Saturday, July 7, 2012

Fuduntu 2012.3: Neither Fedora nor Ubuntu, but different

In my post on Fedora Vs Ubuntu, I mentioned my wish of having a distro that combine the simplicity of Ubuntu with elegance of Fedora. And a friend of mine, Darshak, suggested me to try out Fuduntu. I downloaded the latest 2012.3 from the website. The ISO is a whopping 931 MB!

I booted it up in VirtualBox. It didn't ask me unnecessary questions like type of keyboard, location, etc. but automatically detected those - which is good! The boot up is similar to Fedora and I was greeted with a cool desktop.

CPU and RAM usage in Fuduntu is much lower than either Fedora 17 or Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. Definitely the OS is targeted to low resource computers like netbooks or older computers and it performs well there. Speed is impressive.

But the default application list given in a 930 MB ISO is a big let down! Very limited number of apps are provided by default and users have to download a lot of stuff - like LibreOffice (only Google docs provided as default office), GIMP, Skype, etc. Chromium is the default browser and it has Adobe Flash pre-installed. Java is missing but from the repository, users can download Java. There is a Gmail icon in docky - it merely opens the gmail site in Chromium and not a dedicated gmail app. VLC is there along with shotwell, Banshree media player, to mention the notable apps present in the OS.

One good aspect to create a light OS is Nautilus Elementary. It also has tweaks to move the /temp and /log directories to RAM and less swappiness, thereby ensuring hard drives spin-up less frequently.

A notable presence is of Dropbox and Jupiter. Jupiter is a power and control app, a must have to save battery juice if you are working on netbooks/laptops.

You can see more snapshots at my Flickr album. A total of 15 snapshots including the ones shown above are there.

Fuduntu seems to be specializing towards providing a light and less resource intensive distro, forked from Fedora. However, I am a bit disappointed with the applications provided along with the ISO. I expected a lot from a 930 MB ISO. Anyway, possibly they wanted to retain the bare minimal applications required for a netbook user and not pamper them with choices. I would rather go for a Puppy Linux if I really need a light but complete OS, rather than Fuduntu. Nothing beats Puppy on speed and low resource usage!


  1. Thanks for the review, it is 930MB because we include language support and documentation for everything. We can trim around 500MB just by removing translations and documentation, but decided that isn't the best way to support the widest variety of users.

    Java is in our repo, we offer both 1.6.x and 1.7.x. :)

    1. Hi Andrew, thanks for reading my review. This is the first time I used Fuduntu and my expectations were different (because of the name of the distro). I liked the speed and slickness of the distro, and surely I liked Jupiter! But, app wise I expected a bit more given the size :). Definitely the documentation is really helpful; it's a good part of the OS you created and should be retained.

      As some distros are offering Java in the iso itself, I mentioned that Java isn't inbuilt but can be downloaded from repo.

      Please carry on the good work. Hope to see more incremental innovation from the Fuduntu world in coming years. I'll keep reviewing your every release from now on, for sure.

    2. It's definitely understandable that you would expect more given the size. Early on I trimmed it, but it wasn't well received because a lot of our population is non-english speaking so it made sense to put it all back. I guess I glossed over that you had pointed out Java was in the repo, thanks for pointing that out. :)

      I look forward to future reviews, I try to keep up with them as it is an wasy way for us to find problems / user facing issues we may otherwise not be aware of. :)