Ubuntu Mini Remix – Minimal Tool for Maximum Capabilites

posted by Archie @ 12:03 PM
February 7, 2011

A week ago Ubuntu Mini Remix announced their new release of Ubuntu 10.10 livecd.  That’s the fourth release of Ubuntu with minimal software set delivered by UMR, who seem to think different of this operating system. Those who consider Ubuntu to be an OS-in-a-box will be surprised by simplicity of its minimized installation medium. But will they actually like it?

We would have never intended to discuss that if we hadn’t installed an Ubuntu-based VPS recently. We at Sitevalley.com do not receive such orders frequently – installing Ubuntu on the server requires many tweaks and disables the use of automating control panels, such as DirectAdmin or cPanel, which means more manual technical work for the customer. Generally, Ubuntu is not actually a true server distro – this OS is known as a perfect desktop solution – however, if the user is good at a certain OS specifically, it’s reasonable to let them work with it…

This very question of reasonability has actually fired up a discussion on whether Ubuntu Mini is going to be in demand. The ideas below are summary of this discussion that we are going to share with you.

The Idea of UMR

If you take a look at the current Ubuntu community and the way they work – you will see that the “OS-in-a-box” idea was developed into generation of multiple releases with a wide range of tweaks and customizations that are called derivatives. Apart from releases for servers and desktops (as well as different desktop managers) Ubuntu now offers specially optimized versions for Cloud computing, netbooks, Christians and Muslims and different activities (e.g. for multimedia creation or education). There are many more derivatives, you can find here, but even those above make think that Ubuntu has covered all possible spheres of users’ origin (there are many fully localized versions), interests and activities. This in turn emerges a question – what else may one need?

No matter what may be needed, there’s another question to rise – do you really need all those preinstalled applications? And here appears UMR as an argument for a negative response. So, if it’s a “No” and you don’t need any of those preinstalled solutions – you are ready to get acquainted with Ubuntu Mini. But what is this OS actually like?

Before UMR many people who needed simplified distros used to refer to more experienced Ubuntu users and enthusiasts who created LiveCDs for them. Some even used server installation media or burned their own installation CDs. Releases, provided by Ubuntu Mini are close to Ubuntu Desktop, they are, however not overstuffed with software and applications one may not need and thus are more flexible and customizable. It is obvious that the main idea of the UMR project is simplicity – this derivative is for everyone who likes Ubuntu and wants to run it their way and with no pain in their necks.

Who Is Going to Use UMR

Such releases as Ubnutu Mini are usually called geeky. We are not sure you’ll find many Ubuntu users, who’d like to switch to something self-compiled that may corrupt due to incompatibilities or after an unsuccessful update or something like that. A Mini may however interest those, who deal with old or peculiar hardware or need to run some specific software or a fixed set of applications. UMR product can also be used for creation of a custom Ubuntu build – you may boot a Mini, install all the needed software and customize it and then burn it back to another CD/DVD to keep it near at hand – this solution works perfect if you need to setup a specifically configured OS on several machines or simply want to avoid headaches, brought by OS reinstallation.

This flexibility is something to pay attention to and the fact that Ubuntu Mini is still Ubuntu may really make UMR very popular. Not many Ubuntu users would like to switch to other distros just to get a flexible customizable OS. Although such distros as Gentoo, Fedora or Debian – a distro, Ubuntu has actually derived from – may be perfectly used for both desktops and servers, Ubuntu still remains the simplest OS.

Conclusion

If you need a Linux distro which is easy to install and operate and which is customizable enough to compile it in the very way you need – you should have a look at Ubuntu Mini. If you find Gentoo or Debian complicated to work with but require the same simplicity of the installation medium – you should give UMR a try. Finally, if you are new to Linux and want to get acquainted with it quickly and with manual efforts for better understanding – go to Ubuntu Mini Remix website and download it.

If you have some interesting facts about Ubuntu to share or want to take part in the discussion of UMR usability, feel free to join us on Facebook.

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