Jumaat, 16 April 2010

This Mandriva-based distro wants to give you low resource computing, but it doesn't want you to slum it. Although possibly the best-looking of the distros in the Roundup, it does come at the cost of a slow boot time.


Unity is pretty much as sluggish as a full desktop distro when it starts, compared to the nippy zippy likes of Slitaz and Tiny Core. Once the Openbox-based desktop is running, though, it is as fast and responsive as you could want a distro to be.

The install process couldn't be easier – run the graphical installer, tell it where you live, allow it to partition the drive however it likes and you're done in a couple of clicks. In fact, it may be a little too easy – perhaps it should ask a bit more about where you're installing, but there are manual options available for most of the stages. Installation may take a while, but you can always avail yourself of the live Unity while you're waiting, then reboot back into that lovely desktop.

That's when the real shock hits you – Unity has gobbled up nearly 1GB of space before you've even started installing anything! The minimal install does contain lots of configuration tools, but if you want to do anything like browse the web or play some music, you'll need to get downloading.

The smart package manager is preconfigured to fetch updates and packages from the extensive Unity mirrors, though you could most likely install Mandriva or generic RPMs without much difficulty. Setting up networking was seamless and we were gorging ourselves silly on frivolous applications such as image viewers and audio players in no time.
Surprisingly, once installed, Unity only came mid-table in terms of memory use, but we found that it was sprightly and easy to use. As with some of the other distros we've tested here, this is a beta release, but based on what we saw, it seems ready for a full release already.

Verdict: Unity Linux
Version: 2010 Beta 2
Website: http://unity-linux.org 
Price: Free