Posted by: duskfire | April 23, 2011

Fuduntu: a first look

Fuduntu is a distribution that tries to be a “value added” version of Fedora, one of the main “rpm package”-type distributions. Like Linux Mint does for Ubuntu, Fuduntu comes with extras ready out of the box, so to speak. Flash, support for the mp3 codec, Dropbox, and an application to connect to Windows Active Directories are some of the things installed by default.

– I’ve discovered that the 64-bit version of Fuduntu doesn’t play Youtube videos out of the box, while the 32-bit version does. Neither of them play Quicktime videos without asking for “Totem” movie player to be installed.  By comparison, the 64-bit version of Linux Mint Debian plays both Youtube and Quicktime videos (when I was using the Ubuntu-based version of Mint, I never really got Quicktime to work right)

Installation was straightforward like nearly all Linux installs are these days. I’m assuming it follows regular Fedora very closely – after installation you have to reboot, and then step through 5 screens, welcoming you and setting up at least one regular user account. (Root is created during the installation.) A small, nearly unnoticed icon informs you how weak or strong your password is. You also set up date/time, and are asked to send your hardware information so they can better evaluate bugs. (Does Fedora do this? answer: yes)

Fuduntu has its “taskbar” at the top of the screen, like Ubuntu and Fedora do. Youtube played right away. Right clicking on the desktop offers the usual “appearance preferences” options to change your desktop background, window themes, and even fonts. There are nearly 30 backgrounds for wallpaper to choose from, with more available online.

A launcher on the bottom center of the screen is populated at start with Firefox, Thunderbird, Rhythmbox, VLC, and a file browser. Along with a trash can.

Things I like:

One of the applications allows you to create a rotating slideshow of images for wallpaper.

Another, in Administration, gives you a one-click access to enable or disable starting services (instead of being buried in among other items in a “control center” arrangement)

The updates software shows the size of updates by default, and also indicates with small icons what type of update each file is: regular, security, bugfix, etc.  All Fedora based distributions do this, and I really wish that the Debian-based ones would also.

The display is set up by default to lock the screen after about 10 minutes, for security. This setting can be turned off or modified in the control settings area. (This is also in Fedora 15)

Things I didn’t like:

the add/remove software application was extremely slow in a virtual machine.

I don’t really like the idea that Mono applications and the mono libraries are installed by default. At the least, the installer could mention them and ask if the user wants them installed during installation. Not everyone is happy with Mono, and it would avoid some of the controversy.

Also, no games? Not even Aisle Riot Solitaire? More distributions should put a few small games into the default installation.

The 64-bit version of Fuduntu doesn’t seem to have Youtube set up correctly the way the 32-bit version does. I think this is a problem for most 64-bit operating systems, but it would be nice to insert a message pop up to help the nontechnical user to understand what’s going on.

a few hours later:

—- okay, I’ve just installed the newest Fedora 15 Beta in a virtual machine. The installation of Fuduntu is 99% identical to Fedora, except that in Fedora you are asked if you want to add the new user to the “Administrator” group when you create it after installation. That’s a nice touch. Also, the indicator of weak/strong password is slightly different (a bar with color coding, red means weak).

Fedora also installs 3 games by default!  You get a minesweeper clone, a solitaire game (Aisle Riot, one of the best), and an Othello clone. That’s terrific, in my opinion. On the other hand, it has no office software installed except for the Evolution mail client. Fuduntu gives you the 3 main OpenOffice applications (Writer, Calc, and Draw) installed ready to go. I think that Fedora 15 will be including the LibreOffice fork of OpenOffice when it ships.

Fuduntu includes a small weather indicator at the top right, next to the time and date. This is not in Fedora, although that might be because Fuduntu is based on Fedora 14, not 15. Also, Fuduntu does have a LOT of updates for the same reason – Fedora 14 is several months old.

Fuduntu’s application to make a slideshow from pictures for your wallpaper is not installed in Fedora 15.

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