Fuduntu 2013.2 review

I havent tried any new distro for months. So on the occasion that a new version of Fuduntu got released, I decided to download then install it on my Samsung netbook. As a matter of fact, I had used an older version of Fuduntu last year and somehow liked it. However a problem occurred that the downloading speed was terribly slow back then, it just took me forever to upgrade system and install new packages. So I had to ditch Fuduntu for Linux Mint and havent tried Fuduntu again since then. But after installing and using the new Fuduntu for over a day, I can say that it is different now with many improvements.

 Fuduntu review - Download and install

There is nothing much to say here. To download Fuduntu, just visit the official website to select the ISO file and downloading method. I downloaded the full version whose ISO file is over 1GB , so you will need a DVD or a big enough USB to install Fuduntu. ( There is also a Lite version but the ISO is still over 800MB) After booting up with the live USB, I got directly into the live desktop. The live desktop was clean with an install button. There was also a welcome dialog box with several links.

Fuduntu review

Installing Fuduntu is easy, fast and simple. If you have installed Ubuntu or Mint before, you can install Fuduntu without troubles. The interface is different but all the steps are similar.

Fuduntu linux review

After 10 or perhaps 15 minutes, the install process finished. I restarted my netbook to enjoy the full experience with Fuduntu 2013.2.

Fuduntu review - Look and feel

Comparing to the 2012 version, the default desktop of this version of Fuduntu is quite the same. It is still the traditional Gnome 2 desktop. The most easy-to-notice change must be the wallpaper, it is a nice pic of a butterfly now. There are also other nice wallpapers included by default.

Fuduntu desktop

At the top of the desktop is a gnome panel with some basic applets, the gnome menu on the left and the notification and calendar applets on the right. At the bottom is Cairo Dock. I personally prefer AWN of the 2012 version but it is no big deal here. Generally, the default desktop of Fuduntu looks like that of MacOS.

The default theme and icons of Fuduntu are still the same. It is the famous Faenza icon set and a light, easy to the eye GTK theme. There are also several other themes and icon sets, just right click on the desktop and you will see the option for changing the look of the desktop.

There is a new tweaking application in this version of Fuduntu. It is Ailurus. To launch it, from the gnome menu, you go to Applications > System Tools. Ailurus offers a lot of tweaking options. It is perhaps similar to Ubuntu Tweak IMO:


Pre-installed applications

The biggest change in this version of Fuduntu is the pre-installed apps. Besides the tweaking tool Ailurus which I just mentioned above, there are several other new pre-installed applications in Fuduntu 2013.2. 

Instead of using web-based solutions, there are many desktop applications in Fuduntu now. The dying Thunderbird is the email client ( it was just a button to launch Chromium to gmail.com in the old version). And the full LibreOffice package is there to replace Google Docs. You now also have GIMP for graphic work.

And Fuduntu 2013.2 also has a collection of simple games by default. There are 15 simple games like Solitaire, Sodoku, Mines... for you to play in Fuduntu 2013.2. It is a very good point since other popular distros like Ubuntu and Mint dont offer pre-installed games. You just need to click "Applications" on the gnome menu and you will see the Games section.

There are also several applications that got removed in this new version of Fuduntu. The most prominent one is the trademarked Jupiter applet.  At first I thought the Jupiter applet will only show up when the netbook runs on battery but after I switched to using the battery, only the battery icon on the gnome panel appeared and no thunder flash. So I guess Jupiter got removed in this version of Fuduntu. I dont know the reason why.

Another app that got removed is Banshee, so VLC is the only pre-installed tool to handle media now.

Besides the new and removed apps, you still have the old ones like Chromium, Pidgin, VLC, Shotwell, Remmina, Cheese ... for the basic tasks. Codecs and Flash are pre-installed in Fuduntu so you will have no problems to watch youtube videos and listen to music here.


On the official site of Fuduntu, gaming on steam is mentioned but I didnt test it since I installed it on my netbook.

Performance

Since Fuduntu uses the good old Gnome 2, it plays nicely with hardware resource. At idle, it only eats up around 160MB / 2GB of RAM of my netbook. There is no issue with the CPUs, sound and graphic either.  I also notice that there is an option to look for proprietary drivers ( System > Administration), although I didnt test this option since my netbook doesnt have any dedicated hardware.

Fuduntu 2013.2 has several minor, but important, changes in system settings. First of all, after the fresh install, you will be ask to enable the use of sudo for the normal user. By doing so, you can perform tasks as root just by typing "sudo" before the commands in the terminal.

The other change is that you wont be asked for password when mounting internal partitions. Last year, I mentioned this issue in a post and Fewt noticed and perhaps thats how this change happened. It's really nice to see developers care and listen to the feedback of users.

And last but not least, there is a huge improvement in the download speed. As I have said before, the sluggish download speed was the only reason why I ditched Fuduntu 2012. Therefore the very first thing I did after installing Fuduntu 2013.2 was upgrading the system and it ran well and fast. I also installed some new applications, Deadbeef, Xchat, Transmission and Firefox and everything was good. So Im pleased and thats why this review is written.

Conclusion

Currently, I have nothing to complain. I love the Gnome 2 desktop. The default desktop looks nice and neat. The pre-installed applications are nice enough and installing new apps is also easy and simple. And I havent encountered any performance issue so far. So in conclusion, Fuduntu 2013.2 works nicely for me and Im stilling using it.
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