Pinguy OS – Another Ubuntu Fork

Update: A 32-bit version of Pinguy OS is now  available. Download link at the end of the article.

Yes there is another fork of Ubuntu in town and it is called Pinguy OS.

Pinguy OS is based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and is built to have more eye-candy (CoverGloobus, Gloobus Preview, GNOME Do, Docky) than Ubuntu and to be a little bit more user friendly. For example, .iso files open with Basero Disc Burner and not in Archive Manager as it does in Ubuntu.

Pinguy OS is available only for 64-bit syatems. Unlike Ubuntu, as soon as you finish  installation  you can straight away start listening to music or watch video as all the audio and video codecs are included during the installation. It also comes with Flash and Java. Some minor annoyances in Ubuntu are also fixed in Pinguy OS. These include wireless problems, Gwibber’s Facebook problem and Flash Video in full screen. Even Samba and Upnp are all set up and ready to be used.

Pinguy OS comes with Elementary-Nautilus with plugins to fetch album art from the web. Elementary is the default theme.

All in all Pinguy OS is not much different from Ubuntu. It is based on a stable OS. So it should be stable enough. Its default list of applications also looks very good. It consists of a lot of applications which I usually use (and I am sure that many others too use them).

So, for a complete noob, Pinguy OS may be useful. However, I will not recommend it to anyone over Ubuntu. The problem with Pinguy OS as I see right now is that there is just one person behind it and I do not think only one person can maintain a distro properly. Yes it is based on Ubuntu and you can use the Ubuntu PPAs; but the question is “Will there be new releases like in Ubuntu?” Moreover, most of the changes in Pinguy OS can be done in Ubuntu too very easily. So for now hold on to your Ubuntu installation until Pinguy OS really differentiates itself from Ubuntu.

However, if you are interested, go ahead and download it. If you do try it out, let us know your opinion.

Download Pinguy OS

[source: Ubuntu Geek]

Spotify comes out with a Linux client

Spotify may not be available in most parts of the world, but that hasn’t prevented them from coming out with a Linux client. In a blog entry Spotify mentions:

A lot of our developers are using Linux, obviously they want to listen to music while they’re coding away and looking at the feedback we get it appears that they’re not the  only ones. So today we’re pretty happy to present a preview version of  Spotify for Linux.

Built by our brilliant developers during hack days and late nights, it shares most of the same features as our Windows and Mac OS X desktop applications.

While this is indeed good news for Linux users, it must be reminded that client is still in a preview version and is available only for Spotify Premium subscribers, as Spotify claims that they still haven’t figured how to reliably display ads. Also missing is support for playback of local files, as they are grappling with decoding issues. Still, I guess something’s better than nothing. Here’s hoping for an new, improved version to come out soon. And perhaps, for Spotify to be rolled outside of UK and certain parts of Europe.

Spotify is currently available as packaged for Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04 & Debian Squeeze, head over to the preview page to download it.

REMnux, an Ubuntu Fork to Reverse Engineer Malware

REMnux is a nifty security tool based on Ubuntu. It is essentially a stripped down version of Ubuntu to create a sandbox environment and test for exploits remotely. The  official website defines REMnux as,

REMnux is a lightweight Linux distribution for assisting malware analysts in reverse-engineering malicious software. The distribution is based on  Ubuntu and is maintained by Lenny Zeltser.

REMnux comes pre-loaded with an array of security related tools to check network activity, check memory activity and to debug and understand code execution.

The features of REMnux are best explained as,

REMnux is also useful for analyzing web-based malware, such as malicious JavaScript, Java programs, and Flash files. It also has tools for  analyzing malicious documents, such as Microsoft Office and Adobe PDF files, and utilities for reversing malware through memory forensics. In these cases, malware may be loaded onto REMnux and analyzed directly on the REMnux system without requiring other systems to be present in the lab.

Setting up of virtual environments is an essential step in checking security hacks and REMnux does exactly that. The download is a VMware virtual machine file, which is actually a stripped down version of Ubuntu. Adobe and JavaScript vulnerability scanning tools are available by default making this an excellent tester for browser security.

Try REMnux  here.

