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Ailurus is an application which aims at making Linux easier to use and is especially great for beginners, but not only. Think of it as an Ubuntu Tweak focused more on tweaking and less on installing applications using PPAs.

At least that's what it was initially, because lately they've also focused on installing applications, with the latest version (10.01.4) adding a "Quick setup" feature which should come really handy for beginners. This new feature chooses the fastest repository mirror, and then allows you to install full language support, hardware drivers, input method, multimedia codecs, Adobe Flash, decompression software (7zip, rar, ace, etc.). This is somewhat similar to THIS Ubuntu Karmic initial setup script.

Other new features in version 10.01.4:

  • Install some Eclipse extensions, such as Aptana, Mylyn, PDT, RadRails and Subversive.
  • Install native Linux 64-bit Flash plugin
  • Install LAMP and Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud cluster
  • Added some third-party repositories

A feature I really like (is not new, but anyway) is the "Recovery" - you can use it to take snapshots of APT so you can later see what packages you've installed / removed and optionally revert changes by simply dragging an action from the "Changes" box onto the "To do" box:

ailurus snapshots

Overall, Ailurus doesn't have the greatest user interface, but can become really handy, especially for newbies.

Install Ailurus in Ubuntu

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ailurus

-Older Ubuntu versions:
sudo bash -c "echo 'deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/ailurus/ppa/ubuntu ubuntu_version main' >> /etc/apt/sources.list"
sudo apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com 9A6FE242
In the first command above, replace "ubuntu_version" with jaunty, intrepid or hardy.

Then, to install Ailurus (any Ubuntu version):
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install ailurus

The source code / Fedora packages can be found HERE.