Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Emmabuntus 12.04.2-1.04 Review: Xubuntu LTS spiced up!

I recently came across Emmabuntus in Distrowatch, it is a Xubuntu 12.04.2 LTS based distro which comes with a large number of pre-installed applications. You can say it to be Ultimate Edition for Xubuntu. Naturally, I was inclined to try it out - to check if it is just mindless collection of applications or the developers have used their judgement in selecting those apps.
From Emmabuntus 12.04.2-1.04 http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.com

I downloaded the 3.5 GB Emmabuntus ISO. And used an 8 GB pendrive to create a live-USB using unetbootin. I did a live boot followed by installation in my Asus K54C with 2.2 Ghz Core i3 processor and 2 GB RAM. Initially I thought Emmabuntus to be just another dump of all available applications but once I started using it, I realized it brings in some very good features in addition to dumping all available apps. Details in the remaining part of the article.


There are 3 choices once you bootup after installation - full feature, 4 kids and I guess, another is minimalistic. Hardware detection is as expected from any Ubuntu derived distro - it is pretty good. Emmabuntus could easily recognize my wifi, lan, touchpad, display and sound settings. Things worked right out of the box without requiring any manual intervention. Only hiccup I faced was that the default keyboard language was French and I had to manually change it to English.
From Emmabuntus 12.04.2-1.04 http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.com

The login screen shows XFCE, Xubuntu and a couple of more options (Cairo-dock with Gnome, Cairo-dock with Unity). Only XFCE and Xubuntu work out of them and both boot the same desktop! The default look of Emmabuntus is vanilla XFCE 4.8 DE with a cairo-dock. Linux kernel used is 3.2.0 as in Xubuntu LTS and Thunar 1.2.3 is the file manager. The default wallpaper is quite gaudy, but it has quite a few other good wallpaper options as well. In addition, cairo dock themes can also be installed to make the desktop more appealing. I didn't go for all these, simply I changed the wallpaper and added a conky. Below is the look created by 2 minutes of effort.


From Emmabuntus 12.04.2-1.04 http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.com
Applications
Well, almost I every application I know of has been dumped in Emmabuntus, as if, almost in a mindless fashion. The result is 3 music player, 3 movie players, 4 image viewers, 2 email clients, 2 IMs doing the same thing (Empathy & Pidgin), couple of office suites (LibreOffice and OOo4kids along with Abiword, Gnumeric) and browsers (Firefox and Chromium), to name a few. 

From Emmabuntus 12.04.2-1.04 http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.com
Of course, OOo4kids office, though similar in look and feel to Libreoffice and share the same base (openoffice), is a simplified version targeted to 7-12 year old kids. I tried creating a few charts and doing some calculations in OOo4kids Calc, it works well though offering limited options compared to LibreOffice Calc.


From Emmabuntus 12.04.2-1.04 http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.com
I won't bore you with detailed application list here. It has almost all the usual applications you can think of in addition to Wine, PlayonLinux, Virtualbox, Skype 4.1, Teamviewer 8, LRF viewer, Wammu phone, Picasa, etc. Some good educational softwares are there too - not all but some of them are in French.


From Emmabuntus 12.04.2-1.04 http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.com

From Emmabuntus 12.04.2-1.04 http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.com
Cairo-dock has group level short-cuts like movie player, music player, communication (IMs), etc. and individual application can be accessed from the cairo dock as well apart from XFCE menu.
From Emmabuntus 12.04.2-1.04 http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.com

Firefox is the default browser though Chromium is present. Firefox has almost all common plugins added though the Novell Moonlight (similar to Microsoft's Silverlight) doesn't work with the latest version of Firefox. Both the browsers have a good web-blocking plugin and effectively blocks inappropriate websites. Good for parental control!


From Emmabuntus 12.04.2-1.04 http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.com
Multimedia codecs and Adobe flashplugin are in built and Emmabuntus can play your favorite movie, music and live stream without requiring any additional download.


