to download and install once the initial install is complete. Further, all images will be updated monthly to include all additional updates issued since the prior image.
3. This is Ubuntu. One might wonder if there is any concern in regard to trademark issues by not changing the name to which the response would be, as far as I know an “Ubuntu Remix” is permissible as long as the only changes are default applications, themes, and settings (which is indeed the case.) In fact, this is how Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx should have been released.
4. This is indeed, by design and intention, a mono-free Ubuntu-Remix. So for those who prefer not to have mono or mono applications as a part of their linux installation, this is a great option to consider. However, please understand I am not a mono hater and I do indeed respect those who choose to develop on that platform. However, I do not believe that mono has any place on a default linux desktop installation but should remain a post install installation choice for those who have that preference.
The changes from the default Ubuntu 10.04.1 Lucid Lynx live install CD are as follows:
Evolution has been replaced by Mozilla-Thunderbird with lightening. Further, I am not yet on board with the thunderbird 3.x version, so this is Thunderbird 22.214.171.124. Like others, I found evolution to be slow and buggy. Further, I appreciate the ability to link thunderbird to clamav for scanning of every incoming e-mail message and attachment. If the new thunderbird version is prefereed, after installation and reboot are complete, merely open a terminal and perform a sudo rm /etc/apt/preferences (entering password when prompted), then sudo aptitude update, and sudo aptitude full-upgrade, and thunderbird 3.x will then be installed.
Nautilus has been upgraded to nautilus-elementary (with breadcrumbs.) This was proposed for lucid but not accepted, but should have been in the interest of usability for the new potential new linux user.
Pigdin has replaced empathy. Pidgin is a more mature stable application and the decision to remove it from lucid was not the best choice.
F-spot has been replaced by gthumb-2.11.x. F-spot is slow and seems to copy each photo imported for management (instead of working with the existing image.) Also it buries imported images at least three deep in subdirectories (i.e. 2010/09/06/image.jpg) You call that user friendly?
Tomboy has been replaced by Gnote. This note taking application is likely rarely used by potential new users, but Gnote is now included should they have a need or desire. Further, Gnote should be (but probably is not) supported as well in regarded to syncing notes on Ubuntu-One.
Gbrainy has been removed (this was only added so there would be one more mono app left should F-spot and Tomboy be removed – effectively a mono-blocker.) The gnome-games package is included on the DVD install images (gnome-blackjack, too.)
Sound-juicer (aka Audio CD Extractor) has been added back. Why was it removed anyway?
Gufw is included. Further ufw is enabled by default and set to default-deny. I have read that the excuse that this is not done by default is that there are no open ports or internet facing services enabled in a default Ubuntu install. Fine, but why not enable the default installed firewall so it is ready just in case a service or port might be opened later. This is a no brainer. Futher, gufw actually makes ufw uncomplicated.
The clearlooks theme is enabled by default and the window management buttons are returned to their proper place on the upper right side of each window in the sequence of minimize, maximize, close. Clearlooks is light and blue instead of dark and purple. Further, an awesome default blue wallpaper from Pr09studio was selected (GPL and/or Creative Commons licensed.)
The screensaver will now launch a random screensaver and return to the desktop without requiring password entry. Default behavior is to go to a black black screen and then require password entry to return to the desktop. This is confusing and alarming to a new user (blank black screen? Has it died or crashed?)
The Update Manger will revert to prior behavior will not launch in your face when updates are available, but the update notifier will appear in the notification area (unobtrusively as before.)
The Medibuntu repository is installed and enabled by default. (That way Google Earth and other desired applications are now but a few clicks away.) It is the users responsibility in regard to the legality and license compliance for anything installed from Medibuntu and/or partner repository (as usual.)
The following additional packages (and dependencies) are added on the DVD images:
compizconfig-settings-manager cheese inkscape scribus gimp gimp-data-extras devede gnome-games openshot frozen-bubble kompozer gnucash backintime-gnome
Further on the DVD the saner-restricted-extras package is installed whose dependencies are:
gstreamer0.10-pitfdll, gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg, gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad, gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad-multiverse, gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly, gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly-multiverse, flashplugin-installer, unrar, x-ttcidfont-conf, ttf-mscorefonts-installer, sun-java6-jre, sun-java6-fonts, sun-java6-plugin, libavcodec-unstripped-52, mozilla-plugin-vlc, latex-xft-fonts, xul-ext-adblock-plus, w32codecs, libdvdcss2, libdvdread4, libmp4v2-0
This will be revised to include new updates monthly. Although these four live / install images are “production ready”, the “beta” tag has been applied as the only testing to date has been performed by the chief maintainer / packager (I am not a developer / coder.) The Ubuntu Customization Kit was used to produce the Ubuntu-Saner-Defaults Remix.
Constructive input, ideas, suggestions, and comments are welcome.
Special thanks to:
http://apebox.org/wordpress/linux/210/ directhex (Mr. Jo Shields)
http://tuxdeluxe.org/node/299 Mr. Jeremy Allison
http://uck.sourceforge.net/ Mr. Fabrizio Balliano
http://ammonkey.posterous.com/ (Nautilus Elementary Developer)
Miguel de Icaza
http://www.webupd8.org Andrew (Andrei)
I am a big fan of Andrew’s webupd8 blog! Great ubuntu web site to check daily!
Friends, I have a confession to make. I am a tuxmachines addict!! This is a linux news aggregation website which I am compelled to check many times throughout the day (and I get withdrawal symptoms if I am unable to check it.) Special thanks to srlinuxx (Susan Linton), a linux writer, who owns and operates tuxmachines.org and also writes original content for linux periodicals as well (http://www.linuxjournal.com if I recall correctly.)