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Pinguy OS 13.10 alpha, an Ubuntu remaster that ships with many popular applications and tweaks, is available for testing.

Pinguy OS 13.10 screenshots

Pinguy OS 13.10 alpha ships with GNOME 3.10

Pinguy OS 13.10 screenshots

Pinguy OS 13.10 is based on Ubuntu 13.10 and like the previous releases, it uses GNOME Shell with various customizations / extensions by default.

Unlike Ubuntu 13.10, the latest Pinguy OS alpha uses GNOME 3.10 and not 3.8, so you'll get all the goodies available in the latest stable GNOME release: the new compact System Menu, pagination in the GNOME Shell app picker, client side decorations for applications such as Nautilus, GNOME Documents, GNOME Tweak Tool and so on, all the System Settings improvements and more. You can read more about what's new in the latest GNOME 3.10, HERE.

Desktop customizations

Like in the previous releases, Pinguy OS 13.10 alpha uses a stylish, minimalistic Conky setup at the top of the desktop, which displays the current date and time, RAM and CPU usage as well as network download/upload speeds. Docky is still present and there are two instances: one at the bottom, used as a taskbar / app launcher and a second one at the left with auto-hide enabled by default, which lets you quickly access the folders in your home directory.

Pinguy OS 13.10 screenshots

For the menu, Pinguy OS 13.10 alpha ships with the official GNOME Shell Applications Menu extension (used in the GNOME Classic session introduced with GNOME 3.8). This menu allows you to quickly access installed applications and it also provides access to the Activities Overview, as you can see in the screenshot below:

Pinguy OS 13.10 screenshots

The Activities hot corner is disabled by default, but like I was saying above, you can access it from the menu and of course, using the default Activities keyboard shortcut (Super key).

Other GNOME Shell extensions included (and enabled) by default in the latest Pinguy OS 13.10 alpha:
  • Activities Configurator: lets you configure the Activities button (text, padding, hide text or icon, hot corner sensitivity, etc.);
  • AppIndicator Support: the extension we wrote about a while back that adds Ubuntu AppIndicator support to GNOME Shell, though you need to set the indicators placement in panel from its settings (via GNOME Tweak Tool) for it to work;
  • Media player indicator: Ubuntu Unity-like sound indicator;
  • Messaging Menu: Unity-like messaging menu;
  • Skype Integration: adds some features of Skype to GNOME Shell: make use of shell notifications, integrate contact search, add a Skype menu button and more;
  • Topicons: shows legacy tray icons on the GNOME Shell Top Bar;
  • User Themes: lets you change the GNOME Shell theme;
  • Workspace Indicator: displays an indicator on the GNOME Shell Top Bar that displays the current workspace and lets you switch between workspaces;
  • Appsearch: searches the software repository and provides results in the GNOME Shell overview.

Pinguy OS 13.10 screenshots

Pinguy OS 13.10 screenshots

There are also quite a few extensions that are installed but not enabled by default because they haven't been updated to support the latest GNOME Shell 3.10 yet (although not all will be enabled even after they are updated - some are just to give the user a choice), like Axe Menu, Slingshot App Launcher, Coverflow Alt-Tab, System Monitor, Weather and more.

For the GTK theme, Pinguy OS 13.10 alpha uses Zukitwo, with elementary window borders and Zukitwo as the default GNOME Shell theme. The default icon theme is the beautiful Faience Azur, but more are available, like elementary, all the Faience and Faenza icon themes and more.

Tweaks available by default

Pinguy OS 13.10 screenshots
Netflix under Pinguy OS 13.10 alpha (screenshot via PinguyOS forum)

Pinguy OS 13.10 alpha ships with various tweaks that contribute to a great default experience:
  • Pipelight is installed by default so you can watch Netflix and other video streaming services that require Silverlight in Pinguy OS, without having to configure anything;
  • TLP, a tool that applies various tweaks to your laptop to save battery power, is installed by default in the latest Pinguy OS 13.10 alpha;
  • zram-config, an upstart script that enables Zram, is used by default for better performance. With this tweak, a RAM based block device is created which acts as a swap disk, but is compressed and stored in memory instead of swap disk (which is slow), allowing very fast I/O and increasing the amount of memory available before the system starts swapping to disk;
  • preload is installed by default - this is a daemon that stores the frequently used files in memory for faster startup times;
  • Profile Sync Daemon, a tool that moves the web browser profile to RAM, reducing disk writes and providing increased speed and responsiveness, is installed by default but not enabled. For how to enable/configure it, see THIS article.

Default applications

Pinguy OS 13.10 screenshots

As usual, Pinguy OS ships with quite a few applications installed by default. The latest Pinguy OS 13.10 alpha includes the following applications: Firefox 24, Empathy 3.8.4, Shotwell 0.15.0, LibreOffice 4.1.2, Nautilus 3.8.2 (but 3.10 is available as an update), Gedit 3.10.0, GNOME Documents 3.10.0, GNOME Contacts 3.10.0, Shutter 0.90.1, Steam (steam-launcher), PlayOnLinux 4.2.1, Totem 3.8.2, Pinta 1.3, Rapid Photo Downloader 0.4.6, Deluge 1.3.6, Nautilus-Dropbox 1.4.0, Friends App 0.92.0, Mumble 1.2.3, Remmina 1.0.0, Thunderbird 24.0, XChat 2.8.8, Calibre 1.0.0 (but 1.5.0 is available as an update), Arista Transcoder 0.9.7, Cheese 3.10.0, Clementine 1.1.1, gtkpod 2.1.3, Skype, VLC 2.0.8, XBMC 13.0 alpha8, OpenShot Video Editor 1.4.3, Spotify 1.4.3, Ubuntu Tweak 0.8.6, GParted 0.16.2, FileZilla 3.7.3, GNOME Tweak Tool 3.10.0, Ubuntu Software Center 13.10 and more on top of GTK 3.10.

Like Ubuntu 13.10, the latest PinguyOS alpha includes the 3.11.0-12.19 Ubuntu Linux Kernel based on the upstream 3.11.3 Linux Kernel, Xorg server 1.14.3 and Mesa 9.2.1.

And as usual, codecs, Java (icedtea and OpenJRE), Adobe Flash, G-talk plugin and so on are all installed by default.

Download Pinguy OS 13.10 alpha

Pinguy OS 13.10 is still in alpha so use it for testing only!

Download Pinguy OS 13.10 alpha | torrent (64bit only available while in alpha)