KDE Software Compilation 4.5 RC 2 Available For Kubuntu 10.04

The second release candidate of KDE Software Compilation 4.5 is now available in the Kubuntu Beta Backports for Kubuntu 10.04.

KDE SC 4.5 RC2 was released three days ago. It features only bug fixes from the RC1. This will be the last release candidate before the final release is made later.

Some new features in KDE SC 4.5 includes:

  • New blur effect in KWin.
  • New Tiling feature in KWin.
  • New notification system.
New Notification With Blur Effect

Unfortunately a complete changelog for KDE SC 4.5 RC2 has not been released. (Maybe they are all busy with Akademy.)

If you are already using the RC1, you will get RC2 through a normal update.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Otherwise, if you are using KDE SC 4.4.x, you have to add the Kubuntu Beta Backports PPA and do a dist-upgrade.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/beta
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Ubiquity With A New Look Coming In Ubuntu 10.10

According to Evan Dandrea of Canonical, Ubiquity in Ubuntu 10.10 will have a completely revamped and more-beginner-friendly interface. Ubiquity is the name for the installer used in Ubuntu.

This is what Evan said to Softpedia:

While the visual changes form a large portion of the work, some major pieces infrastructure will be added or changed to support things like running installation tasks in parallel and the Geonames place name service.

A big change in the new Ubiquity, other than the interface, is the introduction of “paralleling  task” functionality. What this will do is that the installation process will be divided into  parallel  processes so that when the user is entering information like time zone, name etc., the  installation  can continue in the background. This will speed up the  installation  process.

Here are some screenshots of the new Ubiquity for Ubuntu 10.10:

This is the first step of the new installer. Here you can specify if you want to download updates from the internet during the  installation  and if you want non-open-source software like Flash, audio and video codecs etc. are to be installed.

This is the Hard Disk partitioner. You can specify the partition or the amount of space to be used for the Ubuntu installation.

This is the final step of the installation. You can specify your username, password etc. here. An option to take your picture with a webcam will also be included in time for Ubuntu 10.10.

You can see more screenshots and read more at Softpedia.

UK Officials Suggest Moving To FOSS To Cut Cost

The UK Government is facing a budget shortfall of around 155 Billion Pounds. So, UK Prime Minister, David Cameroon, had called upon the  government  officials to suggest measures to cut cost.

Two of the thirty one proposed ideas published by the Treasury department cost calls for moving from Microsoft products, like Windows, Office etc., to open-source ones like Linux, OpenOffice etc.

This is what a proposal says:

In terms of spending less, what about migrating the whole of government (the NHS, education etc.) from Microsoft products to Linux and open-source software like Openoffice.

There are plenty of open-source alternative to the Microsoft products. Linux distros, like Ubuntu, Mint, OpenSUSE etc. can easily replace Microsoft Windows for almost all applications. Another open-source software, OpenOffice is a very strong competitor to Microsoft Office. The best thing about all these open-source products is that almost all of them are free. So, you can save a lot of money which would have otherwise been spent on the license for the Microsoft products.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is already in  favor  of switching to open-source software. Last year, in The Times Of London, he had written:

We need to follow the example of businesses all over the world and take advantage of open-source technology.

This is all good news for the open-source community but bitter news for Microsoft, for whom Windows and Office are reportedly the biggest source of income.

[source: BussinessWeek]

FOSS Friday: Ubuntu, Ubuntu And Some More Ubuntu News!

Welcome to FOSS Friday, where we look at what has been happening in the world of Free and Open Source Software.


Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha 2 Released

The second alpha of Ubuntu 10.10 has been released. It does not differ much from the first alpha visually but it came with some new features underneath. One big feature that it came with is the support for Btrfs. It also has a new application and file menu with the Unity interface.

Read More Here

Ubuntu Installed In Nexus One and HTC HD2

The guys at  have installed Ubuntu in Nexus One without destroying the Android system. And in a related news, the hackers at the XDA Forums have succeeded in installing Ubuntu in HTC HD2. Looks like everyone want to have Ubuntu on their smartphone.

Read More Here & Here

Wine 1.2 Reaches Its Sixth Release Candidate

The release of Wine 1.2 is long overdue. However, the developers are working hard on it and they have released the 6th release candidate. It features a lot of bug fixes and is quite usable.