From Emmabuntus 12.04.2-1.04 http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.com
From Emmabuntus 12.04.2-1.04 http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.com
Repository
Ubuntu Precise Pangolin Repository is the main repository and packages can be downloaded via Ubuntu Software Center and Synaptic package manager. Ubuntu has the richest repository in the Linux world and almost all possible Linux compatible applications you can think of, are available here. I installed Midori browser, compiz and conky from repository and they worked as expected. Below is the desktop cube I created using compiz.


From Emmabuntus 12.04.2-1.04 http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.com
Also, given playonlinux and wine are installed, you can actually install MSOffice 2010 and other Windows based programs as well. You can check it out here.

Installation
Installation is usual Ubuntu stuff and it took me about 30 minutes to install Emmabuntus. Queries are the usual ones: Language, Location, Keyboard language and type, Location to install and user ID creation.

Performance
In spite of being loaded with applications, I found Emmabuntus to perform quite decently. With task manager running, at steady state it took about 180 MB RAM and 1-5% CPU usage. It is more or less in line with what we see in an XFCE distro, all 32 bit and tested on the same system at different point in time, under similar conditions (at least I tried to have similar conditions!).


Parameters Size of ISO Base Desktop CPU Usage (post installation) RAM usage (post installation)
Snowlinux 4 Glacier XFCE 727 MB Debian XFCE 4.10 1-5% 87 MB
Debian Wheezy XFCE 868 MB Debian XFCE 4.8 1-5% 100 MB
Snowlinux 3.1 Crystal XFCE 639 MB Debian XFCE 4.8 1-5% 110 MB
Linux Lite 1.0.4 XFCE 755 MB Ubuntu XFCE 4.8 1-5% 120 MB
Mint 13 Debian XFCE 1.2 GB Debian XFCE 4.8 1-5% 125 MB
Bridge XFCE 696 MB Arch XFCE 4.10 1-5% 130 MB
Linux Lite 1.0.0 XFCE 916 MB Ubuntu XFCE 4.8 1-5% 130 MB
Mint 14 XFCE 914 MB Ubuntu XFCE 4.10 1-5% 140 MB
Fedora 17 XFCE 705 MB Fedora XFCE 4.8 1-5% 160 MB
Manjaro 0.8.3 XFCE 817 MB Arch XFCE 4.10 1-5% 160 MB
Mint 13 XFCE 850 MB Ubuntu XFCE 4.8 1-5% 160 MB
Sabayon 11 XFCE 1.3 GB Gentoo XFCE 4.10 1-5% 160 MB
Xubuntu 12.04.1 LTS 715 MB Ubuntu XFCE 4.8 1-5% 160 MB
Xubuntu 12.10 727 MB Ubuntu XFCE 4.10 1-5% 160 MB
Emmabuntus 12.04.2-1.04 3.5 GB Ubuntu XFCE 4.8 1-5% 170 MB
Fedora 18 XFCE 694 MB Fedora XFCE 4.10 1-5% 180 MB
Sabayon 10 XFCE 1.3 GB Gentoo XFCE 4.10 1-5% 180 MB
Manjaro 0.8.2 XFCE 1.1 GB Arch XFCE 4.10 1-5% 200 MB
OS 4 13.1 1.5 GB Ubuntu XFCE 4.10 1-5% 200 MB
Voyager 12.10 991 MB Ubuntu XFCE 4.10 1-5% 200 MB
ZevenOS 5 734 MB Ubuntu XFCE 4.10 1-5% 220 MB

On stability part, couple of times it showed broken packages but things got resolved once I ran the command $sudo apt-get install -f. It happened with me at least. Especially it happened I guess due to language pack removal that I opted for. In addition to some European languages (like Portuguese, German, etc.) I removed French as well and retained only English. It might have left certain broken packages. Otherwise, Emmabuntu is quite stable and works like Xubuntu.

Overall
I found Emmabuntus to be good and you can call it as Ultimate Edition for Xubuntu 12.04 LTS. Given Xubuntu LTS has a couple of more years of support left, I guess it is safe to try it out. Emmabuntus performs as good as any other XFCE distro available in the market and I did not note significant instability.

