Three Top Ubuntu Alternatives: Page 2

Sure, you like Ubuntu. But the Linux world offers more choices.


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To take this a step further, Peppermint is simply Lubuntu, bundled with cloud-centric software provided out of the box. In addition, it also uses a number of Linux Mint specific tools, such as the software manager and its update tool. Tie this in with Synaptic for adding/removing software, and someone could easily make Peppermint feel even more like Lubuntu-proper, if they so wanted. And for those wondering, the desktop environment used in Peppermint is LXDE. Web applications feel like they're tightly integrated into the distribution with Prism.

I think that Peppermint Linux OS is perfect for anyone comfortable with using cloud software over local software. It's also a nice fit for anyone looking to mix localized applications with cloud applications.

Pear Linux 5

– Picking up where other distributions based on Ubuntu left off, Pear Linux offers Ubuntu users a new way of looking at their desktop. In what feels like a themed version of Ubuntu, this distribution actually does have some behind the scenes tweaks that differentiate it from its Ubuntu-base.

For the newcomer to Pear Linux, the most significant thing that will be noticed is how OS X-like this distribution is. For better or worse, Pear feels like it's emulating the Apple desktop at some level. For someone who is looking for something that feels like OS X, perhaps this is a good thing.

Under the hood of this distribution, there are some Gnome Shell tweaks such as displaying software by clicking the Launchpad icon. Another notable difference is Pear's approach to software installation. Pear Linux also provides a software store which feels a lot like the one found in Linux Mint, but with a slightly better layout.

At the end of the day, Pear Linux is of an Ubuntu Mini Remix origin, which lends itself nicely to computers with lower resolutions, such as most netbook computers.

Roll your own Ubuntu alternative

If you're like me and enjoy the Ubuntu-base, yet are interested in something a bit more customized, keep reading. Rather than jumping to a completely different distribution, consider creating your own Ubuntu related distribution using the Ubuntu Mini Remix.

At its core, Ubuntu Mini Remix is simply a stripped down Ubuntu-base, which can then be easily imported into your preferred Ubuntu distro building tool. Back in May, I offered up a roundup of options in this space that would be worth looking into. Remember, when you're making a list of what you want in your Ubuntu-based ISO, consider the following.

Desktop: Will the desktop environment be aimed at older PCs or is it to be setup for more mainstream, newer PCs?

Software: Remember that outside of the Ubuntu-base, you'll also want to carefully choose your browser and email client options. Everything else is personal preference.

Distro art: If at all possible, consider creating your own custom content or, if need be, commission someone else to do it for you. The one thing to avoid is trying to borrow trademarked stuff from Ubuntu.

Final thoughts

And there we have it. Three solid alternatives to Ubuntu, for those who prefer an Ubuntu-base. And also, the possibility of crafting an Ubuntu derivative of your very own. Whichever approach is best for you is something you’ll have to decide for yourself.

As for me, I tend to rely on Ubuntu almost exclusively. And while I also run other distributions in my home office, including Fedora and Linux Mint, for the most part Ubuntu has proven to be perfectly adequate for my needs.

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Tags: Linux, Ubuntu

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