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The Widely-Criticized New Commercial Linux Distro Is Now On Kickstarter

Operating Systems

Published on 22 August 2014 02:05 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems
43 Comments

Back in July I wrote about a new Linux distribution based on Arch and Wayland that was aiming for commercial success and talked up being the "ultimate operating system" for users that could compete with the likes of Microsoft Windows. The distribution, Operating System U, was widely criticized by readers, but now the distribution is on Kickstarter to solicit funds.

As explained in that article, Operating System U is to be based off Arch Linux, run a modified version of the MATE Desktop Environment, and will use Wayland in place of the X.Org Server. Operating System U also plans to modify the MATE Desktop to make it better while also developing a new component they call Startlight, which pairs the Windows Start Button with Apple's Spotlight. Those technical goals alone are rather lofty seeing as MATE doesn't even have Wayland support right now, and they hope to potentially have out a development release of OSu in a half-year. Pushing further, the developers hope Operating System U will come pre-installed on laptops and via partnerships with retailers will be the driving force for OSu consumer adoption.

After all the heat, they began soliciting community ideas. Operating System U prides itself on having a familiar setup, being open-source, a limited threat of viruses, is fully customizable, and is free. Now rather than using the MATE desktop, they say they will be using Xfce4 with the Compton compositor, PCManFM in place of Thunar, and make other changes to the Xfce desktop. They're also dreaming of their own competitor to Apple's iCloud.

Originally they aimed to have a $150,000 (USD) crowd-funding campaign but with the Kickstarter launched today they are trying for just $50,000, which will still be a huge challenge. The Operating System U Kickstarter page claims numerous advantages over Microsoft Windows 8 and Ubuntu Linux. They also hope to put out their own "Ubook Go" Operating System U laptop for $185.


While we wish all Linux ventures the best of luck, it doesn't look like the Operating System U project will ultimately go far and as of writing they've collected just $38. Those wishing to visit the Operating System U page can find it at Kickstarter.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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