If you are in the habit of installing a lot of applications, Emmabuntu may be a good choice for you. Also, for Linux novices who are not sure about how to install apps and others, Emmabuntu is a perfect OS for you. It brings the best applications of Linux world (though not judiciously chosen) to your system all of which work right out of the box.

Definitely recommended for Xubuntu and XFCE lovers and you can download it from here. I guess only the 32 bit version is available for Emmabuntus.

29 comments:

  1. Thanks a lot for this test.

    A little remarks Emmabuntüs 2 1.04 include LXDE, but to access at the install menu you need to put the dock in Expert profile : http://emmabuntus.sourceforge.net/mediawiki/index.php/Personalization#Change_the_type_of_dock

    And after in the expert profile of dock : Utilities → Installing LXDE

    Or you can type in a terminal: /opt/Lxde/install_lxde.sh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cool! I'll try it out and install LXDE. One thing here, does Emmabuntus have support till April 2015 (like Xubuntu 12.04.2 LTS) or April 2017 (like Ubuntu)?

      Thanks,
      Arindam

      Delete
    2. We will try to support the maximum like Ubuntu, but it also depends on XFCE.

      Freely

      Patrick

      Delete
    3. Hi Arindam,

      About your remark: "Had it arrived a bit earlier it would have been better - 1 year gap is a pretty long!", see the Emmabuntus announcement here.

      Have you tested Emmabuntüs in LXDE mode ?

      Freely

      Patrick

      Delete
    4. Hi Patrick:

      Got your point. Will remove the statement.

      And my test was primarily with XFCE. Will try out LXDE as well.

      Regards,
      Arindam

      Delete
  2. nice thanks for the review..i like ur blog...ur review give me lot of info..how about new Fuduntu next in ur list..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for liking my blog. Incidentally I am using the 2013.2 Fuduntu right now and will post a review this weekend.

      Delete
  3. Your review makes me want to try it. For a year now (or since I got into Linux) I've been going from one distro to the next try to find just the perfect one for me. Seriously, I am so tired now, I am thinking of paying hundreds of dollars to go back to Windows.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! For last 3 years I haven't touched Windows (except in office where we have to use Windows! Sad!). Even I am a distro hopper and would like to test out almost every distro that gets released. I have a separate laptop for distro testing and a separate one for productivity works. And on the productivity machine, Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS has been constant for quite sometime. It's minimalistic desktop with a sidebar is a perfect match for my liking. I play around with distros on my other laptop :).

      Actually that is the beauty of Linux - users are pampered with choices! On Windows, there is no option but to stick with the same OS. Hopefully you'll quickly find your perfect OS pretty soon.

      Thanks,
      Arindam

      Delete
  4. Hi Arindam,

    I would like to know the method that you used to run Compiz in Emmabuntüs 2 or Xubuntu 12.04, because a Emmabuntüs user tries to run Compiz following this method: http://www.linuxcore.fr/2012/05/compiz-xubuntu/

    He installed: sudo apt-get install compiz-fusion-plugins-extra

    But he had problems on edges of window and the display lock after 2 seconds, and he does not theses problems on Ubuntu 10.10.

    How do you install Compiz, and do you have any idea of ​​the problem?

    Unfortunately I do not have a graphics card that allows to run Compiz.

    Thank you for your help

    Patrick

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Patrick,

      Even I used the same method. From Ubuntu software center, I downloaded compiz settings and compiz fusion and followed the same approach. What is the graphic card memory your friend using? Mine is 128 mb Intel native graphics.

      Regards,
      Arindam

      Delete
  5. Hi Arindam,

    Thank you for your answer.


    The Emmabuntüs user have a ATI Radeon HD5870m with 1 GB of RAM. What do you think ?



    Best regards,

    Patrick

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Patrick

      Sorry to reply late as currently I'm on travel. Did your friend install proper drivers for the graphic card? Actually I have tested Emmabuntus on a system with nvidia graphics and it works well with all bells and whistles. Nvidia graphic drivers are relatively easy to get and bumblebee works well with nvidia. However I don't know much about AMD Raedon drivers. Got to do some research on it.

