Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Unity Linux | You did not die !

I wrote a post about Unity Linux " Why Should I use Unity Linux ? " back in April 2010 when this distribution was in its prime trying to stand upon its feet . I will not go into the history of the inception of this project because everybody knows about it . 

Things were exciting and promising and the Unity team was in high spirits willing to contribute as much as they could to this new distribution .This project was backed up by good team members pouring in from various former PCLinuxOS derived sister distributions .  Many good projects came to surface with remasters based upon Unity Linux core . Two well known were HUMANity (e17) and Synergy (KDE4).

I am a big fan of remastering my installed system and "mklivecd" on Unity is a perfect tool for doing that . I made numerous successful remasters based on Unity Linux with KDE4 . Smart package manager is one of my favourite package manager after Arch`s Linux pacman and Unity Linux was my favourite distribution for offering Smart package manager.

As a home user I was quite happy with Unity Linux not caring or worrying lot about behind the scene events going on with this project because it was doing well for my daily home and office computing life . But then there are some unfortunate days for every linux project and something started going terribly wrong with Unity Linux.There were frequent system breakages , missing dependencies and rare updates to various packages . I was still clinging to this distribution in hope that things will get smooth but by the end of 2010 I was totally disappointed with Unity Linux and I gave it up and my attention got drifted towards Arch Linux . But I used to visit their website and off and on to see what is going on .Things were mostly quiet and kind of dormant.

Last month I was at their IRC room out of usual curiosity when I was told that things were getting better . Since I was constantly in touch with Unity Linux team I knew many of the developers left the project due to reasons I am not aware of and things were closer to that Unity Linux might have died before reaching any peak . So the news that things were getting better and then a newsletter from one of the developer "devnet" that they are restructuring Unity Linux and going to use Mandriva repositories ware very encouraging . 

It was time that I wanted to give another try to this distribution and instead of trying "cli" ISO I grabbed one of the  HUMANity ( e17 ) full release ISO and installed it . HUMANity ( e17 ) is one of the sole surviving and one of the faithful sister project based on Unity Linux maintained by OnlyHuman . He is a big fan of Unity Linux and e17 and eversince the inception of Unity Linux I always saw him present at and on Unity Linux users mailing list . I tested few of the HUMANity ( e17 ) releases in past and they were professionally crafted with everything working out of the box . But since I am a KDE user I did not use HUMANity ( e17 ) on my computer on regular basis .

Installation went smooth this time without any problems . I reloaded smart and first installed all the available updates and later installed KDE 4 and completely removed e17 . Everything worked perfectly  and I was greeted by a nice though an older version ( Platform Version 4.6.4 (4.6.4) ) of KDE4 but without any issues as I once faced on Unity Linux almost 9 months back . So gladly the news about the change were correct and evident from a stable and responsive system I have from my currently Unity Linux installed . 

I was planning to write this post earlier today when I read a news about Unity Linux on " Development Release: Unity Linux 2011 Alpha 2 " this evening . So things are actually happening at Unity Linux once again and in a positive direction .

I do not know what unfortunate events happened to Unity Linux in the background and why it was deserted by those who were once so enthusiastic about it . Neither will I probe into that because its none of my business as an end user. I also do not know who are the people who have taken the responsibility on their shoulders not to allow this project drown like many other good projects into obscurity . Sure I would love to know about these saviors of Unity Linux. 

There are many good projects out there and one of my favourite is Arch Linux. It was a sweet surprise for me to know that Unity Linux development team have decided to adopt " Arch-Linux-Like approach to things with future releases ". This is a great step ahead towards greater achievements in future in my humble opinion with the fact that Unity Linux will use Mandriva repositories in future. This will allow the development team to spend more time on making a stable core than spending time on packaging and releasing a weak core as I saw in past releases . This step is also important because I was told that since the number of current developers are literally not enough to maintain the packaging so it was a compulsion to adopt this strategy .

I really did not want a " Youth Demise " to be Unity Linux`s fate and I was sad seeing Unity Linux dying and decaying slowly . But with current steps taken by the Unity Linux team once again reassure me that this project will survive longer and will grow with every passing day. I wish best of luck to Unity Team and request others to contribute to this project in whatever way they can . 

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