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Monday, January 28, 2008

Ubuntu Ultimate 1.6: Review - A Feature Rich Newbies friendly Desktop Linux distro

Ubuntu is undoubtedly one of the most popular Linux distributions , it is popular with geeks as well as Linux newbies and even big computer cos like Dell are shipping their laptops with Ubuntu preinstalled . However Ubuntu usually comes in a single cd(and i guess there is a DVD version too haven't tried it :( ) so it comes with pretty limited number of applications and because of licensing restrictions it comes with a number of codecs , drivers for hardware devices missing .

Now installing applications on Linux has been one of the most difficult part for the Linux newbies though things have been changing with simplified installation procedures but still most of the Linux newbies find installing applications tad difficult . So well Ubuntu Ultimate 1.6 plays a role to resolve this issue "Ubuntu Ultimate " which as the name suggests comes with all kind of applications , codecs , drivers preinstalled out of the box and is based on solid Ubuntu 7.10 distribution hence offers the same repositories as the Ubuntu 7.10 distribution . In this article/review we look further into Ubuntu Ultimate distribution .

Ubuntu Ultimate 1.6 comes as a 1.6 Gigabytes ISO image . The first thing you notice after booting into the Ubuntu Ultimate is it's black theme , though bit difficult to read the theme does make UUE look quite cool and sexy .

The entire installation process is quite simple and the installer is same as the one that comes with normal ubuntu 7.10 . I tried installing Ubuntu Ultimate 7.10 on a Core 2 Duo based laptop with 2GB of rams and the entire installation finished within 25 minutes which is pretty cool considering the number of applications UU comes with pre-installed .

After installation is over and you boot into your new UU installation the first thing you notice is that the login manager has a different look than what Ubuntu comes with . As with Gnome Desktop of UU the login manager also has the black theme .

Firefox in UUE with black theme (notice adsense ads in sidebar )
Nautilus with default black theme

Top Menu Bar in UUE

After logging in , you are greeted with all kind of configuration wizards to install flash player( that's good cuz www is very much incomplete these days without flash ) , drivers for ATI and NVIDIA(which is quite welcome addition because installing drivers for graphics cards is quite troubling for Linux newbies) and other miscellaneous softwares.
Envy allows you to easily install drivers for your ATI/Nvidia graphics card

After logging in this is how my UU 1.6 Desktop looks :
UUE Desktop

Now since UU is basically ubuntu 7.10 ++ , so there should'nt be any problem for some one moving from Plane Vanilla Ubuntu 7.10 distro to UU 1.6 . Anyways UU comes with all kind of applications preinstalled .

UUE comes with all the regular office productivity applications and adds a few more good applications like Lightweght word processor AbiWord and Lightweight spreadsheet client Gnumeric , Email client Evolution , money management software KMyMoney and GnuCash and the usual OpenOffice office suite .

UUE has a wide array of Multimedia tools and codecs allowing one to play all the popular media files without any hitch . Some of the cool multimedia applications ubuntu ultimate comes with preinstalled with are :

  • Mplayer, VLC & Amarok players with mp3 support
  • Mencoder, K9Copy, DeVeDE, DVD Shrink - dvd copying software.
  • Lemonrip - DVD ripping software , Dvdrip - Dvd ripping software
  • Audacity - Sound editor
  • Isomaster - CD / DVD ISO editor
  • Brasero - Disc burning tool
  • Gtkpod and Yamipod : - For managing music on your ipod
  • Songbird : - a graphically appealing music player based on same platform as Mozilla Firefox
  • Ogle DVD player

Multimedia Menu in Ubuntu Ultimate - Shows most of the audio/video applications Ubuntu Ultimates comes with

Audacity is a popular audio editor it comes preinstalled with UUE
Gtkpod and Yamipod are tools available to manage music on your ipod

Ubuntu ultimate comes with a host of multimedia applications like one to create CD/DVD , to play video (VLC ,MPlayer ) , audio player (amarok , banshee ,songbird etc) etc . The best part is all the audio/video applications comes with important codecs pre-installed .

Songbird one of the media player that comes preinstalled in UUE , other similar application UUE comes with preinstalled is Banshee , AmaroK .

UUE comes with a number of applications that enhances your internet experience like :

  • Lifrea - RSS feed reader
  • aMSN : - MSN Client for Linux
  • Aria : Download manager
  • Skype - VoIP application
  • Bit Tornado - P2P Software
  • gFTP - a gnome based ftp client
  • X-Chat - IRC Client
  • Wireless Internet integration
  • Bluetooth integration
  • PPP integration
  • Networking tools

UUE Internet menu

Besides this unlike ubuntu 7.10 which does not come with any tool for software development ,UUE comes with a number of applications that allows you to develop application easily on your Ubuntu desktop as well as create cool looking webpages on your ubuntu desktop.
UUE Programming submenu
Besides all this it has number of good applications that allow you to edit graphical images , including vector image editors , tools for graphic modeling etc .

Some of the important graphics application included with UUE are :

  • Inkscape - 2D vector drawing
  • Google Picasa - A tool for managing your collection of images
  • Qcad - Autocad wannabe
  • Blender
  • F-Spot - application that helps you manage your photo album properly

Blender - A Incredibly powerful 2D modeling software for Linux

UUE 1.6 also comes with WINE which allows one to run many windows application flawlessly in Linux . Besides WINE UUE also comes with Dosbox which allows you to run many of your old classic dos based games on Ubuntu as well as run classic dos applications inside ubuntu !!! .

Dosbox - A DOS emulator for Linux , allowing you to run your classic dos based applications and games inside Ubuntu

Besides all this there are number of configuration wizards , tweaks and customization that makes UUE really user friendly for linux newbies . Also since it is Ubuntu 7.10 with all kind of applications preinstalled so all the things valid for Ubuntu 7.10 is also valid for UUE .

Various System Menus in UUE
In Short UUE is one of the most feature rich and user friendly desktop linux distribuiton available . If you are one of those who find installing applications on linux difficult and want all kind of applications pre-installed on your linux distribution this distribution is for you.

Get Ubuntu Ultimate edition from the following link :

Want to see UUE in action here are couple of links to help you out :


Article Written by : Ambuj Varshney (
For Desktop on Linux Blog ,
(C) 2008 , Ambuj Varshney


Anonymous said...

"Blender - A Incredibly powerful 2D modeling software for Linux"
nice, nice, but Blender models AT LEAST 3D! (=

Anonymous said...

thanks this review was very helpfull

Blackwolf said...

In the beginning, God made the heavens and the Earth,
and the Earth was without form and void,
and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
Then God said, let there be light......
Welcome to the official launch of Ultimate Edition Australia.

Ultimate Edition is now up to 2.6 & has changed & progressed since the last post above. It is based off Karmic Koala & 2.6 is just around the corner (Lucid Lybx)
Come & visit the Oz forum to see how unbloated it realy is !!

Anonymous said...

i found a very nice distribution, Sn0wL1nuX, you guys should do a review on it, here is the web site

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