      Regards,
      Arindam

      Delete
    2. Than you, we are waiting the answers of the user.

      Delete
  6. Hi Arindan,


    What do you thing about this review: http://www.linuxandlife.com/2013/05/emmabuntus-review-very-disappointing.html

    Have you problems of Keyboard with Emmabuntüs ?
    The blogger used a Samsung netbook (NP-NC215).

    If you want, you can write me by this page : http://contact.emmabuntus.org

    Thank you for your help.

    Best regards

    Patrick

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Patrick

      It is because the keyboard language is french. Just by changing to English, things will get resolved. Is the reviewer a linux novice? :p

      Delete
    2. Hi Arindam,

      No, is a specialist of Linux, and some of this reviews are posted on Distrowatch.

      Best regards

      Patrick

      Delete
    3. Ok, I posted a reply in his blog. It is a bit pre-mature review and the author did not test your distro properly. Ideally the reviewer should have tried the distro for a couple of days at least before writing the review, at least that is what I do. Anyway, don't worry. You can explain your point of view in his blog.

      Regards,
      Arindam

      Delete
    4. Thanks you for your post, but it is possible that it had problems with its keyboard, the netbook Samsung NC215 have perhaps special functions.

      What computer do you use ?

      Best regards
      Patrick

      Delete
    5. I tested your distro on Asus K54C, K55V and HP Compaq 2003 Build Pentium 4 PC. Everywhere I had to change the keyboard default language from French to English to make it work. Just request the author to check the keyboard language in use and then you can get idea possibly what went wrong.

      Thanks,
      Arindam

      Delete
    6. Thank you for your reply and for your thoughtfulness in testing, because is not possible to have a feedback on a single machine, and the last week we have installed Emmabuntüs on 20 machines with 11 different, and at this date we have sold 8 for this humanitarian organization Emmaüs : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmaus_%28charity%29

      Good weekend

      Patrick

      Delete
  7. Hi Arindam,

    I wish to inform than a new version of Emmabuntüs is available:
    http://emmabuntus.sourceforge.net/mediawiki/index.php/July_21th,_2013,_Emmabuntus_2_celebrates_M-Pregnancy
    and we hope than the problem of keyboard was resolved ;)

    Best regards
    Patrick

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Patrick:

      Currently downloading the new version :). Will use it for a week to review.
      Hope this version is even better than the last version.

      Regards,
      Arindam

      Delete
    2. Hi Arindam,

      Thanks you for your feedback, and we are inclued LXKeymap for resolve the big problem of keybord in Live mode, and removed the plugin in a systray.

      Emmabuntüs was on Distrowatch home page http://distrowatch.com/?newsid=07966, and on french magazine Linux-Essentiel August/september 2013 http://numerique.ed-diamond.com/flip_book/show/375 on pages 8 to 11.

      Best regards,
      Patrick

      Delete
  8. Hi Arindam,

    I wish you a Happy New Year 2014, and I have the please to announce the first release of Emmabuntüs 2 64-bit 1.06:

    http://emmabuntus.sourceforge.net/mediawiki/index.php/In_2014,_Emmabuntus_2_gives_a_second_life_to_64-bit_computers


    Best regards

    Patrick

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Patrick,
      Happy new year to you too. And congratulations on the new release. I am downloading it to try it out.
      Thanks,
      Arindam

      Delete
    2. Thank you Arindam, and goods tests.

      Best regards,

      Patrick

      Delete
  9. Hi Arindam,

    I wish to inform for a new Emmabuntüs 2 release 1.07:

    http://emmabuntus.sourceforge.net/mediawiki/index.php/February_24th,_2014,_Emmabuntus_2_gives_a_second_life_to_computers_classroom_background

    and this : http://linuxblog.darkduck.com/2014/02/the-ivorian-adventure-of-jerry-and-emma.html

    Best regards,

    Patrick

    ReplyDelete