Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

Pinguy OS 14.04 alpha, an Ubuntu remaster that ships with many popular applications and tweaks, is available for testing.

Pinguy OS is an Ubuntu remaster that uses GNOME Shell by default, customized with extensions such as Gno-Menu, Media Player Indicator, Top Icons and more. It comes with many useful applications and tweaks by default, making Pinguy OS a great alternative for those who don't like to tweak or install applications but want everything to work out of the box. 

For instance, in the latest Pinguy OS 14.04 alpha, Netflix works out of the box. Pinguy OS also includes, since version 13.10: TLP (a tool that applies various tweaks to your laptop to save battery power), zram-config, preload (a daemon that stores the frequently used files in memory for faster startup times) and Profile Sync Daemon, among many other tweaks.

Changes in Pinguy OS 14.04 alpha

For 14.04, Pinguy OS comes with some interesting new applications and tweaks available by default. For instance, Peerflix and the Firefox scripts about which we've talked about recently (which allow you to click a torrent in Firefox and start playing it immediately using VLC) are available by default:

Another important change is that TRIM is now used by default. TRIM allows the OS to "inform a solid-state drive (SSD) which blocks of data are no longer considered in use and can be wiped internally". Without using TRIM, the SSD speed decreases after a while so if you have a solid-state drive that supports TRIM, you should enable it so your SSD remains fast over time.

There are also some new default applications:
  • FileBot, an application that allows you to batch rename Movie and TV Show files;
  • Plex (with various customizations such as the UnsupportedAppstore) has replaced XBMC;
  • GNOME Do (quick launcher);

Plex Home Theater in Pinguy OS 14.04 alpha

A data recovery script that uses TestDisk is also available by default with Pinguy OS 14.04 alpha.

Other changes include:
  • Netflix works out of the box (at least in theory but there's a bug and I had to remove the ~/.wine-pipelight folder to get it to work);
  • Liquid Prompt available by default;
  • Added Panel OSD GNOME Shell extension (lets you configure where to display the notifications);
  • Added Audio Output Switcher GNOME Shell extension (adds a switch for selecting the audio output to the system menu);
  • Many bug fixes.

Netflix in Pinguy OS 14.04 alpha

For the GTK theme, Pinguy OS 14.04 continues to use Zukitwo but unlike the previous releases, elementary is no longer used for the window borders and Faience is used instead:

And of course, Pinguy OS 14.04 alpha also includes all the changes available in Ubuntu 14.04 since it includes the same Linux Kernel, xorg server and so on.

Default applications

Among the applications included by default with the latest Pinguy OS 14.04 alpha are: Firefox 28, Thunderbird 24.4.0, LibreOffice 4.2.1, Nemo 2.0.8, Clementine 1.2.1, Steam, Skype, VLC 2.1.2, GNOME Documents 3.10.1, Empathy 3.10.3, Deluge 3.6, Calibre 1.25.0, Plex Media Server (and Plex Home Theater, Spotify, GNOME Tweak Tool 3.10.1 and Ubuntu Software Center 13.10, among others, on top of GTK 3.10.7 and GNOME Shell 3.10.4.

Like Ubuntu 14.04, the latest PinguyOS alpha includes the 3.13.0-18 Ubuntu Linux Kernel, Xorg server 1.15.0 and Mesa 10.1.0.

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

Download Pinguy OS 14.04 alpha

Pinguy OS 14.04 is in alpha and you should only use it for testing purposes!

Download Pinguy OS 14.04 alpha (64bit only available while in alpha)

For support, visit the Pinguy OS forums.