Read More Here

Kubuntu Netbook Remix Discontinued

The Kubuntu Team have decided to merge Kubuntu Netbook Remix into Kubuntu Desktop. This means that the Kubuntu Netbook Remix brand has been discontinued although, netbook support will still continue.

Read More Here

New Ubuntu Fonts To Be Available For Public Testing On 8th August

Canonical Design has released new fonts for Ubuntu 10.10. It is currently in a private beta and only Ubuntu members have access to it. However, it will be available for public testing from 8th August.

Read More Here

Tips & Tricks

Install Transmission 2.0 In Ubuntu

Transmission is the default bit torrent client for Ubuntu. Transmission 2.0 has been released with new features. Click on the link below to learn how to install it.

Read More Here

Get Faster Download Speeds for Ubuntu Packages with Synaptic

Ubuntu has a great network of mirrors all over the world, allowing you to download updates from a server geographically close to wherever you are. However, in the age of broadband, the speed of your connection and ….

Read More Here

How To Compile rekonq 0.5 In Kubuntu

rekonq, the KDE web-browser which is going to replace Konqueror in Kubuntu 10.10, has just got its first stable release as rekonq 0.5. Right now, it is available only as a source and binaries are not yet available …..

Read More Here

With this we conclude this week’s FOSS Friday.

Malaysian Government Uses 97% Open Source Software

A recent report at has brought up an interesting fact. The Malaysian government is using 97% open source software. That  is a decisive fraction and Malaysia being way ahead of many other Asian countries in technology, sets an example for them to follow.

The state of Tamil Nadu in India has been using OSS (Open Source Software) for the last two years and it has worked wonders for them. However, a full country switching to Open Source is a welcome move. One thing to remember here is that OSS does not mean there will be no costs involved in it at all. There is live and in-place support you need to pay for.

The report reveals that 703 of 724 agencies in Malaysia have switched to Open Source Software. The Malaysian government is using OpenOffice, MySQL, Apache web server and a Linux based distro. Quoting, this is a historic achievement and Malaysia needs thumbs up for this great achievement.

The Malaysian government is not satisfied though. It aims at a 100% conversion to Open Source Software.

Are you wondering where the US stands at Open Source adoption? Read this report.

Installing Ubuntu In Nexus One

The guys at have managed to install and run Ubuntu in Nexus One. And best of all they have installed it in such a way that it will not destroy the existing Android system on the phone. This means that the Nexus One can still be used as a phone.

Not only have they managed to get Ubuntu up and running in Nexus One, they have also posted a video showing how you too can do it if you have a Nexus One.

Here is the video:

If you are brave or  adventurous  enough to try this, head over to They have the full instructions on how to do it.

New Ubuntu Fonts – No You Cannot Use Them Yet!

Canonical Design has introduced new Ubuntu fonts which will be used in the next release, Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. The new fonts will not be available to everyone, though, as it has been released as a private beta. Only Ubuntu Members are allowed access to the new font through a private PPA. The fonts will be released as a public beta on 8th August. So if you are not an Ubuntu Member, you have to wait till then.

Regarding new font, this is what Canonical Design said:

The Ubuntu font (family) is open-type ttf based font format and fully unicode compliant. It contains Latin A and B extended character sets, Greek Polytonic and Cyrillic extended. The font has been hinted for superior screen display. Its spacing and kerning is optimised for body copy sizes.

Another point of interest with the new fonts is that Canonical Design have said that “exact details of the license are not confirmed”. This has led to some speculation that Canonical may release it under a proprietary license. If they do release it under a proprietary license, it will go completely against the Ubuntu Philosophy. As of now, the Ubuntu Philosophy dictates that Ubuntu will not come with proprietary software by default. This is the reason why you have to install Flash, video and audio codecs etc.  separately  after installing Ubuntu.

This decision to release it as a closed beta and the licensing uncertainty has not gone down well with some Ubuntu Members. Some have even spoken up against Canonical.

However, they have made their decision and you have to wait till 8th August to get the new fonts if you are not an Ubuntu Member.